The Audiobook Salad Edition One (audiobook reviews)

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in Feautures, Reviews | 35 comments

The Audiobook Salad

Edition #1

Audiobook Salad

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Rule Audiobook: A Marked Men Novel

Rule Audiobook by jay Crownover

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Rule Audiobook: A Marked Men Novel #1

4.5 Hearts

I’m a big fan of NA contemporary series, even though, most the time these stories are angsty and frustrating I love when I find them impossible to put down.
The characters in this story are well developed, and their level of maturity gives the novel a more adult feel that I found a bit more relatable.
Rule was a super enjoyable listen. I love the characters,  the protagonists are well matched.  There’s a little bit of suspense to keep things more interesting as if we didn’t have enough with their volatile relationship.
Rule was a great introduction to Crownover’s bad boys bunch in her Marked Men series, and it has made a fan out me. I’m definitely planning on continuing this series.
My rating for the story: 4 Hearts


The narration is perfectly executed by Sophie Eastlake (favorite of mine) and Michael Rahhal (new to- me)
Both narrators did a fantastic job with their interpretation of the characters and the pace of the story.
Sophie was perfect with Shaw!
Michael didn’t skip a beat bringing Rule’s bad boy persona to life, reflecting his hot-headed personality but yielding a very likable character.
I loved their interpretation!
My rating for the narration:  5 hearts.

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Rule: A Marked Men Novel

By: Jay Crownover

Narrated by: Sophie Eastlake & Michael Rahhal

Published by: Harper Audio

Series: Marked Men # 1

Duration: 10 hrs and 19 mins

Genre: NA Contemporary

Sensuality: HOT



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Rebel Queen Audiobook

Rebel Queen Audiobook

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Rebel Queen Audiobook

5 Hearts

I don’t usually listen to this genre, but I’ve decided to get out of my romance box more often, and so far so good. After I read a review at The Bookaholic Cat, I took a shot with Rebel Queen.

I don’t know much about India’s history and even less about their culture and customs, but I sure found the story in this book delightful, insightful and downright engrossing, not to mention interesting.

Being taken through a story based in the events that occurred during the English invasion of India (in the mid-nineteenth century) by the recollections of one the queen’s warriors was spellbinding to me. I’m a HUGE fan of history! And I absolutely enjoyed learning more about that era that until now had been alien to me.

I’m not an expert on this genre, but if you enjoy historical fiction I would highly recommend Rebel Queen. And I don’t know if this is a case of “being my first” by LOVED this Audiobook.

My rating for the story: 5 Hearts


With the perfect Indian tinted English accent Sneha Mathan
beautifully narrates the story and brings credibility to the text.
Her approach and pace are excellent; she conveys a very authentic feel of the world, one that immediately transports you to the setting.
Her voices are never confusing. She has very distinctive tone for all the different characters in spite of their difference of  gender and age.
All in all, this was a fantastic interpretation by Sneha Mathan.
My rating for the narration: 5 Stars

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Rebel Queen Audiobook

By: Michelle Moran

Narrated by: Sneha Mathan

Published by: Simon & Schuster Audio 03/03/2015

Duration: 11 hrs and 10 mins

Genre: Historical Fiction

Sensuality: WARM



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Hero Audiobook

Hero Audiobook

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Hero Audiobook

3 Hearts

OK, So before I say anything I want to say I’m a big fan of Samantha Young ‘s novels. I, freaking loved On Dublin Street! And I’ve loved every single book in that series, so when I saw a new series was going to be published by her I couldn’t wait to get my greedy ears on her new stuff!

Sadly, this one didn’t work  as well as I had hoped for me; I was a bit disappointed with the story in general.
I was taken out the story right of the get-go, unfortunately, for me, the plot started by sounding way too much like Fifty Shades of Gray, and it’s not that I didn’t like that book. I loved it! But the lack of originality took me right out the story.

I did listen to the whole audiobook; it’s not a bad book, and I can see it being a great read/listens for other people. Regrettably the characters never felt real to me, and I couldn’t find a way to really care or connect. I hate to say this, but she lost me pretty early in the book, and she never got me back.

She’s a fabulous author, and HERO seems to have plenty of fans, and I’m truly glad for that, she deserves it; It just didn’t work for me the way I expected it to.
My rating for the story: 3 Stars


The narration was very good! I can’t blamed my mediocre feelings for the book on her performance.
Angelica Lee (a new-to-me narrator) is excellent with her interpretations of the characters and the story, in general.  Her Male voices are credible, and she brings the emotions of the novel to the front. Her pace is right on, and if you find the story intriguing by other reviews you won’t be disappointed with the audiobook, she does a very good job.

