Let it be known that this is getting like a 4.75 stars instead of what is shown as a 4. Hopefully, Audible will offer it's customer base the ability to fraction stars in the new look. Anyway, this is a powerful story of the struggle to deal with, work through, handle, manage or otherwise grow through not only tragic loss (Blythe's parents) but also unspeakable abuse (Christopher's family). How their lives cross paths, only to grow together, fall apart and move forward is a beautifully conceived story full of twists and turns that will have your heart racing and your emotions at the surface. The ONLY issue (which prevented the full on 5 stars) FOR ME was the over-done sexual encounters. After the first 10 or so, it got old and felt gratuitous; how many times do I need to read Christopher say "I want to hear you come" before it gets redundant and meaningless. Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude and enjoy erotic and sensual encounters a LOT but this was just over the top. With such a strong STORY of loss, love, loss, love and redemption, the sexual abundance did not add substance or meaning. This story was extremely moving and so beautifully crafted, don't let my wariness of the sexual content stop you from listening to it. Heck, I listened ALL NIGHT long to finish it--just could NOT stop until the story was done.
The characters of Blythe, Christopher, Sabin (perhaps my favorite character), Estelle, and Eric were so richly written and performed, I felt like I knew them and ached so for them.
About the narrator, reader, performer...Arielle DeLisle, well, I have one word for her. MAGNIFICENT. She handled many voices with ease, individuality, emotion, depth, believability and substance. As we who are devotees of the spoken book, the narrator can make or break. In this instance, Ms. DeLisle ABSOLUTELY MADE this book.
This is a very very worthy read.
Archer's Voice is one of those books I've both read and listened to...something I do frequently when a print book is THAT good. Audio just adds depth...and this is no exception. Ms. Sheridan has put together a story that is a strong and powerful tale of misconception, friendship. revelation, love and redemption. I also left a review of the Kindle version on Amazon, so you can try that one as well. It's a terrific story.
I wish we could give half stars because this rates at least a 4.5. It's the first of the Contours of the Heart books and this one is Jacquelyn's book. I should have listened to it first but I am such a Zachary Webber fan I listened to Breakable first. Didn't make a HUGE difference but enough. Breakable is not a sequel but a parallel story from Lucas/Landon's POV (see my review of it...I thought it stunning). This is a lovely coming of age story of a couple of college aged kids who are drawn to each other...one experiencing a rebound from being dumped by her boyfriend of 3 years (that would be Jacquelyn) and the other a badly damaged student who finds himself drawn to her. Through a series of events, they become friends albeit under false pretenses. It's the story of how they gradually connected and the circumstance that almost split them apart. It's quite a beautifully written book that I wish had been narrated by someone who sounded a bit younger and more feminine (except for when vocalizing the 'boy' parts). It's easy on the ears and will certainly pull at your heart.
This series has been a struggle for me...the idea/concept is a wicked and interesting study of damaged people and the cruelties they can effect on others. The story of Hardin and Tessa is FINALLY over with this book and I am so relieved. Actually, this and the first book were pretty decent...the second and third were mostly an exercise in frustration at just how much this story could be drug out with the characters repeated the same mistakes and discussions ad nauseum. I got so frustrated with the characters ALMOST getting a grip on themselves only to make really stupid decisions over and over and over. There is merit in some of Ms Todd's writing and it appears that she has grown some in this last book. Some of her phrasing and situations were genuinely funny and her attention to the struggles of addiction and recovery is admirable. The narrators took some getting used to but things did improve with the addition of Shane East. The only issue is that his Tessa was not nearly as good as Elizabeth Louise's Hardin. I am now happily over After.
I am an unabashed Amy Harmon fan. I read this book when it first came out on Kindle and loved it. As with most books I really really like, the audio book is a means to hear it (of course) which allows a difference resonance and depth than written. Ms Harmon has such a great writer's voice that captures in great depth and power the intensity, struggle and consequences of actions taken or actions not taken. Blue Echohawk is a study in contradictions--belonging yet not belonging; young yet old; needy yet fiercely independent; private yet attention-seeking. And, she is immensely talented and strong. This is her coming of age book which details with all the vivid shades that Blue is how she fills a destiny and falls in mature and deep love. My advice is to read this book if that's available to you and THEN listen to it. You won't be sorry AT ALL as it is such a sweet story of a culture forgotten and a magical girl who brings it back to life.
This is one of my favorite of the Colorado Mountain series and I can't really explain why. The narration is very good (not great but credible), the story follows KA stories to a T, there is a bit too much extraneous material (which is also her penchant) and I was not THAT fond of Lexie but didn't hate her either. I guess the draw is Ty, his struggles and his determination to be true to himself. I have to REALLY like a book that goes this long in order to finish it MUCH LESS listen to it twice. And I've listened to this book at least twice and will again. Even knowing all the story, it's still a lovely and strong book.
