Posted in book review

The Never King

Title: The Never King

Author(s): Nikki St Crowe

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Format: Audiobook

Would I Recommend? Yes!

Book Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Spice Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Synopsis

You know the story of Peter Pan, right? Peter meets Wendy, they go back to Neverland, have a jolly old time, and never want to grow up… Well, if that is what you were hoping for from this story, stop reading now and continue on with your day. I hope it’s wonderful.

Now, for those of you who stuck around, this is a dark and sexy version of Peter Pan. Instead of Peter and Hook being enemies, it is the Darling women. How does he remedy that problem? Naturally he kidnaps them on their 18th birthday, brings them to Neverland, and hopes to hell that she can accomplish his much needed task. To find his secret.

This Darling daughter, Winnie, is unlike the others. She grew up with a messed up mom who was always trying the prevent Pan from taking her daughter. She turned into Winnie the Whore way before Pan arrived. Not only that, but she is constantly struggling through life. So, when Pan comes to get her, neither of them are ready for what is about to happen.

Directly quoted from the Goodreads synopsis, because I don’t think I could have summed it up better myself.

“If you like your enemies to lovers romance with hot, ruthless, morally gray love interests, you’ll enjoy The Never King and the Lost Boys. You can expect hate kissing, fighting, bickering, and ‘touch her and I’ll unalive you’ vibes. ”


Thoughts?

When I tell you I have never screamed “Damn-it” so loud while driving, immediately pulled over to see if book 2 had been published, so fast in my book loving time, I don’t know what else to tell ya. Okay, maybe that is a little dramatic, but I did do one of those two things.

Needless to say I was hooked from the start.

I will say that this audiobook is only 4 hours and 35 minutes, so there is not necessarily a whole lot of character building or world building happening. That being said, I don’t think there will be too many people reading this book because of the unique and crafty description of Neverland (spoilers, there really isn’t one).

At the start of the story, you are introduced to Winnie in her shining moment, having some type of disappointing sex. You learn that her life hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies. It has sucked because of this “stupid imaginary” man named Pan that her mom is terrified of. Little does she realize, Pan does exist and everything her mom told her had truth to it.

When the narrator for Pan entered the story with his deep and husky voice. I was sold. It took away any notion of the Peter Pan story I knew growing up and introduced me to a whole new world. I loved it! The other narrators for Kas, Vane, Cherry, and Bash were great too, but you knew there was going to be trouble with Pan just by his voice.

Now let’s talk about sex. Technically, this story would be classified as a reverse harem. If you aren’t sure what a reverse harem is I will go into more detail with the Zodiac Queen series, but basically it is one girl, 3+ guys, and she really doesn’t get a say in who she gets (though there is still the option of consent). Because of its reverse harem status, I will typically give a rating of 4.5 as a minimum. Not necessarily because the sex is extra spicy, but reverse harems can be a kink for some people. There are two main sex scenes in this story which happen in the middle of the book, relatively close together. Expect to see 2-on-1, rough sex, and definitely some after care.

Aside from all that, keep in mind that this is a dark retelling so thing can get a little violent. Not with Winnie involved, but with some of the other characters.

The big downside…she left it on a cliff hanger.

Final Review

Do I think this is a good book?

Yes.

Would I have physically read the book?

I’m sure I would have, but when Audible is having their summer sale and the book is only $3, you really can’t go wrong.

Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?

Absolutely not! But if you are one of my spicy reader friends, then maybe.

This book is not like any other Peter Pan retelling that I have come across…so far (Hooked by Emily McIntire is on the TBR list). I would add TRIGGER WARNINGS for dark content, violence, references to schizophrenia, rough sex, and references to prostitution. That being said, I am interested to see where this series goes. It is not for the faint of heart, but if you are okay with something a little dark then this might interest you.


Posted in book review

One of Those Flings

Title: One of Those Flings

Author(s): Lauren Blakely

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Audiobook

Would I Recommend? Nope

Book Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Spice Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Synopsis

You had a horrible break up. You are starting to give up on love. So, what do you decide to do instead? Swear off men for a year and then celebrate your celibate year by going on vacation. Which means its time to celebrate your year of man cleanse with a solo tropical vacation.

Skyler has decided to do all the tourist things with a local tourist company. Snorkling, sightseeing, zip lining, the works. And who is the leader of this local tourist company? A super hot, charming and exciting man, Caleb.

Should she maintain her cleanse or dive into the deep end with Caleb?


Thoughts?

I know reading and listening to summery books is stereotypical, but sometimes it can’t be helped. I am a mood reader so when the shoe fits…. You get the gist.

