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Desarae

Designer. Aviation Enthusiast. Fitness Instructor. Love books. Prefer long series with happy endings in mystery, comedy, fantasy, & romance.

Member Since 2010

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 49 reviews
  • 158 ratings
  • 542 titles in library
  • 125 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Martha Beck
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    From the moment Martha and her husband, John, conceived their second child, all hell broke loose. They were a couple obsessed with success. After years of matching IQs and test scores with less driven peers, they had two Harvard degrees apiece and were gunning for more. But the dream had begun to disintegrate. Then, when their unborn son, Adam, was diagnosed with Down syndrome, doctors, advisers, and friends in the Harvard community warned them not to keep the baby.

    Sarah says: "Uncomfortably Honest"
    "True Life Fairy Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Post-reading the book:

    I laughed. I cried. I felt inspired and motivated. She says what others think but are too politically correct (PC) in the Midwest often to repeat. She holds nothing back and leaves you thinking. So many parts of the story leave you with tingles up your spine or arm. It's rare that any book gives me such a wide range of emotion. I listened to the whole thing in a day, couldn't stop. Almost hard to believe its real but I've had similar things happen, minus maybe seeing long distances or seeing 'angels'.

    At first I wasn't so sure about the narrator, but trust me she immediately will grow on you, give her a chapter or two so that you can settle into the story. I went into this book with little to no good expectations. None. I thought I might mildly like it at best. I loved it. I rarely cry to books or movies. This is the kind of book that makes you want to live life fuller.

    Similar books in my opinion would be: EAT Pray Love, The Alchemist (or any book by Paulo Coelho), and The Last Lecture. Those are some of my favorite books by the way, so if you haven't read them I urge you to do so.

    This book reads like a novel; like a story. It's so vivid and so full of character that at some points you wonder if more of the story is false than just character names. You will hate some of the characters and love others. You will, and you will wonder their side of the story.

    My thoughts mid-book (up to reading chapter 7- I stopped to write this mid-listen):

    A true story that reads like a fairy tale. She's not very PC and very blunt. The narrator has a deeper voice, sounds older than most narrators on audible, it's so blunt; at first I didn't like her but the narrator suits the story.

    The story is all about a woman; a wife; a mother who gets pregnant. Where does the magic come in? It does sound absurd but truthful. I've known similar miracles to happen, even to me but on a much smaller scale. If I hadn't experienced miracles or odd coincidences at some point in my own life this story would be hard to believe (post-reading: after reading the book I'd say impossible to believe).

    She calls the forces of the world or God... well she makes it sound like angels or whatever are puppeteers and we are puppets. In her own story that reads so true.

    I'm only to chapter 7, she's still pregnant and struggling at Harvard but so much is coming together for her. Fated. Destined. I believe it because I know these things can happy but she is so matter of fact. It is a nice reminder that our lives don't have to be mundane. We have destinies and God is looking out for us at every turn if we let him.

    Inspired. Motivated.

    I can relate to her in almost every way except that I have never gotten married or had children yet; including some of the very brash non-politically correct (pc) perspectives. I imagine I would go through a similar flow of turmoil and working through the issues in similar ways as she has this far into the book. I'm a little ashamed to admit that but I've wondered more than once what it would be like to have my future unborn children be born with *any* disability; it's scary to imagine and to worry about family being hurt.

    The story is intriguing and I'm very interested as to where the story will go next.

    After finishing the book:

    I loved the book. A++++ I only gave the performance 4 stars because there was something a little off putting at first about the narrator's style, but she picks up after a bit and you fall in love with the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Learn Korean - Word Power 101

    • UNABRIDGED (10 mins)
    • By Innovative Language Learning
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Master Korean with Learn Korean - Word Power 101. This audiobook is a completely new way to learn Korean vocabulary fast - and for free! Start speaking Korean in minutes with the powerful learning methods you will master in this book. The vocabulary words you'll find in Learn Korean - Word Power 101 were hand selected by our Korean language teachers as the top 101 most frequently used words in the Korean language.

