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Kaye

Member Since 2005

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 54 reviews
  • 84 ratings
  • 202 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • A Night Like This

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Julia Quinn
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (230)

    Anne Wynter might not be who she says she is.... But she's managing quite well as a governess to three highborn young ladies. Her job can be a challenge: in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play that might be a tragedy (or might be a comedy; no one is sure), and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he's the first man who has truly tempted her, and it's getting harder and harder to resist.

    Lupdilup says: "Maybe Julia Quinn is not for me"
    "Good start to a new series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read from April 30 to May 12, 2014

    Story: 4 stars
    Narrator: 4.5 stars

    Why, oh, why, oh, why is Julia Quinn obsessed with the idea that a couple cannot have a happy ending without pregnancy/babies?

    I'm getting ahead of myself.

    After enjoying Quinn's Bridgerton series, I decided to go ahead and jump right into the Smythe-Smith series.

    Lady Honoria Smythe-Smith is the youngest of a large family (and there's the obsession with people having lots and lots and lots of babies again!). Her older brother, Daniel, had a school friend, Marcus, whom he brought home on holidays because Marcus is an only child and he and his father didn't really have much of a relationship. So Marcus has been around pretty much ever since Honoria can remember.

    As the story begins, mortified at the idea that she's going to have to play in the infamous Smythe-Smith Musicale again this year, Honoria is determined that she will find someone to marry before the end of the season (which hasn't quite started yet). Honoria decides to set a trap for one of the young men at the houseparty she's at by digging a "mole hole" and pretending to twist her ankle in it. Of course her scheme doesn't unfold as planned.

    Quite a bit of the story is focused on this incident and its aftermath. There's even a stolen treacle tart involved. Ah, that's true love---stealing a treacle tart for someone! ;-)

    This is where Julia Quinn's writing sparkles---the banter between hero and heroine. I also appreciate the fact that she doesn't go for the instalust type of "romance development." I love that while her characters may think about their attraction---or even desire---for each other, it never devolves into a rapacious, prurient, animalistic, "can't control themselves" sex. I never fail to appreciate this about JQ's stories, and it's here in full-force.

    If you've read any of the Bridgerton books, you know what the Smythe-Smith Musicale means, and in this book, we get an insider's perspective of it, which only makes me happier that I didn't actually have to sit through it myself.

    I was a bit surprised by how Quinn chose to end this story, though. It was so . . . out of left field that it was quite obviously a setup for Marcus to come in as the knight in shining armor and defend her honor; but by that point, the scene had lost all credulity for me.

    Epilogue aside (again, Quinn's obsession with baby-ever-after epilogues really annoys me), I did enjoy this book. While I don't feel it's the best JQ has written, it was far from the worst.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dracula

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Greg Wise
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (159)

    Bram Stoker's masterpiece is at the same time intensely romantic and very modern. It unfolds the story of a Transylvanian Don Juan, the aristocratic Count Dracula who preys on desirous damsels.

    Jefferson says: "A Mesmerizing and Appalling Audiobook Dracula"
    "My, oh, my, Greg Wise!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read from February 19 to March 03, 2012

    Began audiobook 2/19. Switched to e-book 2/22. While Greg Wise's performance (5 stars) of the audio version is spectacular, I ended up switching to reading this because there was so much stuff I wanted to skim over to get to the good parts. Stopped reading about halfway through (after the group comes together). Lost interest at that point, mostly because Dracula hadn't been around for quite some time and it got boring. 3 stars.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Christy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs)
    • By Catherine Marshall
    • Narrated By Kellie Martin
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (199)

    In the year 1912, 19-year-old Christy Huddleston leaves home to teach school in the Smoky Mountains – and comes to know and love the resilient people of the region, with their fierce pride, their dark superstitions, their terrible poverty, and their yearning for beauty and truth. But her faith will be severely challenged by trial and tragedy, by the needs and unique strengths of two remarkable young men, and by a heart torn between true love and unwavering devotion.

    A User says: "Christy"
    "Read by TV's Christy, Kellie Martin"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read from February 27 to March 13, 2012

    3.5 stars.

    Audiobook read by Kellie Martin. If I'd never seen the TV show (back when it aired in the 1990s and again recently on DVD), I probably wouldn't rate this book so high. Too much author-intrusion preaching and no conclusion to the romance thread(s). But familiarity with the characters through the TV show, and read in Kellie Martin's familiar voice, it works.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (298)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (154)

    Best-selling author Alison Weir turns her masterly storytelling skills to the early life of young Elizabeth Tudor, who would grow up to become England's most intriguing and powerful queen. Sweeping in scope, The Lady Elizabeth is a fascinating portrayal of a woman far ahead of her time - whose dangerous and dramatic path to the throne shapes her future greatness.

