Heroine= Quirky? Check. Stunningly beautiful? Check. Prone to some kind of oddity? Check. Argumentative, a bit obtuse and very unclear with what she wants? Check. Smells a bit like a flower, fruit or sweet meat? Check.
Hero= Tallest man in the room? Check. (each book they seem to get taller, I am thinking the females need a new quirk - super neck pain from the strain of leaning back just to see the giants chin) Scariest, most intimidating male figure ever? Check. Argumentative, always right, superior to all in physical prowess and hotness? Check. Most feared warrior ever? Check. Confused by the wife and yet believes she should just do as he bids? Check...
Things to note before reading a Garwood book, you might smile like a silly insane person because they are lighthearted fun. I would also note, reading these in succession is probably not a good idea, especially if you have a good memory for details or characters. Garwood follows a formula very religiously.
Her books are generally fun non complicated reading. They aren't the fantastic romances I remember from my early adult years but they are worth it if you like historical romances with highlanders.
I would like for the publisher to pick a narrator though, perhaps use Rosalyn Landor, she is by far the best narrator I have listened to with regards to these books. Heather Wilds has a pleasant enough voice, she didn't whisper or sound like she was an old man swallowing a bag of rocks, but she didn't pause at all between PoV changes, which can be an issue with Garwood's books as the writer tends to PoV switch quite a bit.
For some reason I am on a Lynsay Sands kick of late. While she's not the best writer, she's funny, and tells a lighthearted story that is entertaining and does exactly what it's supposed to do.
I was not enamored of the narrator, she read way to slow at times, and kept using a Scottish accent for the English bride that kind of got a bit confusing. However, she did have a pleasant sounding voice, and when she would talk at a normal speed her pleasant tone worked well as a narrator. I will say it took some getting used to, and perhaps that's not for everyone. The whole reason listeners choose this format is to be swept away by the story telling. Her narration was certainly not one of the worst narrations I have heard and I would listen to a book she narrates again, but will not actively seek her out.
On that note we all hear things differently so what I might dislike in a narrator is not necessarily something another would dislike.
To each their own and we are all sitting on our opinions.
I would suggest trying out this audible if you can over come the narrator, if not, I would still recommend the book in another format to avid romance readers, as it works well as a lighthearted mindless romp.
I bought this book a while ago while it was on sale, based on all the reviews and because it was cheap.
It sat in my library, in the cloud, just taunting me. I would scroll past it thinking, oh I should totally listen to that. Instead I would listen to one of the Dresden Files (great books). Finally I downloaded it, but didn't start listening to it for about another month. This is going to sound really odd but I kind of wish I had held off. Not because this is a bad book, not at all but because it is part of a series, and because it is fantastic and left me wanting more.
I believe the author has another two books to add to it. I am one of those readers that sent George R. R. Martin a letter about 4 years after he finished book 4 of Song of Ice and Fire asking him if he would perhaps be done with Dances before the next decade. He finished it a year after the decade past...
I know you are probably thinking, 'miss you should probably learn some patience, greatness doesn't get created over night.' This is true, however, my issue is I keep starting these fantastic series only to be left going what's going to happen next and then by the time they come out with the next book I have forgotten which character was which. This ends up being fine since I have found audible. Being able to just listen to a story at anytime is terrific. I love to read and this form of storytelling has really opened the door. So if I have to wait on a series, then so be it. I can just re-listen to the story before the next book comes out.
And this story is worth listening to. Once I started it I had a very hard time stopping. The books Peter has written so far are all interesting. He takes characters and makes them far more than you would expect. Don't judge a book by it's cover they say, well in these books don't judge a character by his/her actions, your opinion might just be changed.
I had one issue, but I won't go into detail as it's a spoiler sort of, it bothered me a bit, but not enough to change the rating of the book, because over all the story is fantastic and the narrator really kept me wanting to keep listening. I can actually even justify the issue, on a personal level.
Not sure why I complained earlier in this review, other than to say, just because it's part of a 5 (?) book series doesn't mean you should wait till the series if finished. Start it, and like me eagerly await the next part. Perhaps we can write the author together to encourage him to finish it in a timely manner.
I love romance novels, but I don't expect much from them. I am generally far more forgiving when reading one than I would be if say it was a Sci-fi or fantasy novel. Which tends to leave me in a bit of a crutch when I find a truly great romance novel, one that really transcends the genre and takes me on a journey I don't want to end. I need a different rating system for those, so I am handing out a 6th star, it's gold so don't tarnish it.
I adored this book. Yes, there were a few flaws and some minor annoyances but I can over look them as this story was a joy to read. I very sad when it ended and the issues I had are so minor I really cannot remember what they are.
Lord Dane is a well drawn character. So heartbreaking and sexy. In a lot of romances the author will change the hero drastically, or "fix" them to the point where what made them interesting in the first place gets lost in the final pages. Dane's character, grows and becomes a better man not to the character's detriment but to the readers joy. This is really a story about him.
