The Girls from Alcyone – audiobook review

Image result for the girls of alcyone audiobook

The Girls from Alcyone, book one in Cary Caffrey’s trilogy of the same name and performed by Kristin James, is a science fiction thriller set in a 24th century universe. The divide between the haves and have-nots has turned into a gaping chasm. Young girls are purchased by the large Kimura Corporation from cash strapped families at a young age and shipped off to an experimental training facility. They undergo years of extensive physical and mental training, as well as surgical & biochemical enhancements, to become lethal assassins for hire. Before the first class can graduate, however, an outside group attacks. 

Sigrid, small and oft picked on by the other girls, develops a tough skin and undaunted determination to complete her training. Suko, respected and liked by her classmates, stands up for the diminutive girl. The two girls grow close and eventually fall in love. When their training at the Kimura operated academy is completed, they are employed by different clients. The mysterious enemy from their academy days isn’t far behind, however, and even the most badass assassin cannot handle it all alone… James delivers a great overall performance. conveying the high stakes and complex emotional territory. I have one minor quibble. Even though her New Zealand accent leaves something to be desired, she performs Suko with the same energy and passion as she does the rest of the narrative and characters. It’s an exciting, well-performed tale of intrigue set in outer space. If you enjoy mystery, Sci-Fi, tough heroines, and a dash of romance, this story is for you!

The Girls from Alcyone (2016) by Cary Caffrey
Series: The Girls from Alcyone, Book 1
Narrated by Kristin James
Length: 10 hours, 36 minutes
ASIN: B01DFAGTRY

Available as an audiobook from Amazon/Audible.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

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Categories: audiobooks, fantasy, fiction, friendship, lgbt, romance, science fiction, series | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2017 Reading in Review

Most days you can find me divided between multiple books, in both print and audio editions. As I look back on the stories that kept me company during the winter, spring, summer, and fall, it’s interesting to spot trends. For example, I’m scanning the covers on my Goodreads’ Read shelf and found that most of the nonfiction I consumed this year were memoirs (Daring to Drive, Surpassing Certainty, etc.) and science-based (Hidden Figures, Cosmos, etc.), with a few queer histories (Undercover Girl & Marie Equi) added to the mix. Some of my goals for 2017 included taking time to enjoy poetry; I’m happy that I did! Sideshow Concessions and Inside Out & Back Again inspired me to include poetry collections and poetry-stories as part of the holiday book bundles I give to family. 

 

more 2017 reading stats

Delectable data! via Goodreads

 

If you’re all about that data, like me, and have a Goodreads account, prepare to salivate over charts (pie and graph!) and page count (I read/listened to more books this year, but fewer pages than 2016). I had to hunt for it again just now because it wasn’t located in an in my face spot on the site. Head to your “My Books” and you’ll find it hanging out with the other “Your Reading Activity” links on the bottom left side of the webpage. For every time that your stories share more than one of the top categories listed in your pie chart, have a goody! Maybe next year I’ll land on that sweet spot: contemporary zombie queer romance series audiobooks…

 

top shelves

via Goodreads


Next year my commute shortens by about 90 percent, so I’ll have to reevaluate when and where I’ll get in quality story time, especially for audiobooks. And to that I say, challenge accepted! I’ve had a wonderful year of reading. I’m thankful for my eyesight, for my level of access to books, and for my ability to read. Thank you all for sharing 2017 with me! I wish you all a fantastic year to come. I hope your books are fun, empowering, challenge you and affirm you.

 

Smorgasbord!

Reading Challenge 2017Reading Challenge 2017b

Reading Challenge 2017cReading Challenge 2017dReading Challenge 2017e

Reading stats

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Baby it’s cold outside! Audiobooks for Winter

As the days get darker and colder (and up here in the Pacific Northwest, those dark days are long), you may feel an urge to hibernate. To keep your spirits up, your blood pumping, and your heart warm, you’ll want hearty stew, cocoa, hot buttered rum, and a pile of audiobooks. Here is a short list of chilly audiobooks that feature adventure, thrills, and romance to keep you warm and sated in your cave!

If you have any cold weather listens, in which wintry holidays don’t play a key role in the plot, please share them in the comments below. I would love to get snowed in with more good stories!