    Desarae says: "Educational. Grueling. Helpful."
    "Educational. Grueling. Helpful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a story. This is educational material and hard to stay focused on. I've had a time trying to get through these audio books. They're free so I've kept them in hopes of learning the languages but it's not my favorite thing to listen to or the best language learning course I've attempted. Still if you are a member of audible and interested you have nothing but your time to lose. They where free. I wonder if the full versions are better but won't use the credit, so I get what I paid for. Very little.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter's Passage

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Julie Kagawa
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (292)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (273)

    Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck - Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon - who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

    Lauri says: "Perfect Segue"
    "Julie loves her mini books! Great teaser."
    Overall
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    Story

    Don't forget this is book 1.5 but before this is book 1.25 the first kiss, a free 8 page mini book on scribbed of Ash's point of view of the ending scene of book 1. It's free and will take you less than 10 minutes to read. I created a short link to get you there of you can google for it bit.ly/JHUONc not sure if audible will allow that.

    Anyway I enjoyed this mini story and have bought the whole series on audible though I should warn you not all the series is available in audio. Look up the series on goodreads for the full list. There are a few books still waiting to be released and some only available in print. Lots of the series is only in mini books like this one but you won't want to miss out on the story. I didn't use credits on the mini books since it's cheaper to outright purchase anything under $10, just a tip. I got mine during the extra 25% off member sake which helps even more.

    Love the author and narrator. Keep reading! The next book takes an awesome turn. I just finished book three and am moving on. You will love/be surprised where the adventure leads.

    In my review of book one I added a list of similar books/series recommendations if you like this style of story/narration! You can find that by clicking on my name or listener page and searching for the first book. Audible hasn't yet put much effort into profiles or listener pages but I have been keeping notes/reviews as I go and am up to over 300 audible books and even more amazon books, shelfari, and goodreads. Perhaps someday this site will allow for more of a bookish community.

    Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Iron Daughter: The Iron Fey, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Julie Kagawa
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (891)
    Performance
    (696)
    Story
    (707)

    Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey - ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

    Meagan says: "better than part 1"
    "Technically book 3. Another great Read. Onward!"
    Overall
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    If you like these books I recommend reading my review of book 1, for more references to similar books that might interest you.

    I say this is book three because the author has half versions, or mini books to give you an update between books. It's kind of a cheap ploy to make more money, but they are all worth reading, plus if you get them during an audible discount period they will only cost you $2/each. Just buy them that way and get the books over $10 using your credits.

    In this book Megan starts to come into her own and really starts to understand herself, her prince, and the other fey better just as everything begins to unravel around her. Her family plays a minimal role in this story, her lost memories come into play here too. This book ties in everything you needed to know from book one (so don't try to skip to this book), while bring up it's own new story, characters, and expanding on what you already love about the series.

    Also forgot to mention this in my first review, but I enjoy this narrator. Khristine Hvam has a sweet voice and doesn't try to sound like a man but instead lets the story speak for itself in your mind. I love books with dual narrators that tell the story like a movie with the pictures only in your imagination, but also can equally get into books with a good narrator who just reads with inflection rather than pretending to be every character. That is Khristine Hvam, a good story teller without trying to take over the characters. The only down play I will say is that the producer should have edited out random parts where you hear her breathe in quick, sometimes she does things that pull you into the story but sometimes it's just her catching her breathe at the end of a long paragraph and it could be removed. Regardless great narration.

    If you like book one, continue onward!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Iron King: The Iron Fey, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Julie Kagawa
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1419)
    Performance
    (1077)
    Story
    (1092)

    Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth--that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war.

    Arwen says: "I found this mediocre"
    "Surprised and Enthralled. Lovely Modern Fantasy."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got the first book in this series during one of Audible's many buy one get one events. As an avid Audible addict, I've listened to literally hundreds of books (nearing 300+ at the time of this review). As the old saying goes, don't judge a book by it's fairy cover; ok I added the fairy part. At first glance it looked child-like and whimsical; which in a lot of ways is something I like, plus I love getting into series because it's more entertainment with characters you've already built a good rapport with. As long as the author throws in some variety to their writing style and doesn't beat a dead horse into the ground reviewing the same materials, not to worry that is not a problem in this series.

