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Kathleen

I have lived in the South since college. I listen to a couple of hundred audiobooks a year, mostly romance and suspense. I have have taken many writing courses over the past half-dozen years and am attempting to write a novel myself. I suspect that learning a lot about the craft of writing and trying to perfect my own writing has made me more conscious of poor writing technique and has made me a tough reviewer.

Raleigh, NC, United States | Member Since 2009

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • The Spymaster's Lady

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Joanna Bourne
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (174)

    She's braved battlefields. She's stolen dispatches from under the noses of heads of state. She's played the worldly courtesan, the naive virgin, the refined British lady, even a Gypsy boy. But Annique Villiers, the elusive spy known as the Fox Cub, has finally met the one man she can't outwit... British spymaster Robert Grey must enter France and bring back the brilliant, beautiful - and dangerous - Fox Cub. His duty is to capture her and her secrets for England.

    Julie says: "Excellent"
    "The Spymaster's Lady"
    Overall

    I like a well written historical romance, particularly historical romantic suspense, but so often the things that keep the couple apart are so contrived you can't even pretend to believe them. And, the women are often so weak-willed and like every other romance heroine, rejecting the man at first but in time just wanting to be dominated by the love interest. In this book the heroine is smart, strong, possesses all kinds of skills to keep her and others alive. The man and woman are spies on opposite sides so the problems of them getting together are believable. The suspense is high. And the heroine remains strong and brave to the end. And her love interest, strong himself, loves her for her strength and bravery. I hope Audible gets other books by this author! Very exciting, romantic and sexy.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Captured by the Highlander: Highlander Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Julianne MacLean
    • Narrated By Antony Ferguson
    Overall
    (325)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (286)

    From best-selling author Julianne MacLean comes the first entry in the fiery saga of three Highland warriors sworn to protect their homeland-and fight for the women they love.

    Elizabeth says: "Great narrator and story"
    "A parody of a bodice ripper."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Purple prose ("she felt his tremendous masculine form on top of her"), overwriting, redundant words ("murky gloom"--is there a bright gloom?), cliches ("she fought him with all of her might"), stupid anachronisms ("I'll scream my guts out"). It was all silly, stupid adolescent melodrama. By the second chapter I was ready to throw up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dangerous Race

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Dee J. Adams
    • Narrated By Eve Bianco
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (59)

    Four years ago, race car driver Tracey Bradshaw almost died in a horrific crash. Now scarred inside and out, she's making a comeback, but her team is plagued by a series of "accidents."

    Laurie says: "I Couldn't Put It Down"
    "Silly protagonist, weak story, fluffy narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The protagonist had no credibility. The book starts as a female race car driver--supposedly intent, dedicated and determined to succeed from a young age--is tearing around turns at over 200 miles an hour, setting track records. While she should be listening to her engine and the sound of her transmission, figuring out how to take the next turn even faster, her heart pounding at her dangerous maneuvers, instead our airhead protagonist is laid back, thinking about her life, her boyfriend, joking amiably over her headphone. I don't THINK so! A race car driver is an athlete. A professional. This is the most important thing she has ever done in her life, for God's sake. And, our protag also has time, during her record-setting maneuvers, to look up at the stands and observe what is going on. PUH-LEASE!

    The narrator made the whole thing even worse with her "tee-hee-hee" voice. She used a high-pitched girly narration to comment on the feel of the track and the turns, for example---sounding more like she was oohing over her latest nail polish than an athlete commenting on conditions.

    Despite the initial nearly fatal attack on our protag, when the lady next takes the track, no one even seems to pay any attention to the possibility that she may be being targeted so no one pays any attention to the fact that her pills went missing and are found mysteriously. No. Everyone ignores this. Although our protag has already taken pills from a different bottle (and so ignores the newly recovered pills), her mentor takes them. GUESS WHAT HAPPENS FOLKS!!

