Author: Colleen Hoover
Narrator: Brian Pallino
Published: December 8, 2020
Audiobook: 8 hours 10 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: November 1-4, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.
Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.
I loved Verity when I read it earlier this year, and Layla is my second CoHo novel. These are both atypical of what she usually writes which is romance. We know I am not a huge romance reader, so of course I started with her ‘different’ novels to listen to first. And well…. Layla…. It ended up not really being for me. I had heard it was a paranormal thriller and yes, there is paranormal, but not so much a thriller. It had suspense to it though! The book description tells the reader one thing, but then the novel goes in a very much different direction than what you go into thinking.
Leeds is our sole narrator and well… Leeds is not really likable and the further into the novel I went, the less I liked him, his choices, and actions. I can’t say much other than that because it would involve spoilers and the direction of the novel. I did enjoy the beginning with how Leeds and Layla met.
Personally, for me the novel has 2.5 stars as it was not for me, but I gave it an extra star for the writing: CoHo definitely knew where she was going and had to have it all planned out to get to that ending! We get several twists and I did not see what was coming as I was listening to it!
The narrator, Brian Pallino did a fantastic job with his narration and portrayal of Leeds. He is a narrator I would listen to again. Sadly, he passed away just over two years ago.
I know the rest of CoHo’s novels are romance, and I will give some of her others a try at some point. She is just everywhere these days with a new novel out and it just feels like an oversaturation: Everywhere you look there she is!
Author: Carolyn Brown
Narrator: Bailey Carr
Published: April 7, 2022
Audiobook: 2 hours
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: October 24, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
Three mischievous matchmakers. Two lonely hearts. And one last chance at a happily ever after. Don’t miss this heartwarming short story from New York Times best-selling author Carolyn Brown.
Meet Minnie, Dotty, and Stella—all retired and year-round residents on a cruise ship, they have dubbed themselves the unofficial matchmakers aboard. Minnie can ferret out a lonely woman by the second day of the cruise. Dotty can spot an openhearted man all the way across the Lido Deck. And Stella is great at putting a plan together. Together they’ve been every bit as successful as one of those online dating sites, and they can watch the romance unfold right before their eyes.
The trio face their biggest challenge yet when an unusual pair makes it onto the 10-day cruise to Alaska. Ava and Vince are on the verge of a divorce and have no idea that they’ve each booked the same cruise to think things over. Now, with a little help from the Matchmakers, they’re about to discover that every great voyage has its storms—and love means weathering them together.
This is a cute one, where you know from the beginning how it will end, but that is chick-lit for you: It can be a nice refresher from all the thrillers I read. It was short and I was able to listen to it during my commute to/from work in one day.
The narrator went a bit out there with the southern accents. Not all southern women have distinct southern accents, I am one of those as I am from Georgia. Once I got used to the way the narrator was portraying them, I was able to enjoy this audiobook.
The ladies remind you of the Golden Girls so you know you are in for a ride! They are such a fun group, I would love to see more of their adventures on cruise ships![Top]
The String Diaries
Series: The String Diaries #1
Author: Stephen Lloyd Jones
Published: July 1, 2014
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3.5 stars
A family is hunted by a centuries-old monster: a man with a relentless obsession who can take on any identity.
The String Diaries opens with Hannah frantically driving through the night — her daughter asleep in the back, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back 200 years, tied and retied with strings through generations. The diaries carry the rules for survival that have been handed down from mother to daughter since the 19th century. But how can Hannah escape an enemy with the ability to look and sound like the people she loves?
Stephen Lloyd Jones’s debut novel is a sweeping thriller that extends from the present day, to Oxford in the 1970s, to Hungary at the turn of the 19th century, all tracing back to a man from an ancient royal family with a consuming passion — a boy who can change his shape, insert himself into the intimate lives of his victims, and destroy them.
If Hannah fails to end the chase now, her daughter is next in line. Only Hannah can decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to finally put a centuries-old curse to rest.
This book had so much potential! A complicated plot that had nowhere to go but up! An interesting premise and characters that were willing to go along for the ride … and it just all fell flat. No real explanation; which y’all know is going to annoy the ever living stuffing out of me! And then major cheating. I know that sounds childish, but it’s true. You don’t get to change the rules willy-nilly, and expect me to just accept it. The multiple timelines added some nice dimension, but the old one didn’t offer any good resolution and the modern one just cheated. Plus, I was left unsatisfied by the motivation of the villain … if I wanted high school drama, I would have shopped in the YA section. I wasn’t planning on continuing the series, but I bought the sequel by accident. This book offered enough potential, that I think I’ll give the sequel a chance.