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tina

researcher, mad off-roader, desert girl

Member Since 2012

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 267 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 43 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Twice Tempted: A Night Prince Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1471)
    Performance
    (1372)
    Story
    (1385)

    Leila's psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn't sure what the future holds. If that weren't enough, her lover, Vlad, has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she's also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold-shoulder treatment forever - especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won't admit that he loves her.... Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes.

    Hassan says: "A Book FULL of events and actions"
    "Book of the year"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Frost's writing takes you thru intense and such seemingly realistic emotions that all the supernatural stuff is just fun icing and secondary. You'll experience the intense emotional wrench as the Heroine has to make one of the hardest decisions of her life but I so wished I was like her when confronted with a strong man whose emotions were so walled up his pride ran the show.
    Even if you didn't read the first book of this spin off from the Night Huntress series, you will love Leila and get caught up quickly. Vlad? No writer in the history of this genre has made a Vlad so complex, delicious and dangerous.
    Tavia Gilbert works hard to bring the personalities and accents of the narrative to life. And boy does she take you to the heights at pivotal points in the story. It'll bring you to your tip toes.
    Thank you Ms Frost for the perfect sequel and the perfect cliffhanger--that satisfies yet tantalizes!

    Out of 20 or so books this year, this is my vote for best of the year.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Wicked: A Novella of the Elder Races

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (60)

    For a librarian with a focus on rare magic books, Olivia's new job is a dream come true. She has been hired as part of a team to help manage the safe transportation of the collection of books owned by the Vampyre sorceress Carling Severan. The fact that the library is located on a mysterious island in an Other land only heightens the adventure. Head of security for the expedition, Sebastian Hale is tired of his rootless life of adventure and finds himself attracted to the calm, beautiful librarian. But he is living a personal nightmare.

    Candateshia Pafford says: "Love me some Elder Races!!!"
    "Thea Harrison does it again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thea Harrison doesn't know how to write a bad or boring story.
    This was fun and satisfying. Her world of nightkind is so well written, and Harrison never disappoints with original characters and romantic pairings. Altho a bit pricy for less-than 4 hours, it is worth it. You'll love it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (794)
    Story
    (794)

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "Ultimate right-wing conspiracy fantasy adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the late 1980s, in the military, I was into survivalism--being able to survive in case of societal breakdown/Soviet invasion/EMP and other disaster scenarios.
    So, I thought this would be a fun dip back into that pond. A.American is clearly infatuated with name-brand gear and for the non-survivalist, you will have to stick it out in the long descriptions of acronym-laden gear required to be "prepared".

    This book plows deeply into the conspiracy mutterings of the ultra right wing, namely that the government wants totalitarian control over you, wants to take your guns, your right to defend yourself, your food, your independence and your autonomy.

    Within that conceptual housing, the theme was deeply anti-social in that as our lead guy tries to make it back to his family to east Florida from where he's at near Tallahassee and is accosted at nearly every interaction with other people who try to take his backpack, food, weapons, and life--and this but a few days after the event (an EMP of some sort). Thru his Magyver-life wileyness, he is able to extricate himself and stay on track for home. But not without meeting up with the ultimate uber "prepper", the mysterious Sergeant and his team of black op "patriots" fighting an unnamed secret counter-insurgency (again, were talking only days into this after the event) after they defect from a military operation run by Homeland Security who has now taken control of the US.

    Time and time again, the author keeps reminding the reader that "Iron makes right" (guns will rule), that guns will rule the natural homicidal tendencies that seem to run in all of us even a day after all the electronics stop running. That evil will rise the top if good men stand by (without guns). That all people who lack something will suddenly become "socialists" and demand we share with them. That child predators will take over if they have guns and can only be stopped by those who also have guns.

    In spite of some interesting writing (where nearly 25% of sentences in some sections began in first person "I went....I held....I then...."), I quite enjoyed this until about 2/3rds of the way in where the two sidekicks are painted as annoying cowards for being down on killing in the name of self-defense and then the constant proselytizing about need for guns and repetitive theme of how evil people will have guns so you must too. I didn't understand why these two, whose lives were at stake would suddenly have such reticence, and the character about-face was jarring.

