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Diana

Washington, DC, USA | Member Since 2008

145
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 407 ratings
  • 391 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • Kiss Me While I Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Linda Howard
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean, Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (154)

    It's a job that makes a killing. Efficient, professional, and without apology, Lily Mansfield is a hired assassin, working as a contract agent for the CIA. Her targets are the powerful and corrupt, those who can't be touched by the law.

    Karyl-Lynne says: "Loved it!"
    "Don't Miss This One"
    Overall

    This is one of the first audiobooks I listened to back in the day when my only source was the local library. I loved it then and I love it even more now that I've found Audible.

    Narrators Joyce Bean and Dick Hill deliver a knockout performance of Howard's sexy thriller. This one is famous (and rightly so) among romance fans for the very convincing in-the-moment love scenes between Lily and Swain. The Gold Standard in how to make the best possible use of two narrators.

    Heroine Lily is a CIA contract assassin who's gone off the ranch to make an unsanctioned hit for reasons of her own and Lucas Swain is sent to bring her in or take her out if he has to. Swain is intrigued, impressed, and smitten with his target and the two end up working together to stop a nefarious plot to profit from a killer virus epidemic. It's a fast and fun read and a most satisfying romance.

    And you don't want to miss those love scenes. Just sayin'.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Dream Man

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Linda Howard
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (494)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (257)

    Marlie Keen was trying to lead a quiet, ordinary life. She thought the knowing - the clairvoyance that allowed her to witness crimes as they happened - had been destroyed in the nightmare of her past. Then one night it returned with a vengeance, and she desperately needed to find someone to make it stop.

    Kelbey says: "Nice Dream"
    "Women don't sound like that...."
    Overall

    This is an iconic and well-loved Linda Howard book, one that I was very glad to see come to audio. The book gets 5 stars but I had to knock at least one off for the narrator. Gigante is dead on with his uber alpha male voice (and hero Dane in this book is one of those for sure), but his girly voice gives me the shivers. Gigante actually swans his female voices - breathy, whiny and they always sound as if they're about to cry. He'd be so much better if he would just "read" female dialogue and not try to "do" it. Hey, then he'd be perfect. But I'm afraid I won't buy any more of my favorite books and listen to Gigante make my beloved heroines sound like really dumb ninnies.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond a Wicked Kiss

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jo Goodman
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (28)

    Headmistress Ria Ashby hopes West, as a new Duke, can aid her in finding a missing student. When the two match wits and begin to unravel a long hidden mystery, an undeniable yearning pulls West and Ria closer together.

    Diana says: "5 stars for book; a lump of coal for narrator"
    "5 stars for book; a lump of coal for narrator"
    Overall

    This is the fourth entry in Goodman's Compass Club series in which all four stories occur in the same time period. Reading them out of order isn't really a problem, which I guess is a good thing since only two of the books are available here at Audible.
    When I read this book in print I was so moved by Goodman's portrayal of the gradual thawing of West's cold and aloof heart. Apparently narrator Sterlin didn't grasp that because it was almost painful listening to a particularly intimate scene in which West confides his most painful secrets to Ria. This is the scene in which a "reader" would know that he had surrendered his heart, but sadly a "listener" would hear the same cold and aloof man we met at the beginning of the story.
    I've seen enough BBC historical drama to recognize the high-toned cadence of a regency era upper crust accent and it works well enough in straight narrative here. However, Sterlin's voice for male characters sounds snide and slightly effeminate and I found it grating and wrongwrongwrong for a romantic lead. The villains are given a full Snidely Whiplash treatment and the other members of the Compass Club and romantic heroes in their own books sound fat, old, and blarbly (not a word, I know, but that's how they sound).


    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (7642)
    Performance
    (4161)
    Story
    (4194)

    Vampires have officially "come out of the coffin", and Miss Sookie can't wait for one to come her way.

    Pamela says: "That Vampire Said ...."
    "I love this series!"
    Overall

    Having read all 8 books in the series, I thought it would be fun to try them in audio. Johanna Parker IS Sookie Stackhouse and she's brought life to all of the human, were, and vampire denizens of Bon Temps, Louisiana. Harris has accomplished something pretty amazing here -- a series that seamlessly blends quirkiness, dry humor, satire, and a series of bloody and awful events. Great stuff!

    My only complaint is that Dead to the World, a really important entry in the series is not available. I can't imagine why one of the best of the series was not produced and I really hope that it soon will be.
    The HBO series True Blood is based on this series. It's fabulous.




    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Forbidden: Medieval Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Lowell
    • Narrated By Sarah Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (83)

    Throughout the Disputed Lands, she is called "Amber the Untouched" - a chaste, golden-haired beauty fleeing the remarkable love that was prophesied at her birth...and the death that must inevitably follow.

