David Levithan is becoming one of those authors I can count on to write something I'll like. The kind where you can just hear that a new book is coming out by him, and pre-order it without needing any additional information. Every Day has a unique premise, and I was quickly absorbed into the characters and story. Levithan does a great job of succinctly explaining A's life in a way that feels completely plausible and allows the reader to just get into the story without needing all the specifics about the whys and hows. Things just are the way they are.
I absolutely loved the way that this book immerses the reader in humanity in a way that transcends gender, or sexual preference because that is the character A. We are experiencing life as A, who is experiencing life as anyone and everyone. Since it isn't possible for each of us to truly experience life outside of the body and self we are born with, this book gives us the next best thing. It really caused me to think about all the things that make humans the same and individuals different. I am truly going to miss these characters, and even though I would have loved to spend a lot more time in this story the way it ended provided enough information that I can imagine things turning out in a way that feels good. However, should a sequel be written I wouldn't hesitate for even a second to get it!
The narration was pretty perfect. The narrator had a voice that was fairly gender neutral, so imagining the characters anywhere along the gender spectrum was effortless. I highly recommend this book!
Gwen had a rough childhood, and believes that the people she can love and trust are her brother and sister. Period. She does see a use for sexual release, but has no desire for a relationship beyond that. Gwen works hard, and follows the rules. She is thrown for a loop when she meets JC, a charismatic man who seems to have no problem breaking rules. JC is attracted to Gwen and offers to help her loosen up a bit.
I enjoyed the chemistry between Gwen and JC, especially after they started heating things up. Gwen is definitely a tightly wound character, and it was clear that she was using her strong work ethic and rule following to control as much of her environment as she could. It was sad to see the personal cost that her walling herself off from connections with everyone but her siblings was costing her. JC is an interesting character, and while it took a little while for me to decide whether he was sketchy or not, I did end up cheering for him as time went on. One of the intriguing things about the book was slowly finding out bits of information about JC. One of the frustrating aspects of this story was that just as things got really good, the story ended.
I also liked seeing some of the growth that all three of the siblings went through in this story when it was clear that the childhood they had effected them each in different ways.
My major complaint with this book was that at times Gwen's incessant internal questioning and acknowledgment of opposing feelings became a little daunting. Overall, I did like that the story went in directions I didn't expect, and I will be continuing on to the next in the series as soon as I can to find out what happens next.
The narrator had a lovely voice, but at times I felt that she was almost a little too articulate. In the beginning I also thought that her voice seemed a little too sensual to feel like Gwen. I was able to engage in the story without the narration distracting me, and I thought with some characters (like Norma), her voice was a great fit. I believe she would probably be the perfect narrator for some books, but overall I found her voice and inflection just okay for this story.
Shannon Quinn is the manager of a charming holiday-themed resort in Door County, Wisconsin. It belonged to her grandparents, and after the loss of her parents it has been Shannon's to run. Holiday Quinn is open during holidays, and during one winter weekend, Bram Hartwick stays for a weekend with some friends and quickly finds himself enamored with the place, and its lovely owner. Before long, Bram is spending all of his holidays at Holiday Quinn. His job has him traveling all over the world and his time there is peaceful and relaxing. Shannon and Bram find that even though they are in different places in their lives, they can't deny their incredible chemistry or how their relationship is becoming more important to both of them than either intended.
This book has a classic romance feel. The sexy parts are plenty steamy, but there is a sort of innocence to much of the book. The main characters also feel a little more mature than their ages would suggest. The chemistry between Shannon and Bram was definitely hot, and I was really hoping that they would find a way to bring the happiness to each other's lives that both characters deserved. At times it was frustrating to see two characters who both seem to be pretty good at communicating in most settings somehow not getting their messages across to one another. Overall, their relationship begin and grow with the passing of each holiday was a pleasant experience.
The narrator had a wonderful voice that reminded me of Jane Fonda. Overall, she was articulate and did a good job of keeping me engaged in the story. I think it was a combination of the narration and the author's writing that had me feeling at times like the characters were not acting or sounding their ages. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a nice steamy romance with some mid-western charm.
Lyse leaves her home in Georgia upon receiving word that her great-aunt Eleanora is dying. Eleanora raised Lyse after the death of her parents, and she and Lyse have been close. Eleanora needs to see Lyse before she dies because Lyse is going to need to take her place as head of the Echo Park coven. Lyse has no idea about this part of Eleanora's life as she did not want to burden Lyse with the dangerous responsibilities she will have until it was absolutely necessary. Suddenly, in addition to dealing with the impending loss of her closest relative, she is learning about a whole lot that she never would have believed in previously. She is also realizing that there is very real danger surrounding her and many others.
I enjoyed this book a lot. I found Lyse an easy character to connect to and Eleanora was an interesting and lovable character as well. It was nice that we got to know some of the peripheral characters with a little more depth than we sometimes do in a book with many characters. This first book in the series did a good job of laying some important groundwork so that we can understand who these people are and what dangers face them. We get so see how people are connected and a glimpse of how they relate to one another. This books gives us some history, some action, some romance, and a glimpse of things to come. I think the author did a good job of giving us enough knowledge and action to effectively make me care about these characters and want to know what happens next. I am eager to continue on with this series.
