I read "Match Me if You Can" by this author, and met the hero of this title in that book. They are not precisely a series, in that you can read this book independently and not feel like you are missing anything. There are overlapping characters, but not overlapping storylines. That being said, I really liked "Match Me", which is why I purchased this book, and I liked it even better.
This book is a bit of a funky Cinderella story, but there are other relationships explored that are almost as interesting and appealing as the love story itself.
The narrator did a fantastic job. She has a well modulated voice, and her character voices for both sexes were excellent. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to her again.
I love Lora Leigh's Breed Series, and since this one sounded similar, I thought I'd give it a try. I'll be honest. This book is so much like LL's Breed series, I'm a bit shocked the author got away with it without someone shouting "plagiarism". For fans of LL, the only difference that I can find is that the "New Species" were created for drug experimentation, while LL's Breeds were created as weapons. Otherwise, the setting, background story and plot development tools are strikingly similar.
Having said that, I still enjoyed this book. The premise is one I enjoy, and you gotta love these alpha males.
The sex is frequent and explicit, so if that's not your cuppa tea, beware. The emotional part of the story was done very well. The plot moved along well, and even though some of the "conflict" seemed a bit contrived, all in all, it flowed smoothly. There was enough action to keep you listening, then periods that focused on the couple's relationship and allowed my nerves to settle down.
The narrator wasn't all that great. She had a pleasant enough voice, but she did have some pacing and pronunciation issues that were a bit distracting.
If you're a paranormal/erotica/romance lover, I reckon you'll like this book. I certainly plan to read more books by this author, and more in this series.
I had read one print book by Delle Jacobs before and thought I'd give this one a try. Overall, I wasn't disappointed. While there was nothing about this book that made me want to rush out and tell all my friends, it was a nice solid story and a polished audio performance.
This book is a historical fantasy romance that takes place during the rule of William the 2nd, not too long after his father, William the Conqueror won England for the Normans. The setting is in the north of England, in the borderlands with Scotland. What really impressed me was that the author used real historical figures. Indeed, William II (aka Rufus or the Red King) and Robert DeMowbray, Earl of Northumbria are both real historical figures and both were major characters in this book. Given this is historical fantasy, I was awed at how she was able to keep her history so accurate while working in the fantasy elements.
The romance, on the other hand, comes off as just a bit cheesy, but perhaps that's just because the author tries to stay true to the language of the time. Leonie is half fae, but also a great heiress with many holdings in this critical area. Phillippe is a widower, and is one of the king's most trusted knights. He lost his wife in a battle with a sorcerer, and believing himself cursed, has vowed to never wed, or even bed, again. It's hard to tell more without spoilers, but there are fae, shades, sorcerers, magical hounds and all sorts of fantasy elements included in the book, and it made for a fun read.
The narrator had the perfect cadence and accent for this book, and the result was a professionally done performance.
Ever read a book from the Fantasy/Romance genre that has terrific world building, loads of great fantasy, and barely any romance? Or similarly, a Fantasy/Romance that oozes romance from every page but the fantasy element is more a fantasy setting rather than real fantasy world building? Well, in The Source of Magic, you get both in equal measure, and the result is, well, magical.
Jillian is whisked through a magical portal to another land full of magic and danger by Prince Alvarr. Prince Alvarr is actually looking for her mother, who is a "source" for his magic. A source is a person who can feed power into a mage, replenishing or strengthening the mages power supplies (called kira), but cannot perform mage magic. Alvarr needs her help to fight a enemy who is threatening his kingdom. She needs him to help her find a plant that will hopefully heal her mother, and send her back in time before her mother dies.
I won't say more, because this book is full of twists and turns and surprises, and I don't want to give anything away. But if you are looking for a great magical fantasy romance, look no further. It's very well written. Cate Rowan has a way of making words flow naturally on the "page" and the fantasy elements and world building are done very well. The story is exciting, so much so that towards the end, I had to turn my ipod off a few minutes, calm down, and remind myself that it's just a book.
Ariana Westfield did a pretty good job with the narration. There were, however, a very few places where you could hear her draw breath, pause and regroup. Perhaps that's more the audio producers fault, since the errors were so few that they could have been corrected fairly easily with good production editing. Overall, however, Ariana Westfield had a lovely voice, just right for reading this type of material, and I wouldn't hesitate to listen to another book where she's the narrator.
This was a very nice easy paranormal romance listen. There's time travel, a handsome hunky warrior, a damsel in distress, a fairy queen, a fairy kingdom, magic and an evil mage. It had all the elements of a classic fairy tale, and I must admit, it some respects it almost "read" like one. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's not the sort of paranormal romance to get your heart pumping. It's more a easy listening, feel good piece. Not that there wasn't action and adventure, just that you were never in much doubt of how things were going to turn out.
