Audible With Andrea…

…The last in the Bridgerton Series.

Honestly, I am glad this is my last in this series. I loved it, don’t get me wrong but I am bit a bored with it. It’s become rather predictable (and I expected Hyacinth’s book to more unpredictable given her character). I finished this book awhile back and just didn’t get around to writing this so I am a little fuzzy on the details – like her love interests name – how horrible is that of me? But I suppose that is how memorable he was. The Bridgertons seem to keep finding these woes to me members (or close to members) of the richy rich class and rescuing them from their social mediocrity. This book follows much the same story as the others. There was nothing new or exciting about it. I tire of the over described sex scenes that end in the women begging for it. Maybe I am being too harsh because I listened to them all in a row. probably should have mixed it up rather then binge the whole thing.

Audible with Andrea…

…Halloween Edition

The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik

I couldn’t wait for the third and final installment in this series. I pre ordered it months ago. I loved the first two. It’s not that I didn’t like this one, I did. It just felt like it was reaching too far and trying to hard to tie everything together and wrap the stories up. Poor El was here and there and everywhere with people pulling at her in all directions. I also thought that Orion being part Mormouth was an easy and obvious out. I do like that every finally banded together to save him for once. Of course he forgave his mom because that’s Orion’s character. I thought that bit was true to him. Although he could used a little of El’s rage before he did. Pairing up with Leisl was unexpected but welcome – El needed some logic to balance her emotion. It took my while to listen through this one. I wish it was as compelling as the first two – it just wasn’t. Maybe my expectations were too high? It all just seemed a bit obvious. Overall still love the series though.

Audible with Andrea…

…Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen.

I enjoyed this read and trip back in time to 1965 New York City and getting glimpse of a revolution. That revolution being for women’s sexuality through Cosmopolitan Magazine. I will say one of the things I enjoyed most was the notes from the author at the end. It addresses how Helen Gurley Brown revolutionized the magazine and made it an important publication for the ‘modern’ woman, but also addresses her short comings later in life with the AIDS crisis and condoning sexual harassment in the work place as a compliment. She celebrates this person without being bling to who they are or what they have done that wasn’t so great either. She mentions who was real and who wasn’t and what was embellished for the story. Really cool insight. But HGB’s confidence and courage still shines in the book through the eyes of her secretary, Alice. I too enjoyed Alice’s narrative of following her mother’s dream of living and loving in New York City. Christopher is a great character and I really enjoy that at the end of the book they aren’t together but you learn in the epilogue that it took time and effort but they found their way to each other romantically and worked hard to stay that way. I liked Eric’s character as well and that Alice learned more about herself through their sort of relationship. I enjoyed her working hard to pursue her dreams of being a photographer and encouraged Trudy to follow her ‘happy pill’ career as well. Also, the juxtaposition of HGB’s stance compared to feminists of the time. It wasn’t a central story line and more mentioned but it got me thinking for sure which is always cool. Overall a wonderful escape to another place and time which is all I really ask from a book. It felt a lot like The Devil Wear’s Prada.

Audible with Andrea…

…On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn.

The Bridgerton series kick continues! I may have a break before Hyacinth’s book though. Sort of like it took me 3 weeks to watch the last few episodes of Schitt’s Creek. Not quite ready for it to be over. This book was trip into Gregory’s world. I believe this is my favorite of the series so far. There was more action and excitement which was nice. Like in the Viscount Who Loved Me it was about a love that grew with time familiarity. I can totally relate to Lucy. I wasn’t the prettiest girl (or woman now) in my friend group. I was often the ‘way in’ to my more attractive friends. I wasn’t ugly nor am I now, my friends are just really pretty. I loved the friendship between Lucy and Hermione. That was refreshing. I also loved that most of the characters first loves were more infatuations. They realized it wasn’t love based on anything other then first impressions with some lust mixed in. I also liked that one of the characters was gay and not afraid or ashamed to admit it (as much as a could for the time frame of the story anyway). The theme of Gregory not wanting to ask for help from his older siblings was relatable too. If he could do it on his own, he would always chose that path. But when push came to shove he wasn’t afraid to ask for help from his family, which they were very happy to give. I enjoyed Gregory as character a lot too. He is smart, funny and a little lost. He knew he was and he was mostly okay with finding his way. I have been loving the second epilogue in all the books too. I enjoy getting a glimpse into the characters futures. This was one I finished pretty quickly because I got sucked in (not true of all of them) which is my tell of a good book. Getting lost in their world for awhile is always a nice relief from the stresses of life.

