I really enjoyed this story. I liked the characters, liked the plot, and I liked the setting. I like reading romances with sports. And this author actually bothered to describe the sport. You know what I didn't like? It's the 3rd in a series, but the first 2 weren't available!
Setting: Alternate present day New York
Genre: Paranormal romance
I got this book on the recommendation of the fine people of the Goodreads group Romance Audiobooks. Am I ever glad I followed their advice! The H/h are interesting people. Dragos, the leader of the Wyr-kind is a typical Alpha male. Well, not really. He's more Alpha than that. Pia is a half human, half Wyr of unknown specification who has been in hiding her entire life. She has multiple exit plans in the event she needs to escape. Which, after managing to break into and steal from Dragos' hoard, she needs. Really. So the story is about his capture of her when her plan fails, and whether he will rend her to pieces or fall in love. Both characters manage growth over the course of the story. I'd give this a rating of NC-17 due to violence and the wonderfully depicted sensuality.
I'd only heard one narration by Sophie Eastlake, and that was in a short novella ages ago. That didn't make an impression, but I am quite impressed with this. Her performance of each character is well-done and her range is great.
Be warned that if you get this (and you really should if you like the shape-shifter genre), you'll want them all. So yummy!
Two stories in the world of the paranormal Elder Races series
Four stars for True Colors
The characters in the first story were engaging and likable, and the plot kept my interest. Gideon is an Alpha male, with both positive and negative attributes that make him real. The character of Alice is three-dimensional, with positive and negative traits that make her believable in the plot.
Two stars for Natural Evil
What can I say? I just couldn't find anything in Claudia attractive. Except for rescuing the half-dead dog at the side of the road, there is nothing engaging about her as a romantic heroine. I understand that going to war can put a hard edge on people, but I've known people with war-related PTSD, and they weren't all morose and unhappy. You do not forget how to laugh just because you've seen death up close and personal - just ask any first-responder. Luis was okay, but these two as love-interests didn't strike me as realistic, even in the unreal world of the paranormal.
I did enjoy the Tarot deck as a device to connect the two stories.
Narration was great. I am enjoying Sophie Eastlake's performance of this series.
This was worth the credit, if only for the first story.
Setting: Rainshadow Island, planet Harmony, future
This was heavier on the sci-fi than romance. The setting and technology make it more sci-fi, though the psychic abilities of the characters give it a paranormal flavor. This is the background for all the books in this series. The main characters, Sedona and Cyrus, are likable, and the plot is engaging enough. However... The relationship between them feels sort of forced rather than an organic development based on shared background and experience. I couldn't find a way to connect. The suspense wasn't very riveting, as it was such a let-down that everything happened at the end with such a slow build-up. It seems like JAK is so intent on getting books out under any of her names that quality is being sacrificed for quantity.
I loved Barbara Rosenblat's narration on all the Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mysteries, but I don't think she was the right choice for this book. The story-telling style Rosenblat uses for first person narrative isn't really appropriate for this type of book. I do wonder if I would have gotten more immersed in the story if it had been performed by someone like Xe Sands.
Go ahead and get this if you want all your JAK/JC/AQ Arcane Society books in audio format. Otherwise get it from the library or when the ebook is on sale.
Setting: Contemporary, obviously an alternate reality
Genre: Paranormal romance/erotica
3 1/2 stars
Gist of the story is, Taryn is from a wolf shifter pack, but she is latent, so she can't shift. Her father arranges a marriage to the gorgeous and charming Roscoe. But Roscoe pegs Taryn's creep-o-meter, so when Trey, the gorgeous and reputedly half-crazy Alpha of the Phoenix pack proposes a short marriage of convenience she accepts. His motivation is that he needs a mate to lend him credibility, which he needs to prevent his previous pack from absorbing the Phoenix through political machinations. Intrigue, sex, and violence ensue.
The story could have been tightened up without effecting the plot line, but it kept my interest anyway.
Jill Redfield provides a creditable narration. She doesn't do that obviously fake baritone for the males, and her females don't go into odd registers. She uses subtle inflection and pacing to differentiate the characters.
This is a credit-worthy listen
Setting : Contemporary, eastern Washington state
Narration is great because... Lorelei King
I just did a long review of this book at Goodreads, and I don't know how to copy and paste on a mobile device, so please check out the reviews there. There are quite a few 5-star ratings, but I couldn't agree. The POV is 1st person singular. which isn't a bad thing in this genre. I see a lot of books written in that viewpoint done well. However, this one is pretty passive-voice, with more tell than show, and dialogue isn't as abundant as it could be to show who the people are. There are interruptions in the action to remind the reader of information already provided.
The plot is a little thin, but I think the purpose of this book was to introduce conflicts and character backstory. If you plan on listening to this series (and it really is a series, needing to be done in order), this book gives a good foundation.
Setting: Contemporary, Eastern Washington state
Genre: Paranormal suspense with romantic elements
The story is about the arrest of Mercy Thompson's fae former boss for the murder of a human. Mercy knows it is connected to a series of murders on the fae reservation she helped solve, but Zee has forbidden her investigation into the crime. Well, being Mercy, she does what she wants. There's some well-written icky characters, both fae and human, and the suspense and mystery will keep you listening. On the romantic front, Mercy must decide which werewolf she wants.
