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Elle in the Great NorthWest

I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

Beaverton, OR, United States

ratings
234
REVIEWS
228
FOLLOWING
40
FOLLOWERS
226
HELPFUL VOTES
917

  • Overseas

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Beatriz Williams
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (287)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (248)

    When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Julian’s relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she’s baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire—Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor—pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college?

    Cassie says: "I WANT ONE!!!"
    "Hist. Romance & a touch of time travel-NOT Si Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For some reason this was in the Science Fiction department and it's about as much Si Fi as "Outlander" by Diana Gabeldon is..don't get me wrong-I love the Outlander series, but basically they are historical romances and not Si Fi -They have a bit of time travel,but its not necessarily central to the plot. This novel falls into the same category

    The bits of flash back to the early WWI era that constitutes the time-travel and the returning to current time were confusing at first-I had to rewind and listen again several times-finally I got the eras correct and my listening smoothed out. The reason for time travel and how it's done doesn't come until the final chapters of "Overseas" and that was irritating..no real reason for it to be held off so long and the explanation is dumb IMO but, then, I'm not the author.

    "Overseas" is a real romance though and, for the most, it's adequately done. The plot is one that keeps romances going..rich man meets financially floundering woman and though she insists she can take cafe of herself, he swoops in with jewels and pearls and a unending ticket for private air travel..all of which have something eventually to do with the time travel, but when introduced are dumb and contrived. I had a problem with the female protagonist, who is a dynamic stockbroker and a firm woman in real life but always gives in to her old fashioned and overbearing male lead/protagonist. Granted he grew up in the early 1900s and women were treated differently then, but he's been in current time for quite a while when he meets the female protagonist and I wished the author had allowed him to grow a bit in attitude.

    The reading was well done-January LaVoy has a great voice and did a good job on accents and male voices. Her narration added excitement to the book for me.

    I call this story average-it's the kind of book I'd rather have read myself and bought at the used book store for $2.00 instead of spending a credit on it here. It's worth a listen if you love, love, love Historical Romance...just don't make the mistake I did and think it's actually Science Fiction-time travel. If you just occasionally enjoy historical romance, put it on a list for the used book store and pick it up there to read for yourself.

    I was disappointed.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Soul of Discretion: Simon Serrailler Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (41)

    The cathedral town of Lafferton seems idyllic, but in many ways it is just like any other place. As part of the same rapidly changing world, it shares the same hopes and fears, and the same kinds of crime, as any number of towns up and down the land.When one day DC Simon Serrailler is called in by Lafferton's new Chief Constable, Kieron Bright, he is met by four plainclothes officers. He is asked to take the lead role in a complex, potentially dangerous undercover operation and must leave town immediately.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Leaves you wanting the next episode in series"
    "Leaves you wanting the next episode in series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although I have enjoyed each of the Simon Serrailler novels, from Hills tight plotsnto Paceys wonderful narration, this novel was the most gripping of all the books in the series in my opinion.

    Based on up to date horriffic social issues that none of us really want to read about, Simon is sent underground into a dangerous situation fraught with perils where he is discovered as a spy. Any more info would create a spoiler and I don't want to mess up your excitement.

    Simons family reaches situations that have been building over the past 4-5 books and placed in less than hopeful circumstances that not only tax Simon but threaten the peace had harmony we've come to expect from his sister and her friends who seemed to have reached some joy in their lives.

    This may be the Last book, as many story arcs come to a less than satisfying end, but other new plot lines were brought out and the listener is left to ask herself "can Simon overcome the horrible situation?". And wonder what will happen next.

    If you enjoyed most or all of the series do listen to this 2014 issued audiobook to become enthralled as you might have been with the first introductory novel.

