Slow Burner

She has been spying on Phil for so long, it’s hard to remember what she does know, what she might know, and what she can’t know.

Laura Lippman
Slow Burner

Format:
Audiobook, included borrow via Amazon Prime

Publisher’s Synopsis:
A woman watches her marriage implode over text message and decides that ignorance is not bliss in this bitterly satisfying short mystery by the New York Times bestselling author of Lady in the Lake.

Liz Kelsey promised herself she’d never again spy on her feckless husband, Phil. But then she discovers a string of suggestive texts on his secret burner phone. Even worse, he’s flirting with the woman who shook their unstable marriage once before. But knowledge is power. What’s more dangerous—what Liz knows or what Phil doesn’t know?

Point of view:
3rd Person

Rellim’s Thoughts:
At just under an hour this short story is included as an Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited membership benefit. These make great lunch break (or while folding laundry) listens. Here’s a full listing of Amazon Original Stories if you’re interested in more of these shorts.

This is my first experience with Laura Lippman and I’m definitely going to be adding more of her work to my TBR. This was a fantastic mystery with a splash of thriller. Liz seems so helpless to stop her husband from destroying their marriage with his emotional infidelity. Mostly Liz’s 3rd person POV, but with text exchanges between Phil & the slightly mysterious “HW”. Sometimes texting doesn’t translate well in audiobook form, but it worked great here. Though not at all what I was expecting, the ending was perfect.

Narration:
I grabbed this because Amy McFadden. As always, she does a great job with a variety of voices and emotional inflections.

About the author:
Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working full-time and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. 

You can connect with Laura Lippman here:

About the narrator:
From Amy McFadden’s website: Hi! This part is all about me. Just me. It feels weird to write a bunch of stuff about myself but I don’t like pictures of me so I’ll have to use words instead.

I live in Michigan with my fiancé, Joe Anderson. He makes me laugh so much I never have to do situps. Truthfully, I probably wouldn’t do situps anyway, but hey, it’s still a nice bonus to our love.

I’m an actress now, and I used to be a 2nd grade teacher. I loved that part of my life, but after doing it for a bunch of years, I was ready to move on to the next version of me. They’re not really very different versions-teachers and actresses both reach out and engage people through stories. I’m NOT a morning person, but waking up to tell stories makes mornings better-than-tolerable.

I love books and the Muppets and smart people and kind people (not necessarily in that order) and sleeping and chocolate and coffee and writers and learning and Oreo cookies and a bunch of other stuff-but I’m starting to make myself gag on all this love.

I hate a bunch of stuff, too, but who cares about that junk? It’s probably the same stuff you hate, so I won’t bore you. Except I REALLY hate listening to people eat bananas.

You can connect with Amy McFadden here:

My Favorite Quotes

She has been spying on Phil for so long, it’s hard to remember what she does know, what she might know, and what she can’t know. – Slow Burner by @LauraMLippman #Audiobook narrated by @amymcnarrator #Suspense #Thriller #AmazonOriginal #ShortStory

They say eavesdroppers hear no good of themselves, but that’s the point of eavesdropping. – Slow Burner by @LauraMLippman #Audiobook narrated by @amymcnarrator #Suspense #Thriller #AmazonOriginal #ShortStory

Taming a Wild Scot

Format:
Audiobook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Wrongfully accused of murder and left to die in a hellish Highland dungeon, Ana Bisset has lost all hope of freedom. But the beautiful healer’s luck takes an unexpected turn when a hooded stranger appears as her rescuer. After a harrowing escape, Ana settles alone in a quiet village where no one knows her past or her reputation. The last thing she ever expects is to meet her mysterious savior again…

Niall MacCurran is no hero, but a warrior on a dangerous mission to expose a threat to the realm. After his decision to free Ana, he now realizes that it is he who needs her help—willing or no—to advance his quest. But his growing feelings for the delicate yet resilient beauty soon jeopardize their safety—and not even Ana’s healing gifts may be enough to protect their love, or their lives.

