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Mel

Member Since 2014

ratings
239
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • Invincible: The Trident Code, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Alana Albertson
    • Narrated By Grant George, Alexa Kahn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    I'll be honest with you - I'm no hero. Sure, the media tries to brand every Navy SEAL as some kind of Batman dressed in cammies. There's even a line in one of our cadences: "Superman is the man of steel, he ain't no match for Navy SEAL." You've seen the movies - we're indestructible, invincible. But that night, the one you read about in the papers…all I really wanted to do was get laid.

    Candateshia Pafford says: "Awesome!"
    "No. Just... No."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Invincible?

    Nothing about the characters really pulled me in. The hero was supposed to be an anti-hero, but for me he was just a jerk. Even the things that were supposed to be redeeming about him fell short for me.

    The storyline was alright to me and would have been about a 3, maybe 3.5 star story until it hit around 60%. Then things just started to feel extremely rushed, which didn't allow me to connect with the characters and share in the emotion they were supposed to be feeling.

    I LOATHED the SEAL credos being interjected in the middle of chapters. If that was how each chapter started, I still wouldn't have liked it, but I could have dealt with it. They completely pulled me out of the story, and while it might work in print since you can see it's in italics or bold or something, in audio it was disconcerting.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Alana Albertson again?

    Perhaps. I don't think she's a terrible writer, and I'm sure her technique and story-telling will improve as she continues to release more work. I'd definitely be wary before buying though, maybe wait to catch it on a sale.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    He was just alright to me, not horrible, but there are things that he could have improved. It seemed no matter what emotion the lead was feeling, his delivery was the same pace, same tone, same forcefulness. The female narrator was fine, she didn't get much chance to shine, so I don't feel I can give an accurate assessment of her performance.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Invincible?

    I don't think I would have really cut anything (except the SEAL credos interspersed throughout the story), but I definitely would have ADDED. More background with the father, better build up to the emotional scenes would have led to a bigger payoff for me. When one minute everything is just coasting and two seconds later everything is perfect unicorns and gumdrops on a marshmallow cloud, it's frustrating to not see how the heck we got there.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hard to Hold On To: A Hard Ink Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Laura Kaye
    • Narrated By Seraphine Valentine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (62)

    Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves - which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight. He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago. Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel - and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her stretch far beyond gratitude.

    Mel says: "Easy Listening"
    "Easy Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Hard to Hold On To the most enjoyable?

    Hard to Hold On To was a great listen all around. I enjoyed the story and the narration brought the characters to life. Seraphine differentiates between the voices of the characters extremely well, so I don't have to rewind every few minutes to figure out who's talking. Despite the brevity of the book (wish it had been full length instead of a novella!), the characters were well developed, and I liked that there wasn't insta-love between the leads. There was strong attraction, a bond, but the L-word wasn't tossed out after 35 minutes of knowing each other.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Definitely Easy. He was very easy to empathize with, he was well performed by the narrator, and I found myself very invested in the outcome of his story.


    Which character – as performed by Seraphine Valentine – was your favorite?

    It's a toss up for me between Jeremy and Marz. She brings so much personality to her performance of them, and I really enjoy whenever they come into the story. Too bad they were only in HtHOT for a few scenes!


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

    I did laugh a bit, and I was very choked up during some of Easy's scenes, especially the one he shared with Shane.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait for the next book in the series! I enjoyed this novella quite a bit, but I find I'm just as excited to get to the bottom of the mystery of the series as I am to get to know the rest of the guys better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rock Chick Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Kristen Ashley
    • Narrated By Susannah Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (458)
    Performance
    (437)
    Story
    (432)

    Roxie’s on the run from a bad boyfriend who will not catch the hint that it is o-v-e-r. She’s in no mood for love at first sight, but when her eyes fall on Hank, it’s trouble from the get-go. Roxie tries to hold Hank at arm's length but Hank wants to be a closer (as in, a lot closer). Roxie’s trouble catches up with her and Hank wants to help but Roxie knows in her heart that she’s no good for a white-hat guy. The problem is no one agrees with her, especially her crazy hippie best friend Annette or her parents; the even crazier small-Indiana-town Herb and Trish.

    Mel says: "Sweet, sweet Jesus!"
    "Sweet, sweet Jesus!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Rock Chick Redemption to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version, but I can't imagine it would be any better than the audio. It was ably performed and completely engaging.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Where to start?! Action, romance, tons of hilarity. I've gone through the Rock Chick series in order so far, so as of now, this one is definitely my favorite. The heroine wasn't nearly as annoying as Jet in Rock Chick Rescue, and though she was self-deprecating, it wasn't to the point of wanting to tear my hair out. She shares the same insecurities as a lot of women, yet maintains a confidence that the last heroine was sorely lacking.