 

Snowbound by Cari Hunter

Snowbound by Cari Hunter
Narrated by Lesley Parkin 
Bold Strokes Books, 2016 (audio release date)
Intrigue & Thriller, Romance

The policewoman got shot and she’s bleeding everywhere. Get someone here in one hour or I’m going to put her out of her misery. An ultimatum that forever changes the lives of police officer Sam Lucas and Dr. Kate Myles. When heavy snowfall isolates the small English village of Birchenlow, a violent robbery shatters the community. Taken as a hostage and stranded with the increasingly desperate criminals, Sam is seriously injured during an ill-fated escape attempt. Already struggling to save the lives of the villagers caught up in the raid, Kate volunteers to walk straight into the lion’s den. Cut off from help, with only each other to rely on, Sam and Kate must find a way to fight the odds and stay alive if the growing attraction between them is to survive. — via Bold Strokes Books

 

 

Just Enough Light by AJ Quinn
Just Enough Light by AJ Quinn
Narrated by Ruby Rivers 
Bold Strokes Books, 2016 (audio release date)
Action & Adventure, Intrigue & Thriller, Romance

Kellen Ryan has taken the survival skills she learned on the streets and used them to create an elite search-and-rescue operation, as well as the first home she’s known in forever—a sanctuary in Haven, Colorado, high in the Rockies. 

A small mountain town was the last place Harvard-educated Dr. Dana Kingston expected to find herself. Still, when she’s offered an opportunity to partner with Kellen’s operation and develop a medical triage center, Dana follows her heart.

Dana falls hard and fast for the enigmatic Kellen. But she quickly realizes Kellen’s heart is as carefully guarded as her past, and breaking through will take time. Except time is the one thing they may not have, because a deadly threat has returned, and this time he plans to finish what he started. — via Bold Strokes Books

 

 

Hunter's Pursuit by Kim Baldwin
Hunter’s Pursuit by Kim Baldwin
Bold Strokes Books, 2017 (audio release date)
Narrated by Lori Prince
Action & Adventure, Intrigue & Thriller, Romance

When the hunter becomes the hunted…do you trust your instincts or your heart?

A killer for hire, Katarzyna Demetrious has grown weary of her violent and solitary life. Contemplating retirement, she has gone into hiding in her remote bunker home as a blizzard rages outside. But her seclusion is shattered by the appearance of a mysterious stranger, and, with a price tag on her head, Kat is thrust into the most perilous situation she has ever faced. Can she outwit the assassins on her trail? And could the woman she rescues…and is unexpectedly attracted to…be the deadliest of them all? — via Bold Strokes Books

 

 

Cold to the Touch by Cari Hunter
Cold to the Touch (The Dark Peak series, book 2) by Cari Hunter
Narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent 
Bold Strokes Books, 2017 (audio release date)
Crime & Mystery

Winter in the Derbyshire Peaks: months of knee-deep snow, short days, and rocketing crime rates. Detective Sanne Jensen is living in self-imposed isolation and quietly falling apart, while Dr. Meg Fielding Sanne’s best friend and occasional lover is struggling to cope with her violent brother, who is back in town and demanding money that she doesn’t have. When the murder of a drug addict is dumped onto Sanne’s already unmanageable caseload, she suspects the death may be the start of something more sinister. But how can she investigate a crime when no one cares about the victim? And how can she stop a killer who has no identity, no motive, and no conscience? — via Bold Strokes Books

 

 

Zero Visibility by Georgia Beers
Zero Visibility by Georgia Beers
Narrated by Brittany Pressley 
Bold Strokes Books, 2015 (audio release date)
Contemporary Romance

At eighteen, Emerson Rosberg was poised to become an Olympic skiing sensation. Growing up in the Adirondack ski town of Lake Henry with a world-renowned ski champion for a father gave her an edge over the competition…until the day she let her ego get the better of her and made a devastating mistake that would cost her any future in the sport. Deciding the only way to heal her shattered dreams was to run as far away from Lake Henry as possible, she settled in Los Angeles, leaving all memories of her previous life far behind. 

When her mother dies suddenly, Emerson is forced back to Lake Henry to take care of things, including the sale of The Lakeshore Inn. Her plan to get in and get out of that miserable town as quickly as possible is brought to a screeching halt when Cassie Prescott, the bubbly, friendly owner of a local sporting goods store, gets in the way. Cassie’s still cleaning up the debris from her last relationship, but she’s instantly drawn to Emerson, despite warnings from friends and family alike. 

As the cold weather closes in and Emerson and Cassie’s relationship heats up, one question keeps popping up for Emerson: can you really go home again?