Point of view:
3rd Person. Mostly Niall & Anna’s perspectives, but also some from secondary characters.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
I grabbed this because I really enjoy Kirsten Potter as a narrator and I was looking for a change from my other current listens.

The action/mystery/suspense was done well and I enjoyed that aspect of the story. I struggled with the romance aspect as Niall & Ana never really got along through the entire book. They were obviously physically attracted, kissed, and had sex. However, the power dynamics never transformed into a relationship. Niall spent the entire book coercing Ana to cooperate in his plans & schemes by threatening to reveal her true identity to the authorities. At the point at which they escaped the town, he proclaimed his love and then the book abruptly ended.

While this book has it’s own complete story arc – there are secondary story lines happening that will apparently weave through the whole series. However, I don’t feel invested enough to continue the series.

Narration:
Kirsten Potter is an amazing narrator and does an impeccable job with the accents. Her narration is what kept me engaged and I’m not entirely sure I would have finished it if I was reading it.

Just Ridley

Format:
ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Ridley Scott
I’m a genuinely happy person, regardless of the fact that both of my parents are dead, I’m a college dropout, I work at a diner as a cook in Purdy, Nebraska and I’m a tall, lanky virgin, gay man with more freckles than not, bright red hair, and a creepy obsession with a gorgeous god of a man who always catches me stealing glances of him and doing awkward things, such as nearly killing myself with a mop bucket or frying pan. When my car breaks down not far rom said gorgeous, god’s house, I learn that Flynn is my best friend’s alpha and there is more to my obsession than my ridiculous habit of accidental suicide attempts. We’re connected.

Flynn Becker
I’ve been watching my mate for months and waiting for the perfect time to finally claim him. When he comes sputtering to a stop not far from the leap house where I’m the alpha of a large leap of leopards, I’m both excited to finally have him close and worried about how to explain our world. When I find out he already knows about shifters and his best friend is a member of my leap, I feel like this mating just got easier. But fighting both, members of my own kind, and my precious mate’s insecurities, might be too much for even a chosen bond. I have to find a way to protect my mate from a crazed she-leopard and prove to him that he could never be, JUST Ridley.

Warning: Mpreg elements!

Also, my books have little to no angst, and lots and lots of fluff! They are better read in order, because I kind of write them like a continuation of a story, and I don’t like to repeat explanations over and over if I can help it. No cheating, because that makes my heart hurt, and I try to avoid things that make me sad like I SHOULD be avoiding carbs. Sorry, I just don’t want anyone being disappointed if they like the angst filled heart-rippers. These read more like a romantic comedy than a romantic drama.

Point of view:
3rd person.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Exactly as the author describes. Light, fluffy, low angst, novella length MM shifter. About an hour to read. Each story runs into the next, so must be read in order. Shifter. Fated mates. The series says it’s mpreg – and there’s talk of that ability, but storyline is only over a few days so no pregnancy/birth occurs.

Just Ridley establishes the pack & the Alpha, Flynn who falls for the adorably awkward, Ridley. For such a short book – a lot of time was spent on Ridley repeatedly not understanding that he was Flynn’s mate. Everyone calls Ridley Alpha-mate, multiple times, including Flynn, but he still thinks they’re taking about someone else.

It’s a quick & easy read. However, I don’t really feel invested in continuing the series.

Note: It says it was re-edited at some point. It’s surprising that there’s so many typos/spelling issues. I wouldn’t consider it egregious, but definitely frequent enough to disrupt the flow of reading. 

The Freedom Broker

Full circle from twenty years ago, except this time the father is kidnapped instead of the son.

K.J. Howe
The Freedom Broker

Format:
ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
At eight years old, Thea Paris watched her brother being snatched from his bed.

Her inability to save him has haunted both their lives ever since.

Twenty years later, the unthinkable happens when her billionaire father is abducted.

