What I’m Looking For

What I’m Looking For by Karen Grey

Published:  June 23, 2020 – Home Cooked Books

Review audiobook courtesy of the author and Blackstone Audio

Description:

Recipe for a Boston Classic Cocktail: one part finance geek, one part starving actor, two shots of stubborn and a healthy squeeze of passion. Shake well and serve in a vintage glass.

 

When Kate Bishop walks into Boston’s famous Bull and Finch pub, all she’s looking for is one guy from her investment firm that she can trust to have her back—a tall order. With a salesman at her side, maybe stage fright won’t paralyze her completely when she presents her meticulously prepared research to clients. And maybe she can save her job.

 

Romance is the last thing on her to-do list, but a meet-cute with a Shakespeare-quoting bartender has her speculating on the value of diversifying her life portfolio.

 

Will Talbot is not a fan of the slick financiers who cram into his bar after each day’s closing bell. With their calls for Harvey Wallbangers and their Hermès ties, they’re all the same.

 

Except for a certain beautiful, buttoned-up brunette with fire in her eyes and a storm in her heart. They’re totally wrong for each other. He should be focusing on his upcoming audition, not coaching Kate on how to act like she’s a bona fide member of the Gordon Gekko club.

 

Problem is, they can’t seem to stay away from each other.

 

The course of true love never did run smooth, but in this 1980’s sweet-and-sexy rom-com, returns on love can’t be measured on the S&P 500. (publisher)

My take:  Kate and Will meet one night on opposite sides of a Boston bar. He makes her a drink and the rest is history. Or is it? The two are equally passionate about their careers. His is acting and hers is finance. They hit it off almost from the start so what could go wrong? I loved these two imperfect people. They were perfect for each other but could it be they met at the wrong time?

I loved listening to this ’80s romantic comedy. Karen White and Joe Arden’s narration was so enjoyable. Joe’s delivery of the Shakespeare lines was wonderful. I forget about the Bard’s genius until I hear it performed well. I enjoyed Karen Grey’s debut novel very much – from the meet-cute to the epilogue.

What I’m Looking For is the first book in the Boston Classics series and I look forward to the next book! Recommended to fans of Rom/Coms and authors like Julie James and Jill Shalvis.


About the author:

KAREN GREY is the pen name for award-winning narrator Karen White. A stage, screen and radio drama actor in Boston, New York and Los Angeles in the late 20th century, she started recording books in 1999. Now back in her home state of North Carolina, she shares a home with her family and (probably) too many pets, where she continues to narrate audiobooks as well as make up stories.


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Narrators:

JOE ARDEN BIO

Joe Arden’s narration has been described as “sensual,” “sexy,” and “hot.” His recordings range from sweet and romantic to steamy and raw. In his spare time, Joe raises and trains rescue pitbulls and restores vintage motorcycles. Twitter @TheRealJoeArden

 

KAREN WHITE BIO

Karen White has been narrating audiobooks of all genres since 1999. Honored to be included in AudioFile Magazine’s Best Voices, she’s also a four-time Audie Finalist and has earned multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards and Library Journal starred reviews.


Praise for WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR:

This is my first book by Karen Grey and I’m hooked.” – Rachel, Rellim Reads blog

 

“Kate and Will share a sizzling attraction and complex connection, giving me all the feels in this timeless romance.” – Jen, That’s What I’m Looking For blog

 

“Set within the Boston theater community and the (equally dramatic) world of high-stakes consulting, Grey’s wry, charming, and compulsively readable first novel demonstrates that, when it comes to romance, falling in love is only the beginning.” —Dana Sachs, author of The Secret of the Nightingale Palace

  

“Set in the 1980s, this funny yet warmhearted character-driven tale checks all the boxes for classy contemporary romance while providing the longed-for ‘something different’ readers seek out. It’s smart. It’s sexy. It’s sophisticated romance at its best.” – Lea Hensley, co-founder of Audiogals blog


Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Published:  June 2019 – Ballantine Books

Book provided by the publisher and NetGalley

My take: On the day Evvie Drake decides to pack up and leave her husband she gets a call from the hospital saying he’s been in a terrible accident. That’s not a spoiler, it happens in the first pages of the book.

Evvie doesn’t tell anyone that she was going to leave thus throwing her into widowhood and keeping up the resulting appearances – even to her best friend. This friend, knowing Evvie needs income, sends another friend who needs a place to live to see about renting the apartment attached to Evvie’s house. Dean is a baseball pitcher who lost his mojo and needs to hide out in a place where he won’t be easily recognized. Small town, midcoast Maine seems like a good place. Evvie and Dean slowly form a friendship that was fun to read. I enjoyed their banter and the slow progression of their relationship. I liked how they figured out, in a not so simple/convenient way, the direction their lives would begin to take.

Themes of depression, anxiety, grief, friendship, and love are touched on in Linda Holmes’ deceptively breezy tale. I read it in an afternoon and recommend it to fans of romantic comedy. I wouldn’t be surprised if this winds up on the big screen.


 

The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

St. Martin’s Griffin; July 10, 2018

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Description:  April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family’s summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau–the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love? (publisher)

My take:  Remember the Rom-Com movies of the 1990s/2000s? That’s what this novel reminded me of. There are attractive characters in their late 20s, fun repartee, and enough drama and comedy to move the plot at a good pace. There’s also great chemistry between the main characters which made me hope for a happily-ever-after. Who am I kidding? Books in this genre are nothing if not predictable – and I enjoyed it all. There are a few sexy scenes and some language that would earn an R rating if it was a film. The Real Deal is the first book by Lauren Blakely I’ve read. If the rest of her books are this much fun I would definitely read more.


Advance Praise:

“I loved everything about these characters, from their sparkling banter to their electric attraction. Witty, clever, and swoony.” — Amy E. Reichert, New York Times bestselling author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

“A hilarious, hot slow burn. The Real Deal is full of witty banter and characters you’ll fall head over heels in love with.” — Helena Hunting, New York Times bestselling author of Shacking Up


About the author:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. She enjoys comedies, cake and good company.