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.
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.
First let me say this was my first book by Ms. Dimon and the first I have heard narrated by Ms. Hughes. The narration by Ms. Hughes was such that I couldn't tell if my problems with the story were the actual story or the tone of the narration.
The narration sounded whiny, even when there would be no reason for whiny. The narration seemed to try to create angst where there should be no angst. Scenes that I think were put in for comedy relief, well, they just seemed painful.
This is a very short category book, and I think that may be part of my problem with the book. There are a lot of important issues in this book, homelessness, health care costs, foreclosures, small town pettiness, trust in relationships; but the length of the book necessitated these to be dealt with in a surface way, resulting in lots of holes in the narrative. So the heroine has been living in the wild for quite sometime (as implied by her saying she hasn't slept on a mattress in a very long time), yet there appears to be no physical sign of this. She seems well kempt, or at least nobody comments that she looks dissheveled. Nobody mentions body odor even after she gets up close and personal with the hero.
Honestly, if I were reading the book myself, putting my own "tone" on it, I might not have noticed. But I was irritated by the narration and when I get irrated by a book, whether I am reading or listening, I get nitpicky and petty. And as a further example of that, the cover of this book makes me a little cranky, too. Normally the covers matter not at all to me. But we have a book, a story about two people firmly in adulthood who work outside. What we have on the cover are two very pale people who look to be late teens, very early 20s at the most. Yeah, petty, I know. But it seems indicative of many problems. with the book.
While I will give Ms. Dimon another chance by reading another of her books, it will take lots of research and sampling before I give Ms. Hughes another chance.
(I needed a short listen that I wouldn't get sucked into for hours -- my discipline is sorely lacking -- and I read good reviews of this book on other sites so I chose this one without my normal research process. At $3.95, it wasn't too expensive of a lesson to learn.)
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