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.
Despite the fact that this book sounds like it should be really good I couldn’t finish it because, YET AGAIN, the narrator is terrible. Seriously, who selects the narrators? Authors cannot possibly be unaware that a bad narrator is going to completely sabotage their book. Can they???
OK, this narrator has a sexy, gravelly voice – but he does not know how to read aloud. Seriously!! It’s like listening to a computer-generated read. The narrative is clipped and monotone. Where there IS emphasis, it is completely on the wrong word or part of the sentence. Mostly, it sounds like the narrator doesn’t understand the words he is reading.
Strangely, however, he is not at all bad on the dialogue. He does decent voice differentiation and can get the right emphasis so that it doesn’t sound like he is reading a foreign language. This just adds to the frustration, however. Maybe he is an excellent stage actor? Perhaps he should stick to that!
There are so many really good actors/narrators out there – please, please, whoever selects the narrators, have a care for your listeners. We might not be listening to Tolstoy or the Brontes but we HAVE spent our hard-earned money. Surely we should be able to expect a quality narrator?
It's probably not fair for me to low-rate this book, since I knew when I bought it that it wasn't really my thing. I like more "gritty", military or spec ops romances (Stephanie Tyler, Suzanne Brockmann, etc) but it was on sale and read by my favourite narrator so I thought I'd give it a try. It is very, very clean and innocent, although not Christian. There seemed to be a cast of thousands which I had trouble keeping straight and none of them were particularly interesting or colourful, in fact stereotypes abound in this book. There were a couple of interesting historical insights (like how the town had to prepare for the coming of the railroad) but, at the end of the day, there is nothing new in the story and the ending was cringly predictable and trite.
Now, I would normally pay money to listen to Patrick Lawlor read the ingredients on a cereal box but even he seemed to be uncomfortable with the material somehow, and this wasn't one of his best performances although his Irish brogue is a delight.
The book doesn't set out to be anything more than a light, pleasant romance and that's really all it is. It is definitely suitable for all ages and sensibilities but it lacks passion, and not just of the sexual kind. It meanders gently through a simpler age but it leaves you unfulfilled and indifferent to the age and the lives you just shared for 9+ hours.
After the disappointment of Aftershock Jill Sorenson is back on form with this one. We first met the main characters in Aftershock and that story is referenced a few times in this one but this book is far superior to Aftershock. It features the broad, fresh canvas of the wild outdoors (rather than the claustrophobic stagnation of Aftershock) and is much more exciting and faster-paced for that. The author paints some wonderful visuals of the park and you can almost smell the fresh air. If Sam is a bit stereotypical/two-dimensional then the interesting, "shades of grey" character of Jay/Xavier more than makes up for that.
Like Aftershock, there are shades of the TV show Lost in this book also - a dead pilot on a plane, the plane falling on people, tracking villains across the "jungle", etc (at one point I almost expected a polar bear to show up!) but it all adds to the visuals and excitement.
I remain slightly disappointed in the choice of narrator. She is fairly monotone and never really ratchets up the excitement or changes her very deliberate way of reading.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book and am eagerly awaiting the next Jill Sorenson offering.
I usually love Stephanie Tyler but the narrator is so bad on this one that I couldn't finish it. It's a shame as the story sounds as though it could be good but I will have to read it instead.
Different narrator - one who understands how punctuation affects how a sentence is read.
Absolutely not. There is no consideration of punctuation or context. The emphasis is on the wrong words in the sentence, if any at all. I cringed through 20 minutes and had to abandon it.
Don't know, couldn't get passed the first 20 minutes of terrible narration.
Please authors/publishers take care in who you choose as narrator.
I enjoyed this one more than some of the earlier KGIs, partly because I much prefer this narrator. I bought this book partly because I have enjoyed this narrator's work on other Maya Banks books. Also, though, the story is exciting and the characters interesting. I have enjoyed some of the earlier KGIs but the narrator made all the difference for me on this one.
I bought this book based on its high recommendation from other listeners but it wasn't really for me. There is a funny part at the end with the cat (who is the best character in the book) but other than that, I found it to be very drawn-out and a bit tortuous. The narrator was good enough for the material she had to work with but there really wasn't much plot at all. It's really just hours and hours of a couple finally getting together.
This is just a basic romance novel. There are no real sub-plots or fascinating secondary characters. It's just boy meeets girl and a whole lot of angst around why they couldn't possibly get together - for nearly 14 hours!
This wasn't an exhilarating, or even all that interesting, listen for me.
This book was a exercise in perseverance for me. I didn't know the author and I hated it when I first started listening to it - didn't like the characters, didn't care for the narrator and the plot was ridiculous (a sibling being expected to pay off her sister's multi-million dollar debt). I decided to return it to Audible but it was late so I decided to listen to another 30 mins and return it in the morning. Well, 30 mins turned into 1 hour 30 mins and by the morning I had got to a funny part and wanted to find out what happened so I decided to give it another hour. After that some really great characters had shown up and I had to listen to some more because I really enjoyed them (I'm talking Elvyra especially here). And so it went on. Nine hours of listening later I had to admit I was hooked.
So, if you try this book and hate it - persevere. Once you get into the style and the characters and you've laughed out loud a few hundred times it is actually an absolute gem. I'm so glad I stuck with it.
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.
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