To be honest, I expected sex as the main plot-point in a book titled “Succubus Blues,” but this just goes to show you should NEVER judge a book by its cover! This fast-paced, supernatural thriller – chock full of witty dialogue and a bevy of intriguing paranormal beings – is mesmerizing reading indeed! Richelle Mead, well-known author of the Vampire Academy, really knows how to create a strong, sexy heroine with a heart of gold. Fans of Laurell Hamilton’s Anita Blake looking for a less intense version of the supernatural seductress should definitely check out this series!
This is my first Scumble River mystery and I’m pretty sure it’ll be my last. It wasn’t horrible per say, just very lackluster. If you ask me to recall anything about this book a month from now, forget about it. The story is so forgettable, probably because the characters were either unlikeable or just plain boring. It seemed as though the murder mystery took a backseat to all the mind-numbing wedding planning. If the author focused more on the Christmas setting and less on the inane wedding details, it would’ve been more tolerable. As for improving the murder mystery plot, that would require an entire overhaul. I figured it out the second the murderer was introduced. From that point on it was just a painful slog through wedding-planning follies and disjointed red herrings. On the bright side, the narrator was fantastic. I'll be sure to listen to more books narrated by Christine Leto in the future.
Don’t do it. That’s my advice if you’re a sucker for Christmas-themed books filled with horses , romance and mystery. I made the grave mistake of listening to this turkey on audio, and it was AWFUL. The narrator was just fine up until she switched into her little kid voice. She sounded like that creepy psychic woman from Poltergeist. I’m telling you, it was ridiculously bad. And then there’s the plot…or lack there of. It’s set in Texas, but it might as well have been anywhere USA. When you set a book in Texas, you need to have a good grasp on the culture, the small town neuroticisms, the twang. Perhaps it would have done her some good to pick up a title by Larry McMurty. Aside from ignoring all things Texan, she didn’t bother puzzling together a murder mystery. She threw out a couple of clues here and there, but it’s pretty easy to identify the killer early on. The romance (or as my fellow bloggers call it “insta-love”) was way too saccharine sweet. As for the leading lady, she fell flat as a pancake right from the get-go. All in all, this story is a total waste of time. I’ve seen more substance in a Lifetime movie starring Tori Spelling.
I'm giving this two stars because of the high-quality writing. When it comes to dramatic prose, Susan Hill can't be beat. But yet, the story was drowning in the pages upon pages of setting details. When James Mommouth walks into a room, we get flooded with every painstaking detail - from the wallpaper patterns to the specks of dust on the bookshelf. Typically with audiobooks, I tend to appreciate these long, meandering riffs because I don't miss out on anything important when my mind wanders. But geez - this lady takes mood and setting to a whole new level of overindulgence. After the first couple chapters I was already tired of this stuffy man's inner monologue as he crept around dark rooms. I really didn't care for this dude, especially when he likened himself to a "scared silly woman" in one of his many eventless eerie interludes. Needless to say, this is my first and last Susan Hill book. For gothic horror, I'll turn to Barbara Michaels or Wendy Webb.
First and foremost, I'm very appreciative of the free download! So thanks, Audible for the Halloween treat. This is my favorite Halloween story that I listen to year after year. Unfortunately this was the worst narration yet. It was too hard to decipher what was going on due to the garbled British author. He should really work as an auctioneer given his talent for super-sonic talking. No more British authors for me, thanks.
Why I liked it: As always, Carolyn Haines delivers a puzzling mystery filled with complex characters, four-legged sidekicks, ghostly shenanigans and intriguing subplots. The mystery in this installment is twofold: Who killed the treasure hunter? And what in tarnations is wrong with Graf? With a big storm a’brewin and a slew of dark secrets about to bubble up from under the surface, our sassy Southern sleuth is in for a wild ride!
