Heroine= Quirky? Check. Stunningly beautiful? Check. Prone to some kind of oddity? Check. Argumentative, a bit obtuse and very unclear with what she wants? Check. Smells a bit like a flower, fruit or sweet meat? Check.
Hero= Tallest man in the room? Check. (each book they seem to get taller, I am thinking the females need a new quirk - super neck pain from the strain of leaning back just to see the giants chin) Scariest, most intimidating male figure ever? Check. Argumentative, always right, superior to all in physical prowess and hotness? Check. Most feared warrior ever? Check. Confused by the wife and yet believes she should just do as he bids? Check...
Things to note before reading a Garwood book, you might smile like a silly insane person because they are lighthearted fun. I would also note, reading these in succession is probably not a good idea, especially if you have a good memory for details or characters. Garwood follows a formula very religiously.
Her books are generally fun non complicated reading. They aren't the fantastic romances I remember from my early adult years but they are worth it if you like historical romances with highlanders.
I would like for the publisher to pick a narrator though, perhaps use Rosalyn Landor, she is by far the best narrator I have listened to with regards to these books. Heather Wilds has a pleasant enough voice, she didn't whisper or sound like she was an old man swallowing a bag of rocks, but she didn't pause at all between PoV changes, which can be an issue with Garwood's books as the writer tends to PoV switch quite a bit.
I don't need a lot to entertain me, I need a solid story, interesting characters, and a subject that captures my imagination, but it has to be well written. The book/movie/tv show has to have a catch that makes me want to keep reading or watching it. The concept could be rehashed garbage but if it not well written or scripted then I am going to loose interest and find something more entertaining.
Let's face it Harry Potter is not original, yet the story telling is what truly makes a reader want to keep going. The characters are fun and engrossing. You want to keep traveling on this journey. That is what good story telling is, no matter that you have been down that path you are willing to take it again.
That is what this book is for me, it's a path I have been down before, with other books that might not be as well written or even as fulfilling, but I don't care because I was fascinated with the telling of this one. Yes, this is a bit of Harry Potter, Hunger Games/ Battle Royale and a few others thrown it, but it's a vastly entertaining book. One, I am going to be re-listening to.
Tim Gerard Reynolds lends a bit of wisdom and age to the story, making it feel less of a young adult fiction and more of an adult story. My only complaint would be he doesn't give enough distinction between characters so it can be a bit hard to follow who is talking. He is also much older sounding than the POV character, but one review summed it up well, it makes it feel like he is telling his story from an adult prospective, which gives the story a gritty edge.
I really didn't care for the female lead much. To be blunt, she's a take it or leave it kind of female. Spent most of the books whining about herself and not taking the time to talk to those around her.
Not a fan of conflicts where all one has to do is go to the person they are angst towards and say what's wrong. Generally, in reality when you confront someone about a problem they tend to not get all in a tizzy when you approach them with calm maturity. Conflict resolution's that can be resolved in one conversation do not make for interesting conflict, especially if those conflicts last almost the entire book.
This is also not really a romance so much as it's a story about a whiny woman who has never taken charge of her own life and when she finally does the reader/listener doesn't like her enough to care.
The rest of the characters felt very flat and one dimensional.
I didn't hate it or like it so I am going stick with my headliner, it's not bad. I probably would not recommend this to the average listener/reader.
I liked the first book in this series, it was a good sci-fi mystery. Slow, yet not boring. It was decently paced with two interesting enough characters. I was curious about them and wanted to know more. So with that in mind I bought the second book.
I didn't make a mistake. Not even a little bit. Even if I don't finish the rest of the series (more on that later) this is probably one of my all time favorite books that I have listened too. Jefferson Mays brings to life one of the more entertaining characters and makes her seem far more than real. I couldn't wait to get back to her chapters. Avasarala was funny, smart, caring, and someone I wanted to know. I wanted to meet this woman. Every chapter of her's, I listened too with a stupid grin on my face.
I enjoyed the rest of the characters as well. I liked the fact that the female warrior, Bobbie, was not a sexually addled brain dead boob machine. She could handle herself in a fight without being ridiculous. She was also portrayed as very smart and capable.
Prax was probably my least favorite character which is saying something because I enjoyed his chapters very much.
James Holden is a bit too much at times. His character growth throughout the series has felt a bit limited, but for me these books aren't about him but more about what's coming. It's about humans and their unending need to seek out new things with dire consequences. Underselling it a bit, but I am sure if you are reading this type of book you get the drift.
