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review 2020-05-02 15:27
Leave Me Breathless by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Leave Me Breathless - Jodi Ellen Malpas

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Former MI5, Ryan has been working for an exclusive protection agency for the last couple years and he is weary. Deciding that it is time to retire, he can't wait to get home and spend more time with his daughter but a new woman in town is disturbing his peace.
Hannah is constantly on the move and knowing she is only going to spend six months in this new town, she doesn't want attachments. When the town hottie almost runs her over though, all kinds of complications arise, the biggest starting with her heart.

Ryan's a good man. He deserves my all. But one thing I have to accept is that he can't have one piece of me. My secrets. No one can ever know that part of me. That alone could ruin everything.

Leave Me Breathless is a stand-alone but readers of The Protector will remember Ryan and enjoy the little appearances from that couple. Readers will also notice how similar this story line is to Protector; protective man falling in love with a woman who has secrets about an abusive man in her past. What hurt this story the most was the tried and true but nothing new formula. Told in alternating chapter first person povs, the beginning drew me in with Ryan quitting his job so he can spend more time at home relaxing and spending time with his daughter. While Hannah's past is not fully revealed until the second half, there are enough hints that the reader has a good idea what she is running from. The second half dragged as Hannah kept hiding her past from Ryan and their sexcapades took over for plot.

Hannah was a character that came close to a form of manic pixie girl, she is so adorably clumsy (to the point at times I worried she had vertigo), so sweet, and look how cute she is when she always has paint on her and doesn't care about make-up or appearance. It also made no sense that she would go to the trouble of setting up a paint store when she only planned on staying in town for six months.

Ryan was a hero that I probably would have liked more in my teens but older me was cringing at times at his controlling attitude; there were moments I felt his actions weren't that different or far off from the abusive husband Hannah was running from. His relationship with his ten year old daughter was nice, even though I thought his daughter's personality seemed a bit advanced for a ten year old.

Hannah and Ryan did have a nice feeling of fitting together, they did lack some foundation or solidness to their relationship that had me thinking their love was too quick to come to fruition. They did play off each other well, I just wish some of Ryan's “protectiveness” had been toned down.

There's a tiny bit of ex-wife drama but the characters' acted in a way that I appreciated, not overly dramatic about it and the resolution was pretty quick. The danger from Hannah's past was hinted at, slow to fully reveal, and then quickly (and a bit worrisome how Ryan immediately wanted to and dealt with it) wrapped up. If you like the classic story of woman in danger and protective man this would fit the bill, just don't expect any freshness to the tale.

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text 2020-04-29 21:31
Reading Update: 50%
Leave Me Breathless - Jodi Ellen Malpas

Spring stuffing! Ever just have a craving for a random food?

Can’t wait to enjoy it with a protective hero and strong heroine story.

 

Leave Me Breathless by Jodi Ellen Malpas purchase link

 

Cornbread Stuffing recipe

Used turkey sausage, liked the seasonings :)

 

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text 2020-04-12 06:08
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review 2019-11-13 03:09
Catch-Up Quick Takes on Audiobooks of This is Where I Leave You, When You Reach Me, How Not to Die Alone, The Right Stuff
This Is Where I Leave You - Jonathan Tropper
When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead
The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe
Now Not to Die Alone - Richard Roper

Trying to clear the decks here with these quick takes on Audiobooks, like I indicated I would be doing yesterday (which also helps from the deep dive I took on Hands Up yesterday, too).
---

This is Where I Leave YouThis is Where I Leave You


by Jonathan Tropper, Ramón de Ocampo (Narrator)
Unabridged Audiobook, 10 hrs., 17 mins
Recorded Books, 2009
Read: October 9-10, 2019

(the official blurb)
This is not my favorite Tropper novel—but it's a really good one, and I get why this is his most successful and the only one that's actually been adapted as a movie (or anything).

 

From the hilarious (and painful in many senses) opening to the heights of hope, the lows of sorrow, the uncomfortable nature of sitting shiva with estranged family, oh, and the obligatory Tropper awkward fight scene, this is a heartfelt, funny, and entertaining read (or, listen, in this case)

 

de Ocampo does a better job than I'd anticipated anyone doing with this—he captures Judd's anger, heartbreak, grief and everything else. He also gets the other characters—including some of the more difficult ones (Phillip, Tracy, Alice). I was really impressed with him, and am a little tempted to get a Wimpy Kid audiobook just to see how he does with that.
4 1/2 Stars

 

 

When You Reach MeWhen You Reach Me


by Rebecca Stead, Cynthia Holloway (Narrator)
Unabridged Audiobook, 4 hrs., 19 mins.
Listening Library, 2019
Read: October 29, 2019

(the official blurb)
I didn't realize this was an MG novel when I grabbed it—I thought it was YA—it wouldn't have made much of a difference, it just would've been good to know what I was getting into.

 

Miranda is in 6th Grade, has one friend (who has just decided not to be friends anymore), and is obsessed with A Wrinkle in Time. Her mom is a paralegal and is dating a lawyer in her firm. It's the late 70's and latch-key kids are becoming more common, but not as much as they will be.

 

As Miranda tries to find new people to connect with, she receives odd messages about needing to write a thorough and completely true account of something that's about to happen. She'll know the thing when it happens. Totally normal, right?