Audible with Andrea…

…When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

I ventured into Francesca’s world in this book. I have always been a bit curious about her and her story since I started the series. We don’t know much about her. She always seemed a little on the outskirts of the story. Overall I enjoyed spending time in her world. I was thinking the one thing I didn’t like was the premise you can change a man with just love, because you can’t (we all learn that the hard way). But Michael wasn’t really bad – just put on the facade of it to protect himself and I completely understand that. Of all the Bridgerton siblings, Francesca faces the most challenges I think. Heartbreak of a too soon death of a husband she loved and wrestling with the guilt that comes with moving on from that. Especially since she didn’t expect to find love again. It seemed relatable somehow. I am not really sure how – but it’s the best description I could come up with. As I get through this series and they way love is described, I can’t help but wonder if it really feels like that? The burning passionate feeling of not being able to live without the other person. If it is, I don’t think I have ever felt that – not sure I will or I am capable of it. I hope so. I also wonder if it’s a Victorian version of love that doesn’t exist today. Or just the stuff of fantasy. Who knows? I certainly don’t. I am halfway through Gregory’s story. I usually try to write these sooner so I don’t muddle the feeling and reaction to them but I just haven’t had the time.

Audible with Andrea…

…Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

I think most of us can related to Penelope Featherington. I know I can. For all my extroverted traits, I was never the bell of the ball. I was never considered pretty or popular in my school years. Like Penelope – that didn’t bother me most of the time. Like Penelope – sometimes it bothered me a lot. Loving someone from afar who doesn’t love you back is pretty relatable too. What isn’t is that person suddenly falling in love with you like Colin did with Penelope. Don’t get me wrong – it’s the romantic fairy tale thing I wanted to happen for Penelope – it’s just not what happens in real life. In my experience the person who doesn’t notice you tends to continue not noticing you in that way. the great thing is – I don’t think Penelope was waiting around for him to come to his sense and notice her romantically. She was out there building a life and a bank account for herself. LOVE that – work it girl. Even when she got her dream scenario she knew she had to stand up for her previous life and what was hers. She also recognized that Colin wasn’t this perfect person she built up in her mind and loved him for who he actually was. I liked that too. Over all a pleasant listen and trip into Penelope and Colin’s world. Of all the characters in the series I think I relate best to Penelope in a lot of ways.

Audible with Andrea…

…An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn.

I wanted to continue the story without waiting another year for another season of Bridgerton to come out. If you haven’t at least heard of the Bridgerton series on Netflix then you likely don’t read this blog. this book focuses on Benedict and was a nice break from Anthony’s sense of duty and whining about it (I love Anthony, it just got to be a bit whiny). Benedict has a little more freedom but is seen a little less. He isn’t in line to inherit any title but it still wealthy and well known as a Bridgerton rather then Benedict. That is until Sophie shows up. Being invisible herself as a bastard she gets it. It is very much a play on Cinderella (Big Ever After Vibes) which I think we are all kind of over, but the strong female character in Sophie helps. She never needed or asked to be rescued. She is savvy and smart – just dealt a bad hand. It was a satisfying listen and I recommend it. The only annoying part was how the narrator voiced Benedict. Kinda weird. But a small blip in an enjoyable read. LOVED the continuation of the story was the added chapter. I always want more of a book and to check on the character. I loved that Posey was the focus.

