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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
718
REVIEWS
163
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
60

  • Robert B. Parker's Damned If You Do: A Jesse Stone Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Michael Brandman
    • Narrated By James Naughton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (50)

    The woman on the bed was barely out of her teens. She wasn't exactly beautiful, but she'd tried to make the most of her looks. And now, alone in a seedy beachfront motel, she was dead. Paradise Police Chief Jesse Stone doesn't know her name. Whoever she is, she didn't deserve to die. Jesse starts digging, only to find himself caught in the crosshairs of a bitter turf war between two ruthless pimps. And more blood will spill before it's over.

    rick says: "Not bad; but not Parker."
    "Not bad; but not Parker."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Robert B. Parker Jesse Stone series continued by Michael Brandman is beginning to slip. The first two Jesse Stone mysteries done by Brandman were close in spirit to the Parker series. He did turn deputy Molly Grant into Charlie Sheen's housekeeper in Two and a Half Men; but in general kept Jesse's humanity intact. This selection did so as well. Unfortunately the works have become pretty formulaic as well as quite short in duration.
    I still find a great deal to recommend in the continuing Jesse Stone series. They are pleasant listens as well as affirmations in the morality of treating people as you would wish to be treated. A Chief of Police who encounters and takes down bullies of all stripes is a nice read for those of us who feel strongly about the current culture rife with so many different types of bullying. I continue to recommend the Jesse Stone series. Even if not as enthusiastically as I did when Robert Parker was the writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • God Is Disappointed in You

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mark Russell, Shannon Wheeler
    • Narrated By James Urbaniak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    God Is Disappointed in You is for people who would like to read the Bible...if it would just cut to the chase. Stripped of its arcane language and interminable passages, every book of the Bible is condensed down to its core message, in no more than a few pages each. Written by Mark Russell with cartoons by New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler, God Is Disappointed in You is a frequently hilarious, often shocking, but always accurate retelling of the Bible, including the parts selectively left out by Sunday School teachers.

    rick says: "A New Bible"
    "A New Bible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an highly inventive and enjoyable way to look at biblical literature. While humorous and irreverent it is also respectful and actually more informative than you would think. I'm recommending this one as both entertainment and a tutorial.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Take Me With You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Catherine Ryan Hyde
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    August Shroeder, a burned-out teacher, has been sober since his 19-year-old son died. Every year he’s spent the summer on the road, but making it to Yellowstone this year means everything. The plan had been to travel there with his son, but now August is making the trip with Philip’s ashes instead. An unexpected twist of fate lands August with two extra passengers for his journey, two half-orphans with nowhere else to go. What none of them could have known was how transformative both the trip - and the bonds that develop between them- would prove....

    rick says: "A Great Story"
    "A Great Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sentimental, but deeply so. This is not just the easy overly sweet sentimentality of some of my other selections in the last month. August and the boys, even Wes are all three dimensional characters with strengths and weaknesses. They seem to be more people than a overly idealized product of the author's imagination.
    There was also the circular nature of the two summers; eight years apart, and how much the two resemble each other only a rotation has occurred over time in the roles they all play. Wes is a highly flawed man; he's an alcoholic with a tenuous sense of parental responsibility. His limitations make the difference between him August all too apparent to his sons and seeing it reflected in their feelings and actions leave him unable to accept the relationship between the interloper and his sons. Though he's flawed he's not evil; just a little too cavalier, a little too careless when it comes to being a parent.
    Sometimes it seems that I'm a stamp tramp (a How I Met Your Mother reference) and I occasionally give five stars a bit too easily but if I could, I'd give this one six stars. This selection has led me to check out other CRH audios and I'll get another one soon. I hope that at some point the author picks up the narrative again with a story that features Henry and/ or Seth. Don't miss this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shame on You: Fool Me Once, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tara Sivec
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (63)

    After war veteran Kennedy O’Brien returned home from Afghanistan and caught her husband in bed with the nanny, she lost her faith in all things male. So she started Fool Me Once Investigations to stick it to the man — because there’s no better bounty hunter than a woman scorned. Her latest job is a wild dog-chase to slap cuffs on a bail jumper turned Chihuahua thief, but thanks to her meddling family, Kennedy will have to put up with a partner. And it’s about the last man she’d ever pick: Her cheating ex-husband’s best friend, Griffin Crawford.

