I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!

Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Audiobook Review: Corralling Callie by Amelia Smarts

Corralling Callie Audio Cover

Corralling Callie by Amelia Smarts
Unabridged, 3 hr. 45 min.
Amelia Smarts
Gideon Wells (Narrator)
March 9, 2017
goodreads button

Heat Rating:

3 flames

Genre: Historical Fiction, Western, Romance

Source: Received a copy of the audiobook as part of Audiobookworm Promotions tour

For eighteen-year-old orphan Callie Broderick, going west as a mail-order bride seems to be the only hope she has for a decent husband. But when she sets out for the gold-mining town of Sacramento with nothing more than the clothes on her back and a stagecoach ticket, she quickly discovers that the trip will be quite a bit different than she expected.

As a former soldier and an experienced coachman, Jude Johnson is used to difficulties and dangers of all kinds during the arduous journey west, but he has never had to deal with trouble like Callie before. Not being the kind of man to kick a penniless orphan off his coach, he puts up with the sassy, disobedient girl for as long as he can, but when Callie’s antics put the lives of his passengers at risk Jude is forced to take matters into his own hands and spank her soundly.

The stern punishment leaves her thoroughly chastened and promising to behave, and Jude soon realizes that when she puts aside her foul-mouthed, defiant façade, the real Callie is as sweet and kind as she is beautiful. As the days pass, he takes it upon himself to guide her, care for her, and give her the loving discipline she so desperately needs, as often as she needs it. But when they reach their destination, will he be able to give her up?

I’m going to state right here at the very beginning that this will not be a book for everyone – even those who like historical romance might not find this to their tastes. Please take this disclaimer to heart before choosing to read this novel.

This is a very different kind of romance story; interwoven throughout the plot are elements of domestic discipline, particularly spanking (and not necessarily the erotic type, although that does come into play later on the novel for sure). On its face, I have no issues with that as an element, when used correctly and within a historical setting, because that was a more normalized way of life in the 1800s and on the frontier of the American West. I would have a much more difficult time with reading a story with these elements set within the modern day because that is not the typical way of life now. So knowing that, I left my modern sensibilities checked at the door when starting this book. With that out of the way, I did still have one issue that kept nagging at me throughout the entire story – this man who was doling out the discipline wasn’t her husband/boyfriend/father, quite honestly he was a complete stranger, which just felt sort of wrong to me. Yes, the author does go to a length to make the reasons known for why the male lead thinks it is his job to take the heroine to task for her wild ways, but it wasn’t quite believable enough for me to buy into this element of the story.

Moving on from that element, I did actually enjoy how the story unfolded, despite its brief length. I felt that I had a solid sense of who Callie was throughout the novel, even if a good portion of her backstory wasn’t revealed until right near the end. I still understood her motivations for heading out West to seek a husband and how she made many mistakes, but usually had the best intentions at heart. She is young, willful, and naïve. Jude comes off as your somewhat typical very masculine cowboy. He is strong and a no-nonsense straight-shooter. I didn’t have quite as much of a complete sense of who he was as a person, compared with Callie, but for me, his personality came off much larger than life and I didn’t feel like I needed as much to frame him in my mind.

This wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for from the novel, but it was a good read.



Gideon Welles was an excellent fit for voicing Jude in my opinion. He certainly came off as the weather-beaten cowboy and I bought into his character. I think that this helped frame his character in my mind despite having less actual information/story on the man himself. The exact opposite was true for his voicing of Callie. His voice has a difficult tone to try and replicate a woman’s in any way. This was unfortunate as at least half the novel takes place in Callie’s head and it would have been easier to get into her character with a more convincing voice. One issue I did have was with the pacing of the narration. The speed with which it was read was fine, however, Welles seemed to take pauses at some of the strangest locations within the text – places where it wouldn’t have even been appropriate for a comma/pause. I found myself getting hung up with this reading pattern because I would be anticipating a sentence to have reached its end only to find it pick back up again.

You can check out a sample of the audiobook below. Clicking on the “play” symbol will link you to the audio excerpt:

Play symbol 85x85

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Audible

Also by Amelia Smarts:

Handling Susannah

Emma’s Surrender

Claimed by the Mountain Man

His Little Red Lily

Fetching Charlotte Rose

The Submissive Suffragette

The Unbraiding of Anna Brown

Missy Meets the Marshal

Find Amelia Smarts: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Follow the Tour!

Callie Banner

Audiobookworm Productions Webpage

May 17: Read Day and Night

May 18: Dab of Darkness

May 19: Ronelle Antoinette

May 20: The Book Addict's Reviews

May 21: Epic Romance Reviews

May 22: Miss Betty's Book Reviews

May 23: The Maiden's Court [HERE!]

Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm

May 24: Between the Coverz

May 25: Ctrl Alt Books

May 26: The Cinnamon Hollow




Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving your comments! I love reading them and try to reply to all!