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Robin in Vermont

I don't want to live in a world without books!

Vermont | Member Since 2011

453
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 218 reviews
  • 585 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 76 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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  • Undone by the Duke: Secrets in Silk, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Michelle Willingham
    • Narrated By Sue Pitkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (104)

    Reclusive designer Victoria Andrews hasn't gone outside in five years, though she yearns to escape the prison of her house. She designs sensual lingerie for the most exclusive dressmaker in London, although she has never known a man's touch.

    Cam says: "S****L****O****W"
    "Narrator is aweful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sue Pitkin reads as if she has a mouthful of spit she can't swallow. I imagine the microphone she's reading into has . . . well, you get the idea. I don't know if this is a good book or not. I've tried to listen to it three times, and have given up every time.

    I will not buy anything read by Sue Pitkin again, but plan on trying to read this book on my Kindle.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Private Arrangements

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Sherry Thomas
    • Narrated By Virginia Leishman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (63)

    When Lady Tremaine petitions her husband for an end to their civil but loveless marriage, Lord Camden agrees on one scandalous condition - she must give him an heir within a year. Their early attempts to fulfill this delicate arrangement are marred by cold detachment, but soon sparks of passion and long-forgotten lust begin to be kindled anew.

    Yuefang says: "Well Developed Plot And Characters"
    "Facinating, if complicated, love story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Be aware that I'm breaking with my usual No Spoilers Rule, and revealing a bit of the plot. I'm doing it because I believe that some of the less than stellar reviews that this book has been given are unfair. The characters are not unlikeable, as some infer. They are emotionally complex, and at times sad and resentful. Just because this isn't a simple love story, doesn't mean it's not a good one.

    Private Arrangements is about two very stubborn A type personalities, who meet and fall deeply in love when they're too young and inexperienced to handle the emotion. It doesn't help that they are hampered both by pride and insecurity.

    Gigi has passion, brains and a sharp mind to match -- and she's incredibly rich. Used to getting what she wants, she's also accustomed to fending off fortune hunters. She's 19 years old and inexperienced.

    Camden is a newly minted heir to a neighboring Dukedom, one that didn't come with any money. He's used to that. He's lived most of his life in other peoples houses because his aristocratic, but poor parents, couldn't afford a home of their own. Sweet and idealistic, he has always taken care of his family. He has a bit of a savior complex.

    One day the idealistic boy and the cynical girl meet and fall in love, hard.

    There's only one sticky wicket: another girl. Camden has, at least in his mind, given himself to a girl who has had as hard and unsettled a life as he has. Even though he doesn't love her, he intends to marry her, save her, and give her a home. Gigi has met the girl, and she knows if he marries her, he will be miserable. Falling hard for the first time in her life, Gigi can't let him go, and instead she does something awful to break them up. When Camden finds out what she did, he feels betrayed and manipulated, and it drives them apart for years.

    Sherry Thomas is smart, and she's given us a very intriguing trail of bread crumbs to follow through the more difficult parts of the story. Each chapter illuminates events, moving from 1882, the year they meet and marry, to 1893, the year he comes back into her life. Point and counter-point, we see how they got into the mess they are in, and how it has made them who they are.

    Camden's anger is a big pill, however, as he refuses to acknowledge his part in the tragedy, and by the end of Part 1, I wanted to stop reading because of him. The 4 star rating is because of how close I came to giving up. It all seemed such a waste. But I'd already invested 5 hours of my life in this story and I had to keep going. Fortunately, almost from the beginning of Part 2, the whole plot came together in a satisfying and lovely way. I almost want to give that 5th star back!

    This is not an easy, or light read. This one will make you feel things, push some buttons, make you sad or angry. (I haven't seen protagonists like this since Scarlett and Rhett). However, the payoff at the end makes it more than worth the journey. In the end, it all makes sense, and what more can you ask for in a story like this?

    I am amazed I'd never read anything by Sherry Thomas before, but after finishing this book, I bought two more read by Kate Reading.

    Speaking of 'read by,' Virginia Leishman is incredible here. This is a very, very nuanced book, with emotions running rampant. In the hands of a more ham fisted reader, this could have been a hot mess. Ms. Leishman is a master craftswoman, and she plays the material like a violin. I will happily seek out more books read by her. She's a marvel.

