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Robin in Vermont

I don't want to live in a world without books!

Vermont | Member Since 2011

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  • 235 reviews
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  • 143 purchased in 2015
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  • Sweet Persuasion: Sweet Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Maya Banks
    • Narrated By Caroline Wintour
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (453)
    Performance
    (418)
    Story
    (424)

    For five years, Serena has run Fantasy Incorporated and has devoted her time to fulfilling her clients' fantasies, never her own - until now.... Her most secret desire is to give ownership of her body to a man. Someone who will command her, pleasure her, and have complete authority over her. So she seeks out Damon Roche, owner of an exclusive sex club and a man strong enough to make her do anything he wants. Anything. Together they'll journey into a world she's only dreamed of. She's given the opportunity to immerse herself in a different life while her normal one waits for her to return whenever she wishes.

    CAROLYN says: "OH SOOOOO SWEET BUT MUCH MUCH MORE"
    "Reveals more about the author than intended."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have tried to read one or two books by Maya Banks and have always walked away scratching my head over the high ratings. I bought this one on sale, again because of the ratings, but I don't get it. This woman cannot write her way out of a paper bag.

    In this instance, the plot was constructed from a flimsy framework of abusive sexual slavery. There was never a instant when I thought, yes, that makes sense -- I can see a real person doing that. There was nothing sensual about it. It was sick sexual domination that we're supposed to accept as sexy because it was the woman's idea. The final insult is that the author tries to make us believe all of the abuse is acceptable because it is ultimately motivated by love. Perhaps if this is your first erotica novel, you might not know the difference. Perhaps that explains some of the ratings.

    The H wants to live his life with a sexual slave, and he makes no apology about it. He hasn't been able to find a woman willing to live it 24/7 with him and has about given up when he meets a woman with a fantasy of being a sexual slave. There is a contract, but no discussion of cost. Ever. Are fantasy's like this free?

    It's a hard knock life for a sexual slave, and after the initial excitement, the woman, Serena, decides that it's a little too hard core for her. But the guy is so persuasive that he continuously manipulates and breaks down her personality for his own gratification so that she doesn't know where fantasy leaves off and reality takes over. She's frightened and confused. When she acts on those feelings, she is stripped, beaten and forced to give oral sex to her "owner" in front of a dinner party so that he can exert his dominance and teach her a lesson and not be embarrassed in front of his friends..

    But what made it worse was the ending.

    Serena has a major meltdown, but instead of attributing it to the sexual abuse she is suffering, the author does to us what the abuser did to her, she twists the logic. Serena's business is about fulfilling fantasies. At the request of the parents of a terminally ill child, she creates a cruise ship fantasy (why a cruise ship for a child?) where the child is crowned princess complete with coronation -- (like a child would understand or care about a coronation.). When the child dies, which was the motivation of the fantasy after all, Serena has a breakdown because "all fantasy's are lies" and she couldn't give the child "the one thing she deserved, a long and happy life." She runs from her owner/lover, starves herself, decides to sell her business, and generally goes around the bend -- because, we are expected to believe -- a a child who is terminally ill, dies. And, this continues to be a major melodramatic plot point even after the parents of the child thank her repeatedly for making the last days of their child such joyful ones, in a scene at the grave site. But does Serena finally see the reality of the situation? No. She stubbornly clings to her certainty that she failed this child, and now her life has no meaning.

    This is the first time I've read a story where the author is in denial about her own character. What makes more sense? Serena is an unstable narcissist with a God complex who thinks she should have power over life an death as part of a realistic business plan? Or are we witnessing the emotional degradation of a woman so severely abused that a her personality disintegrates, and she accepts sexual slavery? Serena says over and over again that she's lost herself. She's right, but apparently the author didn't have the guts to write this story the way it should have been written.

    Instead, this is a sexy erotic novel, so of course she's not sexually abused, right?

    If the motivations attributed to Serena were the norm, the Make a Wish Foundation would be out of business.

    IMHO, this one was pure crap.

