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Lulu

ratings
857
REVIEWS
151
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
198
HELPFUL VOTES
609

  • The Marriage Trap

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jennifer Probst
    • Narrated By Madeleine Maby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (682)
    Performance
    (611)
    Story
    (614)

    To satisfy his late father’s wishes, hot and single billionaire Michael Conte must find a bride - someone who will fit into his traditional family back home in Italy - and fast, so his engaged sister will be allowed to wed. With no intention of being tied down, Michael "proposes" to fiery, free-spirited photographer Maggie Ryan: If she will play the part of his fiancée during her trip to Milan for a photo shoot, he will keep away from her married best friend, Alexa, and stop making Maggie nuts with their too-close-for-comfort flirtations. But once in Italy, sexual tension sparks the hottest no-strings-attached arrangement on any continent....

    Katheryne says: "Another Simple romance, but I liked it"
    "This Woman Can Write - Give Her A Real Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second book I have read by this author and the second I have reviewed. I've never done this before. They are the epitome of chick-lit romance. They come across as light and fluffy. The whole "Marriage to a Billionaire" tag line screams "shallow".

    But the author has a way with words and a great sense of humor. Even though the plot in this book, just like in the first, is totally implausible, the characters that move the story forward are totally believable - if you take away the "billionaire" part, the repetitive fake marriage plot and the disconnected issues with the language - the American character uses Italian slang and only some of the Italian characters use any Italian and then only rarely. They sound like they are from Chicago.

    The characters are complex, sympathetic, quirky and funny. Several of them have unexpected depth.

    With just a little push, the author could become a really great talent. She doesn't have to give up the romance or chick-lit genre, she just needs to make her plot more plausible and realistic. Her characters are ready for it.

    I enjoyed the narrator as well.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Jack's Woman: The Bastion Club Novels

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Stephanie Laurens
    • Narrated By McCallister Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (65)

    They meet in a clash of swords, drenched in the moonlight of Britain's rugged eastern coast: Captain Jack, his handsome features etched in silver and shadow, his powerful physique compelling "Kit" Cranmer to surrender. He is her dream lover come vividly alive, and his command of the smuggling gang is absolute. His all-knowing gaze penetrates her disguise as the male leader of a rival gang with frightening ease, and his "punishment" with kisses leaves her maidenly modesty in tatters.

    Marian says: "FINALLY!! Captain Jack's Woman"
    "At least there is a plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a particularly well written book. However, I happen to think Ms. Lauren's is a better writer than many of her contemporaries and I gather those who determine what constitutes a good romance novel and what constitutes a poor romance novel disagree with me. Only one of her books is consistently rated highly by critics. And it wasn't this book, which is one of her earlier ventures as she moved on from writing Harlequin Regency clones.

    But this book is saved by the same thing that saves many of Ms. Lauren's more readable books - there is a plot. It may be far fetched and it may be implausible, but there is a story beyond just the back and forth between two people trying to figure out if they hate each other or love each other. So many books in this genre are about nothing but the relationship, so if the relationship isn't plausible to the reader or if one of the characters isn't particularly sympathetic then the book has absolutely nothing else to fall back on.

    I give Ms. Lauren's credit. This book starts a story arc that carries through another 9 or 10 novels in this particular series, and bleeds into her Cynster and Bride series as well. The plot never overshadows the love story and many times it should be emphasized more than it is. But it is always there, usually in the background, ready to remind the reader that there is more to the story and helping the author avoid dwelling too long on the romance at any given time.

    I thought the narrator did a good job.

    If you read any enjoyed other Lauren's novels, especially the Bastion Club series, then you will enjoy this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Desperate Duchesses

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Eloisa James
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (201)

    Welcome to a world of reckless sensuality and glittering sophistication, of dangerously handsome gentlemen and young ladies longing to gain a title, of games played for high stakes, including - on occasion - a lady's virtue. A marquess's sheltered only daughter, Lady Roberta St. Giles, falls in love with a man she glimpses across a crowded ballroom: a duke, a game player of consummate skill, a notorious rakehell who shows no interest in marriage, until he lays eyes on Roberta.

