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RabidReads

Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Book Review Blogger.

Wakefield, QC, Canada | Member Since 2011

101
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 56 reviews
  • 56 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • Lover Revealed: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By J.R. Ward
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1881)
    Performance
    (1285)
    Story
    (1299)

    Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

    Antoinette says: "My Favorite"
    "Impassioned, dramatic and delivers a great story"
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    Butch has been one of my favorite characters of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series since he was introduced. What attracted me the most about him was the fact that he is the only human out of the bunch and yet he still manages to hold his own in the vampire world. This alone makes him the most badass of them all in my opinion! His story is different from those of the brothers in many respects but it’s just as riveting and heartbreaking. Plus, it’s about Marissa too who’s a phenomenal character in her own right. Lover Revealed will make you weep, seethe with anger and then weep some more. It’s a killer ride but the ending makes it all worth while.

    Lover Awakened is a hard act to follow but Ward still manages to deliver a solid fourth installment. I particularly enjoyed the friendship between V and Butch in Lover Revealed. It’s not easy to convey brotherly love without having their manhood take a slight hit but this book succeeded. The level of devotion and honesty that comes through in this novel is breath taking. The characters try to play it down with some manly joking which made the emotional elements both moving and funny at the same time. Butch puts up a strong front but on the inside he’s really quite vulnerable. I liked reading about his personal conflicts and his struggle to find a place to belong within the brotherhood.

    Marissa is just as troubled as Butch but because she’s a female her emotions are always close to the surface and sometimes make her appear weak. I found that she grew a lot as a character in this book. She finally takes charge of her life and even pulls a few ballsy moves that really impressed me. Oh, and she finally gets laid! Anyone who’s capable of remaining a virgin for over three centuries deserves some credit. As a result, in true Black Dagger Brotherhood fashion, Lover Revealed is as scorching hot as its predecessors. Needless to say that after Marissa discovers what all the fuss is about she is hooked! The fact that she’s getting it on with Butch doesn’t hurt either.

    This was my first audio book experience with a male narrator. It definitely took some getting used to and I found the female dialogue a little comical at times but overall Frangione does an excellent job. He has a great tone and accurately portrays the badass attitude that’s prevalent throughout this series. Jim also reads the action-y chapters with enthusiasm and the sex scenes with heat.

    The ending sort of wraps up Butch’s humanity “problem” with a nice, neat bow but I think that it was fitting and that he deserves his happily ever after just as much as any of the brothers do. Lover Revealed is impassioned, dramatic and delivers a great story. Lover Awakened retains its top seat among my favorites in this series but all bets are off because Vishous is up next in Lover Unbound!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Charming: Pax Arcana, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Elliott James
    • Narrated By Roger Wayne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (152)

    John Charming isn't your average prince... He comes from a line of Charmings - an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chain mail and crossbows to Kevlar and shotguns, John Charming was one of the best-until a curse made him one of the abominations the Knights were sworn to hunt.

    Suzanne says: "Charming is Like Dresden in wolves clothing"
    "Charming was made for audio!"
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    I loved Elliott James’ PAX ARCANA universe, his first person POV writing style, and John, the male protagonist, but I had some major issues with the love triangle, info dumps, and the fact that the female lead was a Valkyrie. However, the former appears to have been resolved, and even though I have reached my limit on books that feature this type of lore, the Norse mythology was light enough to be tolerable. And, because of this, I will not hesitate to one-click DARING in September. CHARMING was made for audio, as soon as I heard Roger Wayne’s voice I knew that this series was meant for my ears and not my eyes.

    A number of reviewers mentioned that having the narrator speak directly to the reader was a little weird; I on the other hand did not have this problem thanks to the audiobook. From the prelude onward I felt like I was part of the story, and I really enjoyed that aspect of James’ style. The world-building was rich albeit a little too much at times, and I especially liked the idea behind the PAX ARCANA. Many authors struggle with whether supes are ‘out’ or not, so I loved the idea behind a world-wide spell. The Knights Templar oath also added an interesting twist on what John can and cannot do, plus he’s learned how to brew the perfect cup of coffee—a man after my own heart!

