I spend hours on the road and love audio books. Easy listening is my favorite on the road, so this series should be a good choice. The narrator is wonderful, the idea of a small town followed in a series is great ... but.... the characters kill me. The constant angst, the constant drama, the constant misunderstanding of a good guy ... and on and on. I "like" the people, but their behavior is not to be believed...for example: girl breaks off relationship w/older, manipulative man who has offered to "share" her (in very insulting manner) w/new man in her life. She marries new man, but then continues to have lunch w/old flame due to not wanting to hurt his feelings.... really? Of course you expect some of this, but the frequency is annoying. It's almost as if every time every character faces a choice, they make the wrong one. Probably just me....
This book just "clicked" for me and I loved it! I was drawn into the plot of the mystery and couldn't wait to solve it. I was so sure I "knew" what had happened, only to realize I was way off base and had to start all over in my solving of the case. lol At the same time, I found myself pulling for Scott and Lisa to get together. Lisa was raised wealthy and priviledged, but was not written or narrated as a "witch" when we meet her in the story. Scott came from a hard childhood, but does not go about with a chip on his shoulder. Their time together as children form the bond of trust they both need as adults. Love the twists and turns of the story. Had a hard time taking a break to do little things like ... my job (lol) until I finished it. I really enjoyed Ms. Ericksen's narration and plan to look for more of her work. I appreciated the richness of her narration through the different characters and their moods. Good mystery, good romance ... best of both worlds!
Note to self: Always read reviews and CLOSELY before purchasing. lol
Love cowboys, love romances, like steamy cowboy romances. lol
I think for the style of book it is, it must be very good ... so I was generous with my ratings. But, really, you need to understand it's all about sex. lol I personally prefer a little more plot, a little more romance and while I do like steamy, I'm not into the hardcore books ... which in my little naive world, this is. lol But, hey! Thank goodness there's a style for all of us, so enjoy some good cowboy sex scenes. lol!!!
Creative storyline for familiar subject - women changing from one phase of life to another, whether through divorce or empty nest and so on....the ups and downs, good and bad of it all. Loved the setting of the old building in Atlanta and am a easy target for "southern tales". haha I do recommend the book and the narration was lovely, but it did get a bit tedious before it was all over. I had just a little of a hard time believing that Samantha was that "dense" or that Brooke didn't have a clue about how to manage her life after somehow working hard enough for enough years to put her husband through medical school. Or that brilliant wealthy business men would hand Jackson thousands of dollars without ever checking his story out. Some of the issues were just a little "beat to death" as if trying to fill enough pages to call it done. But, enough of that. Again, the story of three women from very different paths coming together to form a bond and support each other, was very enjoyable and the characters were likable. And, as I, too, am a Downton Abbey fan (Of course! That's why I bought this! lol), the link to the series was fun.
If I could have just focused on the story, I think it would have been outstanding. It was a sweet concept for a romance and I liked it. However...as several reviewers have noted, the choice of narrators could not have been more off! Just think of the cast of "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything" staying in character and reading this book to you. Absolutely unbelievably bad. The male lead, Alex, comes across as a real jerk. But, it's the narration. It could have been read as a man struggling that you could sympathize with. It was the tone that made him seem like such a bully. The female lead, Zoe, was supposed to be sweet, not stupid ... but, thanks to Mr. Cummings, she sounds like a lobotomized Marilyn Monroe. I'm having a hard time understanding how anyone thought Mr. Cummings was a good choice. But, then again, they gave him the middle book in this series knowing we would all buy it just to keep up with the storyline. Feel bad for Ms. Kleypas, he ruined her lovely romance.
Can not in good conscious recommend this. Buy the audio for #1 and #3, get this one in print. JB
Although this would make a fine "stand alone" story, the pleasure is so much greater if China and Ruby are your old friends, as they are mine. I've missed them and eagerly await each new release. If you're looking for a cozy mystery series to "make friends with", I highly recommend China Bayles.
The mystery of the old Victorian home out in the middle of the woods with the strange happenings is both intriguing and heartbreaking.
Like China, I'm not a great fan of "other worldliness", but the book is written in such a way that Ruby's gift seems absolutely normal for her. The history of the 1900 Galveston hurricane was fascinating to me and I love the way the author wove actual historical facts about this disaster in with the mystery. It has led to my doing more reading on the subject.
(Note: I gave the performance only 4 stars as I did not care for Ms. Hallet's reading. I'm sure that's simply personal preference. I'm used to Ms. Gibson's "Ruby" and it was difficult for me to hear Ruby with a different voice.) JB
Nothing too thought provoking, just a nice little get away for a few hours. Sweet little romance. Not excessively steamy, but fun. Narrator has sexy voice and doesn't make the female characters sound like idiots. (lol) Likeable characters. JB
I appreciated that this is not one of those "you must have a million dollars to retire and here's how" books. It's practical and down to earth advice for living a more frugal lifestyle. Obviously, if you can learn to live on less, you can retire on less. There are many of us whose retirement plans fell apart and our hoped for retirement was supposed to be around the corner. What do we do now? Actually, there's a few ideas in here. It's applicable whether you are prepared or not prepared. I'm tired of the "We're all gonna die!!!" scenario if we didn't do everything perfect since we were 12. Some ideas are really creative and not for the faint of heart. I liked the idea (and plan to do the exercise) of writing down all the truly worthwhile things in my life. How is my life matching up to that? Do I need more money or a different focus? Have I really been chasing the wrong direction because I'm working too many hours? Could I actually be much happier and healthier and make less money? Much of it is just enforcing good habits, being better stewards of how ever much money we have. Nothing earth shattering, but thought provoking in places and worth listening to. Using even one of the ideas will save more than the book costs. :) (The narrator is not one of my favorites, but that's a personal preference.) JB
I'm sure Mr. Berkrot is great .... for the right book. But, why on earth he was chosen for this one is beyond me. I love Nora Roberts and chose to "pre-order" this, which means I didn't have a chance to preview the narration. The story is good, not her best, but worth the money and entertaining. I was on the road, had nothing else to listen to, and after about an hour quit gritting my teeth and settled in. You can overcome it and the mystery is good....once you get past that one of the main characters is a vibrant, energetic young woman and yet while she's bouncing around, she sounds like a raspy 75 year old woman every time she opens her mouth ..... Mrs. B.
Dick Hill, as always, provides excellent narration that really adds to story. Characters are vivid, the mystery held our interest. As some have said, a bit implausible in a few areas, but that's why we read, right? To escape reality at times.... lol
Good concept for a story, excellent narration. Having said that, the book felt just a little disjointed to me. Story jumped from character to character leading up to all meeting for the opening week at Stone House. Difficult to bond w/characters. I expected a little more in the descriptions of Ireland and felt that area was a little lacking. Don't want to be "negative" as it was a pleasant, easy listen.
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