    Highly Recommended, at least for those who don't mind having to work a little for the HEA.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Twist: Mageri, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Dannika Dark
    • Narrated By Nicole Poole
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (311)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (286)

    Months after moving to the mysterious city of Cognito, Silver is developing her gifts as a Mage and learning how to live under new laws. She is forced to give up her old life and live in secret among the humans. There is finally hope of leading an ordinary life…until Logan Cross walks into it. Her chance meeting with Cross leads Silver close to discovering the identity of the nameless Mage who once stole her light and discovered the unique power she possesses.

    Raye says: "Powerful paranormal series!!!!"
    "This is the start of a beautiful friendship!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The good guys are complicated, the bad guys are power mad, and the world is as fleshed out as any I've read before. And Silver is still trying to find her way through this strange new life. and gain control over her powers -- even as her guardian demands her blind obedience. What's a girl to do?

    Logan Cross is an assassin hired to kidnap Silver and take her to her mortal enemy. As a Chitah, Logan is a member of the most feared shifter clan. He has abilities that make him a frightening threat to Silver and her friends, since even powerful mages fear Chitah.

    A stone cold killer with motivations that run deep, Logan does what he does for money, and his bone deep hatred for mages only add to his desire to do what he was hired to do.

    Fortunately for Silver, Logan thinks before he acts, and he takes his time trying to figure out why he's been hired to take her, and why he feels so drawn to the little mage.

    Silver never gives in to her fear. She goes toe to toe with the big killer, using her wit to stall for time as she tries to figure a way out of her current peril. Her courage only makes Logan all the more confused by his reaction.

    Their's is a slow, sexy seduction rife with both uncertainty and animal magnetism. Watching their relationship develop forms the heart of this series for the next several books.

    This is an astonishingly original love story that is well worth the wait. Will they, or won't they, and when?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Koban, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen W. Bennett
    • Narrated By Patrick Freeman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (641)
    Performance
    (602)
    Story
    (601)

    We colonized 700 planets. Humankind enjoyed the benefits of expansion room and the end of wars. We even disbanded our military. Then the Krall found us. The Krall have used thousands of years of combat to select the genes of the strongest and fastest warriors. They are a species determined to dominate the entire galaxy, through destruction and annihilation of every opponent.

    Koban is an uninhabited high-gravity planet with impossibly fast savage animals, which employ organic superconducting nerves. This deadly world is where the Krall tested humans for war capability.

    James Boone says: "Artificial noises expose poor storytelling"
    "How have I not reviewed this yet?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Those of you who follow me are used to my reviewing a certain kind of book, but HR's, Erotica, and Fantasies are what I read while I'm waiting for Stephen W. Bennett to write another Koban book.

    By far my favorite series of 2013/2014, Koban is the first in a series that held me captive and mesmerized since October of 2013. I LOVE character driven sci fi, and Bennett is a GENIUS.

    Judging by the numbers, over 600 people on Audible agree with me, and have given this book high marks -- and I NEED to add my 5 Stars, too. To say that this is great sci fi is a huge understatement. It actually takes science fiction to a new place entirely.

    The human race has spread, colonizing many worlds. It is a peaceful time in our history, and we have no reason to be prepared for war. We have met no alien races in our part of the Galaxy.

    Out in an unexplored part of space, a group of bio-scientists are on their way to a new planet, when they are intercepted, and taken prisoner, by a hostile alien species (the Krall). The humans are taken to a planet called Koban, a place even the Krall fear. There, the Krall will test the humans to see if they will make a worthy adversary in the coming war against humanity. If they fail, the Krall won't fight the human race. They'll destroy it.

    Before the test is over, the Krall are called away. They leave the humans behind on Koban, to fend for themselves.They are not expected to survive. Everything that lives on Koban, can, and will, kill them.

    What follows is an original adventure pitting human ingenuity against a planet filled with deadly plants and animals, and an alien race that lives only to enslave other species.

    The Koban series is written by a master storyteller, and his subsequent books in this series are every bit as good as the first.

    DO NOT MISS THIS SERIES. If you have never read a science fiction book before, let this be your first.

    What is so truly amazing, is that this is Stephen W. Bennett's first published book.

    Incredible, and HIGHLY -- VERY HIGHLY, RECOMMENDED!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Once Burned: A Night Prince Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2786)
    Performance
    (2575)
    Story
    (2569)

    After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: a terrifying ability to channel electricity and to see a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude ... until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire. Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all - but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula.

