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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

431
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 172 reviews
  • 328 ratings
  • 630 titles in library
  • 134 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
93

  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6945)
    Performance
    (4908)
    Story
    (4897)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "This is a Story of Survival; Profound and Moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While some who have reviewed this book describe it as dark and sad, I would suggest that it is profound, moving and merely set in a dark and sad time in our country. Slavery and indentured servitude are themes that may not be easy topics about which to read, but this author and the amazing narrators have created a story that will captivate and engage you.

    I found the story to be very moving, at times eliciting a strong emotional response. Who could listen to Lavinia and Belle tell about the events in their lives, both good and bad, without empathy? I could not.

    Historical fiction lovers will not want to miss this great novel. It is a story that is at times painful, but always worthy of your time and intellect.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • An Ice Cold Grave: Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1170)
    Performance
    (519)
    Story
    (525)

    Called to tiny Doraville, North Carolina, Harper investigates the disappearance of several young boys. After finding them buried in a secluded wood, it becomes clear that a sadistic serial killer is stalking the town's children.

    A User says: "Cant wait till november!"
    "Grisly, Explicit, Shocking Story Line"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is book 3 in the "Harper Connelly" series. I had not read books 1, 2, nor 4 in this series. . . which was okay, because this book can stand alone. I don't think I need to read the rest of the series, since the descriptions of the plots are more of the same. Typically, stories about the supernatural are not interesting to me, but something within the first minutes of this one hooked me.

    That said, the plot became quite complex and the story line muddied at times. The lead characters, (presumably step sister and brother,) are featured in the grisly as well as the sexually explicit parts of the book and it was a bit tough to listen to at times. Serial murders, sexual torture of children and the like can make my stomach turn.

    The narration made listening okay. Besnahan's performance was terrific and I give her five stars. That done, I can only barely award the story itself 3 stars overall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rembrandt Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1246)
    Performance
    (551)
    Story
    (545)

    Determined to sever his ties with the Office, Gabriel Allon has retreated to the windswept cliffs of Cornwall with his beautiful Venetian-born wife, Chiara. But once again his seclusion is interrupted by a visitor from his tangled past: the endearingly eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood. As usual, Isherwood has a problem. And it is one only Gabriel can solve.

    Howard says: "Get Set for an Action Ride"
    "Another Great Thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have become an avid fan of Silva's novels. . . particularly enjoying the ones that feature Gabriel Alon. . . terrific pacing and plot, great characters and best of all, exotic locales where all the action occurs. This is another of Silva's really good stories. Am already anxious to start the next one in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mark of the Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (524)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (247)

    When a commercial airliner is blown out of the sky off the East Coast, the CIA scrambles to find the perpetrators. A body is discovered near the crash site with three bullets to the face: the calling card of a shadowy international assassin.

    Dennis says: "Worth your time"
    ""The Mark" Will Keep You Listening!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Silva is a master at plotting and character development. This is a fine example of his work and a novel that will keep you engaged and listening. Scary thing is how the story concludes. . . the assassin who leaves "the mark" will likely be back in future stories. I can hardly wait.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Place: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
    Overall
    (351)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (320)

    "The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

    Pamela says: "Well...I really liked 50% of it"
    "Tana French Nails It! Everything You Could Want!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Recipe: Boarding school for odd and/or bitchy and/or cliquish teen girls. Boarding school for randy teen boys. Naive school officials, nuns, masters and mistresses at both. Oh, and throw in a cold case murder on the girls' school grounds -- of one of boys from the neighboring school. Great story? Yes, please!

    I have to admit, that the above recipe in a book by most any other author would not have gotten it to my reading list. But who can resist Tana French? And this time, she wrote (aka nailed) a fabulous tale of mayhem and murder amongst teens. The detectives and the detecting are superb, which makes the story most engaging.

    After the fact, there is nothing I disliked about this book. However, in the first passages, the female narrator is VERY difficult to understand. Thankfully, her enunciation gets better and her British accent lessens as the story proceeds.

    Five stars Tana! Hurrah!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing the Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Natalia Sylvester
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (4)

    Andres suspects his wife has left him - again. Then he learns that the unthinkable has happened: She’s been kidnapped. Set in Lima, Peru, in a time of civil and political unrest, this evocative novel is a perfect marriage of domestic drama and suspense. Too much time and too many secrets have come between Andres and Marabela, but now that she’s gone, he’d do anything to get her back. Or will he? As Marabela slips farther away, Andres must decide whether they still have something worth fighting for, and exactly what he’ll give up to bring her home.

