Audiobook Review: Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Title: Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward
Release Date: February 11, 2017
Format: Audiobook (7hrs, 19 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published By: Penelope Ward Books, Inc.
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleiBooksBarnes & NobleKobo

Single Dad. Second Chances.

They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie. Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?

So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.

At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.

Everyone wanted a piece of the hot, single father of the sweet little boy.

I became a woman I didn’t recognize, someone riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.

They didn’t know about our past.

He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.

As my friend, Lorelai, so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.

I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with someone else just to protect my heart.

Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.

And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

Author’s note – Told in alternating points of view, Mack Daddy is a full-length standalone novel

four-stars

I liked the relationship between Francesca and Mack. It was well developed and both characters were well developed. I thought the author was very smart and strategic to set up the flashbacks to lay the foundation of the attraction between Frankie and Mack otherwise I would have not understood the disrespect/disregard to their current partners. I’m not sure it excused it but I understood it. The exes Victor and Tori had my sympathy and I liked them both.

Tori:  Mack didn’t tell her about Frankie for 2 years. That is a really long time to be in a relationship with someone who was in love with someone else. Even if she knew he didn’t love her, you hold out hope that he could love you especially when he continues to visit you on the weekends and pretend to be in a relationship with you. Knowing there was someone else back in Boston would have given Tori a clearer picture of what she was up against.

Victor: I also feel bad for Victor because Frankie should have honored Thor two years by breaking it off with him officially instead of putting him in an awful position of having to be the bigger person. He still treated her with respect and concern when she found out about her dad. He offered to call her mom etc. Maybe Tori and Vic can date each other 🙂

I would have liked the author to spend more time on Jonah’s diagnosis. I had to read that on my own (how dare she make me work, LMAO). It was glossed over and it’s serious. That boy was in trouble and I’m not sure it should be taken such a backseat to the romance.

Why wasn’t George the best friend/roommate around? I would have loved to experience these two from his perspective. He was after all, the initial nexxus between these two. He was sorely missed.

Overall, it was angsty enough and the characters enjoyable yet really flawed. The writing made this story realistic and I was feeling this one! There was genuine love and passion between Frankie and Mack. It took them some maneuvering but there was something electric about them that just drew my emotions. I am pleased with the way it ended.

Ezi

About Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is first and foremost a proud autism mom. She is also the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of Stepbrother Dearest, Sins of Sevin, Cocky Bastard (co-written with Vi Keeland), Jake Undone, My Skylar, Jake Understood and Gemini. She is currently working on her 8th novel.

Audiobook Review: Egomaniac by Vi Keeland

Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Title: Egomaniac by Vi Keeland
Release Date: January 14th 2017
Pages:  289 • Format: Audiobook (8 hrs and 8 mins)
Published By: C. Scott Publishing Corp.
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleBarnes & Noble

The night I met Drew Jagger, he’d just broken into my new Park Avenue office. I dialed 9-1-1 before proceeding to attack him with my fancy new Krav Maga skills. He quickly restrained me, then chuckled, finding my attempted assault amusing.

Of course, my intruder had to be arrogant.  Only, turned out, he wasn’t an intruder at all.

Drew was the rightful occupant of my new office. He’d been on vacation while his posh space was renovated. Which was how a scammer got away with leasing me office space that wasn’t really available for rent. I was swindled out of ten grand.

The next day, after hours at the police station, Drew took pity on me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. In exchange for answering his phones while his secretary was out, he’d let me stay until I found a new place. I probably should have acted grateful and kept my mouth shut when I overheard the advice he was spewing to his clients. But I couldn’t help giving him a piece of my mind.
I never expected my body to react every time we argued. Especially when that was all we seemed to be able to do.

The two of us were complete opposites. Drew was a bitter, angry, gorgeous-as-all-hell, destroyer of relationships. And my job was to help people save their marriages. The only thing the two of us had in common was the space we were sharing.  And an attraction that was getting harder to deny by the day.

five-starsAdd to Goodreads

Vi Keeland smashed this one out of park. I immediately dismissed this book when I saw the title but don’t make the mistake I did. This book was such a great read. The person who titled this book did it a great disservice. I mean, epic fail. I don’t know if it was an attempt to get attention and sell books but Drew Jagger was absolutely not an egomaniac. I looked up the definition and Egomaniac is “a person obsessed with their own importance.”
I don’t believe heroine Emerie Rose fit that bill either. This book was actually the opposite of that title. I think the two main characters didn’t take themselves that seriously, and that was part of the book’s charm.

