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Robin in Vermont

Books are better than TV -- Except for Outlander. That rocks!

Vermont | Member Since 2009

394
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 200 reviews
  • 568 ratings
  • 2141 titles in library
  • 326 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
36
FOLLOWERS
46

  • Bonds of Trust

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lynda Aicher
    • Narrated By Emily Cauldwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (342)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (311)

    After ending her passionless marriage, Cali Reynolds is eager to live out her forbidden fantasies. Her first step is attending new members' night at The Den, the most exclusive sex club in town. Perhaps here she can find a man who understands her desire to be dominated.... At first, Jake McCallister thinks Cali has come to his club for the wrong reasons. But when he discovers she is seeking fulfillment after years of denial, he's intrigued - and takes it upon himself to initiate her into the pleasures she's been missing.

    Lillie says: "Finally a story with an older lady !!!!!"
    "Introduction to another world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book. It took me to places and emotions I never could have imagined on my own. If you've ever wondered what the the BDSM world was like, here is your chance to experience a version of it in the safety of your own mind.

    Emily Cauldwell is brilliant as the reader. The combination of Lynda Aicher and Cauldwell is not to be missed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Wallflower Gone Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Maya Rodale
    • Narrated By Carolyn Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    Being good has worked out very badly for Lady Olivia Archer. All she has to show for four seasons on the marriage mart is the nickname Prissy Missy. Her prospects are so bleak that her parents have betrothed her to a stranger with a dire reputation. If Phinneas Cole - aka The Mad Baron - wants a biddable bride, perhaps Olivia can frighten him off by breaking every ladylike rule.

    Tracy T says: "I really liked it!"
    "Not a favorite. Not even close."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those books that suffers greatly by comparison, but even if it was a stand alone book, I would hate it.

    I enjoyed the first and third books so much, that this one doesn't really feel like it belongs in the line-up. The only thing I enjoyed was the opportunity to keep the secondary storyline going as it concerns the other wallflowers. This is a very, very small compensation though.

    Olivia, the second wallflower, has been raised to be the perfect lady, something her mother never fails to trumpet at every opportunity. Lady Archer is so vocal and obnoxious that she manages to make a mockery of her daughter, destroying any chance she has of attracting a marriage.

    Tired of Olivia's failure, her parents decide to settle the matter themselves and betroth her to a Baron. Unfortunately, gossip has saddled him with a very bad reputation. In fact, the ton believes he murdered his first wife, and there is a salacious book that dramatizes all the unsavory details, so of course it must be true.

    When Olivia discovers what her parents have done, she feels betrayed. She regrets all the years of obeying her parents wishes only to be given in marriage to a man she doesn't love, and one who could possibly murder her. Believing he only wants her because she is a perfect lady, Olivia sets out to destroy her own reputation to get out of the marriage. This is when the fun is supposed to start, but it never gets off the ground.

    This book is written as a farce, but the repetitious dialogue and the over-the-top paper-thin hijinks really ruined it for me. I didn't find it charming or even amusing. About halfway through I realized that this was the HR equivalent of an episode of Lucy. Yes, it's that bad.

    I especially hated that the wallflowers, who were themselves victims of gossip, were so credulous when it came to this man's reputation. Especially as Emma's husband was working with him on his project.

    Rodale isn't a great writer, but she is an entertaining one. She wiffs this one badly, however.

    Read it, don't read it -- I'm not sure it matters. Book 3, however, IS worthwhile. I loved that one, and it is the best of the bunch.

    Skipping this but worried you might miss something? Read on.


    SPOILER FOR THOSE WHO WON'T READ IT -- BUT WHO LIKE THE SERIES:

    Phinneas Cole, the Mad Baron, is a reclusive engineering genius who is in London to work with Emma's husband, Ashford. They are partnered in building a prototype of the Difference Engine. He is also ready to take a new wife.

    The crux of the gossip about Phinn is that he killed his first wife, Nadia. He didn't. Though why he married her in the first place is a mystery since she was his dead brother's fiance. His brother died in a fight over her infidelity with another man. She is described as a narcissist who is easily angered when she is ignored. This causes her to set fire to Phinn's workshop, and die in the fire when she can't get out.

    Phinn's guilt over her death is way too contrived to be believed, as is his refusal to explain it. instead he allows the gossip to persist. He's also way too slow to understand that his reputation is connected to Olivia's behavior toward him, a woman who is clearly terrified of him, even as he does nothing to reassure her.

    Phinn also has a moron for a friend, who we are supposed to think is funny, but his scenes just made me cringe.

    There are two moments that can be considered romantic, but they do not save the book. As a love interest, Phinneas Cole is an empty suit.

    I suppose there are some people who will like this one, but for me this is not a credit worthy purchase. The misunderstanding went on and on until I didn't care one way or the other how it would play out.