    Karen says: "hard to stop listening"
    "Where's Elizabeth?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read in February, 2012

    3.5 stars

    Interesting glimpse at the pre-queen life of Elizabeth I. However, it is obvious Weir is a historian/nonfiction writer, not a novelist. The book suffers from too many info-dumps and too much head-hopping/too little focus on the character through whose eyes everything should have been witnessed: ELIZABETH.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rebellious Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (300)
    Story
    (298)

    Of all the dukes in England, Jered Marcus Benton, the Duke of Bradford, was the wealthiest, most handsome — and most arrogant. And of all London’s ladies, he wanted the tender obedience of only one — Caroline Richmond. She was a ravishing beauty from Boston, with a mysterious past and a fiery spirit. Drawn to the powerful duke, undeterred by his presumptuous airs, Caroline was determined to win his lasting love.

    Lia says: "Enjoyable Listen"
    "Couldn't listen to this lifelong favorite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know that listening tastes are subjective, and I know there are tons of romance readers/listeners who enjoy Anne Flosnik as a narrator. But I can't stand listening to her. The guttural way she does the men's voices combined with the overly breathy way she ends sentences and does the female voices grates on my nerves. In the future, I'll be skipping books narrated by her. Which is unfortunate, because she does the narration for several of my favorite historical-romance authors.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Honor's Splendour

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (880)
    Performance
    (575)
    Story
    (571)

    In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon's domain. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he catured...but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life.

    Jordy says: "Julie Garwood writes the best Highlander books!"
    "Couldn't listen to this lifelong favorite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know that listening tastes are subjective, and I know there are tons of romance readers/listeners who enjoy Anne Flosnik as a narrator. But I can't stand listening to her. The guttural way she does the men's voices combined with the overly breathy way she ends sentences and does the female voices grates on my nerves. In the future, I'll be skipping books narrated by her. Which is unfortunate, because she does the narration for several of my favorite historical-romance authors.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bride

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2024)
    Performance
    (1272)
    Story
    (1284)

    By edict of the king, the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. His choice was Jamie the feisty youngest daughter of Baron Jamison. Alec ached to touch her, to tame her, to possess her forever. But Jamie vowed never to surrender to this highland barbarian. Though his kisses fired her blood, shadowed secrets from Alec's past threatened Jamie's happiness. She brazenly resisted him - until one rapturous moment quelled their clash of wills.

    XYZPDQ says: "Early works released in MP3 at last!!"
    "A longtime favorite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Julie Garwood's medieval and Scottish Highlander romance novels from the '80s and '90s, and this was one of the best.

    It defintely feels "aged," as writing standards have improved greatly since this was originally published (we now expect tight points of view, non-cliched/stereotyped characters, etc.), but it's still fun to revisit the books I loved as a teen/young adult.

    Rosalyn Landor is one of my favorite narrators for historical romance, and while her Scottish accent isn't excellent, she keeps it light enough, with just enough rolled Rs and inflection, that it doesn't detract from the story the way some other narrators' fake Scottish accents do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Die For

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sandra Byrd
    • Narrated By Charlotte Parry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    With this brilliant foray into historical fiction, Christy Award finalist Sandra Byrd delivers a fresh look at Anne Boleyn through the eyes of her lifelong friend Meg Wyatt. As Anne finds favor with Henry VIII, Meg basks in the glow of Anne’s glory. But when Anne falls out of favor, the childhood friends are plunged into a maelstrom of slander and intrigue that tests the limits of their loyalties and puts their lives - and the lives of their loved ones - in grave danger.

    LazyDaizy says: "Wonderful new take on the story of Anne Boleyn!"
    "Charlotte Parry is WONDERFUL"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great story---an outsider's tale of the celebrity sensationalism (and real life tragedy) of the life of Anne Boleyn. And Charlotte Parry is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boleyn Inheritance

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Davina Porter, Bianca Amato, Charlotte Parry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (283)

    Anne of Cleves must literally save her neck in a court ruled by a deadly game of politics and the terror of an unpredictable and vengeful king. Her Boleyn Inheritance: accusations and false witnesses. Katherine Howard catches the king's eye within moments of arriving at court, setting in motion a dreadful machine of politics, intrigue, and treason that she does not understand. Her Boleyn Inheritance: the threat of the axe. Jane Rochford's name is a byword for malice, jealousy and twisted lust throughout Europe. Her Boleyn Inheritance: a fortune and a title in exchange for her soul.