    On second glance, cover is beautiful and aptly designed for the book. Though I didn't imagine Megan looking like the cover; at least not in the first book. This story has magic, love, a twist of fate, palaces, adversaries, and kingdoms at odds. Our fairy princes and her beau must save the world and lose much in the process. What will she lose? That is for you to find out in the book.

    One thing I don't get is that the author insists they are bound by their fey promises but they don't always seem to be; maybe I'm just being legalistic or picky... but I kept catching ways to get out of things or word plays that she could have played up a lot more. Semantics.

    If you enjoy this type of tale I recommend:
    The Wicked series, even if you've already seen Wizard of Oz, this series will catch you buy surprise and is not what you expect. There are kingdoms and magic. Even love in unexpected places.

    Deborah Geary's Modern Witch series is not about fairies but it is a modern tale of love, family, and magic. You have to enjoy good witch books for this to fit your tastes.

    The Hobbit, it's nothing quite like the movies.

    Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - Modern day love, world being taking over by big brother, a fight with unusual genetic powers that sound fanciful and interesting to listen about.

    Endless Knight, Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Winter Witch (all good books of similar genre that I just don't feel like writing about here. Just read my other reviews from my listener page if you are interested).

    Of Poseidon/Of Triton - this is about mermaids, love, magic, and protecting family. It's a coming of age tale that would also be consider YA.

    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
    (1252)
    Performance
    (1152)
    Story
    (1141)

    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 surprise. A story of Magic and Betrayal."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story will take you by surprise. Trust no one. The main character is innocent, bright, and full of dumb decisions. The villain will be someone she least suspects, you may or may not see it coming. This is a short tale of mystery, a fun sort of wistful magic, and a few moving life lessons of friendship & bad decisions.

    This is a modern tale of a waitress coming into her own.

    If you enjoy this book you may also enjoy: All books by Deborah Geary (her witch series is phenomenal), A winter witch, Born Wicked, Forbidden, A thinking Women's Guide to Real Magic, Tarnished and Torn, Scent of Magic, Maria V. Snyder's books, One Good Knight by Mercede Lackey.

    I enjoyed the author and the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter Witch

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Paula Brackston
    • Narrated By Marisa Calin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (144)

    In her small early-19th-century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She is small and quick and pretty enough to attract a suitor, but there are things that set her apart from other girls. Though her mind is sharp she has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic - the household objects that seem to move at her command, the bad luck that visits those who do her ill. Concerned for her safety, her mother is anxious to see Morgana married....

    L.W. says: "Took me back in time...."
    "A Welsh Tale of Wit and Witches fight for Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is set back in a time when people where suspicious but not necessarily on witch hunts. It seems they suspect but don't immediately kill in this book. This is a battle for love, life, and an understanding of hard times mixed with magic in unusual ways. There is sorrow in this book, happiness, and mayhem in ways that only this time could convey.

    If you enjoy this book you may also enjoy: Books by Deborah Geary, Witch Child, Born Wicked, Star Cursed, books by Gail Carriger, Thirteenth Child, and Shadow and Bone.

    I enjoyed this book but you have to enjoy old world tales. This is not the story of rich courtesans but of people who are well enough off just getting by on the land and each other.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How to Dance With a Duke: Ugly Duckling Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Manda Collins
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (292)

    Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father's exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father's name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club-and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it. Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull.

    Desarae says: "You Never Know When You Will Find Love or a Murder"
    "You Never Know When You Will Find Love or a Murder"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story took me by surprise so many times. It's full of love, mystery, intrigue, foolishness, and adults with a Nancy Drew nature. I love the characters, enjoyed the story, the scenes, the characters, and their descriptions. The entire story wraps up quickly and nicely. Manda Collins left nothing wanting. This story rises to the heights of the Amelia Peabody Series.

    This book is a definite "Bodice Ripper" the adult scenes are very descriptive and seductive. The mystery and thriller sections leave you stunned. The book is one of those stories that you just can't put down.

