I was extremely sorry to have wasted my money on this audio book. Not only is the plot predictable and the characters one-dimensional, but the author seemed to make no effort whatsoever to hide her own personal prejudices (fat people, ugly people, people with bad habits, etc.,) or values (e.g., one character, when accused of anti-semitism, denies the accusation and snipes that, rather, he would have assumed his accuser to be an atheist. There is no later character development to explain this bias.) This would have been sufficient distraction in a less silly book, but combined with the melodramatic, TV movie plot and characters, it was all the more offensive. I felt like a reluctant listener in a catty gossip session.
Furthermore, the narrator was amateurish and seemed to join with the author's sneering. I found this unbearably tiresome and finished the book only because I had spent the money and intended to write this review. In my experience, Books in Motion productions nearly all have this same amateurish quality and I try to avoid them - alas, this time I didn't notice the producer until after I'd made my purchase.
One more complaint: the role of the dog in this book was, frankly, bewildering. I don't understand why the author bothered inserting this 'genius dog' character only to have his human companions constantly scolding him - even after they'd given due credit for his repeated amazing (and improbable) acts of helpful intelligence. Had I cared more about the book and its characters I might have felt exasperated.
Honestly, I disliked listening to this book so much it actually soured my mood for a couple of days. One star feels generous, and I give it only because there were no horribly glaring grammatical goofs (though there were plenty of minor ones) or plot holes.
I have nothing to add to the other disgruntled reviews of this book; those folks all said it as well as, or better than, I could. I had all the same complaints and noted the same positives.
In fairness, my frustration is partly due to personal taste - I strongly dislike role-playing romance. However, I can stomach it if it's well-written and the story has some depth or doesn't take itself too seriously (i.e. Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters.)
That said, it's rare that I can't finish a book. I got more than half way through this one but I was so completely annoyed by the formulaic romance and stereotypes that I had to walk away. I wish romances had their own Audible category so I could better avoid them!
There is potential here for the author, though, and the narrator was fine.
I was so very impressed with the narrator of this book that I am moved to write only my second review in four years of membership. The story, itself, was above average and suprisingly witty. However, in my opinion the near-perfect narration raised this listening experience to a higher level than it might have been otherwise. I say "near-perfect" only because perfection is impossible - for me, the few flaws in the reading were not worthy of critique. I was amazed at Mr. Berman's range of voices and his understanding of the author's intentions and humor. Bravo!
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