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Bryonna

Atlanta, GA, United States | Member Since 2012

ratings
29
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
7

  • Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti: Magical Bakery Mystery Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Bailey Cates
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (176)

    As a new witch - not to mention owner of Savannah's most enchanting bakery - Katie Lightfoot is still getting used to casting spells, brewing potions, and mastering her magical powers. But that doesn't mean she can't find time to enjoy a picnic with firefighter Declan McCarthy . . . until she stumbles upon a corpse. The dead man's tattoo reveals he was a member of a secret society - and it turns out he's missing an object that was very important to the group.

    Stephen says: "So much fun!"
    "A Dash of Magic and a heaping of Foodie Goodness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti to be better than the print version?

    Yes but mainly because I didn't read the print version. I do like this voice actor though.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not really on the edge of my seat but it definitely kept me interested. I just love the rich descriptions and trying to figure out who did it.


    What about Amy Rubinate’s performance did you like?

    I really enjoyed Amy's performance. She gives very distinct voices to each of the characters. I never question whose speaking. Great actress.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did.


    Any additional comments?

    Originally Written for the Paperback Cafe Book Review Blog.

    Book two of the Magical Bakery series, I have to say that I enjoyed Bewitched, Bothered and Biscotti by Bailey Cates even more than Brownies and Broomsticks, the first book of the series.

    Yet again, Bailey Cates catches my attention with her adorable book covers. Honestly, I love what the cover artist did here. I only wish that instead of showing Honeybee, her aunt's cat who never comes to the bakery, they would have used Mungo, our heroine, Katie Lightfoot's trusty Cairn terrier familiar who plays a much bigger role in the books. Other than that, great job as always on the cover.

    What's inside, is even better!

    The pacing of Bewitched, Bothered and Biscotti is definitely faster but I think that's always the case with the second book in a series.

    We open up in beautiful Wright Square in Savannah, GA as Katie and one of her two love interest, Declan the Firefighter, are on a romantic picnic which is interrupted by the discovery of a dead body. Don't you just hate when that happens?

    Katie is a training hereditary Hedge Witch - meaning she does a lot of herbs and gardening to produce magic - and owns a local bakery with her witchy Aunt Lucy and Retired Firefighter Uncle.

    This book takes place just a few months after Brownies and Broomsticks and Katie finds herself wrapped up in yet another murder investigation. But not all is as it seems. What might seem like a heart attack turns out to be murder by magic.

    Someone's out to release an ancient evil and Katie and her Magical Book Club coven must band together and figure out what is going on before its too late.

    I absolutely love how Cates captures the rich culture of Savannah. Its such a beautiful town. If you haven't been, GO. Don't think, just GO. Its wonderful. Take tons of ghost tours.

    There is no doubt in every page you read that Savannah is the town Katie lives in and I love that. So many authors just sort of put up a generic backdrop and give it a name but not Cates.

    On top of this, as a practicing witch myself, I have to say that Cates knows what she's talking about. She matches up herbs and how a hedge witch would think while cooking or really doing anything in her life. There are so many aspects of magic and so many authors throw it to the wind to get done what they need done. That's perfectly fine because its their world but its always refreshing to see someone who seems to know what they're talking about.

    This is also a great book and series for Foodies! Cates has a great way of capturing you with Katie's unique twists in her bakery. Many of these recipes I'd love to try for myself.

    I would have to say if I have one complaint about the book on a whole its what Mungo, Katie's dog, eats. Once she mentions he loved raisins and another time she talked about eating onions. He also seems to eat a lot of sugar.

    Every time that was mentioned, it really pulled me out of the story. Raisins and onions are actually highly toxic to dogs and too much sugar, just like with humans, isn't good either.

    That being said, I did notice that on her blog, The Lightfoot Chronicles, Cates does acknowledge this in the post Forbidden Fruit -- At least for Dogs. The blog is written from Katie's pov so be sure to check it out.

