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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.

 

 

 

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

A Labor Day reading list

Unions, laborers, employers, and government, oh my! For many, Labor Day weekend is the last hurrah holiday of summer before Autumn and a host of other responsibilities resume. Or, if you’re like me, you find yourself working all weekend and Monday becomes a nice reprieve (or you might be working on that day, too. Thank you.). It’s easy to lose sight of how and why the holiday came into existence and why it continues to matter. The holiday has a complex history that goes beyond the simplified version I’ll share in this blog post. For a more in-depth discussion, please use the following book and article lists as jumping off points. They’ll have bibliographies and notes that will further guide your studies. 

On Tuesday, September 5, 1882, the Central Labor Union held its first Labor Day in New York City. It gained traction in other cities and States, evolving into a large scale celebration of trade and labor organizations with demonstrations, parades and other festivities. Eventually, on June 28, 1894, the United States Congress declared Labor Day a legal holiday (after many States had already made it so) and that it would be held on the first Monday of every September. Workers in the US had a great many reasons to rally together. They advocated for better, safer conditions at their places of employment; for the right not to be worked to death; and for time off to care for sick relatives (and their own health), among many other things. Needless to say, unions, workers, employers, and government entities did not always cooperate with each other and the results of their endeavors achieved mixed results. Take a moment this Labor Day and review your State and Federal legislation. Ask yourself what you could do to help improve working conditions in your region and familiarize yourself with resources and organizations that assist workers.

Reading Recommendations

The handful of books below discuss working class queer folk and labor activists in the United States. And, since I love using my local public library databases to mine for information, you’ll also find a list of articles that I discovered using EBSCOHost (Google Scholar is a good place to start if you need to find full-text access outside of a library database). Since I put this together the day before Labor Day (Monday, September 4, 2017) and was definitely not on the ball, I appreciate suggestions you have for additional articles and books. You can leave those in the comments below. 

Books

 

Articles

Tilcsik, A., Anteby, M., & Knight, C. R. (2015). Concealable Stigma and Occupational       Segregation. Administrative Science Quarterly60(3), 446-481. doi:10.1177/0001839215576401

Mosoetsa, S., Stillerman, J., Tilly, C., & Smith, S. R. (2016). Queers are Workers, Workers are Queer, Workers’ Rights are Hot! The Emerging Field of Queer Labor History. International Labor & Working-Class History89184. doi:10.1017/S014754791500040X 

Reading List (non-queer specific)

Categories: booklist, history, Holiday, magazines, nonfiction, primary sources, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Connections: A booklist

Most mornings before I head out to work, I brew up a pot of Yuban and pour it into my trusty Stanley thermos. It’s as much a part of my day as getting dressed. This beloved and essential morning ritual goes well with both solitude and company. 

For example, my idea of a perfect first date or family gathering starts with a cup of coffee. If nothing else goes right, at least there’s a steaming (or chilled or frozen) coffee concoction to enjoy. Throw in a good book and its game over perfection! The characters in the stories below geek out on B-grade sci-fi flicks, grapple with long-distance, attempt to run a cafe while still attending high school, and much more. Just add coffee. 

long macchiatos and monsters

Long Macchiatos and Monsters (Geek Out: A Collection of Trans and Genderqueer Romance) by Alison Evans
Published by Less Than Three Press
Available from Less Than Three Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

“Jalen, lover of B-grade sci-fi movies, meets the far-too-handsome P in a cafe while deciding whether or not to skip uni again. When P invites them along to a double feature of Robot Monster and Cat Women of the Moon, Jalen can hardly believe that hot boys like bad sci-fi, too. But as their relationship progresses, Jalen realizes P leaves them wondering if they’re on the same page about what dating means, and if that’s what they’re doing.” – from Less Than Three Press

coffee date

Coffee Date by K. Lynn
Published by Less Than Three Press
Available from Less Than Three PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble, Smash Words.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

“Alice is finally happy with her body and her life—except for the part where revealing she’s trans winds up leaving her hurt and abandoned over and over again. She’s decided she’s done making herself miserable by looking for love.

Love finds her anyway, in the form of Hank, the new guy at her local coffee shop. He’s sweet, friendly, charming… and will probably turn out like all the rest. Determined not to shatter the fantasy and lose him before she has to, Alice holds fast to her secrets. 

But if the truth doesn’t ruin everything, the lies will, and it seems no matter which choice she makes Alice is set for just one more heartache.” – from Less Than Three Press

Get it together delilah

Get it Together, Delilah! by Erin Gough
Published by Chronicle Books
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

Originally published as The Flywheel in Australia, 2015.

