Audiobook Review: Lacybourne Manor by Kristen Ashley

Lacybourne Manor by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #3 (full reading order below)
Audiobook Publication Date: January 24th 2017
Length: 16 hours and 52 minutes
Narrated by: Abby Craden
Links: Audible • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an audiobook in exchange for an honest review

In 1522, the very night they were wed, Royce Morgan and his new bride, Beatrice Godwin, were murdered on their way home to Lacybourne Manor. After the cruel deed was done, a local witch came across their bodies, witnessing firsthand the tragedy of star-crossed lovers. Vowing that Royce and Beatrice would someday uncross those stars, using magic mixed with murder as well as true love, she linked their spirits together with hers (because someone had to protect them) forever…or until their reincarnated souls find happily ever after.

Now arrogant, forbidding Colin Morgan lives at Lacybourne, knowing, from lore (as well as the portraits of Royce and Beatrice that hang in Lacybourne’s hall and the small fact that he looks exactly like Royce Morgan), that he is the reincarnated soul of his ancestor. One stormy night, flighty, free-spirited, scarily kind-hearted Sibyl Godwin comes to Lacybourne and it doesn’t escape Colin’s notice that Sibyl is the spitting image of Beatrice. However murder, magic, a warrior’s heart beating in a modern man’s chest, a woman bent on doing good deeds even if they get her into loads of trouble, a good witch whose family has vowed throughout the centuries to protect true love, distrust, and revenge make a volatile cocktail.

This means the path to happily ever after is paved with tranquilizer darts, pensioners on a rampage, Sibyl’s bad morning moods, heartbreaking misunderstandings, and all kinds of magic, good and bad.

Lacybourne Manor just might be my favorite Ghosts and Reincarnation audiobook I’ve listened to so far! It was the kind of story that I was waiting to get from KA that I didn’t from the last two books. They were good, but definitely didn’t feel up to KA par, but Lacybourne Manor wowed me in the best way possible! I adored listening to Colin and Sibyl’s story – it’s a true reincarnation romance, so if you’re interested in that sort of thing, I highly recommend giving this a listen!!

Hundreds of years ago, newlyweds Royce and Beatrice were murdered on their wedding night due to a spell that was meant to keep the lovers apart. When a witch came across their bodies, she cast a spell and set in motion the reincarnation of the two star-crossed lovers. In present day, Royce and Beatrice are now Colin and Sibyl. Colin has always been told stories of him being fated to find and love the reincarnated Beatrice, but by the time she arrives to Lacybourne Manor in the form of Sibyl, Colin has been too jaded and broken to believe in fate or love. He treats Sibyl poorly, not believing that they’re meant to be together.

Sibyl has also had dreams of finding her one true love, the man of her dreams, and has long since given up finding him… until she meets Colin. But the cold, callous jerk surely can’t be her fated soulmate, right? Colin and Sibyl have a rocky start, but after getting to know Colin deeper, she finds that he’s not as terrible as she first thought. Slowly they warm up to each other – but is their newfound love enough to break a centuries-long curse that threatens to tear them apart?

I loved listening to Lacybourne Manor. In the previous books in the series, I had a hard time paying attention to the narration for some reason, but it wasn’t the case with this audiobook, because I was HOOKED onto the story. Sibyl and Colin’s star-crossed romance was a heartfelt, emotional listen, and I enjoyed every bit of it. Abby Craden’s narration has definitely grown on me too. I really hope the rest of the Ghosts and Reincarnation series will come out in audio soon!

Lacybourne Manor is now available on Audible: http://amzn.to/2lv26qF

4.5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Ghosts and Reincarnation series

 
  

#1 ~ Penmort Castle: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Sommersgate House: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Lacybourne Manor: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Fairytale Come Alive: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#5 ~ Lucky Stars: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads


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Audiobook Review: Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley

Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #2 (full reading order below)
Audiobook Publication Date: January 24th 2017
Length: 14 hours and 32 minutes
Narrated by: Abby Craden
Links: Audible • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an audiobook in exchange for an honest review

Douglas Ashton is the cold and unfeeling owner of the gothic Victorian Mansion, Sommersgate House. Julia Fairfax is his stubborn American sister-in-law. After tragedy strikes, Douglas and Julia are forced to live together at Sommersgate and raise their newly orphaned nieces and nephew.