My rating for the narration: 4 Hearts

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Hero Audiobook

By: Samantha Young

Narrated by: Angelica Lee

Published by: Penguin Audio 02/03/2015

Duration: 12 hrs and 11 mins

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Sensuality: HOT



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Shadow Study Audiobook

Shadow Study Audiobook

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Shadow Study

4.5 Hearts

I waited for this novel for what it seemed forever. I loved Poison Study! I can still remember how I felt after I finished that book. I thought it was made of awesome. I quickly downloaded the following books in the series. I did love the second book, but I was a bit disappointed with Fire Study, book #3.
I thought Fire Study was to be the final book in the series.
So after thinking that was the last book you can imagine my excitement when I heard she was continuing the series.

My disappointment never came from the writing or the plot development; these books are fabulous, but back then I wanted nothing but romance, and the lack of it would surely diminished my likeness of the book.

In retrospective, I should have loved Fire Study for its plot, and romance shouldn’t have been part of my expectations. These are amazing written stories with exceptionally well-developed characters; the plots are smart, cohesive, and they pull you with every page. Shadow Study is the continuation of this amazing series and delivers all the elements found in the first three original novels.

To all followers of the series I say, you won’t be disappointed, and if you a haven’t picked this one up, I urge you to start with Poison Study, even though this series is being sold as #1 in a new series.
My rating for the story: 4 Stars


Gabra Zackman is a pro! I’m a huge fan of her work, and I can always find her signature in her reads whether they’re under this name or any of her often used pseudonymous.

She’s excellent with her interpretations, male, and female alike. She’s one those readers that takes into the story and gets out the way to let the characters and the plot take you way.

She’s been the constant voice for these stories since book one, and I’m very happy that she’s continuing to bring these great characters and plot to life.
My rating for the narration: 5 hearts

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By: Maria V. Snyder

Narrated by: Gabra Zackman

published by: Harlequin Enterprises 02/24/2015

Series: Soulfinders #1 – Study #4

Duration:  11 hrs and 28 mins

Genre: Fantasy

Sensuality: WARM




Reviewed by:

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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 just love the name of that meme 😉 I added the Rebel queen to my to-read list – never heard of it before, so thanks for the heads up ! I’m glad you loved Crownover, I’m planning to read it too. I’ve already got a book by Maria Snyder, I hope it’ll be as good as that one. As to Hero… Well, I’ll see what I think of it when I read it 😉

    • Rebel Queen was my first Historical Fiction, actually my second now that I think about it (I read a long time ago Pillars of the Earth), but it’s has been years! Since I picked another one up, and this is my first audio. I really enjoyed it, very interesting.
      I hope you enjoy Hero, most peeps have, I think is a case, “it’s me, not you” 😉

  2. Out of everything you’ve listed, the only thing that I’m even remotely familiar with is Sophie Eastlake’s narration. This is a diverse collection of audiobooks. Makes me realize how narrow my pool usually is. 🙂

    • I listen to everything..LOL My poor wallet! And now I just added Historical Fiction. I also want to start listening to a regular suspense books, I got that bug after I listened to Those Who Wish Me Dead.
      Sophie Eastlake is also Julia Whelan, she’s excellent.

    • I know! I was so bummed! I do love her books, and I enjoyed her writing, so I was sad when I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it, but I expected to feel more 🙁
      But everyone loves it, so it’s definitely me.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  3. I am in line at my library for Rebel Queen. I really do want to read/Listen to that one (whichever I get first)

    • I hope enjoy just as much Felicia! I’m not an expert on this genre at all, this was my first audiobook in that genre. I did read Pillars of the Earth which I loved! I watched the TV mini-series and
      I really hope is a good experience for you.

  4. All new to me books but Sophie Eastlake sounds familiar. I have to look her up.
    I’m listening to Bound by Flames now…finally.

    • I’d love to hear your thoughts about Hero. I think you might enjoy it more than I did. It’s right up your alley, and I really thought it would have been up to mine too, but I think I read too many millionaires in a row…LOL
      Everyone loved Bound by Flames! I’m behind in that series.

  5. Ohhh I like how you set this post up 😀 The little tabs to click are nice. Gonna check out Shadow Study.

    • Thanks Lilly! Those plugins are magical in WordPress! LOL 😉
      I know it’s supposed to be a first in a new series, but to be honest, I’d start with Poison Study, that’s the best book in MIO 🙂 the audio is really good.