But this time, she is prepared.

Now, Thea is at the top of her game as a freedom broker, negotiating for the release of kidnap victims around the world.

And she has only one objective:
Find him or die trying…

Point of view:
3rd Person. Multiple perspectives, always clearly defined.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
I spied K.J. Howe on Twitter when Andrews & Wilson tagged me about my review of Collateral. I was so intrigued by the idea of a female K&R specialist that I rearranged my (insanely long) TBR and jumped right in to The Freedom Broker.

Like all my favorite thrillers, Howe opens this book with action and doesn’t let go. Thea Paris is a fantastic lead character – strong, intelligent, capable, and yet with believable human flaws. By making Thea a Type 1 diabetic, Howe introduced an interesting facet to both Thea’s personal and professional life. (As someone living with a T1, it’s obvious Howe did her research.)

Personally, I’m not a big fan of flashback scenes – and there were quite a few both with internal musings and mysterious letters – but Howe artfully used them to create fantastic pacing and unique suspense aspects.

This is a HUGE cast of characters, geopolitical intrigue, action, suspense, and mystery that I didn’t want to put down. I wish that Gabrielle would have been a bit more dynamic and found her “one-night rule” comments overly repetitive. That said, I found all the other characters well developed – even if hated – and was impressed with how the various events were brought together. Thea’s complicated relationships with her brother, her father, and Rif added realistic depth.

While satisfying, the ending left me wanting to continue reading about this world. I’ve already grabbed a copy of Skyjack and am looking forward to more adventures with Thea, Rif, and the rest of Quantum International Security.

About the author:
Born in Toronto, Canada, KJ enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle during her early years, living in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Caribbean, which gave her an insider’s view into many different cultures. While abroad, she read every book she could find, which triggered in her a desire to create her own stories.

She attended Salzburg International Preparatory School, Neuchâtel Junior College, and Albert College before earning a Specialists Degree in Business from the University of Toronto. KJ found success in the corporate world, but her passion for travel, adventure, and stories drew her back to school where she earned a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She is a Thriller and Barry Award nominee, and she has won several writing awards, including three Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellent in Mystery and Suspense.

You can connect with K.J. Howe here:

My Favorite Quotes

Full circle from twenty years ago, except this time the father is kidnapped instead of the son. – The Freedom Broker by @KJHoweAuthor #Thriller #Suspense #KidnapAndRansom #StrongFemale #TheaParis

I prefer fatigues over fundraising. – The Freedom Broker by @KJHoweAuthor #Thriller #Suspense #KidnapAndRansom #StrongFemale #TheaParis

Good-luck charms were an operational must. – The Freedom Broker by @KJHoweAuthor #Thriller #Suspense #KidnapAndRansom #StrongFemale #TheaParis

Good-luck charms were an operational must. – The Freedom Broker by @KJHoweAuthor #Thriller #Suspense #KidnapAndRansom #StrongFemale #TheaParis

Sleep was a luxury in their business, which had no regular hours and operated in every time zone of the world. – The Freedom Broker by @KJHoweAuthor #Thriller #Suspense #KidnapAndRansom #StrongFemale #TheaParis

A Cowboy to Remember

Format:
ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
All Keira Kenney wants is her happy ending. Too bad she can never make it through a With a headline spot on a hit morning show and truly mouth-watering culinary skills, chef Evie Buchanan is perched on the edge of stardom. But at an industry party, a fall lands Evie in the hospital—with no memory of who she is. Scrambling to help, Evie’s assistant contacts the only “family” Evie has left, close friends who run the luxury dude ranch in California where Evie grew up. Evie has no recollection of them—until former rodeo champion Zach Pleasant walks into her hospital room, and she realizes his handsome face has been haunting her dreams . . .