— via Bold Strokes Books

 

 

Winter's Harbor by Aurora Rey
Winter’s Harbor (A Cape End Romance, Book 1) by Aurora Rey
Narrated by Hollis Elizabeth
Bold Strokes Books, 2017 (audio release date)
Contemporary Romance

Lia Brooks has a broken heart and a burning desire to escape New York City. She decides Provincetown is the perfect winter escape to find some peace and regroup. Alex McKinnon is the pastry chef and proprietor of The Flour Pot Café in the heart of Provincetown. She loves owning her own business and the easy, no-strings-attached relationships that come with living in a gay tourist mecca. When Lia appears in the café, the attraction is immediate. The passion between them promises more than a casual affair, but it’s never that simple. Women from Alex’s past pop up at the most inopportune times. Then there’s Lia’s ex, who brokers deals for a living and is unaccustomed to losing. Will Alex and Lia be able to overcome the roadblocks and find a happily ever after? — via Bold Strokes Books

 

 

Taken by Storm by Kim Baldwin
Taken by Storm by Kim Baldwin
Narrated by Coleen Marlo
Bold Strokes Books, 2015 (audio release date)
Action & Adventure, Romance

Lives depend on two women when a train derails high in the remote Alps, but an unforgiving mountain, avalanches, crevasses, and other perils stand between them and safety.  Associated Press reporter Hudson Mead is an extreme skiing enthusiast who has covered war zones and natural disasters during her long and distinguished career, but nothing could have prepared her for the challenges she’ll face when the snow train she’s riding is decimated by a massive avalanche.  Librarian Steffi Graham, on her first trip abroad, is anxious to hone her rock-climbing skills in a new and unfamiliar terrain of ice and snow. She gets much more than she bargained for when her talents put her on the team that goes for help.  As the two strangers struggle to reach civilization, they must compromise and learn to trust each other, a task that may be nearly as difficult as the journey itself. — via Bold Strokes Books

 

 

Snow Falls Gerri Hill

Snow Falls by Gerri Hill
Narrated by Sara Hawthorne
Bella Books, 2013 (audio release date)
Contemporary Romance

Jennifer Kincaid, on her way to a writer’s workshop in the Colorado mountain town of Lake City, gets lost and is stranded by an avalanche. Catherine Ryan-Barrett, running from the fame and fortune of her family name, wants nothing more to spend the winter alone and sequestered in her high mountain cabin. She is not prepared for a party crasher. After spending two months together, they form an unlikely friendship that deepens even further. But after the spring thaw, Jen leaves and returns to her life in Santa Fe and to the man who wants to marry her. All she knows of the woman who rescued her is her name… Ryan. — via Bella Books

Categories: audiobooks, lgbt, romance, seasonal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Holiday Romance 2017 – Audiobook edition

It’s not too difficult for me to tune out holiday music coming at me through the radio and decorations and avoid the aisles filled with Christmas decor before Halloween is even cold in its festive grave. However, once the calendar ticks past Thanksgiving, it’s off to the store to stock up on Darigold eggnog and Harvey’s hot butter rum mix; deck the halls with my tote full of cheer; and renew my resolve that this will be the year I’ll finally get a tree (even though I have no place to put it). 

Since I started digging around for holiday audiobooks, I’ve learned that it’s easier to locate print stories. A couple of the stories below are ones that I found by looking up their print counterparts. I’m currently listening to Miranda MacLeod’s Holme for the Holidays, a romance about an American and a Brit who experience loss (in very different ways) and end up sharing the holidays together on a Yorkshire farm. It’s the right seasonal blend for a holiday romance: humor, missteps, regret, and fresh starts. Stephanie Murphy delivers an enjoyable performance overall. My only quibble is that the English, or, more specifically, Yorkshire accents, seem just a bit off. Her energy and characterization make up for it, though.

 

Categories: audiobooks, booklist, lgbt, romance, seasonal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AudioFile Magazine’s Best of Fiction 2017

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Every year, AudioFile Magazine reviews countless audiobooks and distills them into a “Best Fiction of 2017” list. Does it seem like a Sisyphean task, especially when every week more books are released? Maybe. Yet, here they are with a “stocking” full of audio treats that you can listen to and share with family, friends, co-workers, the barista at your favorite coffee shop… You can read reviews of this year’s best fiction by clicking on the book titles below. Check out other category lists on the AudioFile eZine!

On Omnivore Bibliosaur I write about queer works, however I also contribute audiobook reviews to AudioFile Magazine. Since June, I have listened to a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books for teens and adults. I did not, however, review any of the “Best of Fiction” titles listed below. If you have any favorites that did not make this list, I would love to hear about them in the comment section below! I’m also interested in what you think should appear on a 2017 “best of queer fiction” featuring female protagonists. Happy listening!

