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Ann Hawkins

Short fuse

Auckland, New Zealand | Member Since 2012

28
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 430 titles in library
  • 45 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Shadow of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened. Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great book, fantastic characters"
    "History plus fantasy and damned fine writing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Shadow of Night again? Why?

    Read it twice so far, and won't be deleting it in a hurry. It was a joy to have such a thoroughly well-researched novel from a writer who obviously loves her subject. So many other historically based offerings fall down badly with their jarring ignorance of the social mores of the time, but this one actually generates an interest to learn more.


    What other book might you compare Shadow of Night to and why?

    Diana Gabaldon's time-travelling series come close.


    Have you listened to any of Jennifer Ikeda’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have only heard this reader's performance for the first of this (All Souls) series.
    She does an excellent job of reading and although there are a few mispronunciations, she has very good breath control and the ability to recognise punctuation and it's purpose . Overall she captures the personalities of the characters and draws the listener into the story. I would listen to her again with pleasure


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were too many moving passages to list here but Diana's jeopardy in the tilt-yard at Greenwich, at the hands of Marlowe and Louisa had high tension, and the bitter-sweet homecoming to Sept Tours left me thirsting for more details.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm really looking forward to the third volume in this series, please make it soon!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • To Wed a Wicked Highlander: Bad Boys of the Highlands, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Victoria Roberts
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    In the third book of this fun, action-packed Highlands Trilogy, Victoria Roberts introduces her baddest bad boy yet. Laird Alexander MacDonell has a choice: stay true to his duty or lose his heart forever to the woman who betrayed him - his own wife. Lady Sybella MacKenzie is forced to search for her clan’s ancient seeing stone under the roof of her father’s enemy. When she finds the precious artifact, will she choose the family who raised her, or will she stand with the man who has captured her soul?

    sandy says: "can't wait for the next book"
    "Horrible narration and lacklustre writing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A decent editor could tidy up this story into something workable as the bones of it aren't bad but the author has a regrettable tendency towards repeating herself, often within the same sentence, which succeeds in making nonsense of the prose, i.e. a reflection having a reflection. The narrator however, is the last nail in the coffin and this one seems to feel that a Highland burr can only be effectively conveyed by ending every phrase with a rising terminal, thereby making them all sound like questions. She also endows the heroine with high-pitched voiced, perhaps intending to portray her youth and scatter-brained choices, but which merely results in becoming an added irritant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Demon from the Dark

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (332)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (317)

    Malkom Slaine: tormented by his sordid past and racked by vampiric hungers, he’s pushed to the brink by the green-eyed beauty under his guard. Carrow Graie: hiding her own sorrows, she lives only for the next party or prank. Until she meets a tortured warrior worth saving. In order for Malkom and Carrow to survive, he must unleash both the demon and vampire inside him. When Malkom becomes the nightmare his own people feared, will he lose the woman he craves body and soul?

    Julius says: "I love these books"
    "Another riveting story from the Lohr."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This latest adventure from the imagination of Kresley Cole is faultlessly performed by Robert Petkoff. It is a masterful combination which enables me to become totally engrossed in the story. I can hardly wait for the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • True to the Highlander: Loch Moigh, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Barbara Longley
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (84)

    A life hangs in the balance… A king held for ransom, a country under thumb, clans at one another’s throats. Malcolm of clan MacKintosh has enough to worry about without finding a mysterious lass sleeping on the side of his road. He tries to help her — in his overbearing, arrogant way — and winds up flat on his back. God’s blood, who is this woman…and why does she captivate him so?

    Trish says: "Awesome.."
    "Teeth-grindingly annoying narrator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Apart from some blatant plagiarism in parts, the story is quite entertaining; however the narrator's monotonous nasal twang, apart from the habit of finishing every phrase with a two-note terminal (up, then down) even on single syllables, can drive the most even-tempered listener to drink. It was rather like listening to a teenage boy with a half-broken voice and a very bad sinus infection, definitely not an enjoyable experience!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Maid for the Billionaire: Book 1 of the Legacy Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs)
    • By Ruth Cardello
    • Narrated By Kim Bubbs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (93)

    In Maid for the Billionaire Dominic Corisi knew instantly that Abigail Dartley was just the distraction he was looking for, especially since having her took a bit more persuading than he was used to. So when business forces him to fly to China, he decides to take her with him, but on his terms. No promises. No complications. Just sex. Abby has always been the responsible one. She doesn't believe in taking risks; especially when it comes to men - until she meets Dominic.