    Hassan says: "LOVED it from the beginning"
    "5 Freaking Stars are not enough!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a little late to the party here. I didn't know this spin-off series was about Vlad. I know, right? I LOVED Vlad in the Huntress books, but I bought this series not knowing it was about him!. Now, imagine my snoopy dance when I started listening!

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Thank you Jeaniene Frost, for giving Vlad his due! And for giving him such a gloriously, wonderfully realized girlfriend!

    And thanks for -- and to -- Tavia Gilbert, too!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Paid Companion

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Amanda Quick
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (44)

    The Earl of St. Merryn needs a woman. His intentions are purely practical - he simply wants someone sensible and suitably lovely to pose as his betrothed for a few weeks among polite society. He has his own agenda to pursue, and a false fiancée will keep the husband-hunters at bay while he goes about his business. The simplest solution is to hire a paid companion. Finding the right candidate proves more of a challenge than he expected.

    Crystal Johnson says: "Great 👉👂👈💫"
    "Now that's a spine-tingling mystery!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this one very much, especially after the rather unsatisfying What the Duke Desires by Serena James, fizzled out at the end.

    This book has a great murder mystery with a fantastic ending that made the whole thing worth my time.

    Like all the HR's I read, this was a somewhat typical period piece: Destitute lady is approached by a wealthy Earl to act as his fiance, while he does a little crime solving. (Why he needs a fiance in the first place isn't really explained, but get one he does.) She is of the independent and brilliant stripe, and it isn't long before she is hip deep in the case as his partner. Together they follow a series of well thought out clues, coming closer and closer to the killer. The H and h definitely steal the show, with a few sweet side characters to lend a hand along the way. Add a nasty butler, and a Bow Street runner, and you get a great ensemble supporting cast.

    Of course they fall in love, that's to be expected. And there are some lusty, if abbreviated love scenes. What isn't expected is how creepy the killer is, and how fun the crime solving plot becomes. The ending is positively Gothic and I loved it!

    Bianca Amato is great, as usual, but with her usual overly melodramatic reading giving the Gothic imagery a bit more bite, I felt like I was there!

    I could smell the dripping crypt in this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What the Duke Desires: The Duke's Men, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Sabrina Jeffries
    • Narrated By Corrie James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (235)
    Story
    (233)

    Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, long ago buried his grief for his missing elder brother, Peter. When a mysterious note arrives from Tristan Bonnaud asserting that the Duke's brother is alive, it leads Max straight to the winsome Lisette Bonnaud, illegitimate daughter of a viscount and Tristan's sister.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Romance, Mystery, and a Duke."
    "What happened to the ending?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Despite great characters, a wonderful love story, and a promising plot, the whole story evaporates to nothing under the weight of unresolved plot points, making this book a disappointment for me.

    This could have been a great book, and I think that's why I'm so disappointed. The author failed at coming up with an ending that made sense, and once it fizzled, I felt like I was standing around waiting for the big reveal, only to see people clearing the set while the actors all went home. It was a let down.

    There are two mysteries: the unrelenting, and unexplained, murderous hatred of a stepbrother toward his step siblings, and the kidnapping and death of a young heir. The two intermingle, bringing our H and h together in a mad dash across post revolution France. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Unfortunately, we never feel as if we are in France, as most of the action takes place either in a carriage, on a steam ship, or in an apartment. (I did enjoy the scenes that took place under quarantine, but that's all I'll say about that.)

    I don't know why the heir was kidnapped. (The explanation given is convoluted and strains credulity.) The stepbrother's hatred is thwarted, but never explained, or resolved. We get our HEA, which is nice, but it isn't enough to save the book from expiring into mist.

    There are some steamy sexcapades that show the author knows how to write a love scene, and her characters are compelling, so perhaps with later books, the plots she comes up with will be worthy of them.

    Corrie James did a great job with the narration. I would say that she is probably the reason I listened to this book, but in fact, I liked the book until I got to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prince Charming

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (357)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (316)

    To escape becoming a ward of her unscrupulous uncle, Taylor Stapleton will wed Lucas Ross, a rugged American rancher. Taylor also has a secret...a precious legacy she hasn't revealed to Ross. However, as she begins to fall for her handsome new husband, Taylor dares to surrender her heart to an uncertain future.

    Tanya says: "Loved it!"
    "I loved this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The usual HR elements are here, but with an awesome twist! She is a lady who must marry to be free of the evil control of an abusive uncle. Her grandmother is dying, and out of love, she chooses an American husband for her, and tells her to trust him. He marries her for his own reasons, and tells her in a brutally candid moment that he'd rather be hung than married. He also admits that he promised her grandmother that he would protect her and see her settled before going back to his own life. She feels guilty that he's giving up so much for her and is determined not to be a burden to him. Misunderstandings ensue.