Definitely worth continuing this series.
BTW, there's no sex in the series beyond kissing, at least through this book. The focus has been on the mystery/suspense so far.
Setting: Contemporary, Chicago
Genre: Romantic suspense
Loved the characters and their history is a good background. They were just getting into an I'm-interested-in-you-in-a-romantic way point in a working relationship when Assistant US Attorney General for Illinois Cameron Lynde did something that caused FBI agent Jack Pallas to go off about her on national TV. The budding mutual interest died on the vine with Jack's anger/hatred and his transfer to Nebraska (can you say hinterlands?). Fast forward 3 years and Jack is back in Chicago and his first case, the murder of an escort associated with a US Senator, involves Cameron as a material witness. The suspense fuels the romance which, in turn, amps the suspense. This is a great combination of likable characters and interesting plot with Karen White's excellent narration. She does both male and female characters well, and she doesn't skimp in the secondary people.
This was worth the credit and time I spent.
Setting: Contemporary, North Carolina, USA
Shape shifters, demons, vampires & witches. This is the world Jessie Lane has created with this series. The plot is about our heroic team going up against extremist shifters who want strong divisions between species of supernaturals, and who think of humans as a source of food. The heroine, Jenna O'Conner, is a hybrid wolf shifter-demon who is a SWAT team member on the Wilmington police force. The hero is Adam McPhee, the wolf shifter alpha of the local pack. Secondary characters are Kent, a demon and fellow SWAT team member, and Owen Davies, US Pack Master. Maybe there are others, but I only got through chapter 7 of 18 before I turned it off due to the horrible narration. What's wrong with the narration? Chandra Skyye does a pretty good job with the narrative, and Jenna's voice is okay. The male voices - not so good. Then there's the pacing. She pauses noticeably where I think there are commas, but Owen's voice and pacing are downright irritating! There are pauses mid-phrase, and the delivery is extremely laconic with this character. I tried x1.25 speed, but it can't disguise those disconcerting hesitations in the character's utterances.
I was neutral on the story because it sounds interesting, but I didn't get far enough into it to tell if it would continue to be interesting.
If the plot sounds good to you, get it in ebook. It's available on Kindle for $3.99
Setting: New England, contemporary
Genre: Paranormal romantic mystery
I like Amanda Ronconi's performances. She's so cheery, which works for light comedy.
I was disappointed with this book. The premise is great, about a group staying on an island to restore a Victorian mansion, but the characters are one-dimensional. The heroine is Nina, the landscape designer, and the hero is Deacon, the owner of the mansion/island. There is a large supporting cast of characters. Cindy is there to oversee the cleaning and organization of the place. Jake is Deacon's best friend and the architect for the restoration. Dotty is Deacon's unconventional cousin who provides some of the comic relief. Rick is Nina's ex-boss who is the creepy, uninvited visitor to the island. There's also a couple of visits from a very bad interior decorator (I don't know why she was even written in, as she provides no movement in the story). There are also ghosts.
The point of view is omniscient. This is pure laziness on the part of the author. It is much more difficult to keep to one point of view, showing all the action through the senses of one character, but it also provides for a smoother narrative. Showing unfolding events from perspective of all these characters caused a choppiness on the story line. The POV should have been limited to the H/h at the most.
All of the characters knew, going in, that the place was haunted by Deacon & Dotty's great-great-grandmother Catherine, who was murdered by her husband. They didn't have to ask who-dun-it because they already knew. So what was the impetus for the plot? What was the mystery if they didn't ask the question needed to create it? Really, the big mystery is why the characters didn't figure it out as soon as I did.
I am a big Molly Harper fan, but this was not worth the credit I used to get it.
Genre: Regency romance
Rosalyn Landor provides her usual wonderful performance. I truly enjoy her work.
This is the third in The Survivor's Club series. The male protagonist was introduced in the first book of the series, The Proposal, and mentioned in passing in The Arrangement, the second book.
The protagonists, Mrs. Samantha McKay and Sir Benedict Harper, are well rounded. They both have their individual challenges: hers is dealing with the overbearing, puritanical family of her late husband, and his is coming to terms with his disability. The plot is engaging. There aren't any huge conflicts, but there are a couple of minor ones. Hmm. I would say this is almost two stories with a road trip in between. The first part focuses on Samantha's situation and Ben's restlessness. The hero and heroine start out disliking one another, though Ben feels a grudging responsibility for Samantha. The road trip shows the gradual change in the relationship to liking and respect. The second part focuses on the relationship between Samantha and Ben, as well as Samantha's adjustment to life in Wales. It is a nice progression.
The novel is followed by an amusing novela, The Suitor, which is set immediately prior to The Arrangement, though the hero is introduced in The Proposal. I'd tell you more about it, but that might spoil it for you.
I highly recommend this audio production. It is worth the time and credit.
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