Megan, a modern day socialite and heiress, is engaged to the abusive and greedy Roger. She decided to break off the engagement. When she goes to their meeting place, she is hit by lightening and sent back in time to the dark ages before she has a chance to break the engagement. Here, magic is real and fairies exist. She finds a cave to hide in, but the cave is also the home of a hunky half-fae warrior known as Kenric of Blackstone. It's their destiny to join in a final battle with an evil mage who wants to rule the land of fairy and the land of man. The question is, will they win the battle, and will Megan find a way back to her own time? If she does, will she want to leave Kenric behind?
I quite enjoyed this book. There is sexual scenes, but they are brief and more to the point than some of the steamier books out there. While I don't mind, and even sometimes enjoy, explicit scenes in my romances, there's been this trend lately towards erotica in the romance genre, to the point that I'm fast forwarding through sex scenes because frankly, after a while, it all becomes a bit redundant. Not so with this book. It was rather crisp and to the point where sex was concerned, without many "blush-worthy" details. It made for a welcome change.
The narrator did a really great job, but she did mispronounce several words. It wasn't too off putting, but it kept her from rating 5 stars in my opinion. Still, her voice was pleasant, her pacing was excellent and overall it was very professionally done.
Ian and Beth work. This is a romance that makes you feel the love. Two flawed people who find in each other exactly what the other needs to make life worthwhile. A simple premise to romance really, but in so many romances I have read in the past, I finished the book with the vague sense that the featured couple in the book just really didn't seem to belong together. That was not the case with this book. If there has ever been a couple who belonged together, it's Ian and Beth.
Beth is a product of an unfortunate union between a well bred girl and a French con artist. She's seen the seedier side of life. She spent 3 years in her late teens in the workhouse, but was saved by a kind young vicar and became his wife. There's was a happy marriage until he dies and leaves her a widow. She's then taken in as the companion of a grand and wealthy lady, who eventually dies and leaves Beth her fortune.
Being a new heiress, she ventures into different social circles and stumbles upon Lord Ian MacKenzie. Ian is the youngest of the MacKenzie brothers, and by todays standards, would have been labelled autistic. His father, a duke, had him committed to an asylum, but as soon as his father died, his eldest brother, now the duke, gets him released and brings him home. Ian has a phenomenal memory, and helps his brother in certain business and political tasks.
There is a wonderful love story. There is a neat (though a tad predictable) mystery. There is a good deal of humour. What's really special about this book though is the hero and Jennifer Ashley's portrayal of his autism. For the most part, she stays true to the stark truth of the disorder that afflicts Ian, and the effect it has on those around him. Still, she doesn't make him into a victim. Instead he's a strong, brilliant man who has to work within the limitations of the autism.
Never mind his disability, I reckon Ian is one of the sexiest heroes in literature. How the author made it happen, I'm not sure. It sort of snuck up on me. There is no doubt, however, before I was halfway through this book, I was head over heels for Ian, and I see by other reviews that I'm not alone in my adoration.
I have read several books by Jennifer Ashley, and this is the best one by a mile. Her characters are endearing without being too "sweet", her jokes were funny, and the action was paced perfectly.
Angela Dawe is a tried and true narrator, and I always have faith that she will deliver wonderful performance. She certainly didn't let me down here. I loved the way she softened Ian's voice. Her Scot's accent wasn't the best I've heard, but I found it credible. It certainly didn't make me cringe. I thought she delivered a solid performance.
Imagine my joy when I saw Audible add this book!
First I will stipulate that I'm an old and devoted Laura Kinsale fan. I have been reading romance for over 35 years, and this book, along with another Kinsale wrote called "Flowers From the Storm" are two of the best, and most memorable books I have ever read. I snatched this up right away when I saw it had been released, and even though it was a well loved, well remembered re-read, I was loathe to put it down.
Laura Kinsale is a scrumptious author. She an intelligent romance writer, and I don't think there's anyone out there who writes romance quite like her. She doesn't follow the common tropes. The heroine isn't always a virginal dilettante` (or even likeable at times), the heroes aren't always noble (nor are they always all that heroic), and love isn't always at first sight. The characters are built into real people by her talented pen, and the relationships grow before your eyes, or rather "your ears" since this is an audiobook.
Which brings me to the narration. This was my first time listening to Nicholas Boulton, but I was not in any way disappointed. His accents were very good, his delivery was smooth and his tone stayed faithful to the mood of the material he was reading. He did a fantastic job, and I will admit I was very worried that one of my favourite books would be given to a narrator who couldn't do it justice. Thank goodness, Nicholas Boulton came through with flying colours.
