The Beauty of Bucharest by S.J. Varengo

About the Book
As provided to me

Author: S.J. Varengo

Narrator: Austenne Grey

Length: 6 hours and 8 minutes

Series: Clean Up Crew Thriller, Book 1

Publisher: Audiobooks Unleashed

Released: July 6, 2021

Genre: Thriller

What would you do if you found a body in the trunk of your wife's car?

This is the question facing Dan Porter as he stood in the parking lot and looked down at a man wrapped in clear plastic sheeting...a man with a tidy .38 bullet hole in his forehead. But finding the body is a mere curiosity compared with the twists and turns Dan's life will take over the next few days.

International intrigue and edge-of-your-seat action abound as Dan and his lovely wife Nicole - who clearly has more than her share of dark secrets - risk their lives to rescue a stunning model and bring down one of the most evil men either of them have had the misfortune to meet. 

My Review


(Disclaimer: I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Northern Lake Audio. All opinions in this review are my own and are honest and unbiased.)

If you're looking for an action-packed thriller with plenty of humor and romance thrown in, The Beauty of Bucharest by S.J. Varengo may be right up your alley. The plot centered around a cute couple with an endearing dynamic. It was interesting to see how both partners coped with the changes in their lives. Their development was as entertaining as their banter. My favorite part of The Beauty of Bucharest was the intense, emotional climax. It delivered a balancing weight that contrasted well with the buoyant humor and romance, which did, at times, get just a little corny.

S.J. Varengo's writing style was, for the most part, wonderfully crisp. I loved the setting and appreciated the amount of research the author put into The Beauty of Bucharest. The technical information on weapons and anatomy he provided here and there was interesting. There were a couple of times when it slowed the story some, but I felt such information combined with the brief, intriguing descriptions to create a fitting ambiance. The plot was well-crafted, but the characters particularly stood out to me. The protagonists were easy to like, and the antagonists were downright chilling.

Narrator Austenne Grey delivered an immersive performance. I loved her portrayal of each character. Her expertise with various accents especially shined, providing an exceptionally absorbing experience that I wouldn't have had by just reading the book. Though there were a few areas outside of the dialogue that sounded a bit awkward, Austenne Grey was easy to understand, she kept a great pace throughout the reading, and the audio quality was perfect. I would definitely be open to checking out the next book in the Cleanup Crew Thriller series, especially if Austenne Grey returns as narrator.

Trigger Warning: This is an adult work that contains profanity and themes of human trafficking, homicide, and violence.


Audio Excerpt

About the Author
As provided to me
S.J. Varengo is a married father of two adult children. He lives in Upstate New York despite dire warnings. His published works include a volume of short fiction (Welcome Home), the Cerah of Quadar fantasy series, the Cleanup Crew thriller series, and the SpyCo novella series, which he co-writes with series creator Craig A. Hart. These two gibrones also co-host the best literary podcast in the world, possibly the galaxy, Good Sentences.
About the Narrator
 As provided to me


With thirty-four years of performing art experience, Austenne guarantees emotionally connected and nuanced characters. She specializes in young adult, fantasy, romance, sci-fi, and non-fiction narration with a wide variety of accents.



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