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Marilyn

GLASTONBURY, CT, United States | Member Since 2009

55
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 207 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Simple Men

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Eric Arvin
    • Narrated By Charlie David
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (129)

    Chip Arnold is a well-liked football coach at a small liberal arts college, but his personal life is in a bit of a rut. He goes out drinking with his colleagues, gets along well with his players, and dates all the prettiest women in town - he has the life most straight men dream of. But lately none of the women he dates seem to be igniting any passion in him. Then he meets the new school chaplain, Foster Lewis. Romantic attraction to another man is new and terrifying, and Chip just can't put his finger on why he's drawn to Foster, but it's stronger than anything he's felt for anyone in his life.

    Donald says: "Romanticism at its best..."
    "Almost Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Simple Men? What did you like least?

    I liked the author's ocassional insights about life and relationships that were dotted here and there into the story. The aspect I like least was a total lack of story around one adult man realizing he was gay, or at least bi. He sort of went


    Would you be willing to try another book from Eric Arvin? Why or why not?

    I wouldn't pay for it, but I'd give one a listen.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His voice was too gay. Had trouble getting the straight man (men) right and the female character came out sounding like a very gay man.


    Do you think Simple Men needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Nope. It was a complete story as is.


    Any additional comments?

    The writing was half-way decent compared to romance books in general. Not literature, not edge-of your seat, but not stupid either.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dirty Deeds: Cole McGinnis, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Rhys Ford
    • Narrated By Greg Tremblay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (63)

    Former cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis never considered committing murder. But six months ago, when Jae-Min's blood filled his hands and death came knocking at his lover's door, killing Sheila Pinelli became a definite possibility. While Sheila lurks in some hidden corner of Los Angeles, Jae and Cole share a bed, a home, and most of all, happiness.

    T. Henry says: "The best series on audio"
    "Even more touching than the first 3"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's rare when books in a series get better and better after the author's initial foray into the characters, but not so for this series. This 4th (and so far, last) installment delves deeper into Cole's reaction to the fatal shooting of his former lover as well as his need for and commitment to Jae-min. The narrator brings so much to the story, I can't imagine what I would think of the books, how Cole would sound in my head, if I had read them instead of listened to them. I sure hope there are plans for more of this sexy series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sinner's Gin: Sinners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rhys Ford
    • Narrated By Tristan James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (166)

    There's a dead man in Miki St. John's vintage Pontiac GTO, and he has no idea how it got there. After Miki survives the tragic accident that killed his best friend and the other members of their band, Sinner's Gin, all he wants is to hide from the world in the refurbished warehouse he bought before their last tour. But when the man who sexually abused him as a boy is killed and his remains are dumped in Miki's car, Miki fears death isn't done with him yet.

    Reece Notley says: "Tristan James Brings This Book To Life"
    "Not as good as the "Dirty" (Cole McGinnis) series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the "Dirty" series very much and so I looked forward to this other series but after listening to this first one, I don't plan to listen to the rest. I found the "Dirty" books sexy, funny portrayals of great characters in realistic story lines. I found Sinner's Gin to be schmaltzy, predictable and one-dimensional. It's not that I hated it, it just wasn't as good, and so, by comparison, it sucked. Like the "Dirty" books, there is one character with an accent, one skinny Asian loverboy, one strong cop type and a sympathetic female. As with that series, the murder mystery in this one is secondary to the relationship building of the main characters.

    Also, the biggest issue MAY have been the narrator. Since I found him awful, I was never sure whether the lack of sexual appeal and the overall baseness of the story was simply that he couldn't (for me) portray these characters adequately or give them any realistic life. The characters are 25-30ish and the narrator's voice sounded 50. The story has a cop with an Irish accent and one with a Latino one. The narrator does the accents well but he sometimes talked in one accent when it was the other character talking (and sometimes did no accent when it was a character who had one). He did not alter his voice to portray the emotions of a situation, with the exception of a few crying moments. The sex scenes? He read them as he read every other word, sentence, paragraph, not sexy at all!

    If you have time and credits/money to spare, this book really isn't that bad, but if you are getting it just because you loved the author's other books (on audible) I suggest taking a sample listen before buying, or just passing this one up for something else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dirty Laundry: Cole Mcginnis Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Rhys Ford
    • Narrated By Greg Tremblay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (89)

    For ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis, each day brings a new challenge. Too bad most of them involve pain and death. Claudia, his office manager and surrogate mother, is still recovering from a gunshot, and Cole's closeted boyfriend, Kim Jae-Min, suddenly finds his teenaged sister dumped in his lap. Meanwhile, Cole has his own sibling problems-most notably, a mysterious half brother from Japan whom his older brother, Mike, is determined they welcome with open arms.

    T. Henry says: "Another winner! More tears!"
    "Great writing for a romance series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rhys Ford has such a way with words and, more than that, with using them to put you into the story. This installment was similar to the former two, no better, no worse. Definitely worth a credit if you have enjoyed those!

