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Cyndie Stevens

C.A.S.

Member Since 2012

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 663 titles in library
  • 181 purchased in 2014
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  • Sanctuary: A Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Faye Kellerman
    • Narrated By Mitchell Greenberg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (158)

    A diamond dealer and his entire family have mysteriously disappeared from their sprawling Las Angeles manor, leaving the estate undisturbed and their valuables untouched. Investigating detective Decker is stumped - faced with a perplexing case riddled with dead ends. Then a second dealer is found murdered in Manhatten, catapulting Decker and his wife, Rina, into a heartstopping maze of murder and intrigue that spans the globe... only to touch down dangerously in their own backyard.

    karen says: "Best of the series"
    "Faye Kellerman Grabs You & Won't Let You Go"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rina Lazarus gets into the thick of things again. Twists and turns keep the reader off balance. As usual it is difficult to guess the end.

    The Lazarus' have unexpected house guests- the next thing you know Rina and her Detective husband are hip deep in an international crime ring.

    Excellent read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On What Grounds

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Cleo Coyle
    • Narrated By Rebecca Gibel
    Overall
    (647)
    Performance
    (562)
    Story
    (562)

    Clare Cosi used to manage the historic Village Blend coffeehouse…until she opted for quieter pastures and a more suburban life. But after ten years and a little friendly cajoling from the owner (a fresh pot of Jamaican Blue Mountain was all it took), she's back to the grind. With a sprawling rent-free apartment directly above the Village Blend, her cat Java by her side, and plenty of coffeehouse redecorating ideas, Clare is thrilled to return to work. Until she discovers the assistant manager unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere.

    Pam says: "Stands out"
    "Needing unending coffee trivia?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about On What Grounds?

    Tangential references to everything the author knows anything about. High on trivial references, from Dylan Thomas to Strauss; fine dining to Abraham Lincoln.

    No clear heroine, not much mystery, lots of self aggrandizement, lots of details about minor details. Is the author trying to lead the reader astray or does she really think she is telling a wonderful story? I am 2/3rds through and there seems to be no direction, few suspects.

    Arrogant and complaisant.

    Boring.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Unclear


    What three words best describe Rebecca Gibel’s performance?

    Young, Happy, Midwestern


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration, Anticlimactic


    Any additional comments?

    Wasted time waiting for it to get better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shady Palms

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Allen Dusk
    • Narrated By Rose Caraway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (323)
    Story
    (326)

    A sleazy motel, burrowed on the edge of town, is haunted by rumors of dead hookers found between mattresses and peep holes drilled through walls. When Special Agent Daniels targets the motel during an investigation, the nefarious owner, Sanjay, must scramble to conceal evidence of his own dark deeds. Just when he believes things can't get any worse, motel guests begin to vanish without a trace.

    John Grigas says: "Not for the timid - delicious graphic content!"
    "Unusual, Graphic, Hard Edged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the book. I like slasher fiction and nonfiction. I like fantasy and a bit of sci-fi. In my opinion this book takes slasher fiction adds fantasy/ sci-fi and multiples it to the 10th power!

    Think of Men In Black meets al qaeda.

    It is raw and edgy.

    I don’t recommend it for the faint of heart

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Influential Magic: Crescent City Fae, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Deanna Chase
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    It's tough being a faery in New Orleans, a city fraught with vampires...especially when their very existence drains your life force. Willow Rhoswen, owner of The Fated Cupcake and part-time vampire hunter for the Void is having a rough week. Four years after her twin brother's mysterious death, Willow's life is threatened and the director saddles her with a new partner-her ex-boyfriend, David. To her horror, he's turned vamp, which causes her physical pain whenever she touches him

    Leiah says: "A potential new favorite on my UF shelf"
    "Weak Pathetic Victim – Dramatic Monologue?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The ‘heroine’ who is telling the story is fey. She has friends who are witches, vampires, and other such creatures. She is weak, bruises easily, and is constantly worrying about what her friends think about her and whether or not they are really friends.
    I know people like this (not fey) but whiny, weak, pitiful, woebegone, sad sacks. I don’t like being around them.

    Halfway through this book (after thinking it would surely improve) I threw in the towel . No sense making myself uncomfortable for pleasure!

    There is little action and seemingly no plot.

    I was disappointed because I am familiar with this author and have enjoyed some of her other work. That is the reason I bought the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of LT Michael P. Murphy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Gary Williams
    • Narrated By A. T. Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (111)

    Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy, commander of Navy SEAL Team 10, posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on 28 June 2005 during a fierce battle with Taliban fighters in the remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Michael was the first recipient of the nation’s highest military honor as a result of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. He was also the first naval officer to earn the medal since the Vietnam War, and the first SEAL to be honored posthumously.

