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Ellen K

Avondale Estates, GA USA | Member Since 2012

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 512 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Blameless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    Overall
    (1159)
    Performance
    (947)
    Story
    (952)

    Gail Carriger’s best-selling Parasol Protectorate series reimagines Victorian England with vampires, werewolves, and a dash of steampunk. Blameless is the third in the series starring the parasol-wielding Lady Alexia Maccon, formerly Alexia Tarabotti. After news spreads of her delicate condition—a surprise to everyone since she’s married to a werewolf—Alexia is desperate to escape the London gossip. So she heads to Italy for a change of scenery.

    Leanna says: "When you're right, you're right!"
    "Enjoyable story/lovely narration as always but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    there were production issues that were annoying and served to take you out of the story.
    There were long pauses, I mean really long pauses, between chapter breaks and even just a break in the narration.
    The pauses were so long that I often thought my iTouch had turned off, as sometimes happens while listening to audio books.

    But Ms. Gray's narration was lovely as always. There were times I heard clicking, again, I think it was production more so than Ms. Grey.

    The story is entertaining in that suspension-of-disbelief way that is required when doing steampunk and vamps/weres.

    The characters are engaging and entertaining.
    Situations purposefully laughable and seemingly physically impossible.

    There was a big MIS and sufficient groveling to make it fun (but not too much to mess with alpha standing).

    All in all, enjoyable.

    I would advise you read this in order of the series, but if you just pick it up and start here, there is enough background info that you will probably enjoy it.
    No info dumps, just information and background woven into the story.

    I know my star ratings are askew, two fours somehow making a three; but the long pauses really drew me out of the story so many times I did feel it impacted the overall enjoyment in ways that did not involve performance or story.

    I have not had that issue in Book 1, 2 or 4. I have yet to listen to 5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Running Back

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Allison Parr
    • Narrated By Leslie Bellair
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Natalie Sullivan is on the verge of a breakthrough most archaeology grad students only dream of: discovering a lost city. Her research points to a farm in Ireland, but to excavate she needs permission from the new owner: the Michael O'Connor, popular NFL running back. On TV Mike seems so charming and good-natured that Natalie figures getting his cooperation will be a breeze. So she's not prepared to deal with the arrogant-and adamantly opposed-man she meets in person. Or the way one look from him sends shivers down her spine…

    Ellen K says: "Pretty good nonangsty NA."
    "Pretty good nonangsty NA."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked it. I really did. I wasn't surprised because I have liked other stuff this author has written.

    Or so I thought.

    Here is where I confess I am not very bright. This was a Whispersync deal. I will buy pretty much any WS combo that comes in under 5 bucks unless I have issues with the writer and/or narrator.

    Saw this. Jumped on it. Of course, I thought this was written by Allison Packard, not Allison Parr. Yep. As an aside, Allison Packard writes a pretty darn good book, too.

    And then (remember, I am not very bright) I realized this was NA. Wait, I don't like NA. I don't buy NA because I don't want to encourage all the whining and self-centeredness in NA. "Just Say No to NA" would be my battle cry in the publishing wars.

    Guess what. There is no whining or self-centeredness in this book.

    Our heroine, Natalie, is 23, a grad student. There is a lot of setup about what she is in grad school for (archeology) and what her career goals are. A bit of that (remember, I am not very bright) went right over my head. But I understood enough, grasped enough, remembered enough to muddle through it. Her educational issues are the reason for the conflict in the book. The particulars are not that important to understanding what is going on and the motivation behind actions.

    Our hero, Mike, holds the key (and the title) to Natalie being able to do a dig on land in Ireland. Natalie had previously been given permission to dig on this land, but the previous owner dies, leaving the land to Mike.

    Mike says no to the dig. He has his reasons, of course, but they are revealed later. Mike is a quarterback for a fictional NY football team. This means he can go to Ireland in the off season for family reasons and then hang around for what seems like a really long time.


    As far as the story goes, I had some basic issues with it. There were some things that just didn't make sense. Basic-reactions-as-human- beings-type things. Maybe I missed some things because I listened to the Audible version, but some things just didn't flow. There were a couple of times where we are in one location doing one thing and next thing you know they are sitting having tea. I think this is just a transition that was not easily picked up on in the narration.


    The sex is 99.9 percent behind doors. Oh, that was one of the transitions I didn't pick up on. Our young couple apparently starts an intimate relationship and I missed it. They are kissing and cuddling, then the next thing I hear after they have a fight is that was the first night Natalie had not visited Mike's room. Ummm, okay. Didn't know that was going on. But that could be my lack of brightness again. And it could also be one of the vagaries of audiobooks. I couldn't flip back to search for something I may have missed so I just went with it.

