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Ruffian

I'm semi-retired at 67 and a recent Cancer survivor.

Madison, MS USA | Member Since 2012

59
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 51 reviews
  • 52 ratings
  • 292 titles in library
  • 59 purchased in 2014
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10

  • The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Katja Millay
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Candace Thaxton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (426)
    Performance
    (393)
    Story
    (391)

    Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her - her identity, her spirit, her will to live - pay. Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: Every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at 17 years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

    Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life.

    Kathy says: "Engrossing and well-done angsty teen novel!"
    "Wish More Stars Were Available!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read this book on my Kindle TWICE and rated it 5+ stars both times, it was with great trepidation that I downloaded the audible.com version. It even took me almost a MONTH to begin listening to it.Y'all, this book is and was a phenomenal read, so you can imagine the leap of faith to listening to it. Well, let me put you at ease and also congratulate whoever is responsible for bringing the audio version to life. IT'S JUST AS GOOD AND NOTHING IS LOST!! In fact, the audio version adds a dimension to the printed/digital book that simply puts this book (and the author, Katja Millay) into the stratosphere of spectacular writing. There a literally hundreds of 5 star reviews on Amazon, so if you want the eloquence of a great review of the story and Katja's magnificent and powerful writing, go there. I cannot do most of them justice. But listen to me when I say that listening to this book was an experience I will never forget. Initially, I was thinking to myself "Uh-Ho--this isn't working". But knowing that it often takes acclimating to voices you may have heard in your head as you read the book, I stuck with it. And man, was it worth it. There was a tipping point when the narrators BECAME the characters and the book totally came to life. Both Kirby Heyborne and Candace Thaxton were superb in their narration, intonation, voice, timbre and whatever else it took to make this wonderful book a wonderful listen. Sometimes the 'esses' would whistle slightly but not to the point of distractions. The characters of Nastya and Josh were spoken richly by each narrator. I will return to this book again and again when I am beret of a powerful and beautifully crafted story. My three words about this book to all who see this review--LISTEN TO IT!

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Carolina Girl: A Dare Island Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Virginia Kantra
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    Meg Fletcher spent her childhood dreaming of escaping Dare Island - her family's home for generations. So after she landed a high-powered job in New York City, she left and never looked back. But when she loses both her job and the support of her long-term, live-in boyfriend, she returns home to lick her wounds and reevaluate her life. Helping out her parents at the family inn, she can't avoid the reminders of the past she'd rather forget - especially charming and successful Sam Grady, her brother's best friend.

    Jane says: "I wasn’t smiling but it kept my interest"
    "The Lure of Dare Island"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The second book in this marvelous series is my least favorite, mostly because I was not riveted by the female lead, Meg. I mean, she's a strong willed woman with a razor sharp wit and tongue who THINKS she knows exactly what she wants and how to achieve it. Life, however, doesn't see it that way and she is thrown for a complete loop. Her reaction, recovery and realization that the heart is a better guide than a fat paycheck is the thrust of this book. Her relationship with Sam Grady, who spent one night with her many years ago is re-kindled, put out and re-lit. Worthy and lovely read. Again, Sophie Eastlake powers through another excellent narration bringing everyone to life.

    The Flectcher family is everyone's ideal so it's nice to have that strength to latch onto as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carolina Man: A Dare Island Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Virginia Kantra
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (74)

    Marine Luke Fletcher is determined to do his duty—first to his country and now to his ten-year-old daughter, the unexpected legacy of a high school girlfriend. But his homecoming to Dare Island in North Carolina's Outer Banks challenges his plans for the future and forces him to face everything that's missing in his life. He wasn't prepared to lose his heart to this child he never knew. Or to fall hard for coolly reserved small town lawyer Kate Dolan.

