It's been a while since the last Hard Ink book was released in audio format, so I was a bit lost in the beginning of this story. I had a hard time remembering the details of what went before. Probably should have re-read the last book before I started this one.
Anyway, then we're told it's only been a week since Sara and Shane met. The story just didn't seem to flow very well. The writing is very uneven. Grammar and sentence structure were awful.
Combine the bad writing with the terrible narration by Seraphine Valentine and it makes you want to scream. Her voice and inflection are just all wrong. It was just a very painful experience to listen to this story.
It seems like there are fewer and fewer good narrators these days. And it's hard to tell by the audio samples provided sometimes. I hope the audiobook industry does a better job comes up with some better narrators soon.
This story had potential, but it just didn't draw me in or engage me in any way. I think the narration was part of the problem. Tatiana Sokolov (a/k/a Tanya Eby) has done some halfway decent work in other books, but she was really bad in this one.
The plot was so predictable. The story takes place in New Orleans. The main characters, Allie and Mick were high school sweethearts, but when Mick went away to college, the romance ended. Then they had one very hot hook up during college. They both still love each other, but Mick is too deep in his own self-loathing to want a relationship with Allie. He got involved in BDSM and was a highly-trained dominant. Plus he is into underground fighting, too, as a way to vent his anger.
Meanwhile, Allie is living all over the world learning to become a pastry chef. She also got into BDSM (as a "perfect" submissive). Allie returns to New Orleans after she inherits a house from a relative, and at this point, you can probably write the rest of story yourself.
The sex scenes were supposed to be hot, but honestly I didn't get the slightest tingle from any of them. Part of it was the narration, but they just fell flat for every time.
Waste of a credit (I am going to return it after the review gets posted); definitely not worth paying cash either.
I really loved the Sullivan series, so I thought I'd try this book. It didn't take long to realize that I should have paid attention to the description "new-adult" series.
New-adult is obviously the new industry term for "young adult" (meaning late teens, early 20's).
New adult (notice no hyphen) means a new series suitable for adults.
This story took bits and pieces of all The Sullivan books and watered them down for a young adult readership. The characters in the Morrison family are similar to the Sullivans, so I imagine that the future installments of this series will just be more watered down Sullivan wannabes.
I won't be buying anymore books in this series even though I like Bella Andre.
On a final note, Eva Kaminsky does a really good job as always.
There was a part of the story where Jack was trying to win a contract to restore an historical building in Utah. He lost the bid over "moral issues". Ultimately this ends up causing a huge fight between Keely and Jack. This seemed like a real ploy in the storyline and just didn't work for me. Also the scene towards the end when Keely's 5 brothers bring Jack to her at a campsite and then her father shows up.........I don't know. I wish LJ would have written some better material in these scenes (and a few others as well).
This just felt like a rough draft to me. I would give it a very thorough edit and rewrite in some crucial areas. Keely's character was fairly well developed, but Jack's character still needed some fleshing out.
Rebecca Estrella is one of the WORST narrators in the audiobook market. The only reason why I am hanging in there with the Rough Riders series is because I love the characters. Otherwise, she is pure torture.
I'm not a big fan of romances that have a lot of conflict in them to the point where the couple is constantly fighting and making up (or having "angry sex", etc.). While some conflict is necessary to put some tension and reality into a romance novel, a story like All Jacked Up had a little too much conflict in it for my taste.
The McKay family is getting so big. It would be nice if one of the future books would have a prologue or something that named all the couples and their kids (or maybe LJ could put a McKay/West family tree on her website). It's very frustrating not remembering all the kids' names. I'd have to go back and start over with book #1 and read them all again in order to make my own family tree. Not sure I'd be able to stand listening to Rebecca Estrella all over again for that project.
I've been KA fan for a while and listened to everything by her that's available on Audible. Her books are becoming formulaic to me. Although this was as good a story as almost any of the other ones she's written, I think that's exactly the trouble - they are all pretty much the same story.
I'm getting tired of all her heroes and heroines being drop dead gorgeous, multi-orgasmic and usually pretty wealthy, too. I realize these are romantic escapism novels to the extreme, but I always end up feeling totally inadequate as a woman after listening to one of her books.
She also uses words/phrases repeatedly. For example, she's always saying that someone is "folding in/out of their car" - it was original the first 100 times I heard it in her other books.
Emma Taylor's male main character voice is very annoying. So neanderthal. The female characters' voices were great. She utilizes all kinds of accents, from British to elderly Southern black women. She might not be the right reader for a book told from multiple POV's.
On DVD maybe, but not in a theater.
I'm still a fan, but I think when the next installment of this series becomes available, I'll wait a while before downloading it. I need to listen to other genres for a while.
My main complaint was the narrator. Just way over the top. His voice for Tate sounded like an old man. Logan's voice was okay. The narration during almost all the sex scenes sounded like a sportscaster on ESPN during a really competitive football game.
The sex scenes were also beyond sexy. Graphic to the point of being gross.
The storyline itself was okay. Maybe this is one of those books that would have been better if I had read the e-book (or if it had a better narrator).
Don't think so.
Sebastian York is my go-to guy. He can read the phone book and make it sound sexy.
My main reaction was frustration because the story had potential, but the narration was just ridiculous.