    Loved this story. Set back when British elites where embarking enmass upon Egypt for travel and excavation. This is a love story mystery. Rated R. Sexy, seductive, titillating, romantic, lovely, vulnerable... all words to describe this book.

    If you enjoyed this book, I have a few similar recommendations: The countess, The Husband Hunt, The Selection, The Elite, The False Princess, The Amelia Peabody Series, and How to Dance with a Duke. I think these stories all have wonderful narrators, excellent story lines and a similar feeling to them. So if you like this book you should like those books. They are all mystery/love stories that evoke deep emotion and love for the characters. I prefer stories that I can't entirely guess the ending, falling in love with the characters, and especially books with a witty repertoire.

    You wont be disappointed with this book if you love romantic novels full of mystery, ball gowns, and old world charm.

    3 of 3 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
    (434)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (390)

    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"
    "An Unexpected Love Match. Mystery + Love + Sorrow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book goes from one mystery to another, always leaving you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next issue to resolve itself (in a good way). From the big secret, to where Jessie will end up, to the antithesis of the story you will love the book and have strong emotions throughout. You will love the main characters, sometimes hate their decisions, feel sorry for everyone involved, and writhe in horror at the villain(s).

    Overall this is a happy story. The ending leaves you wanting more of the characters but unlike many books in this genre, it does not leave you hanging with loose threads. You will be contented with the ended and just hoping for the follow up.

    I love not only the story, but the description of the scenery, love, and ball gowns!

    I finished this book in two days. It's that good. It is one of those books you just can't stop.

    This is one of my new favorites on Audible. The author and narrator pair exceptionally well together. I will be looking up more of their books as soon as I am done writing this review.

    If you enjoyed this book, I have a few similar recommendations: The countess, The Husband Hunt, The Selection, The Elite, The False Princess, The Amelia Peabody Series, and How to Dance with a Duke. I think these stories all have wonderful narrators, excellent story lines and a similar feeling to them. So if you like this book you should like those books. They are all mystery/love stories that evoke deep emotion and love for the characters. I prefer stories that I can't entirely guess the ending, falling in love with the characters, and especially books with a witty repertoire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Forbidden

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Nicola Cornick
    • Narrated By Mandy Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (37)

    As maid to some of the most wanton ladies of the ton, Margery Mallon lives within the boundaries of any sensible servant. Entanglements with gentlemen are taboo. Wild adventures are for the Gothic novels she secretly reads. Then an intriguing stranger named Mr. Ward offers her a taste of passion, and suddenly the wicked possibilities are too tempting to resist.... Henry Atticus Richard Ward is no ordinary gentleman. He's Lord Wardeaux and he is determined to unite Margery with her newfound inheritance by any means - including seduction and deception.

    Desarae says: "Enticing Writing. Mystery. Love. Luster. Wicked."
    "Enticing Writing. Mystery. Love. Luster. Wicked."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a love story. A Cinderella story; minus all the wicked step sisters and wicked step mother. Finding your lost self, your lost love, discovery and loss. This tragic tale is mostly loveable, happy, and gives you thoughts of grandeur.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the narrator and the story. If you like accents you will enjoy listening to Mandy Williams. This is one of those books that I kept listening to at every waking moment, any time I could find a free moment.

    Books to checkout if you liked this one: The Countess (a sexy love story), The Commitment (not yet on audible and kinkier than forbidden), 50 shades of Gray *this book is a little darker than forbidden, The selection (more of a princess tale), The husband hunt (an old world tale of love, mystery, and commitments).

    This is more of a era theme story, like pride and prejudice. It's not a fantasy sci-fi tale. Everything could easily have happened. It is set back in a time where the rich lived a very high life of beauty and grace; with little time for much else. The poor lived a very very poor life of dirt, mud, and hard work.The story has a romantic setting of old world glamour with a light undertone of something dark that once happened that has to be found out and overcome.

    LOVED this story, would recommend you read/listen to it. I disagree with other reviewers who say this would be better in print. I enjoyed it as is.

    Very sexy. Not a Young Adult story or teen, definitely an adult bodice ripper sort of tale (although those scenes are short and few; most of the book is a lot of kissing and lusting).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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