Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of July 16th.

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Wild Fire by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Anthony Melchiorri

Wild Fire by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Anthony Melchiorri
Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
Recorded Books

Check out my reviews of other titles written by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
Check out my reviews of other titles written by Anthony Melchiorri
Check out my reviews of other titles Narrated by Bronson Pinchot

From the embers of a burned America rises new hope … and a new threat.

Two years after an attack brought down the electrical grid across the United States, the recovery effort is well underway. A new network of armored trains carry supplies and industrial equipment crucial to rebuilding the country.

But along the rails, one area of America is still mired in darkness, violence, and danger. Some call it the Badlands. Others the Wild West. The government simply refers to it as the New Frontier.

Retired Marine Sergeant Sam “Raven” Spears makes a living tracking down people and treasures in this lawless void. When raiders target a supply train in the New Frontier, Colorado Sheriff Lindsey Plymouth asks Raven to work with ex-Navy SEAL Calvin Jackson to secure the train’s vital cargo. All is going to plan until one fateful disaster changes everything.

As the trail heats up to find those responsible, a mysterious virus starts spreading across the New Frontier. Raven soon realizes the two events might be connected.

If he doesn’t find the insidious forces behind this conspiracy, the entire country will go up in flames.

Listener Note: New Frontier is a brand-new series set in the bestselling Trackers universe by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. For listeners of Trackers, this spin-off written with Anthony J. Melchiorri takes place two years after the end of Trackers 4. While Trackers was an EMP/war story about the destruction of the power grid in America and the chaos that followed, New Frontier is a story about the aftermath. For new listeners, you can dive into New Frontier without hearing the four Trackers books.


The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett

The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett
Narrated by Chelsea Stephens & Natalie Naudus
Harlequin Audio

Review coming soon!

Check out my reviews of other titles written by Ruby Barrett
Check out my reviews of other titles narrated by Chelsea Stephens
Check out my reviews of other titles narrated by Natalie Naudus

“Ruby Barrett’s writing leaves me breathless.” —Rosie Danan

A fiery restaurant owner falls for her enigmatic head chef in this charming, emotional romance

Amy Chambers: restaurant owner, micromanager, control freak.

Amy will do anything to revive her ailing restaurant, including hiring a former reality-show finalist with good connections and a lot to prove. But her hopes that Sophie’s skills and celebrity status would bring her restaurant back from the brink of failure are beginning to wane…

Sophie Brunet: grump in the kitchen/sunshine in the streets, took thirty years to figure out she was queer.

Sophie just wants to cook. She doesn’t want to constantly post on social media for her dead-in-the-water reality TV career, she doesn’t want to deal with Amy’s take-charge personality and she doesn’t want to think about what her attraction to her boss might mean…

Then, an opportunity: a new foodie TV show might provide the exposure they need. An uneasy truce is fine for starters, but making their dreams come true means making some personal and painful sacrifices and soon, there’s more than just the restaurant at stake.


Upgrade by Blake Crouch

Upgrade by Blake Crouch
Narrated by Henry Levya
Random House Audio

Check out my reviews of other titles written by Blake Crouch

The mind-blowing new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter and Recursion

“You are the next step in human evolution.”

At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little…sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.

But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.

The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy.

Worse still, what’s happening to him is just the first step in a much larger plan, one that will inflict the same changes on humanity at large—at a terrifying cost.

Because of his new abilities, Logan’s the one person in the world capable of stopping what’s been set in motion. But to have a chance at winning this war, he’ll have to become something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human.

And even as he’s fighting, he can’t help wondering: What if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?

Intimate in scale yet epic in scope, Upgrade is an intricately plotted, lightning-fast tale that charts one man’s thrilling transformation, even as it asks us to ponder the limits of our humanity—and our boundless potential.


Chrysalis by Lincoln Child

Chrysalis by Lincoln Child
Narrated by Johnathan McClain
Random House Audio

Check out my reviews of other titles written by Lincoln Child

A blockbuster new thriller from number one New York Times best-selling author Lincoln Child, centered on a dominant tech company — Chrysalis — whose groundbreaking virtual reality technology is redefining the way we live…and possibly introducing a catastrophic danger to the world.