“Seventeen-year-old Delilah Green wouldn’t have chosen to do her last year of school this way, but she figures it’s working fine. While her dad goes on a trip to fix his broken heart after her mom left him for another man, Del manages the family cafe. Easy, she thinks. But what about homework? Or the nasty posse of mean girls making her life hell? Or her best friend who won’t stop guilt-tripping her? Or her other best friend who might go to jail for love if Del doesn’t do something? But really, who cares about any of that when all Del can think about is beautiful Rosa who dances every night across the street. . . . Until one day Rosa comes in the cafe door. And if Rosa starts thinking about Del, too, then how in the name of caramel milkshakes will Del get the rest of it together?” – from Chronicle Books

something-true

Something True (Out in Portland, #1) by Karelia Stetz-Waters
Published by Forever Yours, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books, Kobo, and other retailers. Join the discussion on Goodreads!

“Tate Grafton has a tough exterior, but underneath she’s kind, caring, and fiercely loyal. That’s why she first started working at Out in Portland Coffee-it was her way of repaying the shop’s owner for taking her in as a homeless teenager. Nine years later, the coffee shop is floundering and Tate feels like she’s letting life pass her by . . . until she shares an unforgettable night with a beautiful stranger. When the mysterious woman disappears the next morning, Tate doesn’t even know her name.

Laura Enfield was supposed to be in Portland for only a few days-just long enough to oversee a simple business deal before joining her conservative father on his political campaign. But when the closeted Laura romances an employee of the coffee shop her company is shutting down, things get suddenly complicated. Now, the lies she’s told for years are beginning to unravel, and her biggest secret is about to be exposed. Laura can’t stop thinking about the barista with the soulful eyes, but after a lifetime of deception, can she finally embrace something true?” – from Karelia Stetz-Waters

23444952

Don’t Bang the Barista! by Leigh Matthews
Published by Leigh Matthews
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

“Drawing on the classics of lesbian pulp fiction, Don’t Bang the Barista! is set in the hipster-dyke triangle of East Vancouver, where friends Kate and Cass discuss the politics of hooking up with a hot barista crush. Is Cass warning Kate off over concern for her favourite coffee shop hangout, or does she have ulterior motives for keeping Hanna and Kate apart? What if Hanna actually has her sights set on someone else… someone already in a seemingly monogamous and hetero relationship? Navigating life in the queer East Van community certainly isn’t simple for Kate and her trusty canine, Jupiter, especially when Kate’s ex gets back into town looking more fabulous than ever. Can Kate finally figure out who she wants to be with before it’s too late?” – via Amazon.com

27780937

Confessions from a Coffee Shop by T.B. Markinson
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Available from Amazon.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

“Cori Tisdale was on top of the world. A basketball star at Harvard and a promising author with a lucrative book deal.

A few years later, Cori’s life is falling apart. Her beautiful girlfriend, Kat Finn, has a shopping addiction. To make ends meet, Cori takes a part-time job at a coffee shop.

Just when Cori thinks her life can’t get any worse, an old crush appears out of the blue. Cori’s friendship with Samantha Clarke pushes Cori further into a dangerous abyss when Sam reveals two secrets to Cori and asks her not to tell a soul, including Kat.

Will this be the end of Cori’s and Kat’s relationship?” from T.B. Markinson

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A Caramel Macchiato with a Friend by Lila Bruce
Published by Sapphire Books|
Available from Sapphire Books, Amazon, and other retailers.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

(A short story from the A Heart Well Traveled: Tales of Long Distance Romance and Unlikely Outcomes)

“Discover the many facets of romantic relationships as authors in volume one of, A Heart Well Traveled, unravel the trials and tribulations of long distance love affairs.

Each author, with their own unique style of storytelling, will leave the reader begging for more. Go from wild rides to gentle love stories, exploring the twists and turns lovers go through as they work to be together despite the distance between them.

Explore bonds beyond friendship, chance meetings, family drama, gender complexity, longstanding love and unexpected passion as lovers seek their happily ever after.

A Heart Well Traveled is a collection of short stories where women who love woman share the joys and challenges of long distance relationships.