    I get the gun argument, and as someone who actually spends about 30 nites a year in the wilderness of the Sierra, White, Inyo and other mountain ranges, often happily alone, I get the self-sufficiency argument. But the amorphous arguments of the evil conspiratorial DHS and its gestapo-like agents in black helos arn't actually backed up with any kind of plot or rationale. The author seemed to been building a good plot for why the govt was being taken over and resulting chaos, but he totally ran out of steam and it degenerated into a rant about might makes right.

    About halfway in to the book, I was driving across the mojave and the struggles in the book had me thinking I needed to replentish my water and other supplies (you know, just in case!) But in the last quarter of the book I felt pretty let down. I was hoping for a good story about the government takeover, but he never delivered.

    This book will fan gun-right fervor like nitroglycerin, and it will very much resonate with those who think the government is bad, is trying to control them and other such ideas. But it contradicts itself, and doesn't really develop any kind of plot other than one tactical scene following another.

    Halfway thru, I was excited for the next book. By the last hour, I just wanted it over with. This is appealing to some folks, but perhaps less so if you are sticky about having some plot to go with your conspiracy and doomsday scenario.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Embrace the Night: Envy Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Joss Ware, Colleen Gleason
    • Narrated By Sebastian Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Simon Japp will never forget his violent past. But when civilization is all but destroyed, he sees his chance for redemption. Blessed with a strange "gift," he's determined to help the resistance against the Strangers, the mysterious force that stalks them at every turn.

    tina says: "Fresh, new, & riveting adventure romance"
    "Fresh, new, & riveting adventure romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series was an unexpected surprise I'm so grateful to have found. It was a review by Nalini Singh that I caught someway in my browsing for something new.

    This is a post-apoplyptic adventure tale that will appeal to paranormal, urban fantasy, and sci fi romantics as well as fans of Hunger Games. But Gleason/Ware brings romantic fiction readers a couple new things that I rarely (if ever) see in romance. Passionate, sexy alpha dudes who are sexually principled and not erotically opportunistic. Are these hot stories? Oh yeah. Heck, Nalini Singh recommended them after all (can you tell she's in my "five"?).

    But in the first two books of the Envy Chronicles I've read including Embrace the Night, our guys want more than a quickie after a very long dry spell and hold out until their lady gives in. How refreshing is that in romantic fiction?

    In Embrace the Night, Simon our mysterious deadly lead, is coming from such a dark place that he is convinced that he isn't good enough and fights everything in him to see our leading lady is matched up with someone better than him. She isn't having it.

    For the reader who wants a little more substance to backstory in a novel like this, there are some very interesting conundrums for the modern reader to contend with particularly with the open promiscuity of this sparsely populated world and the reasoning behind it--the urgency to repopulate the planet. But who benefits from that?

    Gleason/Ware has a few weaknesses in this world she has created. She doesn't deal with some of the logistical infrastructure issues (food production etc) which would be the number one issue (see maslow). She is also not good tactician. There are scenes in both first and second book where the tactics are lunacy (telling strangers your plans for survival in given situations; not asking pertinent questions at key moments etc).

    But I so enjoyed these both and the very different characters that populate each romantic tale that I will happily overlook those flaws. You may read other reviews saying book two sizzled more than book one, and I disagree. Dr Elliot Drake had to endure some terrible situations that would darken the visage of any doctor. He may be in my top 10 romantic heros of all time (even tho he committed some of the previously mentioned tactical errors). Gleason/Ware had to do a lot of world building very succinctly and I love many aspects of how she did it. Plus, there are a couple major mysteries that are unfolding through the books that will keep you eager and interested.

    Fans of Zombies will also love this. Gleason's creation myth for the zombies is original, curious, and keeps you wondering. It also keeps up the tension and provides that unifying element that keeps people together. I have to admit I am not a fan of zombies, and this is my first foray into that genre, and I really enjoyed it. It wasn't comical caricatures, but creatures with a purpose. And that purpose has yet to unfold...