This was a multi-narrator production. The narrators did a good job getting into character and bringing the story to fruition.

In movies, some people will say that if a cast is given bad writing, they have to make the best of what they have. While I don’t think that Lauren Blakely’s short story wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t her best work either.

The premise is not something that I found appealing. I get it when we break-up with someone that we truly care about we need time to recover. For some people that means bettering themselves, for others it means finding the nearest person to have sex with, while other sit, cry, and wish the pain would go away. To be honest sometimes we do all three. With that being said, Skyler wrote off men for a year for a “man cleanse”, then celebrated it by breaking her initial goal the second she found someone attract. Then after 3 days of knowing each other they were ready to dive all in and make this long distance thing work. I am all for happy endings, truly I am. But when they aren’t smutty romances I hope that it is a little more realistic or plausible. Not only that, but the way the two main characters process this future potential relationship is a bit cringe.

It just wasn’t for me.

Final Review

Do I think this is a good audio short story?

Ugh…No.

What was really wrong with it?

A man cleanse? I get needing to recover and find yourself, but the number of times they reference man cleanse was unnecessary. Not only that but for a short story, it was super predicatable.

Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?

No, but I am sure it is for someone.

This short story audiobook is a palette cleanser in a sense. Its short, to the point, and predicatable. Personally, it had points and developments that drove me insane, but since it is only 2 hours, I didn’t waste too much time.


Posted in book review

Artemis

Title: Artemis

Author(s): Andy Weir

Genre: Sci-fi

Format: Audiobook

Would I Recommend? No

Book Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Spice Rating:

Rating: 0 out of 5.

Synopsis

Life on the moon sounds amazing! Well, sort of?

Artemis is the first city and establishment on the moon. While it has been there for decades it is still a work in progress. If you are not a billionaire or a tourist you are likely still struggling to get by. Which is why theft and smuggling become a full time operation for some. For this story, that description is set aside for Jazz Bashara.

Jazz has a lot of debts to pay, but she might get lucky and have them removed if she can finish a jon for an eccentric billionaire. It is going to take smarts, plannings, and stealth like maneuvers, but she should be able to do it. Right?

Honestly, if I give you any more details I basically tell you enough of the story that you can piece together what happens on your own. That wouldn’t exactly be ideal would it?


Thoughts?

If you are expecting The Martian or Project Hail Mary then you need to stop and reconsider if this is the book you want to read. I think that a lot of the negative reviews come from the quality and content of his other books rather than taking this book in as it is.

With that being said, I still think this was a decent book. Was it my favorite? No. Did I hate myself for reading it. Also no. It’s just different.

Taking place on the moon in “Artemis” named after the Greek goddess we meet Jazz. A smuggler with a moral compass and smarts. She manages to get herself into some bargain of a lifetime that as you would expect goes south quickly. She is sassy and sarcastic which makes the dialogue interesting. As a Canadian, many of the Canadian comments and references were wonderful.

There is still a lot of science based material as you would expect from his books, but it was easier to understand and follow.

Final Review

Do I think this is a good book?

It was okay

Would I have physically read the book?

Nope. I wouldn’t have made it past the first few chapters.

Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?

No. Probably not.

The thing is that I think Andy Weir has other books that are much better that I would likely recommend first. While I don’t think it was a bad book, I just don’t think it was the best one he has written.

Ultimately this book is a space heist/undercover mission/under dog story. Add in a little diversity since her family is originally from Saudi Arabia. Sprinkle in some sarcasm and wittiness. You’ve basically summed up this book.


Posted in book review

The Summer Melt

Title: The Summer Melt

Author(s): Emily March

Genre: Romance

Format: Audiobook

Would I Recommend? Meh

Book Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Spice Rating:

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Synopsis

Small town romance story? Sure why not. Sexy Scottish accents? I am not opposed. A little competition? It couldn’t hurt. Something short and sweet (under 3 hours)? Perfect for a trip.

Dana Delaney runs and owns her ice cream parlor, Scoops. During peak summer tourist season, Dana is staying busy. When her friend from the pool suggests an employee switch, Dana isn’t sure how it will play out; but she is convinced that it will increase sales. And she’s right.

But when her star player falls sick, its time to call in the big leagues. Enter Cal Buchanan. Visiting Eternity Springs as an A-list sport agent on a mission to help a client with a surprise proposal. Even if he does get a little distracted by the beautiful Dana Delaney. It can still all work out, right?


Thoughts?

It’s an audio-novella, which means its short and not a whole lot has to happen. The premise is super cute and I think works really well for a sweet summer romance. The narrators did an excellent job with their characters. The Scotttish accent wasn’t too bad, though I will say I am not sure I understand the attraction to accents.

