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Jone

I listen to audio books and knit. Usually at the same time.

ratings
11
REVIEWS
7
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
5

  • The Countess

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Lynsay Sands
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (375)

    The fairy tale courtship did not turn into a happily-ever-after. Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters' debuts as well. So she decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing's happened.... Until the real earl appears.

    DARA says: "Entertaining!"
    "Screwball comedy will make you laugh out loud!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What other book might you compare The Countess to and why?

    So far, The Countess has no comparison. I did not expect a historical romance to be so laugh-out-loud funny. I have never had that experience before. I hope to find other books like it.


    What about Sarah Coomes’s performance did you like?

    Sarah Coomes is like the William Shatner of historical romance narration. Her pacing tends to the over-dramatic, with oddly-timed, suspenseful pauses in her phrasing. She was perfect for this book! So much of the humor was in the delivery, and Sarah Coomes was spot on.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed so many times, which was wholly unexpected. Even laughed on a second listen. I snorted and guffawed enough that my husband couldn't believe I was actually listening to a historical romance. He thought I must have chosen a new genre. Now he wants to listen to this book too!


    Any additional comments?

    I never expected a screwball comedy in a historical romance novel. It was such a pleasant surprise! No matter how the characters were described, in my mind all I could see was Cary Grant and Claudette Colbert. This was a delightfully funny, farcical romp that was well worth the credit. Excellent work, Lynsay Sands!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One Dance with a Duke: The Stud Club Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tessa Dare
    • Narrated By Leslie Bellair
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (532)
    Performance
    (471)
    Story
    (476)

    In One Dance with a Duke, the first novel in Tessa Dare's delightful new trilogy, secrets and scandals tempt the irresistible rogues of the Stud Club to gamble everything for love.

    Amazon Customer says: "Horsing around in Historical Romance"
    "Strong characters, clever dialogue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about One Dance with a Duke?

    I loved how there was so much more to both the Duke and to Amelia than there appeared to be upon first acquaintance. These were very well developed characters with believable problems. I enjoyed getting to know them.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Ms. Bellair has a pleasant voice. However, it felt more like I was listening to a friend read aloud to me than I was listening to a professional narrator. She was not able to give distinct voices to the characters, so I had to go back a number of times a listen again to make sure I understood the dialogue correctly. I would have been more aggravated about this had I not purchased the book in one of those surprise, pop-up $4.95 sales. The story and characters were strong enough to hold up against the amateur narration, but if narration style is really important to you, I would suggest buying this book on sale. Like I said, Ms. Bellair's voice was pleasant; I enjoyed the sound of it. I hope she works on developing her craft, especially distinctions in character voice, because she has the potential to be an excellent, five-star narrator.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I wish I could have. Stupid daily responsibilities.


    Any additional comments?

    Ms. Dare gave the characters occasional, short bursts of inner monologue that I found quirky and funny. The characters knew themselves and their own foibles. This technique of sharing their shortcomings made it very easy to relate to the characters. Haven't we all berated ourselves in our own head for saying the wrong thing -- yet again? Or behaving according to a bad habit -- as always -- despite the promises we've made to ourselves? (Oh god, perhaps it is only me. Maybe I've made an idiot of myself for all of Audible.com to read. Probably most people don't second-guess everything they share on the internet, even a simple book review. Why do I even write these things anyway? They are never helpful to anyone, I'm sure. And there I go thinking in absolute terms again, even though I promised myself I wouldn't. This is silly & ridiculous. Pull it together, woman! Just roll your eyes at yourself one last time, click 'preview' and 'submit', and be done with it.)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Highland Surrender

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Tracy Brogan
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (767)
    Performance
    (706)
    Story
    (705)

    Defiant Highland beauty Fiona Sinclair is shocked by her brothers’ treachery. To seal a fragile truce, they have traded her hand in marriage to their sworn enemy, a man she has never met, a man she was raised to despise. With no choice but to wed, Fiona makes her own private vow: Though she may sacrifice her freedom, she will never surrender her heart. Commanded into marriage by the king, Myles Campbell is no more willing than his reluctant bride. Still, she is a rare beauty, passionate enough to warm even the coldest marriage bed.

    Karen says: "I couldn't stop listening!"
    "Enjoyed this author's first historical romance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Which scene was your favorite?

