Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Audio Review ~ Unbelonging ~ Sabrina Stark

Unbelonging (Unbelonging, #1)Unbelonging
Unbelonging #1
Narrated by: Erin Mallon
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased on Audible
Rating: 3 Bookworms

With an accounting degree that's getting her nowhere, Chloe Malinski spends her nights waitressing and her days housesitting in a neighborhood that's infinitely beyond her reach or comfort zone. But she knows all too well that no one wants a pauper in their mansion, so she's gotten good - maybe a little too good - at faking it 'til she makes it.

With more baggage than any airline, Lawton Rastor made his money through prizefighting - and not the kind with padded gloves and some bowtie-wearing referee. He made it through the gritty, back alley kind where sweaty money changed hands over beer and bimbos.

She's a poor girl from Hamtramck. He's a billionaire bad boy from Detroit. They should've never crossed paths. But when they do, thanks to Chloe's latest housesitting gig, the collision of sparks, secrets, and misunderstandings leaves both of them yearning to belong exactly where they shouldn't - with each other.

A full-length novel, this new adult contemporary romance is book one of the two-part Unbelonging series. It features mature content, sexual situations, and adult language. It's not advised for under-age readers.

I didn't re-read the synopsis for Unbelonging prior to starting it, so I was uncertain what I was getting into. After a few chapters, I was still wondering. By the end, I was thinking 'well, this wasn't bad, but I might not listen to the final one in this duology.' And then...BOOM! A cliffhanger that has me wanting to know what comes next...although I'm not in a rush for it.

Chloe Malinski is a recent college grad who's still job hunting. In the meantime, she works as a waitress and a house sitter. Her house sitting jobs usually put her in more well-to-do neighborhoods - from from where she grew up - and far from where she feels comfortable. But they pay the bills and help support her grandma.

Lawton Rastor is a guy from the 'wrong side of the tracks', who became uber-wealthy through prize fighting. He now lives in a well-to-do neighborhood where he fits financially but not socially.

When Chloe and Lawton meet, it's...well, cute and odd. The dog Chloe is watching as part of her house sitting duties, Chuckie, serves as their introduction. They embark on a friendship - with daily dog walks - that gradually turns into more despite them both 'knowing better'. The problem is, they're both keeping secrets. 

Although I admit that the story kept me interested for the most part, I felt like certain elements were added simply for the drama. We met some side characters who's only purpose seems to have been to create drama. I didn't understand why we spent so much time at the diner where Chloe works except, again, for the drama. And that ending. It kinda came out of the blue. I didn't understand Lawton's behavior at all. Which is one reason I want to listen to the final installment. However, I did enjoy witnessing Chloe and Lawton get to know one another. They are each decent and kind, as far as I can tell. I guess I feel like I didn't get to know them well enough outside the bubble they existed in while their romance was blossoming.

Erin Mallon did well as the narrator. But without having re-read the synopsis, and therefore not knowing what the book was about, Mallon's breathy delivery had me expecting a paranormal. Is that weird? I am an audio newbie but that was the feeling I had.

Overall, I was left feeling iffy about the Unbelonging with the exception of the ending which evoked more emotion from me than most of the story did. I think the story would have been better with more character development. Then Chloe's, and especially Lawton's, behavior would have made more sense. I will, eventually, get to the second installment because I have to know. Whether I will read it or listen to it remains to be determined.


  1. Pssssssst, just read the last few pages and you'll know how it ends ^^

  2. LOL I'm laughing because of Iza's comment, Brandee! I become a little iffy when the character development lacks something, because it becomes too difficult to understand the characters when I don't know where they're coming from.
    I don't know if a breathy narrator would make me think I was listening to a paranormal story or not... I'll have to try to pay attention to that!
    Have a fantastic Wednesday, my dear. Are you ready for your big trip?
    *BIG HUGS*

  3. Oh my. I am not sure I even want to start these Brandee. I feel bad that the cliffy snagged you especially with you being uncertain. bwahaha...Iza cracks me up

  4. When it comes to contemporary romances, it's all about the characters. They don't have a world building or a suspenseful mystery to fall back on. So if the leads fail to carry the story well, then it's quite hard to suspend disbelief.

  5. It's a shame you were left confused by this one and felt bits were added for no reason. I hope the next book wraps things up better for you.

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

  6. This one sounds interesting. Pity it didn't quite hit the spot.
    I like the novel way you presented your 'He Said'. I would've left a comment on the post directly but I seem to be having problems with Disqus. Sorry about that.
    Hope you're still enjoying your summer break. Things have gotten pretty cold here and I've become a bit of a hermit, staying indoors. Next week I've got to work, so I'll be out and about then.

    Cheers, Brandee!

  7. Good to hear it was an emotional ending even if other things weren't the best for you

  8. Meh, I don't like "lukewarm" myself. Either I'm all in, or not at all. I'm sorry you were disappointed, but if after few chapters in you still can't tell what the story is about, I say don't take it heart, girlie. Clearly, it isn't you, lol :)

  9. Hmm Well I trust you so I don't think I will be reading this one but hope the next one is better for you :)


Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??