Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 

You no longer follow Gaele

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Gaele

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Gaele

We read to know, we are not alone ~ C.S. Lewis

Atlanta, GA

ratings
101
REVIEWS
101
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
6
HELPFUL VOTES
74

  • Fast Money: A Shelby Nichols Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Colleen Helme
    • Narrated By Wendy Tremont King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    A trip to the mall gives Shelby the shock of her life when she finds an extra five million dollars in the bank account Uncle Joey set up for her. She thought he was out of her life for good, but with this fast money, she's not so sure. Now she must decide if she will tell her husband the truth that she can still read people's minds. Including his. How will he feel when he finds out she lied to him? When the Mexican Police tell her that Uncle Joey's been kidnapped and look to her for the ransom, she knows she's in big trouble.

    Dr. Geoff says: "Excellent, engaging performance, top notch story!"
    "a wonderful example of an audio recording."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another fun adventure with the slightly goofy yet indefatigable Shelby! Picking up closely where Carrots (Book 1) left off, Shelby is far more forthcoming with Chris about her skills and the unusual appearance of $5 million in the bank account Uncle Joey set up. Again, Shelby’s ability to hear what people are thinking is a great aid, and often a hindrance to her own reactions and relationships with others: even though she did inform Chris early on that her skill had returned.

    Still speaking before she speaks, and her reaction to what she ‘hears’ versus what is actually spoken lead her into several fast-thinking moments that are all blunder and bravado, with very little grace. What makes this series is Shelby’s own naiveté and inherent goofiness: she is someone who always spoke first, often to her detriment, and that hasn’t changed: only the information has improved.

    This book has a fairly simple, yet incredibly involved and twisted mystery at the core: even the characters seem to have some moments of losing the thread in the twists, making it even more fun to hear and follow along. Narration in this is also by Wendy Tremont King, and her ability to give voice to Shelby that feels real and completely evocative of her emotions at the moment add significantly to the plot and flow. She’s made narrative choices in pitch and tone that present the ‘eavesdropping voices’ that Shelby hears slightly different from the verbal conversations, leaving it clear to the listener that she has heard thoughts that the owners would prefer remain unknown. Each character has a voice that is distinct and unique to them, in tone, pacing, accent and even idiomatic expressions: every element serves to enhance the plot and written words and makes this a wonderful example of an audio recording.

    I enjoyed this one even more than the first, and while I want everyone to jump in and listen, you really will do yourself a disservice if you haven’t read or heard the first in the series. Key elements carry forward from the first book, and those elements are necessary for understanding what is going on, and seeing the normal from the aberrant.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author via AudioBook Jukebox. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nobody's Child: Georgia Davis, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Libby Fischer Hellmann
    • Narrated By Beth Richmond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    A bloodstained note left for PI Georgia Davis reveals the shocking existence of a half-sister she never knew about. Her sister, Savannah, is pregnant and begging for Georgia's help. Determined to track her down, Georgia finds herself heading deep into the secretive and dangerous underworld of Chicago's illegal sex trafficking business. She soon discovers that trafficking is just a small part of the horrifying and deadly situation in which her new sister is caught up.

    Snoodely says: "Hellmann delivers another winner."
    "Libby Fischer Hellman brings light to shadows"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AudioBook Review:
    Stars: Overall 5 Narration 3 Story 5

    The second title in her Georgia Davis series that I have reviewed, Libby Fischer Hellman again brings light to shadows, unearthing truly disturbing elements as she brings us through the story. Georgia Davis is an easy character to like: she breathes and thinks and reacts to events with a humanity that is often missing in other detective stories, and Hellman uses that well-defined humanity in a character that is gutsy and determined, looking to do right for the underdog.

    This story is particularly disturbing for it highlights the sex trafficking industry: already readers will intuit some less than savory elements, but Hellman goes steps further bringing child-trafficking into the mix. Be aware readers, while the story is incredibly well detailed and researched, there are moments that will literally turn your stomach and have you writing your congressmen.

    Georgia manages to wind her way through several threats, deal with some particularly unsavory people, the initial depravity just may not be as deep and disturbing as this can get. And it can get pretty disturbing with Russian gangsters, her newly discovered half-sister who works as a prostitute, a missing child, and the ever-present grasping and greedy money-men, who only want their cut.

