With so many books having similar story lines "Nobody's Baby But Mine" was unique. It was funny, with likable characters. There were some slow spots, but for the most part it kept my interest...I didn't want to stop listening to it.
The narrator was GREAT! I don't think another narrator could have brought out the humor the way she did--at times making me laugh out loud. It was a cute story, but Anna Fields made it memorable. I rarely listen to a book more than once, but I'll no-doubt listen to this one again.
The reason I purchased "Tilly" is because I have read and enjoyed other books by M. C. Beaton; plus, the story-line sounded cute. "NOT"--it lacks substance, the characters are odd, and the humor I found in her other books is missing.
I really didn't find anything endearing about "Tilly": it is slow, lacking in character development , and lacks the basics to make it a good read.
Charlotte Anne Dore has the ability to change her voice for the different characters, but in her attempt to make the pitiable leading lady, Tilly, sound like a hoyden, she made her sound mental.
I was very disappointed.
"Emerald and Sapphire" is a strange story. Kudos to Ms Parker for writing something quite different than the norm in the Historical Romance genre, but perhaps it was a little TOO different. I listened to it all the way through, hoping for something exciting to happen, but found it lacking in substance. The characters were well defined, but not very likable, other than the Heroine, Cassandra (Cassie), whom I felt sorry for.
It is a story of survival, of a naive innocent, and an unscrupulous, yet kindhearted thief, gambler, actor who helps others in need....about a con man who falls in love.
One thing that bothered me was the author's unrealistic creation of a character with an eye-patch who masqueraded as different personalities, and got away with it. Whether he wore it on his right or left eye it would be noticeably, and the Hero, Merlin, and his other personas, discovered.
The ending was unsatisfactory...one can only assume a HEA,
Was it worth a credit? I don't think so.
"The Bargain" is a sweet, unusual story, and one I could not stop listening to. I did not read the original version published in 1989 as "The Would-Be Widow", but I certainly enjoyed this revamped version.
The strong willed heroine, Lady Jocelyn Kendal, has deeply buried emotional issues, which effects her decision making. So, when she is faced with having to marry before her twenty-fifth birthday or lose her inheritance to her uncle and wicked aunt-by-marriage, according to her father's will, she is at a loss as to what to do. She refuses to marry without a love match, and she has only been interested in one man, the Duke of Candover, despite the many men who have tried to woo her. Although she thinks he has feelings for her, she knows she can not convince him to marry her in the 4 weeks before her birthday, besides he has never seemed interested in commitment.
While visiting a friend recuperating at the Military Hospital she realizes she may have come across the answer to her prayers. Major David Lancaster has been fatally wounded and is not expected to live. He is not afraid to die, but is worried about his unmarried sister's well being and future. So when Jocelyn learns of this she sees an opportunity that she simply can't pass up.
I enjoyed Emma Newman's narration, although soft spoken she did well defining the different characters.
I recommend "The Bargain" to all Historical Romance lovers.
Compared to other books I have chosen to listen to recently "Lord of Scoundrels" merits more than than a 5 Star rating.
This book had me totally riveted! It is a story that gives birth to an array of emotions. It was funny, sad, frustrating, with never a dull moment.
I felt so sorry for our hero growing up unwanted and unloved. From birth, Dain's father deemed his son an abomination, because of his "grossly overlarge nose" and "ill-proportioned limbs" he'd inherited from his Italian mother's side of the family. An outcast, because of his big nose and swarthy visage, Lord Dain was physical and mental abused by students at Eton (where he was sent at age 8) as well as tutors, with no one to turn to for help. As he grew to manhood, to compensate for lack of self esteem, for feeling unworthy of love, Dain resolves never to care for another person and to live only for his own dissolute pleasure.
Then he meets Jessica, a wonderful mix of charm, wit, strength, and heartfelt devotion to her family. Her brother has joined Lord Dain's groupies, and wants to be like his hero--drinking to access, gambling and wenching. Jessica, well aware that her brother is easily led, is determined to get him away from Lord Dain before he drives the family into bankruptcy...and the "battle of the sexes" begins. Not wanting to be a spoiler, I will stop here.
I highly recommend "Lord of Scoundrels" to all Romance lovers.
"Silent Revenge" is a touching historical romance featuring two wounded hearts who marry for convenience. The premise is an old one. Simon, the Earl of Northcote, is broke and needs money to keep his estates. Lady Jessica Stanton needs to marry to keep her stepbrother from taking everything she has and having her committed to an asylum. Jessica needs to get married within 6 days, when she turns 25, to save herself and her vast fortune.
It is a much told story, but with a twist. Lady Jessica has two secrets that have been shared with only a few trusted friends...one secret could give her stepbrother cause in the eyes of Regency England to commit her to an asylum.
Simon, on the other hand is suspected of murdering his father and fleeing the country 3 years ago. He has his own secrets and his own reasons for marrying Jessica. Money is one but there is another that is more important to him than the money.
"Silent Revenge" is a well written story with superb narration by Rosalyn Landor.
I enjoyed "What The Duke Desires", it was well written with engaging characters. The narrator did a great job.