    As I said, I really loved this book even more than the first. Can't wait to sink my teeth into Charms and Chocolate Chips, book three of the Magical Bakery Series already available. Especially because of a couple of twists at the end!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Say I Do: The Wedding Gift / The Wedding Dance / The Wedding Song

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Lucy Kevin
    • Narrated By Eva Kaminsky
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    For the very first time, three of New York Times sensation Lucy Kevin's beloved wedding stories are together! Set in the enchanting Rose Chalet Bridal venue overlooking San Francisco Bay, six people find love when and where they least expect it.

    Heather says: "A nice listen"
    "Sweet Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Say I Do?

    I really liked the characters. These were short stories about love revolving around a wedding venue.


    What about Eva Kaminsky’s performance did you like?

    Great with voices and keeping the pace.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really. It was a light, easy read. I enjoyed listening to it but was fine breaking it apart into sections.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Delicious

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Susan Mallery
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (592)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (246)

    Cal Buchanan needs a top-flight chef to take over his failing Seattle restaurant, The Waterfront. He can afford to hire the best in town, the only problem is that the best happens to be his ex-wife, Penny Jackson.

    Aryn says: "Delicious: not to my taste"
    "Cute but Dated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not Really. It was a cute read and some great in site into a professional kitchen but it was a bit dated, very soap operay and some of the dialogue didn't flow well.


    Did Therese Plummer do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    She did a really good job at making the different voices, yes. I really enjoyed the Brooklyn style accents even though one waitress was actually from Ohio.


    Do you think Delicious needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    There was a lot of the siblings' plots that didn't get closure.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Poison Princess: Arcana Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin, Keith Nobbs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (711)
    Performance
    (665)
    Story
    (672)

    She could save the world - or destroy it. Sixteen-year-old Evangeline 'Evie' Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future - and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux. But she can't do either alone.

    Katheryne says: "I have a crush on YA books"
    "Jury is Out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Poison Princess again? Why?

    I'm not sure. I don't think I would. Jackson and Evie sort of drove me crazy. Jackson is a violent alcoholic who really needs to learn self-wroth and Evie... is weak, a cheerleader who can't even cook.


    What about Emma Galvin and Keith Nobbs ’s performance did you like?

    Their performance was really great. I mean some of the characters sounded a little too similar but on a whole, I enjoyed them. I like that their voices were enough alike that when they jumped from one to the other, you could still tell who was speaking.


    Any additional comments?

    For the most part, the jury is out on this. I didn't love it but I'm still curious as to what is going to happen next. The slight twist at the end is nice but... I'll read the next book. Hopefully Evie and Jackson get better. Right now, he comes off as an abusive husband in the making and Evie is the perfect setup for a battered housewife in denial... My main concern will be girls reading these and thinking that's okay...

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Siren's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Debbie Herbert
    • Narrated By Stephanie Bentley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    In Debbie Herbert's debut novel, there are two secrets, each one with a deadly consequence…Shelly Connors's worlds - on land and in the sea - are turned upside down when an evening swim turns into a nightmare. On a sweltering night deep in the bayou, the mystical mermaid witnesses a horrifying act. With a monstrous killer now hot on her trail, her life and the lives of her kin are in jeopardy. Terrified of becoming the next victim, Shelly has no choice but to turn to Sheriff Tillman Angier.

    Bryonna says: "Serial Killer with a side of Sea Creature"
    "Serial Killer with a side of Sea Creature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Siren's Secret in three words, what would they be?

    Mermaid witnesses murder


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Siren's Secret?

    Definitely when the Serial Killer breaks into Shelley's house and leaves behind the panties and broken mermaid figurine.


    What three words best describe Stephanie Bentley’s performance?

    Slightly annoying tones


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the Serial Killer remembers that one good memory with his mother.


    Any additional comments?

    Siren's Secret by Debbie Herbert is part of Harlequin's Nocturne line - which is described as dark, sensuous and dangerous - where paranormal and normal collide.

    This book definitely does that.

    First, how gorgeous is this cover? I'm sure you realize by now that I love a good cover and this one was beautiful.

