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Lisa

Member Since 2007

ratings
28
REVIEWS
21
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
40

  • Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nancy Goldstone
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (49)

    Set against the backdrop of the turbulent 13th century, a time of chivalry and crusades, poetry, knights, and monarchs, comes the story of the four beautiful daughters of the count of Provence, whose brilliant marriages made them the queens of France, England, Germany, and Sicily.

    Patricia says: "Entertaining!"
    "Painless & Fun History"
    Overall

    Great book! Wonderful way to introduce someone who "hates" history -- especially a teenage girl or woman -- to the beauty of history. But this isn't history just for females, although it does emphasize the oft-overlooked impact powerful, shrewd, well-connected women had on historical events. I'll probably buy the hardcopy to get more complete info -- maps, etc. I loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You Don't Want to Know

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Lisa Jackson
    • Narrated By Christina Traister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (308)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (265)

    In Ava’s dreams, her son, Noah, looks just the way she remembers him: a sweet two-year-old in rolled-up jeans and a red sweatshirt. When Ava wakes, the agonizing truth hits her all over again. Noah went missing two years ago, and his body has never been found. Almost everyone, including Ava’s semi-estranged husband, Wyatt, assumes the boy drowned after falling off the dock near their Church Island home. Ava has spent most of the past two years in and out of Seattle mental institutions, shattered by grief and unable to recall the details of Noah’s disappearance.

    Ronda Snyder says: "Can't stop listening...."
    "Confusing, Ridiculous & Almost Everyone's Insane"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    People were raving about this book in reviews at Audible, and I usually like Lisa Jackson, so I was looking forward to it. This is one of the most disappointing books ever. First, in print, perhaps it wouldn't be as confusing, but in audio the vast cast of characters is largely indistinguishable. You'll need a chart to keep track of everyone - is he a brother, half-brother, cousin, friend, hired help? Is she a cousin, old friend, daughter of the housekeeper or nurse or therapist . . . After I while I stopping trying to place who was who because almost everyone was obnoxious and crazy regardless.

    Second, a lot of people's actions just doesn't make any sense. I liked the main character. But, like every other character, her actions/inactions don't make much sense given her supposed motivations. The author tries to explain this as resulting from confusion, fear, drugging, control of finances, but that's harder to buy over time. However, the main character is a paragon of reason and consistency compared to the other wackos that reside in her apparently massive mansion. I found it impossible to buy the basic story -- if these people were so motivated to pursue their goals that they'd be willing to do the things attributed to them in this book (trying to avoid spoilers), there were much simpler and safer ways to achieve their goals. How many dozen people living in that house had to be either complicit or an idiot? And why, pray tell, would the husband decide to bring a new employee into this situation?

    Third, even if you buy the plot and storyline, the book is about 50% longer than it should be to tell that story. Needlessly repetitive, extraneous minor characters whose only apparent purpose is to provide red herrings or cause confusion or drop one relevant "clue," I was so bored by the first third of the book that I barely soldiered on . . . but I usually like Lisa Jackson, so I persevered. Wish I hadn't.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The White Princess: Cousins' War, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (395)
    Performance
    (365)
    Story
    (360)

    The newest novel from #1 New York Times best-selling author and "queen of royal fiction" (USA Today) Philippa Gregory tells the passionate story of Elizabeth of York, daughter of the White Queen, who gets caught in the middle of a battle for the crown of England. A princess from birth, Elizabeth fell in love with Richard III, though her mother made an arranged betrothal for her with the pretender to the throne: Henry Tudor. When Henry defeats Richard against all odds, Elizabeth has to marry the man who murdered her lover in battle.

    FanB14 says: "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow"
    "Paid by the Word? Double for "the boy"?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Patience. This is, without doubt, the most repetitive book I've read, including cookbooks. I dare you to take a sip of wine every time "the boy" is mentioned in the latter half of this book and try to finish a chapter before passing out. Truly, this story (don't confuse it with history) could have been told in one-third the length.

    Nearly every one of Elizabeth's thoughts, and her conversations with Maggie, with Henry, with Margaret, with her mother (notice a pattern?), are repeated almost verbatim and/or paraphrased multiple times -- some ad nauseam. Entire chapters consist of repetitions, with only one new minor point plot offered. Describing being drawn and quartered once in excruciating detail will suffice, thanks. Just write "drawn and quartered" after that, we're smart enough to know what you mean. We don't need to be lectured in almost identical detail twice, and partially a third time . . . maybe more. I confess I drifted off a number of times, but I doubt I missed anything I hadn't heard previously several times.