    Also, Caroline Wintour is not a favorite.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ruined by Rumor

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Alyssa Everett
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (77)

    Who could possibly throw over a woman as beautiful and vivacious as Roxana? Certainly not Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley, who has spent years trying in vain to forget his unrequited love. When he learns she's been abandoned by her cad of a fiancé, he finds himself offering a shoulder for her to cry on. Comfort soon turns into a passionate kiss—and scandal when they are caught in an embrace.

    Michelle says: "MORE ALYSSA EVERETT PLEASE!!!"
    "Helpful Spoilers, a Rant, and a Little Catharsis."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recently read Everett's A Tryst With Trouble, and I loved it -- REALLY loved it. I'm just glad this book was my second Alyssa Everett, and not my first. If I'd started with this one, I'm not sure I would have bought another. I passed disappointed at the midway point, and by the end, I was just mad. This review is the result.

    THE HEROINE: Roxana, is a renowned beauty. Gorgeous, with pale blond hair, a willowy figure, lovely face, and sweet temperament -- she is universally beloved in her county. And yet, she believes she is plain. Why? Because at some point in her life, her mother warned her against becoming vain. And because, when she was little, her big brother used to tease her, and call her mop head. Huh.

    Her inner musings on her plainness went on, and on -- it was a major underpinning to her character, but it made no sense at all. As written, Roxana didn't ACT like she believed she was plain. She acted, dressed and conducted herself like a beautiful woman. So what, exactly, was the point of hammering her plainness into the book? The repetitious lack of logic took me right out of the story.

    THE HERO: Alex is also gorgeous, and experienced, but because he is shy and tongue tied around the beautiful Roxana, she thinks he's dull and boring. Alex has been in love with her for years, even while she was betrothed to another guy. So when that guy throws her over publicly, and she is accidentally ruined, he sees his chance to have her, and proposes. Badly.

    And while Roxana clearly understands what being ruined means, she doesn't immediately see the need to do anything to save herself, or her family, from scandal. Her mother, incongruously, and unbelievably (for the time), lets Roxana ruminate on her options until a neighbor gives her the cut direct. Huh. This scene had me wishing my Kindle was made by Fischer Price, so I could throw it at a wall without cracking it. Took me out of the story. Hard.

    Alex and Roxana marry, but because he lacks self esteem, he doesn't tell her how he feels, letting her believe he's in love with another girl. Over and over again, these two come together only to pull apart over one low self esteem induced misunderstanding after another. If you like that kind of plot, this book is for you. I found that the mountain of illogical misconceptions only buried the characters in stupidity.

    THE WEDDING NIGHT: This scene started out pretty good, and went downhill fast. Our inexperienced heroine goes after her timid man after a false start. After he turns into a sex god, she is surprised, impressed, and turned on. But when she starts to come, she stiffens up until the feeling goes away. She actually fights her orgasms, several times -- over several weeks of marriage -- to a man she's wildly attracted to. Huh. And why? Just to keep the misconceptions coming, I guess. To me, it just made both characters look stupid. And what did he do about it? He just looked down at her face and watched her while she did it, and said nothing. Nothing. He's supposedly experienced, while she doesn't understand what's happening to her body, but he says NOTHING. Took me right out of the story. Again.

    The big reveal happens close to the end, after a serious blow up over another big misunderstanding. It occurs when the slimy ex confronts them in a ballroom, creating yet another scandal. To shut him up, Alex punches him in the face, right in front of the ton. And right on cue, Roxana throws herself into Alex's arms and says, YOU DO LOVE ME!

    Seriously? That made me throw up a little in my mouth. And that's the point at which I got mad.

    The epilogue had the requisite infant. BIG yawn.

    There is a great book in here somewhere, but it seems to me that Everett tried to be too cute for her own good. The complex machinations I loved in A Tryst With Trouble, fell apart for lack of logic here, and left me feeling frustrated. There is no doubt in my mind that Everett is a talented author who can write wonderful dialogue, great sex scenes and really complex and witty plots. She just didn't do it in this one. I am amazed at the high ratings this claptrap received, but to each her own.

    The biggest problem I had with this book is that it fell 2-1/2 big stars short of great, and I can only blame the author. It kept coming close, but each time the story would start to heat up, she'd take it off the boil, hamstringing her own characters with extra helpings of, wait for it,

    Stupid.