    When I picked up Siren's Secret - actually I got it for free from someone who won it from Debbie herself but already had their own copy - I thought this was going to be a fun, light read. Its about mermaids! I love mermaids but I find it rare that you see someone go truly into their dark side. Actually, I have a hard time finding books about mermaids for adults period.

    Needless to say I was excited and when I opened it up, a fun light read was not what I got. It was better.

    Debbie Herbert not only brings out the darker drives of mermaids but she takes you deep into the mind of a serial killer. Its easy to have a villain to hate but she actually makes you feel a little bit sorry for this guy. Not enough that I thought he shouldn't be punished but you kind of understood where he was coming from.

    She captures life in the Alabama Bayou wonderfully. I have to say that I'm really hoping Jet gets her own book soon because she was probably my favorite character in the book.

    This is a great debut novel and definitely wets my appetite for more which is why its under appetizers. I was very excited to find out that this is, in fact, the beginning of a series produced with Harlequin called Dark Seas. So be on the look out for book two, Siren's Treasure which is still in the works. It sounds like its going to be Jet's book. I'm really, really hoping it is. ;)

    If you're looking for something a dark, something with mermaids, and something set in a small Bayou town, this is the book for you. Check it out. I enjoyed it.

    I did enjoy READING it more this time as I found the narrators voice slightly annoying, without a wide rang so it kept bringing me out of the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kiss of a Demon King

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (885)
    Performance
    (822)
    Story
    (830)

    From New York Times best-selling author Kresley Cole comes this spellbinding story of a demon king trapped by an enchantress for her wanton purposes - and the scorching aftermath that follows when he turns the tables and claims her as his captive.

    Karen says: "It doesn't get any Better than this for me."
    "Great when you get past all the sex"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Kiss of a Demon King to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version but I do enjoy listening to the audio.


    What other book might you compare Kiss of a Demon King to and why?

    Pretty much just the rest of the books in Kresley Cole's series and a bit of Erotic.


    Have you listened to any of Robert Petkoff’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've listened to Robert Petkoff in the rest of the Immortals after Dark series. You can definitely see his performances get better as he gets to know the characters. I do wish he had a wider range on females.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not at first. At one point I got pretty bored with all the sex. I mean it was important to the plotline but it was a bit much. However, I loved the beginning and than about halfway through the book it really picked up again. I really enjoyed it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Enchanted

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Alethea Kontis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (243)
    Story
    (237)

    It isn’t easy being Sunday’s child, not when you’re the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night, Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him....

    Shannon says: "Charming... Enchanting"
    "A Fairy Tale Lover's Dream"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Enchanted again? Why?

    Yes. Its a beautifully written story that makes you remember all the wonderful fairy tales you grew up with. The nitty gritty ones so many parents won't read to their children anymore. Every chapter was filled with magic and all the different fairy tale references was like being in on a secret joke.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Probably Thursday, Sunday's Pirate Queen Sister. I find myself very much hoping Thursday gets a book later. She never actually appears in the book itself, is only mentioned, but she seems awesome. Second favorite is probably Tricks because he's so adorable!


    What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

    She has a lovely voice. Her accent is just right for fairy tales.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I really enjoyed the first couple chapters where Sunday is writing in her journal about her family and you get to hear about them. Each is unique and has their own story, you can tell, which is highly impressive that Alethea could balance them all so nicely.


    Any additional comments?

    I've been seeing a lot of reviews, both negative and positive describing this book as a fairy tale retold. That is not what this is. It is a whole new fairy tale.

    The biggest mistake anyone can make when opening this book is to think you know the story already. This is an entirely new creature.

    What Alethea Kontis does in this book is bring to like our favorite tales from the Brothers Grimm and a touch of Hans Christen Anderson to weave the magical rules of this world.

    This is a world where, if a girl meets a talking frog, she easily figures out its a man because her world is full of enchanted frogs turned men, full of Kings with no name, full of fairy godmothers baring magical gifts.