Our hero, Maximilian (Max) Kale, the Duke of Lyons, was a second son who became the heir when his older brother was kidnapped as a child. The Duke, having a mad father and Great Uncle, fears madness runs in his family and dreads having to marry to produce an heir. So when he gets a note saying his older brother may be alive, he makes an assignation with Tristan Bonnaud, who supposedly has proof, and can lead him to his brother---but Tristan is a "no show" and has gone missing himself. Searching for Tristan leads Max to Tristan's half brother, Dom, who owns an investigative business. Dom is out of town on business, so the Duke ends up aided (and manipulated) by the investigator’s half sister, Lisette Bonnaud, the illegitimate daughter of a viscount, and Tristan's sister.
A big part of the story takes place on a trip from England to France, where Max and Lisette travel as a middle-class married couple. The mystery is well done and keeps one guessing.
Well worth a credit!
"Return of the Rose" is captivating--an enjoyable diversion from every-day life, as we travel back in time to England 1444.
Earlier in 1420 twin girls are born to Richard Forester, Lord of Silverwood, one hale and hearty, the other sickly and not expected to live, but Lord Silverwood will not accept the death of his infant daughter. He takes his ailing babe to the Witch of Devonshire who can use her powers to transport her to the future where she can get the medical attention she needs to survive.
Morgan Hayes (AKA: Morgana Forester) came into the modern world of 1986 as a day-old infant left on the doorstep of a widow who owns an antique shop with an authentic hollow suit of armor that stands in her shop window. Morgan has always been fascinated with the armor, feeling an unexplainable familiarity with it...and on her 24th birthday she becomes entangled with the armor and is transported back to England,1444 where she is mistaken for Amanda Forrester, a twin sister she knows nothing about. Amanda has been ordered by King Henry to wed Lord Derek Vanguard, of Braddock Hall, but runs away. Neither want the marriage, but Lord Derek will comply with his King's demands. Derek mistakes Morgan for her twin sister Amanda.
If you are looking for historical accuracy, this is not the book for you. Several bits were rather implausible--the women of Braddock Hall willing to wear 'bikinis' when they played in the lake, Morgan saving a Village child's life by applying CPR without being cast out (or burned at the stake) as a witch, and her designing a backless/sleeveless dress to meet the King...but it is a funny, sweet, well written novel. I would not have guessed it to be Ms Ragan's debut novel.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to "Return of the Rose" and Katherine Kellgren's performance. In my opinion, regardless of the story, the narrator makes the difference between enjoyment and dissatisfaction.
I highly recommend Return of the Rose.
The story summarizes longer versions of like stories.
English Duke's daughter becomes estranged from her father for marrying for love, against his will. Their only son, Harry Connelly, surviving the wilds of the Americas, returns to England to face his Grandfather.
If you don't have a lot of time to read/listen or not in the mood for full version novels that arouse heavy emotions, short stories like "It Could Only Be You", may supply your need for a good romantic light read. It's well written for a short story (1 hour 57 min.) and doesn't leave you hanging like some do. Stevie Zimmerman performed well.
There's a couple of editing errors where the same words are repeated.
All in all, not a bad book!
It could have been better...IF there had been more dialog (the hero and heroine "think" what they want, don't want, plan to do, etc. more than converse with each other) -- IF an in-depth explanation had been given WHY the villain, Mr. Brown, wanted all the Russell sisters dead -- HOW he was involved with the murder of their father.
I liked the story-line, if it had been better executed, I felt important elements were missing. The theme of the story (who killed Mr. Russell, and did he swindle his investors) was too vague.
Maddie Russell, one of three sisters, takes it upon herself to find out who framed and killed their father, which left his daughters homeless and destitute. Her father's vague note stating "never trust a pirate" leads Maddie to Capt. Thomas Morgan's household posing as a maid, to search for evidence of the privateers guilt.
The romance was good--good chemistry between the hero & heroine.
The narration was okay, but Xe Sands had a sarcastic undertone in her manner of speaking throughout the story, which became irritating after awhile.
The book moved a little too slow for my taste, and because of this and the reasons above I cannot recommend it.
I have always enjoyed Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, but have never read/heard one of their debuts, until now. Poirot first appears in "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" (published in 1920), which took place in a British country manor, Styles Court. A wealthy old mistress, Mrs. Inglethorpe, was poisoned to death, and anyone, including her newly-married 'younger' husband, her stepsons, her daughter-in-law, the young protegee, and the mysterious doctor, could be the murderer; and I found the many twists and turns of the story kept me guessing WHO KILLED MRS. INGLETHORPE until the end.
Hercule Poirot is one of Christie's most famous and long-lived characters, appearing in 33 novels, one play (Black Coffee), and more than 50 short stories published between 1920 and 1975.
In this debut novel Captain Arthur Hastings' (a secondary character) first description of Poirot is as follows:
He was hardly more than five feet four inches but carried himself with great dignity. His head was exactly the shape of an egg, and he always perched it a little on one side. His moustache was very stiff and military. The neatness of his attire was almost incredible; I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound. Yet this quaint dandified little man had been, in his time, one of the most celebrated members of the Belgian police.
Through David Thorn's superb performance each character and scene is easily visualized. His ability to change his voice for so may characters is amazing.
It's a non-violent (according to today's murder mysteries) light read, and a nice change of pace. The 6 hours and 26 min. was just the right amount of time for me; each minute full of intrigue.
I recommend it to anyone who wants an entertaining break from their usual genre.
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