Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog!
Every week I post the top newly released audiobooks I’m excited for.
This is the New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of November 6th.
Authors, narrators, producers, and publishers — any of the books featured here are prime candidates for review.
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The Extinction Trials by A.G. Riddle
Narrated by John Skelley
The end… is only the beginning.
After a mysterious global event known only as “The Change”, six strangers wake up in an underground research facility where they learn that they’re part of the Extinction Trials – a scientific experiment to restart the human race.
But the Extinction Trials harbors a very big secret.
And so does the world outside.
From A.G. Riddle, the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal best-selling author with over four million copies sold worldwide in 20 languages, comes an epic stand-alone adventure with a surprise ending unlike anything you’ve ever heard before.
The Last Protector by Simon Gervais
Narrated by Jeffrey Kafer
From the acclaimed author of the Pierce Hunt series comes a thrilling novel featuring a Secret Service agent who takes on a ruthless foe to protect the country he serves and the woman he loves.
Former air force combat rescue officer Special Agent Clayton White now works for the Secret Service performing routine escort missions for politicians. These missions may not be quite as exciting as his time in the military, but Clayton’s okay with that. It gives him more time to see his girlfriend, Veronica Hammond – an archaeologist who also happens to be the vice president elect’s daughter.
But Clayton’s seemingly manageable new routine takes a startling turn when South African mercenaries target Veronica at an awards gala celebrating her work. After this attempt on Veronica’s life, Clayton enters a complicated web of lies, betrayal, and dangerous government secrets.
As Clayton gets closer to the truth, he encounters unexpected foes pitted against questionable allies. With enemies at every turn, the only constant Clayton can rely on is Veronica. But when the threat against her turns on him, too, he faces an impossible choice: love or country.
Mammoth by John Varley
Narrated by Alex Boyles
Not content with investing his fortune and watching it grow, multibillionaire Howard Christian buys rare cars that he actually drives, acquires collectible toys that he actually plays with, and builds buildings that defy the imagination. But now his restless mind has turned to a new obsession: cloning a mammoth.
In a barren province of Canada, a mammoth hunter financed by Christian has made the discovery of a lifetime: an intact frozen woolly mammoth. But what he finds during the painstaking process of excavating the huge creature baffles the mind. Huddled next to the mammoth is the mummified body of a Stone Age man around 12,000 years old. And he is wearing a wristwatch.
It looks like Howard Christian is going to get his wish – and more.
The Cottage by Daniel Judson
Narrated by Lauren Ezzo
A widowed mother is terrorized by a stalker with unfathomable intent in a novel of cold-blooded suspense by the Shamus Award-winning author of The Temporary Agent.
When Kate Burke is awakened one night by a sound outside her window, her PTSD is triggered. Was it simply a deer crossing her secluded backyard? Or was it intruders? Because Kate still lives with the dreadful memories of her husband’s murder during a seemingly random home invasion two years before, she knows the answer can mean the difference between life and death.
But when she discovers the unsettling ways her property has been vandalized the next day, Kate is forced to conclude the worst: someone is watching her.
Kate decides to rent out her estranged sister’s onetime cottage, which sits on her property, for the summer. Another set of eyes around the place won’t hurt. And with additional support from friends and family, Kate should be feeling safe.
Instead, the vandalism is escalating. So are the anonymous late-night calls and texts, each one more disturbing and violating than the last. Whoever is targeting Kate, whatever their motive or terrifying endgame, the footsteps in the dark are getting closer.
Table for Two by Kate Gavin
Narrated by Anastasia Watley
Trying to take a few brief moments away from a stressful situation, Reagan Murphy snags the last table at a bustling downtown lunch spot. When another woman walks into the crowded restaurant seeking a table, Reagan offers to share hers.
Jillian Jacobs just wanted a quick bite before she’d have to focus on a new and unreasonable deadline. Irritated by her empty stomach and by the prospect of waiting, Jillian resentfully accepts a seat at a stranger’s table.
Their shared lunch is filled with hostility, snide comments, and shades of derision from Jill, and Reagan finds herself relieved at the end of the encounter.
But then the two are thrown back together when Jill becomes a catering client of Reagan’s. Soon navigating a professional relationship becomes complicated as their attraction begins to smolder. Will it get in the way and cause even bigger problems? Or will this be the start of something they’ve both been looking for all along?