I am giving this book 5 stars because of Avasarala. Her character is truly why you listen to books. Especially when voiced so expertly.
I bought the 3rd and 4th books in this series because of the story, I found it entertaining, scary without being silly, and I wanted to know more about this mystery.
I haven't finished the 3rd one yet. Let's just say, the flaws of the story are starting to show, and there aren't any characters I am even remotely interested in. The first two books do a nice job of making the villain(s) seem far away, yet overwhelmingly present as well and very vague as to who the big bad is. At this point, I can walk away from the series and not feel like I am missing a whole lot and I won't be disappointed overly much although I am curious to see what happens, will just have to see if I can trudge through the 3rd book.
For some reason I am on a Lynsay Sands kick of late. While she's not the best writer, she's funny, and tells a lighthearted story that is entertaining and does exactly what it's supposed to do.
I was not enamored of the narrator, she read way to slow at times, and kept using a Scottish accent for the English bride that kind of got a bit confusing. However, she did have a pleasant sounding voice, and when she would talk at a normal speed her pleasant tone worked well as a narrator. I will say it took some getting used to, and perhaps that's not for everyone. The whole reason listeners choose this format is to be swept away by the story telling. Her narration was certainly not one of the worst narrations I have heard and I would listen to a book she narrates again, but will not actively seek her out.
On that note we all hear things differently so what I might dislike in a narrator is not necessarily something another would dislike.
To each their own and we are all sitting on our opinions.
I would suggest trying out this audible if you can over come the narrator, if not, I would still recommend the book in another format to avid romance readers, as it works well as a lighthearted mindless romp.
I bought this book a while ago while it was on sale, based on all the reviews and because it was cheap.
It sat in my library, in the cloud, just taunting me. I would scroll past it thinking, oh I should totally listen to that. Instead I would listen to one of the Dresden Files (great books). Finally I downloaded it, but didn't start listening to it for about another month. This is going to sound really odd but I kind of wish I had held off. Not because this is a bad book, not at all but because it is part of a series, and because it is fantastic and left me wanting more.
I believe the author has another two books to add to it. I am one of those readers that sent George R. R. Martin a letter about 4 years after he finished book 4 of Song of Ice and Fire asking him if he would perhaps be done with Dances before the next decade. He finished it a year after the decade past...
I know you are probably thinking, 'miss you should probably learn some patience, greatness doesn't get created over night.' This is true, however, my issue is I keep starting these fantastic series only to be left going what's going to happen next and then by the time they come out with the next book I have forgotten which character was which. This ends up being fine since I have found audible. Being able to just listen to a story at anytime is terrific. I love to read and this form of storytelling has really opened the door. So if I have to wait on a series, then so be it. I can just re-listen to the story before the next book comes out.
And this story is worth listening to. Once I started it I had a very hard time stopping. The books Peter has written so far are all interesting. He takes characters and makes them far more than you would expect. Don't judge a book by it's cover they say, well in these books don't judge a character by his/her actions, your opinion might just be changed.
I had one issue, but I won't go into detail as it's a spoiler sort of, it bothered me a bit, but not enough to change the rating of the book, because over all the story is fantastic and the narrator really kept me wanting to keep listening. I can actually even justify the issue, on a personal level.
Not sure why I complained earlier in this review, other than to say, just because it's part of a 5 (?) book series doesn't mean you should wait till the series if finished. Start it, and like me eagerly await the next part. Perhaps we can write the author together to encourage him to finish it in a timely manner.
I love romance novels, but I don't expect much from them. I am generally far more forgiving when reading one than I would be if say it was a Sci-fi or fantasy novel. Which tends to leave me in a bit of a crutch when I find a truly great romance novel, one that really transcends the genre and takes me on a journey I don't want to end. I need a different rating system for those, so I am handing out a 6th star, it's gold so don't tarnish it.
I adored this book. Yes, there were a few flaws and some minor annoyances but I can over look them as this story was a joy to read. I very sad when it ended and the issues I had are so minor I really cannot remember what they are.
Lord Dane is a well drawn character. So heartbreaking and sexy. In a lot of romances the author will change the hero drastically, or "fix" them to the point where what made them interesting in the first place gets lost in the final pages. Dane's character, grows and becomes a better man not to the character's detriment but to the readers joy. This is really a story about him.
His relationship with Jess is great, it's funny and endearing. I laughed out loud quite a bit and while listening on the way to work had the dumbest grin on my face, I think anyone that saw me must have thought I was crazy.
