Indianapolis, IN, United States | Member Since 2008
I've been waiting for Hugh's story since I met him in the first of the first of the Smyth-Smith Quartet. I fell in love with his stoicism and genius, his darkness that calls for the light that will reveal to him his own worth. Lady Sarah is plain-spoken and forward. Her main goal is to marry in order to avoid yet another horrendous performance in the annual Smyth-Smith musicale. These two should not be attracted, yet... Oh, this was definitely worth the wait and goes on my re listen list.
Setting: England, contemporary
Genre: Holiday feel-good story
Milly's boyfriend dumps her right before advent. Christmas time is her favorite time of the year, so this is especially horrible for her. She had such plans. Anyway, the family tradition is for the kids to write to Santa with a list of what they want, then it is sent up the flue on the heat of a match, but without burning. Her nephews insist the adults make lists too. Milly does so, without much enthusiasm. But she soon finds the things on her list being granted, though not necessarily as she would expect.
This is another story I wish had been in an anthology. It was sweetly average, with average narration.
Setting: Vermont, contemporary
Widowed Christine takes her son, Tyler, to Vermont for 10 days to recharge her life. She meets John, an ambitious professor from the local college, and his dog Mason. Hot chocolate, sledding, Christmas and cold feet follow. This is a very sweet little novella. And I do mean sweet. There is one kiss.
Narration is average. I'd probably have to hear more of Susan Soriano's work to judge her adequately.
Setting: Italy, Morocco, England, and at sea. Dec 1818 - Jan 1820.
Lia is sold into slavery by the men her aunt had hired to kill her. Ren buys her in a slave auction in Morocco. She stays in his friend's harem while she recovers from her ordeal. They have sex. Ren agrees to help her rescue her brother from the evil aunt in exchange for her marrying him and providing an heir. They sail back to Italy. They have sex on the ship. When they get to Italy, they liberate her brother. Ren wants Lia to keep her side of the bargain and marry him, elevating her to the rank of Duchess. She says no because she is TSTL, and they have sex. She tries to escape and Ren catches her. Why? Probably because she cost a lot of money. Slavery was abolished in England in 1807, so if he wants to keep her he has to marry her. Marriage was legal slavery. They sail back to England and have sex on the ship. What follows is the whole trust/mistrust plot device. And sex. Lots of sex. Then there is danger! A death, resurrection, kidnapping, and rescue! Alas, no more sex. Not even in the epilogue. Frankly, I went to the Kindle format for a lot of this so I could skip ahead. Who knew so much sex could get boring?
The narration was +/- average, but still the best part of this experience.
Setting: England, December 1813
This novella is part of the Tenacious Trents series.
Lady Madeline is visiting one of her brothers and his wife, along with another brother and their mom. She hears, by accident, that the marriage between her parents wasn't legal. She goes for a walk to think about the ramifications of her being a bastard. Meanwhile, the snow has delayed Lachlan Grant, the Marquess of Brachton, from going to Scotland. His intention is to go to Edinburgh to find a Scottish lass to marry, then go on to spend the rest of the holiday with his family. Madeline wanders onto Lachlan's land and falls through the ice on his lake. He saves her, carries her inside, undresses her (and dresses her in a nightshirt), and warms her - by getting into bed with her. When she introduces herself as Maddie (because she assumes she is no longer a Lady) and says she was traveling with Jordan Trent, Lachlan assumes she is Jordan's mistress. He knew Jordan at school, and they always competed over women. So, how far will Lachlan go with "Jordan's mistress"? What will happen when her family finds her at his home, where the only other people are his valet and cook?
This was a sweet, entertaining story. The characters and plot were well-rounded and it felt complete. Jane Charles has a true talent for the novella. I've read/listened to other novellas she wrote and was very satisfied.
Narration is great, because Marian Hussey.
Setting: Maryland, contemporary
Genre: Sweet holiday romance
Typical early sweet-romance Nora, with laughs and tears. The protagonists are relatively well-rounded for a short story. There are nice people as the backdrop, and there's no villain. The twins, serving as the impetus of the action, are sweet little caricatures. I do wish this had been part of an anthology, but that's my thought on any of the stories I'm reading this season.
Genre: Contemporary romance
I picked this up cheap under a search for Christmas. Did I ever waste money on this! The ratings at Goodreads were high, so I wonder if I'd have liked it more in a different format - and free. The story and characters are pretty one dimensional, but what can you expect in an hour? It's a sweet little story, but probably would have been better in first person POV. It was definitely too short for 2 points of view, which this had, jumping from heroine to hero. I think it would be better received in an anthology, but only with a totally different narrator. I don't think I've ever heard worse. This is one that would definitely be better in ebook format!
