Strength Audiobook by Carrie Butler (review)

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Reviews | 37 comments

Review of: Strengh Audiobook
Carrie Butler

Reviewed by:
On March 17, 2014
Last modified:November 10, 2015


Strength Audiobook

By: Carrie Butler

Narrated by: Nellie Barnett

Published by: Forward Authority 01/23/2014

Strength: Mark of the Nexus, audiobook 1 - Hot Listens


4 Hearts rating image Hot Listens

Mark of  Nexus series,  book 1

10 hrs and 42 mins

NA Paranormal Romance

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, she’s stunned. Wallace Blake is everything she’s ever wanted in a man – except he can’t touch her. His uncontrollable strength, a so-called gift from his bloodline, makes every interaction dangerous. And with a secret, supernatural war brewing among his kind, there’s no time to work it out. To keep Wallace in her life, Rena will have to risk a whole lot more than her heart.

©2013 Carrie Butler (P)2014 Carrie Butler

Strength Audiobook Sample

My Thoughts

I like to thank the Author, Carrie Butler for providing me with a free copy of Strength in exchange for an honest review.

Strength is the first book in the new adult series, Mark of  Nexus.  Here we get introduce  Rena and Wallace, and Carrie Butler’s paranormal world.

A run into the school’s outcast will change Rena’s  typical and normal college life. Her attraction to a “madman” will open up her world, not only to romance, but  to a paranormal world that will drag her  to dangerous situations.

Wallace Blake’s paranormal abilities combined with unpleasant past experiences  have made him a recluse, and for a good reason.  His paranormal powers make it impossible  to  come in physical contact  with others without hurting them with his touch.  His shyness from the other students has given room to rumors about his mental state of mind. It is also rumored he kill his roommate, and with the estrange noises coming out his room every night, the talk is easy to accept.

You would think that Wallace’s reputation will make Rena stay away from this boy, but NO! After a close encounter with Wallace she became curious about the boy, and being  the determined girl that she is, she doesn’t  let the rumors keep her from getting to know, and getting close to the MADMAN as she calls him. Frankly, I don’t blame her. Wallace is HOT, and  looks deliciously  dangerous –  just what  every college student  needs..LOL

I was pleasantly surprised  by  the author unique and interesting take in the paranormal world. I found the twist  refreshing and clever. The romance is sweet, emotional in parts and a little hot and heavy, but always stays within NA limits.

I liked her characters; I particularly like Rena. She’s strong,  determined, and has a dry sense humor that made me chuckle, and  although sometimes she made me cringed with her decisions, I ultimately enjoyed her.

Wallace is another pleasant surprise. I say that,  because I mostly like  my heroes to stay dark and dangerous, in this case, we get a sweet  boy to root for.

As Carrie Butler sets up her world, she also introduces us to characters that you’d  want to know more of.

The foundation for her series has definitely  teased my curiosity. I’m planning on getting the next book when it gets released on audio.

The story is well written and skillfully plotted. Her style of writing makes it an easy listen. The twists and turns add excitement to the story to make it an all around entertaining listen.

The Author

Carrie Butler

Strength Audiobook Narration


 Nellie Barnett

Nellie Barnett Narrator - Hot ListensI normally don’t take audiobooks for review, but when the author sent me a link to the sample, I liked the narrator’s voice right away.

I was  hoping I didn’t get myself into one of those deals when you’re stuck with something  you aren’t enjoying, and  have to force yourself to finish. I was very glad I didn’t pass the opportunity.

This was my first audiobook by narrator Nellie Barnett. I could have guessed  by the amount of audiobooks on her page that she’s fairly new, but never by her performance. I thought she did a really good job with the interpretation of Rena. I definitely got the spunk, sense of humor, determination and the stubbornness in her character.

The voices were clearly different, and she does a pretty good job the male voices. They all sounded age appropriate.

She also does a good job transmitting the direction of the novel. The hot scenes were well performed, the aura of mystery in the novel was nicely conveyed.

Despite the first half of the book being a little slow in pace, her performance of the dialog and interpretation of characters saves the book from dragging in parts.

All in all, this was a good introduction to her work. I’m looking forward to listening to the next book. I’m hopping it will also be performed  by Nellie Barnett.


Reviewed by:


  • 4
    editor rating
Loupe Duffy
A mom, a wife, a friend, a happy ending addict, an Audiobook junkie, a wine lover and geek wanna -be. I'm constantly looking to be blown away.
Loupe Duffy

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  1. I wish there was a way to accurately transcribe the “OOOoooOh” sound that didn’t look ridiculous. B/c that’s the sound I made while reading your review 😉 I like NA in the same way that I like YA–when it doesn’t go overboard with genre stereotypes, and the paranormal NA department is sadly lacking in options. Too new, I guess. BUT this sounds awesome, and I can’t wait to read it for myself. Excellent review!

    • Yeah, me too. that’s why I decided to give this audiobook a shot. I really liked the characters, and I’m definitely curious to see more developments in her world.
      Than you!! I hope is good experience for you 🙂

  2. This sounds like a fab listen Loupe! I keep meaning to add a few New Adult titles to my pile, and it looks like your review has gone and done exactly that. hehe I listened to the sample of Nellie Barnett’s narration, and it sounds like she does a really good job too. Win/win!

    • The narrator was good Carmel. And that’s a big thing for NA and YA on audio. If they don’t interpret a good heroine you can easily find them unlikable and shallow, specially is the sarcasm isn’t play right.

  3. hehe I was going to say this sounds right up Jessica’s alley! She beat me to it! Darn her! It does sound like something your enjoyed 🙂 YEAH! :0)

    • You know me…LOL The timing was good, since I’m going through “overly HOT” slump right now.

