Yes, and in fact I already have. I don't love Anne Flosnik, but she isn't awful either. Elizabeth Hoyt is notable among modern romance writers for her extremely explicit and very steamy (ahem) love scenes. She is sometimes a little flimsy on plot and accurate period detail. But the relationships are interesting, the characters are generally a little outside the norm for romance novels, and again - the erotic scenes are really something.Personally I found the little fairy tale intro to each chapter an irritating diversion from the main plot. I mean, we're already being told a story that is based on a fairy tale - it seemed a bit heavy-handed to have yet another fairy tale that tells us the same thing, more or less, as the main story. What's the point?
What did work for me was that the hero is genuinely unconventional - truly disfigured (not just a rakish facial scar) and he genuinely suffers as a result of his injury and disfigurement. He doesn't miraculously recover at the end. So that was refreshing.
The heroine was fine, if a little vapid. There are children in the book, which I normally dislike, but I found them only moderately annoying. So it breaks down like this:
Tortured hero: yes, terrific. Great hero.
Heroine: Okay. She is insightful and has basically no issue with the hero's looks and doesn't act like she's doing him any favors, which is nice. The weakness is that the plot has her actively pursuing a job as a housekeeper, then lamenting her utter lack of experience as a housekeeper, and later demanding respect for her housekeeping despite the fact that her "employer" said he didn't want a housekeeper. Then, after she becomes her employer's mistress, she pretty much acts like his mistress while hoping she doesn't seem too much like his mistress. It makes her seem kinda dumb.
Kids: present, and annoying, but not the MOST annoying I've ever read.
Sexy bits: Hot. There is a part with a lemon that was more disturbing than sexy, but whatever. It wasn't totally repulsive or anything.
"Meh." There wasn't a lot of genuine conflict here, just two unattached adults who clearly loved one another - plus, it's a romance novel. The ending is pretty much a foregone conclusion.
Syrupy, breathy, slightly overdramatic.
Um. Was it supposed to?
Many other reviewers have remarked that "Folly" is like two entirely separate books, or that the plot somehow got out of hand along the way. To me, this felt like a wonderful cohesive adventure, but I can also see how this story could seem disjointed.
We begin with a series of charming letters exchanged by two lonely strangers who clearly form a connection - and then, with very little explanation, that connection is abruptly and cruelly severed.
Years pass, and the two are thrown together by circumstance. Folie, the heroine, is likeable and relatable - practical, levelheaded, optimistic and intelligent. When we finally meet Robert...he's basically completely bonkers and is THE WORST. But I LOVED this part of the book because it was a terrific homage to the gothic novel- think Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester and you'll get the idea.
I enjoy Laura Kinsale's plots for the most part; this one was complex and compelling; there are many mysteries here: the obvious questions about what has happened to Robert, who did it and why, but also the many complexities of his and Folie's relationship that get puzzled out along the way.
There were some steamy scenes and most of these were actually unpleasant - on purpose.
They advance the plot, tell us something about the characters, and contribute meaningfully to the story. The heroine is long-suffering and incredibly forgiving, but I found that very believable - we see just enough of Robert's underlying qualities to know that she is not just being a doormat when she puts up with his nonsense.
Having read some lukewarm reviews, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. It wasn't quite as good as "Flowers from the Storm" or "Prince of Midnight," but it was still very, very good. Worth a credit!
This book is just so much fun! As usual, Kinsale takes a familiar plot (young impressionable damsel in distress, rakish highwayman with heart of gold) and twists it into something infinitely more complex and delightful. S.T. is basically my favorite romance novel hero of all time - Kinsale does tortured, flawed, impossibly romantic heroes like nobody else. The heroine, Leigh, might initially seem frustratingly cold and unresponsive, but given her deeply traumatic past, this makes sense.
There are plenty of wildly improbable things about this story, but when the narration is this good and the characters so beautifully drawn, who cares?
First: Nicholas Boulton is a freaking genius of audiobook narration. I don't mean to tell Audible how to so their job or anything, but basically they should have Boulton read everything.
Now, the story: This is an amazing take on the classic "reformed rake" trope. The hero, Jervaulx, is going about his rakish business when has what appears to be a stroke, suffers from aphasia/disorientation and rage so extreme his family has him institutionalized. The heroine, Archimedia Timms (called Maddy) is a determined Quaker lady who mostly helps out her blind father and does good deeds and whatnot, until she is suddenly and somewhat mysteriously inspired to intervene in Jervaulx's treatment at the institution, which is run by her uncle.
I know some readers found the combination of Maddy's emotional constipation and unthinking adherence to her Quaker principles rather trying. Others found Jervaulx's stilted speech to be difficult reading. To me, these seemed like true portraits of deep characters who really had to struggle, and the story is so well-written that often their progress sneaks up on you. The combination of powerful story and transcendentally excellent narration made this an un-put-down-able audiobook. Loved it!
These just keep getting better, and the narrator is perfect. I always enjoy a Chet and Bernie story - just when you think Spencer Quinn and Jim Frangione are done amazing you...they amaze you again. Highly recommended light reading!
After the first couple of chapters, I really wasn't sure I was going to be able to hang with Noa P. - the book seemed completely overwrought and bogged down with lavish descriptions of irrelevancies. These roadblocks to the progression of the story quickly became irritating. It slowed the conversations between the characters, as Silver took time to describe the sensation of every breath, precise descriptions of the appearance of one character's fingers pressed against a pane of glass, and other minutiae. It's tedious.
Despite the morass of words, the story picks up and becomes compelling at the halfway point. I genuinely wanted to know what happened - there is a strong story here, but it's hard to see it under all the linguistic frippery. I wondered if perhaps the excessive descriptive language was deliberate on the part of the author, to make us feel as trapped, helpless and hampered as Noa does; but even if this is the case, it was still annoying.
One huge pet peeve: at one point, bullets go tumbling into a backpack "like silent thunder." What is silent thunder like? Wouldn't it be like nothing? If something is silent, isn't is basically not at all like thunder?
ANYWAY. I still liked the book. Once the action gets going, the language gets terser and better. I found the ending unsatisfying, but only because I had come to care about the outcome. Worth a listen.
Suspect had an interesting premise and it buzzed along nicely for a while, but fizzled for me in the mucky third act.
Robotham's prose is effective and keeps the action moving nicely at first - all the players are introduced, the central problem is addressed, and I was thoroughly engrossed in the story.
The second act got a little uneven, but kept me engaged with some zippy plot twists and compelling questions. After some major revelations at the end of act two, the story gets lost in a quagmire. Act 3 staggers to its conclusion but I had more or less stopped caring - even the final revelation, which ought to have been VERY exciting, accompanied as it was by explosions and whatnot, barely held my attention. I stopped listening midway through the epilogue, no longer caring what happened to anyone in the story.
This is my first Robotham novel, and while it didn’t really work for me, there was enough to like here that I’ll probably try him again at some point. It wasn't perfect, but it was promising.
A compelling story, interesting characters, terser plot and pacing, and a better reader/narrator.
Right now I'm listening to "The Ice Princess" by Camilla Lackberg. It's not a great book either - deadly dull and full of stilted dialog - but it's still more listenable than Baby Grand.
The narrator sounds exactly like the guy who does the Smucker's Jam commercials. His voice and cadence just didn't work for a crime thriller. At all.
All of the above.
It depends; if they are like me and occasionally like a light, easy read...then yes.
Haven't listened to anything else by Mitzner.
The narrator was fine - I'm not sure there was much more he could have done with this text.
Hard to believe the central premise of this, which was that anyone would consider the case open-and-shut. The prosecution had no murder weapon, no physical evidence putting the suspect at the scene, and no clear motive. The only "evidence" against the suspect was a song which could, if you listened very selectively, sound like a threat to commit a crime (and not even the precise crime that was committed).
I would expect any defense lawyer worth his salt to knock that out of the park, but everyone acted like the suspect was completely doomed from the start. The main character is sympathetic, but does start to seem rather dense once you figure out what's really going on and he takes several more chapters to catch up.
It depends. This was a nice little diversion but it's not high art or anything. The pace was a little slow, the characters were one-dimensional, and the plot was predictable. But sometimes you just want a bit of light reading, something easy that doesn't make a lot of demands on you as a reader/listener. This is that kind of book.
Actually, the ending was telegraphed pretty clearly from the beginning so I kind of spaced out by the end. There was a bit of violent action in the last few chapters, though.
She was solid - she struck a nice balance - interpreting the characters, without becoming too distracting. I don't think I've listened to anything else by her but I'd try another with her narration.
Absolutely not. I was pretty tired of the main character by the end.
Tami Hoag has a formula and it works. I generally find her stuff either okay or totally unreadable. I usually get a little offended by her misrepresentation of feminism and her main characters are pretty much all the same - but I also like mystery/suspense/procedurals and I like bad fiction! So if you've read Tami Hoag, you know what you're in for here. If you haven't, this was a pretty decent one.
It's in the top 25%, and I listen to a lot of audiobooks.
I'm not sure there's anything quite the same as this; it has the psychological insights and character details of an Elizabeth George mystery, an interesting antihero, a hint of mythology - all while giving an excellent shout-out to Alexandre Dumas. It was also really, really fun.
Wolf was a standout, but really the narrator was good with all the characters and their voices. A pitch-perfect performance.
If you came here looking for a truly compelling suspense/mystery/thriller and have discerning tastes, you have found your book. This was my first Reginald Hill book, and it won't be the last. Wonderful stuff!
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