Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s Weekly Showcase of New and Notable Audiobooks for May 12th!

Each week, I handpick audiobooks from various genres that have caught my attention. Dive in and discover your next great listen!

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The Last Steward: Galaxy in Flames, Book 1 by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

The Last Steward: Galaxy in Flames, Book 1 by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
Narrated by Mark Boyett & Khristine Hvam
Galaxy in Flames #1
Audible Studios

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From the embers of a galaxy in flames, destiny calls upon an unknown guardian.

Captain Axel Finn has spent his life running salvage missions with an alien crew and their war bot. This motley group has found refuge on his ship from their own tumultuous pasts. But little do any of them know, beneath his gentle demeanor, their steadfast captain is far from the peace-following, adventure-seeking giant of a man they all love. His pacifist ethos meant to safeguard them has edged them to the brink of financial ruin and drawn dangerous enemies.

Forced into a risky salvage operation, the crew uncovers an alien relic not of this galaxy.

Expecting treasure to pay their debts, they instead find an artifact of the Wrath, an extraterrestrial species that once decimated entire worlds. To decipher the true nature of their discovery, Axel seeks Rangnar Soki, a deadly bounty hunter famous for his pursuit of the Stewards—legendary warriors who stood against the Wrath in bygone days. But as the mystery of this artifact deepens, and hunters close in, an old enemy threatens to set the galaxy ablaze.

Axel must choose: accept his legacy and unleash the monster within or watch everything he loves burn.

Kick off a thrilling quest of adventure with NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Nicholas Sansbury Smith in this new science fiction saga. Readers that enjoy galactic combat, snarky droids, ancient aliens, lost starships, and underdogs facing daunting odds, this story is for you!


London Ever After by Clare Lydon

London Ever After by Clare Lydon
Narrated by Claire Storey
London Romance Series #9
Custard Books

Check out my reviews of other titles written by Clare Lydon
Check out my reviews of other titles narrated by Claire Storey

Amid London’s hustle, an unexpected love story begins

Hannah Driver’s life is on the skids: single, newly jobless, and nursing ambitions of becoming a drag king that make her traditional family baulk. She’s at a crossroads.

Enter Cordy Starling, the charming and composed pianist who moves in with Hannah, and quickly becomes the nudgeor—or rather, full-on shove—Hannah needs to chase her dreams. The prospect of romance with Cordy twinkles on the horizon like a disco ball, promising glitter but guaranteeing chaos.

Together, they embark on a jagged journey of self-discovery, dodging family skepticism and their own reservations, as Hannah embraces her new persona, while winning over her toughest critic: herself. When Hannah and Cordy’s world merges with the cast of unforgettable characters from previous stories, it gives everyone the send-off they deserve.
London Ever After is your ticket to a generous slice of London sapphic life, and also to the party of the year. Grab a cocktail, kick back, and revel in the final story of the London Romance series!


The Object by Joshua T. Calvert

The Object by Joshua T. Calvert
Narrated by Nicol Zanzarella
Podium Audio

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Deep space holds secrets…

…and one astronomer for NASA has found a big one.

But it’s not what she thinks.

Dr. Melody Adams, a physicist at the Gemini North Observatory, was studying Pluto in the telescope data, and it struck her as odd. The numbers didn’t make sense. Could there be an extraterrestrial object in our solar system?

She followed protocol.

The scientific community didn’t believe her.

And before she knew what happened, her career was over.

The day that changed Melody’s life was like any other over the previous two years. She’d found she had a gift for writing, and her career as an author had almost healed the pain of losing her job. When the Secret Service rang her bell, everything changed.

Something was nearing Saturn…

…and it was slowing down.

Had she been right about the object?

You’ll love this hard science fiction novel because Melody is about to find out that everything she knew about space and time was wrong.


The Summer Love Strategy by Ray Stoeve

The Summer Love Strategy by Ray Stoeve
Narrated by Sophie Amoss
Recorded Books

Check out my reviews of other titles narrated by Sophie Amoss

Hayley always has a crush. The problem is her crushes never like her back. After her latest unrequited love—a girl from her basketball team—gets a boyfriend, she decides she’s done falling for girls who are unavailable. Her best friend, Talia, wants romance, too, but rarely gets crushes on anyone, and she’s tired of watching Hayley get her heart stomped on over and over. So the two girls make a pact: They’ll help each other find summer love by putting themselves in situations that always lead to romance in movies.