    What HE doesn't know is that our heroine has an obsession with Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, and has read all the books about them. She has also prepared for the life she wants, and dreams of a life lived in the wilds of America. She isn't the fragile flower he thinks she is.

    I felt like I traveled throught the US of 1860, and I loved every minute. The scenes in the wilderness town called Redemption, are a particular treat, and the 19 male inhabitants of Redemption greet her with a comical and sweet adoration that made that part of the book particularly fun to read. I would love to find other HR's with a similar setting.

    What I don't get is why I waited so long to read this, since I love Julie Garwood. I think it may have been some of the so so reviews that I read, and again, I've learned my lesson. If there was ever a book to take a chance on, this one is it. I LOVED it!

    One thing more --- when I got to the end, I felt like there either must be a third part that I missed downloading, or a sequel. There were a few things I would have loved some resolution on, but overall, this one is perfect. I guess that's just how you feel when you don't want a book to end. {sigh}

    Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love in the Afternoon: Hathaways, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Lisa Kleypas
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (699)
    Performance
    (409)
    Story
    (410)

    Captain Christopher Phelan has been corresponding with the beautiful golden-haired Prudence Mercer while he was away fighting in the Crimean War. What he doesn't know, however, is that the woman who wrote to him is actually Prudence's best friend, Beatrix Hathaway.
    Upon his return home to Hampshire, it becomes clear that Christopher's experiences in war have changed him.

    Helen says: "It's Beatrix's turn!"
    "My favorite."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Bea's story. The way she falls in love is so original and bitter sweet. I love that Christopher comes to appreciate how unique she is, and that their HEA is so perfect. What a beautiful way to end the series.

    Love, love, love Lisa Kleypas and Rosalyn Landor together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mistress

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Amanda Quick
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (229)

    When a blackmailer threatens her Aunt Zoe, Iphiginia knows she can ferret out the villain. A 26-year-old vixen with the intellect to match her beauty, Iphiginia descends on London society as the dazzling mistress of the missing Earl of Masters—another supposed victim of the blackmailer. But when the missing earl suddenly reappears at a ball, Iphiginia is caught in her own clever lie.

    Harry_ATL says: "Great narration"
    "I LOVED it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ok, so this one is a bit different, but in a good way. I really enjoyed this story of a Yorkshire farmer who becomes an Earl, and the young lady who wins his heart, more than I thought I would. It kept me up listening late into the night as the mystery was unraveled. I loved it so much that I bought Paid Companion as well and will listen to that one next.

    The Earl of Masters has been badly hurt by love. In self defence, he has established a list of rules to protect himself from further pain. One day a "friend" visits him at his country estate, and tells him that a young woman is moving in society, inferring in all the ballrooms in London that she's his ex mistress. He has no idea who she is, but he isn't about to let the farce continue. Of course, when he confronts her, he finds himself more intrigued by her than he should be.

    What ensues is a mystery of blackmail and murder that really grabbed my attention. I loved Ephigenia, the "ex mistress," and how interesting she was. There were some moments when I thought she was made to seem too naive, but I was so absorbed in the story that it didn't bother me at all.

    Normally, I wouldn't buy anything narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, but she was a real surprise here. She didn't exhibit the distinctive smokers voice that bothers me so much in some of her other performances, and her English dialects were spot on, if a little over the top in some places. In other parts of her performance, she was as good as Rosalyn Landor, and I don't say that lightly.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • It Happened One Autumn: Wallflower Series #2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lisa Kleypas
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1185)
    Performance
    (766)
    Story
    (780)

    Where beautiful but bold Lillian Bowman quickly learned that her independent American ways weren’t entirely “the thing.” And the most disapproving of all was insufferable, snobbish, and impossible Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London’s most eligible aristocrat.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Great Second Book in the Wallflower Series"
    "Snobs are us!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lillian Bowman is a bit much. First of all, she's American. And, she's opinionated, plain spoken, and hardly lady-like. Not quite the thing for an equally opinionated and arrogant Earl who doesn't believe in love.

    And yet, he can't keep his hands, or his lips, off of her.

    Watching him try is a lot of fun, as is Lillian's denial about what is happening between the two of them -- behind the hedges. And pretty much everywhere else.

    Very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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