Audiobook Review: In The Dark

Author: Chris Patchell

Narrators: Lisa Stathoplos, Corey Gagne

Series: The Holt Foundation Stories, Book 1

Length: 14 hours 5 minutes

Publisher: Audible Studios

Released: Sep. 27, 2017

Genre: Suspense, Thriller

Marissa Rooney stands in her daughter’s empty dorm room, a half-used vial of insulin clutched in her trembling hand. Brooke has been missing for days. Her roommate hasn’t seen her since that night in the bar. And if Marissa has Brooke’s insulin, it means that Brooke does not.

But Marissa isn’t alone in her terror. A phantom from her past is lurking in the shadows, waiting in the night, and holding her family captive…in the dark.

 

 

 

Chris Patchell is the bestselling author of In the Dark, Dark Harvest, and the Indie Reader Discovery Award winning novel Deadly Lies. Having recently left her long-time career in tech to pursue her passion for writing full-time, Chris pens gritty suspense novels set in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her family and two neurotic dogs.

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Narrator Bio

Lisa Stathoplos has been a professional actor working onstage, in film and commercial VO work for many years as well as narrating books and performing in Audiodramas for Audible.com and Hachette Audio. Most recently, Lisa played Nina Locke in Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’ epic multiple Audie award-winning 13-hour audio drama of their wildly popular graphic novel LOCKE AND KEY produced by Pocket Universe Productions’ AudioComics division and Finalrune Productions for Audible Studios.

Narrator Bio

Corey Gagne is an audiobook narrator, stage, and voice actor from Portland, Maine. Corey trained at Mountview Theater Conservatory (now Mountview Academy) in London, England, and has appeared on stage in London, New York, Philadelphia, Austin, and Portland. His work as an audiobook narrator includes Inci by Mike Resnick and Tina Gower, The Constable’s Tale by Donald Smith, the Sin du Jour series by Matt Wallace, The Goblin Crown by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, The Twilight of the Gods Series by Christopher G. Nuttall, The Black Wolves of Boston by Wen Spencer, The Builders by Daniel Polanski, and Dark Harvest and In the Dark by Chris Patchell.

“In The Dark” has kept me reading and reading (sorry, “listening and listening”) until late in the night. It is a great story that combines family, romance and … kidnaping in a beautiful way. The author has a way of attracting the reader with how she builds the phrases and how each chapter is structured.

When Marissa’s daughter goes missing, she knows something is not right. As a mother, she has done so much to keep her family intact and in the process, has made some mistakes as well. But we are all human, aren’t we? She finds an ally in Seth Crawford, a man with his own issues, but willing to hear her story and investigate a possible abduction. When this becomes clear, they start a battle against a kidnaper and time. At some point, the story becomes more about the second aspect and that surprised me in a good way.

I loved Marissa’s character. She is a woman who’s been tried by life and had to make the best she could for her children. She is not perfect, she is not necessarily strong and in a fight that seems unbearable, she finds strength in Seth. She was the highlight of this book. The other characters are great as well, don’t get me wrong! Chris Patchell has a great way with words, in creating vivid descriptions, tension building and emotions. So all is well here!

 The narration was not bad, even if I think the narrators could have taken more advantage of the emotions the characters had. But it was a clear reading, at the right pace. Good, but could have been a little bit better. Also, I think the romance could have been started a bit later in the book.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable audiobook that captured my attention. Can’t wait for the second book in the series J Happy Reading! Sorry, Happy Listening!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Chris Patchell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Audiobook Review: A Witch’s Trial

Author: N.E. Conneely

Narrator: Jeff Hays, Soundbooth Theater

Series: A Witch’s Path, Book 3

Length: 7 hours 49 minutes

Publisher: N.E. Conneely

Released: Sep. 10, 2015

Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural

When Michelle pulls an old book out of a fire, she finds answers and heartbreak. The book confirms that a demon walks the land, though according to legend they were all dead. Now, she needs to rediscover the secrets to killing demons before her loved ones fall victim.

