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Sparrow

By: L.J. Shen
Narrated by: Michael Pauley
Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)
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Summary

Troy Brennan:

Every Southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heartthrob with steel-blue eyes. "The Fixer" who can make or break you in this city. Oh, and my new husband.

Sparrow Raynes:

That's me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life. But then he caged me. Kidnapped me. And killed every chance I had to run away from the place where we grew up. Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings. I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he'll ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.

Sparrow is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.

©2016 L.J. Shen (P)2016 L.J. Shen

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lo
  • 05-10-16

A Great Listen

This is a great story.
My only problem is I wish there was a female narrator as well as I think that would've of added to this audiobook.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

LOVED IT!! soo gripping!

another fantastic read by L.J. Shen!

loved this book, loved Sparrow & Troy, both are so funny and loveable. i would like a second book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I'm gonna miss...

...the characters in this book and the superb narration by Mr. Michael Pauley. Oh, I'm gonna miss your voice! I would certainly listen to a follow on story, should the author feel inspired to let these people live a little longer...L.J. Shen landed in my world during a sci-fi binge. I never read books like this! But, now I do...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Sparrow, a rare and special bird.

A well narrated tale of betrayal and intrigue. The narrator captured the 2 POV's really well, switching between Troy and Sparrow voices in such a way that I was completely drawn into the story. I believed the progress from fearvand indifference, to live.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

5 love bird stars

Brilliant I loved the narration,the plot,the suspense and the character
Even villains get a happy ending.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant story but that voice is awful

So I have abandoned this at 13 minutes in. The book I have already read was brilliant but this audio version is awful. The narrator is trying to do the broncs/southie whatever accent and it is gawd awful, to the point that I completely missed the words just stuck on the horrible voice.

Thank god I paid 2.99 and kept my audio credits for something worthwhile

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen

Really enjoyed this book and great narration added to the listen
I happily give it 5stars

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie Dean
  • 29-06-16

Surprisingly fantastic

This book surprised me. I wasn't sure about it after reading the intro, but it was such a beautifully twisted story that I listened to in one night. I thought it was fantastic. I am a huge reader and audible listener, so I am extremely picky on what books I like. This is one of my favorites by far. I recommend this book. I was sad when it was finished.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lydia D. Rella
  • 26-06-16

Fantastic gritty romance with amazing narration!

Wow, wow, wow!! I just finished this audiobook and it was INCREDIBLE! It's been a while since I've listened to a book that made me happy SoCal has such craptastic traffic. I just wanted to keep driving because the story is phenomenal and the narration is spellbinding.

L.J. Shen knocked this out of the park IMHO. If you like gritty romance novels, you need this book. This is no flowers and hearts story. Troy Brennan is an a-hole, but good luck holding on to your heart with him. Sparrow is an amazingly tough warrior of a heroine while still being fragile and broken. She may be one of my favorite book heroines ever.

The narration is done in a perfect Southie Boston accent and it took me a couple chapters to buy in and adjust. After that, I couldn't stop listening! Michael Pauley did an INCREDIBLE job. 😍😍😍😍😍

P.S. Not a cliffy, thank goodness!

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹
  • 12-06-17

I SHOULD'VE KNOWN IT'D BE EPIC

Well, I may of been a year late to get to this awesome book.. but wow! I totally agree with the other reviewers.. this was a five star listen all the way. It was gritty, intense, and raw as alpha anti-hero Troy, the emotionally impotent Bostonian known as 'The Fixer', took the twenty-two yr old innocent daughter of one of his lower-level minions and made her his wife. There were reasons why this cold heartless ruthless villain did it and love definitely wasn't amongst them.. but few people knew his secrets and he wasn't about to spill everything to his virginal new bride.. Hell he didn't even like her. But the feisty strong-willed woman wouldn't show fear, wouldn't stop disrespecting him and wouldn't stop challenging him. So what's a bad-to-the-bone badass going to do.. he's patiently going to claim his wife, slowly succumb to her feisty ways, surprisingly look forward to their barb-filled push/pull relationship - and shockingly fall in love. But it won't be without drama, it won't be without tears and it won't be without bloodshed.