To help carry out their summer love strategy, they make a list of all the places they could find their real-life rom-com: the beach, the Pride parade, the pool, a MUNA concert, and a party. But as they go to each place and try to find the one, it seems like they just can’t catch a break—they don’t know how to talk to cute strangers, someone mistakes Hayley as straight, and Hayley does a truly unfortunate DIY haircut (that she cannot be held responsible for—it was a crisis!).

But when Talia and Hayley finally manage to score dates, will they be able to get out of their own way and really dive into the romances they deserve? Or is summer love not as far off as Hayley thought?

“The Summer Love Strategy is a love story within a love story. Intimacy takes so many beautifully complicated forms here. These are friends who care enough to carve out space for each other’s differences, even as they feel their way through shifting relationship dynamics. Stoeve explores what it means to find new ways to love a person you know by heart—and they tackle it with such specificity and care. This one’s going to make so many people feel seen.”—Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda


Alternate Endings by Ali Rosen

Alternate Endings by Ali Rosen
Narrated by Maria Marquis
Brilliance Audio

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From the author of Recipe for Second Chances comes a smart, sexy, heartfelt romance about a single mother juggling homelife and career who finds unexpected complications while in Ireland for work.

Beatrice Leal’s personal life is complicated between her divorce and her precocious six-year-old. But the job she loves is the one thing she counts on to be straightforward—that is, until her boss’s own divorce prompts a move from NYC back to Ireland.

Now Bea’s in Ireland twice a month for work. It’s wreaking havoc on the custody agreement she and her moody ex are sorting out while he lives downstairs in the brownstone they co-own. And to top it off, her company’s new CTO turns out to be the boy who once broke her heart: Jack Sander.

It’s been twenty years since Bea and Jack saw each other. Their lives are both messy. So when they hook up one night in Ireland, they plan to just keep it a work fling that stays there. But the more time they spend together, the more Bea wonders if happiness might not always mean needing to have your life in order.


Lavash at First Sight by Taleen Voskuni

Lavash at First Sight by Taleen Voskuni
Narrated by Christine Mirzayan
Penguin Audio

Sparks fly between two women pitted against each other in this delectable new romantic comedy by Taleen Voskuni, author of Sorry, Bro.

Twenty-seven-year-old Nazeli “Ellie” Gregorian enjoys the prestige of her tech marketing job but is sick of the condescending Patagonia-clad tech bros, her micromanaging boss, and her ex-boyfriend, who she’s forced to work with every day. When Ellie’s lovingly overbearing parents ask her to attend PakCon—a food packaging conference in Chicago—to help promote their company and vie to win an ad slot in the Superbowl (no big deal), she’s eager for a brief change and a delicious distraction.

At the conference, she meets witty, devil-may-care Vanya Simonian. Ellie can’t believe how easy it is to talk to Vanya and how much they have in common—both Armenian! From the Bay Area! Whose families are into food! Their meet-cute is cut short, however, when Ellie’s parents recognize Vanya as the daughter of the owners of their greatest rival, whose mission (according to Ellie’s mother) is to whitewash and package Armenian food for the American health-food crowd.

Sworn as enemies, Ellie and Vanya must compete against each other under their suspicious parents’ scrutiny, all while their feelings for each other heat to sizzling temps.


Toxxic by Jane Hennigan

Toxxic by Jane Hennigan
Narrated by Juanita McMahon
W. F. Howes Ltd

Forty years ago, the world changed. Men became crazed killers and threatened all humanity. Now the world might be about to change again, but will it be for the better?

Forty-four years ago, as any schoolgirl can tell you, the moth’s eggs hatched and an army of caterpillars spread their tiny toxic threads on every breath of wind. Since then, men have been cloistered, protected from birth against the deadly poison.

But now there’s a vaccine—a way that men can leave the facility without dying or suffering from psychosis. Emerging, into their new world, eyes wide with wonder at every new experience, the truth soon becomes clear.

This world was not made for men. And they are not safe.


Artifact by Joshua James

Artifact by Joshua James
Narrated by Paul Heitsch
Saturn’s Legacy #1
Joshua James

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FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS, SATURN HID AN ALIEN SECRET. IN 2065, HUMANITY WILL FIND IT.