Setting: Contemporary San Francisco
Genre: Comedic Paranormal
Jody is a 26 year old Stanford drop-out serial monogamist refugee from a Carmel, CA middle class life. On her way home from working late at her customer service job in SF's financial district, she is attacked by a vampire. She wakes the next night with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and no memory of what happened. But she has super strength, can hear and smell everything (ewwww), and can see in the dark. She's also starving. She goes home to her stock broker boyfriend, who doesn't want to hear about anything except where she's been and tell her she no longer fits the image he wants to project. She tries to eat, but can't keep anything down, but notices an insatiable desire for blood. After having a drink of the boyfriend (she accidentally knocked him out), she leaves. While wandering around wondering how she's going to deal with being a vampire, she decides that she needs a minion. C. Thomas Flood (the C doesn't stand for anything, but he thinks it sounds important) is a 19 year old aspiring-writer, night stocker at Safeway escapee from a union-slave future in Indiana. Jody asks Tommy to move in with her to do daytime chores and be her boyfriend - and provide occasional nourishment. He agrees, and they move in to a nice loft with a bedroom without windows. Everything is good, until the murders start. All the victims have been drained of blood and had their necks broken. So the story revolves around this mystery, as well as the relationship developing between Tommy and Jody. The dialogue is witty, the situations comical, and the characters are great. Besides Jody and Tommy, they include the Animals (Tommy's co-workers at the Safeway, where he continues to work the overnight 11-7 shift), the Emperor and his "men", and the two detectives investigating the murders. All this makes Bloodsucking Fiends an amusing listen. Susan Bennett does a pretty good job giving voice to the people of this book.
Setting: Washington D. C contemporary
Genre: paranormal, supposed to be funny
I could not give zero stars, so I gave it one. I don't like to give crappy reviews unless I have been unable to finish a book, then it serves as a warning.
As I said, I was unable to finish. I got barely into chapter 3 before I had to stop.
This character, Sarah Jane Anderson, supposedly found her "dream job" working as Clerk of Court in night court, but then she's attacked by a vampire her first night at work. Apparently, working with supernatural individuals was not on the job description, and she's freaked out. Her boss, a vampire, saved her life but was unable to mesmerize her into forgetting what happened. He offers her 3 months pay and an excellent recommendation, but she begs to keep her job. Now, this woman continues to be extremely frightened. She whines about the situations and monsters she may encounter in the course of her duties. She's irritating!bSecondary characters are introduced in the first two chapters, but are extremely one-dimensional. You can barely tell they will figure into the plot. Or will they?mSarah should have taken the excellent severance package and gotten another job. But then, what of the plot? Look, it's a great concept, but so poorly executed that it was painful. Also, it's in first person POV, which lends itself to internal monologues, but there was too much of that telling and not enough showing. It is just bad writing. Apparently this author has done better work, but it will have to be free for me to even try.
The narration wasn't bad. There were some starts and stops where there shouldn't have been, but maybe the script was crappy. Differentiation of characters was okay.
Anyway, life is way too short to waste time on bad books, so move on from this one. I got the Whispersync deal, so it wasn't terribly expensive, but still...
Setting: Hoboken, NJ. Contemporary
Genre: Paranormal rom-com
So our hero, Max Adams, ends up drugged and in the Hoboken dog pound while looking for his life mate. He is on doggie death row when JC Jensen comes in looking for a kitten. Instead, she falls for this huge, ugly, smelly dog and takes him home. After a bath, flea treatment, and brushing he looks more like a normal, albeit menacing dog. She decides to name him Fluffy. Max, meanwhile, discovers that JC is his life mate, but can't very well court her as a dog. In his human form he moves next door, but when Fluffy disappears and JC is inconsolable, he decides to be both himself and the dog while he works up the nerve to reveal all. What follows are funny situations, witty dialogue, and lots of hot sex. His reveal to JC of his werewolf status is both funny and heart-wrenching. This book made me laugh, and it made me cry. Overall, it was a satisfying use of my time.
The narration was good, though there were times it was a little difficult to differentiate between characters. It wasn't too much of an issue because the story stayed primarily in Max & JC's points of view, but secondary characters sort of blended to two voices - male and female. The Kindle, when I needed to pop over to that medium, made the internal dialogue easier to understand from the story point of view. In the audio format, that wasn't as easy, but not impossible.
Genre: Steampunk, romance
Another foray into Meljean Brook's Iron Seas world. This one is set in Iceland, and there is no mention of characters from previous books, but these characters are sufficient unto themselves. Annika Fridasdotter is known back home (an isolated village of all females in Iceland) as Annika the Rabbit because she is timid, unlike her sister Kalla, who is a shield maiden. Annika has been away from home for 4 years, looking for her sister, who was exiled after taking the blame for something Annika did. She's been a stoker/junior engineer on an airship during that time. She meets David Kentewess when he intervenes when she has difficulties with a port official while she is on shore. David is a vulcanologist whose expedition is taking the ship Annika works on to their destination in Iceland. David was injured in an accident in which his mother died. One of his eyes, a hand, and both legs are prosthetic, and he is infected with the nanoagents that prevent rejection. He has emotional issues due to his mother's death, his injury, and the constant fear and rejection he faces because of his prosthetics. He has been trying to fulfill his mother's dying wish for him to bury her runes in her birthplace, but never told him or his father where that is. When he meets Annika, he recognizes her accent as being the same as his mom's.
So the story is about David trying to find out where his mother was born and Annika keeping the info to herself because it would endanger her village and the way of life there. Along the way, they start getting to know one another and experience adventures I would tell you about but that might spoil it for you. I will say this: sex, whale, volcano. Over the course of the novel, Annika discovers that she is stronger and braver than she thought, and David decides that it is better to be important to one particular person than accepted by just anyone. Intrigued? This is worth delving into to find out about these people and their story.
The narration is pretty strong. Alison Larkin, whom I haven't always loved, provides a smooth performance. I bounced between Kindle to audio when my eyes got tired. I just love Whispersync, especially when I get both formats for only slightly more than what an audible credit costs me.
This book is definitely worth your time, regardless of whether you read or listen. And even though it is set in the Iron Seas world, it can definitely stand alone.
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