I've got a pretty awesome series to review this week, and it's an audiobook series! I'm actually really loving the whole audiobook thing, because I can multi-task and keep working. Perfect!! I'm sooooo glad Jess at Audiobookworm Promotions reached out to Desert Rose Reviews for event invites, because it's been such a blessing. I honestly wouldn't have ever looked into audiobooks otherwise, I don't think.
Anyway, I signed up for a tour for them, for a whole trilogy! It's a cozy mystery, comedy series, and I had so much fun with it! Check out my UnPlugged review for the first book in the series below, and be sure to keep an eye out for my review of the other two books coming soon!
Chasing the Dollar
(Miranda Vaughn Mysteries #1)
~Narrator: Teri Schnaubelt
~Released: July 15, 2015
~Length: 7 hours 23 minutes
~Publisher: Ellie Ashe
~Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Miranda Vaughn has spent the last year and a half fighting for her freedom. Arrested for a fraud scheme involving her supervisors, she's lost her job at a prestigious investment firm, her fiancé, and her reputation. She walks out of the courtroom a free woman, only to find that life has a few more curve balls to throw her way. The jury may have found her not guilty, but Miranda is broke, in debt to her beloved aunt, and can't find a job because of the cloud of suspicion still swirling around her. She's not going to be able to move forward with her life until she finds out who set her up.
Buried in the evidence against her, Miranda finds a larger scheme, one involving far more money than the $37 million her boss fleeced from unsuspecting investors. Determined to uncover the truth, Miranda begins her own investigation - leading her to Macau and Belize, and into the arms of one sexy FBI agent, who may or may not prove to be trustworthy. When the danger heats up, Miranda finds herself in a race against time to find the person behind it all. Before he finds her....
USA Today best-selling author Ellie Ashe has always been drawn to jobs where she can tell stories—journalist, lawyer, and now writer. Writing quirky romantic mysteries is how she gets the "happily ever after" that so often is lacking in her day job.
When not writing, you can find her with her nose in a good book, watching far too much TV, or trying out new recipes on unsuspecting friends and family. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats, all of whom worry when she starts browsing the puppy listings on petfinder.com.
Teri Schnaubelt is a Chicago-based actor, voice actor and audiobook narrator with over 100 titles, including NY Times Bestsellers.
*Please remember, the reviews on this site do contain spoilers. This is an open space, like you would find in a book club or just friends talking about books. It is not an official review, and is just for fun. For my official review sans spoilers, check out my PluggedIn review here.
We all love conspiracies, right? I know I do! A book set in the middle of a conspiracy, surrounded by danger and mystery just sounds fantastic! Miranda's story wasn't disappointing, that's for sure.
The whole book was so smooth, and flowed perfectly. I got swept up immediately, and literally didn't want to stop listening. It was about 7 1/2 hours, and I listened to most of it in one sitting. I needed sleep though, and at two in the morning, decided to finish the last few chapters the next day. Sacrifices, right? #bookwormlife
The action - ooooooh mama, the action. It's amazing! I'm a girl who loves action and adventure, and this one had plenty of both!
Between the car chases, gun fights, fist fights, running from would-be killers, and danger at every turn, I was completely enthralled.
I loved the way the action scenes were portrayed, too. They weren't over the top, simply realistic, with a hint of flare and drama for the sake of story progression. Really though, anyone taking on drug cartels and drug lords, is bound to have some gun fights and a few explosions, right?
The side/alternate story line - the romance.
I'm not a major fan of romance in novels, and I don't like reading about in-the-bedroom stuff. That's just my preference.
This book bordered on tmi for me, and a few times I nearly stopped listening because of it. Especially when they were in their own room together, pretending to be a couple on their honeymoon, and things got a bit hotter than steamy.
Now, realistically, this book is part romance - that is a major aspect of it. Her hot/cold relationship with guys is an important part of not only the story, but the character herself. It's also a big part of life, and I get that.
So, for that sake, I didn't knock it, because the author did keep it PG-13, luckily.
That being said, I can't just not talk about that part of the story, since it's so important. So, here we go.
Jake. Is. Hot.
At least to Miranda. He sounds okay to me, but nothing special. Generic in looks, typical independent bachelor guy, and FBI agent. I wouldn't swoon, at least not from what was in the story. She, however, is putty around him.
Whatever, it's the typical attraction thing.
What I did enjoy about their relationship, was the fact that even when he saved her, she wasn't some helpless dimwit damsel. She only needed his help because it was the two of them against an international drug ring - who wouldn't need help?!
She saved him a couple of times too, which was awesome. They needed each other, helped each other, and respected each other, as equals.
It wasn't either extreme, with one of them superior, and that was delicious.
Miranda isn't a mega-feminist who's totally against men, waving her "Girl Power" flag at every chance. Jake also isn't some ass-butt chauvinist who thinks women are incompetent without male assistance. He wants to protect her, but doesn't try to control her, and vice versa.
It was a refreshing dynamic to encounter, and probably what made me enjoy the story overall. The mystery and action was excellent, but I've been craving a dynamic that is actually balanced and respectful, and finally found it here.
Miranda is tough. She's capable of taking care of herself in most situations, and brave enough to take on drug lords, simply because it's the right thing to do. That is bad ass.
She is blonde, but isn't a bimbo. She's attractive, but doesn't slut herself out to get her way, or act like a major B to anyone who doesn't give her what she wants. She isn't spoiled, is down to Earth, and knows her limits. What I respected about her most, is she isn't afraid of accepting help when she needs it, and doesn't let herself feel somehow weaker because of it. I love that.
Jake is tough, and definitely has a macho streak in him, but isn't an ass about it. Most of his macho-ness comes out when he is afraid for Miranda's safety, because, in all honesty, she did get herself into some pretty dangerous situations. He's worried about her, and it shows - nothing wrong with that.
He isn't afraid to take care of her, even if he gets nothing in return. He is also completely fine with letting her lead, when he knows she should be leading. He knows when to step up, and when to back off, which is awesome. Especially for a fed.
I was afraid that the story would be generic, and I'm glad it wasn't. It was entirely enjoyable, and a story I would recommend.
You may be thinking "Alright, if you loved it so much, why only four roses instead of five?"
Because I'm being honest, and while I loved this story, it isn't one I see myself craving to read again later. It is polished, smooth, and entertaining. It's also fairly simple, in the aspect that I wouldn't get much out of it, if I read it or listened to it again down the road.
For me though, I can't honestly give it a five rose rating, so it's a four. Personal preference, but it's my rating, so whatevs.
I've finished the trilogy, and will have reviews for the other two books up soon!
Keep an eye out for those, and be sure to let me know what you think of this book in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by! =D