Can love really conquer all?” – from Sapphire Books

Categories: booklist, erotica, fiction, lgbt, romance, science fiction, Uncategorized, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

If you’d like to know a little bit more about me, check out “Interview with a Queer Reader: Julie Thompson Talks Lesbian Pulp Novels, Queer Book Awareness Overload, ANNIE ON MY MIND, and More!”

http://wp.me/p2tLy0-18H

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Lambda Literary Awards 2017

 

The finalists for the 29th annual Lambda Literary awards were announced on March 14th. As always, I find myself perusing the nominees and ending up with plenty of great books to add to my TBR shelf on Goodreads. Below, you will find a handful of the contenders (plucked from Lambda Literary’s website, where you can find the full list). These are books that I read or listened to last year (or, in the case of Building Fires in the Snow: A Collection of Alaska LGBTQ Short Fiction and Poetry, finally got my hands on last night after two months of round-and-round mail service).

I’m always interested in how a committee selects finalists out of a huge pool of incredible voices. What mixture of style, substance, judges, awareness, etc, produces the award list? Of course, many books that we love and appreciate for a variety of reasons will never make an award list. I tend to view awards as more a tool to help build library collections or create a base from which to grow my awareness of the world around me. I’m so thankful for the wider world of LGBTQIA+ literature discussions. If not for folks on Twitter liking a kickstarter campaigns for incredibly cute graphic novels or sharing a resource; or Tumblr folks reblogging a booklist or poems, my world would be that much smaller. 

The winners will be announced on June 12, 2017 during the organizations gala event in New York City. Are there any books that you feel deserve that extra award bump? Please share then with me in the comments below!

***Click on the link (reviewed or blog) next to select titles for reviews I posted here and at The Lesbrary.***

Lesbian Fiction

Bisexual Fiction

Transgender Fiction

Lesbian Poetry

Transgender Poetry

Lesbian Mystery

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

Gay Memoir/Biography

Lesbian Romance

LGBTQ Anthology

LGBTQ Childrens/Young Adult

LGBTQ Graphic Novels

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Safe Passage – audiobook review

Safe Passage [Audiobook]

 

Jules Delacroix, a former Olympic rower, now math teacher & rowing coach at an all-girls high school, inherits her great-aunt’s New Orleans home in the Garden District. She also inherits a safe full of her great-aunt’s secrets. Encoded letters, with what Jules at first mistakes for French, give her an excuse to enlist the translation services of the sexy French teacher, Gen. Once they figure out that the letters are layered in ciphers (drawing out Jules love of and skill at numeric codes) and then in French (not that Gen needs an excuse to stay on with the project; it’s très intriguing and damn, that Jules is one tantalizing package!). The safe also contains other clues, such as a sketch of a beautiful black woman, a journal, and an antique pistol. Together, the two women develop fantastic chemistry as they delve deeper into the secrets.

Jules receives emotional grounding from her friends Beth and Becs. The rapport between the friends flows naturally throughout the story, infusing the day-to-day, mystery, and romance with love and humor. One of my favorite moments comes when Jules refers to her friend Beth as a “Wal-Mart sports bra of support”. Jules’ friend Becs, a New Orleans police officer, calls her “the world’s most useless butch” in college, though Jules is an amazing cook.

E.V. Grove delivers an engaging, enjoyable performance. While I’m not an expert in the differences between regional Southern dialects, Grove’s voice places me among trellises, creeping vines, and humidity. Aside from being a bit quick at the beginning of the story, Grove provides great characterization and tone. Each woman springs to life, radiating charm, uncertainty, teasing, straight-forward, and eagerness.

There are also many instances in which there is not enough space in narration to denote change between sections. However, I think that is likely the result of editing. Overall, the production quality is good, pulling you into the listening experience, rather than popping you out. By the end of the two hours and twenty minutes, Owen’s storytelling and Grove’s narration left me wanting more.

Safe Passage
Kate Owen
Narrated by E.V. Grove
Published by Less Than Three Press and Produced through Audible
Length: 2 hours, 19 minutes
ASIN: B00SLW82PY
Released: January 2015

Available as an audiobook from Less Than Three Press, AmazonAudible, and iTunes. It is also available as Spanish and French language ebooks! I think that’s a sign to brush up on my French 😀

Join the discussion on Goodreads!

 

Categories: audiobooks, fiction, lgbt, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Reading Resolutions for 2017

 Oh, reading challenges. I love them, and yet, I fare better with the types of reading challenges that quantify, rather than qualify, my choices. For example, Goodreads only asks how many books I plan on finishing between January and December. That’s pretty straightforward, simple, and, in some ways, not that much of a challenge. I can set the bar at 5 books, if I wanted (I would wither away if I was only able to read five books in a year).