So far its all only good things; why the three star rating? It was super cute and for a quick summer romance listen it fit the bill, but honestly, I was just glad to be done with it. As I mentioned, audio novellas are short and sweet, but this one had some plot points that happened SUPER fast. It seemed super unrealistic. I was also a little concerned at the start when one of the characters was still in high school and the older characters hadn’t been introduced yet. Don’t worry there is no age gap or sketchy things in this novella.

Overall, the premise was interesting and I remember some of the things about it, but it wasn’t something I personally would get excited about.

Final Review

Will you re-listen to it?

No, probably not. While it was cute, it wasn’t anything spectacular for me. It met me needs and then I was able to move on.

Does it meet the classification of a Summer Read (or listen)?

Absolutely! Its a perfectly cute summer time romance listen.

Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?

If they asked about it, sure!

For anyone, like myself, who likes finding summer reads because trying to read about summer in the middle of winter is a struggle, then this would fit the bill. Its cute and summery. The romance is just the right about of flirtation to make you want to swoon. Honestly, its a quick listen, so even if it is not your usually option, its worth a shot at least.


Posted in book review

Back in the Burbs

Title: Back in the Burbs

Author(s): Tracy Wolff & Avery Flynn

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Audiobook

Would I Recommend? Yes, but only to a specific reader

Book Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Spice Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis

Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes, you get stuck in stupid relationships and situations. Sometimes you don’t believe in yourself or have the confidence to succeed. Sometimes you don’t trust anyone.

Meet Mallory. A thirty-something female who can’t seem to get a win. She caught her husband cheating, her favorite Aunt Maggie died, her family can be opinionated, and Aunt Maggie left her a house. A house in need of a lot of work and money put into it. The term “hot mess” could not describe Mallory or her situation any better.

When she arrives at the house, she learns that Aunt Maggie had her own problems. She may have seemed okay and invincible, but things aren’t always as they appear. Not only that, but she just moved in next door to Nick. He may be hot, but his first impressions were not great. Mallory has a lot on her plate; connecting with old high school classmates, meeting new people, lawyering up against her cheating soon-to-be ex-husband, oh yeah, and repairing a house with little to no money or time…yikes.

So…how does all of this turn into a romance situation? When life gives you wine, Youtube, and the hotties in the neighborhood, there is a lot that can happen.


Thoughts?

Listen, when I first read the synopsis of this book, I was not interested. I thought, “ugh…another 30-year-old navigating life and talking about the struggles of being an adult.” I am an adult, and I know the struggles that it has. I read to get away from that, not to immerse myself in it again! Honestly, it sounded boring and not my cup of tea.

No joke, I told my co-worker a week before how bad I thought the book would be. However, I listen to books and needed something to listen to. This one was free, so I figured what the heck.

This was not what I was expecting.

When you first start the book, Mallory comes across as whiny and helpless. But if you have ever been cheated on, caught them in the act, and have it be a completely toxic relationship, then you kind of get it. Have I been in that situation? Yup! Did I probably have a very similar monologue? Yeah, probably. Once you get past that first little bit of monologue and struggles, the “whininess” slows.

Throughout this story Mallory is starting to rediscover herself, what she wants, and “retrain” herself from what she was programmed to do. I really did enjoy seeing the character during this transition and how she morphed into something a little healthier. Not only that but the sass and independence she is striving for was wonderful.

I think what I enjoyed the most was that I related to the character. While I did not go through the same situation as Mallory, that transition and finding someone and yourself was relatable. I also really enjoyed Nick and his process of dealing with someone who is going through ALOT!

There were two scenes in this book that I loved!

  1. The first sex scene. Mallory is super insecure with how she looks. She lacks all confidence and realizes that her last relationship was horrible (especially with sex). Something with Nick brought her to life and it was something I wasn’t expecting.
  2. The final dinner scene. I don’t want to spoil it, but if you have a “Lord of the Rings” movie situation, then you’ll appreciate it. Nick’s dad, clueless as can be, but it adds so much humor to it.

Final Review

Do I think this is a good book?

Yes.

Would I have physically read the book?

Likely not. The narrator did an excellent job bringing the characters to life. I think that the first little bit of the story would have deterred me from finishing it.

Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?

Absolutely not!

If you have ever been insecure about yourself, gone through shit, and struggled with past relationships….then this will likely bring a little humor to your life. There is not a lot of sex, but there is a lot of growth within Mallory (and Nick). It was refreshing to see things from a different perspective, yet one that I could seriously connect to. I don’t know what that says about me, but that’s okay!


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