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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Audiobook Review: All or Nothing by Kendall Ryan, Narrated by Elizabeth Louise and Josh Goodman

All or Nothing is the third book in the Love By Design series from Kendall Ryan. This book can be read as a standalone, but is best when read after the first two books in this series. Braydon and Ellie are the best friends of Ben and Emmy, so you really get to know so much more about them by seeing them from the start. I was really excited for the chance to listen to this story, there is just something about an audiobook that can bring a book to life. I thought that Elizabeth Louise and Josh Goodman did a great job of giving the reader more depth to each character than they would have had by simply reading the book. 

Braydon doesn't do relationships, and as a top male model he has never had to limit himself when it comes to the women he can get. When his best friend Ben settles down with Emmy and gets married though, Braydon can't help but find himself drawn to Emmy's best friend Ellie. After a steamy encounter at their wedding, Ellie and Braydon realize that there is something between them and are determined to find out what it is. Though they agree to a sex only relationship, it is clear right away that there is more between them than either of them wants to admit. The closer they get, the more their feelings grow. Ellie is finally willing to admit that she wants more, but Braydon isn't ready for anything but what he stated upfront. But when Ellie decides that she can't keep going on the way they have been, will she and Braydon wind up having it all or having nothing? 

I loved Braydon from the previous books, and I couldn't wait to get to know him better. He was such a sweet and fun loving guy, and he had always been one of my favorite characters. We got to see a different side of him in this book, and he had so much more to him than I expected. He had been scared of relationships because of things from his past, and though I didn't agree with his actions I did understand some of where he was coming from. I thought that it took him a really long time to come around though, and it was clear that things with Ellie were different. I wanted him to trust her more and be willing to take a chance on the connection they shared. Ellie was more of a problem for me in this book than I expected. I had really loved her in the first two books, she was always so fun and feisty. She was sassy and wasn't afraid to put anyone in their place. But this time around she was whiny and weak for the majority of the story, and it just wasn't the same character I had come to know and love. I have no idea what happened to her, but I didn't really like her in this book until she finally started to grow a bit of a backbone. Unfortunately, even when she did start to return to that character, she would still whine and end up feeling sorry for herself. I wanted to see the same girl from the beginning of the series and I just felt like she had lost some of her sparkle. The connection and chemistry between these two was obvious though, and I really did believe that they belonged together. 

My other issue with this story was that a lot of the dialogue got to be repetitive at times, and I felt like the author was trying to reinforce things that should have been obvious to the reader. It was said several times that Braydon and Ellie had "off the charts chemistry", and yes it was clear they did. I didn't like that it was said so many times, like the reader had possibly forgotten. It was one of those things where I wanted to ask after awhile if they were trying to convince the reader or themselves since it seemed they couldn't stop bringing it up. I also thought that things with Braydon's past were a little less dramatic than she tried to make it, and that things were wrapped up far too easily and neatly. I didn't think that the situation would have been solved as simply as it was in real life. I did think that this was a good book, and I did enjoy it. When Ellie wasn't annoying, I loved the banter between her and Braydon. She was capable of giving as well as receiving and it was nice to see that. I wish that we had been given more of Braydon's POV, and I didn't know going in that he only did the epilogue. I kept waiting for Josh Goodman's voice throughout the story and was disappointed that we got so little of it. Elizabeth Louise did a really good job though, and I didn't find her annoying as I have other female narrators. I thought that she did a really good job of differentiating between characters. The only criticism I had is a few of the times that she was doing conversations between Ellie and Emmy, she would sometimes remain in her southern accent longer than she should have. Emmy was the one with the accent, and it would sometimes bleed into Ellie's words. I think that Elizabeth Louise and Josh Goodman were really great choices for this story though, and I would absolutely listen to more from each of them. Though this wasn't my favorite book in this series, I really did like it and I will read more from Kendall Ryan in the future.

**Audiobook Provided by Simon & Schuster Audio**

Purchase: | Audiobook | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository | iTunes | 


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