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mergra

WILLUNGA, Australia | Member Since 2009

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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4

  • The Proposition

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Judith Ivory
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (107)

    Lady Edwina Bollash is a woman of importance and distinction who has never been the object of any man's affection. However, when she meets Mick Tremore, a tall, handsome young man from the bottommost rung of society, she instantly attracts his attention. As Mick wants desperately to become a gentleman, Edwina decides to transform him into a man with class.

    Mary says: "Very enjoyable as well as fun"
    "One of the best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the only audiobook I've listened to twice. In a row. Just to savour the story, the narration and the characters. Mick is such a lovable character, beautifully portrayed - a down-to-earth man who cannot resist drawing out the beauty hidden inside Winnie, while she works her magic on him, transforming his external self to match his interior gentle, personable self. Her innocence is portrayed sensitively and VERY believably. I like it that she is not the perfect figure of a woman and I also like Mick's preoccupation with her legs - bordering on fetish but soooo sensually described. Quite amazing how those legs tie up the whole story. Listening to this book was a sumptuous pleasure. Steven Crossley's narration is absolutely outstanding. I'm not much of a one for male narrators (Richard Armitage excepted) but Mr Crossley's performance of this book is consummate. I daresay I will listen to it again... it's like a really tasty dish, you want to have it over and over!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Not for Sale

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Sandra Marton
    • Narrated By Jennifer Woodward
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Lucas Vieira needs a translator to seal a high-profile business deal, and also a woman to pose as his girlfriend to fend off a colleague’s over-eager wife - so why not kill two birds with one stone? Translator Caroline Hamilton jumps at the chance to earn some decent money. But when she meets her client she realises she may be out of her depth. The powerful Brazilian seems to be interested in more than her brains.... But is the price of passion just too high?

    mergra says: "Bit unbelievable"
    "Bit unbelievable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Not for Sale? What did you like least?

    Best part - plenty of passion.
    I least liked the transparency of the book - it really only has a slight pretense to a plot. Personally I prefer romance with more contextualisation of the characters, to make them more believable... e.g. at one point the female protagonist has to leave home to avoid being burgled/possibly attacked; she packs virtually nothing and then seems quite happy to stay with a man who she hardly knows for an unknown period of time. Practicalities seem to be forgotten.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Sandra Marton? Why or why not?

    Yes I would. I've read reviews of her books and they sound great. Maybe this wasn't the best one to start with (it's the first of hers that I've listened to).


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jennifer Woodward?

    Hmmm.... not sure about that. Her voice is a bit... callow. I'd prefer a more mature voice.


    Did Not for Sale inspire you to do anything?

    Wait for other Sandra Morton audiobooks to become available for listening in my country. There are so many books off limits to us here in Australia.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall a light, unchallenging read. Good for indulgence in a world of passion. Not sure that I'll listen to it more than once.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Taking Care of Business

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Megan Hart, Lauren Dane
    • Narrated By Vivienne Scully
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (48)

    After leaving the wrong man, Leah Griffin's not ready to look for the right one. All she wants is to survive the conference she's planning and spend some time with her best friend, Kate Edwards. She's not expecting the conference services manager to be so tall, dark and handsome...or so eager to please. It's Brandon Long's job to make Leah happy, but after a scorching interlude in her hotel room, neither can deny business has become pleasure. Smart, driven, and successful attorney Katherine Edwards has spent her life doing the right thing but Charles Dixon is a bad choice she can't help but make - over and over.

    karen says: "Horrible Narrator Bad story"
    "Hm... not too bad..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is about two relationships - Kate & Dix and Leah & Brandon. The former is a 'normal' romantic-sexual relationship and the latter is about the development of a Dom-Sub sexual-romantic relationship, where Leah is the dom. Not sure how I felt about this arrangement. Brandon is quite a nice guy and I feel a bit sorry for him. Lots of sex scenes... the story seems like a bit of an adjunct to the sex. Not that I usually mind this but maybe this was emphasised because I'm not really into DS, even when the male is dom. Scully's narration is okay... sometimes not a lot of differentiation between character's voices, so you have to listen closely to work out who's said what. Somehow there's something contrived about this novel... possibly because the two authors overworked it in an attempt to get it just right. Maybe others will like it more than I did.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In Too Deep

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Portia Da Costa
    • Narrated By Imogen Church
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (83)

    I just want a taste of you. Or a touch. My fantasies about you plague my every waking hour. My only comfort is imagining that similar fantasies might obsess you too. When young librarian Gwendolynne Price starts finding increasingly erotic love notes to her in the suggestion box at work, she finds them both shocking and liberating. But who is her mystery admirer and how long will he be content to just admire her from afar...?

