No, it was rather boring. I listened to it because I was on the road and only had a limited number of books on my iPhone.
Added a suspense thread, maybe.
No more Samantha King books for me. I'd listen to DeGrassi again, though.
This is one of my enduring classics by Sandra Brown. I know a lot of SB fans who read and listen to her oldies over and over again. Cash Boudreaux has never left my memories of bad-boy heroes and steaming Southern romances. His name is one of the two that readily comes to mind when I'm asked for a favorite hero (the other is JD Robb's Roarke) even though Cash is rough, uncouth and brimming over with passion. He made SiH into a contemporary bodice-ripper that send my bosom heaving, indeed.
The narrator has never been a favorite of mine. Hill's voice and narrating style always conjures up the image of an old man in his armchair with a pipe.
This is a very poor copy as the voice is not smooth. It's clearly a technical issue as I stopped to listen to another audiobook to compare. Hopefully, Audible will correct this.
McKenna's voice is rich and compelling but, unfortunately, the story gets boring after a promising start. The scenes between Rock and Carter are repetitive and as a listener, I was stuck with that. At least with an ebook or hard copy, I can skip those parts easily. Not possible with an Audible audio because I don't even get chapters and it's a pain to get to where I want, or return to my last spot.
There are heaps of better rent-boy/hooker stories out there.
I went in knowing this was New Adult, that it was about couples aged between 20 and 25. No prob with that. My gripe is that the teenaged characters that appear in some of the romances or romantic suspense I normally read come across with more character strength and attractiveness than these two MCs. Drew is a good-looking quarterback but sounds like a dweeb no girl would be caught dating.
Luke Daniel made Drew Callahan's father sound like a feeble old lady. I don't understand why Mr Callahan was given such a high, quavery voice. Instead of the successful businessman who made his money in the world of finance, he sounded like an elderly spinster aunt. Daniel's voice is lovely so it's so strange that he chose to make the elder Callahan sound the way he did.
Anyway, this turned out to be a dud for me and the genre will go the way Chick Lit and Women's Fiction did for me.
The author has not changed much in the six years since she published Trial by Fire. The hero is still introduced to readers as having nothing but sex in his brain right in the middle of work. This time, though, Shane gets a better deal than the hero in TbF. Howard, I think his name was, was obsessing over the heroine's breasts right in the middle of fighting a fire and rescuing the trapped victims. At least Shane wasn't right in the middle of a crime scene but still, it's a police squad room and work is in progress but we get a whole paragraph detailing his sexual thoughts about Daisy. Puhlease.
I felt bad for Sean Crisden because he's one of my fav narrators and I wish he were narrating the Karen Rose books. Or the other serious romantic suspense titles, not this piece of nonsense. Sworn to Protect was not worth even the Whispersync price because I had to buy the Kindle first.
This was a good story but the audio production is poor. The narrator already has a rather weak voice and is the wrong choice for a suspense/action romance. The entire experience was made worse by the muted, woolly sound which is the result of poor quality control in the production dept rather than the narrator's fault.
I tested the other two books and the productions seems better. Hopefully, it will help minimize the weakness of the narrator's voice.
I liked the premise even though I thought the execution was somewhat wanting because the main characters just weren't attractive. Or attractive enough. Lord Benjamin Parker came across as a nondescript, boring person, without even the benefit of good looks to attract me. As a romance-lover, I need at least one of two things - the MC has to be gorgeous even if he isn't powerful, smart or rich; or he has to have a great personality if not the looks to accompany it.
The other thing that lost it another star, IMO, was that the author tended to over-write. The narrative was too long, stretching out a point as if she thought I, the reader, wouldn't get it. Much of the time I was itching for the story to get moving. Instead, one of the drawbacks of audiobooks, I was forced to listen as Cavin went on endlessly about some point or other. In the end, I had to hit the pause button and read the ebook, skimming over the lines until the storyline picked up again. As any audiobook lover knows, this is not an easy task and does pull one out of the story by the time you locate the spot you want.
Charlie Belmont was good but even he couldn't save this work. I fell asleep in the second book, Fortune Hunter, so I can't review that beyond saying I like my heroes taller than me (superficial bitch that I am) so five feet four doesn't do it for me. I will try the last book in the series, though, and if that doesn't work either, then no more Ava March for me.
I do hope to see more MM romances by Belmont, though. He has a lovely timbre to his voice. His execution may not be as smooth as David Morey, Jack LeFleur, Sean Crisden or Charlie Carr but he's still better than many male narrators out there. I'd like to see how he carries off a story that's set in the US with American characters.
For some reason I couldn't get through the ebook version of this sequel to Keeping Promise Rock. I had loved the first installment, though, and had bought all three ebooks so decided to see if Morey could help.
Unlike Mickie Ashling's Taste, Morey enabled me to reread the first book and enjoy the second. I still like him better in Calmes' A Matter of Time but Morey's inconsistently good so I tend to buy when he's narrating even when the book isn't one I'm looking out for, as in this case.
MP isn't as angsty as the first installment but it still tiring. Lane does that to me and even though I may be engrossed in the story, when it's over I always feel like I need a palate cleanser. It's been months since I listened and read this book and I still can't bring myself to do the third and final installment.