Zach hasn’t seen Evie in years—not since their families conducted a campaign to make sure their childhood friendship never turned into anything more. When the young cowboy refused to admit the feelings between them were real, Evie left California, making it clear she never wanted to see Zach again. Now he refuses to make the same mistake twice. Starting fresh is a risk when they have a history she can’t recall, but Zach can’t bear to let go of her now. Can he awaken the sleeping beauty inside her who might still love him?

Point of view:
3rd person. Multiple perspectives.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
DNF at 55%. I really enjoy Rebekah Weatherspoon’s writing, it’s consistently 4 & 5 stars for me, and she has several books I’ve read multiple times – but this is boring. I kept forcing myself to pick it back up hoping something would happen. Other than being constantly told – it doesn’t feel like there’s anything between Zach & Evie. There’s also a significant amount of vague about what’s happened in the past (not in a way that’s explained by Evie’s amnesia) – but in the interactions the other characters have with each other. Zach & Jesse have several odd convos that I guess are designed to create tension or build up to some reveal – it feels forced & unnatural. And tedious.

There’s also an overwhelming number of secondary characters that don’t always seem to serve a purpose or move the story forward.

I might try Sam’s book and this definitely won’t keep me from reading Harbor. 😉

About the author:
After years of meddling in her friends’ love lives, Rebekah Weatherspoon turned to writing romance to get her fix. Raised in Southern New Hampshire, Rebekah Weatherspoon now lives in Southern California where she will remain forever because she hates moving.

You can connect with Rebekah Weatherspoon here:

Protector for Hire

Can’t say I’ve ever driven home at the end of an errand run with a fake incestuous fiancée, a bottle of moonshine, and a recipe for banana bread.

Tawna Fenske
Protector For Hire

Format:
ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Haunted by his time in Iraq, former soldier Schwartz Patton goes off the grid, retreating deep into Montana’s untamed wilderness. Now, ten years into his self-imposed solitude, his brother tracks him down and asks for a favor. A woman is in danger, and she needs help…and Schwartz is the only one who can protect her.

Designer-loving city girls like Janelle Keebler don’t belong in the wilderness. Unless, of course, they’re witnesses to a murder by their psycho drug-trafficking ex-husbands. Still, Janelle can’t help the immediate physical response she has to her sexy-as-sin protector that leaves her wanting more than she could have ever imagined. Even if he does make terrible coffee…

Every word, every touch, every kiss ignites a need Schwartz thought he’d lost forever. He can’t stop the desperate attraction simmering between him and Janelle, even if he wanted to. Even if it means it could get them both killed.

Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating POV’s.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Sorry Mac, but my favorite Patton is now Schwartz. I admit to liking the grumpy/sunshine dynamic, I also liked that the suspense element was a little higher in this book. I may have received the “are you crazy” side-eye from my kids (and dogs) for laughing so much while reading this. Poor Janelle does not have the skills needed to be completely covert and the diner scene was especially hilarious.

I loved Schwartz & Janelle as a couple, their banter, trying to move on from past mistakes, and the HEA. This was a great ending to the series and I’m definitely going to read more of Fenske’s work.

About the author:
When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA Award finalist, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”

Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, step-kids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. 

You can connect with Tawna Fenske here:

My Favorite Quotes

Can’t say I’ve ever driven home at the end of an errand run with a fake incestuous fiancée, a bottle of moonshine, and a recipe for banana bread. – Protector for Hire by @tawnafenske #RomCom #FrontandCenter

She shook her head, not sure whether to throttle him, feel sorry for him, or admire the hell out of him. – Protector for Hire by @tawnafenske #RomCom #FrontandCenter

Honey, you can say whatever you want to me. Just say it with my hands all over your body. – Protector for Hire by @tawnafenske #RomCom #FrontandCenter

The Girl I Used to Be

For years, everyone believed Terry killed Naomi. And for years, everyone was wrong.

April Henry
The Girl I Used to be

Format:
Audiobook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Olivia was only three years old when her mother was killed and everyone suspected her father of murder. But his whereabouts remained a mystery. Fast forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia’s father was actually murdered on the same fateful day her mother died. That means there’s a killer still at large.

