This is book 1 of a series and it starts out the series fairly lighthearted, although of course there has to be a "villain" or there can't be heroes/heroines. The first story provides resolution to a problem and yet leaves you wanting to continue with more content about the characters (won't say more or there would be spoilers).
I enjoyed all the main characters, and they were each interesting and unique enough that I could keep them separate in my head while I listened. If you've listened to a book with all "vanilla" characters you may know what I mean.
The narrator is fine, although not so skilled that I will specifically seek out other material for which she is the narrator. Most of the characters have an identifiable voice that can be distinguished from the others, so I consider her competent and solidly in the middle of the skill range of various narrators to whom I have listened.
I am listening to the second book now and enjoy this author; Deanna Chase's work was new to me with this book.
I have only been disappointed a few times when trying a new author, and this is at the top of my personal list. Why? Because I like a little fact with my fiction and the entire premise of the book is ridiculously flawed. Okay, deep breath, and I'll try to use less adjectives. There is not a place on earth where one credentialed adult and four college student employees are running a camp for "troubled kids" and have TWO DOZEN youths under their care.
And then the guy with no experience or credentials puts himself into the situation and keeps grabbing kids by the ear and doing other (physically manhandling) things which would zoom him straight to lawsuit with any sane guardian I know.
I'm sorry, but the entire story line is wrapped around this premise and it continues throughout the entire book, and there is just one situation after another that makes NO SENSE because it could never be happening. Dear author: set your book on another planet if you want to venture this far into fantasy!
The narrator evidently has a fixation with the breathiness of Clint Eastwood's speech patterns and I just kept picturing this wrinkled, squinting old guy instead of a hot, young cowboy/rancher. Just ewww. And he gave the female voice the oddest sort of southern accent which is never commented on or explained. Other than disliking both voices, as far as I could tell he was read all the words.
I have read lots of Robyn Carr books, and if you are a fan you will love, love, love this book. It's a stand-alone title, so you don't need to know other books to enjoy this one, so it would be a great first, introductory book to Robyn Carr's style if you don't already know her work.
It features four women who have been friends for a long time and are the same age, but they've reached that point in adulthood where each is dealing with different issues. Financial pressures, still being single, getting the 7 year itch in a marriage, etc.
Anyone can find one or more characters in this book to relate to. I found each of the couples to be very interesting, and especially enjoyed the single pair who met right at the beginning of the book. I'm not going to get into spoiler territory, but I was glad that each of the story lines was resolved to some extent by the end of the book. There are certainly unanswered questions, but that's what life is all about.
I read the book twice prior to purchasing this audio version and I do think that aided in my ability to follow the narration. There is not a significant amount of variation between character voices, which is occasionally confusing to the listener. She is adequate, but I was somewhat disappointed with the quality overall since I was already a big fan of the book.
It's still a great listen. Enjoy!
I'm new to author Lucy March at the time of this review.
This is a charming book about several friends, one of whom is ready to jet off to Europe, who share life's ups and downs in small-town America until the magic all starts and then things will never be the same again.
Interesting plot and fabulous narration by Amanda Ronconi! I'll look forward to reading the second book and am currently hoping this author publishes more frequently in the future.
I'm new to reading Charlaine Harris in 2014 and I don't have HBO, so I've never heard of the associated TV show, but after reading the first three Sookie books I have to say they're cute and okay for a light read.
Of course I understand that this is fiction. But I'm very analytical, and once an author chooses to establish "facts" for how the beings in her imaginary world exist and interact, I expect those facts to continue as time goes by or to have changes and exceptions be acknowledged. For now I'll be generous and assume there are times when she wants to make an exception, rather than she can't keep track of her own SVM world facts and is a sloppy author.
So far, the first three books in this series each contain exceptions and/or errors in established SVM "facts" so I have to remind myself that they're just for fun and don't have to always make sense TO ME. But they are fun, and on sale they cost the price of a matinee movie, so I'll keep listening to see what happens next and continue to ignore the contradictions.
The narrator is average and doesn't do much to differentiate voices compared to most of the narrators I have enjoyed from other books. She tries to do a little bit with accents, so the main character is almost always identifiable when she is speaking.
I have read 3-4 of this author's books and this was by far my favorite, but I actively disliked a couple of them (Blue Heron series is a stinker IMO). Having said that I liked it I still need to state that this book made me cry (and I don't normally cry over books in this genre). I liked the main characters, although the monosyllabic hero is a bit over the top with his ongoing belief that everything goes without saying. I would compare the trials and tribulations of the heroine to the jokes about bad country songs; the specifics of which I mention below.
Specifics from the book, so **Spoiler alert**
Her parents announce they're separated and contemplating divorce, after which her mom moves to another town
Her dog dies
Her twin (who can do no wrong in the mother's eyes) has a beautiful child and "ideal" husband and H is negatively compared to twin over and over
Local friend is pregnant and initially H thinks her sort-of boyfriend (silent guy) is the father, but it turns out daddy-to-be is H's baby brother!
She repeatedly goes on nightmarish first dates and non-dates due to no-shows that struck WAY too close to home for the relationship challenged, such as myself. The abysmal dates include a guy who has obscenely bad table manners and a grandfather
The coup de grace of all the dating horrors: she tells numerous people in her small town that she met a great new Irish guy right before the new Irish priest gives his first sermon.
** end of spoiler details** narrator info below
I was not familiar with Xe Sands and I thought she did a good job. I would be willing to listen to more books which she narrates.
Jonah is the "I get you, flaws and all" guy that many of us would like to meet.
Raven was fascinating, and I can tell by the other reviews that when I go back and read other Lauren Dane books I won't have the same early (somewhat negative) reaction to her since I'll already know her back story. Although, this tough girl persona is so common in real life that maybe I would have had an inkling. I often meet someone who, when given a second chance, makes me realize that there's an amazing person behind the cool, prickly facade.
We all cope in the way that seems best at the time, and holding people at bay is a common way to avoid pain when we don't know who to trust. It's great to read about a group who can all trust one another; very nice created family when many of us can't turn to the one we were born with. Definitely makes me want to read more Lauren Dane!
The narrator is a little too bland for my preference.
I love the newly reissued books in this series! Our beloved Peabody speaks in her wonderful, distinctive voice and all the other characters (especially the NYPSD crew) go through the wringer solving this case. It was always one of my favorite books with regard to bringing forth background info on secondary characters and now it is simply perfect.
This book is fine, but when I was taking walks and listening on my phone I could get distracted by something I saw and my attention would wander. Not typical for me to have to back up so often because a book isn't keeping my attention focused... It's a cute enough story, but isn't quite as good as most by Jennifer Crusie. If you purchase this book, and it's your first Jennifer Crusie, please give her another chance.
This is a very funny story, and I love the sassy heroine. The supporting characters are fun, the ending surprised me, and I couldn't "put it down" as we say with a print book. This is my first Kyra Davis book (that I can recall) and it won't be my last!
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