    Erin says: "BEST ONE IN THE SERIES!!!!!"
    "I DARE YOU!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I raved over the first novel in the Dare Island series and forgot to mention I rated it as 4.5 stars. Sorry about that. Anywho, the third book follows the story of Luke Fletcher as he deals with a number of issues, each of which could knock him for a loop. Coming home as a career Marine from his latest deployment in Afghanistan; entering the life of his 10 year old daughter Taylor that he had NO IDEA existed until her mother died suddenly during his deployment; meeting and dealing with his daugher's attorney. Once again, the tale of chemistry, the struggle to establish a relationship with a trouble child and get a grip on being a father, the decisions to be made for his future....all of these pieces are gradually moved, fitted and click over the course of the book. It's a lovely lovely story of all kinds of love. The narration by Sophie Eastlake is beyound superior in every way. I think she's one of the best audible has to offer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carolina Home: A Dare Island Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Virginia Kantra
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (153)

    Home to the Fletcher family for generations, Dare Island is a fishing village rocked by changing times - its traditions slipping away like sands of the North Carolina coast. Single dad and fishing boat captain Matt Fletcher deferred his own dreams to support his innkeeper parents and build a future for his sixteen-year-old son. Matt has learned to weather life's storms by steering a steady emotional course...and keeping a commitment-free approach to love.

    Kathryn @theBookDate says: "Enjoyed my first visit to Dare Island"
    "Wanna go to Dare Island"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I 'stumbled' upon this series searching for books narrated by Sophie Eastlake...one of my absolute favorite female narrators. She was barely into the second chapter when I realized this was going to be a terrific series. It's also my first experience with Virgina Kantra but certainly not my last. What a voice this writer has and what a lovely lovely story this book wove. You all know that I am a visceral reviewer; you can get deets from the bloggers galore but suffice it to say that this a sweet and sometime bittersweet love story between Matthew and Allison. We are introduced to the Fletchers (via Matt, who is a Fletcher) who become the backbone and strength of this beautifully done series. Matt's commitment to his son, Josh, is the structure around which his relationship with Allison is built. Allison is an off islander 'alien' who teaches (Josh, of course). The chemistry is there and the story builds. Don't miss this inaugural Dare Island book...it sets the stage for the rest, which, once you read this one...you'll dive right into.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carolina Blues: A Dare Island Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Virginia Kantra
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    Jack Rossi is Dare Island's new police chief. The laid-back North Carolina community is just what he needs to recover from a rocky marriage and a big-city police department. He's learned his lesson: no more high-profile women or high-pressure jobs. The last thing he wants is an unconventional alt girl rocking his world. Grad student Lauren Patterson made headlines when she kept a bank robbery from going bad. She's fled to Dare Island to clear her head and focus on writing her story.

    Ruffian says: "You Won't Be Blue with this one"
    "You Won't Be Blue with this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OH FOR PETE'S SAKE!! I have loved this whole series but this book takes the cake. What a wonderful, funny, sweet, romantic, strong, and lovely read. I wasn't sure the story of Jack and Lauren would be on par with the wonderful Fletchers but hot damn!! It's better. There is an added element of challenge and personal angst in this book that, to me anyway, did not appear in the first 3 and let me REPEAT, I loved the first 3. This is a must read for anyone who loves to melt with the richness of the story, the believability of the characters, the SUPERB writing and the familiarity of reconnecting with old book friends.

    I stumbled upon this whole series on audible.com while looking for books narrated by Sophie Eastlake, of the BEST audible has to offer. I was SO not disappointed in either Sohpie's marvelous narration but also completely captivated by the writing voice of Virginia Kantra.

    Please do yourself a favor and read this series...even better, listen to it. You won't be sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stay with Me: Wait for You, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By J. Lynn
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    At twenty-one, Calla hasn't done a lot of things. She's never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona - secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

    Ruffian says: "STAY with this Book"
    "STAY with this Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, I screwed up the title in the review of Be With Me...I mentioned Stay with Me and it should have been Stay with You! Now, whew! THIS book was my FAVORITE so far. I LOVED LOVE LOVED it...the characters of Calla and Jax were just terrific and beautifully constructed. It's another compelling story of how two damaged souls can find each other, dance around hidden emotions, omit truths and still manage to make it. Once again, Sophie Eastlake, who could read the phonebook to me and I'd rate it 5 stars, offers the reader not just a reading of the book but a deeply moving performance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Be with Me: Wait for You, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By J. Lynn
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (139)

    Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year - she's in love with her big brother's best friend, but he hasn't spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, life-changing kiss. Then she got out of a terrible relationship. Now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It's time for plan B: college. And maybe she'll have a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real. Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he's not telling anyone - especially not his best friend's incredibly beautiful sister.