    Paula says: "A Good, Surprisingly Suspenseful Story!"
    "A Good, Surprisingly Suspenseful Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Think 1992, Lima Peru. An era of widespread criminal activity featuring kidnappings for ransom. Two women in Andres' life have been kidnapped (at different times) and this story reveals human shortfalls and strengths in a spectacular way. What will he part with to get his wife back from her kidnappers? What will he do to help a childhood friend recover from the horrors of her kidnapping? What will his wife do with her life when she returns? Good story. Great suspense all the way.

    The central characters in the story are minimal and though they could have been developed more, what we find out about them as the story unfolds turns out to be adequate.

    I have only one minor criticism. The book is read in third person. Every time a character speaks, it is followed by "she said" or "Andres said." The narrator could have/should have used better character voices and avoided that redundancy. It got tiresome, for sure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Simple Truth

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (531)
    Performance
    (414)
    Story
    (422)

    Michael Fiske broke the law when he took Rufus Harms's prison letter from the Supreme Court. But he also sealed his own fate. Now Michael's brother, a cop turned attorney, is coming to Washington to find out why his brother was murdered - and what it had to do with a crime that Rufus Harms committed 25 years before.

    Ted says: "Disappoint? Balcacci? Not Likely!"
    "Oh Mercy How the Truth Escapes Us!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Baldacci has provided legal-drama addicts with a good one here. The characters were terrific and of course, the various lawyering doings were excellent as usual. Enjoyed this one from start to finish!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Town: Wayward Pines, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (357)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (325)

    Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrived in Wayward Pines, Idaho, three weeks ago. In this town, people are told who to marry, where to live, where to work. Their children are taught that David Pilcher, the town's creator, is god. No one is allowed to leave; even asking questions can get you killed. But Ethan has discovered the astonishing secret of what lies beyond the electrified fence that surrounds Wayward Pines and protects it from the terrifying world beyond.

    justin says: "TWO/THREE star review within 3 hours ? RIDICULOUS"
    "Such a Good Series! Will There be More?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read all three books in this series and enjoyed them all -- this one the most! The story continued to surprise and engage, right through to the amazing, amazing end. Crouch builds suspense and creates really great characters. I felt like I was walking the streets of Wayward Pines with Sheriff Ethan and the gang. Don't start with this one, start at the beginning of the series. . . you'll not be sorry you did!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When Shadows Fall

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Paul Reid
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Still haunted by the British army’s treatment of soldiers during World War I, Lieutenant Adam Bowen returns to Dublin in 1919 - and discovers a new war destroying his hometown. When his well-bred family ignores the violence between Irish revolutionaries and the British government, Adam turns his back on Britain and secretly aligns with the Irish Republican Army. Then Adam meets golden-haired, blue-eyed Tara Reilly, and finds himself drawn to her quiet beauty.

    Paula says: "A Gem of a Book! Don't Miss It!"
    "A Gem of a Book! Don't Miss It!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a nice surprise! This is a real gem performed by the awesome Simon Vance. It opens in the WWI battle fields of France, giving the reader a detailed picture of how war shapes the thinking of its young soldiers. From there, it goes to another battlefield, those of Ireland where British troops tried to rule and the militant IRA opposed them -- at the expense of many innocents.

    One of those innocents - who abhors the IRA for the deaths of her family and one of the war scarred soldiers -- who abhors the Brits for their merciless treatment of both soldiers and civilians - meet and eventually fall in love. You will be engaged in the story of the conflict they face and how the love-hate relationships they have with each other and the politics of the time affect them.

    This is a good listen. Historical fiction, along with warring and romancing and reconciling by all concerned! The historical notes at the conclusion are worth a listen too!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (464)
    Performance
    (390)
    Story
    (387)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "Much, Much Better than I Expected! Try it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first few minutes of this book did not impress. . . but I gave it a bit more time and before I knew it, I was totally hooked. This is a very good mystery story set in a time and place (Laos post war) that has been mostly overlooked in fiction. The author did a great job of creating characters who demanded your empathy or ire; and produced a plot line that kept me wondering. The narration is (at the beginning) a bit flat and may be the element that made me wonder about my choice of books; but Clive Chafer did a remarkable job throughout. HIs performance is different that many others with which you may be familiar. I will listen to more of his books.

    Worth the credit!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Servant

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (785)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (381)

    Gabriel is summoned once more by his masters to undertake what appears to be a routine assignment: travel to Amsterdam to purge the archives of a murdered Dutch terrorism analyst who also happened to be an asset of Israeli intelligence. But once in Amsterdam, Gabriel soon discovers a conspiracy of terror festering in the city's Islamic underground.

    Dan says: "One of the very best"
    "Good Good Good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an engaging international thriller featuring the uncommon secrecy and bravery of the Israeli secret service and its star agent, Albion. Silva writes a good if not great thriller, but I felt Gigante's performance less than stellar. . . with pomposity in his voice for a good bit of the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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