Rescued by the Sea Nymph

Narrator Megan Green has just introduced me to the Little Mermaid retelling I didn’t know I needed. Well, calling it a retelling is unfair, since it was much more than that. There are gods and goddesses in disguise, Demi gods on the loose, and a host of rules for both the land and sea. So before I give too much away, here’s Rescued by the Sea Nymph (London Mythos Book 1) by Rebekah Lewis, narrated by Megan Green.

  • Genre: Fantasy Historical Romance
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️❤️
  • Story Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

James is merely the third son of a viscount, a position where he won’t inherit a title or a fortune, so he sets off to make his own. While the majority of his work as a ship’s captain is legal, he has been known to smuggle a bit, something that could send him to the gallows. One night, he taken hostage by a band of men who want his ship and his beautiful sister. When he defies them, they cut off his hand and toss him into the sea.

Ione has drifted along in her underwater kingdom for years, the outcast of her flashier sisters. She wants more out of life than to breed with a human male and then send him to his grave. And when one in need of her help floats into her ocean, she can’t help but go against every instinct she has, just to save his life.

Poseidon is feeling generous and gives James a hook for a hand and Ione three days on land to decide her future. But when the men that attacked James are still at large and everyone in the ton wants to know more about the mysterious beauty on his arm, three days might feel like a lifetime.

First of all, I love the gods and goddesses in London theme. They pop in and out of mortals’ lives, sometimes doing good and sometimes tossing them to the Kraken. I’m really into the theme and I’m going to look into the rest of the books in the series to get my fix.

Ione is charming, funny, and practical beyond words when it comes to silly human rules like not being able to ride in a carriage with a man and not dancing the waltz too often. She is a modern woman in a mermaid world who doesn’t need a man to be happy, but she wouldn’t mind taking one for a spin. The whole book, I was rooting for her to get her guy, get her legs, and get everything else in the world she wanted. Sure, James is great too, but Ione is a smart mermaid with a quick wit, so she’s my obvious favorite.

It’s always so funny to me when a narrator goes from one extreme to the other without pause. The first work of Green’s I listened to was a squeaky clean romance with a few pecks, but this book has a lot more steam than that! But I guess that’s what’s impressive about voice actors, they need to have a certain kind of flexibility to allow them to cover so many different kinds of works.

Overall, this book is funny, interesting, different, sexy without being erotic, and a must read…or listen. I’m really not picky, as long as you grab a copy.

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A Gypsy’s Christmas Kiss

I adore audiobooks. I listen to them in the car, while cleaning, while doing graphic design for work, basically whenever I can. It’s a great way to get my hands-free reading fix. So today I have a short but sweet one entitled A Gypsy’s Christmas Kiss, written by Dawn Brower and narrated by Megan Green. By the way, this is the 6th book in the Connected by a Kiss series. While I always recommend getting a series in its entirety, this book is a stand-alone in a collection of stories by different authors.

  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Heat Level: ❤️
  • Story Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Finley, the Duke of Clare, isn’t the warm and fuzzy type. The Battle of Waterloo and a few personal tragedy hasn’t exactly made him open to love and everything that goes with it. But while out feeling sorry for himself, he comes upon a shop and meets a mysterious young woman.

Lulia is the daughter of a Romany princess and a disgraced English nobleman’s son. Her mixed heritage means she doesn’t fit anywhere, and when she’s left orphaned, she relies on her few friends to keep her company. Teaching fencing lessons pays her bills, as does telling fortunes. When a sad young man with a chip on his shoulder comes into her shop, she might see more than she plans.

Years later, Lulia has slipped into English high society, spending time with her pupil turned friend, Diana. But she carries many secrets, even from those closest to her. One secret is the strange bond she felt with the young man she met so many years ago. And when the same young man steps back into her life, will her hidden past ruin everything or will the pieces fall into place just in time for Christmas?

This instalove story is what I like to call “Grammy Safe.” I can listen to it with my grandmother in the car on my way to drop her off at mass with no worries. I can also listen to it on my way to drop my daughter at ballet class. The sweet story is driven mainly by emotions and unexplainable ties that draw Finley and Lulia together. Of course they’re both very attractive, but a few chaste kisses are all this late Georgian era couple share on their way to happily ever after.

I do wish this book was longer and a little deeper where the story was concerned. When I say it was instalove, I mean they were completely fixed on each other after ten minutes to the point where even after ten years, they were still mad for each other. I would have liked to see why they loved each other without the vague “he’s perfect” and “she’s strong.” Lulia is such a vivid character with such different parents and Finley has such an interesting past that I’m sure has many stories, that I’m left wanting more.

But the story was short and sweet and great for a little feel-good diversion that makes audiobooks so special. It certainly helped that while listening, it was snowing in my area, mimicking the flurries Lulia and Finley saw in England.

This is my first listen to a piece Megan Green lends her voice to. She has a certain inflection to her tone that really gave an exotic feel to the book. Lulia’s accent was distinct, making it clear who was speaking when she was sharing a moment with Diana. Even the men had a slightly different tone and everyone’s voice was consistent throughout the work. While consistency doesn’t sound like something to be applauded, I have listened to some audiobooks where a character loses their accent midway through!

Overall, I enjoyed the story and wished that the rest of the series delved into it more, particularly where Lulia is concerned. How did her parents meet and fall in love? What’s it like being a Romany princess? Did she have to give up fencing? Will she try for the Romany throne? Dawn Brower, if you read this, I would like more Lulia, please and thank you.