    Diana says: "Quite a letdown after "Untamed""
    "Quite a letdown after "Untamed""
    Overall

    It's been a few years since I read Lowell's medieval trilogy and I must have forgotten how much I disliked this second entry. Problem is Duncan is an anti-hero (well, he's an ass) and Lowell never makes him properly repentant for his cruel treatment of Amber. A good grovel was called for here and the lack of it left me feeling cheated. Amber is one of those born victims (I'm not making this up -- there was a prophesy) who suffers in martyr-like silence. This is a case of two people each with their own set of unattractive personality disorders finding each other and making a go of it. Good luck with that, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

    The narrator does not have the gravitas of Anne Flosnik who brought such fun and enthusiasm to Untamed. Untamed is the better book by far. This one is something of a dirge.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Passion, Betrayal, and Killer Highlights

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Kyra Davis
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1232)
    Performance
    (597)
    Story
    (604)

    The last time Sophie saw sexy P.I. Anatoly Darinsky, he practically danced a jig when she waved goodbye; a normal reaction for a man who'd nearly bought the farm trying to protect her from her own foolishness. What are the chances he'd agree to take incriminating pictures of her sister's philandering husband? Or that he'd let her tag along, you know, for research?

    Jessica says: "Great Chick Lit Mystery"
    "Style over substance like PW said . . ."
    Overall

    I'm right in the middle on this one. What I liked? Very clever, snappy dialogue. Likable lead characters. This author is clearly one of the sharpest knives in the drawer. Really enjoy Zackman's style of narration.

    However . . . I simply don't get why such a sharp author would write such dumbass, screwup characters. I wanted to kill the heroine's sister myself. I completely lost patience with one "cute" antic after another. I mean, there was real murder going on here and it was treated inappropriately cavalierly. Maybe it's just me, but I think that if you're going to write "cute," then for crying out loud pick a "cute" subject -- like lost puppies maybe.

    Loved this author's style and there were some very sparkly moments, but the characters were just too cute to live, and in the end it just didn't work for me.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Welcome to Temptation

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie
    • Narrated By Aasne Vigesaa
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1023)
    Performance
    (573)
    Story
    (585)

    Sophie Dempsey wants to help her sister film a video and then get out of Temptation, Ohio. Mayor Phin Tucker wants to play pool with the police chief and keep things peaceful. But when Sophie and Phin meet, they both get more than they want. Gossip, blackmail, adultery, murder, vehicular abuse of a corpse, and slightly perverse but excellent sex: all hell breaks loose in Temptation.

    Diana says: "Crusie at the top of her game"
    "Crusie at the top of her game"
    Overall

    This is one of my favorite novels and narrator Aasne Vigesaa simply nails it. It's funny and wise, and sexy as all get out. The large cast of weirdly charming and quirky Temptation residents is not to be missed. I adore the sweetly and craftily drawn romance between ultimate outsider Sophie and blue-blooded town mayor Phinn. This is book with real heart and soul and I can't recommend it enough.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Room

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Andrea Kane
    • Narrated By Alan Nebelthau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Seventeen years ago Morgan Winter arrived home to find her parents brutally slain on Christmas Eve. A man was convicted of the crime, but new evidence has surfaced to prove his innocence. Now Morgan must face the truth that her parents' killer is still at large, and he's been stalking Morgan - biding his time before striking again.

    Diana says: "Could have been a contender"
    "Could have been a contender"
    Overall

    The author started with an original and intriguing story line and cast of characters, but it all went south pretty quickly. The "suspense" was a joke. When it's patently obvious to the reader/listener just exactly who the snake is while the ace investigator and the victim miss every blatant clue, you can't call it a mystery. The author has a pleasing style, but the obtuseness of her characters killed it for me.

    The narrator was just wrong, wrong, wrong for this book. He sounds too old and too much like every boring lecturer you ever had to listen to in college.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Watch Me

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Brenda Novak
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (29)

    Teenagers Sheridan Kohl and Jason Wyatt were parked at the lake in Whiterock, Tennessee, when a stranger wearing a ski mask shot them both. Sheridan lived but Jason died - and the stranger was never caught. Even though Sheridan's family moved away right afterward, she's never been able to put the crime behind her. And now that "someone" doesn't want her to come home.

    Diana says: "Glad it was on sale"
    "Glad it was on sale"
    Overall

    Uh oh. This was pretty awful and had that "first draft" feeling. For a book marketed as romantic suspense, I have to say it fails in both categories. The leads talked at each other and I never felt any kind of connection, so the inevitable declarations of love had nothing to back it up. The suspense? Well, it was obvious who the killer was the first time he spoke and any reasonably intelligent 5-year-old would have picked up on it. On top of all that, the narrator gave the heroine an annoyingly perky voice and the hero a too-slow drawl that made him sound dull witted. Can't imagine I'll be trying any more Novak or anything else read by this narrator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Cry No More

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Linda Howard
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (247)

    With an astonishing blend of savvy, instinct, and passion, Milla Edge displays an uncanny gift for finding lost children. When all seems helpless, desperate souls from across the country come to her for hope and results. Traveling to a small village in Mexico on a reliable tip, Milla begins to uncover the dire fate of countless children who have disappeared over the years.

    Diana says: "Best of the best"
    "Best of the best"
    Overall

    Impossibly sad, profoundly moving, deeply romantic, and stunning in its intensity. This is a book that stays with you and despite the title, you'll likely shed some tears. Milla and Diaz are easily my favorite characters in contemporary fiction and their story is rich and layered and entirely believable. Linda Howard just keeps getting better and better.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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