Lowell's 1993 Untamed just produced in audio is outstanding. Narrator Anne Flosnik is fine. She gives it a big reading darn near Shakespearean proportions and provides excellent voice to a large cast of characters with great enthusiasm.
Feminist to the very core of me, I'm not the least bit embarrassed about how much I love this book. This is the take-me-away fantasy done just right. Warrior Dominic Le Sabre (no phallic symbolism here) storms in on his destrier having been awarded a wealthy estate and a virgin bride for service to the hated English king. There are all the familiar Lowellisms here in spades. Heroine Meg is only 19, a humble and selfless healer, beloved by the estate vassals for her selfless devotion to them. Dominic is a scarred warrior who (of course) doesn't believe she's still virgin and scoffs at the Glendruid legends even in the face of some pretty convincing evidence. He does the pet name thing -- calls her "witch" when he's angry and "small falcon" when he's in the mood for love. His big idea to "tame" her is to use the falcon method -- locking her in her room, securing her in gold jesses, and feeding her only by his hand. And, oh dear, he can't love her, and values her only as vessel to provide him many sons. Trouble is there's a catch -- no Glendruid bride can conceive sons without true love in the lovin'.
The audio production is enthusiastic, over the top, and melodramatic to the max. It's a sweeping medieval epic and a most satisfying love story.
I loved every toe-curling moment of it.
This is an iconic and well-loved Linda Howard book, one that I was very glad to see come to audio. The book gets 5 stars but I had to knock at least one off for the narrator. Gigante is dead on with his uber alpha male voice (and hero Dane in this book is one of those for sure), but his girly voice gives me the shivers. Gigante actually swans his female voices - breathy, whiny and they always sound as if they're about to cry. He'd be so much better if he would just "read" female dialogue and not try to "do" it. Hey, then he'd be perfect. But I'm afraid I won't buy any more of my favorite books and listen to Gigante make my beloved heroines sound like really dumb ninnies.
This is the fourth entry in Goodman's Compass Club series in which all four stories occur in the same time period. Reading them out of order isn't really a problem, which I guess is a good thing since only two of the books are available here at Audible.
When I read this book in print I was so moved by Goodman's portrayal of the gradual thawing of West's cold and aloof heart. Apparently narrator Sterlin didn't grasp that because it was almost painful listening to a particularly intimate scene in which West confides his most painful secrets to Ria. This is the scene in which a "reader" would know that he had surrendered his heart, but sadly a "listener" would hear the same cold and aloof man we met at the beginning of the story.
I've seen enough BBC historical drama to recognize the high-toned cadence of a regency era upper crust accent and it works well enough in straight narrative here. However, Sterlin's voice for male characters sounds snide and slightly effeminate and I found it grating and wrongwrongwrong for a romantic lead. The villains are given a full Snidely Whiplash treatment and the other members of the Compass Club and romantic heroes in their own books sound fat, old, and blarbly (not a word, I know, but that's how they sound).
Having read all 8 books in the series, I thought it would be fun to try them in audio. Johanna Parker IS Sookie Stackhouse and she's brought life to all of the human, were, and vampire denizens of Bon Temps, Louisiana. Harris has accomplished something pretty amazing here -- a series that seamlessly blends quirkiness, dry humor, satire, and a series of bloody and awful events. Great stuff!
My only complaint is that Dead to the World, a really important entry in the series is not available. I can't imagine why one of the best of the series was not produced and I really hope that it soon will be.
The HBO series True Blood is based on this series. It's fabulous.
It's been a few years since I read Lowell's medieval trilogy and I must have forgotten how much I disliked this second entry. Problem is Duncan is an anti-hero (well, he's an ass) and Lowell never makes him properly repentant for his cruel treatment of Amber. A good grovel was called for here and the lack of it left me feeling cheated. Amber is one of those born victims (I'm not making this up -- there was a prophesy) who suffers in martyr-like silence. This is a case of two people each with their own set of unattractive personality disorders finding each other and making a go of it. Good luck with that, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.
The narrator does not have the gravitas of Anne Flosnik who brought such fun and enthusiasm to Untamed. Untamed is the better book by far. This one is something of a dirge.
This is one of the first audiobooks I listened to back in the day when my only source was the local library. I loved it then and I love it even more now that I've found Audible.
Narrators Joyce Bean and Dick Hill deliver a knockout performance of Howard's sexy thriller. This one is famous (and rightly so) among romance fans for the very convincing in-the-moment love scenes between Lily and Swain. The Gold Standard in how to make the best possible use of two narrators.
Heroine Lily is a CIA contract assassin who's gone off the ranch to make an unsanctioned hit for reasons of her own and Lucas Swain is sent to bring her in or take her out if he has to. Swain is intrigued, impressed, and smitten with his target and the two end up working together to stop a nefarious plot to profit from a killer virus epidemic. It's a fast and fun read and a most satisfying romance.
And you don't want to miss those love scenes. Just sayin'.
I'm right in the middle on this one. What I liked? Very clever, snappy dialogue. Likable lead characters. This author is clearly one of the sharpest knives in the drawer. Really enjoy Zackman's style of narration.
However . . . I simply don't get why such a sharp author would write such dumbass, screwup characters. I wanted to kill the heroine's sister myself. I completely lost patience with one "cute" antic after another. I mean, there was real murder going on here and it was treated inappropriately cavalierly. Maybe it's just me, but I think that if you're going to write "cute," then for crying out loud pick a "cute" subject -- like lost puppies maybe.
Loved this author's style and there were some very sparkly moments, but the characters were just too cute to live, and in the end it just didn't work for me.
This is one of my favorite novels and narrator Aasne Vigesaa simply nails it. It's funny and wise, and sexy as all get out. The large cast of weirdly charming and quirky Temptation residents is not to be missed. I adore the sweetly and craftily drawn romance between ultimate outsider Sophie and blue-blooded town mayor Phinn. This is book with real heart and soul and I can't recommend it enough.
The author started with an original and intriguing story line and cast of characters, but it all went south pretty quickly. The "suspense" was a joke. When it's patently obvious to the reader/listener just exactly who the snake is while the ace investigator and the victim miss every blatant clue, you can't call it a mystery. The author has a pleasing style, but the obtuseness of her characters killed it for me.
The narrator was just wrong, wrong, wrong for this book. He sounds too old and too much like every boring lecturer you ever had to listen to in college.
Uh oh. This was pretty awful and had that "first draft" feeling. For a book marketed as romantic suspense, I have to say it fails in both categories. The leads talked at each other and I never felt any kind of connection, so the inevitable declarations of love had nothing to back it up. The suspense? Well, it was obvious who the killer was the first time he spoke and any reasonably intelligent 5-year-old would have picked up on it. On top of all that, the narrator gave the heroine an annoyingly perky voice and the hero a too-slow drawl that made him sound dull witted. Can't imagine I'll be trying any more Novak or anything else read by this narrator.
Impossibly sad, profoundly moving, deeply romantic, and stunning in its intensity. This is a book that stays with you and despite the title, you'll likely shed some tears. Milla and Diaz are easily my favorite characters in contemporary fiction and their story is rich and layered and entirely believable. Linda Howard just keeps getting better and better.
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