I was looking for a good way to learn a language only via audio as I commute a lot, and this is the way to do it! I tried a couple of other methods but they always needed extra reference material really fast. I went through this one in 2 days and feel like I can hold a decent small conversation in Spanish already. It does help that I'm native in French and fluent in English, but I would recommend this method to anyone who wants to start learning Spanish (only fluent English speakers though).
You get really attached to the characters, and especially the narrator (a dog!). Parts of the story were hard to read (emotionally) and were a bit depressing, but you always want to know what happens next. And the ending totally made me cry, which may not be a great idea while I'm going down the highway at 70 mph. highly recommend this book!
... and not so recently. This story is funny, touching, informative, sad, happy -- pretty much perfect. Elizabeth's story is heartbreaking and made me cry, which I rarely do for a book. The narration was great too, with multiple actors adding dimension to the characters. I think this is a case where the audiobook could be even better than the book (not sure though, because I have not read the hard copy).
I love Lisa Kleypas as a historical romance author but she still has to convince me as far as contemporary romance. Dream Lake isn't a bad book, but it just wasn't more than average. Surprisingly, my favorite storyline was that of the ghost - I'm generally not a big fan or the paranormal as a plot device and was afraid the ghost was going to be annoying and too much of a stretch. His story line was actually the most poignant and he elicited quite a few laughs from me during his scenes with Alex.
The narrator, though, is a different story. My main problem is that it's a man. It was jarring and distracting to have a man narrating a sweet romance novel - stick with women for this genre, please! He also gave the heroine, Zoe, a weird, detached voice that was quite irritating at times. He did a decent job with Zoe's grandma's voice though.
All in all, a pretty average and forgettable listen. I'm not sure that I'll be listening to the next book in the series (I assume it's going to be Justine's story with the video game company guy but my interest has not been piqued enough to look forward to it).
I've loved or at least liked all of SEP's titles so far and had high hopes for Lucy's story. Unfortunately, it fell really short - Lucy acted like a spoiled, rebellious teenager throughout the book, in addition to dress like one. "ick" factor aside for the sex scenes, her and Panda's romance was not believable to me. They were nasty to each other for most of the book and barely exchanged any meaningful conversations.
I also thought that the way PTSD is "resolved" in this book was pretty simplistic and way too easy. As someone who's had to deal with a similar situation with my husband, I can tell you that you are never "cured" of PTSD, you learn to manage it, to live with it and to get help from trained professionals. The "darkness" never really goes away. I wish the author had done more research on the subject, as it is an issue more and more families are facing in the US - you can't just gloss over it anymore.
Lastly, I thought SEP tried to cram too much in one book - 3 story lines is way too much and of course she wasn't able to do any of them justice!
Please bring back the quality of "It Had to Be You", "Match Me if You Can" and "Ain't She Sweet"!
Note that the narrator was fine (and was fine for the last few books of SEP) but the voice she gave Lucy added to the childish attitude of the character.
The story is pretty much what you can expect from Elizabeth Hoyt: rich, complex, sensual. I'm not a big fan of the narrator though - at times, she made the heroine sound like a complete ninny. Her masculine voices are not really convincing either. I'm a bit disappointed that the narrator will be the same for the rest of the series, but not enough that I won't listen to the rest of the series :)
Story is cute and a good follow-up of the original book, but the narrator for these 2nd epilogues is just awful! The "voices" of the characters other than the main ones are just horribly done and I would have preferred he stick to one "voice" for the whole thing. The women just sound like they cackle and the men sound really either pompous or just ridiculous.
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