    Jordy says: "Typical New Adult Romance at it finest...."
    "BE smart and listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review is a carbon copy of the review for Wait For Me as the books are similar in nature with differing characters that we've come to know. This whole series showcases the terrific writing of Jennifer Armentrout (writing as J Lynn) and includes the compelling story of falling in love, destructive secrets and redemption. The characters of Jase,movie star handsome and Teresa, Cam's precocious little sister, are both damaged people. Their attraction is deep and strong, threatened by not only secrets that are held but also the power of Cam to intervene. The narration of Sophie Eastlake is beyond good...she is one of the best Audible has to offer and she certainly nails this book. Don't miss this. It's wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wait for You

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By J. Lynn
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (200)

    Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at that fateful Halloween party five years ago - an event that forever changed her life. What she never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she's building for herself.

    Jordy says: "He had me at sweetheart........"
    "Don't WAIT to listen to this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I LOVED this whole series primarily for the terrific writing that includes the compelling story of falling in love, destructive secrets and redemption. The characters of Cam and Avery are both damaged people. One hides behind being an extrovert and BMOC and the other as an introvert who shuns attention. The narration of Sophie Eastlake is beyond good...she is one of the best Audible has to offer and she certainly nails this book. Don't miss this. It's wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • After: After, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Anna Todd
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Louise
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (27)

    There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything After... Life will never be the same. #Hessa... Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way. But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

    Gloria says: "Abusive and Demeaning Boyfriend Romance Story"
    "Not too bad for Fanfic Gone Wild"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing for this series/book is not particularly good...it's too repetitive, immature and 'young'. However, the story is interesting and, at least for me, like a soap opera you don't want to admit you watch. I think the reason I stayed with it is the decent job that Elizabeth Louise does with the narration. She is especially good as Hardin, who is a real piece of work. I liked him, even though he's a total jerk in this book, much better than Tessa. She's a bit on the whiny side. The parallels to FSOG are rampant but it's not a bad listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Night's Honor: Elder Races, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (307)
    Story
    (309)

    On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she's vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That's why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

    Amie S says: "Another great book in an awesome series."
    "Xavier and Tess: The Dance of Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really really liked this book and would give it 4.5 stars if we could fraction them. I adore Thea Harrison's writing, her mind and the whole culture she has created with the Elder Races books. Her Xavier del Toro, introduced in earlier Elder Races books, is the epitome of smooth, ruthless, graceful and intelligent. My ONLY beef with Xavier was his being rather small (5'10")...for some reason, I like my alphas as big as their alphaness. But, what a terrific character he is. Ditto Tess...only issue there was that I kept wanting to hear more of her past as it obviously played a huge role in her becoming the strong, driven and emotionally challenged woman she was. It's a very smart story and written with the grace, style, and intelligence that is her hallmark. When you add the brilliance of Sophie Eastlake's narration, the result is quite lovely. Ms Eastlake's Xavier is spot on and you lose yourself in HIM rather than her reading him. The inflection the accent and the tonation is all Xavier. I am actually now listening to it for the second time JUST to hear him fall in love with her and vice versa. It's a keeper.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Reaper's Property

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Joanna Wylde
    • Narrated By Stella Bloom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (912)
    Performance
    (853)
    Story
    (862)

    Marie doesn't need a complication like Horse. The massive, tattooed, badass biker who shows up at her brother's house one afternoon doesn't agree. He wants Marie on his bike and in his bed. Now. But Marie just left her abusive jerk of an ex-husband and she's not looking for a new man. Especially one like Horse - she doesn't know his real name or where he lives, she's ninety percent certain he's a criminal and that the "business" he talks with her brother isn't website design.

    Tara says: "Holy Hot Bikers"
    "Good MC story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Reaper's Property is a good story that did not translate well into an audio book primarily because of the narration. Stella Bloom has a really nice voice, crisp and clear. However, for this particular book, there was very little effort to distinguish the alpha male Horse from the female protagonist Marie. Plus it was read a bit fast for my ears. I am used to narrators (both male and female) making the characters come to life with a vocalization that is male or female. From here on out, I will read the Reaper books and not listen to them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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