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Patrina

Member Since 2010

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 160 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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7

  • One Bite With a Stranger: The Others Series

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Christine Warren
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (163)

    When Regina's friends insist on setting her up a "Fantasy Fix" to help her get over her cheating ex, she dreams up some kinky out-of-this-world encounters that they could never possibly bring to life. But the next thing Regina knows, her friends have got her laced into a shiny black corset, tight leather pants, and a sexy pair of stilettos. It's time for some downtown vampire-fantasy fun...

    Erin says: "Don't judge the entire Others series by Book 1"
    "Excellent Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book Review: Part of me was tempted to give this book lower rating. It's certainly not the best I've read. But when it comes to reviews I try to evaluate a book on its own terms, rather than what I wish it had been, or what I had been expecting, so...

    First, it may help to know a few things. 1) This was this author's first published manuscript. 2) It was originally published in 2003 as erotica, under the title 'Fantasy Fix'. It was only later revised and expanded in 2008, and republished as 'One Bite with a Stranger'. 3) It deals with bondage/dominance elements, though I would not go so far as to call it a BDSM novel. So what we have here is a first novel originally written for a different genre than the one it's been shoved into now.

    Given all that... Yes it's heavy on the sex. Would I classify it a erotica? No. Barely. However thin it maybe on plot, it's far more story developed than all the examples of erotica I've encountered. It's characterization is adequate for the story it's telling. It does end abruptly - kind of a 'lets wrap up all the loose threads in one go' sort of ending.

    As for the story itself - all too believable. Well, not the vampires/werewolves etc being real part. But the character dynamics I can easily see happening. The heroine is sort of wimpish, but that's more a matter of poor character than poor characterization, and we all know friendships/relationships can be complicated. She does display enough flashes of backbone to give the impression of someone lacking confidence rather than lacking strength - a stage most of us go through at some point. And Vidame was hot. In a masterful sort of way.

    Audio Review: I found myself pleasantly surprised at how good the narration is in this. A poor reader could have turned this into a torturous listen. I was expecting a decent reader. I got an excellent reader, who made the book come to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rebellious Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (424)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (253)

    Of all the dukes in England, Jered Marcus Benton, the Duke of Bradford, was the wealthiest, most handsome — and most arrogant. And of all London’s ladies, he wanted the tender obedience of only one — Caroline Richmond. She was a ravishing beauty from Boston, with a mysterious past and a fiery spirit. Drawn to the powerful duke, undeterred by his presumptuous airs, Caroline was determined to win his lasting love.

    Teresa says: "Love Julie Garwood."
    "Not one of her better books."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Rebellious Desire? What did you like least?

    All the elements of the actual plot were good and this could have been a great book. But romance stands or falls by its characters, and these hit the ground very hard indeed. Suspicious, cynical, jerk of a male lead. Shallow, obnoxious, know-it-all female lead. Cardboard cut-outs written to template. Impossible to like/respect either of them. Only character I had much respect for was the father. Too bad he wasn't the main character.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Anne Flosnik?

    Yes. She gives a decent, if uninspiring performance.


    Any additional comments?

    I had read this book several years ago, and hated it then too. I purchased the audio edition because I got confused, thinking it was Honor's Splendor, a much, much better book of Garwood's. When I realized my mistake, I thought I'd give it a second chance. Oh, how I wish I hadn't! There are are some books that can be improved by a good performance. This is not one of them. A virtuoso could not redeem this book. Anne Flosnik is adequate, but no virtuoso. I found myself wanting to lynch the pair of them and improve the human race. I am very glad Audible accepts returns because, while I find it difficult to let go of any book I've paid money for, I do NOT want this book in my library, where I might mistakenly read it again.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cowboy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jayne Ann Krentz
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (68)

    After their disastrous parting, Margaret Lark thought she was through with Rafe Cassidy. So when he shows up on her doorstep a year later with a shocking proposal, Margaret has no choice but to put her heart on the line again - even if it means winning back the cowboy who stole it in the first place.

    CAROLYN says: "Well Jayne.... you had me at Chapter 1 !!"
    "An okay audio for an okay book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Well-spent...? I don't think it was wasted, but I couldn't go much farther than that. I listen to audiobooks while I go to sleep (something to stop my mind from spinning in endless circles), and sometimes the narration will be so good, I'll stay awake to hear it. This wasn't one of those times. On the other hand it didn't particularly annoy me either.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


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

    No, but I'm more a book than a movie person anyway.


    Any additional comments?

    Since I only buy audios that I've already read the book for, I knew what I was getting into. While JAK's MIRA books are generally better than I would expect for Harlequin style, they still suffer from the limitations of the format. An incredible narration could have added a star to the rating, but that's wistful wishing. As is, the narration was about on par with the story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Dreaming

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Karen Marie Moning
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (369)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (339)

    For the first time on audio, here is number one New York Times best-selling author Karen Marie Moning’s novella Into the Dreaming, a tale of Highland fantasy, star-crossed lovers, and the timeless manipulation of the ancient, immortal Unseelie king. This is Moning at her romantic, funniest finest. Caught in a deadly game between the light and dark courts of the Fae, Jane must find a way through the ice to the heart of her Highander. But will the love of one mortal woman be enough to defeat such ancient and ruthless immortal enemies?

