I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately and have gotten a bit behind in posting reviews. I have included three reviews consisting of my thoughts for each of the three books below. All were provided by the publisher either through Edelweiss, Netgalley or directly from the publisher. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton, Michelle Ford
Published July 7th 2020 by Graydon House, Harlequin Audio
3 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐
This book was billed as a thriller, but I found it more like a domestic drama. It was not gripping, but it was interesting. The main character, Marie, was not very likeable. When her best friend Nina dies, she promises to take care of the family and make sure that whoever her husband might get involved with was good enough for him, she has no problems with it. You see, she wants Nina’s life and family. Marie becomes obsessed with Nina’s family and will do whatever she needs to do to make it her own. The story is told from Marie’s POV, with the reader let in on her most intimate thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, a bit much and I will admit to skimming some of it. There are other characters who also have secrets and add to the drama. There is a twist near the end, but it is a little too late for me. Overall, an okay read, but not as exciting or thrilling as I expected.
I did a read/listen with this book narrated by Michelle Ford. I think it was the narration that allowed me to finish this one. I listened to it while doing some simple chores and the narration kept me engaged in the story. She does a good job with the expression and intonation. I would have liked the pacing to be a bit quicker, but with an ARC, I did not have the option to speed it up. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
The Way Back to You (Blessings, Georgia #9) by Sharon Sala, Amy Rubinate (Narrator)
Published December 31st 2019 by Sourcebooks Casablanca, June 30th 2020 by Tantor Audio
I love my visits to Blessings, Georgia. This outing introduces us to another newcomer to town, Sully Raines. Sully’s mother recently passed away and he found papers informing him that he has been adopted. Using information he found and the internet, he ends up in Blessings looking for his birth mother. No one seems to recognize her name, but he recognizes someone else. Being a retired firefighter, he jumps into action to save a young woman after a severe car accident. It turns out that she had lived in the same town as Sully growing up and they had dated. Her family had moved away in high school and she had ended up in Blessings. Of course Sully is now a hero to the town and they want to help him however they can. Of course Melissa and Sully begin to rekindle those feelings they had so many years ago.
If you haven’t read any of the books in this series, I want to assure you that you can read them as stand alone stories. I loved reading them in order so that when a character from an earlier book appears, it is nice to catch up on their stories. Each book features a new love story often with a new character. I love this small town with all the heart of helpfulness they engender. Everyone knows everyone else, but not always their history. That is the case in this story. There is history that plays out, that is a bit of a coincidence, but written in such a sweet way that it fits with the story. Once again I enjoyed Amy Rubinate’s narration. She does such a great job with the voices (both male and female), the accents and expression. I definitely love this series and recommend it to those who enjoy sweet, romance in small town.
The Switch by Beth O’Leary, Narrated by Alison Steadman, Daisy Edgar-Jones
Expected publication: August 8th 2020 by Macmillan Audio, MacMillan
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I loved this audiobook. The idea of a grandmother and her granddaughter changing homes for a couple of months intrigued me. With Leena being ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, going to live in her grandmother’s cottage in a small town sounds like a perfect spot to unwind and relax. What she was not aware of, were the number of jobs and projects her grandmother was responsible for that she was expected to take over. Eileen’s husband recently left her for a younger woman and 79 year old Eileen is ready to try dating and see what she wants out of life. Of course, Eileen is a go getter, so the apartment building will never be the same after Eileen gets her hands on it.
I loved both the main characters. Eileen might be a 79 year old grandmother, but she is not old. She’s fun, active, smart, friendly and loves making things better for others. She loves having a project. Leeni is a business woman who is organized and used to running things, that is not going to happen in the village. The story is told in alternating chapters and I really enjoyed Eileen’s adventures. Leeni was having a more difficult time adapting, but it was fun to see what she was getting herself into. This book is full of emotions and had me laughing out loud one minute and getting weepy the next. There are some tough issues tackled in a fun way. It explores loneliness, fear, grief, mental health, spousal abuse and other domestic issues. A great book for a summer read or listen. Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones were awesome narrators. I loved the voices they used for the character they were narrating. The expression and intonation were perfect and the pacing was right on. I definitely recommend these narrators to those who enjoy audiobooks. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.