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Aryn

ratings
936
REVIEWS
104
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
29
HELPFUL VOTES
439

  • Terra Incognita: A Novel of the Roman Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ruth Downie
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1044)
    Performance
    (798)
    Story
    (799)

    The edge of the Roman Empire is a volatile place; the tribes of the North dwell near its borders. These hinterlands are the homeland of Gaius Petreius Ruso's slave, Tilla, who has scores of her own to settle there: Her tribespeople, under the leadership of the mysterious Stag Man, are fomenting a rebellion, and her former lover is implicated in the murder of a soldier. Ruso, once again pulled into a murder investigation, is appalled to find that Tilla is still spending time with the prime suspect.

    Lucy says: "Great book, fabulous reader"
    "Another winner"
    Overall

    The book is entertaining, well-written and well-researched without being stuffy. Has it all: adventure, mystery, complicated relationships and strikes a great balance with all of it. The reader also strikes the right balances with speed and cadence. Definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good story and a little history.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A Scot in the Dark: Scandal & Scoundrel, Book II

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Sarah MacLean
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (356)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (317)

    Miss Lillian Harwood has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn't hesitate...until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

    Tracy T says: "Decent enough Story, Okay narration"
    "Insipid, teen-age drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Technically, the writing is good; grammar, syntax, all that is as it should be. The narrator does her normal good job, although for me, the pacing is a bit slow. Characters are well-delineated and elocution is good.

    As to the plot -- to me, it is a teen girl's angst-y fantasy; the forgotten and ruined ward and the poor, misunderstood 'brute' of a Scotsman who 'save' each other. Not my thing, and I see no reason to put myself through another 9 plus hours of it.

    Your mileage may vary, as always, and if you like woe-is-me drama with your romance, you might like this one. Thank heavens that people like different plots, and thank you to the authors who write them differently.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • An Accidental Goddess

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Linnea Sinclair
    • Narrated By Amy Landon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (135)

    Raheiran Special Forces captain Gillaine Davré has just woken up in some unknown space way station, wondering where the last 300 years have gone. The last thing she remembers is her ship being attacked. Now it seems that while she was time traveling, she was ordained a goddess.... Gillaine's only hope of survival rests with dangerously seductive Admiral Mack Makarian, who suspects her of being a smuggler - or worse. But he can't begin to imagine the full extent of it.

    Aryn says: "Love the print; less so the narrator"
    "Love the print; less so the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book, the story, is full of wry wit and humor, especially between Simon and Gillaine, and some serious interactions -- rather like life.

    The perfect narrator for this book would be someone who could read the characters and situations instead of just the words. The perfect narrator would be able to do male characters with enough differences that you could tell who was who. And the perfect narrator could nuance humor. To me, this narrator failed on all counts. Not to say she isn't a clear and capable speaker, just not the person for this book.

    I would suggest fans of the genre (or the book, if you've already read it) to skip this audio version, buy the book and spend some down time with it, your favorite beverage, and a little chocolate.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Duke's Quandary

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Callie Hutton
    • Narrated By Billie Fulford-Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (101)

    London 1814... Drake, Duke of Manchester is searching the Marriage Mart for a perfect bride. He wants a woman who is poised, sophisticated, and worthy of the title Duchess. But most of all, he wants a woman who does not want the useless emotion of love. Socially awkward Miss Penelope Clayton isn't meant for marriage. A serious botanist, she has no desire to wed, so being forced by her guardian to participate in the Season to find a husband is torture.

    Rhonda says: "good story but bad narration"
    "not for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found the story repetitive to the point of tedium. The narrator was competent, but couldn't add anything fresh to the words.

