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Jane

Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2017

1742
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 565 reviews
  • 566 ratings
  • 506 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2018
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FOLLOWERS
146

  • Hello, Darkness: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (705)
    Performance
    (619)
    Story
    (623)

    Since moving to Austin to ease the pain of tragic mistakes, Paris Gibson has led a life of virtual isolation, coming alive only at night when she hosts her popular radio show. Then one listener - who identifies himself as "Valentino" - tells Paris that the girl he loves jilted him because of Paris's on-air advice. He intends to exact revenge by killing the girl and then coming after Paris. Desperate to stop the sinister Valentino, Paris enlists the help of the police - including crime psychologist Dean Malloy, the very man she had hoped never to meet again....

    R. Pontiflet says: "A Mystery That Will Keep You Guessing..."
    "It kept my interest,"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    but I didn’t feel like it was a good story. Parts were depressing.

    It was more about victims than intriguing problem solvers. Somehow things felt contrived. I’m not sure why.

    I liked the ending. It was complete.

    The romance was good.

    One bad guy threatened to kill the loved ones of a good guy if the good guy said what he knew. So that good guy was silent until the very end. That frustrated me. I did not enjoy reading that. It’s a helpless feeling of being blackmailed or held hostage for life.

    The story is about sexual perverts: men having sex with underage girls, and underage girls who want sex and give it away or sell it. A kidnapped girl is sexually assaulted.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Victor Slezak was excellent. He does female voices well with good emotional interpretation. He also used a good sound editor to remove his breaths.

    DATA:
    Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 13 hrs and 31 mins. Swearing language: Christ plus a sexual slur used once. Sexual language: moderate. Number of sex scenes: 3. Setting: current day mostly Austin, Texas. Copyright: 2003. Genre: romantic suspense thriller.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • River's End

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (860)
    Performance
    (602)
    Story
    (609)

    Olivia's parents had been one of Hollywood's glittering golden couples...until the night the monster came. The monster who destroyed their beautiful home and took her mother away from her forever. The monster with the face of her father. Now a young woman, Olivia has a chance to confront her tragic past - and the longings of her own lonely heart. But before she can confront her past, she must safeguard her future.

    Susan says: "River's End"
    "Illogical plotting. Not enjoyable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    I was annoyed with Sandra Burr. She has a nice voice for general narration and women, but she is awful with men. She lowers her voice to create weird male voices. One guy sounded like a B-movie robot. The hero wasn’t as bad, but there was no emotional interpretation in his voice. It was monotone and wooden.

    Less of a problem, but it still annoyed me was her twang (southern-ish or hillbilly-ish). She said “hees” instead of “his” And she did “ew” instead of “oo” for example stewed (stood) gewed (good) shewed (should). There are many actors who do a southern accent which I enjoy, but not this twang.

    THE STORY:
    Really bad plotting. Some crimes happen and there is no logical investigation or questioning. No logical evidence. Wrong people are accused. It was frustrating and not enjoyable.

    When the main characters have a conflict or fight, illogical things were said. I think the author was tired when she wrote this book since she couldn’t come up with motivations fitting actions.


    CAUTION SPOILERS ABOUT BAD PLOTTING:

    Character A sees a dead woman and picks up the weapon/scissors. B walks in and sees A with scissors. B says “A killed her”. For the rest of the book everyone believes A killed her. No one even asks, did B sees A stab the victim? Or could someone else have done it? No, During the entire book, all characters say A killed her. There was no evidence or investigation or anything to question it. When someone wanted to talk about the murder, most of the characters would say I don’t want to talk about it.

    Character A could not defend himself because he was high on drugs at the time of the murder and couldn’t remember what happened. A couple times later he said he killed her. But that was not true, he was just feeling guilty because he wasn’t the best husband. But the author used that comment to confuse the issue - not interesting.

    The bad guy has no part in the story until the very end. So we don’t even get to watch his actions and motives during the story. That might have made things better, but no. He’s introduced at the very end.

    Also the ending was too sad for me about an innocent man being in prison for 20 years.