  4. I tend to avoid YA because of high school angst, that I didn’t like living through the first time and really don’t want to go through again. I have yet to try this, I guess I just haven’t come across anything that has caught my eye. Maybe it is like Jessica said and there just isn’t much paranormal out there, and since that is where I tend to stay, I just haven’t run in to any worth trying. This one looks promising. I’ll have to remember it for future reference, though my TBR pile is too big right now. 🙂

    • Maybe this is one that turns you into an NA reader/listener. I don’t see you doing too good YA 😉 So a good new adult novel might be a good place to start.
      OMG! my TBL list is out control! it was never this bad for me, but with all the new audiobook releases I’m going crazy trying to listen to everything I want..LOL

    • I never heard of the author before either, but since my thing is audiobooks liking the narrator is a big thing. I normally go visit book bloggers to find my next listen, so I’m little surprised a lot peeps haven’t heard of her before. If you enjoy NA, you might like it, but I know a lot readers that only like adult books.

  5. I just eat up damaged, misunderstood heroes. This sounds sooooo like my type of book. You know how to pitch a story Loupe. I have to admit though that while listening to audio books, everyone can tell when I get to the really good parts because I blush like a ripe tomato.

    • LOL Wendy! I remembered. This is not that kind of book 😉 Stays pretty much NA, a lot hotter than YA, but way behind Adult Paranormal.

      OH MY! Now Kresley Cole is a whole different thing 😉

  6. I try to stay away from NA and YA because I rarely love them but this book sounds like a winner, especially with the paranormal elements thrown in! I’ll definitely check Strength out when I need a break from my adult books 😉

    • For me, a lot depends on the narrator’s interpretation of the heroine. I almost always enjoyed audiobooks when the narration is good, and by that I mean, he/she can managed to pull me into the story.
      I’m in a little of an adult listening slump, I have temporarily OD on overly sexy listens, so this came at the right time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did if you ever give it a shot 🙂

  7. I am so bad when it comes to YA/NA. It took my brother months to get me to read the Hunger Games. This is paranormal though, so maybe worth looking into.

    • I used to be like that too, but I think audiobooks have changed the way I enjoy my books. Now I’m pretty open to almost every genre from fiction, as long as the narrator can pull me in. Romance still my very favorite 🙂
      This is a well written and entertaining audiobook, but it does have a big flavor of NA.

  8. I love that this is a paranormal NA, I have been disappointed in Ya paranormal and usually stay in the adult pool, but this has me curious and I love the sounds of the characters. The narrator sounds good too 🙂

    • That’s what I thought too Kimba. I don’t remember seeing any other NA paranormal before, and I think you guys would have seen it before I did. I’m glad I took a shot 🙂 The narrator was really good.

  9. Oh yay! I have this one sitting on the tablet. That cover totally sucked me in. Really glad to hear she had a nice take on the para world. 🙂

    • Well, I can’t totally denied that cover didn’t have a lot to do in my decision to listen to the book..LOL

  10. Great review, I’m always looking for a new paranormal that floats my fantasy boat, I do prefer to read it rather than it being read to me.

    • Thanks Debbie! I’m totally aware that reading a book and listening can turn out to be 2 totally different experiences. I hope it turns out to be a good for you if you read it 🙂

  11. Hmmmm I may have to check this out. When I see NA on the genre, I usually pass it up but your feedback on the world building in myth got me curious. Good job in getting another reader check this out!

    • Specially my dark and dangerous book pusher 😉 Thank you!! know it’s hard for me to go totally behind a book to a reader, since I experienced it on audio, but the story is well written, and the author has a nice voice. But is closer to YA and adult i’d say.

  12. I just kept thinking X Men Rogue, like the real Rogue who considers her powers a curse and cannot touch anyone so this could be her hot son….Maybe? Sounds interesting though, I have not really read any NA although currently midway through one on campus. The two male interest thing is driving me nuts not sure if it is a common subgenre thing bc the other one also had the same.

    • Most of NA adult seem to have a lot angst. I don’t know if you listened to the Beautiful series, but a lot series kind of follow that trend.
      This has small amount of angst, but not the point that becomes enjoyableness. I know in adult reads the women know what they want, and they know how to get it (most of the time…LOL) but this genre reflects the feeling of characters a little older than than YA, and the heat gets turned up a little more too.
      The paranormal twist separates this one from other NA I’ve listened to, and it worked for me 🙂
      The narrator was really good.

      • Good to know, dipping my toe in, cautiously.

  13. You’re on Bloglovin! Is that new or I had just missed it? Either way, new follower!

    I’m glad you liked this because I love finding good NA books on audio 🙂

    • I hope you enjoy it 🙂 I liked the narrator right away which is very unusual with those short samples that they give you.
      Yes, I’m on bloglovin. I made a different button..LOL
      I think I’m following you already, I have to check.

    • Yes, I’ll go to your blog and find your goodreads profile, I’ll send a friend request 🙂

  14. I agree, every college girl needs to sample a delicious and dangerous guy. lol. This sounds good, despite the cringe worthy decisions.

    • Hahaha! Right? I’ll take dark and dangerous now LOL She wasn’t as bad as some the female leads tent to be in this genre. The older you get the harder it gets to not to think how careless you are when you were young.

      • I clearly remember how I was, that’s why I’m a lot more understanding when it comes to characters like that. I don’t get it when people expect a 16-24 year old character to be perfect and make only great decisions. I like the screw ups. lol. 😀

  15. Haven’t read much NA, but I’m loving your review. Interesting story…I might have to try this one out 😀

    • For an adult reader this is an easier genre to get into. The character are college age, so there are not as innocent as YA…lol

  16. So the madman is actually a sweet boy? Color me intrigued. 🙂

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