    Ginny says: "wonderful wonderful wonderful"
    "Unintentionally Hilarious!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Quite the silliest book I've listened to in a long time, made even more so by the narrator giving the heroine the squeaky little voice of a sexually precocious 8 year old, but Hey! it was on sale so my expectations were low to begin with; However I really did LMAO at the utterly preposterous storyline and ridiculous dialogue so Thanks for that. The suspense from waiting for the next disgorgement of nonsense brightened a dull day but I won't be repeating this extravagance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thunder and Roses: Fallen Angels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mary Jo Putney
    • Narrated By Peter Bishop
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (85)

    They called him the Demon Earl. They said he could do anything. Son of a rogue and a gypsy, Nicolas Davies was a notorious rake until a shattering betrayal left him alone and embittered in the Welsh countryside. Desperation drives quiet schoolmistress Clare Morgan to ask the Demon Earl to help save her village. Unwilling to involve himself in the problems of others, Nicholas sets an impossible price on his aid-only if Clare will live with him for three months, letting the world think the worst, will he intervene.

    bookworm2bookworm says: "Great start to a series!"
    "I almost lost the will to live."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Thunder and Roses?

    A monotonous droning narrator made listening impossible.


    What was most disappointing about Mary Jo Putney’s story?

    I could not persevere with listening as the narrator made utter nonsense of the prose.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Peter Bishop?

    Ross Pendleton, James Langton, Jeff Woodman.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Thunder and Roses?

    Try again with a different reader and I'll let you know. Nobody could endure 20 hours of that noise and stay sane.


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't even use this as a soporific on a sleepless night as the narrator crossed over from being simply boring into downright infuriating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Risk Worth Taking

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Laura Landon
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Tormented by the deaths of his wife and child, Griffin Blackmoor spends his days drowning his grief in whiskey. But when a bullet that was meant for him kills his best friend, Griffin makes a promise to the dying man that will thrust him back into London Society - and into the path of the one woman who could make his life worth living again. The daughter of a drunkard, Lady Anne Carmichael swore she would never love a man like Griffin Blackmoor.

    byrdloves2read says: "James Langton is the perfect narrator"
    "A classic tale with a lively finale."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Risk Worth Taking?

    I enjoyed the inter-twining plot threads involving several minor characters as this made the ending more unpredictable.


    If you’ve listened to books by Laura Landon before, how does this one compare?

    To be honest, I thought at first that I'd already heard this book before as the storyline was so familiar at the beginning, but it did develop after a while and ended on a less predictable note than I'd feared.


    Which character – as performed by James Langton – was your favorite?

    The guilt-driven hero, Griffin Blackmore, aroused my sympathy.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I enjoyed the tension of Anne's rescue from the cave.


    Any additional comments?

    James Langton is a wonderful narrator who can lift any story above the average. This man is a consummate professional and a delight to listen to. I do hope he is frequently employed on audiobooks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unraveled by the Rebel: Secrets in Silk, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Michelle Willingham
    • Narrated By Sue Pitkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    After being seduced and ruined by her worst enemy, Juliette Andrews has vowed to marry no man - especially not Dr. Paul Fraser, her childhood sweetheart. Content to bury herself in accounts and numbers, she refuses to let the devastatingly handsome Highlander back into her life.

    sandy says: "the story kept my interest"
    "Narrator makes nonsense of this already awful book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Nobody


    Has Unraveled by the Rebel turned you off from other books in this genre?

    It will make me more wary in future


    What didn’t you like about Sue Pitkin’s performance?