I LOVED THIS BOOK!! It's the first Tammara Webber I've ever read (and I didn't read this, I listened to it). There are some issues with the book that other more expert bloggers have mentioned but as y'all all know, I am a visceral reviewer and I go with my heart/gut. And, I could NOT stop listening to it and riding Lucas Maxfield's emotional roller coaster. As for the issues stated by some bloggers about decisions made by the main characters, I don't think that's so much a writing issue as it is trying to get inside the mind of a college aged kid. And college seniors are still kids; still not totally relationship savvy, mature or able to see life through years of experience that most of us have. I can remember making some of the stupidest decisions of my life when I was in college (and beyond, actually) so I don't fault the book for being realistic in that sense.
This book is a parallel book to Easy, the story of Jaquelyn and Lucas...how they met, how they became who they were at the end of Easy. Easy is Jacquelyn's book...Breakable is Lucas' emotionally wrenching story. And a turbulent, sad, beautiful story it is. An aside focus is awareness of assaults on women on campuses, the shame and guilt that is a aprt of that and the need to be trained in how to deal with an attacker.
To top it all off, it's read by one of my favorite narrators (who just happens to be Tammara Webber's son) Zachary Webber. He did such an amazing job as Lucas in this book...bringing to life all sides of Lucas..his pain, his rage, his guilt, his heart, his love, his struggles and his redemption.
If you want to be entertained by a really good writer, really good narrator and a very strong story, this should be on your list, for sure.
The third in the Shade of Vampire series, A Castle of Sand finally got my attention beyond listening to Zachary Webber (I swear he could read the instructions for an enema and I'd listen). The story got some real (pun intended) teeth into it with the solidification of the relationship between Derek and Sofia, Ben's coming to his senses, the intrigue with Sofia's family and the Maslins, the threat to the Shade and direction the next book will go. It has taken my a bit to get used to the cast of narrators but darn, I really like it--adds so much depth to the book and makes it come to life more. I look forward to the next one; it's already downloaded and ready to roll.
I am an unabashed fan of this series of Jeannine Frost books. Loved Night Huntress and Cat/Bones, but just something about Vlad that has had me riveted. This is no exception..when we last left our pair, they were in dire straits with the archenemy (and I can't spell his name). Tavia Gilbert has read all of these and does a wonderful job. Just listen to the first two and you'll be happy to be also bound in flames.
I read this book when it first came out and gave it a 5 star review on Goodreads. Now I have listened to it and if I could give more than 5 stars, I would. The book is a beautifully written story of love, loss, longing and redemption...all cast in the story of Fern, Ambrose and Bailey. Fern, the ugly duckling with eyes only for Ambrose; Ambrose, the god-man hero of his town, who went to war with his friends and returned home a changed forever soul; and Bailey, the tragic clown and spiritual challenge to everyone who knew him. It's always beyond interesting to listen to a book you've already read to get a different sense and resonance with the story, the characters and the writer's voice. The key in this transition from reading to listening is the narration and, believe me when I say that the narration of Rob Shapiro could NOT have been better. He absolutely nails the heart and soul of the characters and remains utterly true to the story. I have always been and will always be a visceral reader and this book reaches into my soul and heart like few others have done. Amy Harmon is a profoundly gifted writer and I relish any story she tells.
I listened to this book, which is the second in the Irin Chronicles series. The first book blew me away, not only with the richness and depth of the story and characters but also by the intelligent, moving and powerful narration by Zachary Webber. Audio books are always a crap-shoot depending on the narrator and this time Audible.com (or whoever produced it) got it right.
This is a wonderfully conceived and developed mythology and tale of half-breed angels (both good and bad), a woman, Ava, who struggles with voices that she cannot elude not knowing or understanding that she is an Irina (a remale Irin)and an Irin, Malachi (one of the half-breed good guys)--their story of falling in love and commitment and of the supreme sacrifice made by one so the other could live. The second book picks up where the first ended (thank god) and we learn of how Ava and Malachi's love endures beyond the pale and how Ava's love for him is the catalyst for an epic deed.
Unfolding along side this powerful love is the onslaught of the Gregori (the bad guys) and the Fallen Angels who control them as they war with the Irin (and Irina, as the women are called). The magical world of these beings is of such incredible depth that I often had to delay listening further so I could bask in the substance of the story and it's characters.
I thought The Elemental Mysteries was a spectacular series...I was not prepared for The Irin Chronicles to be as good (if not better) and I am now bereft of this world until Book 3 is released. If you enjoy paranormal romance (hell, paranormal LOVE) coupled with a very powerful and smart writer AND a gifted narrator, DO NOT MISS THIS SERIES.
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