Member Reviews

I have both many thoughts, and no thoughts about this book. It was alright. The concepts were really cool, however the execution could have been done better.

For the first half of this book, the plot was very; "oh will they get together or not?" Which is totally fair. However about halfway through they start adding in more plot of substance, more stakes. While the time to develop the relationships is good, it makes the pacing off the book feel a little odd.
I don't really have that many comments about the overall plot of the book. It was a cool concept, execution could have been better.

I personally, did not love the characters within the book. They weren't bad, they were actually pretty good, they just weren't for me. The relationships woven between the characters however, is very very well done. The development feels a little odd at times, however not enough that it drew me out of the book.

Overall the book was pretty good. I likely would not read it again, however I do think if it sounds interesting to you it's worth reading. It was a pretty solid book.

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Review of audio: Personally not a fan of the voice actors. Daniel sounds annoyed, like this was the last thing they wanted to do with their day. I was bored with Rapunzaroo at first, but they grew on me about half way through. The idea of the full cast and the music that would play was really cool to me though! I haven't experienced an audiobook like this before and I think it was done really well!

Review of story: So. I don't even know where to really begin. For the most part, I wasn't a fan of this book. The last 10% was such a ride though and I really want to know what happens next so I will probably end up reading the next one because that cliffhanger was too much.

The main reason I didn't like it was because of the relationship between the two main characters. It bothered me how everyone kept bringing up that she had adored him since she was a child. That made it incredibly hard to not think of her as a child throughout the whole thing.

Aside from their relationship, I did like the book though. I have never read a mystery/thriller before and wanted to try something new. The idea of the circus being part of the story also really had my interest when I opted to read this book. Honestly, the storyline outside of the relationship was so good! It kept me on my toes and dying to know what was going to happen next.

I'm hoping the next book explores Cassandra's family more because I feel like there have to be more secrets on that side of it, right? Like there had to be a reason for the fire.

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Obedience by Liza Snow: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Format: ARC provided by NetGalley and the author, Liza Snow, who is self-publishing her debut romantic suspense

Haunted by a childhood tragedy that claimed the lives of her parents, Cassandra Blackstone has never lost sight of her dreams of becoming an aerialist. She has fought tooth and nail to make that dream a reality- and now, she is training one on one with her role model and idol of her youth, Chandler Moreau, one of the greatest aerialists of their time. It isn’t long before sparks fly between Cassandra and Chandler- but will their troubled pasts cause their dreams to catch flame?

First, I have to say that listening to the audiobook of Obedience is a singular listening experience. There are 5 different narrators working together on this book, but their voices are interwoven in each paragraph- Cassandra’s voice actor says her lines, and Chandler’s voice actor answers in his. There is music and sound effects in many of the scenes as well, which makes quite an impression on listeners, similar to a radio program. The sound effects really brought the scenes to life. I wish more audiobooks were performed this way! Additionally, the individual performances by the narrators who performed Cassandra’s (Rapunzaroo)and Chandler’s (Daniel Zbel) POVs were astounding. They were extremely talented!

I do not regularly read romance books, but I really enjoyed this book. The relationship between Cassandra and Chandler was well explored in Obedience, and their strong, willful dispositions worked well together as a couple. Obedience is an adult romance book, has all the NSFW content we look for in romance novels, with a focus on the B in BDSM. Promotional material for Obedience reveals key traits of the storyline between the MCs, and I would identify age gap, student/teacher, and grumpy/sunshine to be the primary elements of the relationship. Again, not a habitual romance reader myself, but I felt that the age gap and student-teacher dynamics were done tastefully. There is a power imbalance between Chandler and Cassandra, but it is not tied (get it) to the age difference between the two- more from their roles as graduate student/protégé and professor/trainer.

The thrilling and suspenseful components of the plot kept me engaged while I was listening, wanting to know what would happen next. At the end of the book, there are many questions left unanswered, with neither narrator revealing the whole truth of their actions. The final sequences in Obedience accelerate to a sudden end that will continue in the sequel, Discipline, that I really look forward to reading!

Obedience is out tomorrow on Kindle and in paperback, and the audiobook is available on Audible now. As of today’s review, April 3rd, 2023, the pre-order price is 99 cents. At 493 print pages, that's a lot of book for $1! Have Audible credits to use? Treat yourself to this stunning audiobook. With the experience of the full cast and special effects, its a credit well spent for a self-publishing author on her debut book.

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This was such a sweet romance! Who knew I needed a circus romance novel in my life? This book had me watching numerous silk aerial videos and looking into shibari, two things I only knew a little about. I was hooked from the very beginning. This was a really great start to a series. I am already so excited for the next one! One thing I will say is that I wasn't a fan of the extra sound effects on the audiobook. They were a little awkward in my opinion. Maybe something to consider on the next one. Other than that, I loved it and I think the voice actors were really good, I especially liked the voice actor for Cassandra.

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This book is 5 stars. Totally an experience in listening to this story in audiobook. The sound design that accompanies the narration makes this the best audiobook I've ever heard. And having a full cast, everyone having their own voice, adds to the book the whole personality of a circus.
I loved the circus side, the book transports us to the magic of the performances, the feel of the body and the touch on the silk. Is so vivid and so careful written that the demonstrations dazzles the listener.
The main characters have so many connections that bind them together as the fabric they share and the love they have for it.
Is so beautiful the way it demonstrates the admiration and compulsiveness for idols, which then gets confused with the person they really are, to become a subtle love, in which they are impressed by each other.
The book starts gently with the silks, later introduces us to rope and then the dark side starts to emerge.
I completely recommend this book.