    I loved it and it's amongst the top 5 on my 2014 reading list.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Risk of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    A kidnapper is at large; a schoolboy has disappeared. There are no leads, and no closure. The police have failed, and morale at Lafferton Station has collapsed. Then DCI Simon Serrailler receives a call: a child has been snatched in Yorkshire. Has the abductor struck again? The Risk of Darkness picks up where The Pure in Heart left off. It is set in a world in which a widowed husband's crazy grief turns to obsession and violence, and women - both old and young - feel threatened.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Steven Pacey-A most excellent UK mystery narrator"
    "Steven Pacey-A most excellent UK mystery narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Over a period of 3 weeks, while recovering from surgery, I have been kept company by the wonderful UK mysteries written by Susan Hill and narrated by Steven Pacey.

    These take place in mostly current times, though I estimate Hill has been writing the series over the past 10-15 years so current events and tech has changed from "Dashing to a pay phone" to a 15 year old with a cell phone..In other words these aren't vintage novels.

    Steven Pacey has a wonderful ability to bring Hills writing to life, especially when it comes to characters voices. I've listened to all 8 books and have come to know and enjoy the dialogue between Simon and Cat,the arguments between teen Sam and his sister that lead to anger and typical sibling bickering, and to know the stern father of the 3 triplets and his wonderful second wife-just thru Paceys intonation. Spectacular-especially with Paceys cultured accent that can swiftly change to Cornwall or Northern or Scott accents--how does he do that?

    I've read negative comments about the series-not exciting enough, no plot etc. This hasn't been my experience at all.

    Hill doesn't write shoot 'em up mysteries with American gumshoes and car cases. His cop shop is full of men and women who work hard and with diligence to discover the perp.

    Try it-I bet you'll like them!

    Well worth the credits

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sea Swept: The Chesapeake Bay Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By David Stuart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1014)
    Performance
    (710)
    Story
    (728)

    A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father calls him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changes overnight.

    Louise says: "Outstanding"
    "Great narration and classic NR writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I honestly thought this series of 4 books was written 15-20 years ago..it seems to be a classic in her genre.

    David Stuart is an excellent narrator who gave a typical and not always touching Roberts book a touch of class. Both the first and second book in the series are narrated by Stuart, the 3rd and 4th novels in the series are good, narration wise, but not of the same quality.

    The 4 books in this series take place in the Chesapeake Bay part of the eastern seaboard, the 4 protagonists, all adopted step brothers whose early childhood years were those of abuse and terror. Novel 1, Sea Swept, tells the story of European playboy and fast car and/or boat driver Cameron Quinn. A man whose life is now one of supermodels, road races, winning tickets and a future of fun and sex. As I said...a typical Roberts story arc that manages to excite and enthuse readers.

    However it turns out that this novel is of excellent Nora Roberts style and between the 3rd and 4th novels the quality remains 5 star

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Time

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
    Overall
    (790)
    Performance
    (725)
    Story
    (733)

    Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest.

    Jan says: "Pickiest Reader Would Be Willing to Give 6 Stars"
    "One of her finest novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Written in the now predictable multi character style, Leaving Time is a superior work IMO. Picoult has written a few books that I couldn't get thru but this was an all night listen for me-all nite and into the next day in fact.

    I admired the primary protagonist and really felt for her. The secondary characters, especially the young son, were equally well written, with lots of character development and family conflict.

    Story arc flows beautifully from scene to scene-I'd give it more stars were they available.

    Buy it!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Man Called Ove

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Fredrik Backman
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Thoughtful and meaningful novel / an unusual novel"
    "Thoughtful and meaningful novel / an unusual novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a different kind of book-the only similar novel is one I read this year called "The Trustee of the Toolroom". Both are about different men who don't 'do' social very well and have no idea of the kind of impact they have on others.

    In Ove's place, this surly and sometimes mean protagonist swears he hates cats but adopts a freezing cat. He meets the one love of his life and she keeps him mostly human until she dies. He begins to plan his own demise but can't seem to accomplish it because people have started to depend on him.

    This is a wonderful listen and one of the best I've heard this year.

    Narrated by 2 different voices, a man and a woman. I listened to Newberns narration and am tempted to purchase the other narration just to see how the feminine perspective changes the story.