    I’m not sure why the love triangle surprised me, but I honestly just didn’t expect one from a male Urban Fantasy author which is probably why it annoyed me way more than it should have. Dvornik and Charming are two bad ass characters, so the fact that they are fighting over Sig like a couple of school boys struck me as ridiculous. And, at times I found that the vampire hunt became secondary to the romantic drama which caused me to lose interest in the story. But, the wonderful secondary characters helped to reel me back in, and John’s wit & snark reminded me of Atticus O’Sullivan (Kevin Hearne), another protagonist whom I adore.

    Roger Wayne was an instant hit with this listener; I loved everything about his delivery and tone, and how I felt like he was talking to ME because of the first person POV. His narration flowed well, and I liked all of his character voices. I sometimes had difficulty telling when an explanation wasn’t part of John’s storytelling, but otherwise this audiobook was a near perfect listen. I finally have another male narrator to add to my favourites list—I’m now at two in case you’re wondering.

    CHARMING brought a lot to the table with great writing, lovable characters, and the geeky humour that I love. It wasn’t perfect, but Elliott James hasn’t really even gotten to the best part yet… the werewolves!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Poltergeist: Greywalker, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kat Richardson
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (339)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (206)

    This second novel in the acclaimed Greywalker series finds PI Blaine Harper investigating a chilling case as Halloween approaches. After university researchers create an artificial poltergeist, the team leader suspects someone is faking the phenomena. When a student is murdered, Blaine is asked to investigate. Stepping into the spirit world, she realizes the haunting may be very real. But that doesn't necessarily mean a ghost did the killing.

    Audiobook Addict says: "Harper and the Grey"
    "My struggles with this series continue"
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    I’d like to start this review off by first saying that I’m not 100% sure whether it’s the narration or the story that’s making me consistently rate this series 3 stars, so you might want to take my thoughts with a grain of salt until I figure that one out. Anyway, I think that I enjoyed this installment slightly less than its predecessor on account of all the psycho babble & lengthy experiment explanations. I felt like I was back in college listening to a professor drone on about a subject I couldn’t have cared less about. Kat Richardson’s approach to the paranormal seems to be largely academic in nature, and I’m not convinced that that writing style is well-suited for the Urban Fantasy genre.

    One of the aspects that I enjoyed the most about GREYWALKER was Ben and Mara’s supe 101 sessions with Harper, yet they seem to have almost completely vanished in this installment. I’m not sure how much time has elapsed between novels—I may have missed it in the earlier chapters—but it can’t be more than a couple of months, and I found that Blaine’s grasp of her newfound abilities was far too advanced for book 2. She’s also suddenly full-out dating Will, and in a long distance relationship no less, after only a few weeks (?). Again, I’m not clear on the time frame, but it just felt off to me. I had to double-check to make sure that POLTERGEIST was indeed the second installment in this series.

    I enjoyed the whodunit murder mystery even though I did find that it was a little too predictable because the suspect pool was restricted to the experiment participants. I also liked learning some of the tricks on the trade when Richardson explores how certain illusions are created; it’s clear that a lot of research went into this novel. Quinton is probably one of my favourite characters to date, and I was satisfied with the role he played in this story as well as Phoebe Mason’s. She’s a new addition, and I look forward to reconnecting with her in future installments. Will on the other hand… I honestly don’t see his appeal, and hope that Harper dumps his butt ASAP.

    The narration was somewhat improved when compared to the previous audiobook. I thought that Mia Barron’s Jamaican accent was well-done, and her ‘baby’ voice wasn’t half-bad either, although too much of it would have definitely given me a headache. But to be fair, any 2 year old talking in my ear nonstop would, so that means that her performance was authentic. Barron’s portrayal of the vampire characters was still too over-the-top for my tastes, especially where Carlos was concerned; he came across as more Count Dracula than evil undead master.

    In short, my struggles with this series continue, and if something doesn’t start to click soon, I may be calling it quits. POLTERGEIST felt more like a crime novel with paranormal elements mixed in than it did an Urban Fantasy which might be the crux of my problems with Harper Blaine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fate's Edge: The Edge, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (607)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (542)

    In the latest entry in Ilona Andrews's Edge series, Audrey Callahan is determined to stay on the straight and narrow - but when her brother gets into trouble, she takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with lawyer, gambler, thief, and spy Kaldar Mar.