I adore Kate Reading. I loved her narration of Codex Alera. I would say she can tend to sound a little snotty and in some characters voices a bit old, but her voice is so pleasant she draws you in and gives life to really great characters. Her narration added a perfect blend of humor and solemnity, making this story come alive.
Jess is a great match for Dane. She is strong, witty, and didn't back down from a fight. She didn't let him get away with being a total tool and managed to out wit him on many occasions.
This is probably going to go down as one of those romances I will end up listening to several times a year. I have 3 that I keep going back to, Devil in Winter, Thief of Shadows and for some strange reason the Husband Trap, I am positive this book will get added to the list.
So to all those authors like George R. R. Martin, Anthony Ryan, Jim Butcher and Peter B. Brett keep writing your super long series, I have something to listen to in the meantime.
It's been really hard for me to write a review for this book, for a lot of reasons. I feel like I have been on a long journey and this is the part of the story that changes everything. This is the defining book of this series. I don't know if I can really describe how I feel about this story effectively. Other than to say, listen to it. The title is pretty indicative of the story's path, and the choices Dresden makes will have ramifications far beyond this part of his story.
James Marsters is a master at this point. He is Harry Dresden, every time I picture Harry I see and hear James Marsters. His voice is so perfect. It fits like a well worn glove. I feel as if I am really in Harry's mind as if I really am a part of the story. His tone is soothing, and his wit is perfect.
This is not a standalone story, not something you can listen to as an aside, you owe it to yourselves to read/listen to the entire series so worth it. This is by far one of the best written series, I have read/listened to.
Thanks to Jim Butcher for creating such a great character and thanks to James Marsters for voicing him to perfection.
I have put off writing a review on this book for a while now. I listened to it after devouring How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf which I adored. I was not as enamored of this one, however I did like it.
First the not so good:
Molly Harper has a few issues and one of them is character development of her female leads. They tend to all be snarky, sarcastic, know it all's, in some cases to the point of frustration as with Maggie's character. I suggest not reading or listening to all of her books back to back. >.> Another issue that's less annoying, but noticeable is her books are full of pop culture references, which might date them.
Maggie's character is a bit hard headed, arrogant and generally not as smart as she thinks she is. There is a scene with her truck that solidifies the not smart comment, but I just had to remind myself that not everyone was taught by a woman that learned to drive a vehicle without brakes, but then I mutter'she knew enough to check her car afterwards?'
This book spends a lot more time on everything but the relationship between Maggie and Nick so the relationship feels forced and Nick doesn't feel very fleshed out.
Second the stuff that makes it worth your time:
There are many humorous moments in the book, quite a few that really made up for the annoyances I had. The story is entertaining and fun.
Where Molly Harper shines is her characters are funny, they can do some really silly things and have enough of a sense of humor about themselves to make the listener feel as if they can understand them and forgive them for being themselves. You want to follow them on their journey and you do end up rooting for them.
Amanda Ronconi is excellent. I really like how she voices these characters. My only issue is her male voices can be a bit off, but that's a minor complaint as her tone and the care she seems to have for the characters really make these books worth the listen.
Sexy, riveting, charming
House of Rohan series by Anne Stuart are similar, the rest of this series.
I have listened to all of the current Maiden Lane books, 4 of them voiced by Ashford. She does a fantastic job. Her voice is probably one of my favorite too listen to. She is calming, doesn't go overboard with her male voices, the voices for each character is distinctive. I would say she does as skillful a job on this one as she does on the rest of the series.
Would absolutely love to have her come back for the rest of the Maiden Lane series.
Emma Taylor was bloody awful (yes I listened to that book again, and found I couldn't even come close to finishing the listen) and again I will state I will not be purchasing the next book in if Emma Taylor is narrating it.
First time I listened to it no, it took a few tries to get into the story, but once I started listening it was an almost non-stop listen. The second time, I ended up listening to it almost in one sitting. Had to get some sleep though so I stopped for the night at around 4am. /giggle
If you like racy sex scenes, without bombs bursting in air and strong characters then I highly recommend this book. Lazarus does takes some getting used to and his affliction is never explained fully but Elizabeth Hoyt does a great job telling a story of damaged people without going into the realm of wimpy or whiny. Her characters generally know what they want and go for it. There isn't a lot of hemming and hawing so to speak, at least it didn't feel that way to me.
This is an excellent start to a very good series.
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