    Finally, the narrator, Sebastien Fields was excellent. Added so much to my enjoyment that I got lost as he brought Simon and Sage so clearly into my mind. I am grateful to whatever weird link led me to this series and recommendation that scooted it up past my usual fare (Pamela Clare, Nalini Singh, Christine Feehan, Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Sherrilyn Kenyon etc).

    If you are in the mood for something intriguing and different, download this series ASAP.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Crossfire: Protectors, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Lisa Marie Rice
    • Narrated By Charles Constant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (45)

    Former Navy SEAL Sam Reston keeps to himself. His world is dangerous, uncertain, violent…and there is no room in it for the helpless and weak. Then the most beautiful woman in the world moves in next door to him…Nicole Pearce's life is complicated enough-with an ailing father and a new business to worry about-and the last thing she needs is to get involved with a secretive, hard-bodied, hardheaded neighbor.

    tina says: "Satisfying, sexy and intense"
    "Satisfying, sexy and intense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read the later two books in this series a few months back, really liked them, and loved this audio version of the first book. If you are a fan of the alpha guy and smart sexy female lead, then this book will satisfy. Lisa Marie Rice delivers a great and original story and tantalizes with an equally surprising romance. Both characters are completely likeable and compelling. Unlike so many guys painted by this genre, Sam isn't really a people-person, and is prone to awkward interpersonal gaffes, but unlike other tales, Sam knows immediately he wants this lady and his primitive side goes to lengths to imprint on her early on. We don't have any of the usual dude-denial (phew). The action moves too fast for sam to sit around thinking too much.

    Lisa Marie Rice is a wonderful, dependable way to spend your credit. She always delivers punch and satisfaction. Her interesting life experiences give us a variety of backgrounds that just thrum with excitement.

    The narrator, Charles Constant, was a new one for me. He did not distract from the book in any way, and did a fair job of the male voices and overall. He is not in my top 10, but maybe he was the perfect voice for a good book...
    Go for it. Get this book and sit back and enjoy!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Forsaken: The World of Nightwalkers, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jacquelyn Frank
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    As a mercenary, Leo Alvarez has signed on for a lot-but he never signed on for his best friend becoming host to the soul of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Jackson is now inhabited by a Bodywalker, and Leo is forced to grapple with a realm of supernatural beings far more dangerous than anything he's ever encountered. But when Jackson is wounded by an attack from a demon god, Leo must team up with another supernatural creature-a Night Angel-to save his friend from utter destruction.

    Candateshia Pafford says: "Interesting..."
    "Every author has an "off-day"..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Frank is that rare author in this genre whose imagination, plot, pacing and research is in top 10th %ile.

    This book was not there, and I think she had an "off-day" with this one.

    There were way too many distractions--new creatures, new "births" of various entities, new characters, too many subplots so that we don't get the cohesion or focus on the story. I set this book down for a couple weeks at about 1/4th of the way in. I wasn't engaged or involved. I've read/listened to about 10 books since and after picking this one up again for another 5 hours I'm finding it hard to stay with it or be interested in the two leads. I loved the prospect of intersecting with her other nightwalker groups (demons, vamps, shadowdwellers) but not enough to continue further.

    I love J. Frank's work, and continue to re-listen to so many of her previous nightwalker books, but this series doesn't stick with me and doesn't engage me. I can never remember much of the plots or details of the previous two books in this series, whereas I can remember minute intricate details of the shadowdwellers and demons (ok, maybe because I've listened to them multiple times and still don't grow tired of them).
    I'm gonna pass on this series but definitely won't pass on the author. She's spectacularly creative. This just isn't her best work or series, and Sand's top notch narration can't elevate it.
    This will be a good bargain listen, but save your credit.
    -tina

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Building from Ashes: Elemental World, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Hunter
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    In a world teetering on the edge of change, two beings struggle to find their purpose. Will their paths lead them closer together or tear their worlds apart? For a thousand years, powerful earth vampire Carwyn ap Bryn has served others. God. His family. His friends. But tragedy and loss disrupt his peaceful existence, causing him to question everything he has committed his eternity to.