    As always, everybody is too beautiful, too successful, too cute. But you learn to get over that.

    I did enjoy seeing Natalie have healthy, supportive relationships with other women. I did appreciate the fact that Natalie was a bit timid about certain things, but she just plunged in and educated herself and executed what needed to be executed.

    All in all, it was a positive, mature YA book.


    Narration was good. There were accents, different languages, all well done. While there weren't necessarily "men's" voices and "women's" voices, all were distinguishable. Very nicely done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • More Than Memories

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Kristen James
    • Narrated By Karen Krause
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Molly Anderson returns “home” to a town she doesn't remember, hoping it will spark a memory. She meets Trent Williams, a Ridge City police detective, and something else definitely sparks. Not only does he know her, Trent takes on her case and promises to do everything he can to solve it. He wants to know why she left town, with her parents, but without a word to anyone. She doesn't remember that life. She can only tell him she knew her parents briefly before they died…or were murdered, she's not sure.

    swissmiss says: "Had potential"
    "Narrator choice was not appropriate."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author very generously gave me a code to download this performance for free.

    I remembered why I don't usually ask for review copies within ten minutes of starting this book. Okay, within five minutes.

    I will say that I think the book is probably better than the performance. But then again, I honestly don't know.

    So here is the scoop. The narrator's voice is very old and robotic. The characters are young. They are portrayed as being young and attractive, but their voices don't convey that.
    There are a lot of times where I **think** the character is speaking aloud, but then come to find out that it was introspection.
    There are times when the words/narrative show lightheartedness and fun, but it seems the narrator chooses those times to speak slowly and robotically, lifeless.

    The female protag literally says, "I am happy," but the narrator makes it sound like she is saying, "I need my third root canal of the week."

    The various male characters are virtually indistinguishable. But then again, so are the female characters.

    And here is the scoop on the story. It is honestly hard to separate the narration from the story. I don't know if my immediate dislike of the narration kept me from just allowing me to immerse myself in the story. I had a basic issue with the setup of the story. No spoilers here. But there are continuity issues and, again, a lot of procedural things that just did not ring true.
    But I will say the villains are all evil; the good people are all gold. The heroine is oftentimes a Mary Sue; the hero, totally clueless.

    The ending of the book was a bit over the top, and unbelievable.

    On a positive note for the narrator, her voice for the evil other woman-wannabe really makes her seem evil.

    If this had not been given to me, I probably would not have finished it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Just This Once: Escape to New Zealand, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Rosalind James
    • Narrated By Claire Bocking
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    Everyone needs to be rescued sometimes. Everyone but Hannah Montgomery, that is. She just needs a vacation. Three weeks in New Zealand to sort out her life, figure out what she wants, seems just right. Oh, and to relax. She should definitely put that on the agenda. She certainly isn't looking for a fling with a professional rugby player, no matter how attractive he is. Hannah doesn't do casual. But maybe just this once.…

    MJ Guidry says: "INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO NEW ZEALAND ... AND ..."
    "Sweet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sweet book. Sweet does not mean sex/language free.


    The heroine did drive me a bit crazy with her whole "I can't depend on anyone but myself" credo. If I had been the hero, my patience would have worn thin much earlier.

    I listened to the Audible version. My first time with the narrator Claire Bocking. She did a stunning job. Lots of accents/characters and she was consistent and did not have to resort to really annoying characterizations, whining voices, or ridiculous overacting.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Kind of Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Robyn Carr
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (358)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (311)

    RITA recipient Robyn Carr is the number one New York Times best-selling author of the wildly popular Virgin River books. The 20th in the series, My Kind of Christmas follows Patrick, the youngest Riordan brother, as he recovers from a tragic loss. After his best friend dies, Patrick tries to forget his sorrow in the arms of Jack Sheridan's beautiful niece, Angie. Now the couple just wants to be left alone this Christmas- but their families have other ideas.

    SIMARA says: "My kind of Christmas romance..."
    "Love Therese Plummer's narrations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent narration by Ms. Plummer.

    Not a Virgin River fan. Got the Audible version for a nice price.

    Look, this is No. 20 in the series. Ms. Carr has a strong and loyal following.



    Me, not a huge fan but not averse to spending some time in Virgin River where everybody is nice and works for the good of all. But I swear, they need a mean person to move to town just to make them realize how good they have it.

    I mean, seriously, who do they threaten the kids with?
    "If you don't straighten up, I am going to send you to Preacher who will feed you and protect you and generally make a big deal of you," doesn't a good "you better behave" threat make.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Deep: I-Team Series, Book 5.5

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Pamela Clare
    • Narrated By Kaleo Griffith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (115)

    Megan Hunter has worked hard to get back on her feet, leaving the nightmare of her teenage years behind. The last thing she wants or needs in her life is a man. But when she is attacked by someone from her past, a scarred stranger intervenes, saving her life and that of her little girl. Looks can be deceiving, for despite the man's rough appearance, she feels safe with him. And for the first time in her life, she knows the stirrings of desire.Nathaniel West paid a high price serving with the Marines in Afghanistan.