The Billionaire’s Cure

Around the holidays, I like to listen to audiobooks while cooking, cleaning, baking, and wrapping. But when grandma’s there, or a great uncle, or other relatives are visiting, I can’t dip into my usual romance audiobook list without headphones. But when I find a sweet book that’s rated no higher than PG on the steam scale, I’m happy to share with grandma. Enter The Billionaire’s Cure by Penelope Spark, narrated by Meghan Kelly.

Heat Level: ❤️

Genre: Sweet Romance

Overall Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers

Chad has always been a hard worker, a rigid businessman, and someone who could only relax with a drink in his hand. It paid off with billions in the bank, but he’s not the picture of health. His mentor ships him off to a retreat that’s more of a hippie commune in Chad’s eyes with all raw food, no cellphones, and more horrifically, no coffee. He’s less than into yoga and therapy, but he’s trapped without a car and no escape. But when he meets Heidi, he thinks he might just tough it out.

Heidi is the health coach at the retreat, knowing what herbs can get rid of a headache, and what the best yoga poses are for a strained back. Usually new clients are less than thrilled about the raw vegan diets and the hours of peace and quiet, but Chad takes it to a new level and she thinks he’s a bit of a spoiled brat. But Heidi never met a client she couldn’t crack.

Chad and Heidi strike up a loose friendship where both dance around how different their lives are. Then a new client from Chad’s area comes to stay and things get wildly complicated for a place that highlights relaxation on their brochure. With an end date in sight and lies between them, it’ll take more than a therapy appointment and some yoga to fix their mess.

Story wise, it was a cute book with a location unlike any other I had read. Personally, I don’t think I could survive without coffee and the internet, but if Chad could, I guess I could as well. Both Chad and Heidi were flawed in a human way that made them a bit annoying at times, but that often only served to make them seem more real, in some aspects.

As I listened, I was desperate for them to just come clean to each other. But annoyance of two peoples romantic ignorance is often the mark of a good book. If you aren’t a little torn or or anxious or angry or sad, is it really a book worth reading?

As with every other Meghan Kelly narration I’ve had the pleasure of listening to, The Billionaire’s Cure was a lovely book to spend time with. Each character had a unique tone that gave them all a voice without coming across as too much. With some audiobooks, over-narration can really take away from the story as the speaker tries too hard. But Kelly never over does it, merely adds to the story, just as a a narrator should.

The Lovers

Every so often you come upon a book you know will be an all time favorite. As you go through it, you want to keep reading, yet don’t want it to end. And as an author, you’re both enamored with the story and almost jealous you didn’t think of it first! I found that with the audiobook The Lovers: Echos From the Past by Irina Shapiro, read by Wendy Wolfson.

Heat Level: ❤️❤️

Genre: Historical/Contemporary Romantic Drama

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

In 1665 Elise de Laseppes has been biding her time, waiting to announce her secret betrothal to a common lad to her father. But one morning, her father calls for her, telling her to prepare for her wedding to Lord Asher. Lord Asher is rich, widowed, twice her age, and able to save the de Laseppes from ruin. While she wants nothing more than to run away with the boy who promises her the world, she can’t. Her two little sisters depend on her to keep the family afloat, even if they don’t fully understand it. So she leaves her childhood home to become the literal lady of the manor. But her well-bred husband hides more than one secret and Elise will be tasked with not only saving her family, but herself as her husband strives to get an heir.

In 2013 London, Dr. Quinn Allenby is straight off a nasty breakup and home from a successful archeological trip to Jerusalem when she receives a new task. A pair of skeletons was found in a chest, a makeshift coffin with evidence to show that neither person was dead when they were left alone in the dark. She’s approached by a producer who wants her to head a historical drama show, featuring the mysterious skeleton, and implores her to find the true story by any means necessary. Using her special skills, Quinn sets off to give them back their identities. But as she works to discover the skeletons’ pasts, her own comes into clearer focus.

Two women, centuries apart, brought together by chance and a blue brooch that holds the secret behind the hidden chest.

One of the hardest parts about writing reviews is that sometimes you need to leave out some of the best parts, as to not spoil anything. All I can say is that Quinn has certain abilities that ties her to Elise in a way she can’t fully explain. As more of Elise’s life is revealed, the deeper Quinn’s character development goes. She lives her life alongside Elise’s past in a seamless way that Shapiro should be congratulated for. It’s difficult to time hop without confusing readers or muddling the stories, but everything is crystal clear in this book by the end.

As a historian, I love to take note of the bits and pieces in all historicals I read. Shapiro’s book was a a fine example of a well researched piece. The food, clothing, ailments, and accessories such as birthing chairs and plague doctors were slipped in naturally, setting up the time period without it being forced. Still, Elise and her loved ones had personalities that transcended time.

The narration of The Lovers was wonderful. Wolfson’s voice was clear and easy to get lost in. The pace was perfect and the slight changes in the characters through their own voices wasn’t overdone or cartoonish as some are. Usually I limit my audiobook listening to car rides and dog walks, but I found myself listening to this one almost nonstop until the end.

Overall, if you couldn’t tell, I loved this book. I could see it as a movie with the same thrilling, dramatic feel as The Da Vinci Code or Tulip Fever. In ebook, paperback, or audiobook, this is the perfect read for lovers of thrillers, romance, and mysteries.

  • For the ebook click HERE
  • For the audiobook click HERE
  • For the paperback click HERE