 

THE ESSEX SERPENT by Sarah Perry, read by Juanita McMahon
*Listen to a preview on AudioFile’s SoundCloud!
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 ANNE BOLEYN: A KING’S OBSESSION by Alison Weir, read by Rosalyn Landor
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman, read by Marin Ireland
*Listen to a preview on AudioFile’s SoundCloud!
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 

 

FIVE-CARAT SOUL by James McBride, read by Arthur Morey, Nile Bullock, Prentice Onayemi, Dominic Hoffman
*Listen to a preview on AudioFile’s SoundCloud!
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

FOREST DARK by Nicole Krauss, read by Gabra Zackman
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THE GOLDEN HOUSE by Salman Rushdie, read by Vikas Adam
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ISADORA by Amelia Gray, read by Jen Tullock
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LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders, read by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and a Full Cast
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MANHATTAN BEACH by Jennifer Egan, read by Norbert Leo Butz, Heather Lind, Vincent Piazza
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THE REASON YOU’RE ALIVE by Matthew Quick, read by R.C. Bray
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REFUGE by Dina Nayeri, read by Mozhan Marno, Youssif Kamal
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THE RULES OF MAGIC by Alice Hoffman, read by Marin Ireland
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SING, UNBURIED, SING by Jesmyn Ward, read by Kelvin Harrison Jr., Rutina Wesley, Chris Chalk
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TRAJECTORY by Richard Russo, read by Amanda Carlin, Arthur Morey, Fred Sanders, Mark Bramhall
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WHITE TEARS by Hari Kunzru, read by Lincoln Hoppe, Danny Campbell, Dominic Hoffman
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 

 

Exclusive Narrator Videos on YouTube

Curious about what it’s like behind the microphone? Narrators Vikas Adam and R.C Bray discuss their experiences working on The Golden House and The Reason You’re Alive, respectively.

Categories: audiobooks, booklist, fiction, lists | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Romance 2017

 

Happy holidays everyone! I’m in the midst of creating stocking stuffers full of winter seasonal cheer. Today I’m sharing holiday romances that will keep you warm as we stroll towards the Winter Solstice and indulge in festivities with loved ones, colleagues, and ourselves. Although I’m posting this now, it is by no means finished. I’ll try to add more books (published within the last five years) to future lists as I discover them. Until then, happy listening!

As always, I would love to hear about holiday romances that you’ve enjoyed! Please share them in the comment section below!

 

That Old Emerald Mountain Magic: A Christmas/Holiday (2017) by Cara Malone
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“Carmen hasn’t had snow on Christmas in ten years. Her family has grown accustomed to beaches and extravagant tropical vacations, but she still remembers the snow in Massachusetts when she was a kid. When her dad decides to book a cabin in the idyllic, snow-capped mountains of Colorado for Christmas, the rest of the family is skeptical – why trade palm trees and warm weather for a snowbound ski resort? Carmen’s in the same ‘bah humbug’ mood until she meets the impossibly optimistic, endlessly intriguing Joy and their worlds collide – quite literally – on the slopes. Joy has lived her whole life on Emerald Mountain and watched a lot of people come and go through the resort town. She has learned to expect a certain amount of impermanence here, but Carmen makes her hope for more than just a vacation romance. Can Joy help Carmen and her family rediscover the true spirit of Christmas?”  via Amazon


Eitan’s Chord: A Lesbian Fairy Trio for Chanukah
by Shira Glassman
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“Fairy magic requires fairy intimacy, so when the three Chanukah fairies—cute butch Latke, enthusiastic party girl Dreidl, and their elegant leader Menorah—decide to help an impoverished young couple, a fairy romp is in order! Eitan, a trans man, and his cis wife Abigail work retail and live on love in a studio apartment with broken blinds. If only Abigail’s beaded jewelry would sell online, they’d have a little more cash, but nobody’s biting. While they sleep, the fairies bring the miracle they’re looking for. This story features spicy behavior and is not for children.” via Amazon

 

A Christmas for Carol (2017) by Emily Sharp
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“A modern spin on a beloved Christmas classic. After the passing of her best friend, Jacqueline Marley, Elizabeth Scrooge heads up the powerhouse financial firm of Marley and Scrooge. Bitter and angry, love is the furthest thing from her mind. But then she hires a new employee. Carol Cratchit is looking forward to her new job as the personal secretary to Ms. Scrooge. Despite the simmering sexual tension which heats up between them both, Carol couldn’t ever imagine being with someone so cold and heartless. When Scrooge hires Carol to help her with a personal issue outside of work, Carol reluctantly agrees. But with each meeting, Carol begins to see past the hard exterior and sees something inside of Elizabeth that she has been longing for. For a miracle to happen this Christmas, and give the Happily Ever After both need, Elizabeth and Carol have to look into the past, focus on the present, and find the magic they both need for the future.” via Amazon

 