    Vinity says: "This one is WONDERFUL!"
    "Another winning audiobook in THE EDGE series"
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    Audrey and Kaldar were my least favourite couple to date in this series—that being said—FATE’S EDGE was still a solid 4-star read thanks to George and Jack. When I finished book 1 my first thought was I hope the Drayton boys will make another appearance, so I was pumped to see them pop-up again in this installment. On top of stunning characters, Ilona Andrews also brings her mad world-building and storytelling skills to the table which makes this novel exactly what I’ve come to expect from this author. Add to that Renée Raudman’s flawless narration, and you’re left with another winning audiobook in THE EDGE series.

    I didn’t dislike the leading duo, but they lacked a certain je ne sais quoi if you know what I mean. Audrey is not Andrews’ typical heroine; she’s strong, savvy, and a skilled lock pick, but she’s no fighter. Callahan wages her battles with words instead of a sword which made the romance between her and Kaldar somewhat of a slow burn; lots of flirting, but very little substance. However, I think my main problem was with her male counterpart; he’s more of an anti-hero in my opinion. Kaldar spends a good chunk of this book trying to get into Audrey’s pants, only to later change his tune to one of love. Admittedly, they are well-suited for each other and I enjoyed their bantering, but the hero’s transition from player to soul mate didn’t feel authentic.

    George and Jack definitely stole the show, and I was more than ok with that. They both play a pretty significant role in this novel including their own mission in Audrey and Kaldar’s scheme to retrieve the magical device. More is revealed about their respective powers, and I especially enjoyed the extra Changeling tidbits. One of my favourite scenes was from Jack’s POV where he’s chasing a butterfly. Now, as a general rule I’m not a cat person, but even I could appreciate the author’s attention to detail when it came to our lynx-y friend. A number of secondary characters as also introduced in this installment, the most memorable of course being Ling the Merciless, Audrey’s raccoon sidekick.

    Renée Raudman’s performance is once again beyond reproach; she achieves the perfect balance between action and humour in her tone, and just makes the overall listening experience a lot more fun. At one point George and Jack are practicing their Broken speak for their upcoming mission, and as a result the narrator had to say “dude” repeatedly in a variety of ways and it was hilarious! The only fault I found with Raudman’s narration was her sexy scenes, her voice became a little too breathy at times, but otherwise this was another fab audiobook from this artist.

    FATE’S EDGE is an excellent listen, and on par with what I have come to expect from Ilona Andrews’ THE EDGE series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sixth Grave on the Edge: Charley Davidson, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (760)
    Performance
    (723)
    Story
    (716)

    Most girls might think twice before getting engaged to someone like Reyes Farrow - but Charley Davidson is not most girls. She’s a paranormal private eye and grim-reaper-in-training who’s known to be a bit of a hell-raiser, especially after a few shots of caffeine. Her beloved Reyes may be the only begotten son of evil, but he’s dark and sultry and deeply sexy and everything Charley could hope for. Really. But when the FBI file on Reyes’ childhood happens to land into her lap, she can’t help herself: She opens it...and then the real fun begins.

    RabidReads says: "This book could change EVERYTHING!"
    "This book could change EVERYTHING!"
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    I held off on the fifth book for the sole purpose of evading the cliffhanger, yet here I am experiencing exactly what I wanted to avoid—a horrible hangover that’s going to last five months. Ok, so I know it’s bad form to start a review off by talking about the ending, but holy geez how can I not? I mean… the series just completely changed directions because of one revelation! I always feel like Darynda Jones leaves readers with more questions than answers, and that’s the case yet again with SIXTH GRAVE ON THE EDGE. As usual, this installment is packed with so many plot threads that trying to figure out how Lorelei King managed to cover them all in under 10 hours just might make your head explode.

    It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned the entertaining quotes this author uses at the beginning of each chapter, so it’s definitely worth repeating. Jones also takes it a step further in this installment with the addition of hashtags which I LOVED! Then there were the countless references to Charley’s coffee addiction that always make me feel like we’re sisters-from-another-mother. All of the spork jokes cracked me up too! The author also delves deeper into the powers of the reaper, and if you thought Davidson was badass before, just wait until you learn what other tricks she has up her sleeve. And then, there’s the mystery surrounding the prophesies, the daughter of light, and the twelve. Yes, we get some answers, but mostly it’s just more questions.

