It’s time for another audible book review post! All synopses are taken directly from amazon to give you a full view of each book before my review!
THE DO-OVER BY TL SWAN
Synopsis: I’m wealthy, powerful, and able to get any woman I want. So why do I feel so empty inside? In search of a deeper me, I take a sabbatical from my privileged life. One year of backpacking around Europe: a new identity, no contacts, and no money. Not a bad plan, I think. Until I get there.
A crowded hostel room, body odor, and beer bongs—there are no words for the fresh hell I’ve landed in. But amid the chaos, I meet my new roommate, Hayden Whitmore. She sleeps in the bed opposite me, and I openly admit to staring at her more than I sleep. Beautiful, innocent, and smart. Not my usual type but perhaps the perfect woman.
There’s just one small problem with the divine Miss Hayden. She’s totally unaffected by my charm. Nothing is working, and now, I’ve been friend zoned. What? But the good thing about me is that I’m an incredible problem solver, and I’ve come up with a diabolical plan. I’m going to slide right in under her friend zone. Be the best damn friend she ever had, hold her hand, make her laugh, and spoon with her in bed. But now there’s another problem. Hayden is the one who is sliding under my skin, and maybe friendship isn’t enough.
My rating: 5/5. Listen, TL Swan can do no wrong and is one of my favorite authors. I love her writing style, the characters, the story lines, the spice. It’s just *chef’s kiss.* This is the last of the four part Miles High series – I recommend all of the books in the series – all excellent listens!
CREDENCE BY PENELOPE DOUGLAS
Synopsis: Tiernan de Haas doesn’t care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she’s grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents’ fame followed her everywhere.
And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She’s always been alone, hasn’t she?
Jake Van der Berg, her father’s stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of 18. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore.
As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them.
And as a part of them. She also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching. One of them has her. The other one wants her. But he….He’s going to keep her.
My rating: 4.5/5. I loved this book and I know that’s a controversial take. Many found the spicy parts to be inappropriate due to the nature of the relationships, but I didn’t really see it that way. Overall, this book kept me really engaged, kept me guessing and I thought the character development was great. I recommend this book, but beware it’s quite graphic and explores some themes some might be sensitive to.
A THOUSAND BOY KISSES BY TILLE COLE
Synopsis: One kiss lasts a moment. But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime. One boy. One girl. A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade. A bond that neither time nor distance can break. A bond that will last forever. Or so they believe.
When 17-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind: Why had the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation?
Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come. A standalone young adult tearjerker romance, recommended for ages 14 and up.
My rating: 3/5. This book was sweet, but it’s reminiscent of the Laurlene McDaniel books I read a young teen. It’s a nice story and also very sad, but it felt a little too young for me – very PG-13 IYKWIM. It’s a book I’d let my daughter read in a few years if that tells you anything. Again, a very sweet and meaningful story, but I kind of wish I had chosen another book instead.
ONE OF US IS DEAD BY JENEVA ROSE
Synopsis: Meet the women of Buckhead—a place of expensive cars, huge houses, and competitive friendships.
Shannon was once the queen bee of Buckhead. But she’s been unceremoniously dumped by Bryce, her politician husband. When Bryce replaces her with a much younger woman, Shannon sets out to take revenge …
Crystal has stepped into Shannon’s old shoes. A young, innocent Texan girl, she simply has no idea what she’s up against …
Olivia has waited years to take Shannon’s crown as the unofficial queen of Buckhead. Finally, her moment has come. But to take her rightful place, she will need to use every backstabbing, manipulative, underhand trick in the book …
Jenny owns Glow, the most exclusive salon in town. Jenny knows all her clients’ secrets and darkest desires. But will she ever tell?
Who amongst these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead—and who will wind up dead? They say that friendships can be complex, but no one said it could ever be this deadly.
My rating: 3.5/5. This book was ok! Entertaining and keeps you guessing, but overall it’s not one I’d rush to recommend above the others in this post. I enjoyed it and it had some of those fun rich women/high society elements, but it just didn’t keep me thinking about it once it was over.
I’M GLAD MY MOM DIED BY JEANETTE MCCURDY
Synopsis: A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.
Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.
In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants. Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.