    Others might find the story more to their liking.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mercy: Buchanan-Renard, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Christina Traister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (785)
    Performance
    (692)
    Story
    (697)

    When esteemed Justice Department attorney Theo Buchanan is struck ill at a New Orleans gala, Dr. Michelle Renard works fast to save his life. Soon, Theo finds himself in a race to save her when Michelle is targeted by a deadly crime ring. They call themselves the Sowing Club, a devious foursome driven by greed to accumulate millions in a secret bank account. Now they're dead set on silencing Michelle, who might know the secret behind the killing of one of their wives.

    kathy says: "The accents drove me nuts but the story was good"
    "One of my favorites"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is probably my favorite Julie Garwood book. Probably the first of her books I read and the one by which I've compared the rest of her books. I was pleased with the start of the narrated version; the bayou folk sounded fairly authentic. But the narrator had a tough time keeping track of who was supposed to sound like they were from where and the accents kept slipping around. She made a good stab at it, most of the time, but I ended up rather lost as to who was speaking and -- well, it all got rather muddled together. Her voice was pleasant, and when she was in narrator mode rather than character mode, she is excellent, and when she was doing the accents well, she did them very well -- I'd listen to her again, but perhaps her production chief could do a better job of keeping things on track.

    As to the story, I like it. The female lead leads without a lot of angst and drama. The male lead does the same. This is a story, not a study in psychology and I enjoyed myself. What more can I say.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bound (Forbidden Series) (Volume 1)

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Melody Anne
    • Narrated By Lily Swan
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (111)

    Relinquish Control has just opened its doors in Seattle, and already we are not shy for customers. Relinquish Control is an exclusive escort service catering to the most distinguished customers, from business magnates to foreign royalty. This proven and well-established international business offers an elite selection of women who are ready and willing to attend to your every need with no questions asked. Confidentiality is our special obligation.

    Robbin Blackmon says: "You've Got to b Kidding"
    "it's a cliff-hanger"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    repetitive, unrealistic even for the genre, and a cliff-hanger to boot. not worth a credit or my time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Robber Bride: The Daring Debutantes, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jerrica Knight-Catania
    • Narrated By Stevie Zimmerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    When Victoria Barclay, privileged daughter of the Viscount Grantham, has a life-altering experience as a young girl, it sets the course for the rest of her life. She is determined to make a difference in the world, no matter the consequence, and becomes a highwayman - or woman, as it were - robbing the rich and donating her pilfered gains to the poor. Life-long friend and neighbor, Phineas Dartwell, Earl of Leyburn, suspects his dear friend is up to no good. She's become evasive, and even worse, he cares that she's become evasive.

    Aryn says: "Saccharine story-driven"
    "Saccharine story-driven"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The characters are driven by this too-emo story; not a real emotion or pretend reality-driven event among them; for me, nothing rings true. Reading it made my teeth ache. Stevie Zimmerman is, as always, near-perfect and the author can write, although it is as if she is channeling a day-dream for a 13 year old. Not my thing; YMMV.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tempting His Mistress

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Samantha Holt
    • Narrated By Stevie Zimmerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    Lilly Claremont is well used to being at the center of gossip. Being the illegitimate child of a rich businessman never failed to titillate the gossips, and while she cared little about the wagging tongues, she never intended to reinforce their opinions of her by ruining herself completely.

    Thamara says: "I enjoyed this story immensely! "
    "redundant redundant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this because I enjoy the narrator. Alas, there is only so much even a wonderful narrator can do to make the same lines and circumstances feel fresh. The story was predictable, and then to listen to it several times over as lines and scenes are repeated throughout the book became tedious.

    Fortunately, the author has a decent grasp of language and writing of plot and scene, and the storyline has some freshness to it; it is not a total waste nor a bad book. I'd would just have preferred to have it tightened up. A lot. YMMV.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hold Me: A Fool's Gold Romance, Book 16

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Susan Mallery
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (328)
    Performance
    (297)
    Story
    (298)

    Destiny Mills believes passion has its place - like in the lyrics of the country songs that made her parents famous. After a childhood full of drama and heartache, she wants a life that's calm. Safe. Everything that Kipling Gilmore isn't. Her temporary assignment with the Fool's Gold search and rescue team puts her in delicious proximity to the former world-class skier every day. Part of her aches to let go for once...the rest is terrified what'll happen if she does.

