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Kimberly

Love reading. Love listening.

Indianapolis, IN, United States | Member Since 2008

ratings
479
REVIEWS
137
FOLLOWING
13
FOLLOWERS
14
HELPFUL VOTES
124

  • My Wicked Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Victoria Alexander
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    Evelyn Hadley-Attwater has it all - a genteel Victorian life replete with loving husband, ball gowns and elegant parties. No one, including the man she married, suspects that she was once “Eve,” a spy for England’s most enigmatic intelligence agency. Summoned for one final assignment, the excitement of her former life and memories of her mysterious, flirtatious boss “Sir” prove too tempting.... Adrian Hadley-Attwater is a respectable, dignified gentleman. But even the most proper gentlemen have secrets of their own. Secrets from the rest of the world, from their families, from their wives.

    N. Hopkins says: "Good story, lazy writing"
    "Wicked"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Setting: England Victorian era
    Genre: Romantic intrigue

    I enjoy Justine Eyre's performances. I think she does a good job differentiating characters, and she has good range.

    Evelyn and Adrian were introduced in His Mistress by Christmas, which was a farce. Though this premise could have been presented in a farcical style, it was not. Adrian is the stuffy, proper head of the Hadley-Attwater family, and Evelyn is his wife of 2 years. They have become so complacent with one another and their marriage, both are itching for something more. But when Evelyn's past as a spy for the crown comes calling, she's not so sure she wants excitement after all. She never told Adrian about her clandestine activities, and her own odd behavior makes her worry that he'll wonder what's going on. Adrian has never been sure why Evelyn married him in the first place, so her nervousness and out of character actions make him more insecure. He worries that she finds him so boring that she'd have an affair. The characters are interesting, and the reveal at the end was surprising. The delivery of the premise was average and could have been tightened up.

    Bottom line is that it was an enjoyable way to pass a few hours, but it won't be at the top of my re-listen list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Better Homes and Hauntings

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (723)
    Performance
    (677)
    Story
    (680)

    When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate - he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in 19th-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”

    Amazon Customer says: "Disappointing"
    "Not Half Moon Hollow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Setting: New England, contemporary
    Genre: Paranormal romantic mystery

    I like Amanda Ronconi's performances. She's so cheery, which works for light comedy.

    I was disappointed with this book. The premise is great, about a group staying on an island to restore a Victorian mansion, but the characters are one-dimensional. The heroine is Nina, the landscape designer, and the hero is Deacon, the owner of the mansion/island. There is a large supporting cast of characters. Cindy is there to oversee the cleaning and organization of the place. Jake is Deacon's best friend and the architect for the restoration. Dotty is Deacon's unconventional cousin who provides some of the comic relief. Rick is Nina's ex-boss who is the creepy, uninvited visitor to the island. There's also a couple of visits from a very bad interior decorator (I don't know why she was even written in, as she provides no movement in the story). There are also ghosts.

    The point of view is omniscient. This is pure laziness on the part of the author. It is much more difficult to keep to one point of view, showing all the action through the senses of one character, but it also provides for a smoother narrative. Showing unfolding events from perspective of all these characters caused a choppiness on the story line. The POV should have been limited to the H/h at the most.

    All of the characters knew, going in, that the place was haunted by Deacon & Dotty's great-great-grandmother Catherine, who was murdered by her husband. They didn't have to ask who-dun-it because they already knew. So what was the impetus for the plot? What was the mystery if they didn't ask the question needed to create it? Really, the big mystery is why the characters didn't figure it out as soon as I did.

    I am a big Molly Harper fan, but this was not worth the credit I used to get it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Mary Balogh
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    After surviving the Napoleonic Wars, Sir Benedict Harper is struggling to move on, his body and spirit in need of a healing touch. Never does Ben imagine that hope will come in the form of a beautiful woman who has seen her own share of suffering. After the lingering death of her husband, Samantha McKay is at the mercy of her oppressive in-laws - until she plots an escape to distant Wales to claim a house she has inherited. Being a gentleman, Ben insists that he escort her on the fateful journey.

    Kimberly says: "A lovely escape"
    "A lovely escape"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Setting: England
    Genre: Regency romance

    Rosalyn Landor provides her usual wonderful performance. I truly enjoy her work.

    This is the third in The Survivor's Club series. The male protagonist was introduced in the first book of the series, The Proposal, and mentioned in passing in The Arrangement, the second book.

    The protagonists, Mrs. Samantha McKay and Sir Benedict Harper, are well rounded. They both have their individual challenges: hers is dealing with the overbearing, puritanical family of her late husband, and his is coming to terms with his disability. The plot is engaging. There aren't any huge conflicts, but there are a couple of minor ones. Hmm. I would say this is almost two stories with a road trip in between. The first part focuses on Samantha's situation and Ben's restlessness. The hero and heroine start out disliking one another, though Ben feels a grudging responsibility for Samantha. The road trip shows the gradual change in the relationship to liking and respect. The second part focuses on the relationship between Samantha and Ben, as well as Samantha's adjustment to life in Wales. It is a nice progression.