    Share Faerber says: "This is no Stephanie Plumb!"
    "Liked it; despite myself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the selections I acquiesced to during June's end of the month sale. I didn't expect to enjoy the listening experience; as the headline would suggest I was pleasantly surprised by this mystery/ romance. It is in fact a romance with a slightly more than casual nod to mystery.
    Kennedy O'Brien returns from Afghanistan to find her husband in bed with a woman closer to her daughter's age than her own. She starts a detective agency with her two best friends Lorelei and Paige attempting to save women from the experiences they'd had with the men in their lives. She also works occasionally as a bounty hunter going after fugitives who've skipped out on their bond provided by her father's bail bonds business. She's runs into her husband's best friend Griffin Crawford at a fugitive's front door he's just taken a job as a bounty hunter with the same company.
    Sparks fly as the attraction between them is strong as is the antipathy; because what the hell it's a romance and couples always begin that way in a romance novel. The interplay between them is sharp and humorous and the language used Kennedy and her family is highly reminiscent of an army barracks.
    While it's true that most of the book's characters have at most two dimensions this is a nice little story that I'm glad I was talked into purchasing. Warning; there will not be very many surprises in this book; it's a pretty typical romance novel, but an enjoyable one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Return to Homecoming Ranch: Pine River Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Julia London
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Curly-haired Libby Tyler never stops smiling…until her beloved boyfriend suddenly forces her out of their home and away from his adoring kids. When she learns he dumped her for his flighty ex-wife, Libby's sadness turns to fury - and she very publicly smashes his truck with a golf club, earning herself a trip to a mental health center for some "rest."

    rick says: "Not A Bad Follow-up"
    "Not A Bad Follow-up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This time the sister in the spotlight is Libby. Having been unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend when his ex-wife returns to Pine River. So she attacks his pickup with a golf club when she finds out that the two of them were schtuping each other while she was watching their kids. Then there is the little matter of the restraining order that Ryan slapped her with after the destruction of all the glass in his truck. An RO that doesn't seem to mean too much to Libby; given that she violates it on a regular basis. Deputy Sam Martin seems to be quite intent on seeing her through this difficult time. The fact that he has a major thing for Libby seems to be apparent to everyone but her. I'll stop with the overall plot right there to avoid spoiling the ending for anyone. Though given that this was a romance novel we already know the ending.
    There is one point that I want to jump up on my soapbox about. Libby's attitude towards Ryan's children is understandable on an emotional level but as far as behavior goes I found it to be self serving and irresponsible. I understand the pull that she's feeling I've been there and felt the pain that comes from giving up someone that you love and who loves you. There are times that you actually do feel as though someone ripped out a couple of your vital organs without the benefit of anesthetic. The bottom line is that the feelings of the adult aren't what matters in this situation; it what's best for the child that's important. Her need to hang on to them is merely a way to make the inevitable end of said relationship a longer more difficult one. This factor lowered the enjoyment I took from the book and lowered the rating I gave it as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Small Country

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 4 mins)
    • By Patricia Grace King
    • Narrated By Casey Holloway
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Fleeing a turbulent Guatemala with her missionary parents, Penny returns to America and is forced to deal with a fresh kind of trauma: summer Bible camp for Mennonite teens. Along with her outspoken and rebellious friend, Gina, Penny struggles to deal with her past, the camp's fierce regulations, and the sexual energy that electrifies the air between the campers, counselors, and even visitors. This coming-of-age story offers an intimate look into a young girl’s attempt to find her place and start figuring out which rules are worth breaking.

    Kathryn says: "Excellent writing. Excellent audio."
    "Sweet story for middle school girls"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Penny is a young Mennonite girl sent to summer camp for a week by her parents. She's convinced her friend Gina to come along with her and it's a huge surprise for them both. No swimming, not even baths, showers, or water to wash clothes. As they deal with the boredom of a religious camp circa 1980; Gina is faced with raging hormones and Penny with the memories of her last day in Guatemala. This story is a sweet look at the a slice of a young girl's life as she tries to deal with culture shock, her memories, and the pain of becoming an adult.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Illustrious Client

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Sandra de Helen
    • Narrated By Jess Reed
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Book Two of the Shirley Combs and Dr. Mary Watson series, The Illustrious Client, shows us the private investigator and her sidekick sharing an office, and introduces their receptionist, Lix. They are hired to influence a young international pop star, Oceane Charles, to pry her away from her older, richer, player of a girlfriend. The cast is made up of people with various ethnicities and backgrounds, and of course the job soon includes solving a murder mystery.

    rick says: "Mediocrity Reigns"
    "Mediocrity Reigns"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a mediocre work at best. The characters in most cases lack two dimensions; much less three. The narrator doesn't help the effort any with a delivery flatter than Kansas. The lead characters are just as flat and the erstwhile protagonist is a blur. If this selection finds it's way into the sale bin or as a daily deal you might want to take the chance and give it a shot. I found this one a total dud and a work lacking any reason for recommendation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Confessions of a Bad-Ass Bitch