    A similar thing happened with a second crime. The victim sees his property destroyed and immediately says his ex girlfriend did it. That was not true but he assumes it was her. No one investigates or asks about her alibi until the very end of the book. But for the rest of the book all the characters talk about the exgirlfriend doing this.

    END SPOILERS.


    DATA:
    Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: strong but rarely used. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: about 4, not much detail. Setting: 1979 - 1999 California and Washington state. Book copyright: 2000. Genre: romantic suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deep Waters

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jayne Ann Krentz
    • Narrated By Stephanie Diaz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (139)

    Facing crises of career and heart, two of the most powerful corporate figures in the Northwest are now borne by the currents of fate to the same small Washington town, and to their respective shops - a bookstore for Charity and a small curiosity shop for Elias. As Charity and Elias begin a cautious exploration of each other's pasts, hidden agendas, and libidos, they discover one thing they definitely have in common: a martial arts master, he's a novice at relationships; a formidable executive, she's starting in the mailroom when it comes to love.

    w.a.m. says: "Good"
    "Good mystery and characters, but bad narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this as a paperback when I read it ten years ago. Recently I listened to the audiobook and was bored. There were too many philosophical comments about water like “Things are clearest in deep water” or “One pebble causes many ripples.” I think when I read the paperback I skipped over those. But in the audiobook there were too many and they felt odd.

    But the worst thing was the audiobook narrator - Stephanie Diaz. She is fast reading without thinking about what she is reading. She does not read with feeling or curiosity about what is happening. It was hard to pay attention. The characters sounded like teenagers - tone of voice, emotional reaction, stubbornness, being sarcastic. They didn’t sound like adults except for the hero who sounded like a soft-spoken woman.

    My tastes have been changing over the years. Some of the romance novels I used to read are less appealing to me now. If you currently like romance, you might like the paperback. Below are my comments from 2008.

    I enjoyed Charity’s directness and honesty. She and Elias were doing their casual bantering during their getting-to-know-each-other phase, but when asked a direct question, she was refreshingly honest, even when once her answer was “Let me get back to you on that.” I enjoyed the stories surrounding Charity and Elias. They were both successful in the corporate world but left that world to run small shops in a small town. They cook gourmet meals for each other. Elias practices an esoteric eastern zen-type philosophy, based on meditation, contemplating water and martial arts. The main focus of the book is solving the mystery of who killed someone and why.

    DATA:
    Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: a few occurrences. Sexual language: moderate. Number of sex scenes: four. Setting: current day Seattle and a small coastal town in northern Washington State called Whispering Waters Cove. Copyright: 1996. Genre: romantic mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trust Me

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jayne Ann Krentz
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (183)

    When Desdemona Wainwright tries to collect a much-needed payment for catering Sam Stark's canceled wedding reception, she encounters not a heartbroken suitor, but the steel-willed head of a multimillion-dollar consulting firm with the cold brain of a computer - and the finely hewn body of a medieval knight. Sam sees a beautiful, theatrical hoyden with huge turquoise eyes who has the right professional catering skills he needs for his business.

    Kelli says: "Light Hearted and Funny"
    "Good Story. Awful narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    I’m sorry but Richard Ferrone should not narrate romance novels unless the main characters are senior citizens. The 28-year-old heroine sounded like a little old lady. Other females sounded like elderly ladies, some wimpy, some overly effeminate. The hero sounded like an elderly man - soooooo unsexy.

    STORY:
    I enjoyed the ideas about family and family ties through adoption, both formal and informal. Feel good ending.

    Desdemonia runs a catering business. She was adopted by a family of actors when she was a child. Sam was abandoned as a child and is now a successful computer genius with almost no people skills. How Desdemonia and her emotionally open family interact with Sam is wonderful. He makes some changes in his own life as a result.