    If I hadn't liked The White Queen so much, I wouldn't have persevered to finish, hoping for more and better. It's hard to swallow the premise that the calm, poised, wise-beyond-her-years Elizabeth of The White Queen would develop a grand passion for her uncle, who betrayed a promise to her father, imprisoned and potentially murdered her dear brothers. Cultivating his interest for strategic reasons to protect the Woodvilles may make have made sense. The main characters are static over a near 15-year time span, never growing or learning from their mistakes. If Henry VII was as incapable, cowardly, sniveling, and mother-dominated as depicted here, his uncle would have made a deal with the Yorks to knock him off as soon as there was an heir and a spare, putting the York-Tudor hybrid Arthur on the throne. In reality, history suggests Henry VII had no mistress after marriage to Elizabeth, that Elizabeth and Henry had a successful perhaps loving marriage, that Margaret Beaufort was not an ogre, that Henry's reign was more successful, etc.

    What a disappointment!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Highlander Most Wanted: Montgomerys and Armstrongs, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Maya Banks
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (708)
    Performance
    (659)
    Story
    (657)

    Genevieve McInnis is locked behind the fortified walls of McHugh Keep, captive of a cruel laird who takes great pleasure in ruining her for any other man. Yet when Bowen Montgomery storms the gates on a mission of clan warfare, Genevieve finds that her spirit is bent but not broken. Still, her path toward freedom remains uncertain. Unable to bear the shame of returning to a family that believes her dead or to abandon others at the keep to an imposing new laird, Genevieve opts for the peaceful life of an abbess. But Bowen's rugged sensuality stirs something deep inside her that longs to be awakened by his patient, gentle caress - something warm, wicked, and tempting.

    Leesa says: "A strong, intelligent, courageous woman"
    "Is there a way I can give this book 5+ stars?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Writing bleary-eyed after pushing off work and staying up half the night listening to this amazing book. Rarely write reviews, but all I can say is - if you're even considering this book, stop and use that credit right now!

    Rarely do romance books address the dreadful reality that faced (faces) abducted women. This one does -- and in so doing provides a surprising but completely reasonable answer to the only plot element that I found to be unrealistic in Book 1 in the series (won't give a spoiler, so I'll only say it has to do with the fate of heroine near the end of that book).

    What a story, what a narrator. If this quality is maintained, this series will easily be one of my all-time favorites. Can't wait for the next book.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Never Seduce a Scot: Montgomerys and Armstrongs, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Maya Banks
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1653)
    Performance
    (1507)
    Story
    (1510)

    Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her "touched." Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn't speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty -unprepared for the delights to come.

    CAROLYN says: "OMG - NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL A GREAT LISTEN"
    "Wow. Prepare for a marathon listen."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the most intriguing heroines of a romance novel I've come across in a long time. Well-drawn characters and compelling story of deception, misunderstanding, and deep emotions. Scottish clans were notorious for their rivalries and enduring feuds, which makes the depth of animosity believable. And fantastic narration. If this series can maintain this standard, it will be one for the record books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Calculated in Death: In Death Series, Book 36

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1461)
    Performance
    (1289)
    Story
    (1290)

    On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a woman lies dead at the bottom of a brownstone’s basement steps, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better. A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn’t seem the type to be on anyone’s hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the brownstone, she knows Marta’s murder is the work of a killer who’s trained, yet not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.

    Jessica says: "Still a fan!"
    "Good, but below par for this series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Calculated in Death in three words, what would they be?

    Confusing. Frustrating. Anticlimactic.


    Would you recommend Calculated in Death to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, but please, please, please -- don't make this the first book you read of the In Death series. I'm afraid that if you read this one first, it could discourage you from taking the great ride of reading this series from start to finish.

    I am a big fan of this series and I have rarely been disappointed. In this book, however, the story drags, the central murder just doesn't make much sense (I know, sometime it's just senseless, but it's hard to buy the motivations here), the trajectory of the murderer's storyline doesn't make much sense, and the motivations for many of the others involved are convoluted and incomplete and seem to be disconnected from their lives before this book.
    It's a rare thing for Robb, but this murder case seems very contrived to me.