    Fiona's talk with the king in the garden.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The "I love you" scene was very sweet. It developed so naturally and was just such a lovely statement of fact. No angst. No drama. So simple. So sweet.


    Any additional comments?

    The sexual relationship between Fiona and Myles developed in a respectful, realistic way. She wasn't forced amidst a (ridiculous-for-the-character) BDSM subtext. Don't get me wrong. Power exchange fantasies can be fun! But it has to be right for the character, or I just can't buy it. Also, he wasn't the most perfect lover giving her the most perfect sex on their very first most perfect night together. If you have read enough historical romance -- chock full of virgin brides and their reformed rakes -- you know exactly what I mean. Tracy Brogan found a middle ground that maintained the sexual tension, but also allowed for the characters to very naturally fall in lust and love. I could relate to that relationship, and that was very refreshing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Devil's Bride: A Cynster Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Stephanie Laurens
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (994)
    Performance
    (690)
    Story
    (699)

    Governess Honoria Wetherby values her independence. She would rather travel the world than marry and give some man control of her life. Then, one stormy evening, fate changes all her plans. She stumbles upon a mortally wounded young man in the woods. When the stranger dies, she is trapped in a cabin with his body and with his newly arrived cousin, Devil, whom she soon learns is aptly named.

    Scottie in TX says: "Finally! The Book that Started it All!"
    "A favorite! A warm, sexy blanket of escapism."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Devil's Bride again? Why?

    Absolutely! In fact, I've gone back to it twice so far. I really enjoy the interactions between the two main characters, Devil and Honoria. There is just enough lapel grasping with exclamations of "I won't lose you, too!" to make the story deliciously overwrought without being campy. And I can't forget the murder mystery. Or the fantastic sex scenes! Very hot! Every aspect of the novel takes me back to my adolescence and all the reasons I first sought out romances: High stakes drama! Intense, passionate characters! Mystery and intrigue! Sex! So this book was oddly comforting in that way, even as it was titillating, which feels rather awkward. Hehe. It's just a warm, sexy blanket of romantic escapism. (I think I'll use that in the title of this review! lol) This book made me fall in love with the historical romance genre all over again. And I must add that this may have not happened if it weren't for the excellent performance by Simon Prebble!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Devil's Bride?

    The culminating scene, of course, and the clever way in which Devil bests the villain.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    Devil Cynster


    Any additional comments?

    I've listened to the other five books about the Bar Cynster since I first purchased Devil's Bride. I enjoyed all of them (And I loved that Simon Prebble narrated them too!), but this first book in the series remains my favorite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deception

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Amanda Quick
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (202)
    Story
    (199)

    Once Olympia Wingfield had been free to devote all her time to her true passion: the study of ancient legends and long-lost treasure. But now, with three hellion nephews to raise, the absentminded beauty has very little time for research. Which makes it seem all the more serendipitous when a handsome stranger strides into Olympia’s library unannounced and proceeds to set her world to rights.

    Amy says: "Poor narration"
    "Romance & Buried Treasure Mystery FTW!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Deception again? Why?

    Yes. I have listened to Deception twice. It was a light, fun story that included a mystery of long lost buried treasure. You can't go wrong with that. I also liked that all of the families involved (and the relationships between secondary characters) were a little bit unusual. There are no run-of-the-mill nuclear families here. It was refreshing. Ms. Quick relegated the over-the-top drama ("Beware the Guardian!") to the buried treasure subplot and allowed the protagonists to follow their feelings without all the unnecessary anxious hyperbole that is often used in romance novels to create tension. This was also refreshing.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Amanda Quick? Why or why not?

    Yes. This was a fun love story with some quirky characters. If this is typical of Ms. Quick's work, I would happily listen to another book written by her. I would wait for a sale though.


    What does Anne Flosnik bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Anne Flosnik is very dependable. I can always count on enjoying her narration. She does an excellent job giving voice to the different characters without making them into caricatures.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I was fine with taking breaks. I like audiobooks for listening to while I perform other tasks, like cleaning or gardening. The desire to Just. Keep. Listening. is a pleasure sometimes, and obviously indicates I'm immersed in a great story, but that can interfere with my main goals. I don't consider it a drawback if I am content to listen piece-meal fashion.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Of Noble Birth

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brenda Novak
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (66)

    To escape her cruel stepfather, seamstress Alexandra Cogsworth envisioned sailing far from England…though not as a captive aboard a pirate’s ship. Pirate captain Nathaniel Kent’s strategy for exacting revenge on his coldhearted father involved taking a valuable hostage…not a seamstress he mistakenly thinks is his half sister. Yet fate has designs of its own, landing them both on board the Royal Vengeance. At sea, Nathaniel intercepts and plunders his father’s ships, all the while tormented by his illicit hunger for the tempting prisoner he thinks is his blood relation.

