Ok, I'll admit that unless a book is exceptionally good or really, really bad - as is the case with Running Scared - I generally don't take the time out of my tight schedule to write a review. Rate - yes. String sentences together - too painful a process for a non-writer. For the record, I'll dispense with any and all comments about this being a rewrite as I am unfamiliar with the original early career favorite. I selected this book for two reasons: 1) I'm a romantic suspense junkie and 2) the prospect of spending 18+ hours under the magical spell of Jack Garrett's take-me-away vocal talent was something I wasn't about to miss.
The wealthy Sullivan family and their kin are a lot of mean spirited, malicious, vindictive users of friend and foe alike. And the few that aren't have the chemical makeup of walking, seldom talking, spineless doormats. Flocked wallpaper has more going for it. It was like hearing a lengthy and sometimes badly scripted day or nightime soap opera. The too frequent trips down memory lane were like navigating emotional land mines, never knowing what was coming but sure, it would be sickening, interrupted the story flow and eventually killed my interest in the main characters and the plot.
But people I'm telling you this is an absolute waste of a credit that could have been enjoyed elsewhere. No matter how interesting the performance, Jack can't change what's in print. A better example of his work can be found in
Anna Jeffrey's "Salvation, Texas." Judging by the number of pages in both the original book "Wishes" and that of "Running Scared" this can only be labeled as a bad case of over writing. A much more cohesive, not to mention entertaining, read this could have been with brutal editing.
A different narrator would have helped tremendously. Perhaps I would have been engaged enough to care about the fate of these people and finish the book.
Maybe the print version.
I kept nodding off and/or turning out what was being said due to the lifeless performance.
I listened to the audio sample, which sounded good to purchase the book. I had know way of knowing I'd be bored into a trance after 4 hours. I think Audible should expand the audio book samples to include dialogue of both the lead characters so we get a better feel of what the voices sound like.
I didn't read the print version and wouldn't want to when Sophie Eastlake told the story in technicolor. FYI, Sophie Eastlake is a/k/a Julia Whelan, brilliant narrator of "The Witness" by Nora Roberts, which is what prompted my purchase of an unfamiliar author.
I liked and admired the two main characters, Matt & Allison equally for their sense of honor, their realism in everyday life and the character growth each displayed.
It is apparent to me that in listening to this story recorded under the name of Sophie Eastlake or as Julia Whelan for "The Witness" she does her homework. She understands the story and what motivates the characters and takes you on a fabulous journey. Sophie/Julia gives the romance genre a great deal of class!
I particularly enjoyed the scene when Matt learns from his dad that home is wherever his wife (Matt's mother) is and the rest are just details to iron out. There are two other moving scenes but I don't want to do a spoiler.
This book isn't anything that's going to receive brilliant literary reviews and I don't believe that was the author's intent. Get over the fact that the basic plot isn't new because just how many ways can you bend and shape the boy with commitment issues meets nice girl plot. There's something to be said for a story that moves the heart like the gentle rocking of an anchored boat and can still deliver sexy romance without relying on the old he said/she said miscommunication ploy. I look forward to listening to Book 2 in the series this weekend.
Given time this tightly written tale will mostly definitely become a go to book for easy, uncomplicated entertainment. You can NEVER go wrong with a Carrington MacDuffie reading.
I liked and appreciated the way the author incorporated what is now known as early Alzheimer's disease in the character of Alexander's aunt. Her scenes were amusing and touching at the same time.
Carrington MacDuffie ranks among my top 3 female readers. I've yet to listen to a single reading that she's failed to nail the characters & essence of the story. Kudos Carrington for doing your homework!
When Sybella sees her father for who he truly is and that risking her happiness means nothing to him was cruel, but when he locks her away to die because she won't betray her husband was gut wrenching.
Audible, please release book 2 in this series. And if you could see the right of having
Carrington read that book as well, all the better.
Amusing, sexy, smart.
I loved why & how the nickname Rosebud came about, the dialogue between Beau and his sisters and proper Juliet's reaction to it all.
She did a slightly better job with Beau's voice & his sisters, but her pacing or something didn't gel all the time for Juliet's character. I liked her better than I thought I would, so yes, I'd give her another go.
Yes, I did exactly that and look forward to future redos.
I didn't read the print version. However, I'm certain I woul have liked it a bit more than the audio because the narrator's passable. Not exactly bad, but not great or good for that matter.
This story has Garwood's trademark humor and snappy dialogue without being heavy on the bad guy(s) actions & thoughts. Just the way I like my books. In many ways I'd compare this story to "The Ideal Man" in overall feel. The characters, dialogue, plot centering around sexual harrassment in the work place and the resolution are fresh, but the underlying essence ... purely Garwood.
Well, that would depend upon if the author is a favorite. If the author is one I really enjoy, I'd be inclined, but I wouldn't be happy about it. For untried authors, I'd probably spend my credit elsewhere. Having said that, this narrator does a terrific Minnesota accent as befitted Peyton's friend. She made me smile because she put me in mind of the mother on the cartoon series "Bobby's World."