Winter’s Solace (2017) by Magnolia Robbins
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Katlynn Walker thought she had it all: a dream job in Silicon Valley. A beautiful California beach house. The love of her life. But her world crumbled beneath her feet the moment she found her best friend in bed with her fiancé. Desperate to escape her harsh new realities, Katlynn flees to her Massachusetts hometown of Wellesley, to spend Christmas at her sister’s cottage. Finding a new love was the last thing on her agenda, but when Katlynn reconnects with an old friend, everything she thought she knew about herself and her future is called into question. Iris’ life changed the minute her mother got sick. With her quiet, cozy world in Wellesley suddenly turned upside-down, there’s no room for more complications — especially not the resurgence of a college crush she thought she’d put out of her mind long ago. But when she finds herself spending the holidays next door to her old classmate Katlynn, Iris can’t ignore the chemistry between them. As the two women navigate their separate heartaches, will they crack under the pressures of life around them? Or can their new bond save them both? via Amazon

 

Snow Globe (2013) by Georgia Beers
Brisk Press
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“Mackenzie Campbell has no idea her life is about to fall apart. She’s bright and attractive with a good job, a comfortable home and an impending Christmas wedding she’s been planning for months. So when her girlfriend bails less than two weeks before the nuptials, Kenzie’s picture perfect Christmas world is turned upside down. Determined to hold on to at least some shred of her dignity, Kenzie snags her best friend, Allison, and flees the cold of the Northeast to take the honeymoon anyway. The Rainbow’s Edge is an enormous LGBT resort in Southern Florida, and its atmosphere of sun and fun seems to be just what Kenzie needs to help take her mind off of her lost relationship. But can a few hot dances, a mysterious suitor, and a handful of rum runners help her figure out what it is she really wants?” via georgiabeers.com

 

A Holloway Holiday (2016) by Voss Porter
Dark Hollows Press
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“Under the stress of the holidays, can Cara Spencer and Dre hold it together? Or do they need a little Holloway Holiday magic? At the behest of her brothers, Cara Spencer Holloway picks up the mantle of holiday entertaining, left behind in the wake of her parents’ untimely death, but now she’s beginning to second-guess her every decision. What if she can’t measure up to the memories? What if her brothers don’t think she’s good enough? And why in the world has her partner, Dre Martin, been acting so strangely? Join the Holloway clan as they realize all they truly need is a little holiday magic!” via Amazon

 

Mistletoe Mishap (2017) by Siri Caldwell
Brussels Sprout Press
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“Ready…set…yes! It seems like a simple challenge: who can make the other person take the Lord’s name in vain the loudest and the most often with the least clothes on before Christmas. With only twelve days to prove that all those years together do not mean she’s forgotten how to goad the love of her life into unbuttoning her own blouse, Kendra has no time to waste. If only Viv played fair… Will mental arithmetic, a little too much coffee, and mistletoe threaded through belt loops help two science professors laugh and love their way through the holidays?” via Amazon

Christmas Cakes (2017) by Anne Hagan
Join the conversation on Goodreads!

When Hannah Yoder left the Amish order at 17, she didn’t know what life had in store for her. She just knew she wanted to be free to be herself. Four years later, with the support of a loving family of choice, an adopted son entering full-on toddlerhood and a new bakery starting to do well, she felt like she had almost everything. Almost. After a previous relationship fizzled out over different life goals, she decided to focus on her son, her business and completing culinary school before she gave any more thought to finding someone new to share her life with. Morgan Barber has secrets. She hopes culinary school will be her ticket out of the life she hides from the world; a life she wants so desperately to leave behind. With her home life a constant nightmare, a career in chef’s whites seems like a beautiful dream. She doesn’t dare dream of anything beyond that for herself. Assigned to work on a Christmas cake baking project together, the two young women are reluctant at first but then they begin to form a bond. Just when Hannah thinks she may have found a spark of the one thing missing in her life; that maybe she can have a relationship with Morgan, the other woman draws away and contemplates changing course entirely.

Categories: booklist, contemporary, fantasy, fiction, Holiday, novella, romance, seasonal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AudioFile Magazine’s Best of Romance 2017

cover-2017-best-500x382

 

Every year, AudioFile Magazine reviews countless romance audiobooks and distills them into a “Best of the Year” list. The result rivals any binge-able Netflix queue. 2017 is no different. It offers a selection of stories that transport listeners hearts and minds back in time, through thrilling adventures, contemporary and paranormal worlds, and more. I’m excited to dive into Carolyn Brown’s The Strawberry Hearts Diner and Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge, big city and small town present-day tales set in Texas. You’ll find plenty of warm, sweetness and sexy chills to suit your tastes, too. For your browsing pleasure, I’ve organized the books by sub-genre. Check out other category lists on the AudioFile eZine!

