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Barb

Jasper, AB, Canada | Member Since 2013

ratings
20
REVIEWS
15
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • Desperate Duchesses

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Eloisa James
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (245)

    Welcome to a world of reckless sensuality and glittering sophistication, of dangerously handsome gentlemen and young ladies longing to gain a title, of games played for high stakes, including - on occasion - a lady's virtue. A marquess's sheltered only daughter, Lady Roberta St. Giles, falls in love with a man she glimpses across a crowded ballroom: a duke, a game player of consummate skill, a notorious rakehell who shows no interest in marriage, until he lays eyes on Roberta.

    Michelle says: "Excellent start to a series!"
    "It's all about the dialogue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you read much HR, you know there's a plot formula with variation coming from the characters. James is different from other HR writers because she emphasizes dialogue full of complexity and humour. The teasing leading up to the love scenes is lovely. Had to pay close attention in the first half as all the characters are introduced.I'm committing to the series.Gave narration 4 stars only because it didn't stand out (which is actually good - focuses you on the plot) and some of the male characters sounded a bit forced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Selkie Spell: Seal Island, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sophie Moss
    • Narrated By Hollis McCarthy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (79)

    American doctor Tara Moore wants to disappear. On the run from an abusive husband, she seeks shelter on a windswept Irish island and dismisses the villagers' speculation that she is descended from a selkie - a magical creature who is bewitching the island. But when a ghostly woman appears to her with a warning, Tara realizes it was more than chance that brought her to this island.

    American Valkyrie says: "Comforting and Engaging Voice, Exciting Story"
    "Folklore interesting - but Leprechauns?!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I liked the characters. I discovered however, I am not a fan of mixing abuse/sex crimes with romance in the storyline. I was a bit confused about who was who in the sub plot, but was able to ignore that and still get the most out of the main characters' interactions. I also dug the supporting Irish characters. The male Irish accents, however, all had me envisioning Leprechauns - especially the main male character - not so sexy. And something about the girl's voice also did not seem realistic to me. So, good plot but some distractions. Maybe with a different narrator, I will follow the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Silent Revenge

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Laura Landon
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (330)

    A Marriage of Convenience: Such is the agreement forged between Lady Jessica Stanton and Simon Warland, Earl of Northcote. Jessica needs a husband strong enough to protect her inheritance from her avaricious stepbrother. Simon needs money to restore the family legacy his father squandered. United by necessity, emotional attachment isn’t part of the deal.

    CAROLYN says: "A FAIRYTALE LOVE STORY THAT'S ENTERTAINING"
    ""You are my wife!" "He doesn't love me...""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If I hear Simon declaring that she is his wife one more time...that's what was going on in my mind on several occasions in the story. Jessica does not feel loveable, but it takes a while until we hear the reality of her past and why she is so insecure. The storyline did have a unique twist to it, (which I obviously can't reveal) - wish the author would've delved a little deeper into how that affected their interactions as a couple. Also, I've discovered I'm not a fan of the figurative language in love scenes..."soaring to the heights...". I prefer a more literal description - you won't get that here. Nor, am I a fan of gruesome crimes mixing with flowery romance. I get that the villain has to be painted evil, but it is a turn off for me to read about sex crimes. Rosalyn Landor made it enjoyable for a listen despite all the little quirks I mentioned - she has a good range of accents/dialects and her voice is deep enough to pull off male voices well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daring the Highlander

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Laurin Wittig
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (125)

    After his brother is executed for treason, Ailig MacLeod returns to Castle Assynt bearing a heavy heart and a grim message: the Scottish king has ordered Ailig’s father to forfeit the clan chiefdom - or face deadly consequences. But before he can reach home, Ailig encounters Morainn MacRailt, a beautiful young widow living a solitary life in the glen. He is taken by her quiet confidence and the powerful connection that sparks between them, but his duty lies at Castle Assynt, where his clan is in turmoil.