His relationship with Jess is great, it's funny and endearing. I laughed out loud quite a bit and while listening on the way to work had the dumbest grin on my face, I think anyone that saw me must have thought I was crazy.
I adore Kate Reading. I loved her narration of Codex Alera. I would say she can tend to sound a little snotty and in some characters voices a bit old, but her voice is so pleasant she draws you in and gives life to really great characters. Her narration added a perfect blend of humor and solemnity, making this story come alive.
Jess is a great match for Dane. She is strong, witty, and didn't back down from a fight. She didn't let him get away with being a total tool and managed to out wit him on many occasions.
This is probably going to go down as one of those romances I will end up listening to several times a year. I have 3 that I keep going back to, Devil in Winter, Thief of Shadows and for some strange reason the Husband Trap, I am positive this book will get added to the list.
So to all those authors like George R. R. Martin, Anthony Ryan, Jim Butcher and Peter B. Brett keep writing your super long series, I have something to listen to in the meantime.
It's been really hard for me to write a review for this book, for a lot of reasons. I feel like I have been on a long journey and this is the part of the story that changes everything. This is the defining book of this series. I don't know if I can really describe how I feel about this story effectively. Other than to say, listen to it. The title is pretty indicative of the story's path, and the choices Dresden makes will have ramifications far beyond this part of his story.
James Marsters is a master at this point. He is Harry Dresden, every time I picture Harry I see and hear James Marsters. His voice is so perfect. It fits like a well worn glove. I feel as if I am really in Harry's mind as if I really am a part of the story. His tone is soothing, and his wit is perfect.
This is not a standalone story, not something you can listen to as an aside, you owe it to yourselves to read/listen to the entire series so worth it. This is by far one of the best written series, I have read/listened to.
Thanks to Jim Butcher for creating such a great character and thanks to James Marsters for voicing him to perfection.
I have put off writing a review on this book for a while now. I listened to it after devouring How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf which I adored. I was not as enamored of this one, however I did like it.
First the not so good:
Molly Harper has a few issues and one of them is character development of her female leads. They tend to all be snarky, sarcastic, know it all's, in some cases to the point of frustration as with Maggie's character. I suggest not reading or listening to all of her books back to back. >.> Another issue that's less annoying, but noticeable is her books are full of pop culture references, which might date them.
Maggie's character is a bit hard headed, arrogant and generally not as smart as she thinks she is. There is a scene with her truck that solidifies the not smart comment, but I just had to remind myself that not everyone was taught by a woman that learned to drive a vehicle without brakes, but then I mutter'she knew enough to check her car afterwards?'
This book spends a lot more time on everything but the relationship between Maggie and Nick so the relationship feels forced and Nick doesn't feel very fleshed out.
Second the stuff that makes it worth your time:
There are many humorous moments in the book, quite a few that really made up for the annoyances I had. The story is entertaining and fun.
Where Molly Harper shines is her characters are funny, they can do some really silly things and have enough of a sense of humor about themselves to make the listener feel as if they can understand them and forgive them for being themselves. You want to follow them on their journey and you do end up rooting for them.
Amanda Ronconi is excellent. I really like how she voices these characters. My only issue is her male voices can be a bit off, but that's a minor complaint as her tone and the care she seems to have for the characters really make these books worth the listen.
Sexy, riveting, charming
House of Rohan series by Anne Stuart are similar, the rest of this series.
I have listened to all of the current Maiden Lane books, 4 of them voiced by Ashford. She does a fantastic job. Her voice is probably one of my favorite too listen to. She is calming, doesn't go overboard with her male voices, the voices for each character is distinctive. I would say she does as skillful a job on this one as she does on the rest of the series.
Would absolutely love to have her come back for the rest of the Maiden Lane series.
Emma Taylor was bloody awful (yes I listened to that book again, and found I couldn't even come close to finishing the listen) and again I will state I will not be purchasing the next book in if Emma Taylor is narrating it.
First time I listened to it no, it took a few tries to get into the story, but once I started listening it was an almost non-stop listen. The second time, I ended up listening to it almost in one sitting. Had to get some sleep though so I stopped for the night at around 4am. /giggle
If you like racy sex scenes, without bombs bursting in air and strong characters then I highly recommend this book. Lazarus does takes some getting used to and his affliction is never explained fully but Elizabeth Hoyt does a great job telling a story of damaged people without going into the realm of wimpy or whiny. Her characters generally know what they want and go for it. There isn't a lot of hemming and hawing so to speak, at least it didn't feel that way to me.
This is an excellent start to a very good series.
I read many of Julie Garwood's books in HS and College many years ago, she was in my list of favorite romance authors. Never quite on the same level as Judith McNaught, but fun and lighthearted. She was quick to get her characters together and usually didn't have some over the top issue that kept the characters apart.