    DATA:
    Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: none that I recall. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: four. Setting: current day Seattle. Copyright: 1995. Genre: contemporary romance with some suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Friction

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3184)
    Performance
    (2856)
    Story
    (2850)

    Crawford Hunt wants his daughter back. Following the death of his wife four years ago, Crawford, a Texas Ranger, fell into a downward spiral that left him relegated to deskwork and with his five-year-old daughter, Georgia, in the custody of her grandparents. But Crawford has cleaned up his act and met all the court-imposed requirements, and now the fate of his family lies with Judge Holly Spencer.

    Sharon says: "Good book but mediocre narrator/production"
    "Narrator’s accent annoyed me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    I was very annoyed with Stephen Lang’s Brooklyn (or East Coast something) accent. He says “har” or “hah” instead of “her”. There were hundreds of “hers” in this book. I was annoyed and distracted every time he said “har.” It took me out of the story. He also ways “warrant” instead of “weren’t.” I’m sorry but I’m spoiled by and prefer the majority of narrators using standard-American-TV-anchor-type speak.

    But I was impressed that he could do women so well. He has a deep voice, but he softens it for women. He does not sound like an effeminate gay guy. Other male narrators could learn from him. He did all characters well and his general narration was good.

    STORY:
    I was not enjoying it. I wanted it to be over. Bad luck and illogical stupidity.

    Too much bad luck is being thrown at good guy Crawford a US Marshall. And Crawford does not defend himself in a logical manner. A stupid detective believes lies and makes up lies to hurt Crawford. For example, a gunman enters a courtroom, shoots and kills the bailiff and points his gun at Crawford. Crawford manages to kick the gunman who flees. But the detective thinks Crawford hired the gunman to make Crawford look like a hero. Someone vandalizes Crawford’s home, but the detective thinks Crawford did it himself to get sympathy. Bad guy accuses Crawford of something and the detective believes the bad guy’s lie not Crawford.

    Crawford does not stand up for himself or defend himself when things are said against him which was stupid. When someone is killed the detective says Crawford probably did it. Crawford should have immediately said he was at Smitty’s bar at the time. But he says nothing.

    And at the end Crawford does something stupid - see spoiler.

    CAUTION SPOILER:
    Bad guy has a gun and a hostage. Crawford is able to get the gun away from bad guy. He should have tied the bad guy but he doesn’t. So when Crawford tends to the hostage, the bad guy grabs his second gun. How stupid is that? Crawford is a US Marshall.
    END SPOILER.

    Crawford loves his five-year-old daughter and is suing for custody, but the grandparents do mean things to keep him away from his daughter. The police and others go along with it and Crawford is kept away. It was unfair and wrong. I would have preferred Crawford stand up for himself more. I was just not enjoying any part of this story.

    DATA:
    Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: occasional. Sexual content: 4 sex scenes not much detail. Setting: current day Texas. Book copyright: 2015. Genre: romantic mystery suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sting

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2535)
    Performance
    (2308)
    Story
    (2299)

    When Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard lock eyes across a disreputable backwater bar, something definitely sparks. Shaw gives off a dangerous vibe that makes men wary and inspires women to sit up and take notice. None feel that undercurrent more strongly than savvy businesswoman Jordie, who doesn't belong in a seedy dive on the banks of a bayou. But here she is...and Shaw Kinnard is here to kill her.

    shelley says: "Children and fireplaces do not mix well!!"
    "Narrator’s accent annoyed me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    I was very annoyed with Stephen Lang’s Brooklyn (or East Coast something) accent. He says “har” or “hah” instead of “her”. There were hundreds of “hers” in this book. I was annoyed and distracted every time he said “har.” It took me out of the story. He also ways “warrant” instead of “weren’t.” I’m sorry but I’m spoiled by and prefer the majority of narrators using standard-American-TV-anchor-type speak.

    But I was impressed that he could do women so well. He has a deep voice, but he softens it for women. He does not sound like an effeminate gay guy. Other male narrators could learn from him. He did all characters well and his general narration was good.

    STORY:
    I listened to this right after listening to The Firm (TF) by Grisham. TF sets the bar high which probably made me more critical than normal. In this book the author uses gimmicky techniques to create suspense, for example someone is describing something and is interrupted so the reader doesn’t get to hear the whole thing. Heroine is accused of something and she could clear it up by explaining why she did it, but she says nothing. Her silence was not logical to me. Later in the book heroine does something stupid to put her in the clutches of the bad guy.