    Charley’s got her hands full once again in this installment with a naked dead man riding shotgun in Misery, her on-going child abduction case, Reyes’ looming question, and then there’s The Dealer. Ooh, and of course let’s not forget that Angel’s true past comes to light, there’s news on the Mr. Wong front, and in the midst of all this chaos Charley is also playing matchmaker to Cookie and Ubie. Needless to say, life as the Grim Reaper is never dull! But, leave it to Reyes Farrow to totally eclipse the entire action packed story line with his hot self. I love how far his and Davidson’s relationship has come through the course of this series, and I think the ending of this book will be a step in the right direction for them, even though the world might not agree.

    When it comes to audiobooks I consider myself somewhat of a slow listener, but I had no problems finishing SIXTH GRAVE ON THE EDGE in a day thanks to Lorelei King’s exquisite narration. Her pitch is perfectly suited for Jones’ writing style, and her voice couldn’t be any more CHARLEY DAVIDSON if she tried. You can tell that she’s having a blast while in the studio recording these, and that really comes through in her performances. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an action or sex scene; King always gives it her all which is why pre-ordering this audiobook was a no-brainer.

    SIXTH GRAVE ON THE EDGE ends with a big surprise that will leave you reeling in the possibilities. I’m telling you, this could change EVERYTHING! #holyshit

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Greywalker: Greywalker, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Kat Richardson
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (605)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (353)

    Kat Richardson excels at creating vivid, fast-moving novels that blend urban fantasy with paranormal mystery. In Greywalker, Seattle P.I. Harper Blaine is viciously attacked and murdered - but after exactly two minutes, somehow she returns to life. Now she's seeing strange things all around her - dark visions from the shadow world - and living a normal life may no longer be possible no matter how hard she tries.

    Nathan says: "A fun take on the paranormal ..."
    "Not a bad first kick at the can."
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    This is one of those series that’s been on my radar for a while now; it also came highly recommended from a number of reviewers who know how much I LOVE Urban Fantasy, so I decided to give it a listen in audio. The narration took some getting used to, as did Kat Richardson’s grungy poetic writing, but once the action started flowing I was quickly swept away by Harper Blaine’s story. GREYWALKER reminded me a lot of Kalayna Price’s ALEX CRAFT novels in that the main heroine is a PI with a penchant for seeing dead things.

    I liked how the author introduced readers to her paranormal world by having the protagonist undergo a Greywalker 101 course if you will. Harper hooks up with Ben & Mara, two professors who dabble in the supernatural, and they use her as sort of a guinea pig to test their hypotheses while also helping Blaine to learn about her new gifts. It was entertaining observing the differences between theory and practice, and getting to examine some of this series’ supes from an academic perspective as well as from a witch-y one. In doing this, Richardson gave a nice overview of the main components in her GREYWALKER universe from multiple perspectives.

    The writing style reminded me a bit of a spoken word artist on open mic night; as ugly as this book’s cover is, it does kind of have that gritty “feel” to it. That, and this quote from the blurb: “foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring”, describes the tone of this story fairly well. The plot moved along at a decent pace, and all of the 1990′s fads which were not meant to be funny, but were actually accurate at the time of publication, made me giggle. I mean, when’s the last time you saw a pager? I really enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Mara, her Irish wit was spot on. Ben, Quinton, Will, and Cam all contributed nicely to the narrative as well, and I look forward to encountering them again.

    I wasn’t immediately wowed by Mia Barron’s narration, but like a pair of new shoes, starting an unfamiliar series is always an adjustment. Her tempo was a little slow for my tastes, and some of her character voices were kinda off. Cam for example, sounded like he was constipated which was rather comical, but made it difficult for me to take his dire situation seriously. Mara’s Irish accent on the other hand was very well done, and I expect that Barron’s narration will improve with each installment.

    GREYWALKER wasn’t an insta-favourite, but book 1 rarely is, so I won’t hold that against Kat Richardson because I think that I probably would have enjoyed it slightly more had I read this one instead. Still, not a bad first kick at the can.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sin Undone

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Larissa Ione
    • Narrated By Ava Camille Edwards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (188)

    As the only female Seminus demon ever born, master assassin Sinead Donnelly is used to being treated like an outcast. She spent decades enslaved, and now vows she'll die before she'll relinquish her freedom again. Then Sin's innate ability to kill her enemies goes awry: She creates a lethal new werewolf virus that sparks a firestorm of panic and violence....

