Tag: 3.5 stars

Book Review: Dead Inside by Chandler Morrison

Dead Inside
Author:
Chandler Morrison

Published: January 1, 2015
166 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

In this bleak and disturbingly erotic debut novel, iconoclast Chandler Morrison provides readers with a dark exploration of the nature of death, individuality, and generational identity. Along the way, lines will be crossed, taboos will be violated, and common decency will take an extended leave of absence. This is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. Or anyone who enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey.

A young hospital security guard with a disturbingly unique taste in women. A maternity doctor with a horrifically unusual appetite. When the two of them meet, they embark on a journey of self-discovery as they shatter societal norms while engaging in destructive and abhorrent behavior. As they unwittingly help each other understand a world in which neither of them seems to belong, they begin to realize what it truly means to be alive…and that it might not always be a good thing.

Kim’s Review:

I just … don’t know what to say. This one was absolutely ridiculous! It was nasty, nauseating, gross, inappropriate, etc. It definitely kept my attention but I can’t really say that I enjoyed it. I read it at the totally wrong time too; not a good one for a pregnant lady to read! I can usually handle gross horror, but there has to be some kind of plot justification for excessive gore. This one felt like gore for gore’s sake and not just any gore but depraved gore. I’m not sure I can even say that I’m glad I read it cuz I felt pretty horrible after I finished it. I absolutely cannot recommend it to just anyone; there are select few I would cautiously recommend it to.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Audiobook Review: Layla by Colleen Hoover

Layla
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

Book Description:

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.

Jessica’s Review:

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!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Short Story Sunday: The Matchmakers by Carolyn Brown

The Matchmakers
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

Book Description:

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.

Jessica’s Review:

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!

Purchase Links:
This short story is only available on Audible or audio cd

Amazon US 
Amazon UK

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