Okay, so I'll be honest. I didn't even listen to the first story. For some reason I just didn't like the narrator's voice.
The second story, by Molly Harper, was hands down the best story. If you've enjoyed her other books (like the Nice Girls series) you'll really enjoy this one. But, even though this narrator was perfectly fine, I missed hearing Amanda Ronconi as the narrator.
The final story, by Katie MacAlister, was incredibly predictable and the narrator was only decent. But I still thought it was pretty enjoyable.
All in all, this was an easy listen. Almost anyone who's a fan of supernatural fiction will find this a fun listen.
I bought this book because I'd read another book by Kate Morton, "The Forgotten Garden," & really enjoyed it. Well, The Secret Keeper was no disappointment. Morton's method of going back and forth in time, perspective, and location takes her novel from being merely good, to incredibly fascinating. What's especially interesting about her method is the ability to make the big finale, the big secret, what has happened in the past instead of the present.
In this novel, finding out the secrets of the past is complicated by the fact that the one person who knows the whole story is suffering from Alzheimer's. You will think you've figured it out, then come to a different conclusion, only to find out you were right in the first place! I found all of the characters interesting. Some were definitely more sympathetic than others. Ultimately, this is a novel about childhood notions that never disappear, puppy love, coming of age, family life, parenthood, the difficult transition adult children often make when they becoming their parent's caregivers, and the security one finds in a healthy relationship rather than in wealth and fame.
If you enjoy stories with several layers, complicated characters, and multiple twists & turns, this is a book you will likely appreciate.
I really enjoyed Something About You. I definitely found it to be a "page turner." The sparks between Cameron & Jack fly off the page. I love that she's a U.S attorney and he's a FBI agent. They make the perfect match. And unlike many of the other books you'll find in the romance genre, this isn't just a story about a guy who saves the girl, but a girl who also saves the guy. Throw in a wedding, a hunky gay best friend, and the constant risk of danger and Julie James delivers a story that, while far from being heavy reading, has just enough complications to not be just another romance novel. Also, I thought Karen White did a good, if not necessarily superb, job as narrator.
I bought One More Summer thinking it would just be yet another light-hearted romance novel. But, it is so much more than that. This is a book about rekindling old romances, overcoming tragedy, moving beyond the past, forgiving past wrongs, and learning to love and be loved. Grace is easy to empathize with. In fact, Liz Flaherty does an excellent job depicting why each character has his/her flaws. And while it was pretty easy to figure out what the deceased father did to Grace, there were several twists and turns in the storyline that totally took me by surprise. All in all, what I loved about this novel was that it ultimately delivered the feel good moments that make you smile when you finish a novel. But Flaherty didn't compromise depth in order to reach that end. If you're like me, this book will bring more than a few tears to your eyes.
I thought the narrator did an excellent job.
I am listening my way through the Queen Betsy series. All the previous books have been a hoot, and this one does not disappoint. The normal cast of characters is up to the same bumbling mistakes. Betsy still can't nail down a wedding date. Jessica continues to be the sassy mouthed best friend, but now she's in an interesting relationship with Det. Nick, and no one is exactly sure of his motives. The spawn of Satan sister is sweet, but quite scary. Marc and Tina continually make important cameo appearances. And most important, Sinclair--Betsy's king/consort--may not understand why she insist on an official marriage ceremony, since he considers them already married, but he remains super in-love with her. The fireworks in their relationship jump off the page. Throw in a fun mom, crazy step mother, & stinky diapered baby and MaryJanice Davidson has delivered a classic comedy of errors.
MaryJanice Davidson continues to keep her readers laughing in this 5th installment of her Undead Series. In this book, Betsy is preparing for her birthday and her wedding to Sinclair. In classic Betsy fashion, she can't quite get it all together. She is continually plagued by her crazy stepmother who keeps dropping off Betsy's little brother for some free babysitting. There's a zombie in the attic. She also faces a huge problem when her best friend, Jessica, starts acting strangely. And everything is exacerbated by the presence of a mysterious group of powerful European vampires.