    I quite enjoyed this read. It sets up a beautiful world and Alethea's writing voice is perfect for it. She captures the true essence of fairy tales and makes them her own.

    I grew up with Brothers Grimm and every once in a while, Alethea would make a reference to apples and you knew they must be poisoned, or to any other number of things and if you're a true fairy tale lover, you understand the rules of them.

    She doesn't spell it out for you but if you pay enough attention, she leaves you enough clues to make an educated guess. Like so many people having violet eyes. I think this says how much magic is in their blood. Purple and violet always seem to be a reference to magic.

    This was a lovely start to what is going to be an enchanting series.

    Just remember, when you open the book, let Alethea weave her magical tale. She's not retelling you a story you've heard a thousand times. She's using the age old fairy tale references and rules to create something entirely new. She's setting up a world that I can't wait to visit again to find out what happened with all of Sunday's sisters and, hopefully, her brothers too.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Little Night Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Lucy March
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1213)
    Performance
    (1114)
    Story
    (1104)

    Olivia Kiskey needs a change. She’s been working at the same Nodaway Falls, New York, waffle house since she was a teenager; not a lot of upward mobility there. She’s been in love with Tobias, the cook, for the last four years; he's never made a move. Intent on shaking things up, Olivia puts her house on the market, buys a one-way ticket to Europe, and announces her plans to her friends - but then she meets Davina Granville, a strange and mystical Southern woman....

    Elizabeth says: "Not quite Molly Harper, but not bad.."
    "A cute, light read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does A Little Night Magic rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top twenty


    What other book might you compare A Little Night Magic to and why?

    Perhaps Bailey Cates' Brownies and Broomsticks as you have a girl who finds out she's a witch. Sort of similar in that respect.


    What does Amanda Ronconi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Amanda is excellent at bringing the story to life. You can tell she really enjoyed reading it and there are some infliction she added that made certain lines funnier that I might not have added in my own head.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The story of her family and finding out what happened with them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rise of the Gryphon: The Belador Code, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianna Love
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (110)

    As an Alterant who fights everything from trolls to demons, Evalle has lived as an outcast among the Beladors, but can now change all that... and find answers to her origins as well. Those answers and a traitor hide within the Medb coven, an enemy poised to destroy the mortal world and all that Evalle holds dear. While her best friends Tzader and Quinn want to help, they have their own conflicts and face unthinkable choices as relationships with the women they love twist in unexpected directions.

    Linda Wiliams says: "great story; bad narration!"
    "Another exciting installment."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Rise of the Gryphon to be better than the print version?

    Usually I love audiobooks. I am able to do chores, drive, whatever and still be entertained by a great story. However, I found Stephen R. Thorne's performance lacking in this case. He took me out of the moment a little too often so in this rare case, I would say the print version was better.


    What other book might you compare Rise of the Gryphon to and why?

    It is so hard to compare Rise of the Gryphon to anything else I've ever read. The closest I could come to is a television series, Lost Girl, rather than another book. I say this not because the plots are the same, but because the feel sort of it.

    Each book of the Baledor series is like watching a season of your favorite television show. You're not just following the main character but the side characters as well. They're just as interesting and strong and just as tied up in the mess but in different ways.

    Lost Girl gives you that as well.


    What three words best describe Stephen R. Thorne’s voice?

    Rather monotone.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Oh yes, toward the end. Someone, though I will not say who so I don't give spoilers, dies. Its so unexpected and unfair but such is life. I cried but hope was still given.


    Any additional comments?

    The cover mentioned is speaking of the print cover, not the audiobook cover.

    First, let's take a moment to admire this cover. How bad ass does Evalle look in this? They say "Don't judge a book by its cover" but this one, I feel, really sets the mood for the book.

    You got the mystic purple background which tells you there's some major magical stuff happening within these pages. The great bat winged horse sword that I just salivate over, and then I love the play on the eyes. You have the super hot Evalle and her glowing green eyes and in the sword's blade, you have reflected some creepy beast with the same eyes.