    I won't reread this one. There are too many better books out there, and at least some of them are written by Maya Rodale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What a Wallflower Wants: Bad Boys & Wallflowers, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Maya Rodale
    • Narrated By Carolyn Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (45)

    Miss Prudence Merryweather Payton has a secret. Everyone knows that she's the only graduate from her finishing school to remain unwed on her fourth season - but no one knows why. With her romantic illusions shattered after being compromised against her will, Prudence accepts a proposal even though her betrothed is not exactly a knight in shining armor. When he cowardly pushes her out of their stagecoach to divert a highwayman, she vows never to trust another man again.

    Cynthia says: "Loved this book!"
    "Hated to see it end."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really loved the first book in this series, and this one was just as good.

    Prude Prudence is desperate to find a husband before the big school ball. As a last resort, she goes to Bath with her aunt to avoid the embarrassment of being the only graduate to not be married by her fourth season. There she meets a man who has no interest in being with a woman, but who also needs to marry. They run off together to do the deed, but the coach they are in is attacked by highway men.

    Separated from her fiance, Prudence ends up walking for miles in the woods to escape. Eventually, she comes to a road, and meets Castleton, a young nobleman with a carriage, who offers to give her a ride to the next village. She can't accept his help. She really, really wants to, but she just can't. Why? No spoilers here -- this is Pru's story to tell.

    Eventually, Pru finds her way to the inn where Castleton is waiting. He's been very worried, and hated to leave the well bred young lady alone on the road, but she insisted, and a gentleman always accedes to the desires of a lady.

    As a powerful rain storm strands the couple for several days, they form a tentative friendship that naturally turns into love. The way this is written is beautiful and delicate and sweet, and I loved it.

    There are villians and a HEA, and while Pru's friends eventually play a part, it is her relationship with Castleton that forms the basis of the story and I really enjoyed that. They are both beautifully written characters, but as a hero, he is superb. I hated to see this book end.

    Carolyn Morris is rapidly becoming my favorite HR narrator. She does such a wonderful job with this series that I know I will re-listen many times in years to come. She and Maya Rodale make a great team.

    Enjoy!




    Warning: SLIGHT SPOILER

    My only caveat is a page long description of a remembered rape scene. I am fortunate enough to have never experienced that kind of assault, but for women who have that trigger, I would advise caution when you get to that passage. It's short, but it upset me enough that I fast forwarded over it. It went by quickly and did not detract from the lovely story of a young woman overcoming a traumatic event with the help of a caring man who understands what she's going through. Those moments between them are very special, and no to be missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • His Forbidden Touch: Stolen Brides Series, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Shelly Thacker
    • Narrated By Julia Motyka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (94)

    She may never reach her royal wedding if she can't resist the rugged mercenary assigned to protect her. Disgraced ex-knight Royce Saint-Michel was banished from his homeland because of an impulsive act that cost him all he held dear. Now, he has the chance to reclaim his birthright - if he agrees to protect a princess on a journey that may prove deadly to them both.

    Zeee @ I Heart Romance says: "Simply Amazing!"
    "Didn't hold my interest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really loved the first book in this series and I guess that set a high bar. While this was well written, the characters just didn't grab me, and I found myself moving on to other, better books.

    Could be the lack of magic or the absence of the sense of place so evident in book one, I'm not sure. In this one, they spend a lot of time traveling around, and the villain has too big of a role to make it a true romantic read.

    2nd book slump? I'm going to read the third book, but really, I just want to go back and read the first one again. Still, I may revisit this one in the future, just to make sure I didn't miss a good thing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Any Duchess Will Do: Spindle Cove, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Tessa Dare
    • Narrated By Eva Kaminsky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (83)

    Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season - or any season - but his diabolical mother abducts him to "Spinster Cove" and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl. Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn't dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop.

    Cam says: "Unlikely love match but cute story regardless"
    "My idea of a perfect HR!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For me, this romance was the perfect nexus of splendid parts. From beautiful plotting to perfect dialogue to intriguingly fleshed out characters to the gorgeous narration. Sensual and joyous and so very romantic, I didn't so much read/listen to it, as I reveled in it. It was my reward at the end of a long day, three nights in a row.

    I love great stories, but when it comes to audio books, the story can be great, but without a great narrator, you might as well give it a skip. Eva Kaminsky is a revelation in this one. Her accents (and I don't pretend to know what Pauline's accent was), add so much to the texture of the story that I hung on every word. The nuance she added to the dialogue was also fantastic. I once said the Rosalyn Landor could teach a master class. Eva Kaminsky could as well.

    I've enjoyed every book in the Spindle Cove series, but I LOVED this one.