I thought the narration was great. I felt like the narrator did a wonderful job of giving the different characters distinct voices in ways that felt natural and seamless. I was not taken out of the story by the narration at any point, and for me that is one of the things I look for in an audiobook. The narrator gave Lyse especially a tone and voice that made me feel like I understood her a little better because of it.
Michelle Sapphire, and Wyatt Callahan formed a bond and established a high level of trust when both were deployed in Afghanistan. Michelle was a Lieutenant and doctor in the Navy, and Wyatt was a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marines. They were also very attracted to one another, but were unable to even consider having a relationship that was not completely professional. After they return to the civilian world, they reconnect, but both are struggling with some pretty serious issues. Wyatt is suffering from PTSD and is in bad shape after the suicide of his best friend. Michelle is still dealing with grief and guilt over the death of a former boyfriend. She is a Domme, and would love nothing more than to make an Alpha male like Wyatt her submissive. She believes that she can help him get his life back on track if he will submit to her for a month.
I was able to connect to both characters in this book pretty quickly, and was glad to realize how their level of desire for each other was comparable. The chemistry between them was very hot, and one of the things that made everything hotter was the slow steamy pace that they allowed themselves to connect physically. Michelle had her reasons for wanting to wait to fully give herself to Wyatt, and both were dealing with some pretty heavy stuff. In addition, Michelle knew who she was sexually and what she wanted. Wyatt wanted Michelle, but did not think he would be able to submit to her. Watching the two of them come together and stubble to give each other what they both needed was rewarding. I will gladly continue with this series and read more by this author in the future.
I thought the narration was good. Her voice was clear and made it easy to stay in the story. The voices she used for the different characters were easy to distinguish, and seemed to fit the characters well.
Gia is an architect who works hard and has very little social life. She has trained as a submissive and plays at her local club, but has never found the Dom who can get her into subspace and pleasure her the way she desires. She enters a Submissive's Wish Charity Auction, where the subs are bought by Doms who intend to fulfill the fantasies of the subs, and the money they spend purchasing the subs for a week goes to a charity of the submissive's choice. Gia is bought by Ivan, a Russian Dom who soon realizes that he is not going to be able to let Gia go at the end of their week together.
This book definitely had some interesting elements to the story in addition to the steamy sexy parts. Gia is a character who is easy to like and seeing her find some happiness was really rewarding. Ivan is a little too perfect to be taken seriously sometimes. He's a big commanding Dom who can look and act scary, but is always kind and gentle when it counts. He is a powerful man who has never found a woman to hold his interest beyond a few sexual encounters, until Gia. Gia tries to maintain a reasonable expectation for their relationship since they have grown close in such a very short period of time, but Ivan after a few days is ready to keep Gia with him forever.
I struggled with the narration a little bit at times. On the one hand, the narrator did a fantastic job with Ivan's voice. His Russian accent was deep, incredibly sexy, and perfect. His natural accent is Italian (I think), so I was taken out of the story at times when he would switch from the Italian accent to a slightly American accent for Gia, and then the perfect Russian accent for Ivan. Overall- the narration was good, and parts of the book were definitely enhanced by it.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes a "fluffy" D/s story.
Cache is a photojournalist who has recently returned from the Middle East where he survived a suicide bombing that caused him the loss of two friends and a pretty serious leg injury. His editor informs him that they are going to the wilds of Alaska so that he can do a "where are they now" story about a girl whose photograph jump-started his career 20 years ago. Mel Bennet survived a horrendous kidnapping and attempted murder 20 years ago and after some years of self-destructive behavior and rehab, she has finally found a place she would like to call home. Living secluded in Alaska at a small lodge where no one knows that she is the famous victim. Cache and Mel experience a strong attraction to one another, but Cache knows that the moment Mel realizes who he is, their relationship will be doomed.
I found this to be a really engaging story. I had no problem connecting to the characters, and found myself more and more interested in some of the peripheral characters as the story continued. Mel has been through a lot, not only through the actual trauma she suffered, but also through the crazy media exposure she had to deal with in the aftermath. I was frustrated with her at times, because while her determination and stubbornness had helped her survive and gotten her to a much better place in her life, it was clear that the walls she put up were also keeping her from finding the connections and relationships that she deserved. Cache was an easy character to root for, even though it was tough knowing that he had information that was going to be hurtful to Mel. The chemistry between them was very hot, and I was really hoping that they would be able to open up to one another and find happiness together.
I loved the wilderness and survival aspects of this book. The location of the Edge almost felt like another character int eh story. The beauty and danger provided an interesting back drop for all the action in the story. There is a lot of suspense, and some action but what I enjoyed most was the relationships. Aside from the budding relationship between Cache and Mel, seeing Mel and her sister start to reconnect after a rough childhood was something I enjoyed a lot.