    Also, I found it disappointing that potentially great scenes that could have existed around the vid premiere simply never happened. Oh, the embarrassment of Eve we could have witnessed, the groupies hanging on Roarke, Peabody and McNab charming the paparazzi. Mavis breaking into improptu music vid trilling and inciting a riot. Leonardo raptly murmuring, "Isn't she precious?" Sigh. The author has a habit of doing this (anyone wish we'd gotten more about Eve's and Roarke's wedding?!?) but it's infuriating. But, of course, I remain a loyal reader. Maybe I need abuse counseling . . .

    Perhaps in print this book flows better, but I found it suprisingly confusing. So many new characters with so many new names questioned more than once, several accountants here, several real estate types there, here's three partners, there's two partners, here's a judge, there's a date, an ex, another ex, another . . . You get the point. Poor Susan, what a narrating challenge. Who can differentiate that many people in a coherent manner? By the time Roarke finally named the person he suspected, I swear I honestly had no idea who that was. I'd totally lost track. An accountant? An investor? Who? Which one? Why?

    Let me emphasize. THIS IS AN EXCEPTION. Even with these issues, it's a good book. It's just not up to the normal high standard of this series.


    What about Susan Ericksen’s performance did you like?

    Fantastic as always. For the recurring characters, it takes literally one word and you can identify who is speaking. She is tremendous!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    A scene near the beginning involving notification of death and one near the end with Dallas and Roarke.


    Any additional comments?

    The recent books have been so good . . . maybe that's part of why this one seems disappointing in comparison.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Delusion In Death: In Death, Book 35

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1636)
    Performance
    (1435)
    Story
    (1417)

    It was just another after-work happy-hour bar downtown, where business professionals unwound with a few drinks, complained about the boss, maybe hooked up with someone for the night. Until something went terribly wrong. At first it was just a friction in the air. The noise intensified. The crowd seemed oppressive. Some sharp words were exchanged, some pushing and shoving. Then the madness descended. And after 12 minutes of chaos and violence, 80 people lay dead.

    Lisa says: "Robb, Dallas & Ericksen - what a Fantastic Combo"
    "Robb, Dallas & Ericksen - what a Fantastic Combo"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With most series, it doesn't affect the enjoyment of the books much if you read them in order or not. With the In Death series, it does. Although you certainly can read any book as a stand-alone, you usually get more out of any specific book if you've read several of the previous books in the series. More than most, this series intertwines and builds in significant ways over the course of the books.

    For this book, I'd suggest reading "New York to Dallas" at the very least -- or that book won't be as enjoyable if you read it later. (Possibly also Reunion in Death first, before New York to Dallas, but before you read Reunion . . . ). I strongly recommend reading this series in order. Most books are great and even the few that fall a bit short of the normal standard of excellence invariably advance character development.

    Ericksen is amazing as the narrator of this series. More than 15 often-recurring characters (plus another set of occasional ones) are clearly delineated. I am constantly astounded at how I can recognize which character is speaking within one or two words. The consistency across this volume of books is incredible. I don't know what salary you're making, Susan, but you're worth it. Ask for a raise!

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Talk: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (372)

    When FBI agent Grayson Kincaid first encounters Olivia MacKenzie, she makes quite an impression. The beautiful, tough young attorney has stumbled into the middle of an FBI sting operation and reduced it to chaos. Months of surveillance and careful planning down the drain, Kincaid’s partner is furious and lets Olivia know that she’s ticked off the wrong guy. After all, he’s FBI. But Olivia isn’t intimidated by his partner’s bullying because she’s something even scarier...she’s IRS.

    J. Gilbert says: "Good story but annoying narrator"
    "Victims of Circumstance, Friends for Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Sweet Talk: A Novel to be better than the print version?

    Not necessarily better, but certainly no worse either.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The intro grabbed my attention and the relationship between the 4 sisters of circumstance held promise that was fulfilled in this book and, I trust, in 3 more focusing on the remaining "sisters." And the male lead was pretty much irresistible.


    What does Angela Dawe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I enjoyed her interpretations and characterizations.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Honor Before Blood


    Any additional comments?