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 51 mins)
    • By Kate Bailey
    • Narrated By Eve Bianco
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    In her first tell-all collection, writer and notorious tell-it-like-it-is sass machine, Kate Bailey regales us with her tales of all things lesbian sex, growing up gay, girls, guys, relationships, and everything else necessary to being a bad-ass bitch.

    rick says: "As Lists Go...."
    "As Lists Go...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is a great deal of good, solid, caring, sweet, intelligent, informative, deeply personal wisdom in this book of lists. Unfortunately I think that the best format for this information is not audio, but print. Perhaps for those who are either young or fortunate enough to have working memories this audiobook might work for you. If you're a girl from 16 to 25; particularly one with sexual identity issues then you should probably get it if just for the reinforcement it provides. Still I am of the opinion that even with a great memory; lists are better absorbed through the written word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Until Death

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By James L Thane
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    It’s summer in the Valley of the Sun; the temperature’s rising and so is the body count. One of the city’s most exclusive escorts has lost her little black book - and a brutal killer has turned it into a hit list. One after another, some of Phoenix’s richest and most respectable men are turning up dead. Troubled homicide detective Sean Richardson and his partner, Maggie McClinton, take lead on the hunt for a brutal, methodical killer stalking Phoenix’s elite and meting out a very personal brand of justice. But when so many people share a secret that just might get them killed, the next victim - and the killer - could be anyone.

    rick says: "Set in Phoenix"
    "Set in Phoenix"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I use those words as a headline because I lived in the valley for close to a dozen years and treasure the time and relationships I made there; it's a special place. Therefore whenever there is a book set in the valley, or even just in Arizona, whether fiction or non-fiction I give it a shot. Even if I don't purchase it, I give it consideration.
    My opening prelude completed; I approached this book with cautious optimism. It was rewarded with a work of mystery fiction that falls just short of earning five stars. The police officers act like real people; the villains are just human beings who're trying to get by in the world. No Hannibal Lecter's here. The pivotal character in this selection would be easy to blame or dislike; instead she comes across as a vulnerable, caring person who's made a questionable choice in her life.
    A couple of reservations. The first is that The killer is revealed pretty early in this mystery; thus removing much of the mystery. The too quick conclusion by the lead character as to the identity of the killer. I mean he could have at least stated his reasoning as "we're desperate here," or "we don't have any better suspects."
    In short I'm recommending this audio without reservation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edwin of the Iron Shoes

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcia Muller
    • Narrated By Laura Hicks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    It's Sharon McCone's first case as staff investigator for All Souls Legal Cooperative. She knows nothing about antiques, yet she has an affection for Salem Street with its charming mix of antique and curio shops. Now elderly dealer Joan Albritton has been found dead, stabbed with an antique dagger. Her neighbors are shocked. Recurring vandalism has them frightened. Ferreting out the facts will take Sharon from the chaotic jumble of the junk dealer's establishment to a museum where San Francisco's most elegant socialites gather.

    Linda says: "Just couldn't hang in there"
    "The Beginning of a Long Run"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first of over thirty Sharon McCone mysteries and was a pretty good first novel. The story unfolds quickly and in such a way that doesn't leave you shaking your head and cursing the author for presuming that you're so dim you'll suspend your belief that far from reality. There are some large holes in the narrative and McCone falling for the detective Greg Marcus seems a long shot; there is very little about him that seems at all likable. If it's your goal to have the entire series this is a good place to start. If you want to ascertain if the works of Marcia Muller are for you; the best of the McCone mysteries start further along in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Supreme Justice

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Max Allan Collins
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (27)

    FBI agent Patti Rogers finds herself paired with the unpopular former agent on a task force investigating the killing of Supreme Court Justice Henry Venter. Reeder - nicknamed "Peep" for his unparalleled skills at reading body language - makes a startling discovery while reviewing a security tape: the shooting was premeditated, not a botched robbery. Even more chilling, the controversial Venter may not be the only justice targeted for death.

    rick says: "Future World?"
    "Future World?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's somewhere between 2020 and 2030; the first and fourth amendments have been shredded by neo-con supreme justices and Roe vs. Wade overturned. Then a conservative Supreme Court Justice is murdered in what appears to be a botched robbery. The FBI's special agent in charge brings in his old friend Joe Reeder who has already discerned this wasn't a robbery gone wrong; it was an assassination. Then another justice is brought down and suspicion falls on Reeder.
    This is a nice little story and if there weren't so many implausibility's it would be a good buy. Unfortunately there is only so much suspension of belief possible before it becomes too jarring and ruins the narrative. If they'd dialed it back just a bit It might've been a four star work. Maybe it's just me but I can't give more than two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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