I have listened to several romance stories over the last few days. While driving home from Florida, they are light stories to listen to on the road. I enjoyed them all with their various tropes: Forced Proximity, Roommates to Lovers, Best Friend’s Sister, Fake Boyfriend and Friends to Lovers. I enjoyed all the narrators, and several were new to me. I recommend them all.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Aimee Brown, Narrated by Patrick Boylan & Stephanie Cannon

Published December 8th 2022 by Boldwood Books, Boldwood Unabridged CD

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not was a fun friends to lovers romance. Hollyn just got dumped by her boyfriend of 8 years. He sold their apartment, handed her a cheque that was only 1/3 of what she put into it, and gave her an airplane ticket home. He is getting engaged to someone who is more appropriate to marriage to someone of his standing. She has nowhere to go to calls her brother, River. River says she can stay at his place with his roommate and best friend Dax, and he will stay with his girlfriend until she gets on her feet. Dax was their neighbour growing up, and unbeknownst to her, he has been in love with her for the last 15 years. The problem is that there’s a bro code in effect and Hollyn has been off limits all these years. She moves in and realizes that Dax has grown up and matured and she is attracted to him. Dax wants to buy the shop that was previously his father’s florist shop, but to do that he needs to win a contest on a youtube channel. The next thing you know he and Hollyn are working together, traveling together for the show and becoming more and more attracted to one another. Will their relationship work?

I really enjoyed this story. Not only is it a friends to lovers, but the best friend’s sister trope, and boy next door as well. The story was told from both Dax’s and Hollyn’s POV which was nice. I liked that this was a mix of humour, drama and growth. Holly grows from a broken, depressed woman to an independent, strong and loving person who knew what she wanted out of life. Her ex was awful and I loved that he did get his comeuppance. The descriptions of the flower arrangements in the contest were wonderful and I wish I could have seen them. Overall, this was a fun romance with great characters and situations. I enjoyed it and recommend it to those who enjoy romance. There were a couple of steamy scenes but it was not too bad and I didn’t have to skim too much.

Patrick Boylan and Stephanie Cannon narrated this audiobook and did a good job. The expression and emotion were well done and made for an enjoyable listen.

Exes and O’s (The Influencer, #2) by Amy Lea, Natalie Naudus (Narrator)

Published January 10th 2023 by Berkley Books,  Penguin Audio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

After reading, Set on You, the first book in The Influencer series by Amy Lea, I wanted to read or listen to Exes and O’s and I am glad I did. We met both Tara Chen and Trevor Metcalfe in Set on You. Tara is Crystal’s sister and Trevor was Scott’s roommate. When Crystal and Scott got together, he moved into her apartment and Tara had to find somewhere to go. She ended up moving into his old room in the apartment with Trevor. They were platonic roommates, neither of them looking for anything permanent. Tara is a romance book blogger as well as a nurse in the NICU. She has had her heart broken over and over, but needs to find someone to take to the gala. She will not give her ex-fiancé anything to gloat about after their breakup. She decides to revisit all her previous relationships to see if they might work now. Sounds like a bad idea to me. As she deals with these relationships, she confides in Trevor and he tries to help her out, or is her really trying to keep her from hooking up with any of them. With hunky firefighter Trevor spending more and more time with her, she finds herself getting to know him and falling for him. Will this forced proximity, friends of friends pair be able to make a go of a relationship? Will they fall in love?

I loved getting to know Trevor in this story. He was a swoon worthy character, who had kept his real self hidden from everyone. As we learned about his past, my heart broke for him, but I loved how he pulled himself up by the bootstraps and stepped up when he was needed by family. Tara was a bit frustrating. She was a grown woman, with a good job, but at times was immature. As the story moved forward, I began to see her change and emerge as a better person, one who stopped judging herself based on other’s ideas. This was a fun book, with lots of witty banter and quirky interactions. If you enjoy the forced proximity trope of roommates to lovers, then pick this one up.

Natalie Naudus narrated this audiobook and did a nice job with the voices, expression and emotion of the story. She added to my enjoyment of this book.

Lovelight Farms (Lovelight, #1) by B.K. Borison, Pippa Jayne (Narrator)

Published November 10th 2021 by Berkley, September 20th 2022 by Dreamscape Media, LLC

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Stella Bloom has loved Christmas tree farms since she was a child and her mother took her to this Winter Wonderland. She always dreamed of owning her own Christmas Tree farm and when she got the opportunity, she purchased one and named it Lovelight Farms. She has been having problems and is in danger of losing her business, so she enters a contest run by influencer, Evelyn St. James. Evelyn is well known as someone who helps small and family run businesses. The problem is that Stella lies. She says that she and her boyfriend bought and run the farm together. Now she has to find someone to be her fake boyfriend. Enter, best friend Luka Peters, who has just moved back to town. The funny thing is that both of them have loved the other for years, but never said anything for fear of ruining their wonderful friendship. Of course, Luka agrees when Stella asks and their fake relationship heats up their feelings to one another. Unfortunately, Stella signed that everything she put on the form was true, so eventually is disqualified, but the time they spend together filming before the truth outs brings them closer together.

This was another fun romance with great characters, a wonderful setting and fun storyline. This is a trilogy and although it is set on a Christmas Tree Farm at Christmas time, it can be read anytime. This is a story that shows how a small community comes together to help and support one of their own. Sending people to show up as customers at the farm, figuring out who was responsible for the vandalism and what to do with the “raccoons/cats” found in the barn, I laughed many times and swooned at others. The storyline of a Christmas tree farm that was the center of the winter activities in a small town was well done. With great descriptions of food, activities and decorations I can’t wait until I can take my grandkids to the one closest to me. There are two partners in the venture and I am hoping their stories are highlighted in the next two books. As far as the romance goes, there are a couple of steamy scenes, but not too bad, however, I did skim them.

I did a read listen with the narration performed by Pippa Jayne. She is a new narrator to me and I was quite impressed with her voices and expression. I look forward to hearing her on the next two books in this trilogy. This was a debut story for B.K. Borison and that makes it even more impressive. Well done and I definitely recommend this one.