    Linda says: "Great book, awful narrator"
    "I’d recommend reading SIN UNDONE over listening"
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    I don’t know why I’ve put off listening to this audiobook for so long because it’s hands down the best DEMONICA installment yet! Sin’s story is an emotional one full of highs and lows with plenty of toe curling sex scenes along the way. It took a while for me to get used to Ava Camille Edwards’s narration; ultimately she did an ok job I guess, but I was a little annoyed by this series’ ever changing voice even though it does fit the writing. I enjoyed the main romance as well as Luc & Kar’s side one, and loved the way Larissa Ione wrapped-up this series while also laying the building blocks for LORDS OF DELIVERANCE.

    Sin’s tale was the most unique out of the Seminu demons because well, she is one of a kind after all. Her past is rather heartbreaking, and she clearly demonstrated on multiple occasions that being a succubus isn’t as fun as it sounds. Imagine not knowing that you’re a sex demon, and then on your 18th birthday unquenchable unexplainable horniness hits, and you go from being a virgin to a nympho. As a result, Sin’s only ever done the deed to feed, and has been missing out on the finer aspects of love making such as foreplay and deeper connections. She’s a very conflicted character, and I enjoyed following her growth throughout this story.

    This novel’s plot revolved around Wargs which are this author’s version of werewolves. Sin’s responsible for a deadly virus that’s sweeping the globe, and instigating a civil war among the furry. I loved learning about the differences between born vs bitten Wargs, Feast Wargs, & Dhampires. Conall, the male lead, falls into the latter category, and his reasons for avoiding relationships at all costs were just as disturbing as the assassin’s. But, when these two broken characters get together they become two pieces of the same whole. The sex scenes are plentiful and HOT, not to mention creative! At one point there’s even a snowball involved…

    I struggled a little with Ava Camille Edwards’s narration at first, but once I got into the story I was better able to overlook her monotone delivery thanks to Ione’s superb writing. She wasn’t bad per say, however it felt like Edward’s was straight-up reading the book instead of bringing it to life. The differences between her character voices were minimal, and her rendition of the spicy scenes left something to be desired. In my opinion, her voice is better suited for a younger POV, not a sultry succubus. She was hands down my least favourite narrator in this series.

    I’d recommend reading SIN UNDONE over listening to it, but otherwise I enjoyed the conclusion to Larissa Ione’s DEMONICA world. It was great seeing all of the characters one last time, and now I’m psyched to meet the four horsemen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fifth Grave Past the Light: Charley Davidson, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1207)
    Performance
    (1113)
    Story
    (1107)

    Charley Davidson isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper. She’s more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire. However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case. Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth... but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason.

    Hassan says: "Charley Davidson is Back!!!!"
    "The Darynda Jones/Lorelei King duo is unstoppable!"
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    Every time I listen to a CHARLEY DAVIDSON book I know that I’m in for a wild ride, but Darynda Jones has truly outdone herself with this latest installment. We finally get a real sense of “the big picture” that’s previously only been hinted, and the infamous “key” is at long last inserted into the “lock.” Cryptic enough for you? I’m sure that long-time fans of this series know exactly what I’m talking about, but as for the rest of you… this is a spoiler-free review, so you’d best get reading!

    There’s definitely no shortage of plot threads in FIFTH GRAVE PAST THE LIGHT with ghosts galore, a serial arsonist on the loose, a new client with a cheating ex husband, and then of course there’s Charley’s ongoing issues with the son of Satan. My favourite mystery out of the bunch was the one surrounding the 20 dead blondes; I loved the way Jones developed this story line, and the resolution was masterfully done. The other subplots were equally as entertaining, especially the new tidbits we learn about this series’ main arc. Mr Wong continues to be stand-in-the-corner dude, but I’m beginning to suspect that he’s there for a reason. And, that cliffhanger, well let’s just say it’s the reason why I’ve postponed listening to this audio for so long.

    I’ve been DYING for more Charley/Reyes’ smexy time since I first started these books, and Jones finally delivers in this installment. I guess it’s a good thing that the author made readers wait for so long because it allowed their chemistry to reach its boiling point, but you can’t blame a girl for wanting less flirting and more “doing.” Their relationship undergoes a lot of growth in this novel—both in and out of the bedroom—and it’s clear that their romance is in no danger of waning anytime soon. The secondary characters continue to be incredibly endearing; Cookie is hands down my fav, but Garrett and Ubie aren’t too far behind.

