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LaRena

Spartanburg, SC, United States | Member Since 2012

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 43 ratings
  • 216 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
14

  • The Cartel 3: The Last Chapter

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Ashley & JaQuavis
    • Narrated By Cary Hite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (134)

    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 Book of Night Women

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Marlon James
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (233)

    The story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the 18th century. Even at her birth, the slave women around her recognize a dark power that they - and she - will come to both revere and fear. The Night Women, as they call themselves, have long been plotting a slave revolt, and as Lilith comes of age and reveals the extent of her power, they see her as the key to their plans.

    A User says: "read now to understand the past"
    "5 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book of Night Women to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version, but the narration was outstanding. She conveyed the personalities and emotions very well, and the accents and patois were on the money.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters had depth to them and the story was well thought out and perfectly paced. Historical books sometimes tend to be slow, but the author pulled it off perfectly.


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

    I had hope for some of the characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Saint Monkey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jacinda Townsend
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (3)

    Fourteen-year-old Audrey Martin, with her Poindexter glasses and her head humming the 3/4 meter of gospel music, knows she'll never get out of Kentucky - but when her fingers touch the piano keys, the whole church trembles. Her best friend, Caroline, daydreams about Hollywood stardom, but both girls feel destined to languish in a slow-moving stopover town in Montgomery County. That is, until chance intervenes and a booking agent offers Audrey a ticket to join the booming jazz scene in Harlem.

    LaRena says: "I wanted to like this book, but...."
    "I wanted to like this book, but...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Saint Monkey?

    This book was more or less like listening to two strangers talk to you about other strangers for 12 hours. The story-telling aspect missed the mark for me. I expected much more excitement. The story would go on and on about the most mundane things. Even the dramatic scenes were pretty lackluster.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jacinda Townsend again?

    I'm not sure.... I may give her another chance.


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

    She did a good job acting out the story and bringing out each character's unique personality.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I liked the characters. The author did an excellent job highlighting their internal conflicts, dreams, and insecurities. Also, it was well written. Perhaps I may have liked this book more if I read the print version instead.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prada Plan 4: Love & War

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Ashley Antoinette
    • Narrated By Cary Hite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (94)

    The feud between YaYa and Leah has ruined the lives of everyone around them. In The Prada Plan 4, the animosity is alive, and the resentments run deeper than ever. Indie has watched YaYa's past destroy the woman he once knew, and his patience has run thin. After being left at the altar, he is heartbroken and confused. His quests to save YaYa from herself have failed, and he finally decides it's time to let the love of his life go. Her thirst for blood is unquenchable, and like a black hole she sucks the life out of everything around her.

    LaRena says: "Perfect ending to the series"
    "Perfect ending to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Ashley Antoinette didn't drag the story line from the first three books on until we got bored with it. I loved that. This book could have stood on it's own really. I liked how i had to second guess how i felt about each character. I couldnt decide if i liked or hated them. Also, I loved this stronger, determined Yaya.


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

    Ethic


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

    When two opposing sides put aside their differences to save a common love.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Family of Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Monroe
    • Narrated By Patricia R. Floyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (88)

    Growing up poor in Texas, Vera Lomax used every gold-digging trick in the book to land a rich husband. Now living in the lap of luxury in San Francisco, her only job is to fawn over her much-older husband, so it's been easy for her to balance a life of shopping and affairs with younger men with a major secret: the 16-year bribery of one of her husband's mistresses to keep her pregnancy under wraps. Vera figures that a little hush money every month will ensure her husband's fortune is hers alone....

    kemba says: "Great Book!!!!"
    "I didn't expect any less from Mary Monroe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Family of Lies the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed how the story unraveled. There were touches of foreshadowing here and there that gave the story a hint of suspense. The characters were very human...sometimes even comical.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Walter Mosley
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (60)

    In this scorching, mournful, often explicit, and never less than moving literary novel by the famed creator of the Easy Rawlins series, Debbie Dare, a black porn queen, has to come to terms with her sordid life in the adult entertainment industry after her tomcatting husband dies in a hot tub. Electrocuted. With another woman in there with him. Debbie decides she just isn't going to "do it anymore". But executing her exit strategy from the porn world is a wrenching and far from simple process.

    Dream says: "Different than I thought"
    "Worth reading at least once"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I like action in my books, but in this case, too much would have taken the heart out of the story, so no.


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

    I can't say what I expected, but I wasn't blown away. Just ok.


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

    She was outstanding. She made me sympathize with Debbie. She brought out her strength and vulnerability at the same time.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Hmmmm...I'd watch it on Netflix.


    Any additional comments?

    This book has some action, but not much. It's a moderately paced book mostly about Debbie's internal turmoil and personal growth. Overall, it was a solid book. Worth at least one read.

    0 of 0 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
    (81)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (81)

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Hustler's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Pinky Dior
    • Narrated By Hillary Hawkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    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?

    Dream says: "This is a book for younger readers"
    "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.

    1 of 1 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
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    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
    • Narrated By Cary Hite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    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.

    LaRena says: "Story flowed nicely"
    "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.

    1 of 1 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
    (184)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (172)

    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.

    Dream says: "Paris in love SAY WHAT?"
    "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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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