Debbie Macomber delves into family, especially the relationships among three sisters, in Last One Home. This novel has extremely compelling true-life situations of domestic abuse, poverty, suicidal depression, teen pregnancy, infidelity, and family guilt. While this storyline could have been the basis for a darkly depressing tome, Debbie Macomber's style is to find hope in any human situation. To that end, the most depressing details are told either as hearsay or past remembrances, allowing the overall story to remain hopeful. Macomber uses romance and family relationships, if not to overcome all the problems, at least to keep difficulties in proper perspective.
Habitat for Humanity plays an important role in the story and reminds me of the wonderful work they do. Rebecca Lowman does a good job with the narration. Overall, without being overly graphic or deep, this is an enjoyable story.
I admit I selected this audio book because I was experiencing Hollows (written as Kim Harrison) withdrawal. I did not have high expectations since this series predates the Hollows, and really, what could be as good? I was pleasantly surprised.
Cook/Harrison excels at strong female characters with personal integrity and she has an imaginative talent for creating magical worlds. She blends her creative talents with political intrigue, adventure, and various love stories to make quite an entertaining story.
The heroine, Tess, gets a great shock when she finds out she has lived someone else's life, having been raised as a princess decoy to protect the real princess from assassination. And that's just the beginning of many life-altering shocks Tess must absorb.
I was glad to find this story is narrated by Marguerite Gavin who also provides the wonderful voices of the Hollows. Gavin’s dramatic style is especially compatible with Cook’s/Harrison’s strong characters.
While the storyline and characters are not as complex as the Hollows, there is a familiar Rachel Morganesque theme of epic magical power through toxic overload coupled with a strong sense of personal responsibility and morality. Overall, this is an entertaining book and I will definitely listen to the next in the series.
The evolution of Eve Dallas has been amazing throughout the In Death series. The first book's reluctant friendship with Mavis started Eve down the road to relationships that she never could have imagined. This 40th installment puts people close to her at risk, forcing Eve to recognize the surprising number of people she cares about and who care about her. The villain is interesting but not central to this story -- the relationships are the focus.
J.D. Robb's stories standing alone make great books, but Susan Ericksen brings out the true excellence with her character voices and dramatic reading. I really enjoy what her voices add to the series. With only a couple of exceptions, I can listen to every book in this series over and over.
The entire series is built around a strong woman who has spent her life not just recognizing the difference between good and evil, but consciously battling evil and adopting the good that she finds in others. Her ability to adopt the good she finds can be painful and difficult for Eve, but it is just as often funny and endearing. This characteristic is the foundation for an excellent and long-lived series, and the murder, mystery and suspense only spice it up. Robb's vision of the future and the quirky humor really make this series stand out. And since the birth of Bella Eve, I can't help but see a hilarious pregnancy and baby in the future for Eve and Roarke, but likely no cows.
"Jason" accounts for 4 hours and 44 minutes of my life that I'll never get back. I tried to think of something positive to say about this book and I have come up with nothing. LKH has quit writing adventure stories and completely moved to badly written therapy-porn. If you enjoy amateur sex therapy with clinical descriptions of mechanical sex with multiple partners and no emotional involvement or plot, dive on in. Even if you can stand pure plot-less porn, just be prepared for the sex to stop frequently for lengthy, boring rationalizations and lectures on the benefits of multiple partners. It's somewhat ironic that LKH explains ad nauseum the joys of polyamorism while simultaneously demonstrating how boring and empty it is.
This is the first time in years of listening to audiobooks that my overriding thought was sympathy for the narrator. Not even Kimberly Alexis could save this story but I do hope she was paid well. Simply Awful.
This is an excellent beginning to a new series. I love the concept of an extraterrestrial/supernatural innkeeper and this first book tells me the Gordons have many entertaining adventures in store for us. I had my husband listen to the antics of Beast, the über Shih Tzu, and we both laughed out loud. To me, Renee Raudman has the perfect voices for Ilona Andrews' characters and she does not disappoint here. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series.
The wonderful narration by Susan Ericksen was the salvation of this book. Without the familiar voices and inflections, I might not have recognized this as a J. D. Robb/Nora Roberts product. The parts were all there, but the story was slow and bloated. This was not an exciting or action packed murder investigation with an active suspect. Much as real-life investigations differ from crime dramas because they drag on and can be tedious, this book's plot was more real than dramatic.