    CAROLYN says: "Ahhh ..... it's short but oh sooooo good!!!"
    "When you just need to smile..."
    Overall
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    Where does Into the Dreaming rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Hmm, if I were to rate it from among the audiobooks in my collection, on a scale of 1-10, I'd have to give it about a 7. That's really not bad, considering I have well over 200 audiobooks on my shelf, and that fact that it's a short story, not a full-blown novel or epic.


    What other book might you compare Into the Dreaming to and why?

    Gail Carriger's 'Souless' comes to mind. Not because of any similarities of plot or setting - there are none - but because they both make me laugh.


    Which character – as performed by Phil Gigante – was your favorite?

    The hero of course. Phil always makes them come through as believable, human, and downright sexy.


    Any additional comments?

    Just to clarify for anyone not familiar with Karen Marie Moning's works - This book does NOT tie-in to her Highlander or her Fever series. 'Into the Dreaming', 'Beyond the Highland Mist' and 'To Tame a Highland Warrior' are all early works where the author was still feeling her way, and stand on their own (although BtHM and TTaHW are both loosely connected to each other.) I highly recommend the audio versions for any of her books - especially those narrated by Phil Gigante, but would suggest you start with either TTaHW or 'The Highlander's Touch'. BtHM is her first book, and has more to do with the kind of story acceptable to publishers at the time of its writing than any of Karen's actual style of plots and/or characterization.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Open Season

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Linda Howard
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (55)

    Daisy Minor is bored. Worse than that, she's boring. A plain, small-town librarian, she's got a wardrobe as sexy as a dictionary and hasn't been on a date in years. She's never even had a lukewarm love affair, let alone a hot one. So when she wakes up on her 34th birthday, she begins transforming herself into a manhunting party girl. But one night she sees something she shouldn't - and suddenly she becomes the target of a killer.

    Irisandu2 says: "Lots Of Fun"
    "A Rare Gem"
    Overall
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    Book Review: This book was my first Linda Howard experience years back, and is still a beloved read today. The dynamics between the two main characters is treated with a gentle whimsy and good humor that always makes me smile. The same goes for its depiction of some of the trials of life in a small town. Daisy is a classic 'good girl' who I identified with, perhaps too closely for comfort, finally reaching for what she really wants in life. She's more ignorant than naive, a result of her quiet lifestyle. Her steps into the dating scene, however stumbling, are taken without sacrificing her innate goodness. I especially liked that 'nice' was not equated with 'doormat'.

    The book does suffer from what I call "villain's disease" - too much seen from the perspective of the bad guys - but even that isn't as bad as it could have been, since Linda Howard tends to write her villains as rounded people rather than cardboard cut-outs. If you're looking for a good, sit-back-and-enjoy book, this is it. If you're looking for heart-stopping suspense...look somewhere else.

    Audio Review: This audible marks another first for me. You see, I had borrowed this abridged presentation sometime back from the local library, and enjoyed it very much. But when it comes too my private collection I always, ALWAYS, get the unabridged version. When I saw the full story here on audible I snatched it up - realizing too late that it had a different narrator. Oh well, no big deal, right? Sigh. Big deal. Don't get me wrong here, the unabridged narrator does a decent enough job, I even got a couple hours in. But as it went on I found that I had been spoiled. Kate Forbes had done such a perfect dramatization that a simply decent reading couldn't hack it. So, for the first time, I bought the abridged version on top of the unabridged. And it's worth every cent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Belgarath the Sorcerer

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Eddings, Leigh Eddings
    • Narrated By J. P. Linton
    Overall
    (541)
    Performance
    (358)
    Story
    (371)

    When the world was young and Gods still walked among their mortal children, a headstrong orphan boy set out to explore the world. Thus began the extraordinary adventures that would mold that youthful vagabond into a man, and the man into the finely honed instrument of Prophecy known to all the world as Belgarath the Sorcerer.

    Seth H. Wilson says: "Great book; dreadful narration"
    "Good Book, Poor Narration"
    Overall
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    Story

    Firstly, this book is a prequel to two other complete series: the Belgariad, and the Mallorean. Secondly, this book is an "autobiography" covering over seven thousand years. If you have not already read these series and enjoyed Belgarath's character, you WILL NOT enjoy the book. Belgarath's tale is long and often dry, and what saves it is his own dry and self-deprecating wit. In this the author has been very true to the character.

    Having read both 'following' series, I very much enjoyed the glimpse into this character's past and mind. 7,000 years of history is a difficult thing to cover well and I think the author did a good job in choosing what to focus on. Occasionally there would be a small tidbit that clashed with previous data (or following data, in his daughter's tale) but given so much history, that is both forgivable and almost inevitable. Nor is Belgarath himself beyond altering facts to make a better story. It's a good book when taken on its own terms, and an enjoyable read to those familiar with the world.

    Unfortunately, the Audible Frontiers recording of it is marred by its narrator. This narrator is not actually the worst I've heard, and he probably does fairly well with non-fiction and such. But he was the absolute WRONG choice to narrate this book. Belgararth's wit and humor has been watered down to self-congratulation. The narrator's habit of making every other sentence sound like a question and other issues, turns this wry tale into a dry and PAINFUL one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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