I appreciated that this is not one of those "you must have a million dollars to retire and here's how" books. It's practical and down to earth advice for living a more frugal lifestyle. Obviously, if you can learn to live on less, you can retire on less. There are many of us whose retirement plans fell apart and our hoped for retirement was supposed to be around the corner. What do we do now? Actually, there's a few ideas in here. It's applicable whether you are prepared or not prepared. I'm tired of the "We're all gonna die!!!" scenario if we didn't do everything perfect since we were 12. Some ideas are really creative and not for the faint of heart. I liked the idea (and plan to do the exercise) of writing down all the truly worthwhile things in my life. How is my life matching up to that? Do I need more money or a different focus? Have I really been chasing the wrong direction because I'm working too many hours? Could I actually be much happier and healthier and make less money? Much of it is just enforcing good habits, being better stewards of how ever much money we have. Nothing earth shattering, but thought provoking in places and worth listening to. Using even one of the ideas will save more than the book costs. :) (The narrator is not one of my favorites, but that's a personal preference.) JB
I'm reviewing only the narration. I truly enjoy Ms. Maron's books and have listened to this entire series. For me personally, I was unable to appreciate the change in narrators this late in the game. CJ Critt has done an excellent job on the series and "is" Deborah Knott in my mind. Ms. Maron, although a wonderful author, does not have the experience in narrating and I am disappointed in this change. She does not sound like a woman of Deborah's age or from that region.
I absolutely love the author's descriptions of North Carolina and the people there. CJ Critt's narration is so enjoyable. The down home phrases and terms of endearment (Shug or Sug -- short for sugar) are particularly sweet for me as I heard them throughout my childhood. She gives Deborah's character a no nonsense manner, but with a definite soft hearted side, and I love her accent in the books. The books are mysteries, but they are also about Deborah's large (LARGE) family and their lives and you can't help but love them and get involved in what's going on in their lives. It can be confusing with many characters mentioned. If you go to the author's website, she has a family tree for this series. :) This particular mystery is quite good and I was unable to "solve" it until all was revealed. Highly recommend the series, but make sure you start at the beginning. JB
Was surprised that this book followed such a similar plot line as the first, but never the less, I recommend it as an entertaining audible book. I absolutely love Xe Sands' narration. No, she doesn't have a British accent. But, what she does have is one of the sexiest voices I've heard, a great ability to do female AND male voices very well and smoothly shift back and forth. The characters are fun and sexy and there's adventures at sea. As before, there's mystery and romance (pretty steamy) and humor. Eagerly awaiting the next book! JB
I don't want to be harsh, the book wasn't "terrible", it just wasn't that good. The story line of the characters constantly bickering was annoying, regardless of the "sexual tension" building. I'm never impressed when the whole basis is two people who can't stand each other but can't keep their hands off each other. Then after all the buildup, the "scene" was not that enthralling. The conversation wasn't witty or entertaining or seductive. Ms. Bean has exceled, I'm sure, in some of her narrations, but this wasn't one of them. She sounded like she was reading, if that makes sense. A good narrator makes you imagine that that voice "is" the character. Her male voices, frankly, were just bad. I just can't recommend this as a good listen. JB
I listen to LOTS of audio books, many of them in the historical romance genre. Many are quite good and I have some favorite authors and narrators. But, I was new to Anne Stuart's work and Xe Sands' narration. It has been a LONG time since I came across one I just couldn't stop listening to. The story line was great, a mystery to solve and a romance. The characters were likable and I loved Bryony and the Earl of Kilmartyn, the lead characters. Banter that bounced back and forth between humorous and erotic. Xe Sands' narration was incredible, what talent! I'm already searching for more books she has lent her beautiful voice to. Highly recommend. JB
Still enjoying this good series. Love the characters and all the storylines surrounding the large Knott family. Excellent mystery in this story. My only criticism comes regarding the snide political remarks starting to creep in. I appreciate that the author has her views regarding past and present politicians, as we all do. But, if I wanted real life politics thrown in and her views, I'd read a book on politics instead of a mystery fiction book.
I love a good series... one you can settle into and get to know the characters ... and this is just such a series. I'm finishing book #11 now and can honestly say, I like the series and the characters more with each book. I love the consistency of having the same narrator, CJ Critt, and like the fact that she doesn't "overdo" the southern "thang". She has a comfortable, easy listening voice with just enough country in it to fit the setting, in my opinion.
Deborah Knott, the main character, is an intelligent, educated woman in her 30's as the series begins. She's been around the block a few times and after a bit of a rough start when she first left home, she settled down, earned a law degree, returned to her hometown in North Carolina and is now running for judge. The stories are a wonderful mix of her life as a judge and her large family, consisting of her father (who was indeed a bootlegger "back in the day") and eleven (yes, 11) older brothers and their wives and assorted nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. That may sound a little much ... but trust me, it all blends well and makes for interesting story lines. Every story has a mystery and somehow Deborah winds up in the middle of it every time, whether by accident or her curiosity that is hard to control. She has an easy way about her and her integrity and feistiness come through in the stories. She still has a respect and love for her country roots, but she's definitely her own woman and there's a lot of humor in the writing.
I highly recommend these and hope you enjoy them as much as I have. There are some tough stories, but the books are not gritty and depressing, and are more of a cozy mystery series. Mrs. B.
Book 5 of the Maiden Lane Series. Loved the characters and story was interesting, but the "voice" given Godric (main character) was, in my opinion, terrible. He was made to sound as if he was very, very, VERY old. He was actually a vibrant, fit 37 year old. I realize he was supposed to be a bit "curmudgeonly" in the beginning, but it was over the top and slow and painful. The story was worth listening to and the series is a good one.
I admit it .... I'm biased. I LOVE Ms. Albert's cozy mysteries. If you're a fan of Andy and Mayberry or "down home" style, I believe you would enjoy this lovely little series. I recommend that you listen in order and get to know the ladies of Darling, Alabama surviving and thriving during the Great Depression. Ms. Albert writes the most wonderful stories of family and homemaking and strong friendships and laughter and mystery and by the end of the first book, you feel like the Dahlias are friends. The narrator, Ms. Price, as always, does a beautiful job of giving each lady her own distinct southern voice ... just the right amount of "southern".... not fake like so many narrators imitating the accent. Don't miss the author's interesting little history lesson at the end of the story as well as the bonus recipes for skincare and more. The only problem is it's always over much too soon. haha (Also recommend Ms. Albert's China Bayles mystery series -- so good!) Mrs. B.
This book just "clicked" for me and I loved it! I was drawn into the plot of the mystery and couldn't wait to solve it. I was so sure I "knew" what had happened, only to realize I was way off base and had to start all over in my solving of the case. lol At the same time, I found myself pulling for Scott and Lisa to get together. Lisa was raised wealthy and priviledged, but was not written or narrated as a "witch" when we meet her in the story. Scott came from a hard childhood, but does not go about with a chip on his shoulder. Their time together as children form the bond of trust they both need as adults. Love the twists and turns of the story. Had a hard time taking a break to do little things like ... my job (lol) until I finished it. I really enjoyed Ms. Ericksen's narration and plan to look for more of her work. I appreciated the richness of her narration through the different characters and their moods. Good mystery, good romance ... best of both worlds!
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