    IMHO, results may vary, but for me, this one is not worth a re-read. Shame, too.

    Roz Landor is great, but even she couldn't make a silk purse out of this hot mess.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lessons in French

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    Overall
    (301)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (281)

    Trevelyan d'Augustin and Lady Callista Talliafaire were secret sweethearts, until the day her father dismissed him with a whip across the face. Ten years and three jiltings later, shy Callie is resigned to a quiet village life as the late earl's spinster daughter. But now Trev has returned from his estates in France, upending everything, dragging her into adventures, stealing Hubert the prize-winning bull, and flinging Callie's heart into mayhem again.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Holy Cow!! What A Lovely Romance!! ;-)"
    "Sweet sexy farce!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Callie has a secret. Years ago, she was in love with her childhood sweetheart, Trevelyan -- the handsome and spirited son of her aristocratic French neighbors. Together they engaged in wild passionate adventures, until her father discovered the two young people in a compromising situation. Furious, he drove the young man away, threatening to destroy him if he ever dared to return.

    10 years later, the old Earl is dead, and disappointment has made Callie a bit odd. After being jilted 3 times, she's also a bit of a punchline. Her only comfort lies in taking care of her prize bull, Hubert. Determined not to marry, she gives up all pretense of being interested in another romance.

    Then one night, Trevelyan returns, upsetting everything, and giving her hope again. She resents him for it, as it's a little too late. She also doesn't trust that he'll stick around this time. Her's hearts been broken too many times for that.

    What follows is a fun, and sometimes funny, romance involving prize fighters, animal riots, disguises and a fancy dress ball. Trev pulls Callie into one misadventure after another, while they both pretend to ignore the smoldering spark between them. Initially a bit of dull stick, I was happy to see Callie come alive in Trev's arms. Their sensual scenes are blissful.

    There are the usual misunderstandings and withholding of information prevalent in a book like this, and the resolution takes a while to come to light. There is also a sinister mystery waiting to be solved. But Trev is such a sexy hero, and so beautifully read by Nick Boulton that you'll be swept away by the romance of him. This is really his book.

    The epilogue is very well done, and resolves all those dangling plot points not addressed in the main body of the book.

    I look forward to reading this again. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deep: A Stage Dive Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Kylie Scott
    • Narrated By Andi Arndt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (748)
    Performance
    (674)
    Story
    (676)

    One by one the members of Stage Dive are falling in love. David, Mal, and Jimmy have all taken the plunge, and now it's Ben's turn - only he refuses to fall into that trap. The sexy bassist enjoys his no-strings-attached lifestyle. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he's always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there.

    Sharon says: "High Expectations for Book 4"
    "What a let down."
    Overall
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    This is one of those books that pushed all my buttons. I'll admit I have a few pet peeves regarding some plot points, and this book has one of the big ones.

    Pregnant Heroines:

    I hate this cliche with a purple passion. What in the hell are these author’s thinking? Endless pages of pregnancy symptoms — from the meant to be funny food cravings to hormones that make the heroine feel like she’s in heat. Seriously? Is this supposed to be sexy? Inevitably, the hero starts acting like a caveman because she has a bun in the oven. And the woman is incapable of common sense, loses the ability to stand upright, and cannot exhibit any sense of self preservation —and because she’s overly emotional, she becomes a punchline. Often, she needs to be carried from room to room by the hero, just in case she forgets how to walk.

    What’s most disappointing is how these cliches are old saws from 50’s sitcoms, originally written by MEN, come back to haunt us in the writing of WOMEN.

    The truth is, pregnant women are fierce. My aerobic instructor lifted weights and taught classes until the week she delivered. Pregnancy does not render a woman stupid, helpless or infirm. If anything it makes us stronger. We are never more powerful than when we are bringing life into the world. But you’d never know it from reading some of the stupid things that WOMEN writers write about the experience of pregnancy in RH’s. Sorry about the rant.