Elron’s budding relationship with Michelle suffers a blow when his mate returns. While he struggles with love and guilt, it becomes clear that not everyone gets their happily-ever-after.

 

N.E. Conneely lives in northern Georgia with her dog and a mountain of books. They sweat through the summer and freeze through the winter, and life as they know it comes to an end when so much as a single snowflake falls out of the sky. For fun, N.E. plays with her dog, reads, knits, crochets, paints, and does tie-dyeing and origami. She makes a great pizza and is currently negotiating with her husband about raising sea monkeys and growing a vegetable garden.

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Narrator Bio

Jeff Hays has made a name for himself in the audio book world by creating immersive experiences out of his productions. His versatility and authenticity in voicing characters, expressive low-impact narration, and dedication to offering the highest quality audio possible has earned him a loyal following of listeners. Having been fascinated with sound since he can remember, Jeff takes his background of composing and producing music, and his continual consumption of the avalanche of fictional media we all experience in these modern times, and uses it to inform his style of story telling in the audiobook realm.

And now, having produced more than 80 audio books and perfecting his craft, using the namesake of his live streaming narration show, the Soundbooth Theater shingle has been hung. Soundbooth Theater is dedicated to applying Jeff’s production methods to new audio books with other budding narrator talent, and expanding his scope from audio books, to voicing and producing animation.

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Let me start by saying this is just the last book in this box set, the story continues with 3 more books (as far as Goodreads says), so keep your calm, all will be continued.

Because I love this world, I love these characters and I loved the narration. Towards the end, I was checking the remaining minutes from the book, whispering prayers fir it not to finish. I can’t wait to start on book 4 and all the other written by N. E. Conneely, because she has created an amazing character, an amazing world and an amazing story. Yes, I am repeating myself, but I want to.

Michelle finally finds out who is behind the threats on her life, she finds out who is after her and in addition, the news of her powers do not get unnoticed by the witch clans. She has a lot of her hand again. I almost wished it would all end with this book so she can find her peace. That is how fabulous the narrator + author combination is! Elron is also conflicted, because of the revelations in Book 2 and his growing feelings towards our witch. The parents start revealing secrets too. This is one revealing book.

Michelle’s good deeds do not remain unrewarded. She makes new allies, she earns respect and a blessing. Oh my God, there are so many creatures that you cannot but love. Her strength lies in her kind heart and her determination to rid the world of evil and pain.

I do not have enough words to express how happy I am to have discovered a new favorite author and to have enjoyed this series also in audio. I have already mentioned this in my other reviews, the amount of work Jeff Hays has put into it is visible and I do hope it will receive the praise it deserves. I am one lucky reader/listener/tour partner! Oh, the covers keep getting better and better!

Lilly’s Tip:  For your own comfort, please be ready to buy the entire series. I am dying here!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jeff Hays. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Giveaway

A Witch’s Path Series Giveaway: 3-Month Audible Membership

Book 1

Jan. 28th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Jazzy Book Reviews

TheHufflepuffNerdette

T’s Stuff

Jan. 29th:

Bean’s Bookshelf and Coffee Break

Turning Another Page

Booktalk with Eileen

Jan. 30th:

Chapter Break

Bookworms Corner

Audiobook Romance

Jan. 31st:

Working Mommy Journal

Notes from ‘Round the Bend

Feb. 1st:

Lilly’s Book World

Two Girls and a Book

Feb. 2nd:

Bound 4 Escape

Holed Up In A Book

Feb. 3rd:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog

Book 2

Feb. 4th:

Bean’s Bookshelf and Coffee Break

Feb. 5th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Turning Another Page

T’s Stuff

Feb. 6th:

Chapter Break

Bookworms Corner

Audiobook Romance

Feb. 7th:

Lilly’s Book World

Feb. 8th:

Working Mommy Journal

Jazzy Book Reviews

Booktalk with Eileen

Feb. 9th:

Bound 4 Escape

Holed Up In A Book

Feb. 10th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Two Girls and a Book

Book 3

Feb. 11th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

T’s Stuff

Feb. 12th:

Bean’s Bookshelf and Coffee Break

Turning Another Page

Feb. 13th:

Chapter Break

Audiobook Romance

Feb. 14th:

Bookworms Corner

Lilly’s Book World

Feb. 15th:

Working Mommy Journal

Booktalk with Eileen

Feb. 16th:

Bound 4 Escape

Jazzy Book Reviews

Holed Up In A Book

Feb. 17th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Two Girls and a Book

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(Late) February TBR

February TBR

I am again late with my TBR. Already half a month has passed and I am behind schedule, mainly because I set up too many tasks (as usual), but also because of my job. I came home more tired than usual and I wanted to rest my eyes for a while. So I have plenty of catching up to do. I have recently posted my resolutions for 2018 and I do want to follow them.

Without further whining, here are the books that I plan to read this month, some of which have already been reviewed on my blog:

  1. Witch for Hire by N. E. Conneely
  2. Off Limits by Claire Connelly
  3. Girl Divided by Willow Rose
  4. Vacation Bride by Vicky Loebel
  5. Drumline by Stacy Kestwick
  6. A Witch’s Path by N. E. Conneely
  7. Ruled by Anne Marsh
  8. The French Adventure by Lucy Coleman
  9. A Week To Be Wild by J.C. Hrroway
  10. Starblind by D.T. Dyllin
  11. Legacy by Jesikah Sundin
  12. Dark City, Darker Night by Abe Evergreen
  13. Project Bodi: Awaken the Power of Insight by Hosein Kouros-Mehr
  14. A Witch’s Trial by N. E. Conneely
  15. In the Dark by Chris Patchell
  16. Pen & Xander by Laekean Kemp
  17. Parallex by D.T. Dyllin
  18. Stolen by Jessica Titone
  19. Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell
  20. Hungry for Love by Maya Sacher
  21. Legal Seduction by Lisa Childs
  22. The Madame Catches Her Duke by Christina McNight
  23. Flux by D.T. Dyllin
  24. Revelations by Bellamy Westbay
  25. Updrift by Errin Stevens

These would be the books for which I have a date scheduled and most of them are part of blog tours. But I also have a few extra, which are commitments as well, but I have no fixed date yet. Still, I’d like it to be this month and no later:

  1. Lord Bachelor by Tammy L. Bailey
  2. Fast Track To Glory by Thomasz Chrusciel
  3. Shadows, Shells and Spain by John Meyer
  4. Love at Five Thousand Feet by Jane Lewis
  5. Deserving It by Angela Quarles
  6. Arcane by Erzabet Bishop

Now let’s see what I can do to reduce my growing TBR. Since I have already crowded February with more books than I can handle, I’ll only select 3 books (which are also a must):

  1. Starswept by Mary Fan (on my TBR since last month)
  2. Strictly Surgical by Mila Mesa (on my TBR since last month)
  3. The Kiss That Killed Me by Kristy Nicolle (on my TBR since November 2017)

I’m already three books behind schedule and I haven’t read anything this weekend, only listened to audiobooks. But I am still confident, until my wrap up. I am excited for some of these titles and there are some books which are quick reads so I am hoping to finish all of them, or at least as much as I can. Let me know in the comments below what are your plans for this month. Happy Reading!