    The novel is followed by an amusing novela, The Suitor, which is set immediately prior to The Arrangement, though the hero is introduced in The Proposal. I'd tell you more about it, but that might spoil it for you.

    I highly recommend this audio production. It is worth the time and credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Seven Minutes in Devon: Cardiff Siblings, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Catherine Gayle
    • Narrated By Brad Wills
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    During a minutes-long span three years ago, their lives were forever changed when Lady Morgan Cardiff nearly drowned. Returning to the disastrous scene for the first time, Emma Hathaway is older, wiser and ready to move on. With her parents quickly aging, she needs a husband. Alas, she is an awkward, bookish girl with no dowry to recommend her, and she is far from being an Incomparable or an heiress who might rouse a gentleman's interest.

    Kimberly says: "Seven minutes to change two lives"
    "Seven minutes to change two lives"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Setting: England, 1816 and 1819
    Genre: Romance

    Narration is fair. While Brad Wills lacks the vocal range to do female voices really well, once you get used to his falsetto delivery it's fine.

    Even though much of this story was delivered in passive voice rather than through dialogue and action, it was engaging. The main characters were well done, though there may have been too many in the background.
    At a house party hosted by her sister and brother-in-law, Emma Hathaway was sitting with Lady Morgan Cardiff. When she turned away for a few moments, Lady Morgan walked into the estuary. Emma went in after her and ended up needing to be saved as well. While trying to save them both, Aiden Cardiff was unable to keep his sister's head above water, and when they reach the shore, Morgan wasn't breathing. Aiden blamed it all on Emma. Three years later, Emma is at another house party hosted by her sister and brother-in-law because Emma needs to find a husband. Among those invited is Aiden Cardiff, who hates Emma with a passion.
    I enjoyed the time I spent with these people, though the important secondary characters weren't as well described as they should have been. Once I got used to the delivery by Brad Wills, the book was quite engaging.

    Bottom line: Though it may not be at the top of my re-listen list, it is on the list. I believe it was worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Lady, My Lord

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Katharine Ashe
    • Narrated By Veida Dehmlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Lady Corinna Mowbray has three passions: Excellent books, intelligent conversation, and disdaining the libertine Earl of Chance. Lord Ian Chance has three pleasures: Beautiful women, fast horses, and tormenting high-and-mighty Corinna Mowbray. Neighbors for years, Corinna and Ian have been at each other's throats since they can remember. But when a twist of fate forces them to trade lives, how long will it be before they discover that they cannot live without each other?

    Kimberly says: "Interesting premise"
    "Interesting premise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Setting: England 1822
    Genre: Romance

    Narration was average. I wasn't immersed in the story, nor was I kicked out of it by mispronunciation or overly melodramatic delivery.

    The premise of this is not new, but the author freely admits that it is a take on the switched personalities trope in a historical setting. The characters had definite personalities, and they definitely set off sparks in their dealings with one another. Their chosen lifestyles are so diverse, you have to wonder how they functioned. The author didn't take the opportunity to give humor to some of the situations except for Lady Corinna's confusion over what to do with a man's morning erection. However, the mutual hatred went too far and too deep. You have to wonder how they could ever forgive some of the things they said and did. But it does make the conciliation more dramatic in a way. I just wish the story had been tightened up and shorter.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Marry in Haste

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Christina Courtenay
    • Narrated By Jilly Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Amelia Ravenscroft is desperate to escape her aunt’s home, where she endures a life of drudgery whilst fighting off her lecherous cousin. When she overhears Viscount Demarr confiding in a friend that he needs to marry "at once", she boldly proposes a marriage of convenience. Amelia soon proves herself a perfect fit for the role of Lady Demarr. But their blossoming relationship is blighted by suspicions regarding Amelia’s past. Will they find, all too painfully, that if you marry in haste you repent at leisure?

    Kimberly says: "It could have been better"
    "It could have been better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Setting: England
    Genre: Regency romance

    The narration was overly dramatic, and the males sounded forced. I think I would have preferred a straight reading from this narrator.

    The story itself is average, though I almost gave it only 2 stars due to the narration. But that's like giving a restaurant a crappy review when your problem is with the server. So, overall this is a fair story. The characters were somewhat one dimensional, but how much depth can characters be in just under 3 1/2 hours? The basic premise was interesting, and had the author developed the characters a little better I think it could have edged up to a high average.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Christmas Ball

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 57 mins)
    • By Sherrill Bodine
    • Narrated By Polly Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Outshone by a gregarious stepsister and overbearing stepmother, Lady Athena Cummins is used to fading into the shadows. Beloved only by her youngest sister, Persephone, Athena has accepted her destiny as a spinster. But Persephone has a different scheme in mind, and conspires to send Athena out for one night of fun at Lord Finchley’s masquerade Christmas Ball. The masked beauty catches the Lord’s eye but, determined to avoid the wrath of her stepsister, Athena leads Lord Finchley on a wild chase to discover her true identity.