The one thing I struggled a little bit was with the choice of narrator. While she was very articulate, and I felt she would be great for a number of books, I didn't feel that she was the right voice for this one. She was a little too perky for some of the characters and subject matter, and I was aware at all times that I was being read to. I struggled with some of her male voices as well. The narration didn't affect my ability to enjoy this story, but it was hard to feel like the potential for this audiobook to be even better with just the right narrator. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot and I would gladly read more by this author in the future. I would also recommend this to anyone looking for a good romantic suspense.
*a copy of this audiobook was provided in exchange for an honest review
Lisbeth comes from a family where she doesn't really fit in. Her mother is an alcoholic, her sister is quickly following suit, and her younger brother is struggling with some clear behavior disorders. Lisbeth's mother has a future all planned out for her since she is the "good daughter" with potential. However, it is a future Lisbeth wants nothing to do with.
Lisbeth's main support system comes from her Nan, who shares and understands her obsession with Audrey Hepburn, and her best friend Jess, a brilliant fashion student currently working as a museum curator. One night Lisbeth meets Jess at the museum and finds herself trying on the famous Givenchy made for Audrey. A couple turns of event lead to a night that will change her whole life. Lisbeth finds herself in a world she has been desperate to experience, but knows that it can't last. Partially because she is pretending to be someone she isn't. Specifically Audrey Hepburn.
At first, I was afraid that this was just going to be a fluffy story with a few mishaps and a little charm. In the beginning there was an awful lot of the author making sure we understood just how much Lisbeth loved Audrey Hepburn, and at one point I had to plead with the author to move on and stop repeating the word "Givenchy". However, those feelings quickly faded away as I became more connected to Lisbeth and found that there was much more to her and the story.
What we get is a young girl finding herself and deciding who and what she wants to be. Even through the charade, it seems that Lisbeth is finding herself rather than losing herself in this world that is vastly different from her own. It was rewarding to see her discovering her talents, and finding the courage to go after the life she really wanted rather than the one that was being forced on her. She definitely makes some questionable choices, and takes some crazy risks, but at the heart of it all I was cheering her on and hoping that she would find her place in the world and become a woman who knew herself.
I also enjoyed the evolution of the situation with her family and watching how even some serious challenges and struggles could help a very broken family start to heal.
This was a delightful and entertaining read, and I thought the narrator did a pretty great job of voicing Lisbeth. She sounded just like what I would imagine Lisbeth sounds like, which made it easy to become immersed in the story.
Emily comes from a wealthy family with some incredibly successful siblings. She is out of college and is trying to make a name for herself on her own. Because of her well-known family she is finding it impossible to make her way in the world independently. Emily drops her last name and is living the life she can entirely on her own. She is struggling to make ends meet, and is experiencing one disaster after another when she meets Marco Santini, who attempts to rescue her from being stranded in a storm.
Marco came from nothing and has built himself into an incredibly successful business man. He has been hurt in the past, and is not interested in any real relationship with any woman. He and Emily are very attracted to one another, but both believe it would be a mistake to get involved. Fighting their attraction is easier said that done. Especially when they enter into a business relationship that is helping both of them significantly in different ways.
Emily was an easy character to care about even though her behavior could be frustrating at times. Marco is a sexy man and watching him struggle as he becomes vulnerable for the first time in a long time was endearing. The physical chemistry between Emily and Marco is pretty intense. There is definitely some flowery language going on here, and some very fairy tale-like elements to this story. That said, I stayed engaged throughout and was really hoping that these characters would be able to work through their struggles and find happiness. I am very interested in learning more about the members of the Wilde family.
The narrator does a great job of voicing Emily. She has a great Texas twang that really brings life to Emily. At times her Marco accent turns a little more Dracula than Italian ex-pat, but overall I found it easy to imagine these characters through her narration.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good romance with a classic feel and a nice steam factor.
This is a book that was on my TBR list for quite a while. I kept getting strong encouragements to read it, but held back because I knew it would be a book that would get me feeling and sometimes it is hard to go into something knowing it might be a little intense. I am so glad that I finally experienced this book and know these characters.
I don't want to talk much about the plot because I feel like going in with a lot of encouragement, but without much of an idea of what the book was about was really great. Louisa goes into her situation with no idea of what she was getting herself into and it really helped me connect to her since we were experiencing everything together. I became engaged in this story quickly, and one of the things I found completely fascinating was that even during periods where the main character was doing something tedious or experiencing a lot of boredom, all of those feelings were clearly relayed but in a way that never left me feeling disconnected. I like that this book brings up problems that don't have clear solutions and cause the reader (or listener) to examine their own beliefs while learning and understanding the points of view of each character. This book is charming, and witty, and wonderful. I adored the lovable dysfunction of Louisa's family, especially her relationship with her sister who was simultaneously a primary source of her frustration and anger as well as her closest confidant and a strong support. Relationships in real life are challenging, and complex and all of the relationships we experience in this book feel real and easily elicited a strong emotional response from me. I was totally engrossed throughout this entire story and would highly recommend it to everyone I know.
The performance is fantastic and the multiple narrators really bring each character life. Each narrator completely fit with my idea of what that character would sound like, and added to the real feel of the story. I think listening to the audiobook version of this was a wonderful way to experience it.
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