    Which brings me to this book. After loving the first three books (though less and less with each successive installment) this book is an epic fail. Within the first 3 chapters or so, an MC comes up preggers after an awful one night stand. LIGHT SPOILERS:

    After that, we spend the rest of the book watching this train wreck unfold. The girl is sweet, naive, and in lurv with a one dimensional victim of arrested development. The guy is selfish. Period. And however much we are meant to believe he undergoes a change of heart before the HEA, the fact is, he’s a withholding A-hole, and I regret having spent time with him in any capacity. Don’t tell me how gorgeous the guy is, or how much she loves him — I don’t care. I don’t have any respect for either character given the situation they were in and how they behaved.

    But the writer thinks this is a romance because she made the girl pregnant in the story. That somehow makes it okay that he banged her and then ran out on her, and only came back when he realized — and this is important — that he couldn’t get it up with any other woman. HUH. “My dick thinks you own it.” were his exact words. Therefore, “we need to give this a chance.”

    Really? If you find that romantic, enjoy. There’s plenty more where that came from in this one.

    Not recommended unless you’re a pregnancy fetishist.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Lead: Stage Dive, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Kylie Scott
    • Narrated By Andi Arndt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1241)
    Performance
    (1148)
    Story
    (1150)

    As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it's booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble. Lena's not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry.

    Michele says: "I love this series!!"
    "The witty Lena steals the show!"
    Overall
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    Story

    Oh Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. You were a sexy, complicated, high handed, nasty shit for a lot of this book, but Lena was your Waterloo.

    The gorgeous lead singer for Stage Dive, is a certifiable Asshole with a capitol A. This assessment is universally agreed upon among his closest friends, and enemies alike. But when he gets clean and sober, he becomes even worse.

    When the record company insists upon a sober companion for Jimmy, he complies -- but unfortunately, he goes through them like -- well, like the parade of groupies he's had sex with. When Jimmy fires his latest babysitter, the band is called to a meeting with their manger to discuss it. While there, he and the bad witness a curvy dark haired temp going toe to toe with their even bigger of an asshole manager. This catches the band's attention and they jump on the chance to hire the no nonsense woman as a new companion for Jimmy. Hey, they've tried everything else!

    I don't want to give away a moment of this hilarious and touching story. Each successive book in the series gets a little more intense, and we come to care for the characters even more. This is a very well written series about four childhood friends who find love where they least expect it. And about the four very different and unique women who save them from themselves.

    While I loved all the women, Lena is by far my favorite. The witty dialogue, emotional scenes, and of course, the sex -- are so well done, and held my interest throughout. I will admit I wanted to punch Jimmy in the face a few times, but Lena taught him a lesson he'll never forget, and I was more than good with that.

    Loved it. Highly recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Play

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Kylie Scott
    • Narrated By Andi Arndt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1555)
    Performance
    (1455)
    Story
    (1456)

    Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated followup to international best seller LICK Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast - at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl.

    Edyta says: "A really fun style of writing!!"
    "Awesome second in a great series!"
    Overall
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    Story

    Anne Rollins comes home from work to find her roommate has moved out, leaving her without the money she is owed. Depressed, and soon to be evicted, she's unsure where to turn. It's then that she is invited to a party by her sympathetic next door neighbor. Anne is not the partying type, until she find's out it's being hosted by Stage Dive.

    Not really in the mood, and feeling at loose ends, Anne goes out on the balcony to make a phone call to her best friend. She lays out the whole mess, unaware she has an audience.

    Mal Ericson, the drummer, is an ass. He's obnoxious, he drinks too much, parties too hard, and messes with people's minds. He's also a bit of a man whore. Hiding out on his own on the balcony, he overhears an unknown woman's tale of woe. Seeing an opportunity, he takes her inside, and proceeds to announces to everyone that she is his new girlfriend.

    Anne is shocked speechless, and what happens next turn's her world upside down and sideways.

    This was a fun, if intense, read, with a male lead unlike any I've read about before. At times I found him to be such an ass, one whose impulse control was worthy of a 9 year old boy. But by the time the book ended, I loved Mal. While he and Anne are the main characters of this book, it's Mal who will hold your attention.

    We get to see more of David and Evie, too, as well as the rest of the band.