    CAROLYN says: "Another entertaining Scottish Saga from Ms Wittig"
    "Not 5 stars only in comparison to Outlander"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Using Outlander as my measuring stick means other series seem to come up short in the rating, but this novel/series is worth the listen. I listen to so many HR lately, they sometimes blur together to be honest. But this one stood out because just before this I listened to a highland novel where the language was too contemporary for the time period. The language in Wittig's writing seems authentic, though I'm not an expert. The build up to the main couple (there's always a couple at the centre) coming together was well timed with the story. I liked the supporting characters a great deal. The dialogue was witty and kept me interested. The narration was seamless. I will say at the beginning I thought I was hearing an Irish lilt, but that seemed to evolve until I didn't notice it anymore. I will try Laurin's other highland novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rowan's Lady: Clan Graham, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Suzan Tisdale
    • Narrated By Brad Wills
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (59)

    The Black Death showed no mercy when it took Rowan Graham’s beautiful, young wife. With his clan nearly decimated, his heart torn to shreds, he is left to raise his newborn daughter alone. Rowan tries to keep the promises he made to Kate on her deathbed, save for one: He is unable to give his heart to another. Lady Arline is forced into yet another arranged marriage - loveless and lonely. Behind Garrick Blackthorn's good looks lies a cruel, vindictive man. She wants nothing more than her marriage to end so that she might gain the freedom she has longed for.

    Virginia F. Smith says: "Super Great!!!"
    "Torn about the voices and the storyline"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    So, yes the narrator's voice is yummy on most characters. I just couldn't understand the little girl Lily's voice and thought Beatrice was overdone. Having said that, I think I prefer a narrator to 'act' the parts as Brad does - nothing monotone here. The storyline was good, but on a few occasions I felt the main characters came across a bit clueless for not being able to figure out who the 'bad guy' was - not believable on that level. There was also the quick ending/epilogue. I got the impression the author was tired of writing and just wrapped everything up quickly. From my p.o.v. and considering the other historical romances I've been listening to of late, if you spend that much time investing in the build up between two characters (vis a vis romance), you should let the reader linger in their coming-together. It just felt a bit anticlimactic in the end. With all that said, I am looking forward to another installment since anything 'Highlander' tickles my fancy, but I'll be sure to get my fill of other steamier romances in the meantime and maybe check out some of the narrator's other performances.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Envy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1453)
    Performance
    (616)
    Story
    (615)

    New York book editor Maris Matherly-Reed knows a best seller when she sees one - even if it is just a tantalizing partial manuscript submitted by a writer identified only as P.M.E., with the return address of an obscure island off the Georgia coast. Maris is intrigued enough to search for him.

    DMHVetSurveyor says: "Envy"
    "Good characters & plot but a few holes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really liked the characters and dialogue. I don't usually read the thriller/mystery genre. So, coming from the perspective of someone looking for a romance read and used to predictable plots with a decent plot, this was a little heavy on plot development for me. The love scenes were too few for me. When you invest so much in getting to know the main characters, you want to spend more time with them. The author was really trying to surprise the reader with a twisting plot, but I pretty much knew early on how it was going to flush out. For some (me) that can be comforting, for others - frustrating. The one surprise for me was **SPOILER** the treatment of Daniel's demise - he was just too savvy to let that happen to himself...I guess you could see it as self-sacrifice for his daughter. I kept expecting him to be the plot twist at the end.
    The narrator was very good - a touch of Matthew McConaughey, however, he could have made more distinction between Parker and Mike's voices (Mike's supposed to be much older, but doesn't sound it).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Highland Bride: Murray Family Series, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Hannah Howell
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (101)

    Though she has yet to be courted by any man, spirited Gillyanne Murray decides the time has come to visit the dower lands gifted to her by her father's kinsmen. She arrives to find the small keep surrounded by three lairds, each one vying for her hand... and property. Though resolved to refuse them all, the threat of battle on her threshold forces her to boldly choose a suitor: Sir Connor MacEnroy, a handsome, daring knight of few words.