On Omnivore Bibliosaur I write about queer works, however I also contribute audiobook reviews to AudioFile Magazine. Since June, I have listened to a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books for teens and adults, such as Cosmos by Carl Sagan and Freak Show by James St. James. I did not, however, review any of the “Best of Romance” titles listed below. If you have any favorites that did not make this list, I would love to hear about them in the comment section below! I’m also interested in what you think should appear on a 2017 “best of queer romance” featuring female protagonists. Happy listening!

 

Historical

 

BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DUKE by Kelly Bowen
Read by Ashford McNab
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

BEAUTY LIKE THE NIGHT by Joanna Bourne
Read by Kirsten Potter
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for 

FAIR, BRIGHT, AND TERRIBLE by Elizabeth Kingston
Read by Nicholas Boulton
**Check out a sound clip on AudioFile’s SoundCloud!
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 

Thriller

ENIGMA

ENIGMA by Catherine Coulter
Read by Renee Raudman, MacLeod Andrews
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 

Military

off base

OFF BASE by Annabeth Albert
Read by Tyler Stevens
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

Spicy

REAL DIRTY by Meghan March
Read by Elena Wolfe, Sebastian York
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

CLAIM & PROTECT by Rhenna Morgan
Read by John Lane
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

Contemporary

 

 

THE STRAWBERRY HEARTS DINER by Carolyn Brown
Read by Brittany Pressley
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

CHASING DOWN A DREAM by Beverly Jenkins
Read by Lynette Freeman
*Check out a sound clip on AudioFile’s SoundCloud!
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

IF NOT FOR YOU by Debbie Macomber
Read by Khristine Hvam
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

JANE OF AUSTIN by Hillary Manton Lodge
Read by Kate Handford
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

Paranormal

 

WHITE HOT by Ilona Andrews
Read by Renee Raudman
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

WICKED ABYSS by Kresley Cole
Read by Robert Petkoff
*Check out a sound clip on AudioFile’s SoundCloud!
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

THE CHOSEN by J.R. Ward
Read by Jim Frangione
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 

Non-Exclusive Narrator Videos on YouTube

Curious about what it’s like behind the microphone? Narrators Khristine Hvam and Renee Raudman discuss their experiences working on If Not For You and White Hot, respectively.

 

 

 

Categories: audiobooks, lists, romance, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Right Kind of Wrong – audiobook review

right kind of wrong

 

Narrator Paige McKinney infuses BFFs Quinn Burke and Grace Everett’s friends to lovers dilemma with all of the baggage of their twenty years together. Her warm performance reflects the mostly sure and satisfied women’s personalities, a blend of confusion and determination mixed in. When the two women first met, co-working at a grocery store, Grace was more interested in having at least one close friend than in having yet another girlfriend. Life has reached a phase, however, in which Grace is looking to settle down with a woman who meets at least some of her standards, someone in the ballpark of “good enough”. Besides a satisfying job owning and operating a bookstore, great friends, and loving grandparents, she doesn’t want for much. Quinn, for her part, enjoys tending bar, Sunday brunch with her mother and Grace, and, for the time being, avoiding potential heartbreak. The women’s relationship is a slow burn romance that neither wants to acknowledge. After all, doesn’t every pair of bosom buddies complete each other’s sentences? When Quinn’s mother suffers a major heart attack, it acts as the catalyst for resolving bad blood and buried desire.

The cast of family, friends, and lovers, is wonderfully portrayed. Beth, Quinn’s homophobic older sister comes across as extreme and ridiculous in her prejudices through McKinney’s narration. Through raised pitch and clipped haughtiness, McKinney leaves listeners with no doubts as to who Beth thinks has the moral high ground in the family. Meg, the other estranged sister, is voiced in softer tones as her relationship with her younger sisters, Quinn and Callie, evolves. And Callie, the baby of the family, says what she means and means what she says, the lack of hesitation and fierceness of her love reflected in her the narrator’s tone and pacing. Family, whether it is the one that the characters are born into or the ones they make over a lifetime, is everywhere and everything in this story. 

The Right Kind of Wrong is a pleasurably frustrating, comfy, and relatable romantic journey between two longtime friends. It’s a great production, one which I hope you’ll enjoy, too.

The Right Kind of Wrong (2017) by PJ Trebelhorn
Bold Strokes Books
Length: 6 hours, 49 minutes
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Categories: audiobooks, contemporary, fiction, lgbt, romance | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Fiction for Foodies

I’m thankful for a million people, places, and things, but when it comes to the holidays food is always my main squeeze. Feel awkward? Family overload? No football game? There’s always a comforting smorgasbord of delicious savory and sweet baked goods waiting on stand-by (I love you olives, rolls, and pumpkin pie!).