    As I said in prior reviews, the reader has a peculiar lilt to his reading, but it fits the character and is easy to get used to. In this book, I thought he did a particularly good job with an emotional Jae-Min.

    The story is the same every time: going to talk to all these people to figure out the crime, being in the wrong place at the wrong time a few times, and then the killer coming in from left field, being someone you could hardly have suspected due to what the writing does/does not let you see. But, hey, it works. I'm not reading this series for the mystery. I don't even like mysteries. I like good characters and love stories, and get that here!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3311)
    Performance
    (3102)
    Story
    (3089)

    Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to 1743 Scotland, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for a young soldier, James Fraser.

    G. House Sr. says: "Eloquent Fabulous Historical - Grand Continuation"
    "everything you expect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    That doesn't sound like the best headline, unless you know these stories and this reader, in which case you know you will get a detailed account of a few months on the lives of Jamie, Claire and their friends and family, read by a reader whose character voices put you right into the story. This book involves some marriages, some coming to terms with who you are and some more info on how the time travel aspect may function (still not a lot of real info on that topic). One review I read before purchasing said the book had too much of reviewing plot developments in former books. It did, but for me, that was welcomed as I tend to forget things. If you've enjoyed all the other books in this series, you'll enjoy this one. If you haven't yet read/listened to them, you should start at the beginning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ethan in Gold

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Amy Lane
    • Narrated By Sean Crisden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    Evan Costa learned from a very early age that there was no such thing as unconditional love and that it was better to settle for what you could get instead of expecting the world to give you what you need. As Ethan, porn model for Johnnies, he gets exactly what he wants - comradeship and physical contact on trade -and he is perfectly satisfied with that. He's sure of it.

    T. Henry says: "Love this series"
    "Not that moving, but well-told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second book in the series that I read and I did not enjoy it nearly as much as the first, Dex in Blue. I really felt for Dex and his lover but Ethan's story did not grab me as much. Both of them are soul-searching young adult men coming to understand their place in the world, how to be adult men who can get and deserve what they want, and I loved that aspect in both books. However, I really understood Dex and his reasons for having reservations about accepting himself whereas I didn't resonate with Ethan's I'm sure that is just me and my own, personal, psychology or experience and that it may well be the reverse for other readers....which is to say, I don't thing the writing fell short.

    My same criticism of the narrator applies to this book as well: His voice is more mature than the characters' and he at times adapts a childish voice that is just wrong for him and makes the character sound silly. He is a fine reader, gets the inflections and emotions right, but he makes the other main character, Ethan's lover, sound like a pimple-faced nerd, which makes is not easy to the attraction for Ethan, let alone allows you to feel the depth of that character's already-adult feelings about himself (so he can be a guide and light for Ethan).

    For those who like to know, there are explicit sex scenes. I found them to be sexy, important to the story development (not just gratuitous) and one of the reasons to keep listening to an otherwise just ok story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dex in Blue

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Amy Lane
    • Narrated By Sean Crisden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (86)

    Ten years ago David Worral had plans to go to college and the potential for a beautiful future in front of him. One tragic accident later, he fled to California and reinvented himself as Dex, top porn model of Johnnies. Dex's life is a tangled mess now, but the guys he works with only see the man who makes them believe even porn stars can lead normal lives. When Kane, one of Dex's coworkers, gets kicked out of his house, the least Dex can do is give him a place to stay.

    Heather says: "More of Johnnies boys falling in love."
    "A well-told, heart-warming story from the get-go"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is about a young gay man who comes to understand who is he and what it will take to get out of life what he wants and deserves. It is not a heavy or deep story, but accurate and meaningful in terms of the feelings and growth involved. You will come to love both the main characters as well as the background ones, who each have their own book in the series.

    My only criticism is the reader. His voice seems more mature than the characters' ages are supposed to be. At times he adopts a childish lilt/tone to account for that or differentiate between different character's voices. Also, one of the main characters has an LA Mexican way of talking that the narrator can't quite pull off (mainly to the aforementioned childish lilt, which makes the character sound like a whiny child). I did, however, get used to his voice and found that it didn't detract so much as it left me just wishing it were different/better.

    This is the first book in this series that I listened to. I don't know if it's the first in the series or not, but it was not a problem coming on board with this one. For those who wish to know, there are explicitly written sex scenes and I found them well-done, grounded in the story-characters (not gratuitous) and exciting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dirty Secret: Cole Mcginnis Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Rhys Ford
    • Narrated By Greg Tremblay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (97)

    Loving Kim Jae-Min isn't always easy: Jae is gun-shy about being openly homosexual. Ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis doesn't know any other way to be. Still, he understands where Jae is coming from. Traditional Korean men aren't gay-at least not usually where people can see them. When a singer named Scarlet asks him to help find Park Dae-Hoon, a gay Korean man who disappeared nearly two decades ago, Cole finds himself submerged in the tangled world of rich Korean families, where obligation and politics mean sacrificing happiness to preserve corporate empires.

