I can admit that I have wanted to read this book since first seeing the blurb in the Julia London newsletter. I hadn't read but one of her other Hadley Green series but the blurb stuck in my mind and wouldn't let go. Learning it was going to be simultaneously released in audio, narrated by one of my favorite narrators EVER--Justine Eyre--sealed the deal.
However, it did not turn out as well as I had anticipated. I had several problems with and I'm not sure if it is because I listened to it and these issues just sounded worse when said out loud or if the book and myself never connected. I didn't like the grandmother. Although I don't condone corporal punishment upon the elderly, I wouldn't have blinked if that woman had gotten slapped. Hard. She came off as shifty and seriously whacked. Like two faces of Eve, medication is never going to fix this, eventually kill people in their sleep, whacked.
The narration really brought out the faults in this story for me. Whether that was due to narrator interpretation or bad writing, I don't know. I personally don't think it was the narrator's fault. Eyre's performance was quite pleasant. I could tell the difference in the males and females, Scottish and English, and the main characters personalities (unfortunately) shown through clearly. Her pacing flowed, the pauses were natural and there were no noticeable inhalation of breaths. She was Morgan Freeman in a Mike Meyers movie, too cool to be contained...
I don't know if I will read another Julia London title after this. I may if the library gets a copy and I can read it. I do know I won't be listening to any more of them if given the opportunity. It is sometimes easier to ignore a story's weaknesses when you read it; like in real life, it's much harder to ignore it when someone else points it out.
Secretive, Witty, Sly
I enjoyed the heroine Juliette a lot. She took command of her life and set out to make it the way she wanted it.
I was amazed at the different female British voices she conveyed. I had no trouble distinguishing between them, even when I let the story carry me away.
This book blew me away! I was expecting a tame and uneventful story, and instead got a story that kept me engrossed. It had a little intrigue, original characters, and a romance that I not only liked but believed in.
I just found a new narrator to add to my favorites list!
This is one of my favorite Garwood titles and Duerden did an wonderful job of bringing the story to life. With the exception of Jade's character, everyone else was as I had imagined when reading the story. In Jade's case, I felt she sounded too young and inexperienced to be a pirate or a woman who had lived on an island surrounded by different cultures. I don't think it was a problem with the overall narration just the narrator's choice of voice.
This book is way at the top for contemporary romances I've listened to. It felt fresh and modern, witty and relevant.
The scene in the beginning when Sidney is telling Vaughn exactly the type of man he is. That girl chewed him up and spat him out in such a elegant and accurate way, you couldn't help but feel bad for him. Then Vaughn turns around and sets her down in just as classy a way you knew he could keep up with her!
She has the perfect sense of timing for the funny moments as well the serious ones. You can see the characters individual quirks when she performs them. There is never the feeling the narrator didn't get the story with White.
Love happens, even when you think you aren't looking.
I love the combo of James and White so much the audiobooks are an auto buy for me. There is no James without White!
The narration of Alison Larkin both added and detracted from this story. I think she did a good job of portraying Lily and the other significant female figure in this story, the Duchess of Roxburghe. Larkin had the right combination of youth and maturity for Lily's character, but it was her rendition of the Duchess that stuck in my mind the most. It was as if I was listeing to Angela Lansbury, telling people what to do. Talk about funny! However, it was Wulf's character that fell flat in this part of the story. His voice didn't fit with what I had imagine his character sounded like from the words. Overall, the narration wasn't bad but Larkin's high and somewhat squeaky voice took some getting used to. I did, but it took a while.
Hawkins has once again written another wonderful and adventurous story of love. It featured entertaining characters and a wonderful romance. Not to mention a fabulous setting combined with a unique hero. In some respects, this was a traditional romance but in other ways it wasn't. The heroine isn't a shy missish miss, uknowledgeable about the world, yet still a tad naive. The hero was commanding and wealthy, yet not afraid of making a commitment. This combination made for a nice change while reading. Fans of her other books will no doubt enjoy this one as well.
I do want to mention that this book, the second in the series, can be read alone but I do want to mention that this book, the second in the series, can be read alone but reading the first story before attempting this one wouldn't hurt. This was a story of couple and how they got together, with nothing left unresolved between them. The element that binds them is the family troubles and was clearly explained in the beginning.
This narration was much better than the last Beautiful audiobook, but still wasn't as fabulous as I'm used to. It wasn't issues with audible inhalation or overly long pauses but more that the narrators weren't as strong in the production as they be. Both of the narrators had a few instances where they forgot to narrate a certain voice like they had before or they didn't do as good a job differentiating between certain male or female voices. I have a feeling that this book may be a first time narration for one, if not both, of them.