Carpenter Lowell is a disgraced Marine assigned to a remote US research station on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, where scientists have made an extraordinary discovery in the ocean below. A special forces team, led by Lowell’s murderous former commanding officer, shows up to investigate. Almost immediately, everything begins to unravel. Something beneath the surface has been activated.

Soon every space force on Earth — American, Chinese, Russian, and more — is converging on the tiny moon, ready to start a war. But when a young archeologist with a knack for dead languages makes an amazing discovery of his own, Lowell realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could’ve imagined. He soon has no choice but to disobey orders and fight soldiers he helped train as he races to stop an unimaginable chain reaction that threatens the entire solar system. The countdown has begun…

Artifact, the first book in the Saturn’s Legacy series, is a sci-fi thriller full of mystery, intrigue, and epic action from the depths of the ocean to the edge of outer space.


Hilsford by Cassio Ferreira

Hilsford by Cassio Ferreira
Narrated by Steve Corona
Hidden Class: Pacifist #2
Podium Audio

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Sewer monsters. New friends. Incredible Class.

The next chapter in Roth’s journey takes him to Hilsford.

After getting his journey off to a good start and becoming friends with the ratans, foxes, badgers, corvids, and boars of the woods, it’s time to take his journey to one of the big cities of AstroTerra, Hilsford.

Instead of finding a peaceful city where he can rest, he finds a competitive environment ridden with mobsters and slavers. To make matters worse, Roth’s enemies are picking up his scent, and the pressure is on.

Roth’s journey continues in book two of Hidden Class: Pacifist, a series featuring a protagonist who overcomes his anger management issues to become the most peaceful man on Earth. Join Roth in a sci-fi fantasy cyberpunk adventure with a unique progression LitRPG system. This wholesome LitRPG story contains no sexual content, profanity, gore, or harem.


The Pick Up by Hannah Doyle

The Pick Up by Hannah Doyle
Narrated by Olivia Mace
HQ Digital

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A laugh-out-loud romcom in 2024 perfect for fans of Tessa Bailey and Elena Armas

Committing to a fake romance is easy. It’s keeping it fake that’s the problem …

‘Charming, funny, relatable’ Sophie Cousens

‘I’m still swooning, and I don’t swoon lightly’ Lucy Vine

‘A big, sunny hug of a book that I loved, and was so sad to finish’ Cressida McLaughlin

Sophie Rogers finds it easy to focus on the important things in life. Like her daughter, her job and her family.

So when Joe, another single parent at school suggests they fake a romance to help them both out of a fix, she throws herself in.

But then Sophie starts to look forward to seeing Joe. In fact, she’s thinking about his floppy hair, Irish accent and the way his lips felt when they grazed hers (her commitment to this is exceptional) more than their synced calendars and staged socials. And there is a reason the yummy mummies called him Hot Single Dad.

Sophie Rogers isn’t silly enough to fall in love with her fake boyfriend. Is she?

Tropes:

Enemies to lovers

Fake dating

Slow burn romance


The Distraction by Morgan Elizabeth

The Distraction by Morgan Elizabeth
Narrated by Callie Dalton, Jameson Adams
Springbrook Hills #1
Podium Audio

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The last thing he needs is a distraction.

Hunter Hutchin’s success is due to one thing, and one thing only: his unerring focus on Beaten Path, the outdoor recreation company he built from the ground up after his first business was an utter failure.

When his dad gets sick, Hunter is forced to go back to his hometown and prove once and for all that his father’s belief in him wasn’t for nothing. With illness looming, distractions are unacceptable.

Staying with his sister, he meets Hannah, the sexy nanny who has had his head in a frenzy since they met.

When Hunter’s dad gets sick, he’s forced to leave the city and move back into the small town he grew up in at his sister’s house. Ever since he watched Hannah dance into his life, he’s finding himself drifting from his goals and purpose—or is he drifting closer to them?

She refuses to make the same mistakes as her mother.

Hannah Keller grew up watching what happens when a family falls apart and lived through those consequences. When it’s time, she won’t make the same mistake of settling for anyone.

But when the uncle of the kids she nannies comes to stay for the summer, she can’t help but find herself drawn to the handsome, standoffish man who is definitely not for her.

Can she get through the summer while protecting her heart? Or will he break through and leave her broken?

The Distraction is a contemporary forced proximity, grumpy sunshine romance with an HEA. It’s book one in the Springbrook Hills series, but it can be enjoyed as a standalone. Intended for mature listeners.

Brian

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