Wednesday, February 15, 2023

✱✱Audio Book Review✱✱ McCullough Mountain Series: Books 6 & 7 by Lydia Michaels


Controlled Chaos
McCullough Mountain, Book 6
By: Lydia Michaels
Narrated by: Salenah de Kai

When a single mom celebrates her recent divorce with a one-night stand, a farewell fling turns into a possible second chance. Best-selling author, Lydia Michaels, tells a stunning blended family love story that gives a spectacular glimpse into the world of autism.

Braydon McCullough has spent his life searching for the perfect woman. When a shy beauty propositions him, he assumes he’s found her. Blindsided by their chemistry, his life takes a bewildering turn when his perfect one-night stand vanishes without a trace.

Becca Stevens can’t afford to take risks, but when persuaded by friends to commemorate her divorce by approaching a gorgeous stranger in a bar, common sense abandons her. After an unforgettable night of passion, she panics, running back to her methodical life, promising never to be so reckless again. That is until Braydon unexpectedly tracks her down. But the real Becca is nothing like the woman he took to bed, and her reality might be too much for him to handle.

Best-selling author, Lydia Michaels, has created an unforgettable family saga bursting with sizzling secrets and scandalous moments in this award-winning series, McCullough Mountain, where each story can be listened to as a stand-alone!

Momma Says: 5 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

To quote Braydon McCullough, "I was bred from a clan of Irish psychos." That is an apt assessment, in my opinion, because the whole McCullough clan is completely crazy - the good kind of crazy, but crazy just the same. They're loud, they have no filter, they're always all up in each other's business, and they love with all their hearts. I've fallen in love with this "clan of Irish psychos," and I'm always excited to visit them.
Controlled Chaos is Braydon's turn at love, and if anyone deserves to get their turn, it's Bray. I loved Braydon and Becca together from their very first meeting, and the more I listened, the more I fell in love with Braydon. In true McCullough fashion, he only knows one way to love, and that's full steam ahead. But Becca comes as a package deal, and she's not sure if Bray's up for the task. Of course, she's gonna see first-hand just how strong that McCullough stubborn streak can be. I'll stop there before I spoil the story. Just be prepared for some big feels and tugging of your heartstrings with this one.
Salenah de Kai gives voice to these characters, and she gives a terrific performance. She captures the emotion of the story perfectly, as well as the pacing and tone.
Bray and Becca have become my favorite couple in this series. There are several reasons for that, and again, explaining some of that would lead to spoilers. I'll just sum it up by saying Controlled Chaos is absolutely perfectly titled. It's packed full of all the feels, and as always, Lydia Michaels tempers the emotion with some well-timed wit and even some laugh-out-loud humor. If you haven't met this crazy family, you are totally missing out. Each book can be read as a standalone, but I would still recommend starting at the beginning and meeting each couple in turn. You won't regret it. 

Hard Fix
McCullough Mountain, Book 7
By: Lydia Michaels
Narrated by:  Lucinda Gainey

Best-selling and award-winning author, Lydia Michaels, writes a heartwarming love story generations long and leaves no detail untold as she takes listeners back to where McCullough Mountain began.

Maureen O’Leahey has always hoped for a family to love, but small-town life becomes less romantic when the men of Center County have just returned from a lost war. Frank McCullough is the quiet, uncomplicated sort, but when he finds himself in a tangle with the law and a fiery redhead named Maureen, his life is never simple again. Maureen is determined to love Frank despite all odds. Against her father’s wishes, she and the Irish lumberjack marry in secret but face a difficult road ahead. Frank struggles to do right by his young bride, and Maureen aches to be a good wife, but misfortune has threatened their happiness.

When love and patience aren’t enough to heal what is broken, Frank must do everything in his power to build his wife a house so that Maureen can follow her dreams and fill a happy home.

Full of bonus epilogue chapters, so listeners can catch up with all the McCullough newlyweds, award-winning author, Lydia Michaels, has created an unforgettable family saga bursting with sizzling secrets and scandalous moments in this award-winning series, McCullough Mountain, where each story can be listened to as a stand-alone!

Momma Says: 5 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hard Fix - the romance that started it all. Throughout the McCullough Mountain series, we've gotten tidbits of Frank and Maureen's start as a couple. I've wanted the whole story since book one in the series, so I was excited to dive into this one. And now that I've gotten the start of this crazy wonderful family, it's safe to say that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
The book is part "what started it all" and part present day. To be honest, I'm not sure which part I liked best. I've loved the heads of this clan from the beginning (especially Maureen), so I loved getting their love story. That said, I also loved getting to catch up with each couple and seeing where they all are in their relationships. It was like a happy visit to the mountain. I suppose the only fair thing would be to call it a tie. I loved the whole thing from start to finish.
Lucinda Gainey does an excellent job with the narration. As I mentioned, the second part of the book is a catch-up-with-everyone kind of thing, so there are a lot of characters to keep straight. Lucinda Gainey keeps every single one distinct, which was a big help when it came to who was doing what. It made it much easier to distinguish between couples. This isn't my first time listening to this narrator, so I expected good things. Of course, she delivers. 
To sum it up, we have another great McCullough Mountain romance from Lydia Michaels, and like the rest of the series, it's a book I'll be revisiting from time to time. 

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