      • Thanks for the tip 😀 I’ll make sure to start there first.

  6. You don’t know how happy it made me that you loved Rebel Queen. You should check Moran’s previous books, they are all great!
    Rule sounds like something I might like, so I’m adding it to my TBL.
    I didn’t like Shadow Study, I don’t know if I had listened to the audiobook instead of reading the book if I had liked it more.
    I’m sorry Hero didn’t work for you.

    • Thank you for reviewing and introducing me to the author. I Loved it, I was glued to my phone the whole time. So interesting and totally different than what I normally listen to.
      Bummer, too bad Shadow study didn’t work for you. The book was only a 4 star for me, but the narrator moves them a half of star, except for Poison Study, that was an all around winner for me 🙂

  7. Salads are healthy!

    I’m mid-way Shadow Study. I don’t know if it’s me, but the first time I picked it up, I wasn’t really feeling it. I’ll try it again sometime this week. Hopefully I’ll like it better.

    • Marcela just mentioned the same thing. Maybe too much time passed between books. I re- listened to Fire Study before this one, and that was just meh to me the first time around, but I enjoyed a lot more on the re-listen.
      I hope one day you’re in the mood to pick it up again and see it with different eyes.

  8. Glad Rebel Queen is good. Ah man, bummer on Hero, I still have that on the review shelf. Oh nice, I have the first book of the Maria Snyder series.

    • I can’t say how it compares to other Historical Fiction novels, this is actually my first on audio, but I sure found it super interesting and engrossing.
      I loved Poison Study! I hope you do too 🙂

    • I love that series too Brandi, I hope you enjoy the new book 🙂

  9. Audiobook salad- how clever you are! I really liked Rule (I’m listening to Rome now) and Hero. And your review convinced me to pick up the audio of Shadow Study. Can’t wait to hear it!

    • LOL, now can you guess which one is tomato and which one is the lemon..LOL
      I wanted to find a way to post a group of short reviews at once. I listen to so much more than I review, so maybe if I keep them short I can get more done.
      Thank you Lucy, I hope you enjoy Shadow Study. It’s not as great as Poinson Study, but I really enjoyed it, and I hope you do too 🙂

  10. Fun post! Rule sounds kind of good – I need to check out more NA. I haven’t really read any, but some books sound awesome.

    • Rule was a fun listen! Just a small wild ride. The narrators are excellent with that story. Nothing earth shattering, but they do offer more than a few hours of angsty

  11. I love this post, Loupe! Here I thought I was going to find a salad recipe when I clicked on it, LOL! I’ve heard so much about Rule. I’ll have to give that one a try. I enjoyed all the reviews!

    • Awww! Thank you Grace 🙂 BTW there’s is a lemon in there…LOL Sadly, I must say, b/c I wanted to love Hero..Everybody has!..bummer! LOL
      I think you’d enjoy Rule. I listened to Better When He’s Bad by the same author and I thought it was good, but Rule was so much better!

      • I appreciate your review of Hero, since I prefer not read something that is FSoG-like. I haven’t read On Dublin Street yet, so I’ll move that one up, as well as, Rule. 🙂

        • It wasn’t that it has BDSM or anything like that, but it was the millionaire’s story, also it echoed to me, Silvia’s day Crossfire series. But I highly recommend Ob Dublin Street 🙂 Aslo, I’m in the minority about Hero, most peeps loved it 🙂

  12. Bite your tongue!! I loved Hero and … ew, don’t compare it with FSoG. Now I need a shower. lol – seriously, I did love it and thought their chemistry was delicious. I have Rule and need to read it ASAP!

    • LOL, I was really bummed! I wanted to love it. I think I’ve listened to too many millionaires’ stories and the last one paid the price, and yet! I just preorder MENWHORE…LOL

    • Thank you Melissa! You can do anything with a plugin on WordPress, they have so many plugins to use.
      Oh! Poison Study was great! I hope you love it if you get to it 🙂

  13. Ah I didn’t read Fifty Shades so nothing to compare it to. I read it however and enjoyed it. Rule looks good. How did you do tabs? Is this UBB?

    • It was the millionaire story, I think I’ve listened to too many of those 🙁 I was bummed that it didn’t work for me 🙁
      I don’t use UBB, because if conflicts with my WPBakery editor, and that’ what I use to do all the tubs and everything else. But I’m try UBB2 (when it comes out) and see it that works 🙂

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