 

Cover Reveal: Daughter of the King

Daughter of the King
DAUGHTER OF THE KING
Award-Winning Author Ashley York
Series: The Derbfine Series Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: March 17, 2018
Darragh thought the bedding went quite well…until Brighit kneed him in the groin
A mistaken identity. A gruesome murder. Was it self-defense? Or Regicide?
Trained as a warrior, Brighit of Clan Cruadhlaoch despises the trappings and demands of womanhood…
Selfish dreams need to be set aside for the good of the clan, but a shocking murder only causes more turmoil. Especially as she stands accused. With no one else to turn to, can Brighit find escape in the arms of her new husband or will he require she reveal her inner most secrets?
Darragh of Clan MacNaughton is expected to follow his father into kingship but has little desire for the coveted title…
His willful wife is another matter. He has great desire for her. Despite her denial, he sees her womanly virtues and it sets him afire to know her, both body and soul. Will she resist his overwhelming need to possess all of her?

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Daughter of the King Teaser

About Ashley York

Ashley York

Award-winning author Ashley York writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed.
Whether it’s in the mysterious ring forts of Éire, the Scottish Highlands, or the battle fields of Hastings her characters fight hard and play hard. Good or evil, primary or secondary, they all evoke strong emotional responses.
Passionate about history and research, York may tweak some historical facts (like the location of the Baron’s Rebellion), but the flavor of the time is undeniable. With heroes and heroines you’ll want to read about again and again, her stories are fresh and unpredictable but still finish with a satisfying HEA.
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Prizes up for grabs:
1. $10 Amazon Gift Card
2. One set of The Derbfine Series (3 eBooks)

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Lilly’s 2018 Resolutions

bokish1

A little bit late in January I decided to put on paper my goals when it comes to my book blogging activity. Since I am trying to optimize my free time and to use it wisely, I need some planning ahead, or at least some guide lines. So here is what I plan to do in 2018, bookwise:

  1. Follow these resolutions! Because I have a tendency to make lists, then not follow them…
  2. Reducing the TBR pile is a MUST – finishing all outstanding books from 2016 and 2017
  3. Buy a domain for my blog – because it’s time
  4. Dedicate more time to graphics for my articles – maybe buy some Time from the supermarket…coz it’s a rare commodity
  5. Write at least one article per week that is not a book review – chances are I will forget to do that
  6. Write reviews for all the books I read – MUST
  7. Read more classics – there are a lot of classics I have not read… need to start that
  8. Read more books outside my comfort zone – which is now mostly Romance
  9. Buy more bookish goodies
  10. Read at least a few nonfiction books
  11. Keep the blog and books organized

Yup… these are my 10 resolutions. I want to respect the first one, and follow all of them. They don’t seem so difficult, do they?

nonbokish1

Books, books, books and then more books. Bla bla bla! How about something else? Here is what I plan to do, outside these paper or electronic amount of words:

  1. Read at least 100 books

Oh, sorry, no bookish stuff. Ok, here we go:

  1. Finish all my crochet projects. I have an entire basket of projects I’ve started for a couple of years now and I must finish all of them before starting a new one
  1. Finish all my sewing projects: same as my crochet stuff, I have a lot of sewing projects that I’ve started ages ago and they are still standing there, occupying space…
  1. Keep on practicing sewing. I am not an expert at all, but I like sewing and unfortunately I have not touched my sewing machine in months. That needs to change
  1. Crochet a sweater. My worst fear: sleeves, neckline, any part that is not a square and involves increase or decrease
  1. Learning hand embroidery. I like it a lot and I hope to learn it and use it for my other projects
  1. Post one non-bookish article a month: let’s get to know each other a little better.
  1. Start a clothes up cycling project: I have a lot of shirts and T-shirts I don’t wear or like that much. So maybe I can try and change them a little (Alarm bells! Danger ahead, proceed with caution!)
  1. Experiment more with cooking: I love cooking, but I usually stick to the few recipes I know well. It’s time to prepare something new
  1. Take more pictures (preferably good ones): I love photography and it’s an activity that relaxes me very much. So I need to do it more
  1. Become a better version of myself: more organized, more relaxed, do my best to keep that negative energy at bay

These are my hobbies, besides books. I hope to find the time to enjoy them more and explore that creative side … that I’m not sure I have, but anyway… Let me know in the comments below what are your hobbies and how you manage to combine them with reading. Until next time, happy reading!