My excuses/reasons for failing to cross the finish line of the 2016 PopSugar challenge are many. I’m like that dog in the Pixar movie “Up”; I get distracted by every book that crosses my path. There are certainly not enough hours in the day for work, commuting, and my myriad of interests. I am also unable to read less than ten trillion books at a time. There is currently one book in my glove compartment of my car; an audiobook in my car’s disc drive and on my smartphone; Analog magazine on my phone for endless lines at the grocery store; eBooks on my Nook; and on and on.

I don’t give myself a hard time for not living up to my own reading standards. It’s supposed to be so many other things above and beyond a mere assignment. I will, however, craft mini challenges for myself that highlight voices and genres I haven’t spent much (if any) time with. And then there is the news… So long 2016!

How about you?

Categories: anthology, audiobooks, erotica, essay, family relationships, fantasy, fiction, friendship, historical fiction, history, Holiday, horror, lgbt, librarians, literary fiction, Memoirs & Autobiographies, nonfiction, novella, paranormal, poetry, primary sources, retellings, romance, romantic friendships, short stories, Uncategorized, young adult | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

GRNW 2016 – Read the Rainbow

The Gay Romance Northwest (GRNW) 2016 conference only 3 weeks away. It will be held at the Seattle Public Library on Saturday, September 24th from 12 pm to 6pm, plus an after party. Registration is required to attend panel sessions, but all are welcome to peruse the books for sale and chat up authors. If you want to pre-funk for the conference, I’ve included a list of the attending authors and panelists, as well as links to their websites and books.

I’m super excited not only to attend my first book conference, but one that focuses on LGBTQIA+ romance! A friend and I are arriving early so that we can score some seriously awesome swag. 

 

Love-Between-the-Covers

 

I also highly recommend watching “Love Between the Covers“, a romance documentary featuring numerous writers, including Radclyffe. You can watch it via Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, and Google Play. You can also watch it for free if your library subscribes to Hoopla or has DVD copies available. 

 

 

If you haven’t visited the Seattle Public Library before, make sure you take time to look around and visit their Friends of the Library store. It’s candyland for bibliophiles. When I went down to check out the Shakespeare Folio exhibit, I ended up dumping a good chunk of my paycheck at their store. All for a good cause, right? 😀

Thus far, the only author on the list that I’ve read is Sheri Lewis Wohl (Necromantia is a fantastic mystery with supernatural elements and romance. I highly recommend it!). It’s a daunting challenge to read even a quarter of this list before September 24th; my TBR pile on Goodreads will be flush with new-to-me titles! Most excellent! I will definitely read as many summaries as I can squeeze in and then take the slow route of enjoyment over the next few months. Attending the event is going to be a great way to meet authors and fellow readers.

 

Washington State

Astrid Amara
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

***

Austin Chant
Romance, Fantasy

***

Laylah Hunter
Science Fiction, Fantasy

***

Amanda Jean
Romance

***

Eric Andrews-Katz
Contemporary Romance, Adventure

***

Nicole Kimberling
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery

***

AK Rose
Romance

***

Tracy Timmons-Gray
Event Coordinator for GRNW

***

Sheri Lewis Wohl
Romance, Paranormal

Oregon

Jove Belle
Romance, Thriller & Suspense, Erotica

***

Charley Descoteaux
Romance

***

EJ Russell
Contemporary & Supernatural Romance

Other

Dev Bentham (WI)
Romance

***

L.C. Chase
Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Contemporary Romance

***

Rhys Ford (CA)
Mystery, Thriller, Romance

***

Ginn Hale (PNW)
Fantasy

***

Lou Harper (CA)
Paranormal

***

Tobi Hill-Meyer
Non-fiction, Erotica

***

Isabella (CA)
Fantasy, Suspense, Romance

***

Morticia Knight
Erotica, Romance

***

Christopher Moss
Romance, Historical fiction

***

M.J. O’Shea (PNW)
Romance, Young Adult

***

EE Ottoman
Romance

***

JK Pendragon (BC)
Romance, Speculative Fiction

***

Alex Powell (BC)
Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy

***

Andrea Speed
Mystery, Thriller, Horror

***

Karelia Stetz-Waters
Romance

***

Yolanda Wallace
Fiction

 

One Last Thing…

GRNW is releasing a charity anthology of fiction and nonfiction called Magic & Mayhem. Proceeds support future GRNW programming and resources. You can pre-order a copy from Amazon and Smashwords. Release date: September 6, 2016.