Sparrow didn't know why Troy Brennan, the feared son of a dead Irish Gangster, had chosen her.. she wasn't his type - he was gorgeous and she was plain - he was bad and she was good - he was sexually experienced and she wasn't - he never looked twice at her but she couldn't look away. Sparrow knew Troy had his reasons, his mistresses, his secrets, his dangerous business and his rules.. however what she naively didn't know was that she was going to change everything, she was going to make a cold-hearted villain thaw out.. and she was going to make him hers. But it won't be without drama, it won't be without tears and it won't be without bloodshed.

Over the year this fast-paced dual POV book has tempted me over and over again.. and now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long.. because now I know how good, how pulse-pounding, how exhilarating, how exciting, how addictive, how enjoyable and how beautiful an L.J. Shen book can be - and next time I definitely won't wait. There's character growth as they both learn how to trust, how to deal and how to love, there's sex but it isn't overused, there's a villain but they're in a sheep's disguise, there's suspense that'll leave you breathless.. and there's a love story that'll leave you wanting more. It doesn't take place over sweet diner dates, carefree movie nights or peaceful evenings in.. no, it's undiluted passion, it's seismic chemistry and it's raw desire that fuels the flames between these two opposing characters who only know war. It's a slow-build and no insta-anything.. but it was always their Fate to marry.. the question is - would it be their Destiny to stay together?

Worth a credit? Yes.. 100% YES. It's got a well written storyline that instantly grabbed me, held me in its tempting clutches and totally won me over as, chapter by chapter, it spoon-fed me its delicious delights. And Michael Pauley breathed life into its varied characters and made this listen memorable.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cheri
  • 06-02-17

EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS!


This was an Amazing Story and Awesome Narration!

I love coming across an author who can take a plot, reinvent it, twist it, and make it feel fresh and original and L.J. Shen did just that! Sparrow was dark, raw, gritty, and intense! The spin she weaved from a mafia arranged marriage was outstanding. It's a well written story, that keeps the listener in suspense, with excellent dialogue between the characters. The characters were incredible, unique, flawed, and unapologetic. From the moment I started listening, I was a captive to the story, and hanging onto every word. I LOVED THIS AUDIOBOOK!

Michael Pauley did an outstanding job with the narration, especially all the dialogue between the characters.

I'll admit I committed the ultimate sin any listener or reader can make, I judged this book by it's cover, and skipped over it several times before deciding to give it a chance. This is a rememberable dark romance that rivals stories by A. Zavarelli, T.M. Frazier, Tillie Cole, M. Robinson, and is well worth a credit!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cyndi
  • 20-07-16

Enjoyable!

This one is hard for me to review/rate because in the beginning I wasn't any more than interested in the story by the middle I was getting annoyed with the characters but by the end I truly liked the characters and how they had grown. So I'm giving 4 stars for the character growth and story line.

I enjoyed this book. The story line was pretty original which is a huge plus. It wasn't incredibly hot but it was angsty and suspenseful. The characters were a little rough, he is "mob" like and she is oh so sweet and innocent with a lot backbone. Once getting to see just how tough she really is, I still can't understand why she agreed to the arrangement so easily. He comes off as a complete jerk, but by the end of the book you can understand his reasoning for sure. I love that it is stand alone too!

I personally couldn't see the chemistry between these two until almost the end of the book. This is a hate-love romance which is usually one of my favorites but I needed a little more love or at least niceness between them to even begin to see where the love comes in. For example, the first time these two really even act like they like each other (besides their thoughts) was towards the very end when they are on the phone, they show a playful side towards each other that I needed to see before I decided that they even liked each other. I loved that scene because it was the first time in the book that either one of these characters really smiled and teased or even laughed.

The narration was 50/50 for me. I loved his voice for Troy with the great Boston accent. I didn't love his voice for Sparrow because it was almost exactly the same as Troy, there were a few parts that I was confused for a minute as to who was talking. I think Michael Pauley was great but I also think he needs to co-narrate with a female narrator.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sofia Talley
  • 25-08-16

Don't let the innocent cover mislead you...