Nothing extreme as it isn't that kind of book. As with most of Garwood books, I do chuckle occasionally and appreciate the witty minds of her female leads.
Julie Garwood is one of my favorite writers so that's a given. I'd never willingly purchase a book because Susan Duerden is the narrator, as I do with other readers. However, if the story is a long time favorite, that might sway me.
Sara is such a hoot without trying to be you can't help but laugh. While aboard her husband's ship, which she calls a boat, newly married Lady Sara refers to Nathan's men as her staff and bends over backwards to gain their respect and approval. Inside two weeks, the lot of superstitious men are wearing cloves of garlic around their necks to ward off all the mayhem she accidentally causes. And Nathan bellows "Dammit Sara" so often she begins to think it's her new name.
Based on her reviews Susan has a healthy fan base, unfortunately, I'm not one of them. All her female leads either shriek or sound childish and the hero's are darn near laughable. Susan attempts to deepen her voice for the hero but also lowers the volume too. Would you follow leader into battle who doesn't sound capable of herding sheep?The truly maddening thing is I like her natural voice that she reserves strickly for the third person narrator's point of view.
A better narrator would have put the cherry on the top to a fabulous story.
I have to applaude Audible for gaining access the other Garwood early career favorites, but seriously have to question somebody's judgement when it comes to narrators. Why not leave well enough alone and stick with the original readers? I own the following books in original cassette form and for years have hoped someone would rerelease them because who in the heck uses cassette tapes anymore. These recordings are far superior to other editions added over the past year. Now I'm painstakingly transferring them to CDs before the tapes wear out and break. I wish listeners had the opportunity to hear these versions because they're missing out.By Author Julie Garwood:The Bride read by Martha Harmon PardeeThe Guardian Angel read by Mitzy FreelanderThe Prize read by Carol Jordan StewartRansom read by Paula ParkerThe Wedding read by Steven CrossleyThe Secret read by Jill Ferris (Jill Tanner also released a version of this that is nearly as entertaining.)
I absolutely love Jude Deveraux's "A Knight in Shining Armor" and quiet enjoyed Tavia's narration of "Scream for Me" so I had high hopes for this pick.
I didn't believe the chemistry between the main characters was there, and if you don't have that in a romance book, the story's pointless.
Yes, I'll give Tavia another try because I've heard her do much better. I don't understand why she used the voices she did. If they were suppose to "fit" the setting or the characters she missed the mark on both accounts.
At least half the background characters didn't add or help move the story forward. All they did was pad the plot and make the 14+ hours seem unending.
To simplify my answer without explaining why, subgeners and whatever I'm in the mood to listen to - on a scale of 1-10, I'd give this an 8 because I've already listened to it twice the week I purchased it.
The most surprising moment was the who dunit. Loved the satisfying ending. However, the most memorable element of the book is the feeling that you know you're in for a treat. From beginning to end, the feeling doesn't wane because the story is plausible and the characters are real. And this is a biggie - the author assumed I could keep trace of who had blonde hair, who had the tight butt, etc., eliminating unnecessary writing.
She understood character motivation and was as easy to follow along as if she were on stage and I was in the audience. I've like to hear more from her.
Don't miss it - real people caught in a riveting story.
That's two for two from Ana Barrons - would love to listen to more from this author.
To be fair to the author, I only listened to 45 minutes before jumping ship. I didn't like the narrator in the least. I could hear every intake of breath and it got on my last nerve!
The awful narration aside, after 45 minutes I could tell this was gonna be another story that didn't have anything to say that I wanted to hear. Maybe there's something wrong with me, but I've met a few real MEN that I've been attracted to, but never have I been blinded or obsessed by their muscles to the point I went completely stupid within 10 minutes of meeting them. Then again, I've never met George Strait....
The director should have caught the indrawn breaths ASAP and done whatever was necessary to fix the problem. I don't know if this is training issue that a narrator learns to overcome or an editiing issue. Overall, I feel this narrator's voice is best suited for children and young adult books. I can hear her captivating these audiences in a library setting.
If the listener is looking for weightless fluff and doesn't mind cheesy - go for it.
In the introduction to the book the narrator is listed as Heather Smith, not Ann Marie Lee.
No, I'm not interested in anymore flimpsy & transparent plots, unless or unti lthe writing style of the author matures beyond rehashing what she's already stated. I'm just not into stupid plots that go nowhere.
As for the narrator ... well, she isn't on the same level as Joyce Bean, Susan Ericksen or Carrington MacDuffie, she holds her own with this style of book.
"True Love" by Jude Deveraux
and I plan to relisten to "Betrayed by Trust" by Ana Barrons - a great new addition to my Audible library.
Engaging, entertaining, humorous
If I could play editor and had an endless supply of red ink, I'd assume the target readership is more intelligent than a grade schooler processing the ins and outs of hopscotch. Cut out a good four hours of silly, annoying, yada, yada overwriting and the characters will come across with a higher IQ. Then this simplistic plot just might shine as a fun read.
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