    Narration in this story is provided by Beth Richmond, and while her narration was capable, it could have been much better. Her delineation between characters was lackluster, and there was a decided lack of emotive emphasis: this is a page-turner, action packed and tense story: narration should have, in some way, reflected that tension. And sadly, it didn’t. Fortunately, the story is so well written and engaging, the less-than-stellar delivery did not decrease my enjoyment of the book significantly.

    Georgia Davis is a wonderful character: less gung-ho confident and more determined and methodical, looking to do right to those who have been wronged. Her stories all stand alone, although they will whet your appetite for more, especially if you prefer your mysteries with a touch of grit and grime.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (8445)
    Performance
    (6583)
    Story
    (6613)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "your child should read/ see / listen to this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So I was late to the party again with this title, and actually my initial assumptions about this being ‘yet another’ story of Nazi Era Germany. Honestly, the perspective and construct of this story is so unique and different, that it has been added to my list of ‘your child should read/ see’ this list of books and films that I believe provide a perspective on history that is often lacking in textbooks.

    Firstly, the main narration is provided by death. Yes, Death. His retelling of the story, providing a perspective that ranges from ‘oh what fools these mortals be’ to actual moments where his occupation feels like a burden. A rather tricky narrator to be sure, but Zusak uses the character to full effect, giving a sense of foreboding without being maudlin. In the audio format, the narration of Allan Corduner is simply spectacular, as he adds the emotional component to Death’s character, a sense of ennui with a been-there-done-that touch of boredom, while never seeming to take delight in the harvesting.

    When the blurb says it is just a ‘small story really’, that wholly discounts the joys within: From Liesel and her Papa’s relationship, her slow discovery of the joys within books and her covetous desire to have books, to her friend Rudy who is determined to become Jesse Owens: there is love and loss and innocence shattered. Focusing on just a small group of people who are surviving and existing despite horrible circumstances.

    This combination of author and narrator is what all audio versions should strive to be: Zusak has bent, twisted, combined and placed words with such care that they seemingly could not have been used any other way. Adding Allan Corduner, a British actor to narrate the book was a genius move: his ability to massage the words and bring forth their meaning and subtext without overarching emotive emphasis, and his facility for accent and voice give each of the characters a distinct appearance that couldn’t be anything else. It is truly a treat to find narration that so perfectly suits the text, and brings the emotion of the moment to the forefront, enhancing the listen.

    I am on my fifth listen of this story: each one brings a new element forward, making me see more of the story than I did the time before, and it never gets old. That is, for me, a signal that this is an important story: one suitable for high school aged readers, although some mature middle grade readers may find the story attractive. As always, with every book that deals with the more unsavory facts of human behavior, I would suggest that parents take a listen or a read of the title as well: surprisingly despite the setting, there is a solid hopeful thread that manages to follow the book from beginning to end.

    I purchased an Audiobook copy of the title for my own library. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ring of Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Victoria Howard
    • Narrated By Michelle Ford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    When English accountant Daniel Elliott dies in a car accident one rainy night, his widow, Grace, is overcome with grief... and panic. Daniel was controlling and their marriage loveless, but he always took care of the sheltered Grace. Or so she thought. She soon discovers Daniel kept secrets: an alias, mob ties, a list of numbers, a mysterious beach house in Florida... and a girlfriend who looks like Grace. Swallowing her fear, she flies to Miami to claim the house Daniel left her. But the price of her curiosity is peril.

    Ellis says: "Kept my attention throughout"
    "AudioBook Review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A romantic suspense story that I had trouble with the romance although found the suspense and the setting of scenes quite clever, Ring of Lies is a “what do you do when all you thought you knew was untrue’ sort of story.

    To the positive, the story was developed with clever scene setting and description that gave me a sense of being there. The twists and turns as Grace navigates her own grief and the uncovered secrets and peril in Miami felt plausible, but there was just something not quite meshing in the story for me.

    Mostly I think it was a character issue: I didn’t find Grace particularly capable or strong, and while she did manage to take in information and make decisions, they still felt tentative and unsure. And she was more dithery and insecure – no anger, no real displays of furious after finding a whole life her dead husband had concealed. Sure, the shock was expected, but I also believe anyone would be angry – furious if truth be told. Then we have Jack – a bit too Stacey Keach in Mike Hammer, with the associated ‘trying to hide the golden heart within’ sort of attitude. Why can’t a dislikable character just be left to be competent but no one you’d want to have a drink with? I would have believed that more, and then there would be no need to flavor this story with a romance that just felt forced and untrue.