    Given all of this, I still had no idea what was going to be coming at me when I opened this book. I am a huge fan of the Baledor series. Each book is like watching an entire season of your favorite television show. I say this because you don't just follow Evalle but Sherrilyn and Dianna introduce you to some absolutely wonderful characters who have their own thoughts and actions. They're not just there to support Evalle, they have their own lives and you want to know what is going down with them.

    This series is known for its cliffhanger endings but Book 3 was the first time I didn't put down the book and curse two of my favorite Author Goddesses and demand blood for the next book.

    Its hard to talk about this series without giving things away. There are so many twist and turns. But I will say that the story did not go where I thought it was. Dianna and Sherrilyn are masters of upping the ante and making you wonder how Evalle is going to get out of this.

    We open the book up on a Beast Championship where magical creatures battle off against each other for sport. Kind of like a dog fight but with supernaturals and lots of magic.

    Aside for the sheer entertainment of it, our heroine, Evalle, and her hunky Skinwalker panther, Storm, find out that the Medb - our villains - are offering some very powerful magic to those who can win a place in the ABC (Achilles Beast Championship) and win. What's more, the Medb want five Alterants (such as Evalle) for some unknown reason.

    On top of needing for get to the bottom of the ABC and why by Medb are gathering Alterants, Evalle's goddess, Macha, demands that at least five Alterants of her own (after all if the Medb want five, so does she) or she will revoke her offer to claim Alterants as part of her pantheon and, thus, will not protect them.

    Think that's bad? Its just the beginning.

    Loved this book but now I need the next. This book leaves you both satisfied and wanting at the end. I just need to know what happens next!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • True Love: Nantucket Brides Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jude Deveraux
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (69)

    Just as Alix Madsen is finishing up architectural school, Adelaide Kingsley dies and wills her, for one year, the use of a charming 19th-century Nantucket house. The elderly woman's relationship to the Madsen family is a mystery to the spirited Alix - fresh from a romantic breakup - but for reasons of her own, Alix accepts the quirky bequest, in part because it gives her time to plan her best friend's storybook wedding.

    Sharon says: "Huge fan of Jude's...sadly disappointed..."
    "A lovely ghost story mystery on a romantic island"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up True Love in three words, what would they be?

    love concurs time


    What was one of the most memorable moments of True Love?

    The baby diaper changing scene. Its not one I will forget though it wasn't the most romantic. Most memorable scene that is among my favorites would probably be when Alix is talking about what it was like to grow up with her mother and describing her fifth birthday party and how her mom brought a horse into their New York apartment. How she gets out of trouble for that is just so much fun!


    Have you listened to any of Tavia Gilbert’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Tavia Gilbert is probably one of my favorite voice actresses for audiobooks. There are many series I've acquired just because she read them. I was very excited to see they got her for True Love.

    She has a way of making the story come to life in a way few others can. She's fantastic with both men and women's voices and I can always tell who she's speaking for before she ever says "Such and such said." This holds true for True Love as well.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Sometimes you're on the road to destiny without ever even realizing it.


    Any additional comments?

    I was beyond excited to see that Jude Deveraux was going back to the Taggarts and Montgomerys. I grew up on her books and was simply thrilled to see the Montgomery name. And now there's a new family name to add to these tried and true favorites, Kingsley.

    While this story isn't listed under paranormal, I think it has very strong paranormal elements with the ghost that haunts the Kingsley House and the mystery that involves past ancestors reborn to the current family.

    Jude really brings Nantucket to life in this book. You can tell she must have lived their for a time to know all she knew. You feel you're given a slice of what Nantucket is like for those who stay year round and what they think of "Off Islanders."

    We're introduced to some fantastic characters who bring this world to life. I don't want to say too much and give spoilers, but I cannot wait for the next installment of this trilogy and am actually hoping some of the characters take over and we get a whole series out of Nantucket Brides.

    Every character has depth and secrets. With every page, you're left wanting to know more about them. Not just the main characters but all. I loved the manipulation the family ghost provides and then when our heroine's mother arrives, I couldn't stop laughing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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