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LaRena

Spartanburg, SC, United States | Member Since 2012

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 186 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
5

  • The Cartel 3: The Last Chapter

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Ashley & JaQuavis
    • Narrated By Cary Hite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (96)

    Miamor is fighting for her life in the belly of the beast. She’s been kidnapped, and she’s staring death in the eye. Is the reign over for the head of the Murda Mamas? Carter is in federal custody and leaves the Diamond empire to Zyir and Mecca. When the past comes back to haunt Mecca and the truth finally comes to light, will the Cartel rise or fall? Breeze is in the clutches of the crazed Ma’tee, and she desperately searches for a way out. Will she escape or die his love slave? The answers are revealed here.

    Dream says: "At the edge of my seat"
    "Why is this not a movie yet?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Cartel 3: The Last Chapter in three words, what would they be?

    Unpredictable, emotional, fulfilling


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was young carter because he was always so in control. He was intelligent, loyal, and we got to see his sensitive side. That was beautiful.


    What about Cary Hite’s performance did you like?

    Everything. He painted a picture with his performance!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The game where no one wins.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't want this trilogy to end. This is a classic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Baltimore Chronicles: Volumes 1 - 4

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Treasure Hernandez
    • Narrated By Jules Williamson
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    From the same author that brought you the Flint series, comes a new town...a new drama. Treasure Hernandez is back with her second street series chronicling both sides of Baltimore's black market. Derek Fuller is the head detective of the Baltimore Narcotics Division. His team has been assigned to take down the biggest drug operation in the city. There's only one problem...the head of the operation is his twin brother, Scar Johnson.

    LaRena says: "2 thumbs up"
    "2 thumbs up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Baltimore Chronicles again? Why?

    Absolutely. Great plot, interesting characters, nicely paced.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes. This book was unpedictable without being unrealistic. You want to know what's going to happen to the characters in the end, but the journey there pulls the reader in.


    What does Jules Williamson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He did an awesome job bringing out each character's distinct personality. He didn't just read, he performed.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! All 18 hours if I could have.


    Any additional comments?

    I was hesitant when I didn't see any reviews but Im glad I checked this out. This should be on TV. Really enjoyed this read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hustler's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Pinky Dior
    • Narrated By Hillary Hawkins
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    When Don Carter flies to Santiago de Cuba, his plans are to rendezvous with his new connect, Vicente. He never expected to meet the beautiful and vestal virgin Maria - Vicente's daughter. It was love at first sight, Don and Maria unite romantically, the ultimate betrayal and disrespect to Vicente. A love child Mercedes is born. Mercedes lives the good life until old wounds are rehashed in the form of an informant. The Carter family is under attack. Will Mercedes find out who's behind all of the havoc before it's too late?

    Iyana says: "GREAT!"
    "Enjoyed this listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Chino.... He was sweet, loyal, protective, and he had style.


    What about Hillary Hawkins’s performance did you like?

    I liked how she would match the pace and intensity of her narration based on what was happening. During scenes of action, her voice reflected the excitement and helped to give a better visual.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Price of a father's sins


    Any additional comments?

    This book was good all of the way through. Most of the characters were likable and you care what is happening with them. There was a good bit of action, and I never questioned the realism while listening. Good book. This would be a great book for Noir fans. I'm looking forward to part 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Never Keeping Secrets

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Niobia Bryant
    • Narrated By Patricia R. Floyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Monica, a CEO with celebrity clients, loves her life. But when her man loses his high-powered corporate job and pressures her to start a family, Monica finds herself involved with a client who wants to mix business with pleasure - or else…Successful author Keesha is blowing through her money - and cheating on her fiancé. When her new friend, Jeremiah, discovers her deception, Keesha stands to lose everything....

    R. Pontiflet says: "This One is Not Worth It!!!"
    "Not too shabby"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Never Keeping Secrets the most enjoyable?

    Patricia Floyd did her thing. In fact, I believe her narration enhanced the story. She gave the characters personalities. The bookwas also interesting on it's own.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Niobia Bryant? Why or why not?