    JC says: "The female lead was so irritating!!!!"
    "If the review was on how much I liked the story,.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author does a better than fair job of using language. She has issues with the he/him format ("as him". Really, Madam Author?) and a few other grammar issues. Her characters are fleshed out quite well and she can write a scene that I can see. But the characters are mid-twenties going on 14 -- manipulative - given or gotten, whiny, passive-aggressive -- in otherwise adult roles... probably the only actual adult among them is Mayor Marge (?) and she is the all-knowing mother figure. On the merits of the author's ability as a writer, the three stars stand, or maybe more. She has a copy editor/copy readers of some worth, and it is a joy to find few if any errors of spelling or word usage.

    If the rating was on how disappointed I am with where a promising story line went, it would be sitting at barely one star. The author is quite good, and I keep getting sucked in thinking THIS will be the one where her characters shine as people I'd like to know. This one isn't it, either.

    The narrator does a fine job; I occasionally have a hard time pulling out which male is talking, but it is a crowd scene of all males; it would be hard for anyone.

    YMMV; I am not knocking anyone's taste; this is just not mine.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Opal Fire: A Stacy Justice Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Barbra Annino
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1403)
    Performance
    (1246)
    Story
    (1250)

    Stacy Justice is your average small-town reporter...who just so happens to be a witch. She’s never had the time or patience to mess around with the magic her grandmother and great-aunts are into, even though Grandma says Stacy has a higher calling. Right now, Stacy has stories to cover, her cousin Cinnamon’s bar to help run, and her cute cop boyfriend and flatulent Great Dane to keep her company. But when someone sets Cinnamon’s bar ablaze - almost killing Stacy in the process - the green-eyed redhead will have to embrace her inner witch after all.

    susan says: "Very enjoyable mystery with a slight bit of magic"
    "I admit I didn't get far..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For me, the story was dull, the narration was one-note, and I just didn't care about any of them.

    The narrator is clear and can make voice distinctions and has diction and pronunciation down cold, but there was no variation in ... mood? I get that this is supposed to be a "serious" story, (crazy witches in capes and arson and drunks in a weird bar with with a dominatrix owner/manager and a Great Dane dog/familiar) but, in my head, there would have been some humor to go with the anger. And the lead characters were all angry. And serious. Yikes.

    The author can write a scene and sentence; she is absolutely capable with the mechanics of her craft. Her characters were clear -- I could pick them out in a crowd. Or maybe a mob. An angry mob. Or at least a snotty one.

    But maybe it is just me. I will not be revisiting this author nor this narrator, but absolutely, YMMV.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Unleashing: Call of Crows, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Shelly Laurenston
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1221)
    Performance
    (1127)
    Story
    (1120)

    Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn't for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even have seen her die. In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig "Vig" Rundstrom has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera.

    Malinda says: "Pretty good start to the series :D"
    "Too Violent for this Reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I generally enjoy Shelly Laurenston books -- she is more than capable with characterization and using her words and grammar and creating scenes you can 'see' -- this series is just too violent for me. The characters are sociopathic in their ability to switch from ripping someone to pieces with as much pain as possible and then chatting about their daily lives and how much they like dogs. I'm not making judgments, other than for myself. And yes, a couple of the characters have their humanity intact.

    Other than this tendency for many of the characters to disregard others' suffering (see the above comment about scenes the reader can 'see'), I think this series is better-written than some of her others. She does a terrific job of keeping her characters true to themselves as established, rather than having them act randomly to drive the story. (I really need this in a book.)

    The narrator is, as always, splendid. The male characters sound like men -- maybe not with depth of voice but with tone and, for lack of a better word, attitude. That is in part the author's doing, but to me, some narrators can make men just seem manly... sorry, cannot explain it better.

    So, your mileage may vary. I am in favor of all kinds of books, even those I do not choose to read. Unless this type of thing may be trigger for you, you might want to give it a try.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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