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rick

In the process of beginning a new chapter of my life and strengthening connections with my daughter.

PURLEAR, NC, United States

ratings
771
REVIEWS
180
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
64

  • Rainey Nights: A Rainey Bell Thriller, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By R. E. Bradshaw
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (40)

    Women are missing and dying in the Triangle area of North Carolina. One woman holds the key to why. With the conclusion of the Y-Man murders nine months ago and her resignation from the FBI, former Special Agent and Behavioral Analyst Rainey Bell has finally found peace and contentment she never thought possible - even if she remains a bit paranoid. Her wariness is justified when a monster from her past rears his demonic head. Rainey has faced death and evil before - alone. Now it’s different - she has a family to protect, her own. Only Rainey can keep them alive. Or can she?

    Susie says: "A Romantic Lesbian Thriller"
    "Okay; but."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Taking a lot of tired cliches and wrapping them around a lesbian character doesn't make the cliches any fresher. That being said there are moments of semi-brilliance when the author is able to bring the characters to life. Unfortunately these moments are interspersed with a predictable plot line and some dialogue worthy of network television. The overall book has it's moments and the information on the criminal aspects of the plot are good. Hopefully in the future there will be a time when her main characters actually appear three dimensional. As for the reader; the same applies to her. She has a good overall pacing and at times, the right tone. Other times she seems to think her audience is a class of fifth graders.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rachel Dratch
    • Narrated By Rachel Dratch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1050)
    Performance
    (967)
    Story
    (967)

    Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered roles as "Lesbians. Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians." Her career at a low point, Dratch suddenly had time for yoga, dog- sitting, learning Spanish - and dating. After all, what did a forty-something single woman living in New York have to lose?

    Jeanine says: "Could not stop listening"
    "Pretty Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rachel Dratch is not surprisingly, really funny in this autobiographical work as she takes us through her life and her career as an entertainer. Her misfit youth and the poor choices she invariably makes in choosing men that evidently began in the eighth grade. She takes us through her years as an undergraduate at Dartmouth, then the years she spent learning her craft working with the Second City comedy troupe. She covers her auditions for SNL and finally getting on the classic late night show as a cast member on the third try. Like most successful comics she has the ability to turn her pain into humor. She's able to describe some painful situations in a way that come off as humorous; though at times there is pain in her voice that belies the light touch she attempts to use throughout the book. An easy way to pass five hours; a pleasant and humorous listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bone Yard: Raine Stockton Dog Mystery, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Donna Ball
    • Narrated By Donna Postel
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Dog trainer Raine Stockton has lived all her life in the quiet community of Hansonville, North Carolina. She is the daughter of a judge, the niece of a sheriff, and the ex-wife of a deputy. She does not lead the kind of life, generally speaking, in which people get buried in her backyard. But when Cisco, Raine's mischievous golden retriever, digs up human bones beneath the site of what will soon be her new training kennel, mayhem ensues.

    rick says: "Even if you don't love dogs"
    "Even if you don't love dogs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the fourth installment of the Raine Stockton dog mysteries. This one finds Raine starting over in a number of ways. She's finalizing her second divorce from Buck who's the new sheriff due to her uncle's heart attack. she's improving and rebuilding her dog training and kennel facilities and a there's new man in her life; even though they're not dating, really.
    However a heavy rain prevents the foundation from being poured and her Golden Cisco digs up a human bone. The investigation leads to solving one very old murder, and the answer to a mass grave found in a nearby county. Plus no dogs were hurt in the writing of this book or in this audio.
    My biggest problem with this selection is that it is by far the shortest audible selection I've ever used a credit to purchase. Still I don't regret using this credit to purchase this one; it's an easy satisfying listen. Even if you don't love dogs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shame on Him: Fool Me Once, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tara Sivec
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    For Lorelei Warner, being perfect isn't everything it's cracked up to be. She did what her straitlaced parents wanted: Became a lawyer, married her college boyfriend. But since her husband ran off with another man and her career became a nonstop bore-fest, Lorelei has turned to her best friends and Fool Me Once Investigations to find fulfillment and adventure.

    rick says: "Oh boy"
    "Oh boy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the opening scene we have a lawyer answering their cell phone in court; while trying a case in court; nuff said.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shame on Me: Fool Me Once, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tara Sivec
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (28)

    Ex-model Paige McCarty is fed up with being just a pretty face. After her ex-husband’s gambling problem left her royally screwed and tragically shoeless, she started Fool Me Once Investigations with her best friends, Lorlei and Kennedy, to prevent other women from being similarly played and dismayed.