    Yes. The characters were relatable and the story flowed very well. I hope this book has a sequel in the making.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Can't say much without giving anything away, but it would be last scene between one of the ladies and her man. He shows up at her house unexpectedly. It was touching.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely. I needed answers.


    Any additional comments?

    When the big reveal was made, I found it to be a bit unrealistic, but this IS fiction. This is a story that most will enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gangsta

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By K'wan K'wan
    • Narrated By Cary Hite
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    For years Lou-Loc, an efficient assassin and OG of the Crip organization, did dirt. After dancing on the razor's edge, he has become weary of the street life that has consumed him during his service to his set and begins to wonder if there's a better way to make a living. Lou-Loc and his sociopath counterpart, Gutter, leave Los Angeles for the colorful streets of New York, where Lou-Loc has dreams of becoming a writer, Gutter a kingpin.

    Jennifer says: "The title says it all...this book IS GANGSTA!!"
    "Story flowed nicely"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Gangsta rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It would rank somewhere in the middle.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I always love when a book has rounded, well developed, relatable characters. This book had likeable characters that you don't always agree with. Also, the ending was a bit unpredictable.


    Which character – as performed by Cary Hite – was your favorite?

    Gutta...hands down!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending


    Any additional comments?

    There were some supernatural elements that were not explained. I wish they would have gone into detail and explained what was going on. I am looking forward to the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Paris with Love

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Carl Weber, Eric Pete
    • Narrated By Suzanne Cypress, Lisa Smith, Corey Allen, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (86)

    Ripped from the pages of Carl Weber's New York Times best-selling Family Business series comes a solo story about his most popular character to date - the bright, sexy, and deadly Paris Duncan. Join Carl Weber and Eric Pete as they go back in time and take Paris Duncan to Europe, to the finishing school where she meets her first true love, makes her first real enemy, and commits her first crime. Listeners will get a thrilling inside view into the events that made Paris the lovely but lethal woman she is today.

    Booker says: "Loved it!"
    "The end made it worth the listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The ending was so good, it made the first few painful hours worth it. It seemed the story dragged on about nothing for the first few chapters with some action thrown in here and there. Eventually, it picked up. I love Carl Weber's twists.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Carl Weber and Eric Pete again?

    Yes, I usually love Carl Weber's books from cover to cover. Also, the first two Family Business books were awesome.


    What three words best describe the narrators’s performance?

    I think the narrator who read for Rio sounded older than the character, but they all did well.


    Was To Paris with Love worth the listening time?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tempest Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Diane McKinney-Whetstone
    • Narrated By Susan Spain
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Award-winning author of the national best-seller Tumbling, Diane McKinney-Whetstone is an immensely talented author of African American fiction. It is 1965 in Philadelphia and Clarise, Finch, and their three adolescent daughters are living a financially privileged life. But when Finch’s business falls on hard times and Clarise suffers a mental breakdown, their idyllic world is shattered and their daughters are endangered.

    LaRena says: "Just Ok"
    "Just Ok"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was worth one listen, but I doubt that I'll listen to this story again.


    Has Tempest Rising turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't expect a lot of drama, but this story kind of just went on and on with no real climax. I kept waiting for the big moment, and by the time I realized the climax had taken place, the book was over. I think the author put too much into the build-up, and left a lot missing from the ending. This was not a favorite, but... I liked the characters. That kept me interested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tumbling

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Diane McKinney-Whetstone
    • Narrated By Myra Lucretia Taylor
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Both Noon and Herbie have secrets. Because of this she can’t be intimate with her husband, and he sneaks out to a hot jazz singer named Ethel - who has a secret of her own. When the city proposes to build a road through their neighborhood, Noon begins a crusade to keep it from happening - and maybe save her marriage in the process. Tumble into this amazing novel and feel the love and warmth of a special block in South Philly. This is an extraordinary depiction of the true meaning of family and fellowship.

