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Elaine

Member Since 2012

36
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 43 reviews
  • 57 ratings
  • 367 titles in library
  • 160 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
8

  • Deadline

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (180)

    Dawson Scott is a well-respected journalist recently returned from Afghanistan. Haunted by everything he experienced, he's privately suffering from battle fatigue which is a threat to every aspect of his life. But then he gets a call from a source within the FBI. A new development has come to light in a story that began 40 years ago. It could be the BIG story of Dawson's career one in which he has a vested interest.

    Elaine says: "Unbelievably mediocre!"
    "Unbelievably mediocre!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was so disappointed with this latest from Sandra Brown. The prologue and first couple of chapters were fine though, like Dawson, I couldn't care less about the what happened to the baby of the terrorists. It had no relevance to Dawson (nor me the reader) at the time but I trudged on certain that Ms Brown would trigger some interest on my part.

    Instead, the ensuing chapters read like Women's Fiction, focusing on a divorced Amy and her home life which revolved around her kids and an unlikeable Steph, her kids
    nanny. It took too long for any suspense or real mystery to kick in and by then I was bored to tears.

    I found this a very unSandra-Brown book.

    Stephen Lang's narration didn't help either. I didn't care for him in Chill Factor but I think he's worse here. While I like that he softens his voice for the female parts, in general he is boring and doesn't bring life to the characters or the scenes. I hope, if the author continues to write, that she will return to her previous style where there was drama, suspense and romance - and that the audio producers can get Slezak or Phil Gigante. Anyone else but Lang though Lang is still better than any female.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Dead by Wednesday

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Beverly Long
    • Narrated By Violet Grey
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    With no leads, no witnesses and four teenage victims, it's a race against the clock for Detective Robert Hanson to catch a vicious serial killer. But he gets thrown slightly off course when Carmen Jiminez asks for his help. Fiercely independent, the pretty pregnancy counselor is the only woman who has ever tempted Robert to give up his freewheeling bachelor life. Yet protecting Carmen from mysterious “accidents” and vengeful clients is just as difficult as winning her trust.

    Elaine says: "Lacklustre romance, okay suspense, poor narration"
    "Lacklustre romance, okay suspense, poor narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The suspense thread was good and could have made this book a winner for me but the poor romantic subplot spoilt it, as did the narrator. Characterwise, the heroine was more like a nervous adolescent handling the opposite sex and navigating the perilous waters of dating. Even an innocent 'meet with friends' dinner is something that scares her. The hero's no alpha - which is fine - except putting these two together, more time is spent with mental hand-wringing than moving forward and focusing on the serial killer. It is stories like these that made me avoid these category romantic suspense books, with the rare exception being Adrianne Giordano's The Prosecutor.

    The narrator was not good. She made the teenage girls sound old and there was no differentiation between her characters. Everyone sounded the same and this just made a so-so book a chore to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Exposure

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Dee Davis
    • Narrated By Ross Pendleton
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The men and women of Last Chance, Inc. are back in another heart-stopping tale! British special agent Nigel Ferris has devoted his life to working covert operations, and avoiding relationships. Until he’s called upon to help foil an International terrorist plot, and comes face to face with the one woman who ever came close to scaling his emotional walls. Photojournalist Melissa Pope knows that the intelligence she's been gathering is invaluable - so much so that someone's willing to kill to her for it.

    Elaine says: "Narrator was disappointing"
    "Narrator was disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this trilogy when I first read it back in 2005 in mass paperback and was excited not only to see it out in audio but with a male narrator! I prefer my romantic suspense to have male narrators so I snapped all three audios up.

    Sad to say, I am disappointed with Pendleton's narration. He's very monotonous in his narrative and becomes overly dramatic in some dialogue so it made for very uneven listening. I don't care for the British accent despite the pronunciation of words being American. It's a very odd mix. If the narrator is going to narrate in a Brit accent then go all the way and pronounce words in US English, except for when the character happens to be a Brit (Ferris, for example).

    Storywise, I did feel the dialogue is a bit dated and hackneyed so I'm on the fence as to whether this is worth paying for in audio if you've already bought the paperback on ebook. For me, personally, I regret the purchases as I paid full price and kept falling asleep from Pendleton's narrating. I must have "rewound" five times. Thank God I've already read the book and have it as reference or I'd be absolutely lost.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What You Own

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By A.M. Arthur
    • Narrated By Michael Pauley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    For Ryan Sanders, the Paige Community Center is more than a place where he teaches at-risk teens about musical theater. He found a sense of belonging there during one of the hardest times of his life. With the center facing a financial crisis, he'll do whatever it takes to keep the doors open - even soliciting fundraiser donations from Langley-Quartermaine Financial.