    I didn't get much further than this. It was just too dumb, dumb, dumb.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Hank Phillippi Ryan
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (44)

    Jane Ryland was a rising star in television news…until she refused to reveal a source and lost everything. Now a disgraced newspaper reporter, Jane isn’t content to work on puff pieces, and finds herself tracking down a candidate’s secret mistress just days before a pivotal Senate election. Detective Jake Brogan is investigating a possible serial killer. Twice, bodies of unidentified women have been found by a bridge, and Jake is plagued by a media swarm beginning to buzz about a “bridge killer” hunting young women. As the body count rises and election looms closer, it becomes clear to Jane and Jake that their cases are connected….

    Amazon Customer says: "Badly Flawed Production Ruined it For Me"
    "Is it too much to expect a skillful writer?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was so disappointed by the opening of this book I could go no further. Writers are told that the first scene of a novel should capture the reader, make them feel as though they are in the hands of a master who will take them on a wonderful journey.

    The writing in the opening is amateurish, characterization and dialog poor. The author tries awkwardly to give us time, place, backstory. Do the following excerpts sound to YOU like what a realistic seasoned detective is thinking and saying at a murder scene? Or does it sound more like Jake, the new boy-detective, the master of cliches and dumb thoughts?

    He recognized television. Radio. That kid from the paper. How did they get here that fast?

    Too bad I can’t call Jane. She’d love this.

    What does Jane always say? It bleeds, it leads. At least her stories aren’t like that.

    The EMT’s scrambling out of the doors. No need for them to hurry, Jake thought. She’d been dead for at least three hours. Just like the other woman.

    ***
    And, REALLY, can you "hear" this exchange among crime reporters at a murder scene?

    “One a couple a weeks ago, one today, that’s two.” "Is two murders serial?” “Both by water. Both by Bridges...That’s serial. We’re going with that. Maybe… The River Killer.’
    “We are, too. The Bridge Killer.”
    ***

    The description is pretty well written. But if I'm going to spend hours of my time listening to a novel, I expect good writing. I gave two stars for the story because I had to rate it. Actually I have no idea.

    If you're thinking of buying this one, listen to the sample. My own fault, buying this loser. Should have listened to the sample. Got caught up in the reviews. When will I learn?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Wedding Beat

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Devan Sipher
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (85)

    Gavin Greene is a hopeless romantic. He’s also a professional one: He writes the wedding column for a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, covering spectacular parties from coast to coast. But there’s a thin line between being a hotshot reporter on assignment and being a single guy alone on a Saturday night at someone else’s wedding. Everything changes on New Year’s Eve when Gavin meets Melinda, a travel writer with enchanting dimples....

    Elizabeth says: "Like a trip to the dentist!"
    "Whiney nerd seeks perfect love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Wedding Beat?

    I couldn't finish this book. I became tired early on of this nebbish kvetching---which he does continually throughout the book. My reaction to the protagonist's annoying internal thoughts (which was what most of the book was) was like nails on a chalk board. I wanted to tell him to just shut up and get on with it. Also I didn't find the humor all that funny and the romance wasn't very romantic. It was actually rather sad. About half-way through I gave up and quit. I gather most people liked this book which I don't understand. Maybe if you listen to the sample you can tell whether you find the protagonist off-putting.


    Has The Wedding Beat turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    Would you be willing to try another one of Peter Berkrot’s performances?

    maybe


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    irritation, frustration


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Open and Shut

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By David Rosenfelt
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1496)
    Performance
    (660)
    Story
    (658)

    Whether dueling with new forensics or the local old boys' network, irreverent defense attorney Andy Carpenter always leaves them awed with his biting wit and winning fourth-quarter game plan. But the fun stops the day Andy's dad, Paterson, New Jersey's legendary ex-DA, drops dead in front of him at a game in Yankee Stadium.

    pewter says: "Does Anyone Else Notice the Missing Content?"
    "Not my type of protagonist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different protagonist. Andy Carpenter is a loser-type: a self-deprecating, wise-ass attorney who reminds me something of Harlen Cobin's Myron Bolitar except with less ego. I think I used to like him but hadn't read any novels about him for years. Now I find him tedious.


    If you’ve listened to books by David Rosenfelt before, how does this one compare?

    Can't remember


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    The girlfriend investigator.


    Any additional comments?

    The mystery is okay. The narrator was good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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