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review 2017-11-20 13:12
#Audiobook Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Good Boy - Teddy Hamilton,Elle Kennedy,Sarina Bowen,Tanya Eby

Jess Canning is struggling to find her path in life. Planning and hosting her brother Jamie’s wedding to NHL superstar, Ryan Wesley, helped her realize party planning isn’t the job for her. After determining that her life’s calling is to be a nurse, Jess is relieved to earn a scholarship to the Smith Nursing school in Toronto.

 

After hooking up with his best friend’s little sister not once, but twice, Blake Riley realizes for the first time in five years, he wants more with a woman than a one-night stand. He’s into Jess, so when she moves to Toronto, he makes it his mission to woo her into being his girlfriend.

 

Good Boy is the wonderful followup to the amazing two-book Him series. I love that the authors did this spinoff starting with Blake and Jess - especially with Wes and Jamie’s wedding kicking off the title. The wedding helps transition nicely from the Jamie-and-Wes centric stories, to focus on Wes’s teammates. I love that they the pair is still a significant part of the book, but as the story unfolds, the focus is truly on Jess and Blake. 

 

I already liked Blake from the previous book, but after Good Boy, I’ve fallen hard. He’s got such a heart of gold, but he’s cocky and playful. He pushes, but knows when to back off. He makes me laugh. He’s the kind of character you want as your own best friend. Whether hanging with his teammates, romancing Jess, or skating on the ice, Blake is always true to himself and those around him.

 

Jess and Blake make a great pair. They start off as “frienemies” with their chiweiler hookup (a hilarious scene from Us), and I was worried I would be annoyed with Jess. She wants Blake, but is horrified by that, so she is a bit rude to him. But he takes it all in stride, confident she likes him, and wears her down. He knows just how to be there for her when she needs it. I really like how the story is all about them coming together - getting over their own hurdles. It’s gradual and real, rather than all at once. Love sneaks up on them. 

 

Teddy Hamilton and Tanya Eby are two narrators I’ve enjoyed listening to recently. Mr. Hamilton voiced the part of Jamie in the previous two books, and I recently listened to another contemporary romance by Ms. Bowen, that was also narrated by Ms. Eby. Because I had heard both narrators play other parts just before listening to Good Boy, I kept thinking of the other characters while listening to this one. While it gave some familiarity to the tale, it was also a little confusing for me. However, they are both strong, talented performers, creating fitting voices for the two main characters. My only issue with Ms. Eby is that I didn’t care for her versions of Jamie and Wes because I’m so used to the other narrators’s versions. And while I liked her Blake, I did have trouble at times distinguishing between her male voices. 

 

Although the WAGs series, starting with Good Boy, is a spinoff of one of my favorite series, you do not have to read Him or Us prior to starting this one. Blake and Jess are a fabulous couple and the book is a lot of fun. I am so glad the authors continued what they started in Him and opened it up to this larger world.

 

My Rating: A-

Narration (both): B+

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review 2017-11-18 12:32
Roller coaster ride
The Good Samaritan - John Marrs

Laura works as a volunteer at an organization called End of the Line, a type of Samaritans, where distressed and suicidal people can speak and share their problems. Laura and her co workers are not there to advise or suggest but rather act as a kind of online friend or last resort to those who find the burdens of modern day living too much to cope with. However it soon becomes apparent that Laura is more than happy to counsel and indeed support those who wish to end their lives, indeed she is a woman of inner conflict possessing more issues than those she wishes to help.

 

The opening is dynamic; a young couple hand in hand, mobile phones held tightly to ears, jump to their deaths from a well known beauty spot. At the "end of the line" the last person they speak to is Laura who appears to have actively encouraged this double suicide to happen. I am disclosing very little if I tell you that one of the jumpers, Charlotte, is married to Ryan and he is determined to find the truth. Why would his beautiful and pregnant wife commit such an act when she had so much to live for. Thus starts a cat and mouse game between Ryan and Laura told in snappy short chapters in the first person. There is no doubt about that this is a very effective piece of storytelling especially as the author peels away the layers and presenting a somewhat troubled Laura. There are many surprises and unexpected moments and yet I could not help feel somewhat drained to the many (and I mean many) twists and turns before the final revelations. Having said that it is a good read and I will certainly search out more from this author...that is when I have sufficiently recovered from this present roller coaster ride!

 

 

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review 2017-11-17 17:04
The Good Liar
The Good Liar - Catherine McKenzie

An explosion has just taken down a building in Chicago, killing 513 people. Cecily Grayson was supposed to be inside that building but was running late. She watched the explosion knowing her husband and her best friend were both inside. Kate escaped disaster and is now living thousands of miles away, praying her past won't catch up with her. Franny is a young woman who is searching for her birth mother. While watching the morning news that day she knew that the woman she was desperate to meet was inside the building. The tragedy once again dominates the news now that it's the one-year anniversary. And these three women have their own secrets and lies that are becoming impossible to keep hidden.

Another five star read by Catherine McKenzie. She's one of those authors that I don't really have to read what the book is about because I already know it's going to be great, whatever it is. She creates such vivid characters and lives for those characters that it's impossible for me not to feel as though I'm part of. Her writing is so effortless that I can't believe how many pages I've read when it's (sadly) time to put the book down. I loved it!

Thank you to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC.

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text 2017-11-15 02:22
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 244 pages.
The Last Good Kiss - James Crumley

I'm way late getting to this Classic Noir novel that suddenly appeared decades later than most Classic Noir novels. time to rectify, and feel the Crumley effect.

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review 2017-11-12 20:48
Good Me, Bad Me
Good Me Bad Me - Ali Land

Annie is the daughter of a serial killer. Her mother’s case has yet to go on trial. Annie plans to be a witness and testify in court over the deaths of the nine innocent children who were killed while in the care of Annie’s mother, while Annie was nearby. Annie acts too quiet, she was too nice to have endured what she has and act the way she is, I kept waiting for the true Annie to come out.

 

Annie has changed her name to Milly and is currently living with a foster family. Her foster father, a psychologist, is helping her prepare for trial. In my opinion, he was a bit too big for his shoes and his wife, she needed to start wearing his shoes. What a pair. Everyone is trying to protect Milly’s new identity so she can have a quiet life until the trial. My emotions were all over the place with Annie/Milly. I wanted to like her but she was playing this hopeless, depressed individual and I knew, for what she had gone through, she was hiding something. As her foster sister Phoebe began harassing and tormenting her, I wanted Milly to fight back. I wanted justice! Do something Milly! Phoebe needed to have her lights shut down, she was one mean chick. The actions in the novel intensified and I loved how things were progressing. It was fantastic. The ending, I was waiting for it and then, when I read those final twenty pages or so….oh Milly, Milly, Milly

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