I recently listened to two wonderful audiobook by two authors that I enjoy. Both are part of series and although you don’t have to read the previous books, I plan on going back and reading from the beginning so as to get all the various characters stories.

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Stronger Than You Know (McKenzies of Ridge Trail #2) by Lori Foster, John Lane (Narrator)

Published August 24th 2021 by Harlequin Audio, HQN Books

4.5 Stars: 

I did not read the first book in the McKenzies of Ridge Trail, but I definitely will be going back to get the full story. Kennedy Brooks is a survivor of human trafficking. She has written a book and speaks, specifically to University and College students about the dangers and how to protect themselves. When she returns home from her most recent tour, she finds her apartment burned down and begins to think she is in danger. She calls Reyes McKenzie who comes to pick her up and keep her safe. Who is after Kennedy? Can Reyes keep this strong, independent woman safe?

Reyes and his family have a vested interest in getting traffickers off the street. I enjoyed getting to know his family, especially his sister and sister-in-law. They are smart, independent men and I love their snarky attitudes, they take nothing from anyone. Reyes is a swoon-worthy hero, and is adamant about taking care of Kennedy and keeping her safe. Stronger Than You Know is a suspenseful story, told from Kennedy’s POV with some added information from the POV of her friend Jodi. There are some difficult sections to read about the abuse the women suffered, but it was only a small part of the story. The story starts with a bang, but as we got to the middle of the story we meet the bad guys and their plans, it slows down a bit. As those plans moved forward, the action ratchets up as things come to a head. This was an enjoyable romantic suspense with great characters. The romance built slowly, with Reyes being very patient and Kennedy slowly opening up and trusting him with her heart, mind and body. If you love a slow burn that gradually ignites, you’ll love seeing their relationship develop and bloom. This book ends setting up the next in the series and I am ready for it, after I read No Holding Back. John Lane narrates the audiobook and he does an amazing job. He has a deep and gravelly voice perfect for Reyes, yet is able to do female voices as well. He differentiates between all the characters, performing them appropriately according to age and gender. I enjoyed this audiobook very much and want to thank Harlequin Audio for providing me a copy upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

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Alaska Reunion (Wild River #5) by Jennifer Snow, Melissa Moran (Narrator)

Published August 24th 2021 by Harlequin Audio, HQN Books

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Wild River series by Jennifer Snow is one that can be read in any order. Each book features a different main couple and their stories, but there will be some recurring characters in the books. This is only the third book in the series I have read and I enjoyed it very much. Ellie Mitchell had plans to become a teacher, but when her parents die, she gets a job at the local bookstore and ten years later, she is still there. She is concerned about attending her highschool reunion, especially showing up alone and facing her highschool boyfriend who is bringing a gorgeous model. Callum McKendrick is in love with Ellie but just sees him as a friend. When he offers to go with Ellie to her reunion and being her fake boyfriend, Ellie is not sure but accepts. This is Callum’s chance to prove that he could be more than a friend and that he and Ellie would make a great couple.

This was a fun fake boyfriend story. Ellie was so blinded by her memories of her ex, that she couldn’t see what was right in front of her. This story isn’t just a romance. There are themes of following your dreams, family relationships, mental health and moving forward. Ellie is rather shy and did not have a lot of friends. It was hard watching her change and become something she wasn’t to try to fit in with her old high school classmates. Callum was such a great character. Not only was he a long suffering admirer, but he also supported his brother who dealt with a lot of anxiety and put up with his bullying father. He supported Ellie, even when he knew she was making the wrong decision. I enjoyed this story and loved watching Ellie change, mature and realize what she really wanted. I did a read/listen of this book, with the audiobook narrated by Melissa Moran. She has a wonderful voice that is easy to listen to. She gives a voice to Ellie that fits well. Her expression and inflection is right on. Once again my issue with male voices is here with this one. I always prefer a male narrator to do their voices. Overall, the narration was well done and added to my enjoyment of the story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.