This story is not one of those billionaire romances. Its a story about common sense versus book smarts, personal growth and learning to open one’s eyes and heart. I really really enjoyed it. I am mega impressed with the writing. The comedic timing, the emotional touches, even Emerie’s naivete was touching. I loved the contrast between the more celebral and mild mannered therapist from Oklahoma and the playful, yet hard working New York attorney. The tone of the story was humorous, sweet and touching in parts. It was completely delightful. The author did a great job building the characters and making them relatable. Drew can be both a jerk and a sweetheart. Emerie was both clueless and yet perceptive. The character perfection lies in their flaws. They make you want to shake sense into them, laugh with them and give them comforting hugs.

What a fun audiobook. Joe Arden and Andi Arndt were awesome narrators. I found them so believable and I enjoyed every minute of this story. They really projected the chemistry and camaraderie between the characters. I couldn’t help but be sucked into Emerie and Drew’s banter. From the funny dialogue, to the sharing past pains and the building of solid relationship, I was all in this story. I have read The Baller by this same author and didn’t enjoy it half as much as this one. This is a book that will be on my re-read shelf for when I need a pick me up when I hit a reading funk. I will definitely be checking out more of Vi Keeland’s work.

If you want an entertaining romance that balances humor, chemistry and personal growth, this is the book for you.
Ezi

About Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Consolation (The Consolation Duet, Book 1) by Corinne Michaels @AuthorCMichaels

Consolation (The Consolation Duet, Book 1) by Corinne Michaels  @AuthorCMichaelsSeries: Consolation Duet #1
on 2015-03-18
Pages: 301
AmazonB&NNarrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Liam wasn’t supposed to be my happily ever after.
He wasn’t even on my radar.
He was my husband’s best friend—forbidden.

But my husband is dead and I’m alone. I ache for him and I reach for Liam.

One night with Liam changed everything. Now I have to decide if I truly love him or if he’s just the consolation prize.
three-stars

Pregnant Leslie “Lee” was finally happy. Her husband Aaron was out of active duty as a Navy Seal and now just had a routine operation to attend and then they can continue preparing for the birth of their first child. Navy_SEAL.561b029c1a4e9Aaron kissed Lee on her nose and told her he would be back soon. But what came next was a commander knocking on her door bearing the news all military wives dread. 6 months later, Lee is struggling to raise her daughter Arabella and working hard to move on from the loss of the man who was her world.
YOUNG-WIDOW
When his best friend Liam moves from Virginia to California. He gives her comfort and his friendship helps her to move past her grieve and start to live again. Soon the friendship becomes more and soon they became a couple. While Lee and Liam explored their new love, both struggle with continued grieving of Aaron. Liam was accepted by all of Lee’s friends and family. Not just because he was a fellow Navy Seal, and Aaron’s best friend, but because he brought joy to Lee’s life again and loved Arabella as his own.
Alex LUnfortunately, Liam was called to go back into the field on assignment, shaking Lee’s world once again. Could Lee do this again? Is she willing to give herself again to another seal who may not return to her and Arabella?

I have to admit that I am ambivalent on about this story. I can’t imagine the loss and pain those in this life have to endure so I want to acknowledge. I was just unable able to connect to the main characters and the story itself. Let me assure you that the narration was stellar. Andi Arndt and Sebastian York are an excellent pair and their voices really breathed life into this story because I struggled with this audiobook. I haven’t lost a great love but the pain and grieve dragged for a long time, encompassing about 56% of this story. Then all of a sudden the great love story was painted as a figment of Lee’s imagination. Friends began hinting that Lee was having revisionist history regarding her relationship with Aaron. I was torn by that because I didn’t think the author had to tear down her marriage in order to validate her new love with Liam. People can have more than one great love in their lifetime. Especially when married so young as Lee and Aaron had been.

My second issue was lack of depth. All the characters were kind of one dimensional with the exception of 2nd half Aaron. Aaron was put on a pedestal but now Liam was being put on a pedestal. I would have preferred a more human or complex character, kind of what Aaron turned out to be. I liked Liam but I didn’t love his “perfection”. The story was shallow and it was predictable. I did like the ending. I suspected the drama that the new love would face, but I see the author already gave herself an out with the funeral visitor. The ending save this story for me. I want to know, I am hesitant to read book 2 because I don’t want another 8hrs on grieving.

*Special Thanks to the Author for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.

Deep (Stage Dive #4) by Kylie Scott

Deep (Stage Dive #4) by Kylie ScottSeries: Stage Dive #4
on 2015-03-31
Pages: 231
AmazonNarrator: Andi Arndt
Don't miss a beat with the fourth and final novel in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Stage Dive series from Kylie Scott. Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man she's ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently. Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he's always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible . . . but will it lead to a connection of the heart?
four-stars

Ben Nicholson was the laid back member of Stage Dive. He just wanted to play the bass and live a nomadic life with no commitments or expectations. He did have a friendship with Lizzy, who lived with her older Anne & her husband Mal.