    So overall the plotting and events could have been better, but it was still enjoyable.

    DATA:
    Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: I don’t recall any, maybe once or twice. Sexual content: about 4 sex scenes, not much detail. Setting: current day Louisiana. Book copyright: 2016. Genre: romantic mystery suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Low Pressure

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (928)
    Performance
    (818)
    Story
    (809)

    Bellamy Lyston was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy's fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene along with her memory of what really happened during the day's most devastating moments. Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a sensational, best-selling novel based on Susan's murder. Because the book was inspired by the tragic event that still pains her family, she published it under a pseudonym to protect them from unwanted publicity. But an opportunistic reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on fact....

    Eclectic Reader says: "Excellent!"
    "Narrator’s accent annoyed me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    I was very annoyed with Stephen Lang’s Brooklyn (or East Coast something) accent. He says “har” or “hah” instead of “her”. There were hundreds of “hers” in this book. I was annoyed and distracted every time he said “har.” It took me out of the story. He also ways “warrant” instead of “weren’t.” I’m sorry but I’m spoiled by and prefer the majority of narrators using standard-American-TV-anchor-type speak.

    But I was impressed that he could do women so well. He has a deep voice, but he softens it for women. He does not sound like an effeminate gay guy. Other male narrators could learn from him. He did all characters well and his general narration was good.

    STORY:
    I did not like the plotting and reasons for things. And heroine was not interesting to watch.

    Not a good story for me. I just wasn’t engaged. Someone’s been threatening her and vandalizing her home. But when they suggest she get a body guard, she refuses. That was wishy-washy. How is that interesting?

    Some amnesia plots are ok, but this one did not interest me. She remembers many things about that day 18 years ago but she has amnesia about a small part of that day. Then at the end of the book, hey, she remembered that small part - mystery solved.

    And to create a little more conflict, hero leaves her because he thinks her life will be happier without him. Not a good plot device for me.

    CAUTION SPOILER:
    Not enough feel good justice in the end. The killer should have gone to jail and suffer, but something less satisfying happened. I was also sad that the killer allowed an innocent man to suffer in jail for so long.
    END SPOILER.

    DATA:
    Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: occasional. Setting: current day Texas. Book copyright: 2012. Genre: romantic mystery suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Alibi

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Dennis Redfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (438)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (256)

    With sensitivity and insight into the human condition, Sandra Brown creates a forceful psychological portrait of a man in moral turmoil, who must make difficult choices betweenn his personal passions and the demands of his conscience.

    Erik Fosshage says: "Another great work by a master storyteller"
    "4 ½ Stars. Very enjoyable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting to watch Hammond who was in a bad fix. He had strong ethics, yet he was tormented with his lust for a woman. He wanted to do the right thing, yet kept doing the wrong things to help her, yet it was good what he ended up doing and how things ended.

    Some authors make characters do or say things that are not reasonable or do not fit their characters’ motivations in order to have a plot twist or suspense. That annoys me. This book did not do that. It had twists that were well thought out and fit characters’ motivations. This was good storytelling.

    Some readers complained about the ending being abrupt. And I agreed, initially. I wanted an epilogue to tell me what happened later to the main character. But as I thought about it more, I was ok with it. He would end up ok whether he stayed where he was or changed jobs or other. And the feeling about the romantic relationship was good.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    I felt iffy about Dennis Redfield at first, but he grew on me and I was fine with him as the story continued.

    DATA:
    Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: I don’t recall any but there might have been a little. Sex scenes: about three, but not a lot of detail. Setting: around 1999 Charleston, S Carolina. Book copyright: 1999. Genre: romantic suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ricochet Joe

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By James Patrick Cronin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (964)
    Performance
    (767)
    Story
    (767)

    Joe Mandel is a perfectly ordinary guy from a perfectly ordinary town - a college student and community volunteer who dreams of one day publishing a novel. When a series of strange intuitions leads him to a crime in progress, Joe jumps headlong into danger without hesitation. In the aftermath, he wonders about the uncanny impulse that suddenly swept over him. Until new friend Portia Montclair, the strangely wise daughter of the local police chief, explains to him what sent him ricocheting around town like a crazy pinball.