Like millions of people around the world, Jeremy Logan (famed enigmalogist, or investigator of unexplained things) has grown to rely on his incredible new tech device. Made by Chrysalis, the global multibillion dollar tech company, the small optical device connects people in a stunning new way, tapping into virtual reality for the first time on a wide scale.

And yet, when Logan is summoned by Chrysalis to investigate a disturbing anomaly in the massive new product rollout, Logan is shocked to see the true scope of the massive company. He also quickly realizes that something in Chrysalis’s technology is very wrong, and could be potentially devastating. The question is what, and where, is the danger coming from? In Lincoln Child’s wildly inventive new novel, high tech comes to life alongside the myriad dangers it poses, making for one of Child’s most infectious, entertaining thrillers to date.


Operation Jade Helmet by Ashley Fontainne

Operation Jade Helmet by Ashley Fontainne
Narrated by Andrea Emmes
Spoken Realms

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Check out my reviews of other titles Narrated by Andrea Emmes

Eager fans around the world played Operation Red Helmet for years, making it the highest-grossing virtual reality game ever sold, and the designers, The Talladav Group, are the richest company on earth.

After an oppressive, unrelenting worldwide heatwave hits, daily life grinds to a halt around the globe. People retreat to their homes, afraid to go out as violence and chaos erupt in the streets. The game temporarily shuts down as the world grapples with the fallout of civil unrest and critical infrastructure breakdowns, forever altering society.

When governments take over control and infrastructures are replaced and back online, the top players of the previous version receive a mysterious box marked “Operation Jade Helmet.” The new version is the first-ever total immersion VR experience and inside each box is a free headset and personal code to play a week before release to the general public. The lucky winners don their newest obsession and impatiently wait for the game to begin. Unfortunately, they are about to discover Operation Jade Helmet is unlike any other game, and when the game begins, everything changes.


The Honey Trap by Patrick Sheane Duncan

The Honey Trap by Patrick Sheane Duncan
Narrated by Felicia Day, Sean Duregger
Encyclopocalypse Publications

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Twenty-something Pru seems like a girl on the straight and narrow. She takes in stray and abused animals and is studying to be a veterinarian. But college is so expensive these days, so she has to work her way using her talents as a conwoman, fleecing dirty old men, using the dark web and a variation on that old swindle, the Honey Trap.

Luring the potential pedophiles online with her youthful looks, she meets and drugs them, taking their valuables and selling them on the Los Angeles black market. It’s a living, buys kibble, and pays tuition. Besides, she figures this is what the bastards get for trying to have sex with underage girls. Right? Right.

But then one of the suckers turns out to be a fellow predator, of the most heinous kind.

During the ill-fated encounter, a serial killer turns the tables on Pru and nearly adds her to his collection of young female victims, tortured and then killed. She is barely able to escape. But this deadly experience is not over. The killer, now that he has met her, is a fan. Somehow he sees Pru as a fellow traveler and wants her to witness his next murderous plan, step by step.

Pru tries to evade the twisted courtship, but when she refuses, the killer takes the game to her doorstep—with deadly results. Pru now has to take down this cold-blooded enemy on her own. Using every trick she has learned on the mean streets, she goes after him. At the same time, she is forced to dredge up a host of dark, long-buried secrets of her own.


The Trip by Robin Alexander

The Trip by Robin Alexander
Narrated by Abby Craden
Tantor Audio

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Check out my reviews of other titles Narrated by Abby Craden

Who wants to take a road trip with two old, bickering women and a complete stranger? Not Jill Savoy. She finds herself behind the wheel of her father’s sacred Winnebago anyway, responsible for her grandmother and adopted aunt, both of whom are mischievous teenagers in old bodies, and then there’s Shay.

The last thing on Shay Macaluso’s mind was a vacation. Fresh out of a relationship, she was looking forward to beginning her new life, but her aunt Chloe took the proverbial monkey wrench to her plans. Duped into taking the trip, Shay feels like her new life is on hold, but as the adventure unfolds she realizes that she’s on the highway to something extraordinary.