The story is, in as small a nutshell as I can cram it, the story of a girl whose whole family is killed by a religious cult. In the early aftermath of her grief, she wants revenge on the leader of the cult. So she seeks out a fabled highwayman to help reach her goals. She finds him, but he's not quite what she expected. There's plenty of action to follow, but Kinsale uses the action cleverly to also move along (or in some cases, hold back) the relationship aspect of the story. As the two work toward resolving their feelings about each other, they also have to look inward as well. The sex scenes in this book are all meaningful, each for a different reason, and they blend in nicely but, compared to some current bestsellers, are a bit rarer and tamer than what some readers might be used to.
I will be perfectly honest and tell you that if you are looking for an instant relationship, gratuitous sex scenes, or an easy bunch of literary tropes strung together to make a book, you shouldn't read this author. If you are looking for something outside of the box, characters with serious emotional and/or physical flaws that behave in a way real people might, then you will be stunned and pleased by Laura Kinsale.
When I was in my teens and early 20's, I was a great lover of Sci Fi. Asimov and Bradbury were my heroes. I still like a good sci fi from time to time, but my genre's of choice these days are romance and paranormal. I'm saying this because if you are a hard core sci fi lover, and can't already tell by the cover, this book is a romance that happens in a sci fi setting. The sci fi is decent, the action is good, but the primary focus is on the relationships.
As a romantic sci fi, this book soars. It had excellent pacing. The hero and heroine meet early in the book, the peaceful times are spent building the relationship element, but the action scenes come often enough to keep you on your toes. There's also a good side story going on to spice things up even more.
Ravyn is a civilian working for an organization known as CAT. CAT is sort of a scouting group that lives on un-colonized planets for a length of time to determine if it is suitable for colonization. She's a communications specialist. Damon is Spec Ops. After a massacre by an unknown being that destroyed the CAT base, Damon and his team are sent in after a distress signal was sent. Ravyn and Damon wind up being the only two alive on the planet, except for the native wildlife, and, of course, the killer. As they try to stay safe and make their way to a defensible place to wait for rescue, their relationship grows and some interesting (and for my part, unexpected) paranormal developments take shapes. For me, this was bonus!
Meanwhile, after not hearing back from the Spec Ops team that had been sent, and not being able to contact the CAT base, a rescue attempt is being conducted by Ravyn's brother, who is a senior officer in Spec Ops, and her best friend, another CAT civilian. That's sure to be the love story carried on in book two, but it gets off to a nice beginning in this book.
Overall, I was quite happy with the story. I did have a few reservations about the production. I don't think it was the narrator so much as the recording just not sounding as slick and polished as what some of the better produced books I listen to have. I don't want to scare away the listener. It is far, far from horrible. I wasn't really annoyed by it at any point, but the recording itself just sounded a bit low budget.
So overall, if you like romantic sci fi, you'll probably like it. Paranormal readers might enjoy this more than your average romantic sci fi, since paranormal elements are introduced. Sci fi lovers, well, if you've just met the love of your life and are feeling a bit in that sort of loving mood, you might find this entertaining. If you've never read romance sci fi, this would be a good book to read to see what the sub genre is about.
I'll start with the good points. The story itself is pretty good. The premise behind the fallen angels and heavenly politics is quite creative. Some parts are purposefully (at least, I'm pretty sure it's purposefully) vague to inspire you to keep reading the series. The fallen angels are "learning as they go along", so it only makes sense that the readers are learning about the greater picture at the same pace that the Fallen are.
The writing isn't bad, although there are places that could use some work, particularly with the dialogue. There were also a few problems here with the author staying true to her world building and setting. The book is set in Russia in 2090 or thereabouts, but there are several references that are strictly present day American colloquialisms.
There is plenty of sex and swearing, but each sex scene is, in general, mercifully brief. There's a lot of talk about fulfilling fantasies, and a few (3 I believe) scenes with voyeurism, but most of the actual sex is pretty vanilla. In all honesty though, when it comes to sex scenes, it's hard for me to separate the writing from the narration, because when reading sex, the narrator really needs to do it well or the whole scene comes off sounding ridiculous.
