I like the story. Bruton is the kind of rogue that I am immediately attracted to. What is unusual is that his appeal springs from his disarming way with words rather than any heroic action. Briney is the perfect foil because her innocent upbringing means that she honestly does not understand the meaning of his banter. Had she responded to his innuendo with customary retorts he would have been bored after their first encounter, but her baffled responses entertain and intrigue him.
The performance made following the story frustrating. The way Xe Sands drops her voice to affect Bruton's seductive Irish accent makes it very hard to hear what he says....and many words get lost altogether between her whispers and indistinct accent. I will not rush to listen to more of the books she reads.
The mystery is never fully solved...there is no tidy package and bow explaining every little detail of the plot. If I had read the book in print I would have been jumping back to the beginning to get a few names straight...but in the end it does not matter.
If you like Victorian era erotic romances -- I can recommend this one.
I really like this series. I like the main characters, I adore the supporting characters, I like the places they go and the things they do. I like the way the characters reveal themselves by the way they behave/react in experiences that are unexpected and unfamiliar.
The way Koti is described, over and over and over again by every single character in the book, had my mind searching for someone whose physicality might compare. Is there an actor as cut as Koti (Matthew McConaughey?) or one with a face as beautiful (young Paul Newman?). I'll never know.
I didn't expect to admire him as much as I did Drew (Book 1), but he definitely revealed himself to have more substancial values than his skirt-chaser image would belie. However, Kate tears into him for not having the guts to dig deep and work hard for the things that don't come easy to him. Unexpected and thought provoking, this was a character flaw that I have never seen an author confront. In the end it turned out to be an interesting trait for the story to hinge on.
The first book in the series was a travelogue for New Zealand. Rather than describing the scenery, this book explores and explains the culture. I learned so much about the history and heritage that make N Zed different from any place else on the planet. That richness alone would be reason to listen to this book.
The narrator, Claire Bocking, is a conundrum. Her reading MAKES these books. She infuses each sentence with the emotion and inflection that the writer heard in her head as she put the words to paper. She succeeds in making each character distinct. Her male voices are as successful as her female voices. And her accents are spot on.
The conundrum? She has a LISP! Every word with an S exposes her speech impediment...but only when she is speaking with an American accent. It isn't evident with the Ausie accents!
Regardless....she is a magnificent reader. There was no sentence or paragraph in her performance that failed to convey exactly what was happening, being said or being felt. She is 100% present in each moment of this story.
I highly recommend this book and this series.
I am really pissed off. I can not believe that Anie Michaels ended this book this way. It is one long tease. You don't know until the last chapter that you'll have to buy the next book to hear what happens!
But, to comment on what IS in this book...I was aware (and pleased) at the beginning that the author did not use rough language. She avoided the use of terms like c@*k and d#+k. She did not use the word f#@k -- as a noun or as a verb -- and the characters did not curse.
Then, three quarters of the way into the book the language gets course and the sex gets explicit. It was just odd. Did the book have two authors? Was it written in two different decades?
The narration was okay but not enthralling. There was something naive about the reading. Romy Nordlinger did not change the pace or inflection of her voice to build the anticipation or excitement in the sex scenes.
But mainly I am pissed about the "cliff hanger" ending. That was just mean. To me and to Porter.
This story is well written. Rosalind James could be compared to Sandra Brown or Nora Roberts. The sizzle level compares more to Sandra Brown.
Drew is a fantastic character. So much depth and quality. Hannah is annoying because she is so rigidly set in her belief that he way she grew up makes her incapable of ever doing normal family relationships. But I guess Hannah being annoyingly rigid is the point of the story -- so you have to endure her relentless insecurity.
As others have said, this book is like a travel guide to New Zealand. That part is really cool, and the opportunity to learn some of the culture of the country and its passion for rugby.
Clair Bocking's accents are wonderful. The N Zed accents make the audio version the only way to get this book. I don't think an American could have the same experience of the story if they were reading it on the page. We don't know how to imagine the accents in our brains with the same lyrical fun as Ms. Bocking delivers in the audiobook. And the accents are critical to the characters.