    With Tessa Dare and Eva Kaminsky on board, this was a masterpiece!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hunter's Claim: The Alliance, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By S. E. Smith
    • Narrated By David Brenin
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (58)

    Jesse Sampson and her two younger sisters have lived a hard life on the streets of Seattle, Washington, for the past several years. Four years before, the Earth received its first visitors from space, causing mass fear. Alone in a world gone mad with just her sisters, Jesse has learned to use the darkness and the remains of the city to survive and keep what was left of her family alive. She has seen the savage side of human nature and finds they are not much different from the aliens who conquered the Earth.

    Melanie says: "SEXY ALIEN FANASTY ROMANCE"
    "first half is awesome!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    2nd half, not so much.

    Hunter's Claim is a confusing book. Clearly, S. E. Smith knows how to write. The beginning of this book is so good that I initially gave it four stars. Then I got to part 2.

    Hmmmm. What started as a sexy alien abduction novel (my favorite!) devolved into a boring romance with no zing. Oh the hero continues to fight the good fight -- he is a warrior after all. But the romance part fizzles out to a lovey dovey series of I love you's sprinkled with a few sexy bits and a couple of action scenes. Everybody is so freakin happy that it's the novel version of a hallmark card. Yawn.

    The alien characters are never fully fleshed out or given anything interesting to do. We are given some promising descriptions in the beginning -- tall (of course), muscular (check), vampire strong! -- and with some leonine traits including eyes and nose. But if these guys are so great, why am I so bored?

    We are taken to their world, which is nice and descriptive, but once we get there, we're just watching paint dry. Everybody loves everybody. There is zero tension as the aliens accept the earth girls with open arms. What? No xenophobia? Not one alien character questions the logic of interbreeding with people from a backward planet? (We know the girls are cool, but everybody else just takes it for granted.)

    Where's the zing?

    To be fair, I've been reading a lot of books in this sub-genre on my Kindle lately. I love Tracy St. John's Clans of Kalquor, and a new author, T. J. Yelden wrote a very good book, Karac, Kaldar Warriors #1, that I, and many others, really enjoyed.

    So compared to those, Hunter's Claim really felt like a waste of my time -- except that it did relax me during my dental work today, so that's something I guess.

    Still, I'll be keeping my eye out for more S. E. Smith. Who knows, maybe she get's better with practice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Perfect Gentleman: Tenacious Trents, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jane Charles
    • Narrated By Marian Hussey
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Matthew Trent always knew what was expected of him and that was to become the Perfect Vicar and a Perfect Gentlemen. When Grace Cooper enters his life he is forced to face what he really wishes to become. Grace Cooper has three options for marriage available to her in the small village where she resides. However, Grace would rather be placed on the shelf than enter into a miserable union. When someone threatens her father and then makes an attempt on her life, it is Vicar Trent who vows to protect her.

    Robin in Vermont says: "Sadly dull."
    "Sadly dull."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the first book in this series, so I decided to try this 2nd one. Unfortunately, it stalls out early and stays there. Even an array of "oil can Harry" villains and attempted murder couldn't give it any ooph. It was also a bore. I got 3/4ths of the way through it before it put me to sleep for the last time.

    One issue I can point to is the author's belaboring that the h "couldn't possibly be lusting for a vicar!!!" It was repeated to the point of eye rolling hysteria. At least the hero figured out he didn't want to be a vicar!

    The only interesting character was her father, who was suffering the effects of a brain injury, and he couldn't talk. (Maybe that's why I liked him so much!) His suicide attempt was just stupid though. Really, really unbelievable.

    Experience tells me that, in the end, the h and H end up together. But in my mind, I've rewritten it so that he quits the church and finds someone, ANYONE else to love -- and I can live with that.

    Note to self: Vicars are boring, and so are the girls who lust after them. (And Jane Charles is not a safe bet.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Demon Bound: Imp, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Debra Dunbar
    • Narrated By Angela Rysk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (147)

    Samantha Martin is an imp, enjoying an extended vacation from Hel. All she wants to do is drink beer by the pool, play mischievous pranks on the humans, and get her hot neighbor in the sack. It's a relaxing break from her infernal home as long as she manages to avoid the angels, who won't hesitate to execute her on sight. But when her naughty hellhound lands her in trouble with the local werewolf pack, Sam is blackmailed into helping track and catch a killer. The steps she must take to appease the werewolves will put her right in the crosshairs of the angels.

    Sharon says: "Can't Wait for the Next One!!!!"
    "Narrator sux"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. This one is bad. The narrator sounds like she's reading a bedtime story to toddlers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • If He's Sinful: Wherlocke

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Hannah Howell
    • Narrated By Ashford MacNab
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (143)

    It is whispered throughout London that the members of the Wherlocke family are possessed of certain unexplainable gifts. But Lord Ashton Radmoor is skeptical - until he finds an innocent beauty lying drugged and helpless in the bedroom of a brothel. The mystery woman is Penelope Wherlocke, and her special gift of sight is leading her deep into a dangerous world of treachery and betrayal. Ashton knows he should forget her, yet he’s drawn deeper into the vortex of her life, determined to keep her safe.