Even though I know this is a series (and the cover art is very clear that this is part of a series), I still HATE CLIFFHANGERS. Granted, this one was fairly obvious (and you can read the synopsis of the next book on Goodreads), but I still hate cliffhangers. The author could have tied up that last detail in this book, and then end it with some teaser for the ongoing story.Cliffhangers are an attempt to manipulate the reader into buying the next book in the series. If a book is well written and the characters are memorable, cliffhangers aren't necessary in order to sustain your readership.
The writing was very uneven and derivative. Not very well edited at all. The "f" word was used in ridiculous excess in the course of normal conversations amongst the characters. It was overkill. But the BIGGEST disappointment was the narration. Freddie Bates was maybe a 2-star, but Eliza Grace was a -1, so I gave the performance 1 star. I couldn't finish the book because the narration was so bad. I notice there's a review already posted that says the narrations was amazing. I suspect that person must be a close relative of one of the narrators.
Sebastian York and Grace Grant (although she seems to have dropped off the audiobook scene lately - I miss her).
I like stories about big, tight-knit families. The thing about the Walker family is that all the sons formed a company and work together. That's a bit too much togetherness to be believable (not to mention that they share women - that's DEFINITELY more togetherness than necessary!).
There's erotica and there's smut. I think this falls into the latter category.
I would have trimmed out a lot of the extraneous scenes, cleaned up the many grammatical errors and ended up with one really great book.
Compared to Bad Things and Rock Bottom, Lovely Trigger was much easier on the emotions.
The novella Lana is horrible.
The Up in the Air trilogy was on par with this series. Another case of 3 books that could have been condensed to 1 great book.
The female narrator did a pretty good job, but her voice as Danika was a bit flat. She did a good job creating voices for most of the other female characters, especially Estella.
The male narrator really lacked talent. I would give the female narrator 4 stars and the male narrator 2 stars, so I came up with 3 stars overall.
It made me realize that I am addicted to erotica. Consequently, it inspired me to give up erotica and get back into books from other literary categories.
The most important thing in Lovely Trigger was Tristan's sobriety. I thought the author did a good job keeping that theme present throughout the book.
First, I have to say that I am annoyed with Audible for not putting this book on the home page as a book that I would be interested in based on my past purchases, seeing as I have the other three books in my library. I just stumbled upon it by accident as I was browsing the website the other day.
With that out of the way, my reaction to this book was "meh". The author basically tied up loose ends from the other three books, but that could have been done with an epilogue at the end of Eyes Wide Open. There's really not much in the way of more story in this book. It just felt like an excuse to extend the series in an attempt to get more money out of consumers.
Normally I love Grace Grant and Shane East, but in this book, Grant seemed very tentative in her narration. She slowed down and seemed to leave too much time between sentences. That's my main criticism of her performance in this book, but other than that, she did a good job - but not as good as she usually does.
Shane East did a good job, on par with his past performances. I have to say, though, when he reads a sex scene, it can be a bit over the top. If I'm listening at home, it's okay, but if I'm listening in my car, I have to pull over! :) He really puts it all out there, so good for him!
Bottom line for me is that it was an okay book. If you really liked the first three books, you will probably want to get this one to find out a few things, but overall, it just felt like a way to get more money out of me.
Some of the books in the Rough Riders series have been a lot more sexually graphic than this book. Chasin' Eight focused more on the story and the characters (although they definitely had some really hot sex going on, too). So for this reason, I would say that Chasin' Eight was a bit more balanced than some of the other books in this series. I didn't feel like I was being constantly bombarded with one sex scene after another.
I liked how Chase and Ava grew as people throughout their relationship. Their internal conflicts didn't feel manipulative or overly angst-ridden. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was a "believable" romance, but it definitely was not a Cinderella story like so many contemporary romances are. They were both at a crisis point in their respective lives, and their relationship was basically the catalyst that got them both to move on to better things.
I also liked the introduction of an unexpected relative in Chase's life towards the of the story. It felt very real to me, and I hope to find out what happens with that relationship if Audible ever gets the rest of the series on board.
So all in all, I liked the story. It wasn't as over the top as some of the other ones were; wasn't so all about sex; actually felt like real people dealing with real issues.
As for Vanessa Caine's narration, the first hour or two was very, very bad. Somewhere along the way, though, her voice mellowed out, and she did a much better job. Sometimes I don't know if it's the recording/engineering/sound people who screw up the audio, or if the narrator is really just that bad, but Vanessa Caine started out bad and ended up halfway decent.
Prior narrator, Rebecca Estrella, is just too flat and boring. Plus she mispronounces words all the time, which drives me crazy. For example, she pronounces "pinged" (think "ping pong") as "pinjed" (think "hinged"). I had to stop and rewind the first time she said that, trying to figure out what the heck that was all about. Thereafter, I understood what she meant when she said "pinjed".
Of course, the best narrator for Lorelei James's books is Scarlett Chase, but she seems to be only on the Blacktop Cowboys series so far. Wish she could have narrated this series as well.
Anyway, I liked Chase and Ava's story. The price of it was just about even with the cost of a credit, so I just put it on my credit card rather than use a credit. However, if you're not in a big hurry to go from Book 7 to Book 11 (since #8 through #10 are not available at this time), then wait for a sale or drop some big hints to friends and family that you'd like Chasin' Eight as a gift! :)
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