    Not bad in the whole, with enough issues with character dialogue feeling stilted or utterly misplaced to the character that is speaking, and there seemed to be a great rush to finish the story in the last moment, a curious problem with many titles in this genre. Is there a checklist that says you have to end in X pages so pages R, S, T, U, V and W all must tie up every thread whether that seems to make sense or not? There were some pieces that required more exposition, even if the ending did feel appropriate for the situation, even though rushed.

    Narration is provided quite capably by Michelle Ford, who manages to impart voice and accent changes neatly, add emotional impact without overreach, and provide enough variation in delivery and pacing to provide interest while remaining easy to follow.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In Winter's Shadow

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Gillian Bradshaw
    • Narrated By Nicole Quinn
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Vows broken. . .Friendships betrayed. . . The fate of heroes finally revealed. . . As powerful enemies attack the throne from inside the kingdom, Arthur, his queen, and his greatest warrior Gwalchmai will be put to the ultimate test. Never faltering in her loyalty to the king, Gwynhwyfar has stood at Arthur's side through rebellion and war. But one desperate decision could cost her all they've built. With the kingdom crumbling around them, following the Queen's heart could be the greatest threat of all.

    Katherine says: "3.5 stars, Tragic and Painful"
    "A wonderful presentation of Camelot legend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AudioBook Review
    Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 5 Story: 4


    Carrying the story forward, the story is now told by Gwenhwyfar or Guinevere as more commonly known. Bradshaw has managed to bring us to the end of days for Camelot, with the final battles, the death of Mordred, Gwalchmai’s death and her own roles and guilt for her part.

    Again managing to re-invent the story of King Arthur using Bretonized forms of the names and presenting unique perspectives on the events, with points of view that were left untold or unimagined in the originals, Bradshaw has managed to neatly pull all of the threads together and wrap this series with a conclusion that is both refreshing and satisfying.

    What stands out prominently for me is Bradshaw’s ability to present her characters in a way that both feels unique yet holds true to their own internal dialogue as they explain, tell and share their parts of the story. From Gwalchmai’s guilt about his lost love, to the very well-reasoned and completely real sense of ‘what is right’ that Gwenhwyfar presents as she wraps up the series, this reads as if the characters are real and palpable, giving readers the ability to commiserate, empathize, learn from and enjoy each person as they appear.

    Narration is again provided by Nicole Quinn who manages to present the arcane and archaic place and character names with a smoothness that never falters. That is a quality of major importance, as the names and places are often tongue twisters, and the flow of the story would be greatly impacted if the pronunciation faltered or varies. Additionally, her narration of the many moods of Gwenhwyfar, and the addition of simple adjustments in accent, tone and pace as she presented the other characters not only were easy to distinguish, but added to the enjoyment and impact of the story. Touches of Wales and Scotland, as well as a bit of the ‘Northern’ accent all add to the story, and her seamless transitions in this well-produced performance are a wonderful addition.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kingdom of Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Gillian Bradshaw
    • Narrated By Nicole Quinn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Armed with his magical sword and otherworldly horse, Gwalchmai proves himself the most feared and faithful warrior of Arthur's noble followers. But while defending the kingdom, he commits a grave offense against the woman he loves, leading her to disappear from his life and haunt his memories.

    With his trusted servant, Rhys, a commonsense peasant, Gwalchmai tries to find her in the Kingdom of Summer, where Arthur has sent him. But an unexpected and most malevolent force of evil and darkness is loose - that of his mother, the witch-queen Morgawse.

    Gaele says: "a wonderful twist on the familiar story."
    "a wonderful twist on the familiar story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AudioBook Review:
    Stars Overall: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 5

    Everyone is somewhat familiar with the Arthurian legends and the story of the King and the Knights of the Round Table. Far from a very familiar feel, although presenting many of the characters in a new and different way, Gillian Bradshaw has retold the familiar story with several new twists, all unique and refreshing, that make for a wonderful story.

    In the start of this story we are told of Gwalchmai’s (Sir Gawain) is starting a quest to find a long lost love that he wronged, Elidan. Used to set up the story Gwalchmai’s distraction and rather dry retelling of the history leave us with only his perspective, and while his regret is evident I most certainly would have appreciated seeing the events in real time, rather than in this retelling.