    So good. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lick: Stage Dive, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Kylie Scott
    • Narrated By Andi Arndt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2151)
    Performance
    (1963)
    Story
    (1971)

    Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this. Evelyn Thomas' plans for celebrating her 21st birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man in her room, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.One thing is certain, being married to one of the hottest rock stars on the planet is sure to be a wild ride.

    Jordy says: "4.5 Lickable Rock Stars!"
    "Such a great series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought no one could match the Sinners series for great plots, and sexy characters. I was so wrong. The Stage Dive series is just as good, and I've enjoyed every minute of it.

    Lick follows David Faris, the lead singer of Stage Dive, as he meets, marries, and then tries to convince his wife to fall in love with him. Evie is a hard sell. She doesn't remember him, or their marriage, and once she figures out who he is, she can't quite buy into the idea that he might actually want to be with her. Why would a rich and famous rock god want someone like her, when he could have practically any woman in the world?

    Evie is a great character. She's strong without being strident, and has plenty of common sense, a rare commodity in romance novels. Her self esteem is not an impediment, and she knows love when she sees it, without dragging this part of the book out. Watching these two fall in love is fun and romantic.

    The book also introduces the rest of the band members as side characters, but David and Evie are the stars of this book.

    I'm so glad I picked it up, and have worked my way through the series quickly. I know I'll reread these over and over.

    Highly recommended to romance junkies and fans of Olivia Cunning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Man

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Lisa Marie Rice
    • Narrated By Alexandra R. Josephs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (418)
    Performance
    (386)
    Story
    (381)

    Interior decorator Suzanne Barron's new tenant is the most dangerously sexy man she's ever met. Navy Commander John Huntington, a former SEAL (aka 'Midnight Man') works best under cover of darkness. Within hours of meeting him, Suzanne has wild, no-holds barred sex with John, then panics at the depth of her passionate response to such a powerful and dangerous warrior. Suzanne doesn't do sex like that. John is definitely someone she needs to avoid for her own peace of mind. But when killers come for her, Suzanne knows she can turn to only one man.

    NEW NAME says: "Alpha yummyness!!!!!!!!"
    "Like watching TV"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This one is written by a woman, and yet the whole time I was reading it, it felt like something a guy would write. The male is over the top macho, gun toting super trouper, and the woman is a damsel in distress. Yeah, their both flawed and needy and sexy time ensues, but I've had a belly full of this kind of plot in the numerous cop shows that crop up year after year. I read to get away from this crap.

    Nothing new here.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Run

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Lisa Marie Rice
    • Narrated By Alexandra R. Josephs
    Overall
    (328)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (303)

    Claire Parks has been very sick, but she's fine now - just fine - and ready to paint the town red. Well, pink. On her first excursion into the wild world of dating, she nets Bud, a tall, sexy, good-looking lumberjack. She won him fair and square, her prize for not dying. But after a weekend of wild sex, she discovers he's not what she thinks he is. Undercover police officer Lieutenant Tyler "Bud" Morrison can't believe his eyes. What's a 'princess' doing in a dance club known for its rough trade? She needs rescuing, and rescuing women is what Bud does best. He saw Claire first - finders keepers.

    Robin in Vermont says: "Boring macho man saves weak sexy gal. Ho hum."
    "Boring macho man saves weak sexy gal. Ho hum."
    Overall
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    Story

    Not a favorite. Dull plot and bland cliche TV-like characters made this a boring listen. There are much better books out there.

    Narrator was good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Luckiest Lady in London

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Sherry Thomas
    • Narrated By Corrie James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (92)

    Felix Rivendale, the Marquess of Wrenworth, is The Ideal Gentleman, a man all men want to be and all women want to possess. Even Felix himself almost believes this golden image. But underneath is a damaged soul soothed only by public adulation.Louisa Cantwell needs to marry well to support her sisters. She does not, however, want Lord Wrenworth-though he seems inexplicably interested in her. She mistrusts his outward perfection, and the praise he garners everywhere he goes.

    Jonna says: "Lovely story, extremely well-written"
    "First in the series, Hot for an HR!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've recently read three novels by Sherry Thomas, only to discover that they are all linked in a series that neither Audible nor Amazon describe as related. This book is actually the first of the three, followed by Private Arrangements, and ending with His at Night. I can't say that it mattered -- each book is fine as a stand alone, and the characters are only loosely mentioned in the other books, but I do plan to read them in order next time. I highly recommend them all, especially as read by Corrie James.