Douglas has no desire to raise his dead sister’s children nor does he want the distraction of the tempting Julia living under his roof. Julia is struggling with grief and trying to make a go in a new country without much help from impossibly handsome but even more impossibly remote Douglas. Not to mention, she has to deal with the active hostility of Douglas’s frosty, Attila-the-Hun-in-a-skirt mother, Monique.

Douglas decides the best way to give the children what they need, get his mother to behave and give himself what he wants is to marry Julia. When he tells her (yes, tells her) she will be his wife, Julia thinks Douglas is (probably) insane. And anyway, she’s decided if she ever has another husband (since the last one wasn’t so great), he was going to be short, balding, have a paunch and worship the ground she walks on (none of these characteristics define Douglas in the slightest).

One more thing, Sommersgate House is haunted by the ghosts of the man who built the house and the woman who was the love of his life. They both died mysteriously at Sommersgate months after it was finished. When they did, a curse settled on the house making it seem strangely alive. And the only way for the beautiful but frightening house to rid itself of this curse is for its owner to find true love.

It’s so easy for me to dive in to a KA audiobook marathon, because I love long audiobooks and KA always gives me a story worth listening to. The Ghosts and Reincarnation series might not be my favorite of hers, but I’m starting to warm up to it more and more, especially since I’m getting used to the narrator. Sommersgate House is the second standalone in the series, and it’s another long romance mixed in with a subtle ghost story. If you enjoyed the first book, Penmort Castle, you’ll most likely enjoy this one too! It’s got a similar vibe, but there’s a bonus – adorable children are involved!

When Julia Fairfax’s brother and Douglas Ashton’s sister die in a terrible accident, their children are left to Julia and Douglas’ care. Douglas, who is cold and unfeeling, doesn’t want to deal with the emotional upheaval that taking in his niece and nephew will bring. Julia welcomes them with open arms, wanting to fulfill her brother and his wife’s dying wish, so she makes the trip across the pond to stay at Sommersgate House. Douglas and Julie couldn’t be more opposite, but Douglas comes up with the perfect idea to handle the house, the children, and even his mother – he’s going to marry Julia.

Even though she’s wildly attracted to Douglas, she rejects that ridiculous idea. She was burned once in her previous marriage and has no plans for that to happen again. But when Julia and Douglas grow closer together as they pick up the broken pieces of their family, creating a new family of their own, emotions begin to grow on both sides. Can Julie learn to believe in love and marriage again, and can Douglas let her and the children into his heart?

I have to say that the children were my favorite part about this audiobook. They are so adorable, and Abby Craden gave them such unique voices. They added so much warmth and heart to the story – I loved them! Douglas and Julia took me a while to warm up to, but in the end I enjoyed the way their romance played out. It’s another classic KA love story with an alpha male and tough but endearing heroine. I’d highly recommend this if you loved the first Ghosts and Reincarnation story!

SOMMERSGATE HOUSE is now available on Audible: http://amzn.to/2kVjZm7

3.5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Ghosts and Reincarnation series

 
  

#1 ~ Penmort Castle: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Sommersgate House: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Lacybourne Manor: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Fairytale Come Alive: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#5 ~ Lucky Stars: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads


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Audiobook Review: Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley

Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #1 (full reading order below)
Audiobook Publication Date: January 24th 2017
Length: 16 hours and 52 minutes
Narrated by: Abby Craden
Links: Audible • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an audiobook in exchange for an honest review

Cash Fraser is planning revenge and to get it he needs the perfect woman. So he hires her. Abigail Butler has lost nearly everything in her life and she’s about to lose the home she loves.

Cash meets Abby, who is posing as a paid escort, and the minute he does he knows he’s willing to pay for more than Abby being his pretend girlfriend. A lot more. Abby needs the money or the last thing that links her to her dead family and husband will be gone. The deal is struck but both Cash and Abby get more than they bargained for.

Cash realizes very quickly that Abby isn’t what she seems and while he changes strategies, Abby discovers that Cash’s legacy, Penmort Castle, is like all the tales say – very, very haunted. Making matters worse, the ghost in residence wants her dead.