Contains mature themes.


Can't Fight Love by KC Luck

Can’t Fight Love by KC Luck
Narrated by Tessa Stavers
Self Published

$7.47 Whispersync Deal with Kindle Purchase – Available on Kindle Unlimited
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The hardest thing to protect is your heart….

Can’t Fight Love is an enemies-to-lovers romance intertwined with the thrill of sports, the importance of family, and the power of falling in love.

Alexa Knight has one more battle before she retires as an undefeated mixed martial arts champion. When ESPN wants to film her preparation for the final match, she reluctantly agrees. All she cares about is remaining the best.

Kara Roberts is a documentary filmmaker who needs a few more dollars to finish the most important project of her life. Desperate, she agrees to work on the crew filming the final weeks before Alexa Knight’s last fight. All she cares about is making her movie.

When their two worlds collide, sparks fly, as neither is willing to yield to the other’s desires. All they agree on is nothing can be allowed to distract them from what they want to accomplish, especially each other. But the women have forgotten one important thing when it comes to plans…you can’t fight love.


Take Two by Miranda MacLeod, T.B. Markinson

Take Two by Miranda MacLeod, T.B. Markinson
Narrated by Lori Prince
Miranda MacLeod

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Check out my reviews of other titles written by T.B. Markinson
Check out my reviews of other titles Narrated by Lori Prince

They were the perfect couple until pride got in the way….

Gina Mitchells has a problem. The assistant professor is in charge of her college’s pride festival committee, and the celebrity grand marshal they’d painstakingly recruited has just blown up the internet with a major scandal. Messing up the festival could ruin her chance to be approved for tenure. There’s exactly one famous person Gina knows who could save the day as a last-minute replacement.

The problem? The woman is Gina’s ex-girlfriend, and to say the relationship did not end well is an understatement.

Sophia Rossi has starred in so many squeaky-clean holiday romances since moving to Hollywood that everyone calls her the Queen of Christmas. An important new contract has her filming in a quaint New England town, but there’s a catch. It’s Sophia’s hometown, and surviving a month with her meddling, relationship-obsessed mother and sisters might be too much for Sophia’s sanity to bear.

When Gina reappears in Sophia’s life with a proposition, Sophia has one of her own. It’s a match made in heaven, if only they can get over their past heartbreak long enough to convince everyone they’ve rekindled their old spark. But can this fake relationship lead them to a second chance at love?

This book is part of the I Heart SapphFic Pride Collection, which contains eight stand-alone books from some of the top authors in sapphic fiction today. Each one promises a Pride theme and a happy ending. The collection was organized by I Heart SapphFic, which is a website for authors and fans of sapphic fiction to stay up to date on all the latest sapphic fiction news.


Castaway Charlie by Scott Baron

Castaway Charlie by Scott Baron
Narrated by Gary Bennett
Self Published

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Murphy’s Law: Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Charlie’s Law: Murphy was an optimist.

Trapped in a distant galaxy run by magic instead of technology? Check.

Kidnapped by space pirates and alien slave traders? Check.

Nearly eaten by wild dragons in gladiatorial combat? Check.

Locked in an interstellar war spanning galaxies? Check.

Charlie had faced it all, and yet somehow he and his friends had managed to come out on top. But now, at the peak of his powers, something new was coming over the horizon, and it was a threat the likes of which he’d never imagined.

Facing a desperate struggle against all odds, Charlie suddenly found himself forced to dig deeper than ever before, for it was not just his life on the line this time, but also those of his dearest friends. If he could somehow come out on top, they would live to fight another day. Anything less would mean death. Or worse.


Lost in the City of @ by Michael Bell

Lost in the City of @ by Michael Bell
Narrated by Isabella Tugman
Self Published

$7.47 Whispersync Deal with Kindle Purchase

Rhubarb Pie is gone….

Twelve-year-old Samantha has special powers, but she has yet to master them.

