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I love Lauren Blakely’s writing and devour her books, but Lili Valente is new to me, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this co-authored book, well, let’s just say, I’m going to be looking out for more books by Lili. I loved this book. It was fun and sexy. It’s a quick listen but complete, it wasn’t drawn out and it felt like the story had everything it needed, I didn’t ever feel like I was missing anything. I hope Lauren and Lili decide to team up again because the finished product is addictive and enjoyable. With plenty laugh out loud moments. I loved the Die Hard references, I was chuckling away, because, let’s face it, we’ve all quoted John McClane, right? The cover is great, sexy but not overly so, the inclusion of the narrator badge is perfect. I’d love to have Luna and Valerie’s story.
Graham and CJ are fantastic, I loved them together so much, who doesn’t love friends to lovers, right? Graham is your typical sexy alpha guy, who has a dose of cockiness, and sweetness about him. I loved that he didn’t just dive in with CJ’s request, he thought about it and even sought help from a friend but in the end, he cared enough to help her. CJ is one awesome chick, she’s strong and feisty and knows what she wants. She hasn’t had the easiest time, and I loved that she didn’t come across as something being wrong with her because of her age, It was just something that hadn’t happened for her yet, some of us have been there, and it was a nice change of pace to other virgin stories. The fact that they had a shared loss, and kept thinking about that for different reasons made them seem even more suited and added an emotional layer to their characters and relationship. The banter they shared was perfection, I’m a sucker for good banter, and they had it in spades.
The progression of their relationship was fast, I mean, it had to be, just look at the premise of the book. It’s a one-week deal, so they had to fall in love within that time, with that being said, it worked. It didn’t feel rushed, the way they started to develop feelings felt organic to them, and the experiences they were having. Let’s not forget the super-hot sex, the sex scenes in this book are going to melt your device, and they work so perfectly with the story. Anyone else wish they had a Graham when it came time to lose that V card? No, just me? Crap! Erm, let’s move on. I adored their friendship, and that it played a pivotal role in their story, they were still friends throughout and worried about that aspect of the relationship. Was I annoyed at their lack of communication towards the end? Heck yes! I was shouting at my phone as I read and later listened to them make assumptions, rather than just telling the other how they felt, for the record that part didn’t change in the audiobook. (Don’t tell Graham but I’m inserting an eye-roll emoticon here). Thankfully my shouting didn’t last too long and their happily ever after started just as it should. The inclusion of the two epilogues worked really well, and I loved both of them, but that’s all I’m going to say because I want you to experience them for yourself.
Sebastian York and Andi Arndt are probably two of the most popular voices in romance audiobooks, and for good reason. They nail it every freaking time, and this book is no different. I absolutely adored their performances. Both have a great range and change tone when switching between male and female characters, and always use inflections for the different emotions they are conveying. With this audio, I felt the inner thoughts of CJ were performed great, Andi really made those moments stand out with the tones she used. Sebastian’s teacher mode was spot on the gruffness in his tone worked really well. The sexy times were pretty darn sexy, both Andi and Sebastian always deliver those parts of the book extremely well and make it seem even sexier… if that’s possible. Having already read the book I can say that this narration team increased my enjoyment of an already fantastic book, however, their delivery took it to a whole new level and made it something special.
*Side-note - this is just about preference, and not the narrators themselves. I wasn’t sure how the pronunciation of Graham was going to go, here in England we pronounce it a little differently, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t spoken in a way that was frustrating to me.
*Another side-note, included at the end of the audiobook are two clips from Lili, and Lauren’s books – which take up around the last 15 minutes of the audio (at standard speed). Both audiobooks are available as part of Audible’s Romance Package.
Excerpt 1 – Hot as Puck by Lili Valente. Narrated by Tyler Donne & Summer Roberts
Excerpt 2 – Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely. Narrated by Zachary Webber
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
I try to avoid the shorter length books because, well, I’m one of those frugal (cheap!) people who wants to feel I’m getting my money’s worth. Audible’s Romance Package has helped me to relax on that front, and I would have otherwise missed out on this terrific, feel-good, hot read! The narrators are excellent, breathing life into the very likable main characters whose conversations made me feel as though I were sitting right next to them. I smiled, I worried, I rooted and cheered for the characters. After listening to the last epilogue, I felt satisfied, and happy. Really, what greater gift can a book give?
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I really liked the premise for THE V CARD, with a friends to lovers context. CJ asks her brother’s best friend, Graham for help with her lack of bedroom experience. Not a new trope but I liked how this was initially set up. The audio started incredibly well with the friendship between CJ and Graham shining strongly. Their shared business brought another interesting aspect.
How these two navigated their arrangement was good listening and didn’t rush ahead, however it lost a bit of shine as it moved into the latter part of the audio. The tempo felt more static and the culmination a bit lacking for my taste.
The narrators are good, there’s no denying that but I have to say I’m ready for Lauren Blakely to diversify more with her narrators because it gives a sense of sameness to the books which I think does her an injustice. I’d like to see her try some brand new voices that lead her characters into a place of freshness.
It was impossible to see the seams between Blakely and Valente’s writing, I presume they wrote oppositive POVs but they fit together so well, it couldn’t be detected.
A copy of this audiobook was provided by the author in return for a honest review.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful