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Grace

96
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 271 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
6

  • Gabriel's Inferno

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sylvain Reynard
    • Narrated By John Morgan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1155)
    Performance
    (1032)
    Story
    (1053)

    Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well-respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

    Lulu says: "Souls Too Tortured for My Taste"
    "Good story, worth the credit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book. Sometimes I grow impatient with timid characters like Julia. She cowered and trembled a few too many pages for my taste; but still, I remained in her corner throughout the story. Plenty of angst and tortured souls. If you're not a fan of heavy literature, some of the exchanges and references are a bit pretentious, but are necessary to reveal the inner workings of Gabriel's mind . These conversations reveal the musings of two brilliant but socially challenged individuals who have, thus far, lived very sad lives.

    Anyone with a family will appreciate the imperfect and absolutely realistic characterizations of family relationships. There's a dad who can still give his adult children a scolding..and they still know they have to listen.

    Be prepared..there is a sequel. This story comes to a conclusion..sort of. There are many loose threads remaining. A couple of the supporting characters were more engaging than the hero and heroine, in my opinion. All the ingredients for a series.

    The performance was pleasant, although the sound of the narrator's voice and his speech patterns sound a lot like H.A.L. (2001 A Space Odyssey). Once it occurred to me who the narrator's voice resembled, it made me giggle and was somewhat distracting from time to time, but that's my problem, not the book's.

    This may sound like a negative critique, but revealing my list of positives will give away too much. All in all, worth the credit, but I will likely read something a little sunnier before returning for the sequel. Something sans Dante.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • This Man: This Man Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jodi Ellen Malpas
    • Narrated By Edita Brychta
    Overall
    (853)
    Performance
    (797)
    Story
    (802)

    Young interior designer Ava O'Shea has no idea what awaits her at the Manor. A run-of-the-mill consultation with a stodgy country gent seems likely, but what Ava finds instead is Jesse Ward - a devastatingly handsome, utterly confident, pleasure-seeking playboy who knows no boundaries. Ava doesn't want to be attracted to this man, and yet she can't control the overwhelming desire that he stirs in her. She knows that her heart will never survive him and her instinct is telling her to run, but Jesse is not willing to let her go. He wants her and is determined to have her.

    NEW NAME says: "Power, intensity, true love....I think!"
    "I give this 5 out of 5 eye rolls."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Chalk up another victim of the Fifty Shades fad. I will never understand what is attractive about a male character who is an overbearing, disrespectful, won't take "no" for an answer jerk. Why is it entertaining to witness the disintegration of a competant, self-sufficient woman? This man goes beyond 'alpha' or 'possessive'. He's a freakin stalker. Not romantic. Its not that I found the sex scenes shocking, just unhealthy.
    Guess I didn't do my homework and the publisher's description was, shall we say "incomplete".
    If you are put off by the Fifty Shades sub-genre, skip this one.

    29 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • Wedding Belles

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Beth Albright
    • Narrated By Allison McLemore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Seven months pregnant and head over heels in love, Vivi Ann McFadden is busy pulling together the final details for her wedding to Lewis Heart, famous play-by-play announcer for the Crimson Tide. But with two wedding-planners-gone-wild, a psychic giving her advice, and the ceremony happening on the same day as the wildly popular Crimson Tide kickoff game, chaos reigns supreme. Luckily, maid of honor Blake O'Hara Heart is on the job. She'll tackle this wedding if it's the last thing she does!

    Grace says: "This book had good reviews; what am I missing?"
    "This book had good reviews; what am I missing?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Where's the story? Lots of the reviewers described themselves as Southern girls and were tickled with this book. I don't know why they're not insulted by it.
    Blake, the main character is a lawyer. Quite an accomplishment, but mention of her career takes a backseat to baby showers, clothes and the wonders of Aquanet. A murder mystery sort of hovers around the edge of the story, but that's gettin in the way of planning a wedding so it gets wrapped up in ScoobyDoo style and we get on with the Fru Fru wedding (the wedding is planned by "A Fru Fru Affair" event planners.)
    Here's the worst part. Blake is in a failed marriage with a senatorial candidate. Though they have already decided on divorce, they are keeping it a secret until after the election, and presenting themselves as a happy professional couple. Although Blake says Harry is a lousy husband, he'll be a good Senator. Geeeeez. He's dishonest and a womanizer, is that what this author considers good Senator material? Meanwhile, Blake is having an affair with the lead investigator of the city police department. There is some discussion about not getting caught, but nothing about any ethical dilemma.
    I didn't look to see when this book was written. If it weren't for references to cellphones and other technology, I would have assumed it was 1950 something.
    My recommendation..save your money. If you like books about Southern women's lives, try some Deborah Smith. You get the idiosyncrasies and charm of Southern life, but her women have made it to the twenty first century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Everything in Its Time: Time Travel Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Dee Davis
    • Narrated By Ross Pendleton
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (177)

    Years ago while vacationing in Scotland, Katherine St. Claire believed she'd found the love of her life. She shared a night of passion with a stranger, in a hotel castle called Duncreag. But come morning, her lover had disappeared. And she has spent the last eight years trying to convince herself it was all a dream... Living in the 15th century, Iain Mackintosh remains haunted by the memory of his greatest love. Eight years ago, she disappeared, leaving behind a cairngorm earring as the only evidence of her existence.

    CAROLYN says: "IT MUST BE EDIBLE.... 'CAUSE I TOTALLY DEVOURED IT"
    "A nice listen."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The concept of time travel is fascinating fodder for writers and readers. No matter how carefully the writer tries to cover the bases, I'm always left with those "but what about..." questions that are fun to puzzle over after the book is finished. This was simply a nice read. I really wish there was a 10pt rating system, because I have scored some much better books with four stars, but this one is better than three stars. Let's say this would be a 7 out of 10 stars.

    The story gets right to it. There's a time travel love scene in the first few minutes and the rest of the book is built on that encounter. Katherine is a likeable character, but not very complex. Iain is a handsome sixteenth Scottish Laird who is kind and brave etc. You have to have a soft spot for him because he actually gets very emotional contrary to the stereotypical Scottish romance hero. The story switches back and forth from Iain's time to the present, a device that can be confusing, but I thought the author handled it quite nicely.
    A secondary romance develops between Katherine's brother Jeffrey and friend Elaine. This relationship is superfluous except that it does provide a necessary link at one point.

    The story comes to a nice ending and is wrapped up with a handy dandy epilogue.

    The narrator does a good job providing a variety of Scottish character's as well as Katherine and Jeffrey's American voices.

    This is just about the romance between characters born 500+ years apart and makes no real attempt to explain how time travel happens. There are some lapses too (this changed as a result of travel, so why didn't that..?) Those kinds of pesky little details tend to distract me, but if you can let them go and just enjoy this story, it is pleasant.




    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The General's Mistress

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jo Graham
    • Narrated By Arika Rapson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    As a spirit of change overturns Europe's old order, Elzelina Versfelt enters her own age of revolution. Married as a romantic young girl to a man who wanted only her money, Elza refuses to be chained any longer. Leaving Amsterdam, she flees to France - where the old rules no longer apply, debauchery is not a sin... and nothing is forbidden. This stunning novel blends history with the language of the heart to tell a sensuous story of an era of upheaval.

    Rio says: "Part of a series, but could be read alone"
    "Trying hard to find something good to say."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was bad. From the vague descriptions of possible reincarnation that went nowhere to weird sex scenes, this was just a strange book. Initially Elza dresses like her dead brother Charles to comfort her mentally troubled mother. Then she dresses like Charles to travel safely, etc until she developes what I guess is a bit of a conflicted identity. That's one storyline. Right off the bat, Elza abandons her children to her cold and politically ambitious husband. That took away any possibility for sympathy for the "heroine". I've tried to find something positive to say..I did like Mechelle, a gallant General of the French Army who becomes an obsession for Elza, but that's it. I only stuck it out and finished the book because I was sure she'd do something climactic with the reincarnation story or whatever she was hinting at. That did not happen.

    The narrator was not pleasant to hear. I felt like I was listening to a book club reading.

    My recommendation on this one is to save your money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Naked in Death: In Death, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4145)
    Performance
    (2410)
    Story
    (2425)

    Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over 10 years on the force, she's seen it all - and knows that her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire - and suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about - except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.

    Felicity Fairchild says: "Don't Judge the Series by the First Book!"
    "Wrong genre for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is more crime novel than romance. J.D. Robb always has good reviews so I stepped outside my usual genre when this book was offered as a Daily Deal. (I LOVE the DD promotion by the way.)

    This is a story of a New York police detective, Eve, set in the 2050's. The book was written in 1995, so it's interesting to see how we're progressing toward the author's descriptions of life 30 plus years from now. She missed the mark with books on discs and I'm surprised that the author thinks we'll still use cash, but other concepts were interesting. I was horrified, however, to contemplate a future where real coffee is so rare, it's a treat for the wealthy, like caviar. Gasp!!

    Politics are at play: conservative and liberal factions are still battling it out. Amidst this political backdrop, Eve fights to stop a serial killer who has sworn to kill again. The first victim is the granddaughter of a conservative party Senator, so Eve must must contend with the forces of political special interest while trying to solve the case. Eve has an abusive past that she has blocked out, but facets of this case are reawakening terrible memories.

    Enter Roarke, a fast lane billionaire with liberal politics and a fancy for collecting outlawed guns. For a variety of reasons, Roarke is an early suspect and on top of everything else, Eve has to deal with her growing attraction for him.

    The story line is well executed, and the guilty party didn't become apparent immediately as is the case in many books. The subject matter was just not for me. If I want crime and dark human underbelly, I'll watch the news. Fiction, for me is about seeing the world through rose colored glasses. Aside from just finding the crime genre unpleasant, some aspects of this book are disturbing. There is an all too graphic description of a child molestation in progress. I believe that being honest and talking about such taboo topics is important in the battle against abuse, but including them in a quick production novel just a few pages from adult sexual encounters just seems "icky". I didn't like it.

    So, for now, I will continue to get my fiction fix with pollyanna romance novels and get my dose of reality from reality. The author has thrived with this name and this genre without me and no doubt will continue to do so.

    Narrator is good. Roarke has an Irish accent and she does that well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Arrangement

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Mary Balogh
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (156)

    Desperate to escape his mother's matchmaking, Vincent Hunt, Viscount Darleigh, flees to a remote country village. But even there, another marital trap is sprung. So when Miss Sophia Fry's intervention on his behalf finds her unceremoniously booted from her guardian's home, Vincent is compelled to act. He may have been blinded in battle, but he can see a solution to both their problems: marriage. At first, quiet, unassuming Sophia rejects Vincent's proposal. But when such a gloriously handsome man persuades her that he needs a wife of his own choosing as much as she needs protection from destitution, she agrees.

    Grace says: "A nice story about a special relationship."
    "A nice story about a special relationship."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are a sucker for a wounded hero, you'll like Vincent. This is the second in the series featuring members of the Survivors Club, a group of veterans of the Napoleonic wars.
    Vincent lost his sight in battle and longs to regain control of his life despite his blindness. He is terribly handsome, "beautiful" is how Sophia describes him.

    Sophia is the "poor relation" of a wealthy family who reside in Vincent's childhood village. She has taken on the persona of a "mouse". Neglected and ignored by a series of relatives, she finds it easier to blend in to the background. She finds solace and an outlet for her true witty personality and imagination through her satirical sketches. The author spends way too much time telling Sophia and us how unattractive she is. I understand the author's point that Sophia and Vincent were not aesthetically equal, but didn't need to be constantly reminded that she wasn't supermodel material.

    Vincent and Sophia meet and through of a series of events agree it would be beneficial if they married. This book tells the story of their relationship. It is a very sweet story that takes the time for the romance to develop and grow. Each provides the other with support and encouragement that allow them to overcome their obstacles.

    This is a lovely romance, period. There really is no drama, no relevant mystery and no single climax to the story that I can specifically remember. While I appreciate that the characters were more realistic and human than those of many romance novels, it would have been a little more interesting if a serious villain was thrown in for good measure. In place of that villain, just plain nasty relatives didn't keep things as interesting.