The traditional In Death checklist was followed: Unresolved murder(s), check. Roarke's properties or acquaintances involved and/or Roarke assisting, double check. Peabody assistance and humor, check. Dr. Mira assistance and motherly support, check. Childhood abuses revisited and reconciled, check. Eve’s humorous attempts to figure out marriage rules, check. Summersett being a pain in the butt, check minus. Baxter, Truehart, Mavis, McNab, Morris, Nadine show up with varying degrees of humor, multi-check. Coffee, chocolate, pizza and Pepsi, quadruple check. The characters were familiar although many were missing this time around. It isn’t always necessary to see everyone Eve knows in every book, so I did not mind the missing characters.
The single notable exception to the formula, an active menacing protagonist, apparently makes a huge difference in the tone and pacing of the story. There was no suspense or danger, and the book suffered from the lack.
This was a fair book and an entertaining listen, but not great.
I eagerly anticipate every new "In Death" book. First and foremost, the success of any audiobook rests on the narration, and Susan Ericksen gives a wonderful performance as usual.
Eve and Roarke are probably my favorite fictional couple, but fans will realize that they have overcome most of their past traumas and inner struggles that contribute the tension necessary for a truly great story. Robb will need to find other sources of inner turmoil and drama. However, this was an entertaining story with an interesting plot. Most of the characters are well known and long-time friends, and the story was true to their natures. There was a good blend of mystery, adventure, humor, and romance.
Robb is such a great author; this book was just average for her In Death series. Still, it was very entertaining and the series is one of my favorites. I consider this installment to be a stepping stone as I eagerly await the next book.
I am asking other customers who listened to this book the same question I asked Customer Support. Did you notice the missing content at around 3 hours 40 minutes, 40 seconds? At this point the characters are in a deposition ten days before the trial, then the story abruptly jumps to the trial with no transition or explanation.
Specifically, the audio matches the Kindle version from page 127 where the chapter ends with (audio 03:40:43): "I return the smile. 'Then we'll just have to talk to him on the stand.'”
The audion version immediately jumps in time to the trial, with, "Wallace finishes just before lunch, and Laurie, Kevin, and I have two hours to decide whether I should give my opening statement now or wait until after the prosecution's case is finished and it's time to present ours."
Unlike the audio book, the Kindle print version takes a couple of more pages to explain the transition from deposition to trial: "TEN DAYS FLY BY AS IF THEY ARE TEN MINUTES, AND THE next thing I know the bailiff is intoning, 'In the matter of the people versus William Miller, the Honorable Justice Walter Henderson presiding …'” These pages are in the Kindle version but not in the audio book.
I pointed out to Customer support on Dec 10, 2012 that the story seemed to skip in chapter 4. Steven Lloyd in Customer Support finally got back to me on January 22 (yes, over 6 weeks later!) and informed me that the audio file was complete. He even said the publisher verified that it was complete. Since it still made no sense, I purchased the Kindle version and compared for myself, finding the above discrepancy.
On January 22, 2013 I again emailed Steven Lloyd and also to Customer Support with the specifics I found, including times and page numbers. I have heard nothing further from Audible on this matter, so I am asking other listeners to point this out to Audible Customer Support. They do not seem to hear me.
This book bumps up the relationship I've been waiting for since Rachel squeaked in a cage in Trent's office. If you don't know what that means, just go back to the first book (Dead Witch Walking) and enjoy the complete journey. Kim Harrison's imagination is the best of the best, and Marguerite Gavin provides the unique voices and personalities for a whole bunch of old friends. I eagerly anticipated this book, and it delivered in spades!!!
I had high hopes for this book since I thought the previous book, Celebrity in Death, was just average. Thankfully, Robb (Roberts) is back up to her high standards in Delusion in Death. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
This story featured a unique murder method with entertaining plot twists. Dallas made significant progress in her lifelong struggle with nature versus nurture. Dallas' relationships with Peabody, Mira, Roarke, and Summerset continue to grow stronger. Kudos to Ms. Roberts for a well-balanced mixture of drama, introspection, and humor.
Susan Ericksen gives a wonderful performance. The genders and accents are perfect, and the more dramatic scenes with Dallas and Peabody were especially moving. Ericksen's voice is the perfect instrument for Robb's stories.
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