I have been on a major glom of Krentz's backlist and have really enjoyed them. I have not found this at a UBS so I thought I would use one of the credits that was burning a hole in my virtual pocket. Not such a great idea.
First, I enjoyed the book. It is what you read vintage Krentz for. Strong angst-filled hero with dead family members by the seeming score but yet still enough family members remaining for heaping spoonfuls of guilt to be applied daily. There is always at least one young male family member that sees him as a father figure. Never female, always male.
Next, our heroine, just as strong but more of the get-it-all-on-the-table sort. She, too, has family drama, almost always female, both older and younger.
Oh, let's not forget the tea. There is always tea. This time, our heroine owns a very successful tea shop.
So yeah, if you love this era of Krentz, you won't be disappointed.
Now, the narration. I love Richard Ferrone...with a different style book. He has a strong voice. But it is not a romance voice. It is not a voice that does the female characters well, especially if there are multiple females to be voiced.
There were multiple oddly placed pauses. I don't know if these were editing issues. I don't know if they were paragraphing issues. There were long breaks between chapters, but the unexplained breaks seemed even longer.
Pardon me while I pull out my soapbox. What were TPTB thinking to let a typo remain on the cover of this audiobook that was reproduced for Audible. Seriously, even if (and I say if) the actual book cover has a typo, it needs to be corrected. And in this case, the typo is egregious. They have misspelled "Krentz" on the cover blurb. Come on, people. Give me a break. "Krantz at her insightful and entertaining best" should not be on the cover of a Krentz book.
Putting soapbox away now (knowing full well I have angered the typo gods and fully expect to see a glaring typo in this as soon as I hit send).
Will I keep this book? Probably. Do I wish they had cast the narrator better? Definitely.
Will I continue my Krentz glom? For sure. Will I get another Ferrone-narrated Krentz? Gosh, I do hope not.
Molly Harper does a great job with humor and vampires. Her world that she has made is consistent and not too over the top.
The vampires are generally grumpy until a lovely non-undead comes along and makes their life fun and interesting and gives them a reason for being undead another few hundred years.
If you have read the Half Moon Hollow books and enjoyed those, this is just another fabulously funny entry in the group.
A klutzy young lady has to transport a cranky old (but physically beautiful, of course) vampire from one end of the country to another. She has to meet certain milestones and conduct herself in a certain manner.
Needless to say she fails hilariously on both counts, and many more.
Ms. Ronconi does a great job of performing this book.
I read this book a couple of years ago and liked it.
It was my first Stacey experience and I went on to read most of her backlist.
The narration is good, even though having the author say a voice is "booming" and the narrator is doing that voice as a stereotypical thready, whiney elderly gentleman was a bit irritating. Actually, even if the voice was dead on, it would have been irritating.
This is a multi-character book with many a conflict between the various couples in it.
But the secondary and tertiary stories were just as well drawn as the main story.
All in all, a lovely little book. I thoroughly enjoyed listening on a rainy Saturday while cleaning house.
The narration for the most part was good. Again, with so many characters active and talking, it is hard for any voice artist to make them distinguishable. I appreciated that she didn't make the kids all sound whiney or bratty and the women weren't either "good girl" or "trashy girl" or "whining brat." Each of the women were voiced maturely with no intonation that jerked me out of the story.
Fan girl here.
There is nothing here I can say that won't be just gushing.
If you like Jeaniene Frost and if you like Tavia Gilbert, there is nothing about this book that will change that.
It is all about bad boy Vlad, and that is all good. There was not an HEA but the HFN seems to fit better with Vlad anyway.
I like Ms. Harper's writing. This is the first short story of hers I have read. She writes a nice short story. It helps that this was placed in her well-established vamp world. There was not as much setup needed.
As with all of Ms. Harper's female protags, this protag was smart, single-minded and funny. The male protag, as with all Ms. Harper's male protags, is good looking, strong willed and ultimately head over heels for the female protag.
Tightly written, funny and just an enjoyable little romp.
Ms. Eastlake did a nice job. I haven't heard Ms. Eastlake before, but I will be looking for more of her performances.
I will just say straight out, I loved this book. Yeah, there were issues, but who cares.
It had humor, it had likeable characters and villainous villains.
Did I mention there was humor?
The narrator did a great job. Lots of women's voices were needed and each was distinguishable. Intonations were spot on. The men's voices were not grating or silly sounding. The emotion was properly done; there was no overacting or over-reacting.
The story is simple; the execution, superb. Some people don't like the "ugly duckling" trope, but I like it. This on was quite well done. She is the one that initiates her change. She looks at her life, sees it is not going the way she wants it to and effects the changes that she thinks will get her to her desired end.
She initially has issues with the male protag. Needless to say, they work it out. There was a natural (if predictable) arc to their relationship. They tease each other, they have fun. He does not overpower her and she does not overpower him. They meld. They make a couple. The female protag is not TSTL and even chides him for thinking she would be TSTL in a certain situation.
Just fun and funny. Did I mention there was humor?
I have tried getting into the Virgin River series, but I just can't. I have read them and I have listened to them, but I just don't understand the attraction. But I have a compulsion to keep trying them apparently.
I saw this book as a way to just jump over the Virgin River and try something similar.
I did like this book, for the most part. It was the first of the series so there was lots of groundwork laid for the future installments. It wasn't too overwhelming, but it was there.
I did like it because, as the first installment, there wasn't a lot that was "understood" that the reader would know. You see relationships setting up, you see what story lines will be used in the future books. You get a certain enjoyment being at the beginning.