    In summary, if you want a warm and fuzzy romance, this is a genuinely heartwarming tale and worth the credit. If you like adventure and some "swashbuckling" you may find this a bit lacking.

    Rosalyn Landor is an outstanding narrator. She brings each character to life.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1364)
    Performance
    (1229)
    Story
    (1220)

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Charles says: "Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
    "Valuable info, but maybe better in print."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this before all the drama that began with the silly FOX interview. In my opinion, any controversy about the author's "right" to publish this book is just ridiculous. This is an historical work, not a religious text. Jesus' concern for the un or under-represented factions puts him in the most positive light. He is portrayed as a real human being dealing with injustice and bravely taking action.

    On the downside. This might be a book better purchased in print form. As someone basically ignorant of these in depth historical debates, it would have been helpful to reference the extensive notes included in the print version.

    The author has a perfectly good voice and delivery, so don't be put off on that account.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband: The Daughters of Glen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Melissa Mayhue
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Wiley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (104)

    Connor MacKiernan, a descendant of the Fae Prince, is a warrior who lives only for honor and duty. Though he's vowed never to marry, that's exactly what he must do to save his sister. Enter a little Faerie magic, and the search for a bride is on. Caitlyn Coryell is having a really bad day - she just discovered her fiance with another woman! Imagine her surprise when she puts on some sexy lingerie and an antique pendant and Connor appears in her bedroom, begging for her help. He offers a simple yet outrageous adventure: travel to his time, marry him, and return home.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Pleasantly Surprised!"
    "Time travel stories are nearly always fun."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I appreciate when the author of a time travel book makes an effort to explain how the time travel happens and sets at least some rules for the traveler and the catalyst.
    Ms. Mayhue does that in this story. Okay, so there are no interesting scientific explanations for the occurrence, just fairy magic, but at least she laid some ground rules and followed them.

    This is light, fun reading. Highlanders, kilts, time travel, clan strife, a Scottish king; all the standard post Outlander fare. There is one twist, however, that I liked: the intermingling of the heroine's present-day family with the yesteryear characters. Don't want to ruin the story for you by further detail.

    Good narrator.

    I recommend for lovers of time travel romance.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • MacKinnon's Rangers, Book 1: Surrender

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Pamela Clare
    • Narrated By Kaleo Griffith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (171)

    A hand-picked cadre of warriors, they had the fierce courage of their Scots forefathers, combined with the stealth and cunning of the Indians who lived beside them in the wilderness. Battling the French in a no-holds-barred combat, they forged a new brand of honor, became a new breed of men - MacKinnon's Rangers. Iain MacKinnon had been forced to serve the British crown, but compassion urged him to save the lovely lass facing certain death at the hands of the Abenaki. He'd defied his orders, endangered his brothers, his men and his mission, all for a woman. But when he held Annie's sweet body in his arms, he could feel no regret.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Surrender to a Beautiful Story of Courage and Love"
    "I really liked this. Some depth to the characters."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first Pamela Clare book I've read. I will definitely read more. There are good guys, a really evil guy and, surprisingly for this genre, a complex guy (Wentworth) who you assume will be evil, but turns out to be sort of decent when you consider the times in which he lives. It's a stretch, but I can see Wentworth being rehabilitated as the hero in a future book???

    This is such a good light read. You get historical romance (light on the historical creds, I will admit) a happy ending and the setup for future Rangers stories. There are steamy scenes including one really kind of weird shaving scene ......

    This is also the first Kaleo Griffith narration for me. He is so very good.

    I highly recommend if you're looking for a good story, a good narrator and a little more character complexity than romance novels usually provide. .

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Garden Spells

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Sarah Addison Allen
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1008)
    Performance
    (555)
    Story
    (561)

    The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers.

    Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

    Together again in the house they grew up in, the Waverley sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy - if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom - or with each other.

    Joihelene says: "I so want to give it 5 stars...!!!!"
    "So love earthy witch stories."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good story. The story and relationships are a little meatier than a lot of books in this genre,
    But the best part was the descriptions of the magical effects of different flowers and plants. It was all presented so well that it seemed plausible you could whip up a love potion cupcake in the kitchen. (I have added a few edible flowers to my garden this Spring! Just in case.)

    Worth the credit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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