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My rating for the audiobook : 3.5 My rating for the spice : 4
Things you should know about this book: Circus, age gap romance, teacher student romance, BDSM, death of family. 18+

I am pleasantly surprised by this book. I went in thinking I wasn't going to like it because with the intro to the book, it seemed like it would just be another generic smutty book, but with the circus setting, mafia ties, and the light suspense in the book made it a pretty unique and interesting story. It starts out with 25 year old Cassandra meeting her idol, Chandler at an audition for a school for talented circus performers. Chandler is 40 years old, newly divorced, and likes to be "hands off" at the school his father runs, but when his ex-wife leaves unexpectedly he has to take over teaching her classes that Cassandra happens to be the TA in, as well as teaching her one on one when it comes to her training with the silks. They get off on the wrong foot but eventually find themselves wanting to be closer than the rules of the school allow, and Chandler's father is not going to let that to happen. The romance is one of the main plots of this book but it also includes a dangerous family member in prison, private investigators trying getting to the bottom of what could possibly be a murder, as well as a group of very dangerous people who could be trying to interfere with that. This story is filled with drama, secrets, lies, suspense, and steamy romance that ends on a cliffhanger and leaves you wanting to pick up the next book.

Now for some personal opinions. First I want to say that I feel like this is what 50 Shades wanted to be. I felt like the author described the BDSM so much better and it felt much more realistic. I only had two instances when I though "Chandler, you're kinda ruining the trust here" and then next he would realize that and apologize which I thought was great to see. I personally do not like super spicy books, but this had enough of a plot to keep me interested, but I would have enjoyed it more if I would have read this one instead of listened to the audiobook, because this had some sounds that were surprising for me to hear. It is described as This is a full-cast narrated audiobook with several chapters featuring some music, sfx and surprises you won't hear in every traditional audiobook!" And oh boy, was that right. Now, I usually don't like audiobooks that have background noises because it seems like it is always distracting or too loud, but I thought this was done so well! I loved when there would be light music in the background or other things that just helped you paint a picture of what was going on and added to the book without it being too distracting in the normal scenes. In the sex scenes that was a completely different story. The moaning, bodies slapping together, and calling out each others name made me feel like I was just listening to porn. I think I wouldn't have minded this amount of spice in a book, I would give it maybe a 3.5-4 because of the nature of it, but the extra sounds just made me uncomfortable. As the book was coming to a close I had decided that I probably wouldn't move on with the series because it's just not my cup of tea, but the ending has me wanting to see what happens in the next books.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook. The full cast narration and SFX was excellent. There were slow points in the storyline that felt dripfeedy but overall the romance and bondage writing was good.

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I'm very particular when it comes to narrators for audiobooks so maybe it's just me, but I could not get past the narrating of this book. The French accent was really bad and seemed almost forced and I didn't really care for the female narrator either. I like the synopsis and I might give the physical book a chance but I'll pass on the audiobook.

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Wow! Amazing audiobook performance!
Not only was “Obedience” a great read - the audiobook took it to the next level! Full of adventure, mystery and romance narrators Daniel Zbel and Rapunzaroo took it to the next level!
I can’t wait to return to the circus in book 2! 🎪

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I learned about the circus while also enjoying a good romance. It was a good age gap and teacher student romance. The drama and tensions were palpable. It was cute.

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I personally enjoyed this book. I loved the circus setting and I personally love a forbidden love age gap romance. This book contained just enough spice to give some oomph but not so much it disinterested me.

The plot/story line was engaging & kept me moving through the book once I got through those first few chapters and learned who the characters were, how their dynamics worked with each other. I thought the characters were well developed and they definitely had contrast and you could pull them apart from one another. I loved following the growing romance between Chandler and Cassandra. Very well written until the end. This story kept me on my toes the entire time I was reading.

The ending was it for me. It ended perfectly leading into the next book which I am anxious to read to find out what’s in store for these two.

I have to incorporate the audiobook into this review. I listened to the audiobook while reading the book and the fact that the author used a full casting for the audiobook blew me away. It was great to be able to separate each character and place them with their own distinct voice. It was almost like you could close your eyes and imagine the book playing out. It was truly an experience.

I would recommend this book to people I know, give them something maybe a little different than they are used to reading. I think branching out and reading something not in your norm, outside your genre or comfort level is great for a reader. I give this book 4/5 stars. Well done.

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Obedience by Liza Snow is a great start to the Ties That Bind series. I've been wanting to read more romance recently and this was a good place to start. The relationship between Cassandra and Chandler was definitely a slow burn but their passion was worth the wait. I don't normally enjoy the student and teacher trope but it worked really well for these characters. The plot was engaging and interesting. The ending was a huge cliffhanger that left me excited for the next book. I highly recommend if you enjoy student and teacher, bondage, and slow burn romance.

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

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4⭐️ This book was refreshing read from most romances with how unique the story/plot was. I really enjoyed this book overall and it is the first in a series it seems and I definitely will want to read the next book when that gets released. This was a romance with a dash of suspense/mystery which I love in books. I really like how the suspense/mystery was slowly being revealed while the story was going on. Also, this book had so many good tropes: age gap, coach/mentor x student , with mystery. I also loved the setting being around the circus/aerial performers which I don’t get to read a lot but there needs to be more books with this. I listened to this on audio and I really liked the unique elements that made me feel really immersed in the story. I would definitely recommend this book you love these tropes and want something a little different than a classic romance.

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