Still, this book was durrtyy and so good, I quickly got over the irritating narration quality! Sara was a little bit shy but a rebel at heart and Max made that bad girl come out in a good way. Although a playboy, Max was good for her; he made truly helped her discover how to be more positive and accepting of her trusting personality. One note though: This book was definitely better with your headphones in and NOT in a public/professional atmosphere. I made the mistake of listening to it on my lunch break at work, which was a total mistake. :/ I don't regret listening to it though. Listening to Cole's deep English accent say something naughty was the reason I bought it in the first place!
There were parts of this narration that I enjoyed and there were parts that ruined my enjoyment of the story. The narrator had an mellowness of tone and pacing that weren't rushed, but there were times when the pauses between sentences and paragraphs were too long. So long that I thought a new chapter was starting only to discover it was still the same conversation. The narration did serve well enough to highlight important parts of the story, parts I may have missed if I had only read the story.
Hounded was a interesting mix of contemporary setting and thoughts intermingled with Irish mythology and lore. The downside of this was the cast of characters with similar and hard to understand names.
Definitely Oberon. He was funny with a canny knowledge of popular culture and the best way to present it in humorous situations. He truly was the comic relief of this book. He resembled Wolfie, the werewolf from the 10th Kingdom movie.
The male characters were clearly separated and defined, but not the female (Irish) ones. It was hard to tell which female was talking because they all sounded the same, even in general conversation. It was also hard to distinguish between the main Atticus' thoughts and his actual words.
I think Hounded would do better as a movie rather than a TV show. A movie would allow for a greater cast of characters and better represent the passage of time that passes in the book. I'm not sure who I would cast as Atticus though; it would have to be someone with an young appearance yet with VERY old eyes. The best guy I could think of is Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Henry VIII from the Tudors). He can do humorous, serious, and dark very well.
Despite the problems I had with the majority of feminine voices, I will continue with the next books in audio. I don't think I would get the humorous points as well as I did unless I hear them. And, of course, listening to Daniels narrate Oberon totally makes it all worth it!
I was very eager to see what narration would do for Eveline character in particular. I mean, the heroine is deaf; not much you can narrate when one of your protagonists cannot speak. I can say that Potter did a decent job of giving life to Eveline's expressions and mannerisms, I had no difficulty "seeing" Eveline through the story.
But overall, the narration was just okay; it didn't engage all my senses like some audiobooks have. The narrator did a good job with the Scottish brogues of many people and differentiating between the men's voices. The parts where the characters conversed and interacted were the most invigorating because the narrator came to life. But that excitement died when the narrator returned to reading the other parts of the story; the tone wasn't monotone per se, but too mellow for my tastes.
The story seemed stereotypical in its portrayal of characters and setting of the Kentucky back country. Not everyone in the country marries their cousins and not everybody runs meth labs and is addicted to pills.
Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt and narrated by Ashford McNab.
I would have looked for someone with more emotive qualities. Some characters, the main ones included, came off as flat and unemotional. I had trouble telling the difference from the heroine and the hero at times.
All of the above. I was angry that the book came across as hick-ish when not everyone who lives in this type of area are rednecks. Sad that this so many people enjoyed it and think this is how life really is in the backwoods. Disappointment that it was nominated for an award when I'm sure there were much better productions made last year.
I will hesitate to listen to a romantic suspense from this narrator. She wasn't horrible the entire book. The best parts of this narration where the suspense and flashbacks of war. The worst parts were the ones were when she tried to inject humor; she didn't quite pull it off for me.The author, as much as I didn't like the overall story, did a good job of demonstrating the struggles veterans have adjusting to their old lives. I in no way felt she was mocking their struggle or the difficulties vets face on a day to day basis.
For me, this series is fantastic in audio. Justine Eyre does an excellent job of portraying the different nationalities and male voices, bringing the book to life in a way the print version cannot. I can feel the emotions that Elena is trying to deny--the love/hate she feels for her father, the love and joy being with her friends brings, and the hesitation when it comes to Raphael. The narrator brings to life all the nuances of each character that makes them so real, it's as if you are actually there.
[The audio also helps with the pronunciation of names, which can be very difficult since there are such a range of cultures represented. I would have had no idea how to say Charisemnon if not for the audio. And I don't know about you, but when a name is difficult to pronounce, it kicks me out of the story fast.]
This is a must listen to narrator and a must read story!
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