Abby’s found herself in the battle of her life so she enlists Mrs. Truman, her nosy neighbor, Jenny, her no-nonsense friend, Cassandra McNabb, white witch and clairvoyant with a penchant for wearing scarves (and lots of them), and Angus McPherson, dyed-in-the-wool Scot (which means he hunts ghosts in a kilt) to fight the vicious ghost who has vowed that she will rest at nothing to kill the true, abiding love of the master of Penmort.

The only PNR books I’ve read/listened from Kristen Ashley are her The Three series, which I love, so when I heard her PNR Ghosts and Reincarnation series was coming out in audio, I got so excited! I usually don’t have time to read her looong books, so I’m a big fan of her audiobooks. Penmort Castle is the first standalone in the G&R series, and while I can’t say it was up to the level of The Three books, I can say that I did enjoy it. It’s very light on the PNR, so if you’re not a big fan of that genre but you love KA, this might be the book for you!

Cash Fraser is hell-bent on revenge – he wants to take back ownership of Penmort Castle, which is his by birthright, from his scheming uncle. But as part of his plan of revenge, he needs a woman to pose as his girlfriend. Luckily, or unluckily, Abigail Butler happens to be where Cash is – except he thinks she’s a professional paid escort, which is why he offers her a deal to play pretend-girlfriend. Abby is offended, but she needs the money – the house she inherited from her grandmother is in dire shape, and since the death of her husband, she’s in financial need. So she accepts Cash’s offer, which starts off a whirlwind affair full of passion, secrecy, and an evil ghost.

Though the relationship is fake, the chemistry between Abby and Cash is very real. Soon enough, neither can tell the difference between their feigned and real feelings, because once they’ve gotten to know each other, they want more. But Abby is still hung up over her late husband and feels guilty for wanting another man. Cash’s alpha-male tendencies won’t allow her to feel ashamed over their relationship, because when he wants something, which is Abby, mind, body, and soul, he’ll have it.

I loved Abby Craden’s narration in Until the Sun Falls from the Sky (my review here), but I can’t say that I loved her narration in Penmort Castle. It sounded a little off and awkward, probably because of the British accents in the audiobook. It didn’t flow very well and took me out of my enjoyment at times. This was one of the main reasons why I can’t rate this higher – that and the ghost plot of the story. I almost wished the ghost wasn’t included as part of the book because it was honestly a little boring to listen to.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the romance aspect of this audiobook – it’s classic KA with its feisty, endearing heroine and sexy, alpha-male hero. I’m looking forward to the rest of the Ghosts and Reincarnation series – hopefully they’ll all be out in audio soon!

PENMORT CASTLE is now available on Audible: http://amzn.to/2l09OMP

3.5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Ghosts and Reincarnation series

 
  

#1 ~ Penmort Castle: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Sommersgate House: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Lacybourne Manor: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Fairytale Come Alive: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#5 ~ Lucky Stars: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads


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Release Day Review: Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #11 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 24th 2017
Links: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

My entire life can be summed up in one sentence:
“Well, that didn’t go as planned.”
—T-Shirt

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, errant wives, missing people, philandering business owners, and, oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead.

Now, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, will Charley be able to defeat the ultimate evil and find a way to have her happily ever after after all?

I’ve been a long-time fan of the Charley Davidson series – it is seriously the bomb dot com!! It’s one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series out there, and it’s THE funniest series I’ve ever read. I’m never disappointed with each new installment – every single one is hilarious, action-packed, suspenseful, and full of the goodness and sexiness that is Reyes Farrow. And in Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, Charley Davidson, PI extraordinaire and ghost reaper, is up to her usual mystery-solving shenanigans. If you love this series, you don’t want to miss this latest installment! But I have to warn you… the ending will kill you!