    LaRena says: "I'm glad that I stuck with it."
    "I'm glad that I stuck with it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The author could have added to the ending. The ending felt like there were a few things left in the air. There wasn't even a prologue.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The characters were very well rounded. They were very human and relatable. That was most interesting. The beginning dragged on for a few hours. It actually took about 4 hours to really get into the story, but one it took off, it was worth it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Ethel and Noone's conversation.


    Was Tumbling worth the listening time?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    This story was simple, but very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Who Asked You?

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Terry McMillan
    • Narrated By Terry McMillan, Carole DeSanti, Phylicia Rashad, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (186)

    Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams - all while holding down a job as a hotel maid. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can't be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs.

    JALAYNE says: "brillant"
    "Realistic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Who Asked You? the most enjoyable?

    I loved Phylicia Rahad's performance. She should narrate more books. She was very conversational in her approach and made the story relatable.


    What other book might you compare Who Asked You? to and why?

    A day late and a dollar short, also by Terry McMillan. Details the ups and downs of a dysfunctional family throughout the years.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    As a said, I loved how Phylicia Rashad performed. I think her voice fit the character. I would have like to have heard a distinction between the different characters she read, though. Terry McMillan did a good job of getting Kim's personality across, but using her voice as a 30 year old sexy nurse was a poor casting decision. It was hard to picture the description given while Terry read. Michael Boatman did great. He made Quentin's character hilarious when he could have come off obnoxious.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Overall, I did not have an extreme reaction. They only glazed over the parts that could have made me cry. I wish they had gone into more detail....took us to when it happened, and not just tell us that it did. One part had me laughing out loud at work. That hardly ever happens when I listen to a book.


    Any additional comments?

    I love Terry's writing style. I will be listening to this again in a few months.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Murderville 3: The Black Dahlia

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ashley & JaQuavis
    • Narrated By Cary Hite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    New York Times best-selling authors Ashley and JaQuavis have returned with the much-anticipated final installment in the epic Murderville series. Taking up where the previous book left off, we're thrown back into the international street chronicle. Lives and money are on the line, and tough choices will have to be made between love and loyalty. In the final installment of this breath-taking trilogy, the characters will have to learn that, in this game of power, sometimes you have to give up the glory to survive.

    KB says: "What a Trilogy!!!"
    "Fitting conclusion to the trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Murderville 3 again? Why?

    Definitely.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I really appreciated Rocko's character. I admired his loyalty, sense of decency and his strength.


    Have you listened to any of Cary Hite’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. He's never given a lackluster performance. In fact, I believe the performance made the story better.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was frustrated how Dahlia kept coming out smelling like rose (ugh...). That was my most consistent emotion.


    Any additional comments?

    The ending was a bit strange, but....I could appreciate it. It brought closure while leaving a mild sense of suspense. I look forward to more from A and J.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • True to the Game: The True to the Game Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Teri Woods
    • Narrated By Cary Hite
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (63)

    It’s the late 1980s, and Gena finds herself in true-blue love with Quadir, a millionaire associated with the cartel. Quadir is faced with combating the art of extortion and interception masterminded by the notorious Junior Mafia, which reigns from the inner-city streets of Philadelphia. Both Gena and Quadir find themselves caught up in the vicious yet seductive world of drugs and money, only to find that success in this game is no easy win.

    Natalie says: "Pass on this"
    "Interesting book with interesting characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to True to the Game the most enjoyable?

    Cary Hite enhanced the story with his performance, but this is a good story that keeps the listener engaged. The characters are all realistic, they have flaws, yet you like them and care about what happens to them.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I didn't have a reaction. I knew there was more to the story. I was eager to hear more.


    Have you listened to any of Cary Hite’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This performance is as good as any. He performs the ladies just as well as the men without over doing it. Also, he comes with emotion when it's necessary. Great job.


    If you could rename True to the Game, what would you call it?

    I think the name fits, but " Love and War" would be a good description also.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my second go with this series, so that's saying something.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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