    Gwalchmai’s travels bring him to stay with Rhys’ family, where dazzled with the knight and the possibility of more, he asks to sign on as his servant. From here, the story starts to gain traction with Rhys gaining in confidence and knowledge as the story unfolds. Particularly apt is Rhys’ ability in narrating the story, presenting information with his own observations, often spot on.

    Unlike any other Arthurian Tale that I have read, this story manages to present a twist to the story that makes it feel very plausible and real. The world of Arthurian Britain is described with great detail and beautiful prose – sure to please history fans. There are two love stories here, that conceivably be stretched to three if the early infatuation and fascination that Rhys had with Arthur’s warband could be counted. A brief love soon cleared of its shine as Rhys is quickly learning the consequences of all actions.

    Narration is provided by Nicole Quinn who aptly manages the often twisted pronunciation of names and places, many carrying the feel of the often-unpronounceable Welsh. Her own accent, and lack of great pretention in presenting the various characters, her smooth transitions and seamless transition from prose to poetic are easy to listen to and present the story with flair.

    Layered with description, imagined history, danger, sorcery and the classic good versus evil conflict that fuels the story of Arthur, this is a wonderful twist on the familiar story. Best read after Hawk of May to have the full understanding, I thoroughly enjoyed this tale.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Three Early Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (39 mins)
    • By J.D. Salinger
    • Narrated By Mike Dennis
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    A young and ambitious writer named Jerome David Salinger set his goals very high very early in his career. He almost desperately wished to publish his early stories in The New Yorker magazine, the pinnacle, he felt, of America’s literary world. But such was not to be for several long years and the length of one long world war. But other magazines were quick to recognize a new talent, a fresh voice at a time when the world verged on madness....

    Trish says: "Wistful, deep stories of early Catcher in The Rye"
    "For fans of Salinger an excellent collection of sh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    One of the best qualities of J.D. Salinger’s writing is his characters: their interactions that are laden with nuanced layers and characterized with conversations that are so realistic and natural in feel that you could overhear any one of them anytime. Not one who lays out the obvious conclusion, Salinger’s work leads you to the conclusions that he wants, or leaves you with enough information to make a decision for yourself: either way you will walk away with a different perspective and the feeling that you have entrée into some secrets you never knew before.

    In this collection, three of his short stories are gathered together and carry a common thread in the interactions between the characters. Salinger is not only proving himself as the consummate observer of human behavior, but his skill in word choice and deft manipulation of the reader’s emotions as the stories all carry very specific starts, climaxes and conclusions.

    Starting with The Young Ones, a group of college aged people are gathered at a party, and the story shows those “small talk” moments between people, gossip, connections and innuendo. With dialogue that clearly shows inattention and disinterest, it is one of those scenes all too familiar to many.

    In the second story, Go See Eddie, the purported simple interaction between a brother and sister gradually increases in malice as the two butt heads over a simple request. But, as with all things Salinger, simple requests are often nothing close to straightforward, and his ability to use his observational skills is highlighted as he sets the scene, describing the room to the smallest detail, including the patterns of sunshine.

    Lastly is also the oldest story, Once a Week Won’t Kill You, a series of reminiscences and emotions that hit with great poignancy, as a young man heading to war is preparing his family for his leaving. Laden with what was and what will come all manage to layer the story with both a temporary and final goodbye, the emotional impact of the ‘possible’ is only revealed in the description of the action moments: deliberately to vaguely, done in such a way that while voices don’t crack, you just know the emotions are just below the surface.

    Narrated by Mike Dennis, the first story started off a touch rough and felt very “read” rather than performed in the early sentences, he quickly managed to remove that slight hesitancy from his delivery and the story started to flow smoothly. His voice is slightly gruff, and that works well for the male characters, clipping or drawing out sounds and words to add the emotion necessary. For the female voices he does not (thankfully) over-reach for a particularly female tone, rather taking a softer sibilance and raising the pace slightly, not particularly ‘female’ in sound, but clearly feminine in pattern and approach. There is no overreach or overly exaggerated delivery here, each choice, like Salinger’s words, is carefully approached and consistently applied.

    If you are a fan of Salinger, or you want a particularly good collection of short stories in written or audio form, this is the collection for you.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the producer for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heroes Wanted

    • UNABRIDGED (56 mins)
    • By Katharina Gerlach
    • Narrated By Linda Joy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    This audiobook contains two short stories. "Life - Divisions of Myths and Legends or How to Order a Dragon" Mondays are hard in any office. When Siegfried von Xanthen is calling before opening hours, the day at Life - Divisions of Myths and Legends goes downhill for Rose. "A Different Perspective" Romans attack, and Freyja flees with the women of her clan while the men fight, including her beloved Thordal. Can Allfather Odin help Freyja to save Thordal's life?

