Hatboro, PA, United States
After about 8 hours of listening I could not stand this book! The author used repetition as if she were getting kickbacks for using certain words, e.g. “I’m a SEAL”, “I loved my SEAL”, “I’m the wife of a SEAL”, “Irish eyes”, “My Irish”, “Special Ops”, “Special Ops”, “Special Ops”. I cannot believe this book was written in 2008! It reads like a romance novel from 20 or 30 years ago…I couldn’t stand to hear about this guy’s “tight denim jeans encased in leather chaps” one more time. I enjoy romance and even the occasional erotica novel, but the sex scenes in this book went on FOREVER. “Wild Card” was entirely too long for the plot to have been so poorly developed…the actual story would have been okay, if the author put as much effort into plot as she did into the sex scenes. This book is almost 16 hours, of which maybe 2 hours were actual plot development. I won’t even say “if you like sex, you’ll like this book” because even the most sexually starved person will be like “get on with it already” or “not again". Halfway through, I started to fast forward through the sex scenes and there was nothing worse than hearing “she tasted like sunshine”, “he was throbbing with need” after like 6 or 7 minutes were already skipped. Oy vey, this book was simply dreadful. The narrator was okay…her males had similar sounding moments, but overall she did a fair job with the various accents.
Strings of the Heart (SOTH) was initially a good read considering it's third in a series and I haven't read any of the other books. Not reading the other books was deliberately done as with most of these series, the author goes out of their way to make sure the reader knows what happened to the other characters. As predicted, ad nauseam in fact, the author kept the reader abreast of the characters from the other books in the series. That said, after the initial scene (i.e. the 'morning wood' discussion was a superfluous way to integrate characters from the previous book), the book progressed well from Alison's point of view. However, SOTH began to peter out after Alison and Rhys got together as the reason for their not being together was thin at best. Also, Alison's brother Jake (who is also the lead character of the first Runaway Train book and Rhys' band mate) is a ridiculous character - he's a hypocritical bully that insists on controlling the behavior of every other male character when it comes to Alison, and every other character is totally fine with it. Jake hooked up with Abby and her brothers had no choice but to accept it, yet he is irrationally upset whenever a male talks to his sister because she's 'his' baby sister. Another minor annoyance was Jake and Rhys referring to Alison by her childhood nickname...it was an obvious vehicle used by the author to show Jake's affection for Alison...which ironically he had no problem dropping when he called her a whore for hooking up with Rhys. Honestly, the only reason I got SOTH was because Luke Daniels was the narrator, and as expected I really enjoyed his narration given the material he had to work with. Also, Justine O. Keef was an excellent narrator...her southern twang came across as natural and subtle...she really brought Alison's character to life. Overall, I'd say skip the entire Runaway Train series, but as I've only read SOTH I'll narrow my opinion to this book...avoid my mistake and skip this at times cliché riddled band drama.
The only reasons I read this book were because a) I really enjoyed Noah and Echo's story and hoped to learn more of their outcome and b) I wanted to read Isaiah's story and thought "Dare You To" was needed - it wasn't. This book was beyond just being a letdown. I'm more annoyed with myself for wasting the credit because I knew Beth's faux-edgy character was not worth a story. Ryan was adequate as a character..his most notable drawback being the repeated use of his tag line "I don't lose". The 'dare' angle was poorly executed and only served to undermine the author's efforts of trying to make the characters seem more mature and deep - they weren't. The situation with Beth's mother's extremely physically abusive boyfriend at times dominates the book and not wanting her mother to get into trouble is not reason enough to allow such abuse to go on. Trent's character openly deals drugs and beats women like it's his job, but the cops can't arrest him, yet Beth supposedly breaks the windows of his car and she is immediately sent to jail...really?
There are so many points where Beth's characterization breaks down, e.g. slapping Noah and breaking ties with Isaiah because they literally prevent her from being killed by Trent, but slinking away in uncertainty when rumors started by a mean girl leads to kids laughing at her at school...really? The whole 'Isaiah and Beth as best friends' angle felt contrived and relies too much on the reader to accept it with no foundation in the actual story. Overall, Beth is the worst character, but I knew this when I read "Pushing the Limits", and her hatred of Echo, which continues to this book, is inadequately explained nor resolved. I knew I was in trouble when after only two and a half hours I was checking to see how much time was left. Not sure if I'll get Isaiah's book at this point because he was so poorly portrayed - he prostrated himself for Beth, with no real explanation of why she was worth it, only to have her fall for the attractive jock anyway.
Narrators were good..they sounded age appropriate and did adequately with opposite sex characters. I would listen to them again, but I don't feel compelled to seek them out.
I made it about a third of the way into “Rule” before I noticed my near constant eye-rolling. Having read a lot of YA fiction (high school and college-aged), and considering this book portrays college age youth I could not believe how sophomoric it was. Yes, it had very adult sex scenes, but anything outside the bedroom was too childish to endure. The author made them use phrases like “Go hang with your boys”, “Dude, seriously!”, “Checking out my girl!” “I thought you loved my hawk” (Rule is referring to Shaw liking his Mohawk). Also, the nickname Rule’s brother Rome called Shaw was just cringe worthy… “How are you, Little Girl?” “Take care Little Girl”. Thankfully this is a standalone book with a complete story, so if you wanted to stop at one (which I definitely will) there is no need to read the other two as you know how Rule and Shaw end-up. The author did a fair job of setting up the other characters for her next books, but no one character sparked my interest enough to use a precious credit on.
