A MelanieM Audio Review: The Athlete and the Aristocrat by Louisa Masters and Seb Yarrick (Narrator)


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Sometimes love takes balls.

Newly retired championship footballer Simon Wood is taking on his next challenge. His plan for a charity to provide funding for underprivileged children to pursue football as a career has passed its first hurdle: he has backers and an executive consultant. Now it’s time to get the ball rolling.

Lucien Morel, heir to the multibillion-euro Morel Corporation, is shocked—and thrilled—to learn his father has volunteered him as consultant to a fledgling football charity. Better yet, the brains behind it all is heartthrob Simon Wood, his teenage idol and crush.

Although Simon and Lucien get off on the wrong foot, it’s not long before they’re getting along like a house on fire—sparks included. But with the charity under public scrutiny, can their romance thrive?

The Athlete and the Aristocrat by Louisa Masters  turned out to be a heartwarming and very engaging contemporary romance, one I think I might have initially enjoyed more in eBook format.  The reason being the narrator. Seb Yarrick who narrates the story is english, and while I have listened to entire novels by english narrators, I never realized that the tone (light, baritone , tenor) made a difference to me.  Turns out yes it does.

The deeper the voice the easier it is to engage my attention apparently.  Here Seb Yarrick’s light, pleasant  even tones  let my mind wander away from the story often.  Worse because, he had to act out other British accents (which being American I couldn’t tell you which part of the country they came from , that’s like separating Jersey from the Bronx perhaps to someone in London.  On top of that throw on several French accents as well.  Yes I came close to just wanting to read the story and give up on the audio.

But perseverance or just the fact that I didn’t have the ebook at hand, made me continue and eventually my “American ear” got a handle on it and Seb’s intonations and narration.

The story and characters themselves are lovely.  Especially the footballers as they say over there.  Everyone is well defined.  The locations visited add a richness to the story and a firm foundation to the characters and their level in society and business.  While each was working towards bringing together this terrific charity and finding ground for a relationship, I liked the realistic touches of also finding out that they needed to work on their basis for being bilingual, the understanding that its two languages in a relationship as well, switch  homes and perhaps countries as well, and that sacrifices are necessary.  That made it more realistic, even at for the rich and famous.

The payoff in the epilogue was everything.  I just adored that and could see it so clearly.   By then I barely noticed the accents and was lost in the emotion of the moment.  I had come a long way in the journey with these men, their relationship and this narrator.  I’m still loving it even now.  And it lets me recommend this audio version for al who love contemporary romance and listening as well.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  Nice job, love the background, with the ball branding exactly who the cover man is and what his profession is as well.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible |

Audio Book Details:

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 5 hours and 38 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Audible.com Release Date: April 4, 2019
Language: English, English


A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review :The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster and Seb Yarrick (Narrator)


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Chef Marcus Vine is a busy man, running his own popular restaurant in the UK and opening another with an investment partner in New York. But he finds time to step in and help out when he realizes his former best friend’s family needs him. Raine died a year ago and her husband, Tom, is struggling to be everything to his two daughters. 

With Marcus’s help and support, their lives take a turn for the better. And along the way, Marcus’s feelings for Tom—unrequited love—take on a renewed life. And then one day, Tom confesses his attraction to Marcus. He’s not gay, of course. That’s reiterated a number of times. So much so, that this reviewer found it distasteful when they went from that declaration to a simple kiss to penetrative sex. If one isn’t gay, why not try frottage or fellatio first? It just felt wrong and rushed. 

And then, of course, when Tom realizes Marcus has feelings for him, he backs off, and Marcus finds out he’s seeing a woman. So we have the heartbreak action, and the crisis comes when one of the girls needs medical attention and Marcus saves the day. But is Tom grateful? Nope. Now we have the period of breaking off, cooling down, and then the finale with the grand sweeping gesture. And the ending was… There’s not really a way to describe it. Granted, I was listening to an audiobook, but it seemed really bizarre to me—definitely from the pages of an old-fashioned dime novel romance.

Granted all these stories are based on old tropes. And granted, audiobooks pass quickly and there’s no chance to reread sections for clarity, so I could be wrong in my assessment. However, I will say that Seb Yarrick did a nice job on the narration. With a very British accent, he brought authenticity to the feel of the story. But I’m not a fan of gay for you when the character refuses to identify as anything but straight, even after sex, so I can’t rate this higher than 3 stars. As it is, the 3 stars were mostly earned by the narrator.

The cover by Aaron Anderson is a typical Dreamspun cover, with the circle in the center that, in this case, features a handsome man in chef’s coat in front and a man in a bathtub in the background. That is definitely not a scene from the story, but at least the colors are bright and the guy is attractive.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | AmazonAudible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5 pages
Published November 8th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 7th 2018)
Edition Language English

An Ali Audiobook Review: Chase the Ace (London Lads #1) by Clare London and Seb Yarrick (Narrator)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Newly single in his late twenties, and bored with his quiet life in a London suburb, Daniel Cross soon discovers the lure of social media. Excited at the chance of tracking down his old mates from a schooldays sports club, he launches a personal quest to find out what kind of man each boy has become. 

Dan’s first mistake is chatting online to a complete stranger—friending the wrong Carson brother on Facebook. But Nick Carson isn’t offended and offers to accompany Dan on the trip to find the others. It’s the first step to friendship and something more for both of them. 

For Dan, the reunions with the “ Gang of Four” range from startling and heartening to disturbing. Nick’s company is a constant support, though neither of them are prepared for the exposure of personal secrets they’d thought long hidden. Dan begins to suspect he’s really looking for a direction in his own life—and the excitement and purpose he craves may be closer to home than a quest with its roots in a boyhood dream.
I found the plot of this a little confusing.  Not really in the way it was written but just overall.  Nothing that happened really made sense to me or seemed at all realistic.  I didn’t understand Daniel’s desire to see these guys from his past, I didn’t understand why Nick lied, I didn’t understand how a guy in his 20’s had such a poor understanding of social media, I didn’t understand why Daniel would go on a road trip with a stranger, the list goes on.  Once I decided to just let all that go and roll with the story, it got a little better.
I enjoyed the concept of the book and feel that if it had been a longer, more detailed story I probably would have enjoyed it more.  I would have liked to see more relationship development also.
This book was narrated by Seb Yarrick who was a new narrator for me.  I thought he did a really good job and I liked him a lot.  His narration definitely added to the story and he is a narrator I will definitely listen to again.
The cover was done by Valerie Tibbs of Tibbs Design.  I liked the cover a lot and I think it does a very good job of showing what the book is about.  It captures the plot and the vibe of the book perfectly.
Audiobook Details:
Listening Length: 2 hours and 55 minutes
Audible Audio
Published June 22nd 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published December 16th 2012)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLondon Lads #1