    TheJadedKat Addicted to Kindle says: "Totally Entertained!"
    "stories that are accessible to children and adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story



    Two very clever stories, the first laden with mythological creatures as is wends through the fantastical with a twist of corporate red tape and a touch of science fiction, and the difficulties of maintaining a positive outlook when dealing with the customers of a hero.
    Linda Joy manages to present all of the character switches and emotional impact required, including that punch of dealing with customers and a horrible villian. Her voicing of Rose as the heroine, with her more than slightly stressful task is spot on and enjoyable, even as the story has many elements running in and out.

    The second story combines Germanic mythology with the Roman in an oddly conceived and cleverly plotted combination to build a new heroic creature. Again Linda Joy manages to perform the stories with pointed yet not over the top voices, adding in her clear enunciation and elements of emotional veracity to aid the building tension as the story comes to climax.

    Katharina Gerlach has written two very clever stories that are accessible to children and adults alike. There is action and fantasy to appeal to children, and several nuanced layers of the frustration and stress inherent in corporate or cooperative endeavors. A truly fun listen.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Hunka Hunka Nursing Love (Women's Fiction)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Kathryn Maeglin
    • Narrated By Anne Hancock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Imagine a visiting-nurse service with hot young guys as caregivers. What golden girl wouldn't dig that? Valerie Palka is a savvy businesswoman who is obsessed with keeping her elderly mom, Helen, safe from all the lethal disasters that can befall widows living alone. Helen thinks the workaholic Valerie should focus on having as much luck in the bedroom as she does in the boardroom.

    Gaele says: "Maeglin’s debut offering is layered and clever"
    "Maeglin’s debut offering is layered and clever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story



    Surprisingly layered with deeply realistic characters and situations that many are facing, Maeglin’s debut offering is clever, heartwarming and full of situations that range from laugh out loud funny to tear-inducing.

    Valerie has just celebrated her forty-fourth birthday with a husband who needs a break, an aging mother who is requiring more care and supervision, a thriving business and not enough hours in the day. When her mother’s health requires her to have some additional help around the home, she flatly refuses. But a brainstorm had Valerie thinking that handsome, qualified and referenced male medical care workers would encourage her mother’s cooperation, and perhaps be a viable business, everyone deserves some eye candy.

    This is not a simple story about her struggles and successes with the business though: her relationship with her mother, her best friend Pam, the dissolution of her own marriage, her mother’s new love interest and the blossoming relationship that is now developing for Valerie all combine for laughs, tears and are completely believable and relatable to all readers. Don’t let the cover put you off – the story is far more substance than fluff – and the issues will feel familiar and possible, if not ripped from your life at this moment.

    Narration in this story is provided by Anne Hancock, who manages to completely capture the ‘feel’ of Valerie, while managing to vary her tone and delivery just enough to distinguish between characters, and provide their appropriate emotional feel. She doesn’t overreach in her male voices, a lowering of her normal register and change in pacing and delivery are all more than adequate to distinguish without distracting.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Next Song I Sing: Next Time Around, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Donna McDonald
    • Narrated By Anne Johnstonbrown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Freshly divorced at 40 yrs old, Chloe Zanders has few illusions left about her ability to make her dreams come true. She is never going to be thin, never going to be a famous singer, and never going to be sexy enough to keep a man like her handsome ex-football player husband from cheating. While the first two dreams might continue to flicker hopefully inside her, Chloe now accepts the last one had been doomed from the start.

    Gaele says: "stories with heroines that are living their 40’s"
    "stories with heroines that are living their 40’s"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    Starting off with a bang, the characters and conflicts are set in rapid fire dialogue and interactions, establishing Chloe and her concerns within a few short minutes. Chloe is newly divorced after a horrible marriage: her ex-husband played on all of her insecurities and nearly wrecked her self-esteem and dreams. But, with the help of a supportive group of friends, she is starting to take back her own life, and working on herself.

    I liked Chloe: we’ve all been in situations where we don’t make the healthiest choices for ourselves or our self-image. And it isn’t helped by the never-ending fascination and obsession with youth: from media to celebrity to fashion magazines. She was trying to make a marriage work, and giving more to the relationship than her husband deserved. Her willingness and determination to move past the hurt feelings and find a new life for herself.