This book was just as nutty as the previous two in the series. It has a great cast of characters, from a mouthy BFF to a crazy step-mom. Betsy, the vampire queen, continues to be tragically yet hilariously shallow & dimwitted. The Betsy and Sinclair dynamic is still fun & steamy. Plus Betsy finally gets her head on straight about how great a catch Sinclair is. In this book, Betsy finds out that not only does she have a sister, but said sister is the spawn of Satan. Only MaryJanice Davidson could manage to make that into a funny scenario. I laughed the whole time at Betsy's wild antics, but also found myself wanting to know what happened next. Bear in mind that this book, and the other ones in this series, are purely for fun. Also, Nancy Wu's narration is somewhat lacking. Someone like Amanda Ronconi would have been perfect. But you grow accustomed to Wu's narration style.
I'm really enjoying this series! I will give one word of caution: this book is STRICTLY for fun & laughs. Do not expect to get anything remotely meaningful out of this book. The author has purposely created a hilariously shallow protagonist. After all, Betsy refers to the Mall of America as "heaven" and acts as if a sales associate position at Macy's is akin to a job on Wall Street. But honestly, that's why this series has been so fun for me. If you're looking for the opportunity to escape the heavier stuff of life and just have a few laughs with an outrageous storyline, you'll probably enjoy this book. Plus her relationship with the hot & sexy Sinclair is both fun & steamy. I was a little hesitant about getting book 2 because I was a a bit dissatisfied with Nancy Wu's performance in book 1. But either she's gotten better or I've simply grown more accustomed to her narration style because I definitely enjoyed book 2 even more than book 1, and am planning on continuing to listen to the Queen Betsy series.
I really enjoyed all the descriptions of the city. And of course as a coffee lover I like hearing the tidbits on how to make the perfect cup of Joe. At the heart of this installment is Claire's desire to protect her adult daughter, the way that love continues to link her to her ex-husband Matteo, and the delicate balancing act she must have between maintaining a civil relationship with her ex for her daughter's sake and finding a new romantic relationship for herself. The story centers around online/speed dating and its most negative and dangerous aspects. Personally, I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed the previous one. To me, the thing that's different about this series is that the books don't have the same cliff-hangers at the end that most series do. I like that you can listen to one or two books and come back to the series at your own leisure without that incessant wondering about what's going to happen next. I don't know if this series is right for everyone. But if you enjoy murder mysteries, coffee houses, and can relate to the happiness that comes from making something delicious in the kitchen, this book (and series) might be just the right mix for you.
Okay, first the good stuff. MaryJanice Davidson has written a hilarious story. There are plenty of times when you will literally laugh out loud. Betsy Taylor--even her name (Elizabeth Taylor) has a sense of humor--is a hilarious human and makes for an even more hilarious vampire queen. This author has a wonderful sense of humor and her take on the somewhat crowded supernatural/vampire genre is downright refreshing. And of course Betsy's funny encounters with the super handsome vampire Sinclair certainly don't hurt the storyline.
BUT (& that's in all caps for a reason) the narration is, at times, cringe worthy. Not only does Nancy Wu seem to have problems with the various voices, but she makes the most ill-timed pauses. This is a problem because it awkwardly breaks up sentences and sometimes completely ruins the author's joke. In short, this book could have been hold-on-to-your-sides funny, but wasn't because of the narrator. I'm hoping she gets better in the next book because despite her problematic narration this was still a fun read and I'd really like to hear the whole series.
"Latte Trouble" is the third installment in the Clare Cosi Coffeehouse Mystery books. Like the others, this book fuses the mystery and romance genres together seamlessly. The main characters continue to be multifaceted. NYC provides the perfect setting for this, often crazy & eccentric, cast of characters. I've really enjoyed seeing the relationships between Clare and the other characters change over time. The exchanges between Clare, Quinn, & Matteo are electric.
I definitely recommend starting this series from the beginning, not because it's necessary to understanding the plot line, but because they're really good books and the narration is perfect. Also, as a coffee lover I actually found this book informative. The author(s) manage to give adequate descriptions of the various coffees, how they're made, and best consumed without making you feel like you're being hit over the head with information. And, I definitely recommend trying out some of the recipes given at the end of the book :)
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