Magic and Mayhem

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You Know Me Well – audiobook review

 

You Know Me Well

 

You Know Me Well, an entertaining collaboration from authors Nina LaCour and David Levithan, follows a pair of teenagers as they navigate turning points in their lives at the end of the school year. The story is told in alternating, intertwined narratives through the eyes of high school students Kate and Mark. Although they have sat next to each other in math class all year, the two first really see each other at a bar during San Francisco’s Pride kick-off festivities. Despite being virtual strangers with a recognizable face, the emotional maelstrom of love and the unknown lead Kate and Mark to become instant friends.  It’s a jubilant story of new beginnings, dashed dreams, and evolving relationships. I highly recommend the audiobook version of this story as a great road trip or seaside companion.

If I didn’t already love David Levithan’s storytelling, I would have picked up this title for the sole reason that Emma Galvin narrates Kate’s sections. Previously, I enjoyed her turn as Tris from Divergent, the dystopian YA trilogy by Veronica Roth. She has the type of voice well-suited for playing strong and conflicted young women. If she reads the dictionary next, I’ll be first in line to listen. As Kate, a high school senior standing on the brink of the planned and the unknown, Emma explores the rocky terrain of desire, anxiety, friendship, and more, through skillful narration. The supporting cast of friends, family, and acquaintances are also wonderfully realized by both narrators.

Matthew Brown characterizes Mark, a high school junior in love with his best friend/secret non-boyfriend, so genuinely that I can’t imagine him as any one but Mark (and the other people he voices). Unlike Kate, Mark clings to what he wants, even when Ryan tells him that he just doesn’t feel the same way. Their relationship is complicated and it takes Kate and her outsider’s point-of-view, to help him through it all. Matthew provides nuanced characterization that aptly reflects the struggle Mark is experiencing. When the world feels like it’s falling down around Mark, the listener can’t help but feel it, too. Every awkward moment and new experience feels real.

You can learn more about the authors, narrators, and where to purchase a copy of this audiobook via the links below.

You Know Me Well
Authors: Nina LaCour, David Levithan
Narrators: Emma Galvin, Matthew Brown
Produced by Macmillan Audio
Length: 6 hours, 36 minutes
Release date: June 7, 2016
ISBN: 1427279500

Available as an audiobook from Audible, Audiobook, and Overdrive (check your local public library for availability in both eAudio and CD), as well as many other retailers.

Join the discussion on Goodreads!

Categories: audiobooks, fiction, friendship, lgbt, romance, Uncategorized, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Fall by Robin Alexander – audiobook review

The Fall Robin Alexander

 

Autumn is seeping into the leaves on the trees and the fog that envelops my morning commute. Last month, as I wended my way along an island highway in the Pacific Northwest, I listened to Robin Alexander’s The Fall, narrated by the perfectly cast Lisa Cordileone. It’s a romantic comedy featuring a multi-generational cast. The Fall is a lot of fun and a satisfying romance, as well. I highly recommend getting comfy with this audiobook and a hot beverage. Add a little wood smoke and it’s perfection

Noel Savino is a dentist with a large, boisterous Italian-American family. After being burned in relationships, she’s just fine with casual encounters. Sunny Chase, new to town, is hesitant to begin a relationship. Upon hearing that Noel is a love-’em-and-leave-’em type, she decides to play it cool and keep it physical. No strings. No demands. Despite instant attraction on both sides, the two women assume that a non-relationship is what the other wants. The other story line features Harper, Noel’s niece, and Lydia, Sunny’s daughter. They navigate high school, new friendship, and sexuality. As the younger pair, Harper and Lydia deal more with the angst and confusion surrounding complex friendship and sexuality.

Along the way they receive solicited and unsolicited advice from their respective families. The Fall has great cast of supporting characters, such as Sunny’s uncle Ethan (a semi-retired hairdresser with energy to power a solar system) and Noel’s parents, Inez and Joe. Cordileone’s vivid characterization of Ethan highlights his tendency towards dramatics, while also presenting his thoughtful moments with softer tones. One of the narration challenges was vocalizing the mish-mash of New Jersey and Baton Rouge, Louisiana among the characters. As soon as she read that description of the accents, I paid closer attention to how she handled the voices of Inez’s and Joe’s adult children. Noel and her siblings grew up with parents who spoke with Jersey accents and with the Baton Rouge accents of their community. It was an interesting vocal blend that ultimately works. The audiobook was an immersive experience because Cordileone brought the characters to life through expert pacing, tone, accents, and wonderful energy.

You can learn more about the author, narrator, and where to purchase a copy of this audiobook via the links below.

The Fall
Author: Robin Alexander
Narrator: Lisa Cordileone

Audiobook produced by Dog Ear Audio
Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
Release Date:
June 2016
ASIN: B01GQTYS2Y

Available from Amazon and Audible.

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