    Jean says: "first Medal of Honor winner in Afghanistan"
    "Amazing American Patriot Story-Told Redundantly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having had a Dad who was in one of the U.S. Navy's Special Forces, I have great respect for this man and the family that made him who he was. I am heart wrenched at the family's and friend's loss. This Navy SEAL is a true hero and American Patriot in every sense of the word.

    The story is told by a writer that I think doesn't do the story of this SEAL or his family justice. The real story itself is bone chillingly frightening, and hold -your -breath suspenseful. The author tells the story in a redundant, wandering manner that was difficult for me to listen to with out the use of fast forward.

    I don't know if the Murphy family approved the writing of this account. There isn't much first person information. Most of it seems to be gleaned from newspaper reports and interviews that the author read about.

    I am truly sorry that Michael P. Murphy's story was not told by a better writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Enemy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2469)
    Performance
    (1723)
    Story
    (1721)

    New Year's Day, 1990. The Berlin Wall is coming down. The world is changing. And in a North Carolina "hot-sheets" motel, a two-star general is found dead. His briefcase is missing. Nobody knows what was in it. Within minutes Jack Reacher has his orders: Control the situation. But this situation can't be controlled.

    Corinne says: "Made me really admire Reacher"
    "The Jack Reacher Prequel... Another Winner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once again Lee Child makes Jack Reacher a super hero-

    I have enjoyed previous Reacher novels, on the edge of the seat action, gripping adventure, and hard-to guess mystery. This one takes us back to Jack's days as a Major in the Army MP force. We get a sense of what made Jack who is in the other books in the series.

    I so enjoy this series that I am going back through and listening to them in chronological order although I have already listened to most of them, as they were purchased.

    Reacher is a man's man, who doesn't worry about other's feelings toward him. He has a strong sense of right, wrong, and justice that doesn't always follow the letter of the law. But I find myself agreeing with the choices he makes when it comes to dealing with the bad, the evil, or the just plain stupid.

    Another aspect of this series that I find refreshing, is that for the most part, the language is clean. The reader gets great descriptions of situations without some of the crassness we have come to accept in today’s world. The love scenes are the same. The reader gets a sense of serious and erotic passion without the raunchy description that is usually found in modern novels.

    Dick Hill is an excellent narrator. In fact, I have listened to another series, simply because Hill was the narrator... I was not disappointed. He is able to use intonations and various voices so that the reader knows which character is speaking. With Child's writing style and Hill's narration there is not a lot of "he said" and "she said" in the narration, which I thinks makes a story more difficult to listen to. Hill's female voices sound a tad funny coming in his deep expressive voice but you get used to it.

    I highly recommend this if you are looking for action, mystery and adventure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (665)
    Performance
    (589)
    Story
    (581)

    In The Kingmaker's Daughter, number one New York Times best-selling author Philippa Gregory presents the riveting story of Anne Neville, her sister Isabel, and their ever-changing fortunes. The Kingmaker's Daughter is the gripping and ultimately tragic story of the daughters of the man known as the "Kingmaker", the most powerful magnate in England through the Cousins' Wars. In the absence of a son and heir, he uses the two girls as pawns in his political games.

    Heather says: "Marvelous Story Maker"
    "Excellent Historical Fiction-Sense being present"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Of all the books of this series, this was my least favorite, not because it is not a good read. It is very well written. Ms. Gregory makes me feel as if I am there, in the great halls, standing at the edge of the battle fields, and eavesdropping on private conversations.

    I think the reason that I liked this least of all of this series is the that father of the heroine of this story (The Kingmaker himself, Warrick) is a vile, treacherous, fence-sitter during the War of the Roses, one who "turns his coat" almost daily.

    The history is good and accurate. I truly enjoy Ms. Gregory's works

    The heroine is a pitiable character who has a horribly evil, greedy, petty, jealous sister, and a mean, thankless, nasty mother who makes her daughter's basically orphans due to her own cowardice. Yet despite all our heroine (being essentially an orphan and her sister's prisoner,) marries for love in a time when that is almost unheard of

    I anxiously await the release of the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pleasure Palace: Secrets of the Tudor Court #1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kate Emerson
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Jane Popyncourt was brought to the court as a child to be ward of the king and a companion to his daughters - the princesses Margaret and Mary. With no money of her own, Jane could not hope for a powerful marriage, or perhaps even marriage at all. But as she grows into a lovely young woman, she still receives flattering attention from the young men flocking to serve the handsome new king, Henry VIII, who has recently married Catherine of Aragon. Then a dashing French prisoner of war, cousin to the king of France, is brought to London, and Jane finds she can't help giving her heart to a man she can never marry.

