Tag: Contemporary

Short Story Sunday: Audiobook Review: The Heart of a Mother by Julie Clark

The Heart of a Mother
Series: Obsession Collection #4
Author: Julie Clark
Narrator: Susan Dalian
Published: July 25, 2023
Audiobook: 1 hour 16 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: April 27, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Short Story Description:

A fateful decision from the past haunts a wealthy Californian. Desperate to make things right, she risks everything in this tense short story from New York Times bestselling author Julie Clark. Hillary Jean leads an enviable life. She has a loving husband, a beautiful home, caring friends, and meaningful work planning fundraisers. Yet she’s always felt incomplete. After a DNA website emails her a match, Hillary sets out to find the daughter she gave up twenty-five years ago. But her hunger to reconnect threatens to destroy the very thing she hopes to gain.

The Heart of a Mother is part of Obsession , a collection of compulsively readable short stories about people pushed to their extremes. So addictive you won’t be able to put them down—read or listen to each story in a single sitting.

Jessica’s Review:

Whoa!  I’m not a mother but this short story gives you an idea of what a mother goes through when she puts a baby up for adoption. And how much it can affect her many years later.

You definitely experience a mother’s turmoil where she questions herself on what she should do. It shows a mother’s love above all else.

I knew the direction the story was going, but that did not stop me from ‘enjoying’ it. I would be interested in seeing what else Julie Clark writes. The narrator Susan Dalian did a great job with her portrayal. And do listen or read this in one sitting, I did!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

Advanced Audiobook Review: Summers at the Saint by Mary Kay Andrews

Summers at the Saint
Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
To Be Published: May 7, 2024
Audiobook: 14 hours 34 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: April 12-21, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Audiobook Description:

Welcome to the St. Cecelia, a landmark hotel on the coast of Georgia, where traditions run deep and scandals run even deeper. . . .

Everyone refers to the St. Cecelia as “the Saint.” If you grew up coming here, you were “a Saint.” If you came from the wrong side of the river, you were “an Ain’t.” Traci Eddings was one of those outsiders whose family wasn’t rich enough or connected enough to vacation here. But she could work here. One fateful summer she did, and married the boss’s son. Now, she’s the widowed owner of the hotel, determined to see it return to its glory days, even as staff shortages and financial troubles threaten to ruin it. Plus, her greedy and unscrupulous brother-in-law wants to make sure she fails. Enlisting a motley crew of recently hired summer help—including the daughter of her estranged best friend—Traci has one summer season to turn it around. But new information about a long-ago drowning at the hotel threatens to come to light, and the tragic death of one of their own brings Traci to the brink of despair.

Traci Eddings has her back against the pink-painted wall of this beloved institution. And it will take all the wits and guts she has to see wrongs put to right, to see guilty parties put in their place, and maybe even to find a new romance along the way. Told with Mary Kay Andrew’s warmth, humor, knack for twists, and eye for delicious detail about human nature, Summers at the Saint is a beach read with depth and heart.

Jessica’s Review:

Here we go! It is time for MKA’s new beach read that is out just in time for the start of summer!  MKA always has a lot going on in her books and there is a little bit of everything for a reader to enjoy here.

We have suspense, mystery intrigue and even a little romance thrown in. There are family secrets, betrayals, danger, and murders!  If you have followed my reviews for some time you know MKA is an auto-read author for me. And she’s also from Georgia, so that automatically gives her bonus points. She’s wonderful to meet as well.

The narrator is Kathleen McInerney again and these two are just perfection together. MKA’s story telling her McInerney’s narration just bring it.

Do me a favor, if you have yet to read a book by MKA, please pick one up and read it. If audiobooks are your thing, listen to it and experience both wonderful ladies!

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Short Story Sunday: Audiobook Review: Just a Girl by Alyssa Cole

Just a Girl
Series: Obsession Collection #6
Author: Alyssa Cole

Narrator: Kimberly Woods
Published: July 25 2023
Audiobook: 1 hour 30 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: April 11, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 1 star

Short Story Description:

Social media can be a dangerous game. A young woman’s world teeters on the verge of implosion when trolls push too far in this disturbing short story from New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Cole. Tiana Carter has just started college and is determined to make the most of it. She’s thrilled to be posting videos about dorm-room cooking and campus fashion for a small but loyal band of followers. When she dips into the online dating pool, her first swipe right raises a huge red flag. Tiana’s polite rejection is met with scorn, and now a group of self-proclaimed “high-value men” are hell-bent on ruining her life.

Just a Girl is part of Obsession, a collection of compulsively readable short stories about people pushed to their extremes. They are so addictive you won’t be able to put them down—read or listen to each story in a single sitting.

Jessica’s Review:

This was a short story that focuses on social media and online toxicity (online trolls).  We have many stories and books that focus on the negativity of social media and this one didn’t work for me.  That was all this one showed (with escalation) and I actually ended up skipping close to the ending to see what happens. I was tired of hearing everything that was focused on her being trolled.  And I just can’t remember the ending, that’s how un-memorable this short story was for me.

I would say if you are interested in reading this one to listen to the short story version, the narration did enhance the story.                                                             

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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