    All of the side characters in this installment were FANTASTIC! They were fully fleshed out and really added to the story. They were engaging without stealing focus from the main storyline.

    The action wasn't quite as intense as the previous books for me, but I didn't mind it. If every book was laden with harrowing situations fraught with danger, it would begin to become old hat and expected. I think there was a good balance here, not to dark and dangerous, not to light and fluffy.


    What about Susannah Jones’s performance did you like?

    She was AMAZING! There were scenes with around 10 characters (probably more) and every single voice was distinct, the emotion of the delivery was right on point, and the pacing was perfect. I've enjoyed her other performances in the series as well as a few that she's done outside the Rock Chick books, and this one was my favorite so far. I think my favorite character was Roxie's mom, Trish, Susannah did a wonderful job with her characterization and delivery.


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

    It was hilarious, I laughed so many times! Some chuckles and some real belly laughs, especially when Roxie's mom was around. Thankfully, unlike the last book, my reaction was NOT to toss my iPad across the room because the characters were making me nutty.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Worn Me Down: Playing with Fire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By T. E. Sivec
    • Narrated By Abby Craden, Sean Crisden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Austin Conrad has never taken his personal life seriously. As a Navy SEAL, he spends all of his time in dangerous, life-threatening situations. The only way to leave behind the horrors he's seen throughout his career is to turn it all off when he gets home. He's too much of a playboy to settle down; even if he did find a woman he could stand to be around for more than one night, he would never taint her life with the demons of his past.

    Mel says: "Pretty good addition to the series."
    "Pretty good addition to the series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    **Minor Spoiler**

    I've read (and listened) to all three books in the "Playing with Fire" series and they've all been pretty enjoyable. I'll admit that I'm hoping that the fourth one will be different though. The series SHOULD be called "How to be Betrayed and End Up in a Basement". Still, the build up to said basement scenario was interesting, the characters were likable and the story moved along well.

    Abby and Sean did a good job with the narration, each character was clearly differentiated and delivery of the dialogue was well done. One thing I love about Abby is that when it says that the character WHISPERS something, she actually does it! Some narrators don't do that and it completely pulls me out of the story when they're speaking in the same tone whether they're yelling or muttering.

    Worth a credit? Eh, I'd probably wait for a sale or something if you haven't already read the first two. If you have and enjoyed both of them, yeah, I'd say worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Desert Heat: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Reyes
    • Narrated By Shayna Thibodeaux, Sebastian York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Between running from her past, working three jobs, and worrying about her family, the only thing that could further complicate singer Bethany Amaya's life is falling in love. But after serendipitously attending a speed dating event and meeting the intense and sexy detective Damian Santiago, that's exactly what happens. In the blink of an eye, Bethany is caught up in a passionate affair with the most irresistible man she's ever met.

    Frances says: "Romantic! Sexy! Entertaining!"
    "Meh, too long to get to the point."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Desert Heat? What did you like least?

    This book was really middle of the road for me, so I honestly can't pick out a "best" thing, but the worst was the pacing. Soooo slow for me!


    Would you recommend Desert Heat to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably not, there is a plethora of books I'd rather recommend before this one would even come to mind.


    Which character – as performed by Shayna Thibodeaux and Sebastian York – was your favorite?

    I absolutely love Sebastian York, he was the main reason I bought this book. Great job on all characters, as always! My first by Shayna Thibodeaux, and while she's not the best I've ever heard, she was okay to listen to and didn't detract from the story, which some narrators do.


    What would have made this romance irresistible?

    Getting to the flipping point sooner! It seemed to drag, and when I was about 6.5 hours in and I STILL didn't know what she was hiding, it went from being interesting to just being frustrating. In some books the hotness factor makes up for it and keeps me from noticing that the story is dragging a bit, but I just didn't get that here.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nash: Marked Men, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jay Crownover
    • Narrated By Paula Costello, Tad Branson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (320)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (301)

    Saint Ford has worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming of nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life - especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down…and now he’s trying to do it again.

    Amazon Customer says: "Nash Nash Nash"
    "Loved Nash, Saint left a lot to be desired"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Nash?

    Definitely the hero. Nash was a total sweetheart, it was great to watch (or hear) him overcome his issues with his family and come to a place where he could accept himself and be proud of who he was. Pacing kinda dragged in some parts, but not to the point of being unreadable (unlistenable).


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

    Both narrators were just alright to me. It might be my imagination, but Paula Costello sounds like Kristen Stewart to me, so I kept seeing her deadpan face. I think the fact that I disliked Saint as a character might have made it worse. Tad was great as Nash, but his other voices didn't really go over all that well for me (maybe Asa's, if I'm being generous).


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

    Yep, I've been waiting months for it, so I powered straight through it.


    Any additional comments?

    Looking forward to the next two books in the series, even though this heroine was my least favorite, the story overall was enjoyable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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