    The Luckiest Lady in London has the same passionate and serious tone as the other two books in the series, and for an HR, the sex was hot!

    In this one, our heroine, Louisa Cantwell, is devoted to her family -- especially to the future welfare of an epileptic sister. Once their mother dies, they will lose their income, and being practical, she knows that she must make the most of her season if she is to marry well.

    Enter The Perfect Gentleman, an appellation our hero has given to himself, with tongue firmly in cheek. He has his reasons for being cynical and disingenuous with society, but one look at Louisa, and his cover is nearly blown. Watching him rationalize his attraction to her even as he uses all his intellect to lure her into a scandalously intimate relationship, was entertaining. And Louisa has a few surprising needs of her own, as well as an intellect to match his.

    They are interesting, and in the end, endearing characters. And the sex scenes are steamy. There is a minimal amount of misunderstandings, all deftly handled by Thomas, so no eye rolling. I couldn't put this one down.

    Corrie James did an excellent job since she completely disappeared inside the reading of this book. What more can be said for a reader other than that they were able to do that?

    Highly Recommended

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Tryst with Trouble

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Alyssa Everett
    • Narrated By Lizzie Owensby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Lady Barbara Jeffords is certain her little sister didn't murder the footman, no matter how it looks...and no matter what the Marquess of Beningbrough - Ben - might say. Sparks fly as Ben and Barbara compete to defend their loved ones. But as strange new clues emerge that neither can decipher alone, they have no choice but to compare notes and sleuth in tandem. A tenuous bond develops that soon faces its toughest challenge when Ben himself becomes a suspect.

    Lady Wesley says: "Excellent combination of mystery and romance"
    "A sexy HR who dunnit you won't want to miss!"
    Overall
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    Story

    Lady Barbara is tall, red haired and buxom -- an amazon compared to her delicate, blonde, blue-eyed sister Helen. Convinced she is firmly nailed to the shelf, Barbara gives up hope of ever being married when she discovers that Lord Clibbington, a man whom she thought was courting her, was actually pursuing Helen. Hurt and a little jaded, Barbara has decided that no man will ever want her.

    Enter the Marquess of Beningbrough, or Ben, a handsome heir to a dukedom, with deep seated issues of low self-esteem, and a big chip on his shoulder.

    Ben and Barbara meet each other for the first time over the body of a dead footman. Initially hostile, they each have an interest in finding the culprit, and are soon forced to work together to unmask the killer. She finds him arrogant, while he thinks she's a shrew. They are both so damaged and thin skinned that communication is nearly impossible. The story really takes off when they begin to trust one another -- and their growing, mutual attraction.

    It's important to note that the bickering back and forth between B & B is handled with a master's touch, as Everette deftly skirts the abyss of going overboard. She kept to the right side of witty and believable, and I found that very impressive. Too often, this kind of thing is laid on too thick, and can ruin an otherwise good book.

    The plot is fast paced and filled with menace -- black mail, murder and murder attempts. It also has some sexy clinches in the drawing room, and a sweet, dawning romance that is very well done.

    In particular, Ben's unusual -- for the times-- family drama was handled beautifully. Also Helen is an interesting character when her flaws are laid bare.

    I would love it if this was the first in a series, as I'd enjoy watching Ben and Barbara solve more mysteries. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Nevertheless, this stand alone book held my attention throughout -- so much so, that I woke up early today and had to put my earbuds in and finish the book, before I even got out of bed! That's something that has NEVER happened to me before!

    I enjoyed this one very much, and even though it's fairly obvious 2/3d's in, who the killer is, you won't mind. You'll be hanging onto your seat until the end, and that's pretty great for a HR!

    This is my first Alyssa Everette novel, but I've since bought two more.

    The reader, Lizzie Owensby, is a revelation, and she did an amazing job. I'll be looking for more books read by her.

    Also, a shout out to Lady W for the great review. She's the reason I took a chance on this. Thanks Lady W!

    Highly Recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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