In the wake of September 11, 2001, Sammy attempts to use her powers to turn back time and change the course of history in search of her lost father, whom she affectionately calls Rhubarb Pie. However, in her botched attempt to manipulate fate, she falls down a rabbit hole and becomes lost in a virtual wonderland. As she wanders the fantastical City of @, she meets a variety of zany characters with questionable motives. In order to break free of this wacky world and find her way back home, she must restore her faith and connect with her powers before she disappears forever.

Will Sammy find her father before she loses herself?

Lost in the City of @ is a charming and imaginative work of fiction that contends with what it means to experience the chaos of trauma, rediscover oneself, and heal from unspeakable loss.


Awry with Dandelions by J.S. Fields

Awry with Dandelions by J.S. Fields
Narrated by Lynn Norris
Self Published

When do dreams become reality?

Orin sells dandelion latex at a no-name market, barely scraping by.

Mette is a princess. Maybe. What Orin does know is that for 30 seconds every night, Mette visits Orin in xir dreams. Orin has long since written the fancy ghost woman off as a recurring nightmare, but when Mette insists upon meeting in real life, Orin’s inner world turns out to be more substantive than imaginary.

Along with best friend Blathnaid, Orin embarks on a journey to discover the truth behind xir otherworldly connection—determined to free xir mind and finally get a good night’s sleep. But it’s an ancient planetary magic that binds Orin to Mette, and Orin’s dandelions may be their only chance to survive the separation.

If you want a fun queer romp through a sci-fi planet with magic and dragons (of a sort), download Awry with Dandelions today!


Circling Back to You by Julie Tieu

Circling Back to You by Julie Tieu
Narrated by Natalie Naudus, Reuben Uy
HarperCollins Publishers

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Julie Tieu, an exciting new and diverse voice in contemporary romance, returns with a hilarious and sexy new novel about colleagues who decide to take their relationship outside the office.

Cadence Lim has transformed from behind-the-scenes number cruncher to an integral part of the sales team at Prism Realty. But despite moving up the corporate ladder, her complicated relationship with her estranged elderly father weighs heavily and she can’t seem to shake the desire for a new beginning.

At least Cadence can always lean on her favorite co-worker and co-conspirator, Matt Escanilla. A top broker with an unsuccessful love life, the forever single Matt is constantly being nagged by his loving Filipino family to settle down.

Their relationship takes a turn when a business trip lands them both in their hometown and Matt enlists Cadence as a pretend girlfriend for a family gathering. The new after-hours setting forces the two friends to see each other in a new light, and their previously buried feelings rise quickly to the surface. When competing promotions threaten to separate Cadence and Matt, these office besties must work together to round up their ambitions and families to pursue their overdue romance.


No Funny Business by Amanda Aksel

No Funny Business by Amanda Aksel
Narrated by Amanda Ronconi
Penguin Audio

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Two down-on-their-luck comedians embark on a road tour and find more than a few good laughs on the way.

Olivia Vincent dreams of stand-up comedy stardom. Bustling around a busy Manhattan office by day and hustling from club to club by night, she can’t catch a break. Work is falling through the cracks, and after ditching a major client to make a performance, Olivia gets the boot.

Determined to pursue her dreams, she snags an audition in Los Angeles for a coveted spot on late-night TV. But the only way to get there is to join seasoned stand-up Nick Leto on a cross-country road tour. She agrees on one condition—no funny business.

Icky comedy condos, tiny smoking nightclubs, and Nick’s incessant classic rock radio are a far cry from life on the Upper East Side. Reality sets in, and Olivia wonders if she can hack it in showbiz or if she’s just a hack. As Nick helps Olivia improve her act along the way, sparks begin to fly and ignite what they thought was an impossible flame. Maybe being stuck with Nick in a Jeep isn’t so bad. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of Olivia’s actual funny business.


My Pet Serial Killer by Michael J. Seidlinger

My Pet Serial Killer by Michael J. Seidlinger
Narrated by Claire Wilkinson
Encyclopocalypse Publications

Dexter meets Secretary in Michael J. Seidlinger’s provocative, disturbing literary thriller that reinvents the serial killer genre, exploring the psychology of desire.