    Tracy T says: "What a great story! Never a dull moment!"
    "Oh! This one was good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Given how underwhelmed I was by book 1 in this series, that's how much I loved this one! Hannah Howell has completely redeemed herself in my eyes, and given me something so interesting and engrossing that I spent too many nights in the facinating company of her Wherlockes.

    Sexy and intriguing, this book was short on humor, but long on great characters. The villains are beyond evil, and freak me out a little! The supernatural element actually worked, adding a new dimension to the genre.

    My only complaint, and it's a small one, is Ashford MacNab. Her delivery is so maudlin and plodding all the time that it's hard to feel happy or excited when the plot calls for it. She reads every word with the same dramatic inflection and tone. Ah well, that's our Ashford for you. (Also, her Welsh accent is atrocious, but it is a hard one to do.) All her heros and heroines have the same exact voice regardless of what they sounded like in previous books -- and it bugged me a tiny bit --- but only because I listened to the books back to back.

    Its my fault. I've been going through this series like a box of bon bons, and it's given me a bit of a tummy ache.

    Do yourself a favor -- if you get into this series, take a break between each of the books. That way you probably won't have that problem.

    This one goes in the reread pile -- but I'll have to wait a while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Wallflower

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Maya Rodale
    • Narrated By Carolyn Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (83)

    Lady Emma Avery has accidentally announced her engagement - to the most eligible man in England. As soon as it's discovered that Emma has never actually met the infamously attractive Duke of Ashbrooke, she'll no longer be a wallflower; she'll be a laughingstock. And then Ashbrooke does something Emma never expected. He plays along with her charade. A temporary betrothal to the irreproachable Lady Avery could be just the thing to repair Ashbrooke's tattered reputation.

    Tracy T says: "What a fun read!"
    "An Adorable Relief!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been listening to a lot of HR's with a darker mystery component lately, and they're making me anxious when I want to relax! I've really enjoyed them, but lately I've been thinking about uploading my Lisa Kleypas collection for a change of pace. I still might, but Maya Rodale has given me exactly what I needed in this one.

    The plot of Wicked Wallflower is clever, amusing and very well written, without the heavy drama or scary villains. The characters are original and the HEA is satisfying in a sweet and sexy way. I'm enjoying this respite from the tension of the darker books immensely, and plan to work my way through this fun series and anything else this author has to offer.

    Carolyn Morris is awesome, as always.

    Highly recommended.



    FYI: for anyone who is interested, my rating system is based purely on whether or not I feel I've wasted my time and/or money. My Audible books are my Dragon Hoard, and I like to find the GOLD!

    5 STAR: Happy dance!!! Goes in the vault so I can listen to it again and again. Love the author and the reader! (Highly recommended.)

    4 STAR: Great read for it's genre, but no fireworks. Maybe the reader takes away from the enjoyment? Will re-listen and may enjoy it more the second time. (Recommended.)

    3 STAR: OK read, but unlikely to re-listen unless plot inspires me or it's part of a good series. Or it could be a good book with a really bad reader. (Just OK Dog.)

    2 STAR: Waste of my time. Usually a bad reader or silly plot. (You've Been Warned.)

    1 STAR: This may as well be a 0 stars. Bad plot, silly TSTL Character(s) and/or a really bad reader. Usually returned for a refund, though I may keep just to review it, if it really inspires me to rant. (I'm disgusted.)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Captured: The Captive Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Erica Stevens
    • Narrated By Luci Christian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (89)

    Aria is determined to hate the prince, determined not to give into him in anyway, but his strange kindness, and surprising gentleness astonish her. Torn between her loyalties to the rebellion, and her growing love for her greatest enemy, Aria struggles to decide between everything she has ever known, and a love she never dreamed of finding.

    Amazon Customer says: "Everything I expected!"
    "Pretty Weak."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The characters in this one are one dimensional, and their inner thoughts are vapid. I found it silly and lacking any sort of depth.

    Our h has just been sold to a vampire in a blood slave auction. She's been living on the run in the forest with a small band of humans who are resisting the Vampire overlords. Her new owner is the gorgeous prince vampire. He has the cleaning ladies take her off to be bathed -- she's smelly and dirty from living in the woods. She is scrubbed down, has her nails painted, dressed in a skirt and blouse, strapped into high heels and sent back to the prince.

    What era is this supposed to depict? Why does she need her toenails painted in order to provide a meal to her new owner? She's supposed to be terrified of what's going to happen, but all she can think about is how he makes her tingle and feel things, especially when she see's his bedroom.

    Really? There is bad, and then there is this.

    Refund please.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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