    Amazon Customer says: "Yesssss. This is the Dean Koontz I Love. "
    "It was engaging. I enjoyed it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But it’s the beginning of a story. It’s not fully developed or complete.

    This is a 200 page short story. It’s fun with new ideas involving good and evil creatures on earth. The end was partially complete. But this story needs to be continued, the powers explained, and justice in the end.

    I was disappointed to find that my Kindle Voyage e-reader would not show the “Kindle in Motion” graphics. Apparently that only works on tablets and smart phone apps. The instructions say to choose “Show Media” under the Font aA tab. Buy my Kindle does not have a that option. I wish Amazon made it clear that this feature is not available for their Kindle e-readers - or tell me what to do to make it work.

    I also listened to the audiobook. The narrator James Patrick Cronin was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silent Corner: A Novel of Suspense

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1920)
    Performance
    (1759)
    Story
    (1758)

    "I very much need to be dead." These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for - but took his own life. In the void that remains stands his widow, Jane, surrounded by questions destined to go unanswered...unless she does what all the grief, fear, confusion, and fury inside of her demand: find the truth, no matter what. There is no one else to speak for Jane's husband - or the others who have followed him into death at their own hands.

    Coleen M. Weiss says: "Very poor narration"
    "Helpless victim feel and no justice at the end."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The heroine is smart and I admire her actions. But it’s like a mouse hiding and running from cats.

    I listened to the first 3 hours and the last several chapters. I was getting anxious, so my plan was to comfort myself with a feel good ending and then go back and relax a little more as I read the rest of the book. But I was disappointed and frustrated to learn the ending was a CLIFFHANGER. I lost all desire to go back and finish the book. The main bad guy is not caught.

    Reviewers say he is also not caught in book 2 (The Whispering Room). A couple reviewers said the whole book 2 is just chase and fight - constant action. There is no good character or relationship development.

    I feel like this is TV-style-writing, drawing it out over several shows/books. I was hoping for a Jane Hawk series similar to the Michael Connelly Harry Bosch books. Connelly has complete stories with justice in the end for each book.

    SUMMARY:
    Jane is an FBI agent on leave of absence and on the run. Bad guys have a mind control drug which causes the subject to kill himself. Jane’s husband slit his own throat due to the drug. Apparently the bad guys have the CIA, FBI, and/or other government and police agencies on their side with thugs hunting Jane. At end of book 1 Jane is still in hiding and trying to get evidence against the bad guys.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Elisabeth Rodgers has a pleasant voice but there was a downer quality. I don’t know if she was depressing or the content was depressing.

    The good part:
    Narrative mode is 3rd person.

    Please give me back the old Dean Koontz. I loved his early books: Intensity, Lightning, and Watchers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Obsession

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12729)
    Performance
    (11427)
    Story
    (11350)

    Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father's crimes and made him infamous. Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she's ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up - especially the determined Xander Keaton.

    McChica04 says: "Total Letdown"
    "I enjoyed this."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But you need to be ok with a big chunk in the middle all about remodeling and decorating a large house in the country. I wondered if Ms. Roberts bought a similar house and remodeled it and decided to put her experience into this novel. So that part feels like chick lit. However, the beginning and ending sections were very good for romantic development and suspense.

    Minor problem. At the end, the main characters knew the bad guy was in the area. Yet they were not cautious enough, so bad things happened. I think the characters were smarter than that. But I don’t want to fault the author too much. It’s hard for authors to find good ways for bad guys to get to smart characters for the climactic crisis.

    I think there was only one sex scene and not much detail. There were references to rape and torture but those were told more than shown, so not much detail that would haunt the reader.

    The audiobook narrator Shannon McManus was excellent. I’d listen to almost anything she narrates.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person (my favorite).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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