Audiobook Review: Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles #1)

Author: Jesikah Sundin

Narrators: Sunil Patel

Length: 12 hours 30 minutes

Publisher: Forest Tales Publishing

Released: Dec. 11, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction

She is from the past, locked inside a world within a world.
He is from the future, haunted by her death.

A sensible young nobleman and his fiery sister live in an experimental medieval village. Sealed inside this biodome since infancy, Leaf and Willow have been groomed by The Code to build a sustainable world, one devoid of Outsider interference. One that believes death will give way to life.

All is ideal until their father bequeaths a family secret with his dying breath, placing an invisible crown of power on Leaf’s head. Now everyone in their quiet town is suspect. Risking banishment, the siblings search for clues, leading them to Fillion Nichols, an Outsider with a shocking connection to their family. Their encounter launches Fillion into battle with his turbulent past as he rushes to decode the many secrets that bind their future together–a necessity if they are all to survive.

Cultures clash in an unforgettable quest for truth, unfolding a story rich in mystery, betrayal, and love.

Are you ready to discover what is real?

 

Jesikah Sundin is multi-award winning a sci-fi/fantasy writer mom of three nerdlets and devoted wife to a gamer geek. In addition to her family, she shares her home in Monroe, Washington with a red-footed tortoise and a collection of seatbelt purses. She is addicted to coffee, laughing, and Dr. Martens boots and shoes … Oh! And the forest is her happy place.

Other Interesting tidbits:
Jesikah owns Forest Tales Photography, and boasts a varied background in business administration and marketing, though her heart has always belonged to the arts and sciences. In college, she pursued a degree in geophysics and oceanography. And, as a teenager, she attended a performing arts school for musical theater and opera, performing in several theater productions, while also serving as editor-in-chief of her high school’s newspaper. She is married for over twenty years to her high school sweetheart and raising three awesomely geeky children. When not writing, she’s often found in her garden, hiking, gaming, baking, fangirling over all things Star Wars and Firefly, or attending various conventions in cosplay, notably Comicon and FaerieCon.

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Narrator Bio

My name is Sunil Patel and I am a professional British male Voice-Over artist. I was born and bred in London, UK, and woke up with a deep, rumbling voice when I neared adulthood. As a result I have pursued the lifestyle of a Voice Actor / Voice-over artist, not wanting my unique voice to go to waste. I have recorded for multinational companies like Herbal Life, and organisations like The Billy Graham Evangelist Association. I have also narrated an audiobook called Legacy: The Biodome Chronicles. I can also do voice-overs in other languages, which includes Hindi and Gujarati.

I have been voice trained by coach and mentor, Gary Terrza (https://www.vomasterclass.com), a successful and and well-known voice actor who has been doing his craft for over 25 years. I have also received additional voice training by my acting mentor and coach, Gavin MacAlinden, (https://www.actinggymnasium.co.uk/)

Other interesting facts about myself: I worked as a Police Community Support Officer for the London Metropolitan Police for four years; Travelled to 16 countries; Climbed 3 mountains, including a Himalayan peak; I speak 5 languages and most importantly I am also pursuing a career in acting and have performed in local theater in Camden, London.

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This is one heavy book to read. The audio is a far better way to enjoy it. Wait, I’m not saying that reading it would not be enjoyable, not at all. It’s just that it has so many technological terms, descriptions and world building that it may take a while for the reader to be captivated by the plot. But once you’re there, it’s awesome.

I liked it so much! The author is absolutely fantastic. The way she described the two different worlds, showing the beauty, nativity and ugliness in each one. What made me appreciate her more was how she adapted her writing to each character. She transformed into Leaf, Willow and Fillion easily and gracefully. And the character development is amazing as well. Yes!

Now, this combination between uncovering mysteries from Fillion’s past, his ties with the biodome are beautifully weaved in with the romance aspect. When he first sees Willow, he is taken aback by the purity in her appearance. No makeup, no additional items that cover her true looks. I liked how this scene was presented. And from here on, a world of mystery and secrets unfolds and lives will be changed forever.

