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MJG

Pacific Northwest Gardener

ID, United States

ratings
161
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
18

  • Ship of Magic: The Liveship Traders, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (693)
    Performance
    (473)
    Story
    (471)

    Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships---rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. The fortunes of one of Bingtown's oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia. For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy unjustly denied her---a legacy she will risk anything to reclaim.

    Lorena says: "Something altogether new"
    "Love Robin Hobb!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge fan of the Robin Hobb stories ... especially the Farseer, Live Ship and Golden Fool trilogies. This one only got three stars from me because of the narrator. Just a very annoying listen. Will keep to the written word for these three books. A shame.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Just for Now: Escape to New Zealand, Book Three

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rosalind James
    • Narrated By Claire Bocking
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (49)

    There's no place like home... For teacher Jenna McKnight, nothing spells "heartbreak" like finding her husband with somebody else--in her bed. It's clearly time to reinvent herself. A new body, a new city, and a new job later, she's done just that. The beautiful Auckland villa isn't really her home, though. Finn Douglas and his kids aren't really her family, however much she wishes they were. And playing house can be a dangerous game. Rugby star Finn Douglas is just looking for a temporary nanny and housekeeper. Not a girlfriend, and definitely not a wife. He can't resist Jenna's cooking, it's true. Who knew he'd have so much trouble resisting her? He wants to do what's right for his kids. But waiting is so hard... Note: This romance, like New Zealand, contains a bit of steam. If that isn't your cuppa, maybe visit some other country... er, audiobook.

    Ecray says: "Right as..."
    "ANOTHER "TRY" FOR "ESCAPE TO NEW ZEALAND""
    Overall
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    I have read all of Rosalind James' "Escape to New Zealand" series on Kindle and absolutely adore hearing them read by the talented Claire Bocking. As I've said in my other reviews, these stories have introduced me to a country I now want to visit (hubby said YES!) and to a sport I knew nothing about but now follow as a true fan (even though I've never followed any sport before ...ever.)

    I think this is my favorite out of all the books (so far.) Jenna has been badly burned in her marriage, when all she wanted in life was a secure home and family and a bunch of kids. She sure didn't have it growing up or with her soon-to-be ex-husband.

    She had taken some time off as a teacher to travel a bit and take some odd jobs until she sorts her life out and figures out her next step. Thus, she applies as a housekeeper and nanny for Finn Douglas and his two kids. (Rugby players DO travel a lot and it's just a short-term thing.) The employment interview scene is too funny for words and I'll not spoil it for you. Let's just say it doesn't go well. But everything turns out okay in the end and Jenna begins her employment ... with a massively built, hunky, desirable rugby player. They do try to not be attracted to each other ... for the kids' sake. But then what kind of a romance novel would we have? I won't give any more away. It is a great story told with a lot of care. Bring tissues.

    I do believe you will laugh and cry and swoon. As Rosalind says .. just like New Zealand, there is a bit of steam here, so if that's not your cuppa ... try another country ... er, book.

    And I DO recommend getting the book or Kindle edition too ... for a marvelous glossary of Kiwi terms (words and phrases which are in the books and are fascinating!) and for a whole bunch of Jenna's (Rosalind's) recipes. I've tried a number of them and they are fabulous.

    [“I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own."] MJG

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Just Good Friends: Escape to New Zealand, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Rosalind James
    • Narrated By Claire Bocking
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (89)

    Kate Lamonica isn't Koti James' type. Too small. Too dark. And heaps too much work. So it's an easy bet that he can be her friend for six weeks without making a move on her, no matter what his mates would have said. Kate can't believe she's made the bet at all. New Zealand had seemed like the perfect escape from the stalker who'd threatened first her peace of mind and then her life. She certainly doesn't need any more trouble. Why on earth has she agreed to spend time with a Maori rugby player who's far too handsome and charming for his own good - and knows it?

    Lolli says: "Hot rugby player in NZ: yes please!"
    "ANOTHER FANTASTIC KIWI / RUGBY LOVE STORY"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Second in the "Escape to New Zealand" series, learn more about rugby and the Maori culture while you take a virtual tour of parts of New Zealand! I feel like I've nearly really had a vacation after reading/listening to one of these books. With a great romance story added in, to boot!! Seriously ... hubby and I have started a "New Zealand Vacation Fund" and I can hardly wait to go.

    Kate Lamonica has BIG trouble when a boyfriend becomes a stalker. Trying to kill her type of stalker. So she leaves the USA for New Zealand and her friend that lives there, hoping to hide from said-stalker. Enter rugby player Koti James. Kate is definitely NOT impressed with gorgeous ladies' man Koti, and the feeling is mutual. Or is it? It all turns into a bet that Koti can't have a girl FRIEND and keep it platonic. Well, let's just say that it wouldn't be much of a romance if someone didn't lose that bet. :) There are some great, nicely written love scenes --- and they do get a tiny bit of kink on, so do be warned. (I did not find it offensive FYI).

