Overall Rating: ★★★★ ½
Performance (Marnye): ★★★★★
Performance (Kale): ★★★★★
Narrators: Marnye Young and Kale Williams
Audiobook Length: 8hr 19m
Release Date: 06-15-2018
Reading Time: 6 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a review copy of House of Belonging from Marnye Young in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author, narrators and/or publisher’s generosity.
Who can we count on? The family we’re born into, or the one we create for ourselves?
Renowned chef Laina Ming walked away from the culinary spotlight and an unhealthy relationship–one that still haunts her a year later. She’s trying to start fresh in the Rocky Mountains, opening a concept restaurant on the banks of the Roaring Fork River, where she hopes she’ll be able to express her passion for food and bury her heartache.
Horse rancher Logan Matthews moved to Aspen to be near his sister and her husband, grateful for his newfound family. Since a chance meeting with Laina the previous summer, Logan’s been enchanted. But she doesn’t want anything to do with him–which makes her all the more appealing.
Despite Laina’s efforts to protect her heart, Logan has been on her mind, too–and he has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places. Can they learn to trust one another and finally find the sense of belonging they’ve both been searching for?
First Line: “She’d sworn she wouldn’t look, but when the moment arrived, Laina Ming couldn’t help herself.”
Narrator Review (Marnye):
When I’m reincarnated, can I have Maryne’s voice? Is there anyone out there who can make this happen? Please and thank you. Good God this woman is unbelievably talented. It’s so easy to get sucked into the smooth roll of her tongue and melodic sway of her phrasing. I’m not one to dance in public, but I’ll bust out a waltz in the middle of downtown Boise with Marnye purring in my ear. I know, you wish you were me.
Before this, I don’t think I had ever listed to a duet narration featuring Marnye. I feel like I would have remembered because I’m a little obsessed with her (but not in a creepy way, of course). I really liked this. For those of you who don’t know what duet narration is, there’s dual narration where narrators read all parts within a POV, and then there’s duet narration where the ladies narrate all the female parts in the book and the hunks narrate all the male roles. This was delightful in epic proportions. I didn’t have to wait an entire chapter to listen to my favorite leading lady. With duet narration, I had the best of both worlds right at the tips of my fingers!
There’s a reason Marnye Young is on my insta-buy list. She’s flawless and I know when I listen to a book narrated by her, she will enhance the bejesus out of it. Because…that’s just what Marnye does.
Narrator Review (Kale):
I was excited when I received this audiobook because I’ve been wanting to grow my Kale collection. Haha, that’s actually really funny because I think I own all of his audiobooks…
Kale’s voice is delicious. I want to eat it.
Honestly, I don’t know how he can go all day without recording himself and playing it back. Maybe if I had the voice of a God, I wouldn’t grunt and groan when people say “good morning” to me. I’d likely answer them, I dunno, and talk about my weekend prancing in the middle of town because I have the best voice ever.
I’ve been a fan of Kale Williams for a hot minute and my favorite part about his performance here is his versatility. He emits an array of emotions just by breathing. His timing is impeccable. I could jog to the cadence of his voice. Kale Williams could narrate any role. ANY. ROLE. He can be a debonaire pig, elegant, or ruthless.
Between Marnye and Kale, I’m done for. The tones of their voices mix so beautifully together.
Laina Ming disappears from the spotlight of her high-end restaurant in a determined effort to outrun her heartbreak. Oh friends, how many times have you tried to run away from a broken heart?
Take my word for it: that juju will FOLLOW YOU.
Laina obviously decides to ignore my advice and tries to start fresh. She opens the House of Belonging in Aspen, her own little haven of heavenly flavors and connection with others. Along with her trusty friend and chef, Van Laird, she settles into her new life in this quiet town, trying desperately not to notice the gentle flirtations from rancher Logan Matthews.
Logan is a mighty fine ranching man. Oh me oh my. He notices Laina immediately. They had met the year before, and even then, he knew his heart was in trouble. Now, she pushes back against his interest even though he wants nothing more than to tenderly care for the wounds left on her heart.
Willing to wait as long as she needs, Logan signs on for the long haul.
It was her.
He’d be damned if he could figure out how she’d managed to infect his thoughts so completely.
Time passes, and Laina can’t help but notice that her battered heart has a mind of its own. Meaning, it’s wandering straight to Logan. The two grow closer together and find, along with other members of the town, that they can choose their own definition of family.
Ooo but that bad juju is creeping around the bend! Laina’s past crashes through the front door, and her bond with Logan is put to the test. If they can face the demons of their past and find forgiveness, they just might have a chance at a future together. But I don’t know…Laina seems like the kind of person to give second chances.
House of Belonging is sizzling hot. It’s not my favorite book in the Hesse Creek series, but it’s definitely my favorite audiobook by Andrea. Marnye and Kale really just took this manuscript to the next level. Holy hot YUSSSS.
Andrea Thome has chiseled off another piece of my heart for her collection. I’ve never held my breath so many times while reading. I swear I could be the next Houdini. Another fantastic romance. I can’t wait until the next <3