    Riva says: "Better than the first"
    "better than the first one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I gave Dirty Kiss only 4 stars in all categories but moved it up to 5 for this book. Was it really that much better? No. I think I just got more into the characters. That, however, is no small achievement, since many times the later novels don't live up to the first in the series.

    I found some parts of this story to be a little more dull than the duller parts of the first novel but the emotional scenes (and not just the sex scenes, which ARE emotional and not gratuitous at all), cut much deeper than in the first, so it's a fine trade-off.

    I can't wait for the third, and I haven't read even a 2nd book in my string of purchases in a long time. Great characters, great social commentary (subtly included), great narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dirty Kiss, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Rhys Ford
    • Narrated By Greg Tremblay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (158)

    Cole Kenjiro McGinnis, ex-cop and PI, is trying to get over the shooting death of his lover when a supposedly routine investigation lands in his lap. Investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman's son proves to be anything but ordinary, especially when it introduces Cole to the dead man's handsome cousin, Kim Jae-Min.

    T. Henry says: "Almost better than the book!!! And I love the book"
    "Not just about the sex"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author has crafted a well-written novel that is more of a week-long slice of life story than simply a m/m romance. There is, however, a sparking beginning of a relationship here..... you know: that time when you've just met and you get weak knees and can't think about anything else. And sexual relations of a fairly explicit nature are part of that, for sure, but these scenes are merely part of what's going on in the days and nights of the main character in this first-person narrative. They fit into the entirety of the book seamlessly and are exciting.

    The narrator purrs these scenes out rather then merely reads them. He also does a great job with the accents, not that I know what a Korean accent really sounds like, but the narrator gives the various people different voices, plausibly Asian.

    As for the mystery aspect, I am not a mystery-genre person in general, but the mystery in this story took a back seat, again, to the slice of life aspect, so it worked for me. I don't want to figure out "who dunnit," I just want a good listen and that's what I got with this book.

    I often don't order the second book in a series even when I enjoyed it because I want to sample around. however, the follow up to Dirty Kiss is downloading as I write this. I think it's due to the excellent writing and likable characters. The only reason I didn't give it 5 starts all around is that I reserve that for the books you want to read over and over, the ones that are destined to become classics in your personal library.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Musashi Flex

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Steve Perry
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    In the early 23rd century, one of very few ways to rise above your caste is to become a player in the extreme martial arts game known as the Musashi Flex. Lazlo Mourn, a battle-scarred veteran, is ready to hang up his blades when his moves suddenly evolve toward a form of fighting unlike any the galaxy has seen. Journalist Cayne Sola wants the big story on the games, and not even the fiercest warrior will stop her.

    Robert says: "Great fun, well worth listening"
    "Better than the average book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a female who dabbles in martial arts for kicks (ha ha) and who also enjoys sci-fi as well as romance novels, so that tells you that this reader is not a macho male martial arts nut nor a die-hard sci-fi nut. I liked the book but I think it was lighter fare than the aforementioned "nuts" would find interesting.

    There really wasn't much mystery or strategizing. There was romance but the scenes ended just short of graphic description (which to me was a disappointment). The sci-fi was not science-based or realistic at all in terms of flitting among the planets, but in terms of what humans might do with a little more technology to misuse, it was interesting.

    The writing was insightful and well-paced just not deep (nor too light). The reader did a good job and did not distract from the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shibumi

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Trevanian
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (728)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (289)

    Nicholai Hel, born in the ravages of World War I China to an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father, raised in the spiritual gardens of a Japanese Go Master, survives the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world's most artful lover and its most accomplished and highly paid assassin. Genius, mystic, master of language and culture, Hel's secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection: shibumi.

    David says: "Only a Russian could be this shibumi"
    "Not what I expected, but enjoyed it anyway"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I expected a sensual love story taking place in Japan. What I got was a quasi spy novel with strong character development dotted throughout with excellent tidbits about people, governments, life choices, etc.

    I say quasi-spy story because there is no actual espionage nor any mystery here about who did what and why to whom. However, the main character is a spy (now retired) and the majority of the book is about how he became that (backstory) and what he's going to do now with one last job plopped on his plate (the rest of the story).

    The author has been admonished in some of the low-rated reviews for bashing Western societies and elevating Eastern and I can certainly say that there is fodder for that view in the book, its' just that I tend to actually agree with the author's poor view of industrialized, materialistic society (while I live nicely within it........). I found many lines and discussions that were so insightful I wanted to stop the recording and write them down (did not do, but should). I looked the author up on Wikipedia, after all, how could I not be intrigued by an author with only one name, obviously just a pen name? He is a intellectual, a professor, that indeed did "check out" of US society in favor of Europe, but he does not sound angry just realistic (to me).

    My favorite aspect of the book was the insights. The narrator did a fine job, creating a different voice for different characters and I especially like the voice he chose for the main character as an adult. The story was unsurprising and incredibly long and involved but not bad.

    I think you will enjoy this book if you enjoy learning how WW2 affected China and Japan (from an individual's point of view) and if you like a trained assassin with a heart who turns out to be the good guy (and if you don't mind FBI being the bad guys).








    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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