After some bonding via texts, Ben and Lizzy had a night of passion after a Stage Dive Concert. When Mal called Ben, interrupting their tryst, Ben admitted to Lizzy he wasn’t ready to be a couple or let anyone know they were sleeping together. Lizzy told him she didn’t want to be his dirty secret and she broke off their friendship.

Fast forward a couple of months later, and positive pregnancy test, Ben and Lizzy have to deal with his desire for freedom and Lizzy’s desire for a stable environment for her baby. Can Ben finally stop running?

This book was better than the last book and I enjoyed it. Ben wasn’t a bad guy; he just liked the simplicity of his life. He wanted to wake up, make music, travel and not feel beholden to anything except for how he felt at any given moment. I get it. Lizzy was confident in her feelings for Ben and she also had time to absorb the magnitude of her new reality—she was to be a mother. Ben kept seesawing between his desire for a relationship with Lizzy and his desire to retain his independence. Things were moving too fast for Ben and he hadn’t come to grips with his feelings for Lizzy. I like that he kept coming back after each bad decision. People make mistakes, and Ben made a lot here. That added a feeling of realness to the story. Ben had to “grow” into the idea of being a father as well as being Lizzy’s boyfriend. It wasn’t smooth nor was Ben easy to like. I think that’s why I liked him so much. He showed development from the beginning to end. I am glad Ben didn’t allow the issue of Lizzy to wreck the band and his relationship with Mal. The brotherly affections are one of the things that makes the series fun to read.

I appreciate the author taking the sex down a notch and letting us enjoy the range of emotions Ben’s waffling evoked. A few times I considered punching him in the stomach, but Mal took care of that. This one was entertaining. I am glad to hear there will be a spin off though I am not excited to read about Martha as she was unpleasant. I highly recommend this series to fans of rocker romances who love HEAs.

*Special thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin via Netgalley for the e-arc, which was given in exchange for an honest review

Review: Play (Stage Dive #2) by Kylie Scott

Review: Play (Stage Dive #2) by Kylie ScottSeries: Stage Dive #2
on March 25th, 2014
Pages: 304 pages
AmazonNarrator: Andi Arndt
Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl. Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?
four-stars

Malcom Ericson is the drummer of Stage Dive, and the best friend that helped David fix things with Ev in book 1.

In his own book, Mal overheard Ev’s friend Anne Rollins and her friend Lauren discussing the fact that Anne’s roommate Sky ran out with the rent money leaving Anne in the lurch.

Mal decides to move in with Anne and help her cover the roommate. In exchange, Anne would agree to be his pretend girlfriend so everyone can stop hounding Mal to settle down. Even though they both know it’s a ruse, the boundaries keep getting blurred and they begin to care about each other.

But Mal is hiding something and it’s affecting their relationship, but he won’t confide in her. What is this secret and what will Anne do about the serious feelings she now has for the popular band boy?

I know I am in the minority but I liked Book 1 better. I knew the secret almost immediately, but I find Mal’s erratic behavior sometimes funny, sometimes alarming. I found Anne to be a doormat because everyone dumps on her. I did like her a lot though and I am impressed that she said NO a few times, but she could stand to either be more firm, or state what she wanted instead of taking what she was given. I will admit she did that in the VERY end of the book.

In every relationship, there is always that person who was the “fixer”, the glue that keeps the group together, and it was Anne. she had a huge heart and I guess it does take strength to be in the role. I like the writing, the story and the chemistry between the band. The flow is awesome and the narration was spot on. I am really crossing my fingers that book 3 & 4 will be recorded.

Lick ( Stage Dive, Book 1) by Kylie Scott

Lick ( Stage Dive, Book 1) by Kylie ScottSeries: Stage Dive #1
on July 1st 2013
Pages: 286 pages
AmazonNarrator: Andi Arndt
Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

Evelyn Thomas's plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man in her room, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is certain, being married to one of the hottest rock stars on the planet is sure to be a wild ride.
four-half-stars

Good girl Evelyn Thomas woke with a 5-carat ring on her finger. Whatever happened, she can’t remember. But apparently she married David Ferris, one of the members of rock band Stage Dive AND got a tattoo of his name on her butt.
The horrors of alcohol!

Well David and Eve decide to spend some time together and get to know each other since they have this easy banter. Eve moves up to David’s home in Monterrey and they have a blissful 5 days, until real life comes crashing in. I mean, what do they really know about each other? Their lives are so different. Evelyn wants to be an architect (or so she says) and David travels a lot with Stage Dive. Will this new romance work?

I am so glad that I listened to this book. I normally detest rocker romances, but this one was sweet. The hero and heroine had interesting back stories and their chemistry was intense. They were good for each other and I liked that something in them recognized it, even though they didnt know how to fight for it. It was sweet, emotional and slightly angst. But best of all, there was healing towards the end, with people facing their past and making better decisions to pursue their own dreams and happiness.