What butter….er…better booklist could I share than one in which food plays an integral role in the story? If you have some tasty reading recommendations, please share them in the comment section below 🙂

 

Perfect Pairing

Perfect Pairing (Bywater Books, 2016) by Rachel Spangler
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Big business & food truck dynamo clash over delivery, but find themselves sandwiched together.

 

a little bit of spice starting from scratch

Starting from Scratch (Brisk Press, 2010) by Georgia Beers
An oven full of cookies leads a graphic designer where she least expects.

A Little Bit of Spice (Brisk Press, 2015) by Georgia Beers
Sales manager for a family brewery tries for a supermarket sweep of a regional chain.
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Chef Cute Girl give me some sugar

Chef Cutegirl (2016) by Nicolette Dane
The competition heats up between two reality cooking show contestants in “Chef Cutegirl”

Give Me Some Sugar (2017) by Nicolette Dane
Struggling bakery owner & business consultant try to salvage the crumbs in “Give Me Some Sugar”.
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(1) (2)

 

confucius jane katie lynch cover

Confucius Jane (Forge Books, 2016) by Katie Lynch
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Romance blooms over noodles and fortune cookies in New York City’s Chinatown.

 

the roundabout gerri hill

The Roundabout (Bella Books, 2016) by Gerri Hill
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Parking spaces and lovelorn denizens of a queer community conspire for some faux-mance between a new business owner and popular restaurateur.

 

all you can eat order up

All You Can Eat (2014) & Order Up (2016) from Ylva Publishing
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Collections of salty, sweet stories for insatiable readers.

 

side order of love

Side Order of Love (Bella Books, 2009) by Tracey Richardson
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Cooking superstar caters a golf tournament. Can love compete with a missed vacation?

 

Half Baked by Edie Bryant

Half Baked (2017) by Edie Bryant
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Could this be an Imagine Me & You situation, but with cake? 

 

chef special

Chef’s Special (Brisk Press, 2016) by Susan X. Meagher
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Can dreams withstand the heat of a professional grade kitchen?

 

Taste

Taste (Bold Strokes Books, 2016) by Kris Bryant
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Can a romance between a culinary instructor and student last longer than forty-five minutes, 375 degrees? Will their shared ingredients bind them or separate as the course cooks?

 

sugar

Sugar (Bella Books, 2004) by Karin Kallmaker
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Will the bake-off pay off, for both heart and wallet?

 

first course ja armstrong

First Course (2017) by J.A. Armstrong
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Business and pleasure go on a date at this fledgling restaurant.

Categories: contemporary, fiction, lgbt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m with her: Political fiction booklist

Well, folks, it is hard to believe that only a year has passed since election night 2016. It feels like much more time has passed than a mere twelve months. Through all of the events (and tweets) that have transpired, my reading helped sustain my heart and mind. It’s not just the librarian in me saying this, but I’m a firm believer in the power of reading and lifelong learning to make the world a better place. Right now, I want to read about queer women who have joined the political fray in order to effect positive change. I hope that these books give you the shot in the arm that you need to keep on going, too.

 

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True Colors by Yolanda Wallace
Bold Strokes Books, August 2017
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“Taylor Crenshaw is a lifelong Democrat, but her parents are staunch Republicans. To make matters worse, her ultraconservative father has just been elected president. Although she prefers to live her life openly, her father would rather she stay in the closet. When she meets Robby Rawlins, will she choose to give in to her father’s demands or follow her heart?
 
Robby Rawlins works at an antique store by day. She spends her nights anonymously skewering politicians in her blog. President Terry Crenshaw’s anti-gay rhetoric gave Robby plenty to write about during a contentious campaign, but a chance meeting with his daughter leaves her at a loss for words. Getting the scoop has always been Robby’s goal. Now it might come second to getting the girl. Unless she can find a way to do both.” — Bold Strokes Books

 

By Design by [Armstrong, J.A.]

By Design by J.A. Armstrong
By Design series, books 1-9
J.A. Armstrong Books, 2015
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“Building bridges has a very different meaning for Jameson Reid than it does for Candace Fletcher. J.D. Reid spends her days designing some of the most elegant and majestic buildings and homes in North America.  U.S. Senator Candace Fletcher has spent her life working to build bridges between people. J.D. Reid is not who Candace Fletcher was expecting to arrive on her doorstep. Candace will challenge all of Jameson’s preconceptions about the women of Washington D.C. The enigmatic architect will test the resolve of the Junior Senator from New York. Two women will discover that falling in love may be out of their control, but creating a relationship in the world of politics and business is completely BY DESIGN.” — J.A. Armstrong Books

 

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A More Perfect Union by Carsen Taite
Bold Strokes Books, December 2017

“When Major Zoey Granger exposed corruption in the ranks, she became an unwitting media darling and shot to a position reporting to top brass at the Pentagon. Now Zoey finds herself in the unwanted spotlight once again, this time at the heart of a scandal that threatens to devastate the military. Her efforts to contain the fallout are thwarted when the White House assigns a notorious DC fixer to oversee her every move.