    rick says: "Not so cute this time"
    "Not so cute this time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to Shame On You and finding it a light, fluffy humorous tongue in cheek take on the private detective genre i purchased the next two works in the series. This work of fluffy female fiction started out in the same vein but then veered off way past parody and into caricature. Caricature is certainly an excellent definition of both Paige's mother and Matt's father; too broadly defined for even a network sitcom or a Hallmark Channel movie. As was Paige's ex Andy; a whiny narcissistic excuse for a man completely lacking in testosterone.
    The action scenes were once more, caricatures that played way too broadly. A mafia hit man being assaulted by a couple of old ladies with pocketbooks and canes; well sure. Not to mention Paige's mother becoming a gun happy vigilante. Then Paige is elbowed twice in the ribs and kicked in the stomach by the above mentioned hit man and thirty seconds later she is being given a "crushing" hug by Matt; not even a squeak of pain emerges from her.
    There is a limit to how much belief can be suspended in the written or audio format. Those are types of scenes that can be only be conveyed effectively in a visual medium. Perhaps it was too short a time between the time I listened to the first and second book. Maybe this one aims too often for the easy laugh the scene which requires little imagination to write. For whatever reason this one fell far short of the first book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blinded

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Stephen White
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (35)

    Gibbs Storey is a woman no man can resist. When her comfortable life is shattered by the man she thought it was safe to give her heart to, the nightmare has only just begun. Psychologist Alan Gregory is used to dealing with nightmares.

    Lauren says: "Great Book!!"
    "More Sam; Less Alan; That's Good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Though I've read or listened to the entire Alan Gregory series since I've never been very fond of the protagonist, or especially his wife. The fact that Sam played a larger role in this audio was a definite positive. Some of the details of Sam's life; his divorce from his wife Sherri and his relationship with his son Simon were poignant without being maudlin. The stirrings of his new relationship with Carmen rang true for me; reminiscent of relationships that have begun in the workplace. I also greatly enjoyed his travelogue focused on thanksgiving meals; as a longtime reader/listener it was so apropos of Sam that food was the centerpiece.
    This book begins when a former client of Alan's Gibbs Storey shows up to tell someone that her husband is a killer. Gibbs is the type of beautiful woman that makes other beautiful women feel faded and fat so naturally Alan is immediately pulled into the middle of it. He enlists Sam's aid, and since Sam is currently on suspension and needs the money he takes it on. As per usual Alan is a whiny wienie who's condescended to by pretty much everyone else in the book. His wife Lauren Crowder's role in this one is thankfully brief and Diane is usual snarky self; as is indicated when it's revealed that her nickname for Gibbs is "The Dancing Queen" ABBA's 1970's hit.
    All in all this is one of my favorite books in the Alan Gregory series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Walk Me Home

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Catherine Ryan Hyde
    • Narrated By Cristina Panfilio
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    If 16-year-old Carly and 11-year-old Jen can find Teddy, Carly knows he’ll save them from foster care...if he can forgive them for their mother’s vicious lies about him. But when the starving girls get caught stealing food on a Native American reservation, their journey gets put on hold. And after Jen makes a heartbreaking confession, Carly wonders if they’ll ever escape the pain of the past. Set against the backdrop of the American Southwest, Walk Me Home and its resilient heroines will inspire listeners and renew their faith in recovery and redemption.

    Krys says: "Outstanding Performance for an Outstanding Story!"
    "Pretty Good Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to Take Me With You by this author, perhaps my expectations were a little too high. This was a really good listening experience but I found way too much repetition in this book. Not too mention that I found nothing at all compelling about the flashback sequences that occurred prior to the sisters taking it on the run.
    I found Jen extremely likable; as for Carly, it took me most of the book to get Carly. For much of the book I found that her single minded pursuit of her terribly unrealistic goal unable to get behind. The irony of her believing that she was protecting her sister by taking them back to her deceased mother's ex-boyfriend showed her level of single mindedness along with a high level of immaturity. The author's American Indian tribal creation was a nice twist to this YA novel and all of the characters from the tribe were likable without becoming caricatures instead of characters. Carly's great travel adventure leading to the book's climax was an excellent addition to the narrative.
    I'm hoping that since this book was a 2013 release and Take Me With You was 2014 it indicates an upward curve in the quality of her work. This was a very nice audio; a solid 3.9 to 4.1 and I can recommend it with a few reservations but it's not Take Me With You.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Somewhere on Maui

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Toby Neal
    • Narrated By Sara Malia Hatfield
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Sometimes only an accidental matchmaker can make lighting strike the people who need it most. Zoe moves to Maui to live her dream of being an independent journalist walking the beaches of paradise every day - but she never expected to be doing it with just her dog Sylvester. Divorced and heartbroken, and she ends up in therapy. Adam’s born and bred on Maui, a true "local" who surfs to stay in shape and deal with his many sources of stress: care of his mother, a busy contracting business, and a custody fight for his beloved stepkids.