    Lorelei King brings just the right amounts of sultry and sass to these audios. She really captures the essence of Charley’s larger-than-life, smart mouthed, ADD personality, and makes you feel like she’s a real person. King is a skilled narrator with a knack for bringing the snark while still maintaining a good pace and tone. Her character voices are distinct yet remain consistent throughout this series, and she sure knows how to deliver a punch line! I can’t imagine that it’s easy reading Jones’ writing aloud with a straight face, so this woman deserves mad props for this and for her stellar performance.

    FIFTH GRAVE PAST THE LIGHT is the best of the best, the crème de la crème, the pick of the litter—well, you get the idea. The Darynda Jones / Lorelei King duo is unstoppable!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nice Girls Don't Live Forever: Jane Jameson, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3417)
    Performance
    (2593)
    Story
    (2600)

    Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson's sexy sire Gabriel has always been unpredictable, but the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of their international vacation, coupled with his evasive behavior over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow -- alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her.

    Denise says: "Very clever!!"
    "Harper & Ronconi make great audiobooks together!"
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    I don’t usually pace myself whenever I read series, I’m more of a back-to-back kind of girl, but the Molly Harper / Amanda Ronconi duo deserves to be savoured because they make outstanding audiobooks together. NICE GIRLS DON’T LIVE FOREVER is a winning amalgamation of smart aleck humour, three dimensional characters, snappy writing, and excellent narration. The story is more action-packed than usual, and I loved the werewolf tidbits that are scattered throughout this book. It’s the little details that make a series stand out, and JANE JAMESON’s got them in abundance!

    These novels usually tend to be pretty straightforward in the plot department, so I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity of this installment’s story. The Courtneys were hilariously stereotypical blondes, and I loved the dynamics between Jane and her two BFF’s: Jolene and Andrea. The latter character is also involved in another thread that was unexpected, but due. And, of course, there’s no shortage of laugh-out-loud moments including Dick’s attempt at “cheering” Jameson up after her supposed break-up with Gabe which proves to be oddly effective. Who knew that getting drunk, swallowing your feelings, and starting a bar fight could be so therapeutic!

    I did have one major beef with this novel, and that was Jane and Gabrielle’s continued on-again-off-again relationship woes. I’m not big on the whole “create drama within the main couple with miscommunication” ploy unless the protagonists’ love is still fairly new. Jameson and Nightengale have been together pretty much since book 1, yet they haven’t learned to talk to each other which frustrated me to no end. However, the werewolf morsels did help to distract me from this minor annoyance with their unique details that were both enlightening, and a little scary. I am just thanking my lucky stars that human babies are not born with a full set of teeth like weres are. Ouchie!

    What can I possibly say about Amanda Ronconi’s narration that I haven’t said already? Harper’s writing is entertaining enough on its own, but when paired with this talented woman’s voice, it achieves a level of awesomeness that puts it in a league above the rest. Ronconi navigates Jane’s world like it’s her second skin while also doing an excellent job of the secondary characters, and delivering all of the punch lines with pizzazz. She’s one of my top 3 favourite narrators, and this series is the reason why.

    NICE GIRLS DON’T LIVE FOREVER is another fun filled installment in a series that consistently delivers barrels of laughs.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bayou Moon: The Edge, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (803)
    Performance
    (551)
    Story
    (558)

    When her parents vanish, Cerise's clan's long-time rivals are suspects number one. But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge - and Cerise's life. William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation's spymaster. When William's and Cerise cross paths, sparks fly - but they'll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

    Angela says: "Great!!!"
    "Another epic listen by this fantastic duo (trio?)!"
    Overall
    Performance
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    This book picks-up right where ON THE EDGE left off, except this time the focus shifts to William who just so happens to be a wolf changeling—my favourite kind! We also get to meet Cerise Mar, a heroine who’s on the same level as Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews’ other series, and I immediately adored her. I enjoyed this installment slightly more than the first, and I think that’s because I was a little more familiar with THE EDGE universe this time around. I didn’t have to pay as much attention to the world-building, although the Mire is an extremely weird place with its own set of magical rules, so there were still tons of new tidbits to take in. BAYOU MOON is another unmissable listen by this fabulous writer / narrator duo!