And I love the native reference to N Zed. Again, a colloquialism that most Yanks don't recognize. Zed is the way Kiwis (and Poms) say the letter Z. So N Zed to them is simply NZ. That kind of use of language gives this book so much texture and makes it so much more fun.
If I have a complaint, it is with the production. There are several places where there is no pause - even a pause long enough to take a breath - between scene changes. There will be a section where Heather is in her hotel on Sunday night and immediately there is a new scene where she is walking down the street on Monday afternoon -- with no break of any kind to help you recognize that the scene has changed. It is not a fatal flaw, but it would be more comfortable to have a clew when the action is shifting.
I love Charlie, and I love this book.
The characters are well written and very likable. Crusie lets you draw your own conclusions about the individuals by the way they treat each other...and especially by how they take care of the station puppy!
Charlie haunted me...so I had to listen to it again. Charlie had an impact on me because of the way his feelings for Allie developed; how he embraced his admiration for her, his attraction to her, and his loyalty to her. Even though he was not looking for a long term relationship, he did not put up walls to keep her out. He let himself feel his feelings and he celebrated Allie as an unexpected gift.
This may be the best crafted of the Jennifer Crusie books that I have listened to. It was written earlier in her career than most of the Crusie titles I've listened to...so perhaps she had to work harder on her writing before she got popular. The very likable characters develop in stages, the action has a good pace and the story stays focused on the necessary progression (no blind alleys).
Sandra Caldwell's performance was good. She kept the action moving and her reading in no way interfered with my enjoyment of the story. She succeeded in creating one voice for Allie and another for Charlie...but there were a couple of fast-paced conversations where it became difficult to tell which of those two characters was speaking. Otherwise her performance was very good.
This book is the second in the series and I wish I had listened to the first one first. I am concerned that I heard all of the "spoilers" when I listened to this one.
But I like the characters. Banner is a princess at first, but she grows as life happens to her. Jake is an enigma at first, but he turns out to have considerably more substance to him than his drifter lifestyle would indicate.
The story could have moved a little faster, but regardless, it entertained for the duration.
Georgie is great fun and Darcy is an irresistible rogue. It was fun to find a little light romance in a mystery novel. I am sure to purchase the next in the series.
This one competes with Instant Gratification for best in the series. I probably like it most because of my affection for Harley and T.J.
The "interuptions" were fun. I liked watching Harley grow in self-esteem through her time on the river. I wish Annie had showed up a little more often.
The story was predictable but fine for light listening. It opens with several chapters of teenage years as backstory. That may be the best "romance" in the book, but I did not purchase the book because I wanted to listen to teen romance.
The writing was good enough. (Some of the stuff they publish in this genre these days is so amateurish that the writing interfers with the storytelling.)
I wouldn't say it was a must listen, but if you don't have high expectations it will hold your attention. It is not one that you can not turn off at bedtime -- which is probably good for me since I am inclined to stay up until dawn when I have a really compelling book playing.
It took me a while to get into Chet's rhythm, but once I did I really enjoyed this book. Chet is a hoot. And Spencer Quinn does a GREAT job of seeing the world from a canine point of view. Who knew there were so many smells out there!?! Or how easy it is to get distracted. I did, however, know how often a dog like Chet could think about food -- because I have a dog just like him!
Fun Fun Fun.
Love! Love! Love this book and how well it is written! I have been searching for an author whose writing I could enjoy as much as I enjoy Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and now I have!
The characters reveal themselves through dialogue and through actions, not from what the author tells you about them. Relationships DEVELOP, they don't just appear out of thin air. Good writing makes all the difference in good storytelling.
This book has lots of texture and layers. She develops a whole town full of characters and creates an armload of people you want to spend more time with. These are mountain folks, and may seem a little quirky to city-folk listeners .... but I am mountain folk too and they ring completely true to me. I loved Carnal, Colorado and its people.
Emma Taylor's narration was great. Each character was distinct and she read the dialogue well. Sometimes dialogue and narrative run together with no differentiation, but Taylor succeeds in keeping the storytelling clear.
I don't think I will be interested in Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick or Chaos books (they sound a little rough for me), but I'll be listening to more of the Colorado Mountain series for sure!
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