Claire studies forensic science, Victor is the gentleman killer. Subverting expectations, Clair seduces Victor and keeps him in her apartment as her pet, her darkest secret.

Beautifully written and provocative to listen to, Seidlinger delves into Claire’s motivations and impetus to present a compelling psychosexual portrait of a woman obsessed with performance, power, sex, and gore.


The It Girl by Ruth Ware

The It Girl by Ruth Ware
Narrated by Imogen Church
Simon Audio

Check out my reviews of other titles Narrated by Imogen Church

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “claustrophobic spine-tingler” (People) One by One returns with an unputdownable mystery following a woman on the search for answers a decade after her friend’s murder.

April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

“The Agatha Christie of our generation” (David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author) proves once again that she is “as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime” (The Washington Post) with this propulsive murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


Galactic Marine by Vaughn Heppner

Galactic Marine by Vaughn Heppner
Narrated by Michael Braun
Podium Audio

$7.49 Whispersync Deal with Kindle Purchase – Available on Kindle Unlimited

You ever have one of those days?

U.S. Marine Sergeant Jake Bayard did when he has to cancel a hot date to board a transport plane to the South Pole, which is hijacked by aliens with hostile intent to Earth.

Bayard escapes into tunnels deep under the ice and stumbles upon advanced technology that teleports him to Epsilon Eridani.

Desperately alone and on the run, Bayard falls back onto his combat training, soon discovering that these aliens keep human herds for meat. That’s it. He enlists some of the downtrodden and declares war against the hungry oppressors.

Galactic Marine is the story of a gung-ho Terran taking on the masters of an insidious and ancient alien conspiracy.


The Weight of Command by Michael Mammay

The Weight of Command by Michael Mammay
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell

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Lieutenant Kiera Markov is a scout platoon leader for a peacekeeping force on the remote planet of Tanara, where little has happened for decades, and the only mission is to keep the lithium flowing up the space elevator to feed the galaxy’s incessant demand. But when an unprecedented attack kills the entirety of the brigade’s leadership, the untested lieutenant suddenly finds herself in command.

Isolated and alone, Markov must contend with rival politicians on both sides of the border, all of whom have suspect motives and reason to take advantage of an untested leader, while an unseen enemy seeks to drive the two sides toward a war that Markov has a mission to prevent. It’s enough to test even a seasoned leader.

Markov isn’t that.

With challenges from all sides, and even from her own troops, Markov will have to learn quickly and establish her authority. Because what hangs in the balance is not only the future of the peacekeeping force, but of the planet itself..


Space Assassins Box Set: The Complete Series, Books 1-5 by Scott Baron

Space Assassins Box Set: The Complete Series, Books 1-5 by Scott Baron
Narrated by Eric Bryan Moore
Scott Baron

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Check out my reviews of other titles Narrated by Eric Bryan Moore

Sure, being one of the deadliest assassins in the galaxy had its perks, but even the mightiest warrior could have a bad day. In this case, it was looking to be enough of them to fill an entire calendar.

It seemed the unthinkable had happened. Someone had actually targeted the Ghalian, an order of assassins known and feared across the systems. It was madness. Only a fool would go after the likes of them. But, it seemed, the galaxy had no shortage of fools.

Retaliation most bloody was in order, and one man stood ready to spring into action. Hozark was his name, and he was no ordinary man. He was a Master Ghalian, an assassin skilled in the ways of death. Practical, mechanical, magical, to him it made no difference. One way or another, he would get to the bottom of the attack and turn the tables on whoever dared strike out at his brothers and sisters.

Or so he thought until someone quite unexpected reared their head. An appearance that gave him pause. Someone he had thought long dead. His former lover. A revelation like that could throw even a master assassin for a loop. That she too was an assassin only complicated things more.

There was far more at play than was apparent on the surface, and Hozark would require all of his wits and skill to get to the bottom of it. And he most surely intended to do just that, no matter how high the body count. He just hoped to do so before more of his kin fell victim to the nefarious plot.

A sci-fantasy adventure across space, with magic, starships, sword battles, treachery, deadly beasts, and, of course, a healthy dose of snark and sarcasm.


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