Charley has just gotten used to the fact that she’s not just the grim reaper, but also a goddess with immense power. But even though she’s a goddess, she probably shouldn’t have threatened the Big Guy upstairs with world domination… because now she’s got angels following her every move. That doesn’t stop her from her day-time job, and it’s definitely not going to stop her from finding out who’s stalking her best friend’s daughter. It’s never a dull day in Charley’s world, especially when you also have the son of Satan as a husband. 😉

Charley is one of the most endearing heroines I’ve ever read, mainly because of how utterly ridiculous and funny her narrative is. I don’t know how Darynda Jones manages to keep up the incredible humor that’s classic to Charley, but I hope she never stops. I love it! And I love how protective and stubborn she is – there is nothing she won’t do to protect her family. And speaking of family, Charley’s gang is one of my favorite cast of characters to ever read. All of her family and friends, from her bff Cookie to her Uncle Bob, from her husband Reyes to the mysterious Osh, all bring such life to the story. I have to admit though… Reyes is still my ultimate fav – there’s no book boyfriend like him!

In this book, we find out a little more of Reyes’ past and Charley’s abilities as a goddess. I didn’t love this book quite as much as the previous ones, mainly because I felt it moved a little too slow… except for the freaking ending. Mother of all cliffhangers, the ending killed me! I nearly screamed when I got to it. I can’t believe Darynda did this to us – I’m seriously dying for the next book! But other than the ending, it’s another classic Charley Davidson book, full of laughs, quirks, trouble, and craziness. If you’ve been keeping up with the series, you need to get your hands on this book ASAP. And if you haven’t experienced the craziness that is Charley Davidson, you need to start!

4 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Charley Davidson series

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones
Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones
 The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones 

#1 ~ First Grave on the Right: EbookHardcover • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Second Grave on the Left: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Third Grave Dead Ahead: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Fifth Grave Past the Light: EbookHardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Sixth Grave on the Edge: EbookHardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#7 ~ Seventh Grave and No Body: Ebook • Hardcover • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#8 ~ Eighth Grave After Dark: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#8.5 ~ Brighter Than the Sun: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads (Reyes’ POV novella)
#9 ~ The Dirt on Ninth Grave: My Review • EbookHardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#10 ~ The Curse of Tenth Grave: My Review • Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#11 ~ Eleventh Grave in Moonlight: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads


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Audiobook Review: The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard
Series: Haunted Hearts Legacy #1 (full reading order below)
Audiobook Publication Date: October 11th 2016
Length: 12 hours and 45 minutes
Narrated by: Gemma Dawson
Links: Audible • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an audiobook in exchange for an honest review

A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book New Adult gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

I’ve only read one other book of A.G. Howard’s and that was her YA novel, but the premise of The Architect of Song sounded promising, and I’ve been super in NA fantasy lately so I decided to give it a try. This is more paranormal than fantasy though, but anything in the NA genre that wasn’t contemporary was still right in my boat. Here we have a story about nineteen-year-old Juliet whose deafness has caused her to live a life of isolation. But when her home is at risk of being seized, she is unknowingly thrust into a web of secrets and lies… and even ghosts.

Listening to this audiobook was a strange experience, to say the least. Usually I don’t have a hard time following a story when I listen, but this wasn’t the case with The Architect of Song. I felt like too many things were happening at the same time, and the story was too tame to really hook me in. I wanted more romance, especially between Juliet and her ghost, because I wanted to see how that would work out. The mystery surrounding the ghost Hawk and Lord Thornton, who was the one trying to take away her estate, was a bit too convoluted for me. I’m sure if I read this instead of listened, I would’ve understood more, but the audiobook just wasn’t working too well for me.

This is the first time that I’ve listened to a narrator with an English accent though, which was wonderful and lovely. I really enjoyed Gemma Dawson’s accent and voice and would definitely listen to her again. Her narration was what made listening to The Architect of Song a little more enjoyable, so it wasn’t a complete bust. I’d say if you’re a fan of mysteries and love stories, you should give this a try! Hopefully it’ll keep you hooked more than it did for me.

THE ARCHITECT OF SONG is now available on Audible: http://amzn.to/2jxKfCC

3 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Haunted Hearts Legacy series

#1 ~ The Architect of Song: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Hummingbird Heart: Goodreads (out Aug. 2017)
#3 ~ The Glass Butterfly: Goodreads (out Aug. 2018)
#4 ~ The Artisan of Light: Goodreads (out Aug. 2019)

Here’s an audio excerpt from The Architect of Song!


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