    CAC says: "This series is so addictive............."
    "Too, too much angst"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First book for this author and this narrator form.
    That means I wasn't really familiar with the background story. I don't know that that hindered the overall story for me.

    I know this was to be an angsty story, the setup, the background given, all lead to angst. But the narrator, gee, he just seemed too, too angst ridden. I just generally did not like his performance. His child voice made me want to disconnect my auditory nerve. It was just horrible. And yeah, "she" didn't have many lines, but what "she" did have would take me totally out of a story I wasn't really into in the first place.

    Yes, long series and I should start at the beginning. But seeing a Kindle/Audible special made me decide to jump in and see if I liked it enough to start at the beginning. Based on this, I would have to say no, I won't be investing.

    The writing was fine, competent from what I could tell, just not for me. I like a lot less angst and narrators who can voice the characters in the story in a semi-realistic way.

    I know that the narrator is a favorite of many. Based on this narration, though, I will be very careful about buying any more of his performances.
    I will say I enjoyed the bonus story a lot more than the main story. The only reason I even listened to it was because I was driving and disconnecting was more of an issue than letting it run.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Spots

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Melissa F. Olson
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (338)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (307)

    When LA’s vampires, witches, and werewolves make a mess, they call Scarlett Bernard to clean it up. Her ability as a null erases all magical traces from anything — or anyone — that comes within ten feet of her, and keeps humans in the dark about the city’s paranormal activity. One night when she’s called to a grisly crime scene, Scarlett is spied by the all-too-human LAPD cop Jesse Cruz, who strikes up a deal with her: he’ll keep quiet about the supernatural underworld if she helps him crack the case. She agrees, but the city’s chief vampire, Dash, starts to suspect Scarlett is behind the murders and will reveal all she knows of his shadowy empire. Now it’ll take more than Scarlett’s unique abilities to clear her name, keep the underworld underground, and track down the real killer.

    Maria White says: "Entertaining Urban Fantasy"
    "Very happy I picked this up."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent.
    I think I picked this up because it was a cheapie at Amazon and then the book was equally cheap. Glad I went ahead and took the plunge.


    Good world building, consistent, "believable."

    Nicely laid out.

    Listened to the Audible version. Had my doubts about the narrator, but ended up really enjoying it. The narrator seemed a little too disaffected at first, but she evened out and I enjoyed it immensely.


    Quick listen.


    The only down side is there is another "love" triangle a la Stephanie Plum, but with vampires, werewolves, and witches. That is not a favorite trope of mine, but so far it is not too bad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Absolutely, Positively

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jayne Ann Krentz
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    Unconventional Molly Abberwick, trustee of her late father's scientific foundation, is mad enough to fire her new consultant, Dr. Harry Trevelyan. A brilliant expert on new inventions, the handsome Harry irritates Molly to no end with his preposterous insistence that they have an affair - and that it could be planned, predicted, and run like a science project. But just when Molly is ready to let him have a piece of her mind - not her heart - she discovers that the eminent Dr. Trevelyan is not what he seems.

    CAROLYN says: "Absolutely, positively a good listen"
    "I really, really wanted to love this. Sigh."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Driving Mr. Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3258)
    Performance
    (2970)
    Story
    (2969)

    Miranda Puckett has failed at every job she’s ever had. Her mother just wants her to come home, join the family law firm, and settle down with Jason, the perfect lawyer boyfriend. But when Jason turns out to be a lying cheater, Miranda seizes on a job that gets her out of town: long-distance vampire transportation. Her first assignment is to drive vampire Collin Sutherland from Washington to sleepy Half Moon Hollow without incident—no small feat for a woman whom trouble seems to follow like a faithful hound dog!

    Amazon Customer says: "Molly Harper can't write fast enough for me!!!!"
    "Well-done short by the queen of funny vampire tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Exclusively Yours

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Shannon Stacey
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (524)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (329)

    When Keri Daniels’ editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive best-selling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job. Joe’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he’s intrigued to hear Keri’s back in town—and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he’ll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.

    SIMARA says: "Sugar and spice and everything nice..."
    "A very sweet story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Once Burned: A Night Prince Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2212)
    Performance
    (2050)
    Story
    (2042)

    After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: a terrifying ability to channel electricity and to see a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude ... until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire. Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all - but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula.

    decembergrit says: "EXCITING NEW SERIES"
    "Love this writer and this narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    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.

    Good stuff.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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