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: Felix Blackwell
Published: June 20, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
A romantic cabin getaway doesn’t go exactly as planned.
High up on the windswept cliffs of Pale Peak, Faye and Felix celebrate their new engagement. But soon, a chorus of ghastly noises erupts from the nearby woods: the screams of animals, the cries of children, and the mad babble of a hundred mournful voices. A dark figure looms near the windows in the dead of night, whispering to Faye. As the weather turns deadly, Felix discovers that his terrified fiancée isn’t just mumbling in her sleep – she’s whispering back.
Dang, this was a scary one!! I legit got creeped out while reading this book! Thanks to Beccie for getting it for me!
First, the issues. I didn’t have too many but there were just enough to keep me from giving 5 stars. I didn’t get nearly enough by the end; y’all know I love getting as much info as possible and I’m upset when I don’t get it. I get that some things are better left buried, but I also like digging things up; it’s what I do! But, paradoxically, I think the effectiveness of the horror diminished as the story went on. It wasn’t that I learned too much of the creature and the situation, it’s just that it happened so much and the exposure to it all was every night, that eventually, the horror just kind of wore off. It became a daily occurrence that should have terrified me, but just felt too much.
I also felt that the twist wasn’t super twisty. I appreciate the metaphor and I was still satisfied with the explanation that I got; but as long as it took to get there, the pay off just felt anticlimactic. All that makes it sound like I didn’t like this book and that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I actually really liked it! It had me creeped out and I liked the Native American culture that was thrown in. I was able to sympathize with the characters and got very invested in their plight. This is a great read for the spooky season!!
The Puppet’s Payback and Other Chilling Tales
Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Published: September 1, 2021
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
The author of wildly popular ghost stories, Mary Downing Hahn has created a group of tales for fans of her “scary but not too scary” books. Even the stories without actual ghosts are spooky. Each tale turns something ordinary—a pigeon, a white dress, a stranger on the bus, a puppet—into a sinister link to the supernatural. For the human characters, secrets from the past or careless behavior in the present can lead to serious trouble. All the stories have a young person as the central character, so all will resonate with young readers who enjoy the eerie, the creepy, and the otherworldly. In a concluding note, the author talks about how she came to write ghost stories.
Another amazing kid’s horror book by Hahn! I really liked this anthology! The stories were all creepy and had me nervous without being too scary. This fits in perfectly with Scary Tales ( see our double review for the series here) and is a great way to introduce kids to horror. Perfect for Halloween!!