    Amazon Customer says: "Love these books"
    "G-rated, Christian paranormal suspense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started out really liking this book. Others have commented on storyline etc, so I'll offer you this:
    If you like "christian" romance and paranormal, get this book.
    If you want something Really Long, with a little suspense get this book.
    Hunter does have a new take on the vampire culture/world building that I very much enjoyed.
    The characters are wonderful and the unusual longitudinal story over 7 or 8 years allows a lot of time for character development. The length gives a lot of detail to the suspense. I really liked both the leads tremendously. I was, however, irritated that when they FINALLY get together, its pretty lukewarm and very 1970s harlequin (everything kind of hinted at). I think we wait 12 hours before they finally merge. Both the lead female and the author are very prudish throughout the book. Its fine when its the lead character, but instead of passion, we just get treacle. Lots of treacle. "I love you". No, I love you. I love you. I really love you. Oh how I love you. Enough already. Though her first one in this series with Giovanni and Beatrice was nice and a very low embered burn that suggest a different approach to romance in the 21st century romantic fiction, this book--Building from Ashes--has much more of decided Christian romance, with a lot of devout practicing Catholics.
    The resolution was predictable. I give a 3 for the mystery villans, 4 for the worldbuilding, 2 for the romance (tho I loved the Stigmata movie related theme of the priest!) and 3.5 for the narration.
    If your usual fangy fare is Lara Adrian, C. Feehan, Larissa Ione, N. Singh, or K. Cole, but you are in the grove for something more tepid in the physical heat dept, you may enjoy this. Hunter is a good storyteller and you will love her characters. If you like Dee Henderson and her genre and are feeling like something on the paranormal side, you may enjoy this. Its got a tad more sizzle than Henderson who is a fabulous writer in military themed romance but is old fashioned and completely passion-free--something that seems thematic to me in "Christian" romance.

    For me, if there had been a bit more passion, a little more sizzle when they DID get together--they are such good characters and I wanted to FEEL that moment with them-- I wouldn't suggest that this is more of a Christian paranormal. There was a lot in this one about Catholic practice (hey, even the Vatican is board with vampire priests) and there doesn't seem any discordance with vampirism and the Church. That's new. But we get a lot of religious hand wringing about the priest and our female lead and getting physical till marriage. I felt like I stuck it out through the all the Irish angst, and got let down. Never was I so relieved when the epilogue was intoned. I didn't stick around for the preview for the next book.

    Dina Perlman was a better narrator here than in the first one since there is little Italian and mostly Irish, Scottish and Welsh accents to contend with. In the first book, she butchered italian so bad that I was cringing every time she said "Gee-oh" as the shortened "Giovanni" (it's "Joe"--"joe-VANNI" in Italian). Another example was "Dee-meh-DEE-chee" ( de Medici or "Day MED-de-chee"). Since it was said hundreds of times in the first book, you should take that as a recommendation that I bought another one in this series with the same narrator--the story in the first book outshone the butchered narration and poor pacing). PErlman gets better in this one with her pacing and voicing. It helps that this is not centered on a mystery involving medieval Italian literature as was the first.

    I won't be continuing on with this series or the author, but I would recommend this as a bargain read or listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Kill a Warlock: Dulcie O'Neil, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By H. P. Mallory
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (327)
    Performance
    (297)
    Story
    (297)

    Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy. And not the type to frolic in gardens. She’s a Regulator - a law-enforcement agent who monitors the creatures of the Netherworld to keep them from wreaking havoc in the mortal world. When a warlock is murdered and Dulcie was the last person to see him alive, she must uncover the truth before she’s either deported back to the Netherworld, or she becomes the next victim. Enter Knight Vander, a sinfully attractive investigator sent from the Netherworld to work the case with Dulcie.

    Amazon Customer says: "Engaging, but sometimes frustrating"
    "A new paranormal maestra? Fun listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was happily surprised by this book for several reasons. First, it was entertaining in the way of Molly Harper or Tate Halloway or Jennienne Frost, with snappy dialogue, a little suspense, lots of urban paranormal, and a little romance. Second, I was surprised I hadn't heard of this author till I went to Kindle>Whispersync>sort by price and found it that way, and 3rd, the unexpected bargain of a fun, entertaining listen free on kindle plus $2 audio and then it high ratings too?!