    Toby says: "Outstanding narration makes historical novel move"
    "Like Historical Fiction-Don't waste your time here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wandering story of the alleged life of Jane Poppincourt with no apparent plot, dénouement, irony, or other redeeming quality.

    The real Jayne Poppyncourt was actually a French language tutor to the children, who in this story, is the contemporary of the children.

    My mother, the literature teacher, would have returned this to the writer with the instructions to rewrite it or choose another topic AND research the subject matter more thoroughly.

    It is really the story about a largely fictional character who seems to wander about pre-Elizabethan England and France without specific purpose and then marries her childhood sweet heart.

    I did some fact checking, thinking I was reading historical fiction. Dates, people, places, and times are often incorrect.

    This book IS NOT historical fiction, but fiction based extremely loosely on an inaccurate understanding of history

    The narrator has a fairly strong sibilant lisp that makes the listening nearly exhausting for someone like me who has worked tirelessly to rid myself of same.

    Based on this novel, I will not attempt to listen to any other title by this author.

    Had I not suffered through its entirety, I would have attempted to return it.

    I give it one star because I am unable (based on this reviewing program) to give it zero stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • White Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1216)
    Performance
    (1045)
    Story
    (1057)

    They ruled England before the Tudors, and now internationally best-selling author Philippa Gregory brings the Plantagenets to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women.

    FanB14 says: "Prep for Starz Drama"
    "The Queen Elizabeth we never knew, revealed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to White Queen the most enjoyable?

    The story grabbed me in the first few minutes and I had trouble finding stopping points. Putting it down was almost painful at times. I couldn't wait to get back to it when I did have to stop listening. The characters are well developed and as historically correct as I think it is possible to make them, based on the info we have from the 15th Century


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a love story, a spy story full of intrigue, a story about family, love, death, loss and life in the 1400's.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Elizabeth loses her baby king son and knows not if he is dead, kidnapped, in hiding, or in the Tower of London. Her pain, anguish, and fear are palpable. The narrator is perfect for the part, she infuses the words she readswith the feelings of the moment.


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

    Spies of the 15th Century


    Any additional comments?

    I just ordered and wish listed several more in the Cousins War series and another series written by Philippa Gregory. If I know me, I will read all of her works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Katherine: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Anya Seton
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (359)
    Performance
    (292)
    Story
    (292)

    Set in the vibrant 14th century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the classic romance Katherine features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets - Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II - who ruled despotically over a court rotten with intrigue. Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king's son, falls passionately in love with the already married Katherine.

    Patricia says: "Wonderful the 2nd time around, forty years later!"
    "Ms. Seton makes you feel like you are there!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read Anya Seton's Green Darkness, at least 5 times. Her historical fiction is spot on, historically speaking. Her characters and places are so vivid, I feel like I know them and can see them in my mind's eye. Katherine is no different.

    I knew that Katherine would be excellent. I was whisked away to the days of Geoffrey Chaucer's England. The story is not about Chaucer per se but the travails of his tragic sister-in-law, Katherine.

    Katherine is an amazing heroine. If I understand correctly her character and much of the story line is based on the known history of the time. Many of the people and places I was able to look for and find in history.

    Katherine is a love story, a tragedy and a wonderful example of historical fiction.

    An excellent read if you enjoy historical fiction and that period in history. I highly recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Animals Make Us Human

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Temple Grandin
    • Narrated By Andrea Gallo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (601)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (323)

    From renowned scientist and animal welfare advocate Temple Grandin, this groundbreaking book is a clarion call to awareness of the inner lives of humankind's far-too-often mistreated and neglected companions. Based on research spanning over 30 years, these stunning insights into the very real emotions and thoughts of animals are sure to be a source of fascination and inspiration.

    Debra says: "Interesting in general, but repetitive"
    "Animal Psychobabble!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This doctor spends too many words anthropomorphizing everything form dogs to ducks! She takes several unnecessary shots at Cesar Milan and makes several misstatements of fact such as information about the links between dogs and wolves.

    I think the title is misleading. I expected to read a book about the way animals help people be more human and humane, about the positive effects they have on us, etc. That is not at all what this book is about. The authors waxes nostalgic about the good old days when dogs ran free and were so much happier. This notion seems to be based on her childhood dog's behavior. She also manages to mention her diagnosis of autism at least in every chapter.

    She has done some interesting research but when I looked for peer reviewed information on her research or other research that backed up her findings, I couldn't find too much.

    It was so bad I couldn't finish it!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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