My rating: 4/5. This was a quick listen and kept me interested and engaged. This is obviously one of the few nonfiction books I’ve read, but the Hollywood aspect kept things really interesting. This book definitely has a lot of triggers as it relates to child abuse and eating disorders, FYI. I’m really glad I listened to this and recommend it!
THE PERFECT COUPLE BY ELIN HILDERBRAND
Synopsis: It’s wedding season on Nantucket. The beautiful island is overrun with summer people – an annual source of aggravation for year-round residents. And that’s not the only tension brewing offshore. When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin – with the bride-to-be discovered dead in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony – everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash digs into the best man, the maid of honor, the groom’s famous mystery novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, the chief discovers that every wedding is a minefield – and no couple is perfect.
My rating: 4.5/5. I loved this book! Elin is a great author and her characters are interesting and complex. This book kept me guessing and the storyline and characters were really enjoyable to follow. Thumbs up on this one!
THINGS WE NEVER GOT OVER BY LUCY SCORE
Synopsis: Bearded, bad-boy barber Knox prefers to live his life the way he takes his coffee: Alone. Unless you count his basset hound, Waylon.
Knox doesn’t tolerate drama, even when it comes in the form of a stranded, runaway bride. Naomi wasn’t just running away from her wedding. She was riding to the rescue of her estranged twin, to Knockemout, Virginia, a rough-around-the-edges town where disputes are settled the old-fashioned way….With fists and beer. Usually in that order.
Too bad for Naomi, her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. After helping herself to Naomi’s car and cash, Tina leaves her with something unexpected. The niece Naomi didn’t know she had. Now, she’s stuck in town with no car, no job, no plan, and no home – with an 11-year-old going on 30 to take care of.
There’s a reason Knox doesn’t do complications, or high-maintenance women, especially not the romantic ones. But, since Naomi’s life imploded right in front of him, the least he can do is help her out of her jam. And just as soon as she stops getting into new trouble, he can leave her alone, and get back to his peaceful, solitary life. At least, that’s the plan, until the trouble turns to real danger.
My rating: 4/5. This was a good listen! A good mix of plot, characters, spice, etc. The story kept me engaged. It’s not my usual type of romance book, but it was good.
ENIGMA OF LIFE BY SHANDI BOYES
Synopsis: Isaac Holt is the very definition of an enigma. He is mysterious, dangerous, alluring and knee clankingly gorgeous. After a chance meeting, I was falling at his feet, literally. His magnetizing allure has the ability to electrify all of my senses with the simple touch of his fingertip.
But no matter how much my body craves Isaac’s touch, I can’t have him. Morally and ethically, he is off limits. He is the enemy. My rational thinking head logically understands this, but my lust-driven heart needs a little more convincing.
A story about two people who are destined NOT to be together. This is not your typical love story. Not everything is black and white. There is a whole heap of gray that no one pays any attention to.
My rating: 2/5. It’s so rare for me to give such a low rating, but this book got that rating because it’s a series and I couldn’t bring myself to even purchase the other two books because the first one was just lacking. The main female character is just not for me and honestly, the spice aspects of this book were just…not for me…more like the verbiage used was just…I don’t know…”off.”
WHEN SHE RETURNED BY LUCINDA BERRY
Synopsis: Kate Bennett vanished from a parking lot eleven years ago, leaving behind her husband and young daughter. When she shows up at a Montana gas station, clutching an infant and screaming for help, investigators believe she may have been abducted by a cult.
Kate’s return flips her family’s world upside down – her husband is remarried, and her daughter barely remembers her. Kate herself doesn’t look or act like she did before.
While the family tries to help Kate reintegrate into society, they discover truths they’ve been hiding from each other about their own relationships. But they aren’t the only ones with secrets. As the family unravels what happened to Kate, a series of shocking revelations shows that Kate’s return is more sinister than any of them could have imagined.
My rating: 3/5. This book was ok! I didn’t love or hate it. The plot felt predictable in the end. Interesting exploration of cults/cult behavior, but overall, I wouldn’t call it a must-read.
Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Synopsis: Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.
But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.
At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.
In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.
My review: 5/5. I LOVED this book. If you’re into tennis, you’ll love it too (and even if you aren’t!) Such a powerful female lead and the author had multiple voice actors, so the “sports commentary” scenes felt like you were watching the show IRL! Highly recommend – I love this author!
I hope you enjoy your next read or listen!