    Michelle says: "Excellent start to a series!"
    "Fluffy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My first Eloisa James. Probably my last. Not bad, just very predictable and not that interesting. It is the epitome of what critics find most appalling about the genre. I don't see anything wrong with reading escapist fantasy. But if this book is anything to go by, Ms. James has several contemporaries who write escapist fantasy far better than she does.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Prince: Author's Cut Special Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Christine Feehan
    • Narrated By Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (519)
    Performance
    (402)
    Story
    (406)

    A telepathic hunter of serial killers, Raven Whitney helps to catch some of the most depraved criminals. But her work keeps her from getting close to others, and has drained her body and spirit. In need of rest and rejuvenation, she embarks for a vacation far from home. Mikhail Dubrinsky is the prince of the Carpathians, the powerful leader of a wise and secret ancient race that thrives in the night. From the moment they meet, Raven and Mikhail are helpless to resist the desire that sparks between them. But just as fate unexpectedly brings these life mates together, malevolent forces threaten to destroy them.

    Diane says: "Good book"
    "It was a dark and stormy night ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think this is the book that Snoopy spent so many years typing out as he sat on top of his dog house.

    On the old SCTV series, the actor Joe Flaherty used to play a cheesy vampire character named Count Floyd, who spent most of his time trying to convince the audience that something totally silly was actually quite "scarrrrrry" and wiggling his eyebrows. I think the author had Count Floyd in mind when she created these characters. If she tried to make the book sound scary, it might disguise the fact that it was silly.

    Unfortunately it doesn't work this way. Making the narrator speak slowly and ponderously doesn't help either.

    Silly book. I didn't finish it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Him: Him Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Carey Heywood
    • Narrated By Lucy Rivers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (90)

    Sarah Miller hasn't been home in seven years. She thought she could stay away forever. If it wasn't for her big brother's wedding, that is. Part of her even feels silly for staying away this long. It's not like anyone even knew what happened. Well, except for him. That guy. The one she compared all others to. The one who set the bar so high no other guy after him could even compete. The one who made her feel like anything was possible. The one she thought she would never be good enough for. The one she spent the last seven years trying to forget.

    Lulu says: "First Chapter says it all"
    "First Chapter says it all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This entire novel could be told in no more than five sentences. And that is exactly what this author does. She retells the plot over and over and over again. She alternates between the characters currently and when they were in high school. Unfortunately, while she uses different words (sometimes,) the chapters that cover past events repeat themselves, could have been stated once up front, then never repeated again.

    Just like no matter how many times you tell a lie, it doesn't make it true, no matter how many times an author simply repeats herself, it doesn't make a plot.

    Needless to say, I found this to be one of the most boring books I have attempted to read lately. I could not finish it and do not recommend it.

    The most amazing thing though is I understand readers can also be subjected to a second book, that evidently tells the exact same non-plot but from the man's perspective. I've seen lots of so-called novels written by so-called authors that seem to sell, even though there is absolutely no plot. But it is something of a hat trick if Heywood can actually stretch absolutely nothing into two novels. Will readers really buy the second book just because the title changes from Him to Her (talk about original) and there is a cute girl on the cover instead of a cute guy?



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Royal Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Cornelius Garrett
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    Dispossessed of crown and kingdom, crushed and routed at the Battle of Worcester, the young Charles II is forced to flee for his life. Out of the heat of battle, the outlaw king and his tiny party must try to escape to France.

    W.Denis says: "The Great Escape"
    "More of a 17th Century Travelogue than a Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is hard for me to make too many negative comments about a Heyer novel. And I knew what to expect when I started this book. As every reviewer stated, there was very little plot and the tension one would expect in a story about a fugitive attempting to escape from certain death, was definitely lacking. Charles II on the run for his life seemed to approach the world and his predicament with the same joie de vivre and humor as the 19th century courtiers in her Regency comedies of manners. It was obvious that Heyer found him a very sympathetic character and considered his adversaries as simpletons. It was in some ways one of her most "classist" novels, and that is saying a lot.