    Therese Plummer is probably on the A list narrators and really added to this great bargain package. That said, it did take me about an hour or two to stop hearing her men sound like Jack and women like Mel from the prolific Virgin River series.

    I gave it 5 stars for high entertainment value, fun suspense, edgy urban underbelly details, not being another erotica book (romance(s) is G rated and in its infancy in story arc), Snappy at 7 hours, kept me riveted as I painted, and the high quality narration.

    What's even better? The following books in the series are a great bargain if you buy the kindle v first, then the audio attached for total of six bucks. A great entertainment value when you know its gonna be good after spending only two bucks for the first audio.

    I've downloaded the next two...you should too!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • WAR

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sebastian Junger
    • Narrated By Sebastian Junger
    Overall
    (852)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (355)

    Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat - the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.

    Jeffrey Dame says: "Why we fight re-visited"
    "Riveting, disturbing, will leave you pensive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read hundreds of books that either deal with combat, combat vets as characters in various fiction novels. This book is riveting. While Junger describes the men he is embedded with, the battle actions and consequences, it is his growing realization of the unexpected consequences of war on participants. From the mundane to the insane, and then to the realities that No One Talks About. The excitement of war. And the delayed reactions. When the impersonal to mortally personal.
    This book is riveting because Junger, not the best reader, becomes your reality after a while and all you are left with the sensations of war.
    Should be mandatory reading for every voter, every civilian, every servicemember and essays required from lawmakers and decisionmakers.
    You owe it to what we Americans come from to listen/read this book.
    It will pass quickly, but will echo in your thoughts for months to come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deadly Secrets: Kinncaid Brothers, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jaycee Clark
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Bitter and resigned to a life alone, Quinlan Kinncaid swore he'd never marry-until the eccentric Ella Ferguson barged headlong into his life. But before he can trust his own feelings and build a new life with Ella, she's gone, and he's left with a secret so big he can't even bear to tell his own family.

    Davida says: "Pretty Good Series!"
    "Not as good as others in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Freespirit Ella and a fractured Quinlan meet in New Orleans for an intense heartfelt fling when Ella's baggage forces her to flee to a new job in New Mexico leaving Quin bewildered and alone.
    Ella and Quin are likeable and well painted by Clark. I enjoyed their happy meet and get-together and felt the chemistry. However, new to this book in the series is the overplayed internal monologuing.

    Pages upon pages of repetitive internal monologing on why she should get away from Quin, then later more tedious monologing on why she should call him. I actually got a lot of vacuuming done during this audio book, and when I turned it off, she's STILL monologuing on the same thing--why she should call Quin. Sigh.

    I've listened to all the books in this series and two warranted 5 stars, two warranted 4 stars, the first one was returned, and this was only a three. The use of flashbacks, usually a good way to build tension and suspense, was poorly placed at times and fell flat, not helping the story at all. Johanna Parker, whose distinctive voice I've often enjoyed in this and other series, contributes to irritation with the strident hysteria of Ella's monologing and in the drawn-out pinnacle scenes. Hysteria was warranted, granted, but instead of feeling wrenching sympathy, I rolled my eyes and did some vacuuming and resisted the urge to fast forward.

    Use your credits to get Deadly Ties and Deadly Games, and get this one if it goes on sale. This one needed a better editor and cutting off some 20-30 pages of monologuing. It would have been easier on the ears if it was 3rd person description and Ms Parker wouldn't have had to use the high pitch voice to convey hysteria--something not suited to her voice in large doses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What's in a Name?

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Terry Odell
    • Narrated By Pamela Almand, The Captain's Voice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Kelli Carpenter has changed her name, her appearance-her life-to avoid being connected to a crime she committed in self defense years ago. But just when she thinks she has nothing to fear, handsome stranger Blake Windsor shows up.

    Pamela says: "Awesome Audiblebook!"
    "narration too painful to continue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't make it beyond an hour into this audio book. The narration was painful and grating, as thought the speaker had a smile permanent on her face, and was looking around to see if her audience was listening at story time. Unnatural pauses between sentances made for a jerky delivery. This review is more about the narration (speaking actually, since it wasn't really narration), and not the story.
    Pass this audio book up.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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