    DARA says: "Clever Lass and lots of fun"
    "Same satisfying formula"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I buy a series because I want and expect the romance formula...lovers in denial about being in love. This one was cute and I liked the concept of the 3 Lairds vying for GillyAnn's (sp?) hand/land. There were times I thought the main character a bit dense to not recognize the villain(s) and for not recognizing how important it is to declare your love for your wife...at least once. But that's the formula and I asked for it! Some fun sex scenes too. I'm continuing with the series. The narrator blends into the story well - no strong opinions on her either way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Highlander in Love

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Julia London
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    The Lockhart brothers' quest for an ancient family heirloom has proved fruitless...and an unpaid loan has left them indebted to their rival, Payton Douglas. With no recourse, the Lockharts offer Payton their most valuable commodity: their sister Mared's hand in marriage. Raised to despise the Douglas name, Mared outwardly agrees to the marital bargain for the sake of her family; secretly, she concocts a plan to ensure Payton will not wish to marry her. Seeing the handsome, virile laird Payton face-to-face, however, threatens a centuries-long enmity - and awakens Mared's deepest desires.

    Barb says: "Relationship Angst!"
    "Relationship Angst!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The roller coaster was too much for me. All the yelling and anger about clan feuds was something I couldn't relate to, as much as, I liked the character of Paton. I'm luke warm about Anne Flosnik as a narrator for this genre (not a sexy voice to me).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Highlander Unbound

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Julia London
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    On leave from his Highland regiment, Captain Liam Lockhart comes to London on an urgent mission: to repossess the stolen family heirloom that could save his ancestral estate. He never dreamed it would involve surrendering his heart. But the beautiful and scandalous socialite Ellen Farnsworth sets his Highland blood aflame with a will as strong and reckless as his own. Though bound to Liam by a soul-searing passion, duty impels Ellen to commit a terrible betrayal.

    Barb says: "Narration may have affected the story"
    "Narration may have affected the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I did like the storyline and the complex relationship, but found myself wondering whether I should be reacting differently than I was to the dialogue. The scenes that I think were intended to be funny came across flat. The narrator seems to have two gears - intense and news reporter. I think she would make a great kids novel narrator with her tone of voice, but doesn't convey sexy, brutish Scot to me. And the end scene seemed sort of ridiculous which saddened me as there was such a build up to their reuniting. I am curious enough to get the other books in the series, because I have been impressed by the author's other series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Chief

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Monica McCarty
    • Narrated By Robert McNab
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (255)

    Best-selling author Monica McCarty transports listeners to the 14th-century Scottish highlands in this dazzling novel. Warrior Tor MacLeod is picked by Robert the Bruce to lead the fight against English rule. Despite Tor’s rigid disposition and devotion to his craft, his new bride is determined to warm his heart.

    DARA says: "Overbearing Chief meets Romantic Lass"
    "Looking forward to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Was looking for a new highland series - thought I'd seen them all. Really liked the narration - scottish was subtle, but effective and loved the tone of his voice. A somewhat meek heroine was new to me, but I liked the change and it may be more realistic. Overall an authentic description of how relationships really evolve. Also enjoyed being introduced to the Guard. I will check out the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spell of the Highlander: The Highlander Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Karen Marie Moning
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1066)
    Performance
    (632)
    Story
    (629)

    Jessi St. James has got to get a life. Too many hours studying ancient artifacts has given the hardworking archaeology student a bad case of sex on the brain. So she figures she must be dreaming when she spies a gorgeous half-naked man staring out at her from inside the glass of an ancient mirror. But when a split-second decision saves her from a terrifying attempt on her life, Jessi suddenly finds herself confronting six-and-a-half feet of smoldering, insatiable alpha male.

    B. Leveto says: "Perfect Mating of Story and Storyteller"
    "Gets better with each installment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I like each book in the series better than the last...or the same? It's all a blur. A nice, long, complex blur. Plot is interwoven with past books. Some synopsis is included, but would be a bit empty if you hadn't read all the others. The build up/flirtation leading up to the first love scene(s) is masterful in all the books. I had to giggle about the ridiculous mirror-in-the-car scene though - a bit emasculating for the ancient Scot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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