    Kimberly says: "Naughty & Wonderful"
    "Oh my..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A brilliant combination of erotica, suspense (of the titillating kind) and romance. The narrator is OUTSTANDING. She makes the book a very personal experience, especially as it's written in first person. Not for the faint-hearted, i.e. if you like just a little bit of hotness in the romantic stories you read then this story might be too much for you. Portia and Imogen transport you, in the opening scene, directly to Gwendolynne's first letter from 'Nemesis' and it is... ...well, you've got to listen to it to see what I mean :) I love this book because it has just the right combination of everything for my taste in erotica and it is also very believable. Gwendolynne is not a perfect Barbie doll and neither is Daniel a perfect Ken, though his physical attributes are very adequate, even with his 'spectacles'. It's believable too because the core of Daniel's situation gives clear insight as to why he might choose such intensity in his interactions with Gwendolynne. Lovely ending too. A very satisfying book. A++++++++++
    P.S. This book was published in 2008 so it precedes Fifty Shades of Grey by four years. It is far better, from so many points of view, especially the writing style, which is impeccable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Shell Seekers

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Rosamunde Pilcher
    • Narrated By Hannah Gordon
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Artist's daughter Penelope Keeling can look back on a full and varied life, yet she is far too energetic and independent to settle sweetly into pensioned-off old age. Now she is faced with a decision that could tear her family apart.

    Wilma says: "Wonderful"
    "Beautiful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Superbly written and beautifully narrated. Brilliant story.
    Ms Pilcher portrays the human character and its many nuances in such loving detail - she's a superlative storyteller with a profound understanding of how people tick.
    Usually I'm not fond of a writing style that jumps from person to person and/or different times/eras, but this book is a perfect illustration of how this can be done without detracting from the story.
    This is a gentle tale, enormously readable, positive and heart-warming. It ranks in my top 5 books and I'd give it 10 stars if that was possible!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Darker Place

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (57)

    Professor Anne Waverly teaches religious studies at a respected university. Middle-aged and slightly lame, she spends her days in lecture halls and offices. But occasionally, she works for the FBI. As Ana Wakefield, an eager seeker of higher truths, she infiltrates cults. Now, leaving the security of academia, she is on her way to Arizona in a battered VW bus.

    ELAINE says: "One of my Favorites"
    "Atmosphere of a sad woman's mind"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A well written story, though I found the end a little too abrupt.
    Quite a dark atmosphere, mostly depicted via Anne/Ana's tragic past and her attempts, throughout the book, to work through this in the present with the two children she encounters in the Change community.
    It's certainly an absorbing listen and well narrated too :)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Double Exposure

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Stephen Collins
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Top TV critic Joe McBride, is doing fine professionally, but his private life is a mess, what with a five-year-old daughter, an angry ex-wife, and a very-soon-to-be-ex-fiancée, not to mention a come-hither co-anchor and a beautiful brand-new neighbor who's alluring, available...and much, much, more than meets the eye.

    mergra says: "Engaging..."
    "Engaging..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed listening to this book as I usually do when Susan Erickson is narrating. It's an interesting portrait of the lengths to which a revengeful (very creative!) mind might go. It certainly raises questions about the power wielded by TV critics (or any media critic, for that matter) as well as the naivety, foolhardiness and self involvement of a sexually aroused male ego. I've given it fewer stars because there was something slightly disjointed about it - a kind of cynicism that I don't personally enjoy --> horrifically manipulative female vs self-absorbed, led-by-the-penis male. When I think about it, nearly every character in the book is portrayed unsympathetically. Perhaps that's why I didn't like it. Others with less need for warm-n-fuzzies might rate it higher : )

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3246)
    Performance
    (2875)
    Story
    (2885)

    Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable.