    Pitkin pauses every few words, thereby removing all meaning from any prose.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    I would like a refund but am having the utmost difficulty in getting this processed by you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Everything in Its Time: Time Travel Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Dee Davis
    • Narrated By Ross Pendleton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (142)

    Years ago while vacationing in Scotland, Katherine St. Claire believed she'd found the love of her life. She shared a night of passion with a stranger, in a hotel castle called Duncreag. But come morning, her lover had disappeared. And she has spent the last eight years trying to convince herself it was all a dream... Living in the 15th century, Iain Mackintosh remains haunted by the memory of his greatest love. Eight years ago, she disappeared, leaving behind a cairngorm earring as the only evidence of her existence.

    Grace says: "A nice listen."
    "A delightful surprise."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Everything in Its Time again? Why?

    It is the first in a trilogy which may mean that I'll need to refresh my memory before I buy the next one in the series.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ian the manly hero, who is both brave and faithful. Ross Pendleton gives him a very sexy voice!


    What does Ross Pendleton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He reads smoothly and with feeling, yet never intrudes upon the story with histrionics. He manages to assume the voice of either gender realistically, together with a genuine-sounding Scots burr. This is an achievement few narrators can pull off. I think I'd seriously consider purchasing almost anything he read.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Virtually, yes. If you count a few hours sleep in the middle, that was exactly what I did..


    Any additional comments?

    I had low expectations of this book due to a couple of disappointing purchases recently, but this was a little gem. I look forward to further offerings by this author provided they have the same gifted reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Warrior's Revenge

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Coreene Callahan
    • Narrated By Sue Pitkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (134)

    Sometimes the only way to love - and redemption - is to make a deal with the devil. After the death of her parents, Lady Aurora de Marquise is left with no illusions. Stripped of her birthright and betrayed by her uncle, escape is her only option. With her life on the line, she narrowly avoids another murder attempt - only to run headlong into Lord Brigham de Mornay, a man most consider a monster. With her uncle's henchmen nipping at her heels, Aurora knows better than to trust a stranger - especially one as compelling as Brigham.

    Karen says: "A little slow and inaccurate"
    "Entertaining story ruined by pitiful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone very slow on the uptake may have more patience than I do. The narrator takes all the action out of the story by reading so teeth-grindingly slowly.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would like to see more careful editing to remove the jarring inconsistencies in the text.Phrases such as "pushing someone's buttons" for instance, do not sit well in a medieval context and detract from the atmosphere. There were a few similar instances which were glaringly out of place and could have been amended to improve the whole.


    What didn’t you like about Sue Pitkin’s performance?

    Sue Pitkin reads as if she is following her finger along the text like a schoolchild. She pauses when she should continue to the end of the phrase, and at other times places inapt stresses on certain words which can make utter nonsense of the entire sentence. Frequent mispronunciations are also very annoying, particularly STIFFLING (sic) instead stifling.It is a common enough word after all.


    What character would you cut from Warrior's Revenge?

    I would not cut any characters.


    Any additional comments?

    I usually enjoy stories by this author and feel that she has been badly let down by the producer who should have picked up, and rectified, the errors made by the narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • And Then She Fell: Cynster Sisters, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Stephanie Laurens
    • Narrated By Matthew Brenher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (100)

    The only thing more troublesome than a Cynster man...is a Cynster lady who believes love is not her destiny. Famously known in London society as "The Matchbreaker", Henrietta Cynster's uncanny skill lies in preventing ill-fated nuptials - not in falling victim to Cupid's spell. But then she disrupts one match too many and feels honor-bound to assist dashing James Glossup in finding a suitable bride for a marriage of convenience.

    April says: "Classic Laurens"
    "Reader ruins an entertaining story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Stephanie Laurens and/or Matthew Brenher?

    Stephanie Laurens writes a lively story, but Matthew Brenher drains the life from it.


    Would you recommend And Then She Fell to your friends? Why or why not?

    Sadly no, especially to a first-time listener. It would discourage further purchases.


    What didn’t you like about Matthew Brenher’s performance?

    He reads like a failed actor, droning through the prose and only animated during the dialogue. He is unable to manage long sentences, inventing pauses where none exist (presumably he reaches the edge of the page or runs out of breath), yet at the same time he appears to ignore the correct punctuation. The end result is at best irritating and at worst utterly nonsensical.I shall avoid this performer no matter how much I like the author.


    Could you see And Then She Fell being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Ms Laurens has been badly let down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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