    All of that said though, it is still a well written book and she managed to stretch out a six week adventure in rural England with a predetermined ending into a readable and lengthy book. I know that Heyer has a reputation as a stickler for accuracy in historical detail, but I have no idea how much of this story is true, beyond the battle itself, the king, Wilmot and the fact that they did eventually escape to France. But she certainly presented a plausible and believable tale of what very well might have happened.

    I usually enjoy Cornelius Garrett's narration on Heyer novels. But he always has to make at least one character have a very annoying lisp. He did it in this book as well, and I found it even more annoying than usual.

    I still recommend the book. But go into it with your eyes open. This does not have the plot, pace or conclusion of other Heyer books, whether her romances, mysteries or other historical fiction.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Moth

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    When the dashing Jack Carstares is unfairly accused of cheating at cards, he leaves the country in disgrace. Returning some years later disguised as a highwayman, his reappearance heralds a dramatic chain of events that includes a Duke, a damsel, a duel, and not one, but two kidnappings. Written when she was just 17, The Black Moth was Heyer’s first novel, but it bears many of the hallmarks of her later romances, being vivid, witty, and peppered with historical insight.

    Carol says: "Heyer's First Book--Melodrama in Spades"
    "Published When Heyer Was Just Seventeen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you read this book and keep in mind that Heyer was 17 when it was published, which means she was probably 16 when it was written, you must consider it a masterpiece. It is not one of her best books, it is far more melodramatic than her later work. But in it you see the earliest example of her genius. It is a fully formed novel, with a fairly complex plot, multiple well developed characters, and complex relationships. In her later work, her intelligent, witty, humorous and sparkling dialog is unmatched. And we get numerous glimpses of it in The Black Moth.

    Her attention to detail and her obvious knowledge of the styles, manners, customs and general history of the mid-18th century was astounding. A schoolgirl may have been expected to have a good knowledge of the government and wars of that time, but Heyer knew details about fashion, manners, actual people and custom that would have required extensive research, especially in the pre-Internet days of the early 20th century.

    I read These Old Shades and Devil's Cub prior to reading The Black Moth, so I had a firm impression of the Duke of Avon's character. (He has a different Dukedom in the Black Moth). But those books also offered enough of the back story of the duke that I knew what to expect when I read The Black Moth. But I was surprised at just what an excellent job Heyer did of portraying the villain. He was indescribably evil and wonderfully fascinating. And she had the good sense to make her hero just as wicked and wonderful in his own way as the villain. So many times a great villain overshadows a wimpy hero and it is hard to understand why the heroine chose the good guy instead of the bad guy. In this book, the "good" guy was just "bad" enough, he was equally intriguing.

    The narration was great as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Our Tempestuous Day: A History of Regency England

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Carolly Erickson
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    The tumult and opulence of England’s Regency era burst from the pages in this work of literary nonfiction by acclaimed author Carolly Erickson. When dementia forces King George III to vacate his throne, the kingdom slips into a decade marked with excess, scandal, and riots. King George has suffered bouts of mental instability before, but in 1810 he shows no signs of recovering. Public and government business halts as word of his condition leaks out. Hoping to control the crisis, Parliament appoints the king’s unpopular son Prince George IV as Regent or caretaker.

    Lulu says: "User Friendly, But Not too Lightweight"
    "User Friendly, But Not too Lightweight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a scholarly historical piece. The author spends too much time telling us how the regent "feels" and writes as though she was a witness to King George's mental deterioration. But it presents a great snapshot of history during a very specific decade in a way that is easy to follow, yet still has enough fact and detail that most readers can walk away learning something new about the time period. And while the book spends a great deal of time on the celebrities and main events of the decade, Waterloo, Napoleon, Byron and the Prince Regent, it also provides detail on "celebrities" of the time that are not household names today and also talks about events that occurred beyond those that are covered in a English history textbook. And through the writings of actual eyewitnesses of the period - regular people - we get a better idea of the day-to-day lives of those who lived through the period that were not poets, generals or royals.