    Mikeyxote says: "Great listen for tech fans"
    "Great insight into how hacking works"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Being a bit of a computer geek myself, I really appreciated the insight into how hacking works, particularly from its early days. And it provides a clear view into the mind of an addict, as well as the fearful approach of a legal system that doesn't quite know how to handle a new phenomenon (a bit like how society handles ETs - major overkill). Yes Mitnick may have done 'wrong' in poking around into people's business, but it's a great shame that he was incarcerated for lots of things he didn't actually do. Perhaps this was because those who checked into what he actually DID do, didn't have the expertise to know the length and breadth of what he HAD done (only Mitnick, a pioneer in the field, could know this, thus the legal eagles would have to rely on HIS testimony for this information, which of course was dubious due to the incredible depth to which he had probed cyber technology... To believe that Kevin hadn't made $$$ out of the passwords etc in his possession would be an act of faith --> the legal system isn't exactly an upholder of that virtue :)

    Mitnick's insights on Social Engineering are immensely interesting. I've always wondered about the ease with which one might pose as a genuine employee of a company. You'd only need to know the jargon/lingo specific to that company, and you're 'in', particularly if you're friendly and understanding when you deal with employees who are rushed, stressed and most of all, underpaid for the massive job they do. It happened to me back in 2000 - I worked in a secure environment and the receptionist put through a call to me from someone who was quite a dangerous character, but VERY charming.

    Here's the thing: the level of security we now have in cyberspace probably wouldn't be as tight as it is without Mitnick's escapades. In many ways it's good that he was an addict - someone more focused on making big bucks would probably have done their damnedest to take the money and run!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Bone Is Pointed

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Arthur Upfield
    • Narrated By Peter Hosking
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (27)

    Jack Anderson was a big man with a foul temper, a sadist and a drunk. Five months after his horse appeared riderless, no trace of the man has surfaced and no one seems to care. But Bony is determined to follow the cold trail and smoke out some answers.

    Dennis says: "Click "next" if you are on the fence for this one"
    "Rich insight into Indigenous life of the era"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed listening to this story - more for the story itself than for the narration. For some reason I couldn't take to Peter Hosking's voice... it was okay at first but started to grate on me after a while. There's a kind of constant upturn and clipping note in each of his sentences - quite distracting. I did my level best to ignore this and eventually it didn't bother me as much.

    The most outstanding part of this book is the detailed insight it gives into the customs, beliefs and lifestyle of Australian Aborigines. If you're interested in learning about their culture, Upfield's work is a great place to start. I'd be really interested to hear what today's blackfellas think of this book. Cheers to Arthur Upfield - what an amazing man!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (101)

    On the day after Halloween, in the year 1327, four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge. They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius, and a girl who wants to be a doctor. In the forest they see two men killed. As adults, their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed and revenge. They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war.

    Brodie says: "Astounding!"
    "Nearly as good as Pillars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to Pillars of the Earth (POE) I was avid to listen to this one. I think John Lee's narration is better in World Without End (WWE), his voice seemed more relaxed. I've read reviews of it elsewhere and these expressed a strong theme of the story being more like a soap opera, and objections to the frequent description of sex scenes, rape, violence etc. I can't say I agree with either of these criticisms, though I do agree that there is more of the latter in this book than in the previous one. There also seems to be more talking/scheming behind closed doors - I've interpreted this as a reflection of the changed times, after all, the book is set 200 years later and I'm sure that the level of fear about 'sinning' may have become more conscious, thus more verbalised than in POE. Further, the motivation toward accumulation of wealth and the justification for this (added to the growing distrust for the church) would mean that the scheming/scamming could be less 'secret' than 200 years beforehand. Anyway, all criticisms aside, I loved this book, just as I loved the previous one and I highly recommend it - particularly to those who have an interest in medieval history - it brings the period alive. Follett has a very candid and realistic approach to human nature; if you like that approach then this is the book for you!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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