Now Olivia is determined to uncover who that might be. But can she do that before the killer tracks her down first?

Point of view:
1st Person. Entirely from Olivia’s POV.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
I don’t read a lot of YA at this point. Mostly because I read a lot of romance and that’s become a little odd when the protagonists are the same age as my kids. Sooooooo, when I won a little contest on Amy McFadden’s Facebook page and she offered me a YA Mystery/Suspense/Thriller – I was all in.

This is my first book by April Henry and I will be adding more of her work to my “to read” shelf. These are exactly the kinds of books I would have consumed in my tween/teen years and they’re enjoyable as an adult as well. The book immediately starts with the discovery of Olivia’s father’s remains and sucked me in. I listened in just a few days and enjoyed Olivia/Ariel’s journey in learning more about her parents, their disappearance & murder, their hometown, and trying to discern who may have been responsible for their deaths.

There is a tiny bit of romance, but it plays such a small part in the story that I wouldn’t consider shelving this under that category. I feel like I had to stretch believability a bit when it came to how few people recognized Olivia considering how much time she spent interacting with close friends of her parents. Overall, I enjoyed the story and liked that, while I had my suspicions, it wasn’t immediately clear who the murderer was. Henry also included a thrilling chase aspect when the murderer tries to thwart Olivia’s investigation. The ending was heartwarming.

Narration:
Amy McFadden is one of my favorite narrators for a reason. She has an amazing range of voices – which was perfect for this book as characters ranged from teen to elderly and she gave them all unique sounds. McFadden also highlighted the wide range of emotions for Olivia adding depth to the story.

I won a free copy of this audiobook from a contest on Amy McFadden’s Facebook page and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

About the author:
New York Times-bestselling author April Henry knows how to kill you in a two-dozen different ways. She makes up for a peaceful childhood in an intact home by killing off fictional characters. There was one detour on April’s path to destruction:  when she was 12 she sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to noted children’s author Roald Dahl. He liked it so much he showed it to his editor, who asked if she could publish it in Puffin Post, an international children’s magazine. By the time April was in her 30s, she had started writing about hit men, kidnappers, and drug dealers. She has published 25 mysteries and thrillers for teens and adults, with more to come. She is known for meticulously researching her novels to get the details right. 

You can connect with April Henry here:

About the narrator:
From Amy McFadden’s website: Hi! This part is all about me. Just me. It feels weird to write a bunch of stuff about myself but I don’t like pictures of me so I’ll have to use words instead.

I live in Michigan with my fiancé, Joe Anderson. He makes me laugh so much I never have to do situps. Truthfully, I probably wouldn’t do situps anyway, but hey, it’s still a nice bonus to our love.

I’m an actress now, and I used to be a 2nd grade teacher. I loved that part of my life, but after doing it for a bunch of years, I was ready to move on to the next version of me. They’re not really very different versions-teachers and actresses both reach out and engage people through stories. I’m NOT a morning person, but waking up to tell stories makes mornings better-than-tolerable.

I love books and the Muppets and smart people and kind people (not necessarily in that order) and sleeping and chocolate and coffee and writers and learning and Oreo cookies and a bunch of other stuff-but I’m starting to make myself gag on all this love.

I hate a bunch of stuff, too, but who cares about that junk? It’s probably the same stuff you hate, so I won’t bore you. Except I REALLY hate listening to people eat bananas.