    If you are looking for a broad overview of this time, a book that is understandable to a reader without a degree in English history, this is a good book for you. And as usual, Simon Prebble's narration makes it fun to listen to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret of Everything: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Barbara O'Neal
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    At 37, Tessa Harlow is still working her way down her list of goals to "fall in love and have a family". A self-described rolling stone, Tessa leads hiking tours for adventurous vacationers - a job that's taken her around the world but never a step closer to home. Then a freak injury during a trip already marred by tragedy forces her to begin her greatest adventure of all.

    Lulu says: "Easy, Sweet Read"
    "Easy, Sweet Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is the first book I read by this author and I had no idea what to expect.

    This was at its core a story about coming home. And not just for the main character. The author spends the book showing us that you have to come home to learn the truth about yourself and that when you are home, miracles occur. Perhaps not plausible, but one can dream.

    I liked the way the recipes were woven into the story and the way the author used food and dogs to express emotions, spirituality, love and the magic of life.

    It was a little sappy. But I have to admit that I was happy that Tessa seemed to fall as much in love with Vince's oldest daughter as she did with Vince himself.

    The narration was great. I recommend the book. I highly enjoyed it and will read other books by this author.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5801)
    Performance
    (5149)
    Story
    (5142)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "A Wordy Yawn of a Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book came out to rave reviews. Everyone said I had to read it, including people who's book judgement I usually trust. I've even seen it show up on a couple of those "100 Books to Read Before You Die" lists. Yet after reading the synopsis I was pretty certain this book would not appeal to me. I got so tired of hearing about it that when it went on sale on Audible I bought it. Even though I was pretty certain I wouldn't care for it. Then it sat in my library for about six months until I was at a point between books and I was tired of alternating between fictional fluff and non-fiction. I decided I needed to read something with pretensions to literature. So I listened to it. Or at least all but about the last two hours and then I skimmed through that. And, I hated it.

    If after reading I found I just didn't care for the book, I would have moved on and not reviewed it. But it isn't just that I didn't care for the book ... didn't like the genre, the subject, etc. ... I thought the book was very poorly written and terribly dull. This is a great example of an author who thinks - "why use five words when I can use thirty" - on a phrase that can be sufficiently expressed using two. I understood that the circus tents were black and white stripped after only being told that once. I am even OK with the author reminding me of that fact another 10-15 times. But by about the fiftieth time I have to hear about the black and white stripped tents, I've lost patience.

    The word that best describes the book to me is - languid. Stultifyingly, painfully, laboriously, dully languid. Unfortunately, I am not the author of the book, so I can't come up with another 30 words to express just how languid I found the pace of this book.

    The narrator was great. Unfortunately he had very little to work with.



    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Murphy's Law

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (421)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (366)

    Molly Murphy always knew she'd end up in trouble, just as her mother predicted. So, when she commits murder in self-defense, she flees her cherished Ireland, under cover of a false identity, for the anonymous shores of late 19th-century America. When she arrives in New York and sees the welcoming promise of freedom in the Statue of Liberty, Molly begins to breathe easier. But when a man is murdered on Ellis Island, a man Molly was seen arguing with, she becomes a prime suspect in the crime.

    Jan says: "Cream Puff Read"
    "Good, Not Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've really enjoyed the "Her Royal Spyness" series so I expected to enjoy this series as well. After reading Murphy's Law, the first in this series, I have realized that the narration is what sends the Royal Spyness series over the top.

    Murphy's Law is well written but without the humor and warmth of the other series. The characters are not nearly as lovable or laughable. The plots in both series are pretty predictable, but Murphy's Law lacked the off-kilter premise that made the predictability of the plot still wildly entertaining.

    The narration was good. But, while she nailed the accents and language styles of the characters, her interpretation of the characters didn't add to them.

    This was a well written book. I had no trouble finishing it. I might, if nothing else grabs my attention, read the next book in the series someday. If you love this genre you will like the book. I just can't work up a great deal of enthusiasm for it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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