    I love the new-to-audiobooks actress Claire Bocking. She does a mean Kiwi accent (male and female) and adds a lot to her reading of a great romance story.

    Highly recommended and worth a credit!

    5 of 5 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
    (194)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (183)

    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.…

    MJG says: "INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO NEW ZEALAND ... AND ..."
    "INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO NEW ZEALAND ... AND ..."
    Overall
    Performance
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    hunky, drool-worthy rugby players! I've never followed any sports, ever, but after reading this series, I have discovered a new love of my life ... RUGBY! And a trip to New Zealand has moved to the #1 spot on my bucket list. I am amazed that a romance novel series could wrought all of these changes in my life ... but they did. Hear me out ---

    Messed up, walled-off lady really needs a break from her life and takes a three week vacation to New Zealand. There, she stumbles into a (she thinks) short-term fling with a really great guy that happens to be a rugby player ... whatever that is. :) (She does have a vague notion of rugby, like most American women.) There's times you're going to "hate" Hannah and get very frustrated with her ... but I "got" her. She just needed someone to break down her walls and convince her that not everyone in her life would bail on her. Hannah and Drew's journey to the HEA is enchanting and spicy-hot (very well done love scenes!) and fulfilling.

    The author (an American who spent time in En Zed) also gives us a travel-show-worthy view of New Zealand and the Kiwi culture. I was enthralled with the language, the glimpses of the natural wonders of New Zealand and the Kiwi-ism (with Glossary included in the book or ebook.) I loved how she showed how different our professional athletes are from Kiwi sportsmen and how friendly the people are. I can't wait to visit.

    And last ... the reader did a GREAT job with all the Kiwi accents and really did justice to a great story. I gather she is rather new to audiobooks, but I hope we hear a great deal more from her. I've also heard that the rest of this series will be available soon.

    Highly recommended and well worth a credit!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Gabriel's Inferno

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sylvain Reynard
    • Narrated By John Morgan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1140)
    Performance
    (1022)
    Story
    (1042)

    Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well-respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

    Lulu says: "Souls Too Tortured for My Taste"
    "LOVELY LOVE STORY!"
    Overall
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    Story

    I read these when they were first available on Kindle and absolutely loved them, and was delighted beyond words to see them on Audible. Sweet love story with just enough angst to keep it interesting. Definitely NOT a cookiecutter story. I won't go into the story as many have already done that here. If they had been just a little "hotter" it would have been a better read for me ... jm2cw / personal preference. The end of the book was fabulous!

    So ... I already loved the Gabriel character, but adding the voice of John Morgan made him positively swoon-worthy! I was not familiar with Mr. Morgan, but I will definitely look for more of his work. Wonderful!

    Highly recommended and worth a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11795)
    Performance
    (9466)
    Story
    (9579)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "Genre Genius!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this in hardback when it first came out and fell in love with the story. I was a little concerned about the audio version, because a poor narrator could have ruined it for me, but I love Nick Podehl's Kvothe. I won't go into story synopsis, as so many others have ... just my comment that it is a lovingly crafted tale that took my breath away.

    I see some of the less then stellar reviews ... only have to say "sorry you didn't *get* it" ;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blue-Eyed Devil: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Lisa Kleypas
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (464)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (224)

    His name is Hardy Cates. He's a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He's made enemies in the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston's oil industry. He's got hot blood in his veins - and vengeance on his mind.

    sue says: "A READ ONLY BOOK."
    "Just OK for Me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love all of Lisa Kleypas's historicals. I read Sugar Daddy, liked it, and thought I would try this one. The story was a 3.5 for me. Probably won't be in my keeper list. Didn't care for the narration at all. It ruined all the male parts for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Devil of the Highlands

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Lynsay Sands
    • Narrated By Marianna Palka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (751)
    Performance
    (442)
    Story
    (440)

    They call him the Devil.... He is the most notorious laird of Scotland: fierce, cold, deadly...and maybe even worse. Yet Evelinde has just agreed to wed him. Anything, she thinks, is better than her cruel stepmother. Though Evelinde should be wary of the rumors, she can't help but be drawn to this warrior...for the Devil of the Highlands inspires a heat within her that is unlike anything she has ever known.

    Rebecca says: "Eeyore"
    "Not Satisfying ... Wish it had been"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an impulse buy for me and I didn't read the reviews, so it's my own fault.

    I LOVE Scottish romances, but this particular story has been done to death, It had some moderately interesting parts, so I will give it 3 stars. But ... the narrator was prettty bad. A wooden and unemotional reading. Could have been the phone book -- totally unengaging. Ended up not finishing the audiobook, but bought a Kindle copy so I could just read it. Two stars for the narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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