The mystery, if it could be called that, was easy to figure out fairly early on. The tension wasn't really that tense. The obstacles to "true love" weren't all that unsurpassable.
It was just a story of people in a town. There seemed to be no highs, no lows. Every now and then there was a small bump in the road, but they just plowed over it.
Of course, as with the Virgin River series, everybody is amazingly good looking, esy to get along with and the "villains" are painted with a broad brush and have a sign over them that blinks "Not Good People."
There was a secondary love relationship in this story that I did really enjoy and wished for more of. I do see it is the focus of the next book in this series. I will probably try one more time.
ETA: I forgot to address the narration. I don't think Ms. Plummer hurt my impression of this book. I generally thought she was spot on and sometimes I thought "This is good," but just as often I wondered if she was doing it any favors. But she is clear and concise in her speaking. She doesn't overact, if anything she may have underplayed it.
The premise of this story sounded fun, one-night stand turns into a potentially uncomfortable business situation.
I honestly don't know if the story would have turned me off if I read it in my own "voice," but with the narrator's voice I was constantly being either drawn out of the story or totally turned off by the emotions the narrator's voice evoked.
I will start with the narrator. Ms. Hendrix has an older voice. I have no idea of her age, but she sounds much too old for the characters she played in this book. She sounded alternately whiny, cranky, and just plain tired. The light, flirty repartee was neither light nor flirty. It just sounded wrong.
Her female voices were aged; the male voices were just downright irritating.
The voices were inconsistent. Her English accent seemed to go from English to Scottish to Irish and back. Her portrayal of the voice of a gay man was also inconsistent and sometimes offensive.
To the story: cliched and over the top, with irritatingly perfect heroine and stereotypical commitment-phobe male. I stopped listening at about the half-way mark as our love-is-forever heroine has just decided on the perfect plan to "prove" to the commitment phobe that she is his one and only forever love. Again, trite, cliched, annoying and all the more ridiculous with the thready, creaky voice of the narrator.
I did laugh at some of the dialogue. The wedding industry setting provided some interesting set-ups and background. But the combination of the spotty writing, by turns imaginative and ho-hum, and the wrong choice for the narrator just made it a chore to plow through it.
I am not familiar with Ms. Sands' or Ms. Christensen's work. I have to say this short was a good introduction to each.
I am very familiar with both Ms. Frost's and Ms. Gilbert's work and must confess that I am a bit of a fan gurl to the squee level with each.
Both of these shorts are mini parts of of long-running series involving worlds that each of the authors have been building for years, yet I did not feel that either would be diminished if listened to by those unfamiliar with their writing/worlds.
There were no glaring info dumps and enough knowledge was woven into the stories for one to get a sense of the relationships and personalities.
Each story didn't seem liked edited out chapters of larger works, as some short stories within a long-established world often do.
Ms. Christensen was quite good. Her "speaking" voice is very pleasant, and the character portrayals were excellent. There were minimal character voices needed, a male and female protag and a couple of very small/short secondary characters so it is hard to know the range of how many "male" and "female" characters she has at her disposal, but the ones displayed were excellent. The male protag is an older male, and Ms. Christensen did a nice job of conveying his age upon his first "spoken" words. It took me a way I wasn't expecting, but I needed to know this character is an older male. The female protag was equally well done, conveying personality and "age" spot on.
Not having read any of Ms. Sands' work, I can't tell if her world building was consistent in this short. The writing was tight and well edited.
Ms. Gilbert, what can I say. I love her narration on the Frost books, so much so I am afraid to listen to her multitude of other works for fear I would be waiting for Cat and Bones to show up. But my, what a fabulous job she does with the characters and "feel" of Cat and Bones and all their strong supporting characters. In the Frost books there are always different accents, different languages thrown in. While I have no idea what ancient Eqyptian sounds like, I would put money on it sounding as Ms. Gilbert permforms it. There are always a large number of characters in Ms. Frost's Cat and Bones books and I never have any problem discerning who is speaking.
Ms. Frost's world building is consistent. I have yet to detect a rewriting of history, as it were, to make a story work. The characters are consistent in their behavior, both in the story and in the interaction within the family of characters. I have read so many of her books that Cat and Bones and Ian and all the others feel like family and I enjoy seeing what is going on in their lives. But Ms. Gilbert's voice is so intrinsic to my Frost experience I find I can't read the books, they must be narrated by Ms. Gilbert. I honestly don't think that is a "good" thing, but she adds so much to my enjoyment of the series I am okay with it.
I am really not sure why these were in my library. Must have been a sale or something. But I am so glad I bought them and then listened to them.
Reality? Umm, no. It is about a modern witch. Our girl Lauren has no idea she is a witch until she is "found" by other witches one day while doing 'net grocery shopping.
Lucky for Lauren she is "found" by delightful, ethical witches who want nothing but the best for her.
A Modern Witch takes you through, in a mostly PG-13 way, the way this young woman (and her BFF) deal with her being a witch and all the changes that brings to both their lives.
Sweet book, well performed by Ms. Pardee. I was not familiar with Ms. Pardee but after hearing the first two books in this series (I don't know if there are more), I will be on the lookout for her. She played many roles well. She was able to convey a sense of excitement and wonder many times, making each time special.
If you don't like kids/toddlers in your books, this is not the series for you. Kids are front and center and seemingly omnipresent.
But I loved it. Sometimes the story was just a bit too perfect, or too perfect for the people in it. People went with the flow just a bit much. I would have enjoyed a conflict at some point. No conflict here at all. Just a telling of nice people with nice lives and a bit of magic.
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