    Kimberly says: "A Christmas Cinderella"
    "A Christmas Cinderella"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Setting: England
    Genre: Regency romance

    Narration is average. Polly Lee reads somewhat laconically, and male voices seem forced. These problems did take me out of the story a bit, but not enough that I gave up.

    This is a retelling of the Cinderella story with, of course, slightly different characters. The "Cinderella" is the plain Jane spinster, Athena, and the step mother and half-sister, Minerva, aren't truly evil, just selfish. The "prince" role is filled by a visiting soldier. The "fairy godmother" is the younger sister, Persephone, a sweetheart thirteen year old girl Athena cares for, as Persephone was crippled by a high fever. The helpers are the cook and coachman.
    The oft-told tale of the revelation of beauty hidden beneath the unadorned clothing and retiring manner was well enough done. It holds the listener well enough, even though you'll know what's coming next. My only problem is that there was a feeling of incompleteness in regards to Persephone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Soldier's Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Sherrill Bodine
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Nothing is fair in love or war, especially when they are one and the same. When the handsome Lord Matthew Blackwood approached her, Serena Fitzwater immediately knew they were meant to be together. Bold and brash, the qualities that made Matthew an excellent soldier made him her soul mate as well. A storybook romance and marriage followed, only to be interrupted by the call for Matthew to return to the frontlines. When Matthew returns months later, he’s no longer the knight in shining armor of Mary’s fairy-tale dreams.

    Kimberly says: "Definitely give this a listen"
    "Definitely give this a listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Setting: London and Sussex, England & Belgium 1813 - 1815
    Genre: Romance

    Wonderful narration because...Susan Duerden. She draws you into the story, and keeps you there. I can't say I get totally immersed, but her delivery is smooth and pleasant.

    Idealistic soldier Sir Matthew Blackwood meets, courts, and marries sweetly innocent debutante Serena Fitzwater within a matter of weeks. He gets called back from leave early the day after the wedding, leaving her with his family who are, essentially, strangers. The book's main focus is on Serena's adjustment to being the wife of an absent soldier and the way she matures during Blackwood's time at war. His growth and disillusionment are shown through rare letters home, as well as when he returns injured from "the colonies." The couple have to get to know one another as their new selves, and to accept the essential parts of one another's personalities. The sex is mainly implied rather than with graphic details, and the violence of war is present but also not graphic.

    This is a new author for me, and I have to say it was worth taking a chance with her. Her language is accessible without being simplistic, and she crafts her story very well. It is mainly told from Serena's point of view in 3rd person singular, though she departs from this briefly and focuses on Matthew's POV.

    Yes, use a credit on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • His Mistress by Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Victoria Alexander
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (88)

    For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been perfectly happy as a widow. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the tedious restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him. Sebastian will come into his inheritance in a matter of weeks - if his family deems him responsible enough. There’s no better way to prove his maturity than with a home and a wife. Veronica will share his bed, but she steadfastly refuses to marry....

    Carmen says: "Just OK"
    "I love a good farce"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Setting: England 1885
    Genre: Romance

    I have never been disappointed by a performance by Susan Duerden. She engages the listener in this lighthearted romance.

    I quite enjoyed this story about Lady Veronica, whose goal is to break out of her straight-laced widowhood by taking a lover, and Sir Sebastian, whose goal is to leave behind his footloose past by taking a wife. She refuses his marriage proposal and he refuses to make her his mistress. He gives in so he can convince her she should marry him, and takes her to his new house for the holiday. Then his family descends on them uninvited and misunderstanding ensues. This is a good farce that will have you laughing out loud.

    Yes, I'd say it's worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lady Dearing's Masquerade

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Elena Greene
    • Narrated By Robin Rowan
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Finally free after a desperately unhappy marriage, widowed Lady Dearing goes to a masquerade. She thinks it's just a lark, but matters turn serious when she kisses a costumed stranger who protected her from a drunken lout. Word leaks out, scandal escalates and she becomes the town's most infamous widow. Shunned by society, she retreats to her country estate. Having no children of her own, she finds joy in caring for children she's taken in from London's Foundling Hospital. But every night, she is haunted by the memory of the gallant stranger, whose seductive voice and gentle touch awakened desires she'd thought long dead.

    Kimberly says: "Engaging listen"
    "Engaging listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Setting: England, 1809 & 1811
    Genre: Romance

    This is the first time I have listened to Robin Rowan's work, and I was quite pleased. She did male voices especially well.

    The plot is quite interesting, though it's a trope that's been done before. However, Elena Greene keeps it interesting with well-developed characters and plot devices. Both protagonists are likable, and three dimensional, with interesting back stories. The author uses activity to move the story along, not just telling what people thought or said. The central conflict centers on Lady Dearing and Sir Jeremy. But revolving around this is a host of problems, including distrust, prejudice, mistaken beliefs on both sides, and communication issues. The antagonists are appropriately creepy, icky, selfish, snotty, and other adjectives of people you just enjoy disliking.

    This was definitely worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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