    I’ve loved pretty much every protagonist that Andrews has thrown my way, and Cerise was no different. She’s even more backwoods than Rose from book 1 which was great because I really enjoyed that aspect of the first installment. Mar lives in an enchanted swamp where cats are green, fish have legs, and mud burns; after growing up in that kind of environment you can’t help but be a little off. I liked how badass Cerise is! There’s this one scene where she and William are in a bit of a pickle, and she’s like don’t interfere, I’ll take all of these baddies on myself, and does. Mar is as far from damsel in distress as you can get, and makes the sexy changeling work for it. A LOT.

    The Mire is an awesomely bizarre place, and I thoroughly enjoyed discovering all of its quirks. It was doubly entertaining navigating this odd swamp through William’s eyes because he’s constantly baffled by the absurdity of it all which leads to countless comical WTF moments. There’s this little side thread about an eel that pops up throughout the story that’s laugh-out-loud hilarious. I seriously loved it! The weirdness of the locale also comes through nicely in the main plot with the feuding families, Spider and his minions, and the magic behind Cerise’s uncle’s infamous “box”. Rose, Declen, and the kids make cameo appearances in this novel, and there are several references to them throughout this tale which I appreciated, because I wasn’t quite ready to say good-bye to these amazing characters after only one installment.

    I can always count on Renée Raudman to deliver a top notch audiobook with her superb narration skills, and knack for upping the ante on an already action packed tale. Originally, I used to think of her as “Kate Daniels”, but after listening to her for this series as well, for me she’s now become synonymous with Ilona Andrews’ writing. Her transitions between POVs and chapters are smooth, and she always seems to perfectly capture the emotions of any given scene. Raudman is definitely one of my auto-buy narrators.

    BAYOU MOON is another epic listen by this fantastic duo (trio?), and I can’t wait to start FATE’S EDGE!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On the Edge: The Edge, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1312)
    Performance
    (912)
    Story
    (922)

    Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

    Karen says: "Wow...wow...what?"
    "Great alternative for PNR fans wanting more action"
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    Performance
    Story

    In a lot of ways this book felt like the Fantasy equivalent of Paranormal Romance; it’s less action-y than Ilona Andrews’ KATE DANIELS series, but the sex scenes are not left to the imagination (unlike in Urban Fantasy) and the strong world-building continues to be at the forefront of their writing. The romance is as far from insta-love as you can get which is a definite plus, and the ending was satisfying, although I was hoping for a second installment before jumping to another couple because I felt the HEA was somewhat incomplete.

    Many of my fellow readers struggled with the backwoods aspect of this story, but personally, I found Rose very relatable. Being a bit of a hick myself, I appreciated the country bumpkin humour and the Edgers “different” way of doing things. I liked the well thought out explanations for Drayton’s mistrust of men, and the courtship challenges made for one of the more interesting wooing pursuits that I have ever read. Rose’s dedication to her brothers, her mad flash skills, and snark made her the perfect heroine for this tale. Her strong personality helped dull the aristocratic high-handedness of the story, and the women-are-possessions mentality became almost comical when applied to Drayton.

    THE EDGE universe was amazing, as expected. I enjoyed learning all of the ins and outs of the Broken, the Edge, and the Weird. The magical rules are as complex as in the KATE DANIELS novels, but this is in no way a spin-off of the latter which means there’s a whole new set of intricacies to grasp—all the better in my opinion, because Andrews’ world-building is the reason why I keep coming back for more. I loved learning about the bizarre creatures, the inner workings of blueblood society, and the various supernatural abilities of the characters. Georgie and Jack were adorable, and I’d be interested in learning more about William who, as it turns out, is the male lead of book 2. The plot wasn’t overly complicated, but still detailed enough to hold my interest.

    Renée Raudman continues to be one of my favourite narrators; her passion and intensity really shine through in this audiobook, and I had no problem with equating her to Rose Drayton even though she’s been the voice of KATE DANIELS inside my head for six installments now. Her character voices are distinct and she mirrors the pacing of the writing well. Raudman definitely has a knack for portraying strong female protagonists!

    ON THE EDGE demonstrates Ilona Andrews’ versatility as an author(s), and is a great alternative for Paranormal Romance lovers looking for a bit more action in their reads.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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