The plot was fairly sound in regards to Rule’s familial strife, but Shaw’s “tragic” rejection by her parents was contrived. Shaw is rich, very pretty, and smart and had a best friend in Rule’s twin brother Remy and loving acceptance from the Archer family, but her parents were less than ideal when it came to showing her love…really? This does not lend to the tragic figure that the author wants the reader to buy into. There definitely was no reason to accept her weakness of spirit in taking Rule back each time he decided to shut her out. Rule’s internal reflections of how much Shaw was coming to mean to him were shown to be worthless as when he got some unexpected news (news which the reader figured out chapters before) he proceeded to shut her out knowing she had a psycho Ex waiting in the wings.
The theme of the tattoos and piercings got so old, so fast within the book. Rule is supposed to be this beautiful boy, yet all that anyone sees is his tattoos (which apparently cover most of his body) and his facial (and genital) piercings. This book worked so hard to make tattooing and piercing seem "cool" and acceptable that it just came off as pedestrian and silly. By the end of the book Shaw had tattoos and piercings and it was so cheesy my cholesterol went up several points. There is not one character that I actually rooted for in this book …Rule wasn’t a jerk as much as he was immature and self-absorbed and Shaw wasn’t entirely pathetic, mostly needy and spineless. My final (admittedly small) vexation with this book was that the vanilla straitlaced depiction of Rule’s parents does not fit with people who would name their sons Remy, Rule and Rome…Rule…really? I liked the dual narration and the narrators did a fine job; their voices were age appropriate to the characters they were portraying and each handled the opposite sex fairly well.
There are so many better YA fiction books out there and I’m not at all sure why this book was reviewed so highly. For YA fiction with great characters who have plausible reasons for their youthful angst check out “Easy” by Tammara Webber, “In the Band” by Jean Haus, “Pushing the Limits” by Katie McGarry and for the best of the best (if you can handle the intensity) “The Sea of Tranquility” by Katja Millay.
The character development was excellent...Nastya and Josh are captivating young people. Even secondary characters, e.g., Drew are well developed. The characters speak like young people including cursing and sexual innuendo, and it feels authentic to the characters, not forced or obvious that it's written by an adult. This fictional book evokes real emotions; the grief and angst are almost tangible. The author doles out the tragic plot in a way that was manageable...the reader is allowed time to digest information about a character and given just enough information to wonder what will be revealed next. The dual narration was well done. The narrators sounded age appropriate, that is, they sounded like the teenagers they were narrating without sounding immature or too young. I enjoyed every minute of this book and I am anticipating listening to it again fairly soon.
The Elite had very little plot progression. The book felt like it was mostly filler; America vacillated between Maxon and Aspen for most of the 7 hours. There were points that I started to dislike both male characters because she went to extremes without ever really having justification. Also, I was confused at certain points because she would pledge to one that she would give their relationship her all, but the next scene with the other she doing the same for him. You finally get some info on the country’s origin, however, America bungles it with immature behaviors…she literally said “I did it because I was mad.” The last 42 minutes had the most “excitement”…it ended with her deciding to pursue Maxon, but I expect by the start of the next book that will have changed.
This is my 3rd and LAST Maya Banks book…the 2nd one I bought was also lacking (In Bed with a Highlander), but I hoped the "McCabe" series would improve because the 1st MB book I listened to (Never Seduce a Scot) was great. I guess this author must have improved with time as "Never Seduce a Scot" is from a later series, but I won’t be risking any more of my precious credits to find out.
The narrator was good…her talent was the only reason I got as far as I did with this book.
This book was bad....the plot was weak; marry the jilted bride seemed like it had some potential, but it never panned out in the parts of the book I listened to because admittedly I only got about half way through. Every time I went to listen to it I cringed…the “hero” (note the quotation marks) was simply rude and unyielding for no reason. At one point the heroine was attacked by an enemy clan and brutally assaulted while HE was away. After she was healed, he decided to chastise HER for not being more careful; when she became rightfully upset ALL he could think about was how he wanted to bed her because she was so lovely in her upset…this character sucked! The heroine was fairly a good character…she at least had some dimensions beyond just her beauty.
I sincerely tried to get through this unnecessarily detailed laden book, but it zaps my energy each time. The narration is slow and uninspiring - I switched to listening through the audible app and changed the narration speed to 1.25x which helped, but not much. How did this book garner such praise....it's so boring. The author managed to make easy A topics (historical romance and time travel) almost unendurable. I'll keep trying, but not while driving for fear of falling asleep at the wheel.
I listened to this book in one day! I usually save books for when I'm traveling for work, but I couldn't wait. I think the summary is deliberately vague because it's too easy to give spoilers or miss the mark when describing this book. You feel invested in the characters from the start...It manages some difficult topics without being over-the-top. The narrator was a good choice - she managed college-aged voices very well and her male voices were fairly good. I actually loved this book (and not only because it was so inexpensive)!
The premise of this book was new for historical romance. I've been reading HR for years and years and I'm not sure if the rest of the series will be as good, but this was an excellent start and a fully stand alone novel. Eveline and Graeme were likable throughout, which is rare as most HR main characters are rarely likeable throughout the entire book. The women have whiny moments and the men random stubbornness but these main characters were consistent and likable. The narrator is no novice...she was good. I liked her men and her Scottish accent sounded quite good.
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