The Startling Inaccuracy of the First Impression by Amanda Radley
Narrated by Wendy Wolfson
Woodlands Avenue is a peaceful and tranquil street, picturesque with Victorian-era homes and lined with trees. Verity Forsyth lives at 27A, and is enjoying her early retirement, active social calendar, and occasional babysitting duties. Katie Ross is starting over, leaving her old home and her controlling ex behind and moving into a new apartment. When Katie and her beloved motorbike move into 27B, she finds herself immediately in conflict with her upstairs neighbour, Verity. Two such forceful personalities under one roof is a recipe for disaster. When disaster strikes, will they be able to put aside their differences and call a truce?
Save the Date by Ann Roberts – editor
Narrated by Emma Wilder
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence for her shoe.
A woman realizes she was meant to decline a wedding invitation, but only after she’s arrived. Can she borrow some of a stranger’s charm to make it through an awkward night?
A power outage during a rehearsal dinner. A vanishing bride. A distraught groom. How’s an innkeeper to keep up? Especially when the bride reappears with a strange request: help her escape her own wedding.
It’s awfully easy to bring “something old” to your wedding when one of the brides happens to be Death’s 700 year-old Head Minion.
As if a museum wasn’t enough of a draw for a history nerd, throw in holograms, a secret wedding, and a mysteriously well-informed woman and things really get interesting.
Contains mature themes.
Big London Dreams by Clare Lydon
Narrated by Claire Storey
They were each other’s first love. But that was a lifetime ago….
Eunice Starling didn’t mean to fall for Joan Hart, but she did. How could she resist those stunning eyes, that dynamite smile? Months later, she didn’t want to leave Joan and marry a suitable man, but she did. Over the years, Eunice tried to forget, but she never forgave herself. Now, 60 years later, Eunice comes face to face with Joan. They might be older, but Joan’s eyes are still the same. But after so long apart, is that enough? Are the pair destined to finally live out their big London dreams?
For the latest instalment in the London Romance series, best-selling author Clare Lydon travels back in time to uncover the story of Eunice and Joan, and the love that was ripped from their grasp. Told from 1958 London to the present day, get ready to have your heart broken, then pieced back together again. This is a story of burning passion, shattered dreams, and ultimately, enduring, endless love.
The Thing About Tilly by G. Benson
Narrated by Cat Gould
Two best friends. Buried feelings. A secret holding them apart.
Two friends since university, each holding something back.
Tilly’s been running from her secrets for far too long. Evie, carrying a buried flame for Tilly since they met, has always been there to welcome Tilly back with open arms. That is, after all, what one does for a friend.
When Evie unexpectedly falls pregnant, she’s left with a lot of hard decisions to make. That includes choices about Tilly and the way she’s been disappearing on her randomly for over a decade.
Tilly wants nothing more than to be there for Evie, who’s been her anchor to return to time and time again. But what does supporting her look like when sticking around becomes an important part of that?
A romance about growing up – whatever that means – and realizing that even if it hurts, sometimes change is for the best.
Contains mature themes.
Everything We Didn’t Say by Nicole Baart
Narrated by Emily Tremaine
Simon & Schuster Audio
From the author of Little Broken Things, a “race-to-the-finish family drama” (People) following a mother who must confront the dark summer that changed her life forever in order to reclaim the daughter she left behind.
Juniper Baker had just graduated from high school and was deep in the throes of a summer romance when Cal and Beth Murphy, a childless couple who lived on a neighboring farm, were brutally murdered. When her younger brother became the prime suspect, June’s world collapsed and everything she loved that summer fell away. She left, promising never to return to tiny Jericho, Iowa.
Until now. Officially, she’s back in town to help an ill friend manage the local library. But really, she’s returned to repair her relationship with her teenage daughter, who’s been raised by Juniper’s mother and stepfather since birth – and to solve the infamous Murphy murders once and for all. She knows the key to both lies in the darkest secret of that long-ago summer night, one that’s haunted her for nearly 15 years.
As history begins to repeat itself and a dogged local true crime podcaster starts delving into the murders, the race to the truth puts past and present on a dangerous collision course. Juniper lands back in an all-too-familiar place with the answers to everything finally in her sights, but this time it’s her daughter’s life that hangs in the balance. Will revealing what really happened mean a fresh start? Or will the truth destroy everything Juniper loves for a second time? Baart once again brilliantly weaves mystery into family drama in this expertly-crafted novel for fans of Lisa Jewell and Megan Miranda.