    When she heads out to California to hang out with her college friends and spend time at an upscale spa for the pampering, the connection between Chloe, Emma and Taylor is palpable: these are women who know each other’s secrets and dreams, and are determined that time won’t change the hopes or desires they held from their first meeting. While Chloe is more filled out and less California slim and tanned than her friends, they are all invested in the rebirth of the ‘new’ Chloe and are encouraging her blossoming in every way.

    Jasper is the spa owner, and is instantly captivated by Chloe: her spirit, her joy and her voice. It doesn’t hurt that she is his fantasy woman come to life, with a body made for sin and a heart that he wants to cherish. Chloe is flirting with him, encouraged by her friends: but his reactions, his words, his touch, all speak to something much deeper. Hot and sexy, these two show the potential and possibilities of a second chance, and is a fun listen for romance fans who want something with future hope.

    Narration for this book is provided by Anne Johnstonbrown, and as with earlier works that I have reviewed with her as narrator, her performance starts out quite rough, with character voices varying from little definition to over the top differences that can be quite jarring. Once she starts to relax into the story, however, the character portrayals start to acquire a subtle distinction that is far less distracting. The reliance on a pronunciation style that is over-reaching at best and pretentiously adopted at worst does seem to diminish as the story progresses, most accurately described as what one would ‘think’ a British accented narrator would use for a more American delivery style is the closest I can come. While I wasn’t in love with the narration, the quirkiness of the pronunciation and delivery did become less distracting as the story progressed and the overall effect was a competently performed listening experience.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Take the Monkeys and Run (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #1): A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Karen Cantwell
    • Narrated By Nan McNamara
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Film lover Barbara Marr is a typical suburban mom living the typical suburban life in her sleepy little town of Rustic Woods, Virginia. Typical, that is until she sets out to find the missing link between a bizarre monkey sighting in her yard and the bone chilling middle-of-the-night fright fest at the strangely vacant house next door. When Barb talks her two friends into some seemingly innocent Charlie's Angels-like sleuthing, they stumble upon way more than they bargained for and uncover a piece of neighborhood history that certain people would kill to keep on the cutting room floor.

    Candy Lyons says: "Take The Monkeys and Run Hits a Home Run!!!"
    "‘nod and a wink’ to the listener is omnipresent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AudioBook Review:
    Stars Overall: 5 Narration: 5 Story 4

    This is my second encounter with both this author and narrator, and I was utterly delighted with this pairing again.

    Take the Monkeys and Run is the first in the Barbara Marr mystery series, and while it has a clever murder mystery at its heart, the hijinks and humor add to the story and present Barbara as a character with a singular ability to function when all around her is chaos.

    Recently divorced with no real explanation for the dissolution, she is still in love with Howard and can’t quite really move beyond those emotions, even though there is a very willing and interested man in her circle, Colt, a PI who steps in to help her solve the mystery. But, Barbara has much more to deal with – a troop of monkeys have suddenly appeared, and the vacant house next door is suddenly sounding like an episode of Scream. While I was expecting a shrunken head (from the monkey references) that didn’t happen, but the murder and the associated sorting out the whodunit was fun, funny and clever.

    Told in Barbara’s voice, I love her growth in confidence: thinking of herself as ditzy and rather useless, if not dumb she is far more together than her comforting ‘go to’ persona would have you believe. This entire story was an experience, from her growth and increase in self-confidence to the funny mystery that was referenced to and influenced by several films. While far more lighthearted than most murder mysteries, these are more wacky and out of the box, fueled by caffeine and sugar with the associated silly moments that are common in say, I Love Lucy reruns.

    Narration is provided by Nan McNamara and as in my first encounter with her presentation, I loved her approach and style. Her ‘nod and a wink’ to the listener is present throughout the more outrageous moments, and her character presentation is spot on. Slight distinctions between characters presented with pitch and cadence changes work to keep the flow smooth without distracting the listener. I couldn’t imagine, after finishing this listen, another narrator presenting the title.

    Overall, while there were some moments that I found over the top, I was expecting a fun, funny and outrageous story, and that is exactly what I got. Cantwell has a unique sense of humor that shows through in her writing, and made this a perfect introduction to the Barbara Marr mysteries.

    I received an audiobook copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.