You can connect with Amy McFadden here:

My Favorite Quotes

For years, everyone believed Terry killed Naomi. And for years, everyone was wrong. – The Girl I Used to Be by @aprilhenrybooks #Audiobook narrated by @amymcnarrator #Mystery #Suspense #Thriller #YoungAdult

There must be other ways the killer slipped up, made a mistake, screwed up the details. Maybe I can figure out where they went wrong. – The Girl I Used to Be by @aprilhenrybooks #Audiobook narrated by @amymcnarrator #Mystery #Suspense #Thriller #YoungAdult

Grief is a strange thing. You can feel it coming, and then it hits and it’s all you can do to keep breathing. But eventually it passes, and you pick yourself up and start moving again. – The Girl I Used to Be by @aprilhenrybooks #Audiobook narrated by @amymcnarrator #Mystery #Suspense #Thriller #YoungAdult

Code Name: Lise

I think the Germans are very obedient and very gullible. Their tragedy—and Europe’s—is that they gladly allow themselves to be hoodwinked into believing evil to be good.

Odette Sansom
From Code Name: Lise
By Larry Loftis

Format:
Audiobook.

Publisher’s Synopsis:
The year is 1942, and World War II is in full swing. Odette Sansom decides to follow in her war hero father’s footsteps by becoming an SOE agent to aid Britain and her beloved homeland, France. Five failed attempts and one plane crash later, she finally lands in occupied France to begin her mission. It is here that she meets her commanding officer Captain Peter Churchill.

As they successfully complete mission after mission, Peter and Odette fall in love. All the while, they are being hunted by the cunning German secret police sergeant, Hugo Bleicher, who finally succeeds in capturing them. They are sent to Paris’s Fresnes prison, and from there to concentration camps in Germany where they are starved, beaten, and tortured. But in the face of despair, they never give up hope, their love for each other, or the whereabouts of their colleagues.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Larry Loftis’ book on the life, service, and imprisonment of Odette Samsom is compelling. The story-telling narrative was made possible by the extensive records available to Loftis from numerous people/agencies involved in the events. I also appreciated his brief notes explaining a potentially unfamiliar reference which gives the listener immediate context and understanding. This is especially helpful in an audiobook where there is no appendix to flip to.

Even with all the books (Non-Fiction & Fiction) that I’ve read/listened to about WII – I found this to be a truly unique perspective. As a female operative and prisoner of valuable status, it’s apparent that Odette’s experiences were somewhat unique in not only occurrence but in the thorough documentation at the time they were happening.

Odette was not presented as a perfect super-spy, but as a sometimes flawed human faced with untenable circumstances who tried to do what she felt was best, honor her country, and protect her compatriots. It is an inspiring and heartbreaking story.

Narration:
Kate Reading’s narration brings the facts presented to a new level. She gave Odette, Peter, and the numerous people they worked with and encountered unique voices & accents that stayed consistent throughout the book. She brought a variety of emotions to her performance that made for a truly engaging listen.

About the author:
Larry Loftis received both his B.A. (Political Science) and J.D. (Law) from the University of Florida, where he served on the Law Review as the Senior Executive Editor and Senior Articles Editor. An AV-rated lawyer, he has published scholarly legal articles in the National Law Journal, Florida Bar Journal, Florida Banking, and the Law Reviews of the University of Florida, University of Georgia, and Suffolk University.

The author of two best-selling nonfiction books, Larry is a life-long soccer player and gym rat, and enjoys Mixed Martial Arts, travel, theology, the beach, military history, jazz (especially bossa nova), Texas Hold ‘Em, and bachelor cooking.  

You can connect with Larry Loftis here:

About the narrator:
You can connect with Kate Reading here:

My Favorite Quotes

I think the Germans are very obedient and very gullible. Their tragedy—and Europe’s—is that they gladly allow themselves to be hoodwinked into believing evil to be good. – Code Name: Lise by @LarryLoftis #Audiobook narrated by @KateReadingVO #Biography #WWII #Espionage

Double Cross

Rule number one is don’t hang around a place with a million cops in a stolen Nissan with a Meijer shopping bag full of a million dollars in stolen bonds.