    Elaine says: "Poor narration; writing not suited to audio"
    "Poor narration; writing not suited to audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review is for more about the narrator, than the story but the writing itself is also poor even if the plot could have been good. I dnf'd it after less than 2% listening because the narration was rather poor. Perhaps not as bad as JP Handler, whose audio I won't buy, but apart from not giving any expression, Pauley doesn't even bother to give pauses when the sentences are too long.

    And on those long sentences, the author is also to blame for the narrator's poor performance. An experienced narrator could have known how to insert a pause, or someone who had read the story first in order to prepare for the job. In Pauley's case,he's either not the former or did not bother to prepare. That said, the only pause Pauley could have done would have been to pass out from lack of oxygen after reading one of those long paragraph-long sentences!

    Some fiction books just aren't suitable for audio because the authors weren't conscious of how their writing would SOUND as opposed to being read. This is one of them. A fail here for both writer and narrator:(

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prosecutor

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Adrienne Giordano
    • Narrated By Anthony Bowden
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Chicago assistant state's attorney Zac Hennings just got handed a political hot potato: keeping the convicted murderer in a high-profile case behind bars. He's up against his most formidable - and alluring - adversary. First-year law student Emma Sinclair is passionately fighting to free her brother. But she needs the take-no-prisoners prosecutor's help. Caught between attraction and letting a killer go free, Zac walks a tightrope. Until evidence surfaces that the real culprit's still out there.

    Elaine says: "Best 2014 romantic suspense I've read"
    "Best 2014 romantic suspense I've read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The male narrator's female characters left much to be desired (they sounded like aging drag queens!) but his pacing, inflection, etc, were good.

    The 5 stars, then, is for this surprisingly engrossing tale of a woman's quest to free her wrongfully-accused brother, now facing 25 years in jail for murder. Sounds straightforward and the story, being a category title, isn't complicated. BUT, Giordano's writing is so good, this felt like a full-length latest Sandra Brown. I could have done without the slight TSTL scene where Emma goes into the dark alley, telling herself only stupid women did that but other than this, the story unfolded at a good pace, allowing all the characters to be nicely fleshed-out. Great hero, likeable heroine, excellent tension as Emma and Zac close in on who the killer really was.

    There's a good balance of romance/suspense, a proportion that falls within my pleasure zone - I do not like my Romantic Suspense to have more romance as it detracts from the suspense. Giordano hit the right ratio for me in this well-written thriller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boys of Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Cooper Davis
    • Narrated By Brian Pallino
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    I thought I knew what love was… My name is Hunter Willis and I’ve found love. The problem? I’m not sure I’m ready for the rest of the world to know I’ve fallen for my best friend. Everyone knows Max is gay. Me? They think I’m straight as an arrow. So did I, until Max and I shared a kiss three months ago that blew that theory right out of the water. Now, by the ocean in Florida, thousands of miles away from prying eyes, I’m finally ready to admit to myself that Max and I have something special.

    Elaine says: "Don't waste your 2 hours 9 mins with this"
    "Don't waste your 2 hours 9 mins with this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This felt like listening to an adolescent's badly-written journal. I couldn't make sense of it despite this being only 2 hours long. I bought this because it's the prequel to the couple's story but it is so badly written, disjointed, and most parts irrelevant to the storyline that I had to conclude there isn't one.

    The narrator's voice is masculine and sexy but his narrating needs polishing. Not enough expression so a boring story is made even worse. I bought the sequel together with this and I hope that's better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All Kinds of Tied Down

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Mary Calmes
    • Narrated By Tristan James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (98)

    Deputy US Marshal Miro Jones has a reputation for being calm and collected under fire. These traits serve him well with his hotshot partner, Ian Doyle, the kind of guy who can start a fight in an empty room. In the past three years of their life-and-death job, they've gone from strangers to professional coworkers to devoted teammates and best friends. Miro’s cultivated blind faith in the man who has his back… faith and something more.

    T. Henry says: "Another Winner"
    "More like a fanfic I ended having to pay for"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Calmes is better than this. Much better. This felt like Calmes decided to write a piece of fanfic about characters from a totally new tv series no ones ever heard of. We are thrust into the lives of two US Marshalls, Miro and Ian, at a point when the fanfic author has decided to make the unrequited love/lust mutual. Sort of like an NCIS Gibbs/Tony slash, except NCIS fans would already have the advantage of knowing the two men's history, their quirks and familiar fanfic tropes.