What really shines in this book is the foreshadowing, which is a key ingredient in a quality whodunit. As Sarah Booth navigates the rocky waters of her relationship with Graf, I couldn’t think of a more perfect setting than a beach town under the threat of a monster hurricane. At the risk of revealing any spoilers, I’ll leave it at that. But I will say that you’ll have a very strong opinion about him after she weathers the storm.
What irked me: Normally I love Jitty’s antics, but in this book she seemed to be tormenting Sarah Booth with her cryptic warnings. She’s known for popping up at random moments in outlandish outfits only to offer a few pieces of advice and puzzling riddles . This time, she’s appearing as iconic celebrities in mourning, hinting that death and despair is just around the corner. So while Graf is inexplicably withdrawing from Sarah Booth, Jitty is constantly torturing her with bad omens. Of course, they finally stopped dangling their carrots at the end of the book. But it just didn’t seem right for them to keep her in the dark for so long. There were many points in the story when I wanted to shake Graf and Jitty and scream, “Out with it already, you fools!”
The narrator: Kate Forbes is the perfect narrator for the Sarah Booth Delaney mysteries. She does a fantastic job performing each of the characters’ voices in a believable way, which can be rather tricky when you’re dealing with a broad range of personalities. Her pensive, somber tone was the perfect match for Sarah Booth and Jittie, who were both in the midst of exposing some serious life—and afterlife—revelations.
This review is kind of unfair because I didn't get past the first two chapters. The reason for this is because the narrator mucked it up with her muffled, thick English accent. I was in a constant state of confusion because I couldn't make out a lot of the words that all seemed to jumble together in a muffled mess. Bummer. I want my credit back. :(
I really wanted to like this book, but it was so dry and boring. The characters were all so stuffy and there were way too many of them to keep up with in this tiny little murder mystery. I couldn't get past the second hour of this novella.
Mesmerizing. Heart wrenching. Poetic. These are just a few words that tumble forth when I think of this book. There's a lot of really good women's fiction writers out there, but Joshilyn Jackson is in a league of her own. This is going to sound really dramatic, but it's almost magical how she describe thoughts, feelings and subtle gestures in a seamless lyrical flow. She's the kind of writer who immerses herself completely into her characters, bringing them to life in a very unique way. She did a stellar job creating a narrative for each of the three generations of women. I don't know how she managed to get inside the head of a stroke victim, describing the struggle to find words and memories. This book is nothing short of spectacular. The last chapter is sheer poetry. Well done, Miss Jackson!
As for the narrator, give this girl an award! Her genuine Southern accent, her variety of voices, her dramatic inflections - everything about her performance is spot on!
This is the last time I buy a book based on all the favorable customer reviews. I was hoping for some new insights on how to harness self-control, but all I got was a bunch of gobbledy gook mixed in with common sense and stuff I've already read in magazines. It's like he took a bunch of press releases about self-control studies and put them all together with useless anecdotal stories and boring drivel. I'm so sorry I wasted a credit on this.
Authors like Joshilyn Jackson are the reason why I love, love, love Southern fiction. Her books (typically involving crazy-ass mothers and emotionally scarred women) are gritty, powerful and downright gut-wrenching. After reading Backseat Saints, I needed to know more about Rose Mae Lolley’s backstory – and boy did this book deliver! Although Rose Mae is only a side character in this novel, I get to learn more about her psychotic high school sweetheart, and how he met his end. The story revolves around Arlene, a highly complex woman who promised God that she would never lie, have sex or return to her hometown in Alabama. But when her aunt pressures her to attend her uncle’s retirement party, she gives in and reluctantly brings her boyfriend, Burr, along for the ride. As Arlene reneges on her promises, her big, bad secret starts to creep out from under the kudzu. Woo doggie – this is one whirlwind of a ride! I’m so glad I listened to this on audio because the production is fan-freaking-tastic! The narrator fully embraced Arlene’s emotional turmoil – and the subtle music during the suspense scenes really added a nice touch. I’m not from the South, but I’m willing to bet my biscuits that the narrator’s Southern drawl is authentic.
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