The jacket blurb had me looking forward to comedy...but it was more of an adventure than a laugh-out-loud novel. That said, Shake is a funny guy -- and the twists and turns his life takes are full of irony.
I spent a lot of the novel being ticked off at Gina -- and annoyed that Shake keeps giving her a pass. I guess that means the author was able to get me emotionally invested in the characters.
It is a fun story -- but it is all-over-the-map, literally. Shake finds himself in 4 or 5 different cities and two different continents in a matter of hours. I kept wishing he would have a chance to take a shower, a nap and find a fresh set of clothes!
The scenario surrounding the climax was predictable. The author continued to revisit several unrelated characters that I thought should no longer play a part in the action -- so I knew that they would all reappear in the same room at some point near the end. But even so, I enjoyed the chance to get to know those various characters a little more.
I find myself searching for the most helpful thing to say in this review. When the recording ended I was not fully sated -- but as I dissect the book in this review, I realize that it had all the elements. Fun, fully formed characters, an exciting adventure, unexpected twists and turns. I guess the only thing really missing was an epilogue that assured me that Shake ended up with his restaurant. I guess I'll have to listen to the sequel!
I wanted more...from Reacher and from Child.
I guess it explained why Reacher was demoted and why he left the army, but the timeline was so hurried that I never got time to absorb one element before another was half way over. I wished I could have had the time Reacher spent traveling (sleeping) so I could absorb all that was happening to him and around him.
The rhythm was slightly off. The whole package is not quite tight. But all in all it is worth the time to listen.
I really liked Phin, and I came to care about Sophie. I thought the setups for some of the sexual interludes were less than believable, but believability is not a priority with Crusie's stories.
The book was fun. Not her best, not her worst.
I kept asking myself if I liked this book, the way the author chose to tell the story, how the characters were being developed and how the story was unfolding. But all while I was evaluating the crafting of this novel...I was becoming emotionally invested in the characters.
The storytelling is not what I would call conventional. It moves from the mental dialogue of one character to the mental dialogue of another character -- telling much less of the story through actual conversations between characters than I normally expect. It felt like being carried down a swiftly flowing river without a float to hold onto. I was not in my comfort zone, but the journey was not unpleasant.
I found the last chapter where Daisy has an encounter with her father to be one dimensional and not worthy of the rest of the book, but there is one moment in the story when Lincoln comes out of his room and asks if it is midnight that truly tore me up. It pulled all kinds of feelings to the surface; I suddenly liked Lincoln, I cried for Daisy and I wanted the romance to work.
I imagine that another reason that I liked this book is that secretly harbor the hope that someday a man might appear in my life as unconventionally as Lincoln arrived in Daisy's. I guess all girls hope love will find them after the clock strikes midnight.
I have never been one for historical novels, so I am always surprised how Manda Collins' stories draw me in. It takes a moment for me to get used to the sound of the narrator's voice (maybe she is a matronly British woman?), but once I get in the groove I can quickly get caught up in the story.
These characters are all driven by honor and the proper behavior of polite society -- but the reader comes away contemplating whether there was indeed this much steamy sex during the reserved Georgian era. I find myself wondering if, as the hero tells his lady, gentlemen of the day considered it their duty to insure that their ladies have a climactic experience in bed -- because the notion that anyone in this patriarchal society concerned themselves with what sex was like for women is very hard to believe.
Regardless, the author weaves a story that juggles the thrills her characters experience as they partner to solve a life and death mystery with the thrills they experience when they become partners in bed. Some of the drama she tries to drum up through the heroine's fear of letting herself fall in love is a bit tedious and is drawn out too long, but in general this book was an entertaining escape.
I really loved Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Chicago Stars series, so I wanted to start the Wynette, Texas series from the beginning. This book was so slow getting to the story that I gave up and stopped listening. Audible graciously refunded my money.
I'd have said it wasn't worth the money, but my time is a lot more valuable to me than my money.
This is the eighth book in Griffin's Presidential Agent series. In each book, Griffin devotes some space to filling in the reader on what has happened previously in the series. That usually serves a purpose that explains how characters are connected and how their relationships formed.
In this book, the long-winded retelling of past exploits uses up more than the first half of the book. There is NO NEW story introduced in the first 6 hours of the book! I know, because Audible cuts the book in half for easier download. I was still listening to the "history lesson" explaining the "state within the state" when the recording moved to the second section!
As a postscript, WEB Griffin says he wrote this book to be humor-in the style of M*A*S*H by Dr. H. Richard Hornberger. That is an insult to Dr. Hornberger. This book is 13 hours long, and it took at least 10 hours of long-winded retelling of the first seven books in this series to get to the first inkling of a chuckle.
Once he had used 12 and a half hours to set up the gag, it was a total belly flop. Twelve hours to get all of the characters to the same place at the same time, and the punch line was about two paragraphs long. There was no action (not even any Keystone Cops slapstick) to justify my loyalty to Charley Castillo.
The only reason I kept listening to it was to be fully informed when I wrote this review.
Cousin Fernando only appears in one scene with two lines, Dick Miller does not speak but two or three times, Uncle Remus barely walks through the room, and we hear no words out of the mouth of Corp. Lester Bradley. Many wonderful characters that fans care about deeply - completely tossed out with the bathwater.
And then he devoted time to a drunken Presidential Mother-in-law and an annoying White House Press Secretary -- assuming that the invention of absurd, clown-like characters will, in and of themselves, add comic relief. A total misfire.
This book was a real waste of time.
I have not read the print version, but listening to it makes the story fly along for me. There are moments I wish I had the book to flip back to check a detail...but that is not a big deal compared to having Anna Fields "do the work" of reading for me.
Endings are always a let down to me. Partly because the story is over - but mostly because the story has had me so tightly wound that the ending is always a let down. This ending is like that. The story is intense -- the ending is not.
You don't even notice how Anna Fields differentiates the characters -- but every character is distinct. She has a knack.
Honey and Dash's camping trip to Baja is romantic and tender and paints a picture of the ideal. When Eric opens up to Honey and tells her about his daughters, it makes you want to cry.
I have listened to five of Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books -- and I listened to four of those twice. Straight through, the second time within 24 hours of he first. They are so well written you want to spend more time with the characters - so even though you know what is going to happen, you listen to it again so you can spend more time with Honey and Dash and Eric.
I love the way she develops her characters. This is an older book, so the men speak to women in very annoying terms...but that can be forgiven. There is not quite as much humor in this book as some of her later titles, but the drama is compelling.
It compares to her other titles because of the character development and fast paced stories.
Yes, she does a good job of developing different voices for different characters.
Dan Calebow because he's a hunk and a southern boy and a jock.
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