    Not so in Calmes story. You'd think making her MCs US Marshalls would mean you can expect a suspense/action plot. It doesn't. It's just a profession she slapped on. They could have been a pair of insurance agents or used car dealers.

    It's not a bad story. Just not up to Calmes standard, that's all. Throwing in a Sam Cage sighting doesn't cut it with me. I was pissed that one my favorite gay MCs was so cavalierly exploited.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Old Loyalty, New Love

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Mary Calmes
    • Narrated By Tristan James
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (74)

    When jackal shifter Quade Danas was banished from his pack for being gay, he spent years in the military escaping his father's prejudice before returning to civilian life as a bodyguard for Roman Howell, the teenage son of a very rich man. After Roman is in an accident that leaves him physically scarred and emotionally distant, Quade is the only one who can get through to him. As Roman becomes a man, he realizes what he wants - his bodyguard by his side and in his bed.

    T. Henry says: "Perfect Narration"
    "Another winner from Calmes!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was pleasantly surprised - and relieved - how good this was, following the dismal All Kinds of Tied Down. This jackal shifter story has everything - solid plot, moving romance, MCs that resonated with me, and hot sex.

    Definitely goes to my Keeper and Comfort Listen shelves!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch My Breath

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By M. J. O'Shea
    • Narrated By Tyler Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (39)

    Danny Bright was born to entertain. He just needs his big break. So when he hears that Blue Horizon Records is holding auditions looking for the next big thing, Danny jumps at the chance. It doesn't turn out exactly as he imagined, though. Instead of getting solo contracts, Danny and four other guys are put into a boy band. Innocent, idealistic Elliot Price thinks he's headed for college. An impulsive decision to sing in the local talent search changes all that. A bigwig producer happens to see him, hands him a business card, and turns Elliot's life upside down.

    Elaine says: "Okay story but it was narrator that blew me away!"
    "Okay story but it was narrator that blew me away!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was pleasant. Not great but something nice to listen to when you're in the mood for a plain ol' contemporary romance between 18 year-olds; ie, no serial killers, cops or Feds, just first-time, relationship-centered. It's well-written and flows smoothly.

    But Tyler Stevens. He was surprisingly excellent! I was expecting him to make the two MCs sound like flaming queens but no, Stevens' voice, while still sounding effeminate (to my ears) was fluid like soft, warm honey. His performance was definitely 5 stars - great pacing and expressiveness (unlike the dreadful Jeff Gelder) and none of that gasping for breath before each sentence that most male narrators are guilty of.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Grand Passion

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jayne Ann Krentz
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (64)

    When the handsome, wealthy Max Fortune, art collector extraordinaire, inherits five paintings at the death of his long-time friend and benefactor, he expects to receive them. Instead, his benefactor leaves only a clue to their whereabouts in a cryptic note which reads, "The most precious things I leave you, you'll find at the Robbins' Nest Inn."

    Jane says: "Pleasant but predictable personal interaction."
    "Narrator sounds like a dirty old man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of my favorite JAKs and the narrator ruined it. Why do they pick a narrator with such an old-sounding voice for a contemporary romance? Ferrone may be great for non-fiction, but definitely NOT for a lighthearted romance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Paradise

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (126)

    New Eden, Montana, is a piece of heaven on earth where one woman died in her own private hell. Now it’s up to ex-court reporter Marilee Jennings to decipher the puzzle of her best friend’s death. But someone has a stake in silencing her suspicion. Someone with secrets worth killing for - and the power to turn this beautiful haven into a...dark paradise.

    Meredith says: "Not good"
    "Foul-mouthed heroine not a good start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't get past the first couple of chapters. First thing the heroine says to the hero whom she's meeting the first time is "Who the fuck are you?". Granted she thought he had no business being in her missing friend's house but...

    And so said "intruder" (who wasn't an intruder) decides to act the jerk by making coarse sexual come-ons to scare the heroine off the property. There's a place for the word "fuck" and for pretend-jerks. This is not the type of book for them. I have not read Ms Hoags new books, the non-romance ones, but if this is how she writes her heroines in her romantic suspense, it's no wonder she's now writing pure suspense.

    Unless, of course, her 21st century suspense heroines are still rough as guts as the one here.

    Joyce Bean is as good as always, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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