Jeffery Deaver
Double Cross

Format:
Audiobook, included borrow via Amazon Prime

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Things started out so sweet. Everyone was going to be rich. All because of Trunk Man. He was the guy Papa and his meatheads stuffed in the back of a stolen Nissan and drove to a forest preserve outside Detroit. He owed Papa big-time. To save his own sorry neck, Trunk Man made an offer: a million dollars in bonds tucked away in a safe. Boost it, split it, and toss Trunk Man from a roof. Easy.

They hadn’t counted on a few things: like a broken axle, or the witness…or all that blood. Before this scheme is over, the road to a seven-figure heaven is going to feel a little more like hell.

Point of view:
1st person.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
At less than 30 min this is a short story and quick listen. I can’t imagine purchasing it – but included as an Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited benefit, it’s a nice little lunch break listen. Here’s a full listing of Amazon Original Stories if you’re interested in more of these shorts.

This is my first book by Jeffrey Deaver and I’m definitely interested in more. Double Cross is 1st person POV entirely by an unnamed organized crime member. It’s an engaging story with a very surprising ending fitting of the title. It does end abruptly – but I liked it.

Narration:
Scott Merriman’s narration really makes this story. He does a great job with the various voices. The original text is full of run on sentences and little punctuation, totally the writers prerogative and it works, I just don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if I had just read it.

About the author:
A former journalist, folksinger and attorney, Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the New York Times, the Times of London, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Los Angeles Times. His books are sold in 150 countries and have been translated into over twenty-five languages. He has sold 50 million books worldwide.

You can connect with Jeffery Deaver here:

My Favorite Quotes

Rule number one is don’t hang around a place with a million cops in a stolen Nissan with a Meijer shopping bag full of a million dollars in stolen bonds. – Double Cross by @JefferyDeaver #Audiobook narrated by Scott Merriman #Mystery #Crime #KindleUnlimited #AmazonShort

Every once and a while something big shows up you don’t expect it and the world opens up. – Double Cross by @JefferyDeaver #Audiobook narrated by Scott Merriman #Mystery #Crime #KindleUnlimited #AmazonShort

Best Man for Hire

What I want to do is make love to you so fiercely you forget your own name.

Tawna Fenske
Best Man For Hire

Format:
ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Anna Keebler makes a living being unconventional. A wedding planner who specializes in more…unusual ceremonies, Anna’s client list includes everything from nudists to paintballers to Little Red Riding Hood enthusiasts. So when her photographer up and quits during a wedding blitz in Hawaii, Anna makes an unconventional decision. She hires a hot Marine to be her new photographer.

Little does she know, Grant Patton is the best man in one of her weddings. He’s so perfect he’s practically a Boy Scout—if Boy Scouts were big, ripped Marines with gorgeous gray eyes, and good at, oh, everything. Especially sex. In fact, his only flaw seems to be that he hates marriage as much as she does. But Anna suspects the sexy Boy Scout routine is a cover, and if he wants this thing between them to be about more than sex, Grant must reveal the dark past he’s fought so hard to hide…

Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating POV’s.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Mac & Kelli are still my favorite couple of the series – but Grant & Anna give them a run for it. We have another couple made up of “I’m never getting married” devotees that discover along the way that maybe they really do want to find their happily-ever-after. There’s a few heartbreakingly serious spots – but mostly our couple just has a lot of fun getting to know each other.

Anna gets bitten on the butt – literally, and hilarity ensues. Grant works hard to keep up his perfect boy scout image while Anna digs deep to what really drives him. All the Patton siblings (and their equally cheeky matriarch) show up in this one – adding even more fun.

Though, the elusive Schwartz… remains elusive so I’m starting Protector for Hire now.

About the author:
When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA Award finalist, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”

Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, step-kids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. 

You can connect with Tawna Fenske here:

My Favorite Quotes

What I want to do is make love to you so fiercely you forget your own name. – Best Man for Hire by @tawnafenske #RomCom #FrontandCenter

she was standing there in the jungle with a hot guy holding fruit on her ass. – Best Man for Hire by @tawnafenske #RomCom #FrontandCenter