Now, I’m not a fan of abridged editions of any book, (having had a bad experience with one of my favourite books in the past) but, honestly, this could be a candidate for my first ever recommendation for abridgement! There are pages and pages of deliberation (internal and external dialog) before anybody does anything in this book. The author constantly has the characters asking each other “why?”. The reasoning behind this is presumably to explore their motivations but the author needs to trust that her readers are not morons and her writing is of a good enough standard that we KNOW “why” and we don’t have to have it spelled out in excruciating detail for the next 20 pages. Either that or practice the first rule of fiction writing – show don’t tell. By the time I’d got to yet another “why?” about two-thirds of the way through I had frankly given up caring. I’m not looking for literary excellence in romance novels - if I wanted that I’d be reading the Brontes - but as a reader I should be able to figure out character motivations from the writing that has gone before an action.
On the plus side, however, I did finish the book. I liked the characters. The strong, honourable but flawed hero who rescues an equally strong but damaged heroin and ends up getting “saved” by her himself is nothing new but it remains the satisfying basis for any good romance. The story has a couple of interesting twists in the plot, especially Desi’s past which is teased out intriguingly and there are lots of interesting peripheral characters.
I probably won’t buy the rest in the series because I’m looking for something in a more succinct style but, that said, it was enjoyable enough.
This is one of the author's earlier works and not one of her romantic suspense offerings. As a romance it had great potential, however, it misses the mark a bit. It reads more like a soap opera with much angst, wringing of hands, secret pregancies, thin plot and sterotypical characters. The narrator reads the dialogue in a highly melodramatic, soap opera style also.
The title is also a misnomer. I chose this book partly because I enjoy miltary romances. This isn't one. The "soldier" in question is merely a plot device to separate the two halves of the book. The hero, a teen in the first half of the book, runs away to join the military in order to have him return in the second half as an adult. That's where the "soldier" aspect begins and ends. If you are looking for a military romance a la Stephanie Tyler or Suzanne Brockmann - you won't find here, despite the book's title.
On the whole, it wasn't the worst romance I've ever listened to, but it lacks the author's later style and sophistication. It's OK to listen to whilst doing chores but it won't keep you up all night finishing it.
Thank you previous reviewers - paranormal has never been my romance sub-genre of choice and if you all hadn't raved so effusively about this book I NEVER would have bought it. And I would have missed out on one of the best listening experiences I've had. This book is fantastic, so is the narrator. I love the story, the characters, the humour, the narration. The Tarren character is a bit too "full on" for my tastes but it doesn't detract from my total enjoyment.
I've already downloaded the second book and I haven't quite finished this one yet but every now and then you come across a book that you just don't want to end.
Thanks again Audible reviewers - you really know your stuff :)
This book didn't work for me. It's not that it's terribly bad (I've endured much worse) but it was nothing special. The publisher's description sounded really promising but I found myself falling asleep constantly while listening to it - lucky I wasn't driving :) The story was unexciting and the characters not really very compelling. There was nothing that really made this book stand out for me.
Maybe a better narrator could have lifted the book from the "just OK" level. I'm a huge believer in the importance of the narrator - they can make or break. This narrator did not make the book come alive for me. She slurs some of her words and I found this increasingly irritating. Her largely monotone narration contributed to my tendency to fall asleep while listening.
This book was not my best audiobook experience but definitely not my worst - just very blah.
I had completely the opposite experience with this book than did the previous reviewer. I really enjoyed it. I have read the other two books in the series so knew that I like the author but am always hesitant to get the audio version of an author I like because of the narrator. To me, the narrator is just as important as the author, if not more so, having had a few bad experiences of terrible narrators totally ruining favourite books.
I really enjoyed story and narrator here. I figured out quite early on who was responsible for the kidnapping but I enjoyed letting the story play out to confirm my suspicions and to understand the motive. Which leads me to one criticism - the motives for the kidnapping weren't very convincing. It seemed like the villain went to a huge amount of evil-doing for such a weak motive.
The narrator was good, with some good voice differentiation and pacing. I am definitely going to get the other two books on audio.
I am a huge Jill Sorenson fan and have read all her other books so was very excited when I found this one as an Audible offering. It wasn't her best, however. The action takes place almost entirely inside a concrete structure created after an earthquake. Maybe due to the lack of external stimulus the story is quite slow and revolves entirely around the survivors trying to find a way to escape, at the same time dealing with the threat posed by some escaped convicts. It reminded me in part of one of the earlier (albeit better) episodes of Lost.
The narrator reads very deliberately and doesn't really ratchet up the tension much, adding to the so-so element of this book.
Not a bad listen but a bit disappointing.
It's not often I laugh out loud at a book but I did at this one. Leslie's second encounter with a fire extinguisher is really quite funny, especially when she declares "It's the only thing he understands". Otherwise, this is a typical Robyn Carr delight. The narrator is wonderful and you can just lose yourself in the escapism of this wonderful town and its characters. I only gave the story a 3 because, to my mind, it dragged a bit at the end but perhaps I was just waiting for another appearance of the fire extinguisher !
I am abandoning this half way through - I just can't get past the narrator. She sounds like an elderly lady and this book calls for a younger sounding voice. The story sounds like it could be good but I can't concentrate on it because of the narration.
I bought this book because it was narrated by Patrick Lawlor - and because I liked most of Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters (hey - they are mostly narrated by PL - what's not to love!) - even though I knew going in that the story/genre of this book is not my thing. Sadly, even Patrick Lawlor couldn't save the book for me. If you are into the fantasy genre of super-powers doing mind control and taking over other people's bodies, then it's probably a really great book. I'll have to get my Patrick Lawlor fix somewhere else.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There's lots of action, good romance, interesting characters. If I had the slightest criticism it would be that in parts it reminded me of an episide of the old Miami Vice TV shows but that didn't really detract from the overall enjoyment.
I really like the narrator too. She had good voice differentiation and a non-intrusive style that kept up with pace of the action.
If you are looking for a sweet, cozy romance this one probably isn't for you. It's fairly gritty and somewhat violent (for a romance, anyway), but if you like military-flavoured romance and a kick-butt female protagonist who can more than hold her own, then you'll enjoy this book as much as I did.
I would definitely buy another book by this author and this narrator.
I enjoyed this story - the protagonist is blind and this gives the standard romantic suspense story an interesting and different angle. The story has a bit of everything - excitement, mystery, romance and the pacing is just right. Natalie survives a few attempts on her life, an intruder in her house and an attempted kidnapping, all of which would be terrifying enough for a sighted person but she seems to just shrug them of in a bit of a cavalier fashion, being more concerned about inherited insanity. Other than that, though, the characters were engaging and just flawed enough to be likeable.
The narrator though, not so much. The mark of a good narrator is one that you can't "hear", whose own voice doesn't intrude on the story. This narrator has a melodramatic downturn inflexion in her voice at the end of EVERY sentence, which I found very intrusive. Although she managed to differentiate the womens' voices a little bit, the men, especially Mac, she read in the same bored, monotone as she did the narrative parts. Mac sounded like an automaton - no passion, no interest, no personality. If this book had been narrated by, say, Johanna Parker or Gabra Zachman it would have been a much better read.
I'd definitely look for another book by Virna DePaul but I'd be looking for a different narrator.
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