I was not very comfortable with the narration. Sunil Patel has a lovely voice but it was very difficult to realize which one of the characters was talking. I did not observe any voice acting or something special when it comes to intonation. It was more of a normal reading, nothing out of the ordinary. However, I was so attached to the story that I started not to pay attention to who was reading it, as long as it kept going. The foreign language insertions here and there confused me a little and I think that Leaf’s little sister was as little neglected.

With all these comments, I died appreciate “Legacy” and I can’t wait to read more. I heard that the story keeps getting better and better. Enjoy!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jesikah Sundin. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Starblind

Author: D.T. Dyllin

Narrator: Ashley Holt

Length: 6 hours 59 minutes

Series: Starblind, Book 1

Publisher: Tik Tok Press

Released: May 19, 2017

Genre: Romantic Science Fiction

Owner of the Chimay grade starship dubbed The Pittsburgh, Captain Jane Sevis is one of the best bounty hunters in the galaxy. Except for the occasional problematic hunt, her life is pretty uncomplicated. When a particularly slippery target reveals the real reason for being in her database, her world is turned upside down in more ways than one. Will she follow her gut and look the other way for the man she may be falling for? Or will their love fall prey to her mercenary heart before it gets a real chance to ignite?

 

 

D.T. Dyllin is a bestselling author who writes paranormal, sci-fi, and contemporary romance. Basically, anything with a love story is her kryptonite. Her obsession with affairs-of-the-heart is what first drove her to begin twisting her own tales of scorching romance.

D.T. was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Black & Gold for life, baby!) She now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband, and two spoiled German Shepherds.

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Narrator Bio

Former NPR PBS FM radio host/announcer in a major media market, with a warm mezzo female voice. I have a background in opera and can present in English, Italian, German, French, Latin. With a background in the performing arts and opera, I can sing as well as do some accents.

Home includes a husband shaped person, 2 cats, volunteerism and an active online gaming presence.
No audiobook genre is taboo, which makes for very interesting dinner table discussion.

Member, Audio Producers Association

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Wow, we have here a lot of elements worth discussing, but since this is a spoiler free review, I will probably include half of them. First of all, this is so much more that a space romance. It has several complications that you won’t expect in the beginning. It has characters that may seem pretty straightforward, but they have something to hide, which is why I won’t get into the plot. And the setting was built in a beautiful way.

I have read very few space romances, so I did not know what I should expect from this audiobook. I only had what the blurb mentioned. But the story has a twist which will be revealed in its due time. Our main characters have fun playing a game of “Catch me if you can”, until they realize this is way more complicated. So yes, funny, unexpected, full of twists. Great!

Another beautiful aspect is Jane’s life on her space ship. Being the owner and Captain of The Pittsburgh, she has a responsibility to her crew, which she takes very seriously. She’s keeping her focus, she puts them first. The space ship is their home and they are family. They laugh, tell each other secrets, but they know who’s in charge, especially who has to provide for their needs – and the space ship’s needs.

The relationship between Jane and Ash is so funny at first. They meet, they use each other, even trick each other one or two times. They have an instant physical attraction, but their love appears gradually and they soon will have to face their enemies. Somehow, she takes more of his troubles than he takes hers. They are a beautiful couple, destined to be together.

I was not a fan of the narration however. I believe that Ashley Holt overdid it in most of the scenes and sometimes it bothered me. She expressed emotions very well, but the pauses she took during the narration were very often and maybe a fraction of a second too long. I also had some difficulties in identifying the characters sometimes and I would have preferred to have a physical copy while listening to the narration so I could follow along and fill in the gaps.

Well, with all these items, I’ll award 4 out of 5 stars to “Starblind” and I’m looking forward for book 2 J Happy Reading!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ashley Holt. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it

 

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