    Jone says: "Excellent Subplot! Ho-Hum Love Story! No sex!"
    "Excellent Subplot! Ho-Hum Love Story! No sex!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Of Noble Birth? What did you like least?

    The subplot teasing out Nathaniel's relationship with his birth family and their motivations was well done. There were unexpected twists and characters introduced in that story line, and I could never be certain if the villains were going to remain villains or if they would perform some act of redemption. That kept me listening. Plus, most of the action (battles at sea, knife fights, etc.) was tied to these characters and their relationships.But the love story between Nathaniel the Pirate and Alexandra the Seamstress....it was just so-so and ho-hum for me. I did not feel the Great Burning Passion that one expects from a romance novel. There seemed to be a lot of S/He-Is-So-Sexy-But-How-Can-I-Be-Attracted-To-This-Person-When-Nothing-Can-Ever-Come-Of-It! Angst which was made all the more aggravating by dialogue and plot devices (Alexandra gets to be a damsel in distress in a rather needless plot detour.) that were just awkward and contrived. Also, it is difficult to find that Great Burning Passion in a story that never has the characters getting carried away by their Great Burning Passion. In other words, these two never have sex. There is a bit of fooling around, but ultimately heads must rule over hearts (and other body parts) according to Brenda Novak. That's not what I'm really looking for in a romance novel. I want escapism, not moralism. More on that below!


    Would you be willing to try another book from Brenda Novak? Why or why not?

    Actually, this is the second book I tried by Brenda Novak. The first one was The Bastard. I don't think I will be buying anything else by this author. It appears to be very important to Ms. Novak that her heroine remains a virgin until her wedding night. The main characters in both Of Noble Birth and The Bastard did not have a sexual relationship. This is odd, considering they are romance novels about the attraction, lust, and passion (and eventually love) between grown men and women. When I'm reading a romance novel, I want the characters to get carried away by their passion for each other, not capitulate to a patriarchal society's demands for an intact hymen on the wedding night. There is enough shaming of women for being sexual IRL as it is; I don't want it as the subtext of the romance novels I read.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes. Alison Larkin gave a fine performance.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book on sale, sacrificing a fancy latte in the budget. It would not have been worth it if I had used a credit or paid full price.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 'Twas the Night After Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Sabrina Jeffries
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (121)

    Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has led an unabashed rogue’s life, letting no woman near his heart. Inexplicably abandoned as a child to be raised by distant relatives, he never forgave his parents, refusing to read any of his mother’s letters after his father’s death. Then came a letter that shook his resolve. A Christmas visit to Montcliff might prove his last chance to discover the truth of his past, and come to terms with the stranger he calls "Mother". But two surprises await him at Montcliff....

    Carol says: "Nursing home narrator"
    "Great story! Poor choice of narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to 'Twas the Night After Christmas again? Why?

    Yes! The story kept me guessing right to the end regarding Pierce's mother's motivations. And the final explanation felt very believable to me. I want to listen to the book again now that I know how it ends so I don't get too distracted with all my wondering what the big mystery is. I think it will be just as enjoyable, but in a different way. This is in spite of the narrator, of course.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pierce. His transformation felt very real and organic. As the reader, we learn through his eyes the real risks and pitfalls women of that era (and for centuries before and more than a century after, of course) faced in a patriarchal society that kept them so entirely dependent upon the men in their life. He might have learned to forgive and know gratitude, but that he took a moment to put himself into the shoes of the women in his life was very powerful. The author took an extra step there that made the whole story rise above the typical Reformed Rake Regency Romance that we all know and love. It was a pleasure to discover a character with so much more depth than I am used to finding in my guilty pleasure reading.


    What three words best describe Michael Page’s performance?

    Mean Old Man


    Any additional comments?

    Michael Page just wasn't the right voice for a historic romance. He sounded rather scary, actually (which made for a strange and uncomfortable mix of feelings during the sex scenes, let me tell you). Mr. Page should narrate gory horror novels instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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