 

There's some time travel, there's some personal growth, there's some tribute to L'Engle's novel. It's a charming little work, really. Sure, I could see most of it coming from miles away, but that's because I'm a few decades older than the audience, not because Stead didn't know what she was doing.

 

Holloway does a fine job, too. Capturing the bouncing emotions just right. I dug it, upper MG readers probably will, too (L'Engle fans are shoo-ins).
3.5 Stars

 

 

How Not to Die AloneHow Not to Die Alone


by Richard Roper, Simon Vance (Narrator)
Unabridged Audiobook, 8 hrs., 52 mins.
Penguin Audio, 2019
Read: October 14-16, 2019

(the official blurb)
The concept for this novel feels like something that'd happen to George Costanza, but what makes this novel work is that Roper makes Andrew a believable, sympathetic human being—not the dumpster fire of a person that George was. It's utterly preposterous, really. But you can't help but believe it happening (and can likely see yourself doing something similar).

 

I've seen repeated—almost ubiquitous—comparisons to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. And I get that, and can kind of agree with it. I found the character and story in this novel better than Ms. Oliphant or her life. Although that book seems much more plausible. (and I quickly decided not to care).

 

Andrew's friendship with Peggy is wonderful, I wish we had more time with them working/hanging out. Peggy's a great character on her own—and if Roper were to write one of those ridiculous "same story just from someone else's POV" sequels, I'd have to cast aside my prejudice against those so I could spend more time with her.

 

Vance gives one of those audiobook narrations that convinces you there's no other way for the book to sound—if you read the text version, the voice in your head would have to be Vance. And if you'd never heard of him before, that's okay, because your subconscious would invent a voice just like his.

 

Moving, amusing, hopeful. Great job.
4 Stars

 

 

The Right StuffThe Right Stuff


by Tom Wolfe, Dennis Quaid (Narrator)
Unabridged Audiobook, 15 hrs., 42 mins.
Audible Studios, 2018
Read: October 29-30, 2019

(the official blurb)
I read this book about 2-3 times a year from Middle School to the first or second year of college, and haven't been able to do it since (I've tried off and on). But when Audible had a sale on this earlier in the year, I had to give it a shot. Especially with one of the stars of the remarkable movie adaptation doing the narration.

 

Now an audiobook of Wolfe is a tricky proposition (at best). Wolfe's a master stylist. But so much of it (to me anyway) is how the words are on the page. His idiosyncratic capitalization, punctuation, visual rhythms . . . it's all about how the text shows up in the book. But Quaid gets close enough. So I was able to fully enjoy and immerse myself in this story about the early years of the US/USSR Space Race—the test pilots around Yeager's feat and then transitioning into the Mercury Program and a little beyond.

 

Wolfe educates and then entertains with the way he tells the story, editorializes about the events and people, and captures the essence of the various people involved. Listening to this brought me back to the first time I read this book and reminded me why I fell in love with Wolfe.

 

Quaid did the near-impossible here, he got as close to humanly possible to capturing Wolfe's style, sensibilities and je ne sais quoi. He didn't quite get it, but I can't imagine anyone doing better. It's probably one of my favorite audiobook performances to date. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Quaid guy just might have a future in show biz.

4 Stars

 

2019 Library Love Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2019/11/12/catch-up-quick-takes-on-audiobooks-of-this-is-where-i-leave-you-when-you-reach-me-how-not-to-die-alone-the-right-stuff
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text 2019-10-11 07:05
Cover Reveal - Arizona Heat Boxset

 

 

Four hot Arizona ranchers.
 
Four women at a crossroads.
 
Four steamy western romance tales in one mega box set.

You're going to love the Arizona Heat Boxset by Katie Douglas when it comes out on October 25!

 
 
 
BLURB:

Four hot Arizona ranchers. Four women at a crossroads. Four steamy western romance tales in one mega box set.

Tie Me Down: On the run and pregnant, Alana isn’t looking for love when she finds hot rancher Lawson, who has serious skills when it comes to rope.

Make Me Stay: When Harper’s ancient campervan blocks their driveway, gruff cowboy Barrett literally puts her over his shoulder and insists on cooking her breakfast... to start with.

Take Me Hard: Aspiring actress Kinsley only wants to get to Hollywood, and she won’t let drool-worthy rancher Clay get in the way of that. Or so she thinks...

Leave Me Breathless: A second chance romance. Jake and Dylan have only one thing in common: They both love horses more than they care about people. They went down in flames before, but will things be different this time?

This 140,000-word cowboy romance box set contains steam, rope, and hot ranchers. No cliffhangers! If you like insta-lust and guaranteed HEAs, this western romance box set is for

ADD TO YOUR TBR → http://bit.ly/2pEYHNB
 
 

FOLLOW KATIE FOR RELEASE ALERTS → http://bit.ly/2BL7TDj
 

About Katie Douglas:

USA Today and worldwide number 1 bestselling author Katie Douglas is the sort of incorrigible British girl you'd find at St Trinian's. She recently quit her job as a school librarian in China to write steamy romance full-time, and loves reading and writing books filled with steamy alphas with hearts of gold. She prefers cozy diners to fancy restaurants, coffee or whisky to champagne, and sometimes she adults.

Follow Katie Online!
 
 
 
 
 
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