Sunday, June 15

Audiobook Review: Billionaire Blend by Cleo Coyle

Billionaire Blend

Coffeehouse Mystery, Book 13
Cleo Coyle

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
Date of Publication: May 30, 2014
Abridged or Unabridged: Unabridged
Length of Production: 10 hrs and 43 mins

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN    Audible   Downpour

Landmark coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi has served her share of New York’s rich and famous, but even she is surprised by her explosive introduction to a mysterious Internet billionaire….

When a car bomb nearly kills tech whiz Eric Thorner, Clare comes to his aid and receives a priceless thank you. Not only does the billionaire buy her a barista’s dream espresso machine, he hires her for an extraordinary project: creating the world’s most expensive coffee blend.

The police quickly arrest Eric’s alleged attacker, yet death continues to surround the unlucky mogul, leading Clare to question whether a fatal fall and another lethal mishap are premeditated murders or merely freak accidents. Clare’s boyfriend, NYPD detective Mike Quinn, has a theory of his own—one Clare refuses to believe.

Meanwhile, Eric jets Clare around the world on a head-spinning search for the very best coffee, and Clare gets to know his world—a mesmerizing circle of money with rivalries that could easily have turned deadly. But is this charming young CEO truly marked for termination? Or is he the one making a killing?

I have been a big fan of the Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle for several years now, but this was the first time for the audiobook version. I chose this book from the Audiobook Jukebox Solid Gold Reviewers Program because I have just haven't had the time to read the next book in the series but really wanted to.

Clare Cosi is the manager of the Village Blend, a landmark coffee house located in historic Greenwich Village.  Her baristas have been telling her about a man who has been coming in every day about the same time and quizing them on exotic and rare coffee drinks, and yet never ordering any of them. They have taken to calling him the Quizmaster. On this particular day, the Quizmaster arrives a bit early, while Clare is going off duty.  Clare thinks that he is headhunter for one of the big name coffee houses on the West Coast, coming in to poach her baristas and decides to give him just enough rope to allow her to throw him out, once and for all.  However, it turns out that the Quizmaster is actually the Eric Thorner, aka the Baby Billionaire, a young man who has made his money in technology and apps. After he is impressed by Clare's knowledge of coffee and it's history, Eric is in the process of offering Clare a business opportunity when an explosion racks the Village Blend due to a car bomb in Eric's limo, double parked out front.

Rebecca Gibel did an excellent job with narrating the book. She totally nailed Clare, Mike, Matt, Joy, and Tucker's voices from my head. Madame's and Ester's voices weren't quite what I had been expecting, but they grew on me. I think I will be switching over to audiobook for the next books in the series as well. Rebecca just made the world come alive for me.

This was the first story in a the entire series that I was slightly disappointed in. Everything was so far over the top, whether is was luxuries or schemes. I missed Clare's more down to earth sensibilities, even as she has been on the fringe of high society in other books.  This book placed her smack dab in the middle of the highest and most rarefied echelons. Though I was pleased to see that Clare didn't let any of it go to her head and eventually managed to free herself from the worst of the 1% shenanigans. I gave this book 3 stars.

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