I will, though. It IS Morey after all,
THE STORY: 4 and half stars
Dan Stagg, ex-Marine, is one fuck away from ending up on the streets. When he gets what seems like an easy job - 10 big ones up front and 20 more when he delivers the package, he thinks his luck has changed. Well, it has, but at a price he's not quite ready to pay. Especially when he's still grieving and embittered over the loss of his career and the only man he'd ever loved.
Despite the bittersweet overtones to both Dan's and Jodi's characters, The Hardest Thing is easily the most enjoyable book I've read this year and its audio version the best I've heard since I started listening to them earlier this year.
While there is romance and Lear and his hero sorta know there is more to life than one easy fuck to another, both happily make use of every situation to get one more fuck in for the reader. And I happily went along for the voyeuristic ride because Dan is about one of the most likeable characters I've come across in a long, long time. Lear has given me an MC I can sympathize and laugh with, and at, from one chapter to the next. The title of the book does make it sound like the start of a series and if so, I wonder whether Dan and Jodi will be the main couple, both fucking their way through one adventure after another.
THT is a fun, bawdy contemporary tale that had me both laughing at, and assessing, the character at the same time. I was getting exasperated at Dan for being unable to pass up a fuck while Jodi was sleeping off his exhaustion after being on the run, when Jodi has been abducted and Dan is supposed to be trying to rescue him; but Lear so cleverly wraps me around Dan's finger (or another appendage, rather) that I, who am particularly critical about inappropriately-timed sexual trysts in my romantic fiction, am prepared to be magnanimous on this occasion.
...because this is that type of book - smutty and rough, bursting with graphic sex and a hero whose self-deprecating humor made me putty in his hands.
Now, if Jodi were some sweet, innocent romantic counterpart to Dan, I guess I would have balked at Dan's tom-cat ways but Jodi can handle himself and taken together, this couple of gay characters make THT a very different type of gay romance that I normally read - and so much better than most. It has action, sex, suspense, sex, romance, sex. While pure porn can be boring and too many or lengthy sex scenes in MM romance gets me impatient to be moving on with the story, I enjoyed every sexual encounter Dan grabbed (in case it's the last fuck he'll ever get). Why? Because Dan is able to preempt every one of my reactions when his insatiable cock, yet again, zeroes in on a new ass like a diving rod.
Despite his promiscuous nature, I can believe that Dan has come to love Jodi towards the end of the book and is ready to move on from his grief of losing Will. I was given a subtle HFN but in this instance, it was sufficient for me.
What wasn't, though, and caused me to deduct half a star, is that the story is told completely from Dan's POV and, as usually happens, I don't get to know the second MC as well as the first. What I felt was needed in this case was an epilogue to give me a more balanced feel to the book. Especially when Jodi is not the man he led us all to believe he was. The Jodi Dan and we are introduced to at the start of the book is nothing like the young man we are left with. His subterfuge and lies were too casually dealt with for someone like Jodi who's fallen in love with someone like Dan.
This book does beg for a sequel, IMO, as I would like to know how Dan copes with the new man in his life and heart, is he going to carve out a new career or will he continue to eke out a living taking one odd job to another (Jodi isn't exactly low-maintenance). I'd like to know the effect Jodi's brain hemorrhage and the recent events have on him and his future with Dan.
I'd like to see Dan and Jodi move out of Jodi's Dad's house and into their own home so that Dan won't have to share the couch with the other biting critters that have taken up residence there.
THE NARRATOR: 5 stars!
Charles Carr did a fantastic job. His ability to give different voices to Dan and Jodi made it easy to distinguish between the two characters, or when it's Dan and the other secondary characters.
Carr's skill at communicating the relevant expression to his words is one other narrators ought to emulate. I've heard narrators who are so deadpan they have no business narrating anything and I've heard those with the sexiest voices ever (Boulton, LeFleur, Morey et al) but none of them do as great a job as getting the characters' personality or the author's intent across as well as Carr does.
More than 5 stars, for the narration and Audible is to be commended for this excellent production. If you're planning to listen to, or want to try, an audiobook, make it THIS one. It's at a special price of $3.99 right now if you're an Audible member. Otherwise, beg, steal, borrow or sell your body to get it.
I was so disappointed with this latest from Sandra Brown. The prologue and first couple of chapters were fine though, like Dawson, I couldn't care less about the what happened to the baby of the terrorists. It had no relevance to Dawson (nor me the reader) at the time but I trudged on certain that Ms Brown would trigger some interest on my part.
Instead, the ensuing chapters read like Women's Fiction, focusing on a divorced Amy and her home life which revolved around her kids and an unlikeable Steph, her kids
nanny. It took too long for any suspense or real mystery to kick in and by then I was bored to tears.
I found this a very unSandra-Brown book.
Stephen Lang's narration didn't help either. I didn't care for him in Chill Factor but I think he's worse here. While I like that he softens his voice for the female parts, in general he is boring and doesn't bring life to the characters or the scenes. I hope, if the author continues to write, that she will return to her previous style where there was drama, suspense and romance - and that the audio producers can get Slezak or Phil Gigante. Anyone else but Lang though Lang is still better than any female.
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