Political insider Rook Daniels can fix any problem, no matter how illicit or indictable, but she has two rules: she picks her cases and she’s in charge. When she makes an exception for an old friend at the White House, she gets tangled up with a sexy but stubborn officer who has her own ideas about authority. Rook and Zoey must decide whether a chance at love is worth risking loss of reputation in a town where appearances rule.” — Bold Strokes Books

 

Madam President by Blayne Cooper & T. Novan
Renaissance Alliance Publishing, 2001
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“Devlyn Marlowe, the first woman President of the United States, has just been elected. Breaking with the tradition of hiring a political writer to chronicle her administration, President Marlowe selects one Lauren Strayer, a professional biographer with a reputation for absolute honesty. There’s a slight problem with Devlyn’s plan, though. Lauren wants nothing to do with what she sees as a political hack job. It takes some serious persuading, but the Commander-in-Chief is an eloquent negotiator, and Lauren reluctantly agrees to take the job, provided she truly has editorial freedom. So armed with her computer, her incredibly ugly Pug, and a fair bit of trepidation, Lauren finds herself in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There, amidst the harrowing and demanding life of the First Family, Lauren begins to understand and eventually love the complex woman who is both leader of a great nation and loving single parent to three rambunctious children. Funny, realistic, romantic, and endearing, Madam President is rapidly becoming a modern classic.” — Amazon description

First Lady (sequel) by Blayne Cooper & T. Novan
Cavalier Press, 2003
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“In this timeless classic, the sequel to their best seller Madam President, Blayne Cooper and T. Novan continue the chronicle of the lives of Lauren Strayer and Devlyn Marlowe.

Planning a wedding is never easy. However, most brides don’t face the challenges that Lauren Strayer does. Her beloved comes with a ready-made family, something the biographer never imagined for herself. In addition, Lauren’s estranged father thoroughly disapproves of her future mate, who just happens to be the nation’s first female president. Lauren tackles the perils and pleasures of parenting and the tension between her private nature and her new, very public role. At the same time, Dev, a dedicated public servant, struggles to find the balance between managing the nation’s interests, her family, her fears and her stress, while continuing the development of her relationship with Lauren. The result is an action-packed, amusing and tender tale of the sort that fans of Cooper & Novan have come to love and expect.” — Amazon description

 

Wild Things Karin Kallmaker

Wild Things by Karin Kallmaker
Bella Books, 2012 (2nd edition)
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“Scholar and award-winning author Faith Fiztgerald has every reason to be happy: a wealthy, charming man who adores her and a family cheering her marriage prospects. But from the moment she meets Eric’s sister, Sydney Van Allen, she knows her safe, predictable feelings for him are a shadow of what could be. Openly lesbian and running for Senator, Sydney can only succeed if she can live down her wild past. That means no liaisons, especially with the achingly alluring woman on her brother’s arm who looks at her with confusion—and desire.” — via Bella Books 

 

awakenings jackie calhoun

Awakenings by Jackie Calhoun
Bella Books, 2012
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“Despite early attempts to contact Hayley Baxter, Sarah Sweeney has neither heard from nor seen her since Hayley moved to New York City and a journalism career eleven years ago. Both are incredulous when they literally bump into each other among the tens of thousands of protesters in and around the Wisconsin State Capitol building. Hayley offers to share her hotel room in Madison on weekends. With misgivings, Sarah takes her up on it and quickly realizes her once fierce love for Hayley still simmers under the surface of her anger. When the protests move to the next stage-collecting signatures for recall-the weekends in Madison end. Sarah, a teacher, goes back to real life certain that Hayley will never leave her roommate and job in New York. However, the bad economy causes Hayley’s newspaper to go belly-up and she is forced to return to Wisconsin, to the lake where it all began …” via Bella Books

 

The Candidate (Bella Books, 2008)
The Campaign (Bella Books, 2012)
At Your Service, Madam President (Bella Books, 2016)

Follow Jane Kincaid as she vies for the presidential nomination, works on the election campaign, and her early struggles in the Oval Office.

Categories: booklist, lgbt, romance | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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