Caffeinated’s Top 5 Listens Thus Far in 2017

Posted June 2, 2017 by Jennifer in Blogger Guest Post, Giveaway, JIAM | | 15 Comments

Caffeinated’s Top 5 Listens Thus Far in 2017

My addiction to audiobooks has grown each year and I am now giving equal time to them. Thus far, I have listened to 45 audios in 2017. Some from my backlist of series and others by new to me authors. I enjoy an eclectic mix of genres but the following five audios have been the most memorable listens thus far for 2017.

The Nights the Lights Went Out by Karen White

Published by: Penguin Audio

Narrated by Carolyn Cook, Susan Larkin, Tiffany Morgan

Goodreads | Kimba’s Review


From the New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street series comes a stunning new novel about a young single mother who discovers that the nature of friendship is never what it seems….

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It is not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.

Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee–something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.

Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather’s world.

In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women….

My thoughts: A southern women’s fiction that delivered a suspenseful/thriller thread, THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT delivered an addictive listen. Told in three perspectives, each with their own narrator this tale shared character growth, friends and a chilling tale where the main character, Merliee Talbot Dunlap becomes all Sweet Apple, Georgia can talk about.

The Search and Rescue Series by Katie Ruggle

Hold Your Breath, Fan the Flames, Gone to Deep and In Safe Hands narrated by Rachel Dulude

Goodreads | Kimba’s Review

Synopsis from book one Hold Your Breath: As the captain of Field County’s ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise “Lou” Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he’s never felt more alive . . . even if keeping her safe may just kill him. Lou’s new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she’s determined to make it on her own terms . . . no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who’ll stop at nothing to silence Lou-and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.

This series is a romantic suspense series and while each book features a new character and the setting of the Colorado Rockies, the suspenseful murder mystery thread is carried throughout all four books. This offered some heart pounding moments, jaw dropping discoveries and a strong bond with these characters.

Enter Giveaway

2 Winners will be picked for MP3 CDs for Hold Your Breath, Fan the Flames, Gone to Deep and In Safe Hands narrated by Rachel Dulude (US ONLY)


The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

Narrator: Teri Schnaubelt

Goodreads | Kimba’s Review

From Tiffany Reisz, the international bestselling storyteller behind The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series, comes an enthralling new novel about a woman swept away by the tides who awakens to find herself in 1921, reunited with the husband she’s been mourning for four years. Fans of Kate Morton and Diana Gabaldon will fall in love with the mystery, romance, and beauty of an isolated South Carolina lighthouse, where a power greater than love works its magic.

Rich writing that lures the reader in combined with the narrations of Teri Schnaubelt delivered a delight to the ears as Reisz shared this time traveling romance. From the lavish descriptions of the coast to the happens of 1921 I found myself swept up in this tale.

Keystone by Dannika Dark

Series: Crossbreed #1

Published by: Tantor

Narrator: Nicole Poole

Goodreads | Kimba’s Review

When the road forks, how do you know which path is the right one? Raven Black hunts evildoers for fun, but her vigilante justice isn’t the only reason she’s hiding from the law. Half Vampire, half Mage, she’s spent years living as a rogue to stay alive. When a Russian Shifter offers her a job in his covert organization hunting outlaws, dignity and a respectable career are finally within her grasp. The catch? Her new partner is Christian Poe-a smug, handsome Vampire whom she’d rather stake than go on a stakeout with. They’re hot on the trail of a human killer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. One misstep during her probationary period could jeopardize Raven’s chance at redemption, and her partner would love nothing more than to see her fail. Dark secrets, unexpected twists, and a blurred line between good and evil will keep you on the edge of your seat. Will Raven find the courage to succeed, or will she give in to her dark nature?

The first in a new urban fantasy series Dannika Dark introduces us a half Mage, half vampire name Raven Black. Raven is vigilante who finds purpose and a place to belong when she a Russian shifter offers her a job with a covert organization for the Breed. Fleshed out characters and plenty of action made this listen narrated by Nicole Poole a must listen for fans of urban fantasy.


Enter Giveaway

2 Winners will receive MP3-CD of Keystone by Dannika Dark, narrated by Nicole Poole



A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Published by: Dreamscape Media

Narrator: George Newbern

Goodreads | Kimba’s Review

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon – the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell”. But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

You have to meet Ove. He is methodical, grumpy, opinionated and at the beginning of our story depressed. Backman shares Ove’s story giving us chapters in the present as he deals with the loss of his wife and then he scatters stories of his past throughout. All of this allowed me as the reader to truly see the man. Ove made me laugh, had me recognizing similarities to my father, and made me cry. I shed both tears of joy and ones of immense sadness. George Newbern brilliant captures Ove and the other characters who cross his path making this an audio you will want to listen to again and again.

Caffeinated Book ReviewerAbout Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads everything fiction in YA, NA, and Adult. She’s a self-professed Whovian, Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat… 

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Owner/Blogger at The Book Nympho
I coexist with my husband of 15 years, our 11-year-old son and two chilled cats in the Deep South.

After 17 years I've finally finished my BA in English (no I do not want to be a teacher). Before majoring in English I would not have touched anything labeled "classic", but I have enjoyed a few along the way in my college career.

While I hated to read growing up, I am now an avid book reader and audiobook listener. I love rejecting reality one book at a time. I only read fiction within my favorite (at least to date) genres which include: most romance (paranormal, contemporary, D/s, BDSM, M/M)Urban Fantasy, and a few YA (mostly PNR or UF from favorite adult authors, but I'm slowly stepping out of my comfort zone after enjoying a few contemporary YA novels in adolescent literature class I took).
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15 responses to “Caffeinated’s Top 5 Listens Thus Far in 2017

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  2. The Karen White and Tiffany Reisz are both already on my list to acquire thanks to your earlier reviews. 🙂

    Love seeing the S&R series on your list. I read Run to Ground and I think you’ll love it when you get the audio.

  3. Darlene

    Great list, Kimberly! I haven’t listened to any of them, so they are all going on my Wishlist 🙂

  4. I’ve been branching out and listening to more than just romance of late, primarily suspense thrillers and I stumbled upon Karen White’s The Night the Lights Went Out and absolutely loved it! From the suspense to the character development I was enthralled. You also list two others that are high up on my TBL, Including Danika Dark’s Keystone and Tiffany Reisz’s The Night Mark.

  5. I’ve got several of these on my TBR list. I can’t wait to get to them. I loved the Katie Ruggle series. I’m excited for the spinoff. I hope that they will be on audio with the same narrator.

  6. Kim, I just got the Karen White audiobook from the library because of your recommendation. Can’t wait to listen to this story.

    I have A Man Called Ove, too, and am trying to fit that one in soon.

    Great list1

  7. I’ve read good reviews for Dannika Dark’s series and want to give it a try. Love Katie Ruggle’s series too.