    Well worth a credit.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Festive in Death: In Death, Book 39

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    Overall
    (832)
    Performance
    (760)
    Story
    (762)

    Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn't count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest. Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who'd been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler's enemies, she's also dealing with her Christmas shopping list - plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband's upcoming holiday bash.

    BG853 says: "A Feast for In Death devotees"
    "Can I be getting tired of Eve Dallas? Could be!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was more than a little bored by the newest in Robb/Roberts 'In Death' series. Not a surprise as its the 39th book, which has to be a record setter maybe behind only Mary Osbornes 'Magic Tree House' kids series.

    I had a difficult time keeping my interest, until the Christmas party-the details of the party were wonderful..I wanted to dress up and be there with everyone. Generally though I found the plot typical of many other 'in death' novels and wonder if it isn't time for some new story arcs for the characters.

    I think the only character which has grown is Peabody and wish more growth was written into Dallas herself. Surely it's time for her to be able to remember when holidays are. The things that were cute or funny at the start, Dallas' dislike of PDA in Peabody and McNabb for example, have been going on long enough for her to get over it and move along.

    I see some new characters-a new doctor in the coroners office who doesn't really like Dallas - I'm sure that conflict will rate a couple of books where they are forced to work together then finally develop respect for one another.

    And isn't it time for Dallas to get over spazzing about Roarkes money? Or maybe it's time for me to quit buying these novels when they first come out.

    In any case..except for the Party scene, this novel was a "Meh.......bland"

    you'll buy it if you love Roberts/Robb anyhow so pay me no attention. I think I'm going to find one of her older novels to download and listen to..I notice Audible has quite a few of early Roberts books-books that really caught me up as a younger woman and which might be attractive to me now...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 44 Scotland Street

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (656)
    Performance
    (409)
    Story
    (408)

    The brilliant Alexander McCall Smith became an international sensation with his New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. His award-winning wit, made famous through that series, is fully on display in 44 Scotland Street.

    J. Rogers says: "Smith's answer to Maupin"
    "Funny, well contrived with great characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    equals a fun novel to listen to. I laughed so many times while listening, and had a smile on my face when I wasn't laughing!.
    Alexander McCall Smith is a new author to me, as is Robt. Mackenzie as a narrator..what a match. Great Energy of this author and narrator. I can't wait to listen to the second book.

    This is a case where the narrator increases the readers (listeners) experience of the book.

    I couldn't decide on a genre..romance? Psychological novel?, Lost Love? there are so many fun characters that you grow to enjoy.

    GET THIS!!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Escaping Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (883)
    Performance
    (822)
    Story
    (824)

    When society ceases to exist, who can you trust? After the collapse of the nation's power grid, America is under martial law - and safety is an illusion. As violence erupts around him, Morgan Carter faces one of his most difficult decisions yet: whether to stay and defend his home, or move to a more isolated area, away from the prying eyes of the government. He and his family are hesitant to leave their beloved Lake County, but with increasingly suspicious activities happening in a nearby refugee camp, all signs point towards defecting.

    Linda Likes to Learn says: "WARNING! DOES NOT END SERIES! CUT FOR PROFIT?"
    "The “HOME” novels by Angery(sic) American"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review is for all 4 of the novels written by self named (and spelled) Angery (sic) American..a writer who needs an editor and proof reader more than my grand daughters 4 grade class.
    While his EOTWAWKI novels are interesting, he, sadly, writes cardboard characters. As a woman from a prepared family, who has her own back pack, bag and 2 man tent packed just heavy enough for her 71 year old body to carry on a days hike.. Additionally I have met many other women who camp, hunt, shoot, fish and whose family is prepared. One would think that the hero, Morgan, is the only prepper in Florida. Most women who are active in prepper communities aren’t anywhere near the very lame women A. American writes in his novels. All his women are bitchy or needy, all the teens are stereotypical angst filled teens - including his hero’s daughters..and he does nothing to teach them how to survive, I was interested in the books but also very frustrated by them.