Audible with Andrea…

…and the first audible book I really did not enjoy.

I have truly enjoyed my audible experience, I just didn’t like this book. I liked the narrator – she did a great job. I did not like the book for several reasons. The first being that it perpetuates women against women to get to the top. First, by the main character, Katie, thinking that her boss will smoosh anyone necessary to get to the top without really knowing her. Then she has a chance to get revenge on her boss and takes it. She is intentionally cruel, which her boss never was. Absent minded and insensitive, sure. But what’s worse? Second, with the women who team up to get that boss fired. We have to STOP doing this or writing about it or watching movies about it. Women should help other women. People should help other people. Don’t paint a picture of professional women like that. Villians looking to destroy one another. How very original (can you hear the sarcasm?). Secondly, they introduced the fuck boy who wont change for any woman UNTIL he meets the right one. Saying that you can change a person and who they are at their corps with enough love. YOU CAN’T. The sooner we all learn that the better. Also, Alex (his character) didn’t need changing. If that is his life then that’s his life. He wasn’t shy about it. He’s allowed to be who he is, he didn’t need fixing. Even if he did, it’s not Katie’s job to fix him. Nor is it realistic to say that she could of. Katie also just wrote him off because she thought she knew him based on others opinions so that was on her. But of course he comes back from his journey confessing love, she gets the perfect job and defeats the ‘villians.’ Boring, predictable and stereotypical.

Audible with Andrea…

…’The Flat Share’ by Beth O’Leary.

Fun Listen

I expected this book to be a quick, fun fluff listen. And for the most part it was. They do address emotional abuse and gas lighting in a relationship though, which I think is really important. Some folks think abuse is only physical, when the emotional abuse can leave just as much damage. Tiffy (this is the worst name every – why?) is looking to move out of her exe’s place and on with her life. She works in an industry where you don’t make much money (I can relate) so she needs something fast and cheap. Leon is looking for extra cash to support his brother in prison and works nights and stays weekends at his GF’s house, so he has Tiffy move in during the day and weekends for rent. Well his GF has her move in, because she had to make sure this person was less attractive then she was. I hate this detail – I get it but I hate it. Why should that matter and who are you to judge that? So Tiffy moves in and her and Leon become friends through notes and leftovers (and sharing a bed at separate times), after the initial shock wears off of really sharing a space so intimately. Eventually, we find out that Leon and his gf’s priorities don’t match up and they split. Tiffy is trying to make her ex, Justin, a thing of the past through distance and therapy. She realizes in therapy that the relationship was toxic and abusive. By this point it’s pretty clear that Tiffy and Leon will fall in love, which they do! But there are bumps of human error, lack of self worth and past trauma to get through first. It was a pleasant listen and I am not sorry I took a chance on it.

Audible with Andrea…

…A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik.

A Deadly Education: A Novel (The Scholomance, Book 1) (Audible Audio  Edition): Naomi Novik, Anisha Dadia, Random House Audio: Audible Books &  Originals - Amazon.com

I started this before Halloween and finished just after. It was an excellent choice for spooky season, but would be enjoyable any time. I really enjoyed learning more about this magical world. It wasn’t your typical ‘Magic is awesome and great’ type of story. It is more how life is lived in this world ‘You don’t believe in it you know it is real. Like we know car’s are real. That is why it works for you.’ This perspective made total sense to me. This school is a dangerous placed with little instruction or help. You also learn the value of other people from El’s perspective. She starts with no one wanting to be near her to a good core group of people to trust. She helps them and others realize some things about the nature of others and themselves as well. But the best part is the last line of the book. It literally made me say ‘interesting’ out loud. I wont spoil it for you, but it was a good listen. Also, the best narrator so far. She didn’t way over exaggerate the exciting lines or parts and everyone had a slightly different voice but not so different it sounded fake or over the top. It was a good listen and I am excited to start the next book in the series.