This will be my 6th reintroduction to Julie's books on audio and I am thinking it might be my last. While I 'liked' it I didn't love it. Her females all tend to be the same, they turn to scatter brained dim wits whenever they are introduced to the hero. Her males are all the same. The stories are all very similar and so far only one book was decently narrated. That would be the Bride which I did like a lot (but only because it was my first foray into Julie again after all this time)
This book focused on too many characters. With way too much time spent on the Baron's doings than on the Hero(s) and Heroine(s). Ramsey and Bridgid should have had their own book.
The main hero and heroine spent little time together.
I think a different narrator might have made the listening easier. I like Susan for the most part, but I wish narrators would do less with their voices. I like to hear a difference in who is talking but when your sexy male voice sounds like he needs a cane to walk and your females sound like they haven't reached puberty yet I want to run screaming.
I would recommend Julie in small doses on Audible. The Bride and Secret are decent and well worth the credit. Lyon's Lady should be read, for some reason Susan's narration of that book was almost awful, it was better than Anne Flosnik's at least to the point I could finish listening to it but..
I didn't hate this book; I liked a good portion of it. But felt there was a lot to be desired and that what I liked isn't enough to recommend it anyone other than true fans of the genre. I think one of the reasons I am disappointed is because the book could have been great.
I wanted to slap the hero and then have a sit down chat with the author on repetitive writing.
Cross seemed to be suffering from 'oh woe is me syndrome'. His reasons were explained but I was left not caring about it. I felt like he was throwing himself a 6 year pity party.
Another issue I had would be a major plot point so I won't go into detail other than to say I don't like it when characters keep things close to home when there is no real reason to. Especially if it's not really a secret. It's like, not telling someone they have broccoli stuck in their teeth because you are afraid you will upset them. It is far more upsetting to walk in the bathroom and see that said food mocking you from the mirror.
Comments or thoughts were also repeated throughout the book. "Oh, you are marrying that guy because he likes dogs and you like dogs? Yes, awesome, why don't you repeat that bit of information every time that particular person is mentioned or in the same room. It is okay, your readers aren't all that attentive, we don't mind, really, because, we need to be reminded that we should be listening to this book, not zoning out thinking about how awesome the color blue is. Just like we need to be told that our male(s) aren't worthy, because the first 8 times were not enough." /sarcasm
I groaned aloud towards the end, when I started counting how many times the word 'deserve' was used. I felt like I was in a meeting where the speech giver forgot there are other words in the dictionary besides 'like' or 'that', and to pass the time I was counting how many times that person said either of those two words.
As usual Rosalyn Landor does a superb job.
I loved Pippa in the first book and felt that Cross would be a great hero, but he ended up being a bit too whiny and way too much like the first books hero for my taste.
I was so looking forward to this installment, and when I saw that the narrator was no longer Ashford McNab I was worried. But I had some faith having listened to other series that had changed narrators and really enjoyed them, thought the different narrations added to the books depth. That was not the case here. The narrator sounds like a snotty older woman pretending to be a teenager with a giant brick stuck in an inconvenient place.
Her voices are terrible, if I had not listened to the other books in this series I would have ended up hating several of the characters,Temperance from the first book sounded like she was constantly smelling cat litter. Hero sounded like she was a timid bird and Lazarus, Lord Caire sounded ridiculous. I don't think there was a single male voice that sounded convincing or enjoyable.
At times I felt like she was in a rush to get through the book and at other times she would slow down to a crawl. Conversations were bunched, paragraphs became run on sentences. She had issues with pronunciation, and you could tell she didn't have a clue about the story.
I am tempted to return the audio book. I will most definitely not pick up the next audio book in this series if she is narrating it, not unless she gets some reading skills.
If there really was a need for a narrator change could it at least have been a good one? There are so many to choose from.
I think this will be the second time I have not wanted to finish a good story because of the narration.
The story is good, the characters are some of my favorites and Elizabeth Hoyt is entertaining and has fast become one of my go to romance authors. I will be buying the book in a different format and hoping that the publisher gets a different narrator for the next book in this series.
I am not happy that I am giving this book so few stars and that it has nothing to do with the story and everything to do with the narration. The whole point of an audio book is to be swept away in a story telling, not be driven to tears of boredom, frustration and annoyance.
Some tips for the narrator, try to sound less bored by the material, try not to sound like you are better than the material you are given, speak like you care about the people you are reading too. Speak with passion, and even pacing, pause between sentences and if you cannot do voices don't do voices, just speak with slight inflections to help the listener get the idea that a different person is talking.
Anyway, I think I have expressed my dislike for the narration enough. Buy the book in kindle or hardbound form, forgo this format at least unless they get a new narrator for it.
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