Great book, great idea, great premise, however...the ending was what killed it for me.
For the sake of not wanting to ruin the book I will just say that after spending hours and hours with characters that I really liked and cared about, I felt so emotionally unfulfilled and empty. It sort of left me feeling- 'what?! this can't be it. Seriously! It really can't be it!'
Despite the bad ending, the journey was extremely pleasant and I feel that putting this into the romance category is not doing the book its justice since it implies it's a light read- in reality it is anything but. The romance plot, although always looming in the background, is very secondary.
The story is mainly about stages of life that one goes through and how the perspective of life changes over the course of 20 years. Some passages actually made me pause and reflect upon since they were remarkably profound. I will for sure try to read more books by Nicholls.
I suspect that a great deal of the book's appeal comes from Ms. Bentinck's narration. She did a splendid job with the voices! I love how she did distinctive accents and how just by listening to her voice I knew what Dexter was up to (if he was drunk/felt depressed/happy). Great narrator and I will definitely try more of her books.
This book is a collection of 30 essays on life which I found to be simple yet profound.
For example, one chapter (I think it was in the beginning of the book) discuses how people be can themselves happy with 3 things: "something (meaningful) to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to." Although simplified, I would have to agree that in most cases this would be true (provided that health and basic necessities of life are taken care of).
This is definitely a keeper and I will can see myself re-reading it for many years.
I heard so many good things about this book and with a very high rating on Amazon, I decided to try it. I was expecting it to be similar to the Katie Macalister series(without the humor). Considering that found it on recommendation in the romance genre, I expected a steamy book with a murder mystery (which I really don't care about, but if it's in the background I don't really mind).
What I got was a story which made my stomach turn more times than I can count.
Maybe I'm sensitive, but I really don't want to read about gory details of the murders. After the very graphic description of the murder scene where one girl's intestines ended up in her mouth, I stopped listening.Not to mention the disturbing combo of sex and violence- the heroine still craves sex with certain people even though she constantly keeps repeating that she might be killed by them.
And even before these two things became an issue, I lost the interest in the characters' 'romance.' No real emotional connection, just plain 'oh-my-I-want-to-jump-your-bones-because-you're-so-fine.' At the end, this is a bizarre mix of paranormal, romance and murder genre.
To be fair, it started out great with lots of potential, but it all just went downhill at about half of the book. If you like VERY DARK books with kinky violence-sex combination this might be your cup of tea, but I'll avoid this author like the plague from now on.
The narration was great and I suspect it's probably the only reason why I listened to it for as long as I have.
It's really hard to get into the book when the narrator is not doing a good job. To be fair though, it looks like this was his first audiobook. He has a long way to go, but I think that he can end up as next Phil Gigante since he does have a really nice voice.
Things that bothered me:
- conversation needed to be more 'conversational' and not just plain reading
- no real distinction between female/male voices. Although the voice for an old duke was well done.
- randomly pausing in the middle of sentences which annoyed me to no end
As for the plot- surprisingly deep since this is actually an erotic novel and not romance. The ending had an interesting twist. If you're thinking of reading this, I'd suggest just buy a book and read it yourself.
I absolutely love this recording and listen to it almost every night before falling asleep. I'm usually asleep before the end of the first mediation.
I've purchased several audiobooks from the same company and although there's nothing wrong with the others, I would place them in the "ok" category. However, this is subjective since I find meadows (found in "Self Discovery") more relaxing than seas (in the majority of other books)
They are all based on the same principle- the narrator takes you places and the sounds in background really help envisioning the place.
The best way to get the most out of these is to get them in an "enhanced" format and then you'll really get the feel of being there where the narrator takes you.
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