    It was pretty unbelievable than family members could be so oblivious and ignorant to blame the lead character for the sins of the father. Willful blindness only goes so far. Many of these interactions in the book just didn't ring as true as Garwood's writing normally does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Left to Die

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lisa Jackson
    • Narrated By Alan Nebelthau
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (95)

    Lisa Jackson's novels of romance and suspense race up the best-seller charts. In Left to Die, the Pinewood County Sheriff 's Department is on the trail of a cold-blooded killer who acts as a savior to women stranded during terrible mountain snowstorms before stripping them of their dignity and leaving them to die, a victim of the elements. But the killer's latest victim managed to escape, leading some to believe there may now be an imposter on the loose.

    Deby says: "Left to Die"
    "Excessive Detail kills Momentum at Times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Left to Die?

    The two lead detective's characters are well-drawn. I want to know more about them and another couple, which is a good sign. What I didn't like was, first, that excessive description at places had me drifting off as the murderer rhapsodized about unnecessary and distracting details. Second, it is annoying that you have to buy the sequel to finish the story that was the purported primary focus of the book. (Having not read the sequel, I can't be sure the story finishes there either, but you get the point.) I'm fine with series and trilogies, but this approach is pretty deceptive.


    What other book might you compare Left to Die to and why?

    This is in the vein of Karen Rose or Karin Slaughter, but not quite up to that standard.


    What aspect of Alan Nebelthau’s performance would you have changed?

    A female narrator, given that it seemed most of the dialogue was women. Of course, perhaps I dozed through parts . . .


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    So Many Killers, Such a Small Town, Who'd Have Thought?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wicked House of Rohan

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 21 mins)
    • By Anne Stuart
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (64)

    In this exciting prequel to bestselling author Anne Stuart's House of Rohan series, when Kathleen Strong interviews for a job that offers a chance at proper employment, a mysterious group of aristocrats proposes a scandalous offer that she can't refuse.

    Kelley says: "One objection..."
    "This Chapter Wouldn't be Worth Half the Price"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    True fans of the series. I've found the series OK, but not as compelling as Stuart's other books.


    What was most disappointing about Anne Stuart’s story?

    Um. From dissipated jerk to noble suitor in record-breaking speed.


    Which character – as performed by Susan Ericksen – was your favorite?

    Heroine.


    What character would you cut from The Wicked House of Rohan?

    Cutting isn't the issue -- what's needed is addition. Like justification. Evolution of character.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't think this chapter (that's about how long it is) would be worth half the price.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No One Left to Tell

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Karen Rose
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (123)

    A woman is dead, and her fiancé is serving a life sentence for a murder he didn’t commit. Now PI Paige Holden holds the only piece of evidence that could see him freed, but she cannot take it to the police. With the help of disarming state attorney Grayson Smith, Paige is determined to avenge the murdered woman and set an innocent man free. But Paige has only scratched the surface of a cover-up far deadlier than she could ever imagine.

    Mimmi says: "Had me hanging on EVERY second..."
    "Nearly Everyone's Evil, Complicit, Naive or Stupid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Karen Rose and/or Marguerite Gavin?

    Yes on Karen Rose. I wouldn't look for books by Gavin, but then there's very few narrators I'd look for and consider a book solely because of the narrator (e.g., Susan Ericksen; Scott Brick).


    What three words best describe Marguerite Gavin’s performance?

    Wendie Malick clone (actress on Just Shoot Me, Hot in Cleveland, etc.) I swear I thought Wendie was the narrator at times -- especially the (too) many times the narrator had a very sarcastic tone. Is it just me? I found this very distracting at times.


    Was No One Left to Tell worth the listening time?

    Yes. But it wasn't up to Karen Rose's normal level. It went on too long before getting to the puzzle-solving.


    Any additional comments?

    Just about every supposedly responsible police and DA employee is either evil, complicit or seemingly stupid. The central male character's big secret? Does the States' Attorney office not do background checks for security clearance? All these cops are being blackmailed and terrorized into doing heinous things but no one breaks? How many times are you nearly killed before you get the heck out of Dodge until things cool down? Nope, let's walk around with a Kevlar vest despite the sharpshooter who no doubt is capable of nailing you in the head. I've lost my spouse and child, nearly lost my other child, and folks still can get access to my home to terrorize us more? Especially when about 5 attempts have been made on a best friend's life and I'm working to solve the case? Huh?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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