5 Stars / Contemporary / Review / Romantic Comedy

Audiobook Review: The Runaround by Sylvie Stewart 🎧

The Runaround Sylvie Stewart Cover

Men are good for two things: orgasms and reaching the wine glasses on the top shelf.

ARI: I’ve always said boyfriends are like martinis; they’re lots of fun at first, but the longer you hang out the bigger headache they’ll give you. The last thing I need is the messy complications of love when I’ve got so many balls in the air and so many goals yet to accomplish. Jax Crosby thinks he can tempt me to take a walk on the scary side and he’s using his daughter to reel me in. But he doesn’t realize that giving yourself to someone else means losing the one and only thing that belongs to just you.

JAX: I like to stay two steps ahead; that way, I’m never surprised. But even I didn’t see this one coming. Congratulations to me—I’m a freakin’ dad. Now I’ve got a teenage daughter who hates me, an ex who wants to cut things off my body I’m not ready to part with, and an attraction to a curvy songbird that couldn’t have come at a worse time. But I’ve never met a situation I couldn’t handle, and I’ve never let a female get the best of me. So why do I have the feeling Ari Amante might be one more thing I never saw coming?

Title:The Runaround
Author:Sylvie Stewart
Narrator(s):Matt Hicks
Reagan West
Series:Carolina Connections (Book 6)
Pages / Length: 398 / 10 hrs 28 mins
Category / Genre(s):Contemporary
Romantic Comedy
Trope(s):One Night Stand
Friends to Lovers
Single Parent
Point of View:First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Narration Type:Dual
Location:Carolina, USA
Release Date:4th March, 2020
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Hilarious yet sweet

5 stars

If you’ve been reading through the Carolina Connections series (of which this is the 6th book) you will know of both Jax and Ari as they both popped up in several of the previous books in the series. But don’t worry if this is your first foray into Carolina Connections or indeed Sylvie Stewart, as this book stands completely alone with its own HEA.

At first, our heroine Ari comes across as a bit of a party girl – reeling men in with her pin-up girl good looks and then discarding them when they no longer served a purpose for her. But as we get to know her, we realise that nothing could be further from the truth. She’s actually an overly sensible girl (yes, still with the pin-up girl good looks) who is very unlucky in love and works damn hard so her dreams can come true. I liked her immensely. She was sassy, mouthy but still sensible – I think I might have fallen in love.

In the audiobook, Ari is portrayed by Reagan West and a great job she does of her, too. Her tone and inflection are just as I would suspect Ari’s would be. She got the nuances and she was a joy to listen to. I did feel that Ms West’s accent when depicting Mr and Mrs Amante – Ari’s parents who are supposed to be Italian immigrants – was suspiciously Indian sounding. But the meaning was there so it didn’t affect my rating.

“…if slow talking, shucks y’all, laid back men are your thing, darlin’, then you will adore this listen.”

Jax is our hero and never a more laid-back, Southern charmer of a man was there. His drawl was delightful and the push and pull between him and Ari was really fun to listen to. Part of the background for Jax’s character was his sudden fatherhood. While children are never a plus point in romances, for me, Lola was a peach and the growing and changing relationship between father and daughter really added to how much I liked Jax. And Lola, too.

Jax is voiced by Matt Hicks and if slow talking, shucks y’all, laid back men are your thing, darlin’, then you will adore this listen. He is the perfect Jax and portrayed him well.

This book reminds me of the first two books in the Carolina Connections series. It’s got that sparkle and joy about it and it’s also ridiculously funny. Ari and Jax are the perfect pairing. They love hard and they bicker and banter just as hard. This is a delightful book and the perfect showcase of Sylvie Stewart’s romcom expertise. I laughed out loud on many occasion – an actual LOL. This book reminds me why I’ve come to love Ms Stewart’s writing style and why I’m rating another of her books with 5 stars.

5 stars

USA Today bestselling author Sylvie Stewart is addicted to Romantic Comedy and Contemporary Romance, and she’s not looking for a cure. She hails from the great state of North Carolina, so it’s no surprise that most of her books are set in the Tar Heel state. She’s a wife to a hilarious dude and mommy to ten-year-old twin boys who tend to take after their father in every way. Sylvie often wonders if they’re actually hers, but then she remembers being a human incubator for a gazillion months. Ah, good times.

Sylvie began publishing when her kids started elementary school, and she loves sharing her stories with readers and hopefully making them laugh and swoon a bit along the way. If she’s not in her comfy green writing chair, she’s probably camping or kayaking with her family or having a glass of wine while binge-watching Hulu. Or she’s been kidnapped—so what are you doing just sitting there?!!

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