Which brings me to the narration. I'm afraid you would have a hard time convincing me that this is a professional recording. It sounds as though there was no attempts at all to edit this recording, not even "self editing" by the reader. We hear all of her numerous pauses (almost like a reader who loses her place and has to find it again), sometimes mid-sentence. We hear her swallow, things shuffling in the background. There are a few jerks and pauses in the recording itself, as if someone shut off the recording device and then turned it back on later, but I can only think this was the narrator taking a break rather than any attempt at editing. All in all, the recording sounds like something done in the narrator's spare time, sitting at home with her computer microphone and a manuscript. There was also little attempt to change tone of voice to represent different characters, and what there was of that was not consistent. If she made an attempt to narrate the mood (ie. using an excited voice for an action scene) I didn't notice. While the readers voice was pleasant enough, her actual reading was pretty amateur. I honestly don't like to be cruel, but it's pretty obvious to me that narration isn't Kellie Kamryn's calling. Perhaps though with some voice coaching to teach her how to do a wider range of voices and accents, as well as a decent editor, but as it stands, I will avoid books she reads in the future.
Personally, if I had to do it over again, I would have bought the written version.
I don't mind books that have over the top sexual content. In fact, I quite enjoy them in most cases. However, I didn't care for 50 Shades of Grey because of the inequality of the hero and heroine in the relationship. Quite frankly, the relationship (not the sex) was rather creepy. Even more, I seriously dislike the copycat books that are coming out in droves (an author friend tells me it's what editors are demanding). Close Liaisons, unfortunately for me, is one of those books.
So if you liked 50 Shades of Grey, and don't mind hearing the same story told again with a few substitutions, you will like this book. If you didn't like 50 Shades and the subsequent copycats, you won't like it. I didn't particularly like either book, and I'm writing this review from that viewpoint. I don't intend to insult any of the legion of FSoG fans, but I do think that readers considering purchasing this book should know up front what they are getting. I didn't, and I regret it, but if you liked FSoG, (and millions did!) then what I say shouldn't hurt the sales of this book at all.
Mia is an innocent college student with a quirky roommate. Korum is an older, experienced alien who happens to see her, becomes obsessed with her and sets about tracking her down and seducing her. She consults her roommate, who comes up with a hair-brained idea or two. Eventually she caves to Korum's allure, but argues with herself as to why she is doing so. Sound familiar?
Another irritant was that I got lessons on how it is much better to leave meat out of your diet, and each time anyone has a meal, you get an in-depth description and on all the wonderful vegetable dishes they are consuming. Early on I got the feeling I was having an agenda pushed on me. Rarely have I read a book that discusses so thoroughly everything they put in their mouths. It all came off as being rather condescending to us mere mortal carnivores.
On a positive note, I thought the author did a rather good job with her world building, and from a devoted paranormal reader, that's no small thing. I loved her explanation of the aliens, how they came to be here and why. It was inspired. If the author ever tries to write something that is not intended to ride on the current FSoG hysteria's coat tails, I might try something she writes again. I have a feeling that she could be a very good paranormal writer if she added more action-adventure to the mix, stayed away from the tried and true FSoG storyline, and restrained herself from preaching an agenda. There are elements in this book that show some very creative and original thought. It's just a shame that the actual plot did not.
The narrator could have been better, but she did a reasonable adequate job with what she had. I would need to listen to her again with some better material to make a real judgement on her abilities.
Wow! Paranormal lovers, remember this name: Suzanne Wright! I'd never heard of her before, but I've already started seeking out other work by this author. This book was unexpected and amazing. While it stays within the paranormal genre, it still felt fresh, in large part I think due to the fantastic characters.
Our heroine Taryn is sassy, sarcastic and often just plain rude. This is not, I suppose, unusual in the paranormal romance genre, and these very traits, more often than not, make me grind my teeth in frustration. Often these smart mouthed heroines sound like spoiled teenagers trying to prove they are tough, but that's not the case with Taryn. Somehow, Suzanne Wright makes it work. Taryn's dialogue comes across as witty, her sarcasm is more often than not hilarious.
Trey is an alpha male you can believe in. He truly follows his wolf instincts, and I really enjoyed that. No simpering human in wolf's clothing, Trey is all beast and brawn when the need arises. While it's true that, in this book, the heroine steals the show, she doesn't do so without a good deal of help from the hunky hero.
Yes, the sex is hot, and not for the faint hearted, but it is meaningful and well balanced in this book. While there's a good deal of hanky panky going on, it doesn't feel like a book full of unnecessary sex scenes, nor does the sex get repetitious as it does in some books. It flows naturally with the story line, and that is a rare thing indeed.
Jill Redfield, oh how do I sing her praises? Her pacing was excellent, and I really enjoyed her portrayal of Taryn. When reading humour, timing and delivery are everything, and she handles Taryn's character phenomenally well.
If you like paranormal romance, chances are you're going to love this book!
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