You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith
Narrated by Sunil Malhotra, Natalie Naudus
No one ever said love would be easy…but did they mention it would be freezing?
Adam Stillwater is in over his head. At least, that’s what his best friend would say. And his mom. And the guy who runs the hardware store down the street. But this pinball arcade is the only piece of his dad that Adam has left, and he’s determined to protect it from Philadelphia’s newest tech mogul, who wants to turn it into another one of his cold, lifeless gaming cafés.
Whitney Mitchell doesn’t know how she got here. Her parents split up. She lost all her friends. Her boyfriend dumped her. And now she’s spending her senior year running social media for her dad’s chain of super successful gaming cafés – which mostly consists of trading insults with that decrepit old pinball arcade across town.
But when a huge snowstorm hits, Adam and Whitney suddenly find themselves trapped inside the arcade. Cut off from their families, their worlds, and their responsibilities, the tension between them seems to melt away, leaving something else in its place. But what happens when the storm stops?
Buttercupped by Tim Paige
Narrated by Tim Paige, Avery Reid
I met her in a hospital room after a freak accident. She’s perfect. Beautiful, nerdy, and takes no crap from anyone. But I missed her discharge, and we never got a chance to exchange info. Great. Did I just miss my chance with the woman of my dreams?
The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams
Narrated by N’Jameh Camara, Teddy Hamilton, Denise Williams
Britta didn’t plan on falling for her personal trainer, and Wes didn’t plan on Britta. Plans change, and it’s unclear if love, career, or both will meet them at the finish line.
Britta Colby works for a lifestyle website, and when tasked to write about her experience with a hot new body-positive fitness app that includes personal coaching, she knows it’s a major opportunity to prove she should write for the site full-time.
As CEO of the FitMi Fitness app, Wes Lawson finally has the financial security he grew up without, but despite his success, his floundering love life and complicated family situation leaves him feeling isolated and unfulfilled. He decides to get back to what he loves – coaching. Britta’s his first new client, and they click immediately.
As weeks pass, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys experimenting with her exercise routine. He’s surprised at how much he looks forward to talking to her every day. They convince themselves their attraction is harmless, but when they start working out in person, Wes and Britta find it increasingly challenging to deny their chemistry and maintain a professional distance.
Wes isn’t supposed to be training clients, much less meeting with them, and Britta’s credibility will be sunk if the lifestyle site finds out she’s practically dating the fitness coach she’s reviewing. Walking away from each other is the smartest thing to do, but running side by side feels like the start of something big.
You Can’t Be Serious by Kal Penn
Narrated by Kal Penn
Simon & Schuster Audio
In this refreshingly candid memoir, Kal Penn recounts why he rejected the advice of his aunties and guidance counselors and, instead of becoming a doctor or “something practical”, embarked on a surprising journey that has included acting, writing, working as a farmhand, teaching Ivy League University courses, and smoking fake weed with a fake President of the United States, before serving the country and advising a real one.
You Can’t Be Serious is a series of funny, consequential, awkward, and ridiculous stories from Kal’s idiosyncratic life. It’s about being the grandson of Gandhian freedom fighters, and the son of immigrant parents: people who came to this country with very little and went very far – and whose vision of the American dream probably never included their son sliding off an oiled-up naked woman in a raunchy Ryan Reynolds movie…or getting a phone call from Air Force One as Kal flew with the country’s first Black president.
With intelligence, humor, and charm on every page, Kal reflects on the most exasperating and rewarding moments from his journey so far. He pulls back the curtain on the nuances of opportunity and racism in the entertainment industry and recounts how he built allies, found encouragement, and dealt with early reminders that he might never fit in. And of course, he reveals how, after a decade and a half of fighting for and enjoying successes in Hollywood, he made the terrifying but rewarding decision to take a sabbatical from a fulfilling acting career for an opportunity to serve his country as a White House aide.
Above all, You Can’t Be Serious shows that everyone can have more than one life story. Kal demonstrates by example that no matter who you are and where you come from, you have many more choices than those presented to you. It’s a story about struggle, triumph, and learning how to keep your head up. And okay, yes, it’s also about how he accidentally (and very stupidly) accepted an invitation to take the entire White House Office of Public Engagement to a strip club – because, let’s be honest, that’s the kind of stuff you really want to hear about.