    Teddy says: "Great Book"
    "My favorite Philippa Gregory book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read in November 2011 and April, 2013

    4.5 stars.
    Read by Davina Porter, Bianca Amato, and Charlotte Parry (5 of 5 stars based on story and audiobook quality). My first Phillipa Gregory book, won't be my last. I've become fascinated with Anne of Cleves over the past few years, and this book delivers her story in spades. The three readers---reading the viewpoints of Anne, Catherine Howard, and Jane Boleyn [Lady Rochford]---were FABULOUS, especially Charlotte Parry as Catherine.

    Updated 4/16/13
    On re-listening to this one, I found it quite repetitious in some of the narrative. So I'm downgrading it slightly to a 4.25. Still excellent overall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ravishing in Red: The Rarest Blooms, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Madeline Hunter
    • Narrated By Polly Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    Audrianna Kelmsleigh is unattached, independent-and armed. Her adversary is Lord Sebastian Sommerhays. What they have in common is Audrianna's father, who died in a scandalous conspiracy-a deserved death in Sebastian's eyes. Audrianna vows to clear her father's name, never expecting to fall in love with the man devoted to destroying it.

    LadyT says: "Entertaining enough"
    "Insta-Lust to the EXTREME"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read in December 2011

    3-1/2 Stars

    As mentioned in my review of Provocative in Pearls, I accidentally read the second book in this series first and had a few issues with it. But since many of the reviewers there said they liked the first book in the series better, I decided to give it a try. Ravishing in Red was definitely better than Provocative in Pearls as the resolution of the plot happened on page rather than just being summarized later, as an afterthought.

    However, I'm getting somewhat tired of books in which the heroine (especially) is instantly sexually attracted to the man (to the point of feeling heat "down there") as soon as she sees him---we're talking inexperienced women in historical settings where sex was not discussed at all. I'm too accustomed to reading books with randy heroes who immediately want to bed the heroine as soon as he sees her for that part to bother me, though it would be nice to read a historical romance novel in which the hero and heroine aren't initially physically attracted to each other but fall in love as they get to know each other AND don't have sex until they're already in love with each other.

    The sex in this book happens too early (I lost my respect for Audrianna in the scene in the garden in which Sebastian, whom she barely knows, "initiates" her into the sexual world as she let a man to whom she was not married lift her skirts and have his way with her, even if it was just with his hands) and too often. As with the second book, I found myself skipping past the majority of the sex scenes, which go on far too long, to get back to the plot (which was pretty good) and the character development (which left quite a bit to be desired, though not as badly as in Book 2). Because Audrianna and Sebastian were immediately physically attracted to each other's good looks and perfect bodies, I guess the author felt there wasn't much need to delve too deeply into their true natures/characters for them to "fall in love" with each other (though I don't recall Sebastian ever saying that to her or thinking that to himself, now that I think about it). They basically fell in love over the pleasure they took in each other's bodies.

    Madeline Hunter is a good enough author that I'd love to find a novel of hers that depends more on the development of the characters for the relationship to work rather than falling back on explicit, unnecessary sex scenes which are there only to titillate and don't move the plot or the story forward at all.

    Polly Lee, as the narrator, does a commendable job with the material provided for her to narrate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Kiss at Midnight

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Eloisa James
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (650)
    Performance
    (455)
    Story
    (452)

    Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince...and decides he's anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.

    angela says: "Great narrator and story."
    "Enjoyable Cinderella retelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read from February 04 to 17, 2012

    4.25 stars.

    Thoroughly enjoyed this Cinderella retelling. It's the first general-market romance novel I've read in some time in which the author actually took the time to develop the relationship between the hero and heroine before they fell into bed together (first time was more than midway through the book). I also quite liked both of the characters, and each was well-developed with unique personalities. This was my first Eloisa James book and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of them.

    UPDATE: Apparently this was a one-off for me with Eloisa James. I tried reading the subsequent books in this series and while I did finish When Beauty Tamed the Beast and it was okay, I quit The Duke is Mine only part of the way through because I couldn't stand the heroine. In reading reviews of her books, it seems like those who love the later books in the series (or other books by James) didn't like this one very much. So if you've read and enjoyed other books by EJ, apparently this one is a departure from her normal writing style.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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