    rick says: "Romance; nothing but romance"
    "Romance; nothing but romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Reading the critiques I'd hoped there would be a little more to this book than the average romance; a relationship of a man and a woman; searching for and finding the partner that is their destiny; the one. That portion of this audiobook was pretty good as far as that went. There were very few portions of the narrative in which I didn't like both Adam and Zoey. Though I have to say that they both seemed to have been transported fifty years ahead in time. Perhaps it's just me and the people that I know but these two have been less sexually active than everyone I know personally. I appreciated the setting and I learned several things about Hawaii that I hadn't known. The Rodriguez family is great, and though they are presented as paragons of goodness they feel realistic.
    I felt as though there were some huge holes in the story and just as with many books of this type the plot was lacking. The saving grace of this book as well as this genre is that the author(s) created a lot of very likable characters; as well as a few intentionally unlikable ones.
    This is an enjoyable listen if you're doing something else at the time and have the luxury of splitting your concentration or if it's part of a compromise with a feminine companion it's pretty good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Wendy Wax
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (115)

    When the concierge of The Alexander, a historic Atlanta apartment building, invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and - even more unexpectedly - with one another.... For Samantha, Claire, Brooke - and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings - it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life's hardest moments - all of it reflected in the unfolding drama of Downton Abbey.

    Jean says: "Orlagh Cassidy makes this story a joyful read."
    "Same old well written old story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started this series as a compromise. I am constitutionally unable to listen to Fantasy and since the choice my listening buddy gave me was either fantasy or chick lit I read this author for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised by the first Wendy Wax I listened to, once I gave it a real chance anyway. This was officially the third book of hers I've read; but the three of them vary only a small amount. There is the woman who is long divorced; the one who just got screwed over by her selfish husband and the one still married, but it's getting shaky. Then there's the unscrupulous criminal younger brother more or less raised by his older sister.
    Luckily for the author the weakness of her plot is covered very well by the skill in which she creates characters with which it's easy to connect. Schleppy wallflower Brooke's growth during the course of the book is heartwarming; as is Samantha's defense of her friend. The personal weaknesses within each of the characters is well done and makes all of them more interesting and more human. It's an easy listen for women, and men; if you're listen to it with a female that you care about; you might just like it too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Drew Westen
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. In this landmark book, scientist and psychologist Drew Westen shows how electorates vote not with their heads but with their hearts, and how the marketplace that matters most is the marketplace of emotion - filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory.

    Hayden says: "Revealing"
    "Good information, if a little too much of it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author is an experienced political writer and advisor; progressive in his politics who is on the faculty at Emory University. An expert in psychology Westen states that contrary to what many supposed campaign experts believe; political decisions are based not on intellect, but on emotion. As a progressive he points out examples that back up this hypotheses.
    Specifically he uses the Bush II campaigns against Gore and Kerry. The debate in which Bush challenged Gore's integrity and Gore failed to respond is the example he used and posited a response that Gore could and should have made. Specifically that a man who'd spent three decades in the liqueur cabinet and had to be investigated by his own father's administration in a fraud case.
    In Kerry's case it was not surprisingly about the swiftboating of the democratic candidate by Karl Rove and the Bush campaign. The gist of the return attack being that draft dodging frat boys like Bush, Cheney and Rove shouldn't try that tactic with someone who actually fought for their country; unlike them.
    There are separate chapters about gay rights, abortion, the separation of church and state, and right wing political beliefs being referred to as religion. He upbraids his progressive brethren about turning over to religion to the Republican party and ceding faith to the right.
    The book is too long and much of the first 3 or 4 chapters is theoretical and reads more like a textbook. Still it's good information, particularly if you share his politics. The response's of the democratic candidates as done by Westen made me wish he had been the campaign manager for either of the democratic candidates. A good 4 star listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Adjunctivitis

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Gordon Haber
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    A witty and touching novella about life on the periphery of academia and Hollywood. Robert is an adjunct, a university lecturer commuting between two-far flung Los Angeles colleges. He doesn't have health insurance - a serious problem when he develops a violent allergy to student writing. Meanwhile he's trying to keep his car, and his relationship with a successful but skittish TV writer, from falling apart.

    rick says: "You'll feel as bad as he does"
    "You'll feel as bad as he does"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Slow, dull, depressing and filled with the minutiae in a life of quiet desperation. I didn't make it too far through this one and I wouldn't advise giving it a try; anti-depressants can only do so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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