    The plot is unrealistic what with the Post Office taking over running the country with FEMA help..really? Who is going to believe that. Most of us learned a great deal by Katrina, even we not in the south have learned to be prepared for disaster and what is and isn’t acceptable to our family for survival.

    I won’t comment on the initial use of logo and name branding..it didn’t continue thru out all 4 books, thank goodness.

    Finally, the narrator..much has been commented on about his lack of pausing..I also bemoan his lack of correct pronunciation for simple words..an Editor was really needed for this final production.

    If you listen to the first book then you will be grabbed into the series but they don’t get any better as they progress..just more far fetched. However as the little girl in the book says..at least there aren’t any Zombies.

    0 of 0 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
    (1640)
    Performance
    (1513)
    Story
    (1522)

    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. . ."
    "The “HOME” novels by Angery(sic) American"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review is for all 4 of the novels written by self named (and spelled) Angery (sic) American..a writer who needs an editor and proof reader more than my grand daughters 4 grade class.
    While his EOTWAWKI novels are interesting, he, sadly, writes cardboard characters. As a woman from a prepared family, who has her own back pack, bag and 2 man tent packed just heavy enough for her 71 year old body to carry on a days hike.. Additionally I have met many other women who camp, hunt, shoot, fish and whose family is prepared. One would think that the hero, Morgan, is the only prepper in Florida. Most women who are active in prepper communities aren’t anywhere near the very lame women A. American writes in his novels. All his women are bitchy or needy, all the teens are stereotypical angst filled teens - including his hero’s daughters..and he does nothing to teach them how to survive, I was interested in the books but also very frustrated by them.

    The plot is unrealistic what with the Post Office taking over running the country with FEMA help..really? Who is going to believe that. Most of us learned a great deal by Katrina, even we not in the south have learned to be prepared for disaster and what is and isn’t acceptable to our family for survival.

    I won’t comment on the initial use of logo and name branding..it didn’t continue thru out all 4 books, thank goodness.

    If you listen to the first book then you will be grabbed into the series but they don’t get any better as they progress..just more far fetched. However as the little girl in the book says..at least there aren’t any Zombies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5470)
    Performance
    (3451)
    Story
    (3482)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Sara says: "A terrifying story"
    "Derivative, Unbelievable, End of America novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This Post-Apolyptic end of the US as told in North Carolina is a thin copy of every bad end-of-the-world mixed with "the Commies are Coming" movie I've ever seen. It's hero is a cigarette smoking, fedora wearing, type of 40s college professor who obsesses about his coming lack of smokes as much as about the lack of insulin for his diabetic daughter. His only qualification as lead dude seems to be his reenactment in Civil War Battles every month or so. Therefore they call him Colonel. He's one of the most unrealistic heroes I've ever read. I could not figure out why he was such an admired man..I didn't get his high community value- it sure isn't in his thinking or reasoning ability. He's Average Man, mourning his wives death, living with his mother in law and daughters and functioning poorly as a parent. He makes stupid decisions, doesn't understand his 16 year old daughter just might be having sex or that he ought to take care of his wounded hand..he's Mr Peepers mixed with Maxwell Smart!

    Along with lame heroes comes equally lame dialogue..."81 people have died, professor, but everything seems ok." is typical. Now I've been to Asheville, it's full of counter culture people and the hero himself does these Civil War play things. They have lots of horses yet they are choosing to use the horses for food rather than for transportation...that could have just been thrown in for the gross factor to prep the listener for the dog as food part that comes up though.

    Publishers blurb says this book was touted "On the floor of Congress" Doesn't say why and I'm left wondering why.

    There are too many simplistic lines of dialogue to quote, just for humors sake, but believe me..I did a lot of rolling my eyes and going 'Duh' at many of them.

    If you want a good post apologetic book, try the Metatopolis series edited by John Scalzi. The characters in these short stories are, at least, intelligent.

    Don't was your credit..it's going back and thank you, Audible for the return offer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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