Perfection.
Funny, sexy, hot, unique, captivating and romantic in the best possible way!
The narration was great, although a dual narration would have been better.

The book:
• Contemporary • Standalone • Happily Ever After • First-Person Narrative • Her POV • His POV

The romantic theme:
• Mafia Romance • Outlaw Romance

The read:
• Page Turner • Made Me Laugh • Touching • Twists & Turns • Sexy • Provocative

Heat level:
• 3 / 5 (Includes hot and explicit sex scenes) • MF scenes • Dirty Talk • Vanilla Sex

Story ingredients:
• Cat And Mouse Games • Instant Clash • Witty Banter • Opposites Attract • Fake Marriage • Heroic Rescue • Big Secret • Billionaire Lifestyle • Mystery & Suspense • Violence • Brutality • Sexual Abuse

He is...
• Alpha Male • Bossy • Cocky • Possessive • Emotionally Unavailable • Hot • Fit • Billionaire • Manwhore • Bad Boy • Outlaw • Troubled Past

She is...
• Pretty • Sassy • Strong • Unconventional • Model Figure • Fit • Virgin • Troubled Past

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • j and l
  • 09-12-16

Should have been a female voice. Great book though

Should have been a female voice. The book was predictable yet entertaining and even though I knew what was going to happen, I was still glued to the story. The author is great writer and truly knows how to capture the attention of the audience.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • URSULA G
  • 14-02-17

You Hate That You Want Me

This is a love-hate story that I love to love! Sparrow and Troy are such an unlikely couple yet LJ Shen found a way to weave them with dark threads that makes an unbreakable bond. Family loyalty is what brought them together and is what they have to overcome to find the HEA. What makes this story so amazing is how this same old tired plot is given a breath of originality, creativity and twists that keep you wanting more. These characters are unapologetically flawed in a real life way and an uncompromising world. Shen is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

Michael Pauley does a great job with the Boston accent especially with the male characters. My only complaint is that sometimes it was difficult to distinguish Sparrow's voice because it sounded masculine like the other male characters.

Absolutely worth the credit.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Audio Audits
  • 22-12-16

One This Years Best Dark Romances

Sparrow Raynes has known of Troy Brennan practically her whole life, yet their worlds have never, ever intersected, until, out of the blue, Troy kidnaps Sparrow and forces her to marry him.

The pair forge an uneasy alliance of sorts, with Troy continuing to live his life as he did before they married and while his character is completely amoral and brutally violent, he never forces himself upon Sparrow, and that’s just about his only redeeming quality.

Slowly and unwittingly, even to Sparrow, she starts to worm her way into his heart, by just being herself and having her own internal sense of morality, like not touching any of his ill-gotten money, a stance that she never waivers from, but she’s not preachy about it, she lets her actions speak for her proving the old adage true, that actions speak louder than words.

LJ Shen’s Sparrow is one of the best dark romances I’ve listened to this year, if you’re sensitive to, graphic violence and explicit sexual content, you might want to skip this book, hell you’ll probably want to stay away from LJ Shen period because she doesn’t sugar coat anything.

Can we talk about the enigma that is Michael Pauley? I have been critical of his narrating in the past, so imagine my pleasant surprise when he delivered a five-star performance and that’s saying something, because he had to do it all with a Southie dialect, and I think he did an amazing job! He was engaging and conveyed emotion and energy in this fully voiced performance. Kudos to both LJ Shen and Michael Pauley!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ADV
  • 29-07-16

Wonderful Surprise!

I pases by this book múltiple times. Neither the cover nor the blurb did anything for me. However, after multiple friends raved about this book, I gave it a chance. WOW! I loved it! It ended up being a one day read. I could not put it down. So, I got the audiobook, and it surpassed all expectations. I loved the Boston accents. I loved all the actual emotion that came through the narration. The actual storyline was not a "formula" storyline. It was very very enjoyable. I am, in fact, having a little bit of a book hangover. I can't decide what book to start next because this one was so good! Definitely worth the credit.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful