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Ruffian

I'm semi-retired at 67 and a recent Cancer survivor.

Madison, MS USA | Member Since 2012

111
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 57 reviews
  • 58 ratings
  • 319 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
13

  • Serpent's Kiss: Elder Races Series #3

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1191)
    Performance
    (1071)
    Story
    (1079)

    In order to save his friend's life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissesthai made a bargain with Vampyre Queen Carling - without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.

    ducksandruns says: "My Favorite of the Series!"
    "This Serpent CAN KISS!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    5 wonderfully and gleefully given stars.

    I have a crush on Thea Harrison’s mind, her ability to create a world of ‘other’s (including actual Other Places), to craft and breathe life into such marvelous characters as Dragos, Pia, Tiago, Ninniae, the Sentinels and beyond. This books is no exception with the extraordinary tale of Dragos’ First (a Sentinel named Rune Ainissesthai) and the creature he’s drawn to and eventually mates, the vampire Carling. The tale in itself is a challenging and complex one, certainly a cut above the run-of-the-mill vampire books. As Carling is dying, Rune is more and more invested in finding a cure for her.

    Carling’s history is in itself a superb evidence of Harrison’s mind. With….WAIT JUST A MINUTE!! You know, I’m sounding like a wannabe reviewer and I’m NOT. Here’s the deal:

    I read Thea Harrison with my gut…my reaction to her writing and her people and her stories and her incredible mind is oh so visceral. I can’t really dissect the writing or the stories or the everything because it would be like doing an autopsy on myself. The privilege and honor goes to those much more intellectual than moi. The bottom line is that her books draw me in, they excite me, they flay me, they speak to me, they draw me in, they take me from the mundane to the extraordinary. When I was very small, like 5-ish, I used to sneak out of my window (completely unbeknownst to my parents until MUCH MUCH LATER) and roam with my imagination all over a neighboring golf course. It was magnificent. I’d climb trees and make up a life in a faraway place with faraway people and faraway excitement. Well, I’m 67 now but I can say that reading Thea Harrison is like being that little girl again…living with the wonders of my (and her) mind.

    The narration of The Elder Races by Sophie Eastlake is beyond perfection. She nails EVERY character and brings the total story to such life, it's amazing to hear her.

    Thanks, Teddy. for the books and Thanks, Sophie for the animation. You are both remarkable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Making Faces

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Amy Harmon
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (152)

    Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was 13. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

    CAROLYN says: "A HEARTBREAKING & VERY EMOTIONAL LISTEN"
    "Simply Magnificent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book when it first came out and gave it a 5 star review on Goodreads. Now I have listened to it and if I could give more than 5 stars, I would. The book is a beautifully written story of love, loss, longing and redemption...all cast in the story of Fern, Ambrose and Bailey. Fern, the ugly duckling with eyes only for Ambrose; Ambrose, the god-man hero of his town, who went to war with his friends and returned home a changed forever soul; and Bailey, the tragic clown and spiritual challenge to everyone who knew him. It's always beyond interesting to listen to a book you've already read to get a different sense and resonance with the story, the characters and the writer's voice. The key in this transition from reading to listening is the narration and, believe me when I say that the narration of Rob Shapiro could NOT have been better. He absolutely nails the heart and soul of the characters and remains utterly true to the story. I have always been and will always be a visceral reader and this book reaches into my soul and heart like few others have done. Amy Harmon is a profoundly gifted writer and I relish any story she tells.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Singer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Hunter
    • Narrated By Zachary Webber
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    When you've lost everything you love, how do you fight the darkness? Ava left Istanbul with a new identity, new name, and new magic she could barely control. Laid low by Malachi's sacrifice, she searches for help from the fabled Irina. But will the secretive women of the Irin race welcome or shun her? Ava's origins are still a mystery, and her powers are darker than any they've encountered before. The Irin world hangs in the balance.

    Ruffian says: "I Sing for The Singer"
    "I Sing for The Singer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this book, which is the second in the Irin Chronicles series. The first book blew me away, not only with the richness and depth of the story and characters but also by the intelligent, moving and powerful narration by Zachary Webber. Audio books are always a crap-shoot depending on the narrator and this time Audible.com (or whoever produced it) got it right.

    This is a wonderfully conceived and developed mythology and tale of half-breed angels (both good and bad), a woman, Ava, who struggles with voices that she cannot elude not knowing or understanding that she is an Irina (a remale Irin)and an Irin, Malachi (one of the half-breed good guys)--their story of falling in love and commitment and of the supreme sacrifice made by one so the other could live. The second book picks up where the first ended (thank god) and we learn of how Ava and Malachi's love endures beyond the pale and how Ava's love for him is the catalyst for an epic deed.

    Unfolding along side this powerful love is the onslaught of the Gregori (the bad guys) and the Fallen Angels who control them as they war with the Irin (and Irina, as the women are called). The magical world of these beings is of such incredible depth that I often had to delay listening further so I could bask in the substance of the story and it's characters.

    I thought The Elemental Mysteries was a spectacular series...I was not prepared for The Irin Chronicles to be as good (if not better) and I am now bereft of this world until Book 3 is released. If you enjoy paranormal romance (hell, paranormal LOVE) coupled with a very powerful and smart writer AND a gifted narrator, DO NOT MISS THIS SERIES.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Axel: Corps Security, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Harper Sloan
    • Narrated By Abby Craden, Sean Crisden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (104)

    Isabelle West has learned the hard way how hard life can be when fate isn't by your side. For the last two years Isabelle has been slowly clearing the clouds of her past. Happiness is finally on the horizon. She has a thriving business, great friends, and her life back. All she has to do is jump over the last hurdle... her ex-husband. Axel never thought he would look into the eyes of Isabelle West again, and he wasn't sure he wanted to now.

    CAROLYN says: "A TRAGIC, BITTER-SWEET & EMOTIONAL LOVE STORY"
    "It's OK"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book a few years back and enjoyed the alpha male story, so was excited to see it as an audio book. What a disappointment...I started to return it because the narration (both the man and the woman) were, well, not nearly as hot as the story. AND, I think I've gotten accustomed to Kristen Ashley's alpha males, so the Cage boys don't have the attraction they once used to. This is a good story idea made mediocre by writing that is lackluster. All I could think of in terms of Izzie was how all she did was cry and fall apart; the narrator seldom finished a sentence without an audible (no pun intended) gasp that was most distracting. The whole narration portrayed the character of Izzie as borderline hysteric all the time...no evidence of strength whatsoever. Grew VERY tired of that. Also, I like erotic writing but it needs to be sensual and steamy...not gross and constant. In any event, I was not impressed by my second go around with Axel and even less so with the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Scribe

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Hunter
    • Narrated By Zachary Webber
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Hidden at the crossroads of the world, an ancient race battles to protect humanity, even as it dies from within. Ava Matheson came to Istanbul looking for answers, but others came looking for her. A reckless warrior guards her steps, but will Malachi's own past blind him to the truth of who Ava might be? While ancient forces gather around them, both Ava and Malachi search for answers. Whispering voices. Deadly touch. Their passion should be impossible... or it could be the only thing that will keep them alive.

    Josaphine says: "Fantastic Performance of a good story"
    "Terrific Listen, Terrific Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an audio book and a superb rendition of a wonderfully creative and developed story. I swear I have a girl crush on Elzabeth Hunter and The Scribe only confirms how much I love her writing. Not only are her mythology, stories and characters crafted with intelligence and it but also I LEARN something every time I read/listen. I keep Wikipedia at the ready at all times so I can look up a name or a place that is not usually seen or heard of. The Scribe is a rich tale of magic, love, spells, beings with a special place in the world, beings who stalk them all over the world. The Scribe's primary focus is Turkey, so now I know much more about Turkey than I did when I started. What a fascinating country it is. But, foremost, it is a tale of the connection between Malachi and Ava...a connection that reaches into each of their souls and hearts to pull them together, never to be apart emotionally. Y'all know I am a visceral reviewer and while I am thrilled for the smartness of Ms Hunter's writing, I am also riveted to the story with my heart. And filled with affection for the Band of Scribes that is fighting desperately to keep themselves together following a catastrophic "Rending" where so many of their 'kind' were killed. It's a deeply moving book because of the beauty of the story, the solidness of the characters and the promise of more to come.

    The narration by Zachary Webber is, honestly, riveting. He is able to be all characters without being the same sound. I had not been very familiar with him before but I will be seeking out books that he narrates from here on out. He is marvelous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • After We Fell

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Anna Todd
    • Narrated By Shane East, Elizabeth Louise
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    Tessa didn't plan on meeting H. during her freshman year of college. But now that she has, her life will never be the same.

    Ruffian says: "I can't get away from this story"
    "I can't get away from this story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK--I loved the first one, the second was 'meh' and this one was seemingly ENDLESS. The same stuff over and over. Hardin is a jerk to Tessa, she cries, he apologizes, she can't seem to get a grip on how to stand up to him, she also can't seem to tell him what's going on, she questions EVERYTHING and on and on and on and on. I don't know when I have been so involved with such an overblown and meaningless story. Hardin is indeed the JERK OF THE WORLD...he cannot seem to get a handle on his anger and takes it our on everyone, espeically Tessa who lets him walk all over her and then cries some more. This third installment is not much different from the first two. Yes, Hardin had some issues that were troublesome growing up but GET A GRIP and move on. Whew...I'm worn out. BUT!! I am also captive to the story and will finish it out (thank god!) in the final book. The narration is very good..both Shane East and Elizabeth Louise do nice jobs of the characters. I can only think that during the endless and repetitious events and situations, they must be rolling their eyes and saying...will this ever end. I understand this is wildly popular and has been optioned for a movie. Well oh boy.

    I do have to add that Ms Todd has a real eye/ear for humor, though and I have laughed out loud at several of Hardin's comments. He can be quite funny. Tessa however, only knows how to gnash her teeth, question her every move and cry. Please make it stop

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • After We Collided: The After Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Anna Todd
    • Narrated By Shane East, Elizabeth Louise
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    After a tumultuous beginning to their relationship, Tessa and Hardin were on the path to making things work. Tessa knew Hardin could be cruel, but when a bombshell revelation is dropped about the origins of their relationship - and Hardin’s mysterious past - Tessa is beside herself.

    Kristi says: "Good book, not so good narration"
    "What a mess"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I must admit that the first book, even with all the pseudo-drama and lack of depth, was sort of interesting. I mean Hardin is the gold standard of people you want to avoid at all costs. Broken or not, he's a real jerk. Tessa's complete inability to take a stand and remain a wishy-washy wimp just made me want to wring her neck. The narration is pretty good although I do NOT like the Shane East's female voice (his Hardin is pretty good) but do like Elizabeth Louise's narration of both Tessa and Hardin. There were times while istening to this I just wanted to SCREAM "ENOUGH ALREADY" Please end this and put us all out of our misery. So, what do I do...I immediately pre-order After We Fell. I am determined to see this through as the story idea is tantalizing but the writing needs to catch up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carolina Girl: A Dare Island Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Virginia Kantra
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (96)

    Meg Fletcher spent her childhood dreaming of escaping Dare Island - her family's home for generations. So after she landed a high-powered job in New York City, she left and never looked back. But when she loses both her job and the support of her long-term, live-in boyfriend, she returns home to lick her wounds and reevaluate her life. Helping out her parents at the family inn, she can't avoid the reminders of the past she'd rather forget - especially charming and successful Sam Grady, her brother's best friend.

    Jane says: "I wasn’t smiling but it kept my interest"
    "The Lure of Dare Island"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The second book in this marvelous series is my least favorite, mostly because I was not riveted by the female lead, Meg. I mean, she's a strong willed woman with a razor sharp wit and tongue who THINKS she knows exactly what she wants and how to achieve it. Life, however, doesn't see it that way and she is thrown for a complete loop. Her reaction, recovery and realization that the heart is a better guide than a fat paycheck is the thrust of this book. Her relationship with Sam Grady, who spent one night with her many years ago is re-kindled, put out and re-lit. Worthy and lovely read. Again, Sophie Eastlake powers through another excellent narration bringing everyone to life.

    The Flectcher family is everyone's ideal so it's nice to have that strength to latch onto as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carolina Man: A Dare Island Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Virginia Kantra
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (99)

    Marine Luke Fletcher is determined to do his duty—first to his country and now to his ten-year-old daughter, the unexpected legacy of a high school girlfriend. But his homecoming to Dare Island in North Carolina's Outer Banks challenges his plans for the future and forces him to face everything that's missing in his life. He wasn't prepared to lose his heart to this child he never knew. Or to fall hard for coolly reserved small town lawyer Kate Dolan.

    Erin says: "BEST ONE IN THE SERIES!!!!!"
    "I DARE YOU!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I raved over the first novel in the Dare Island series and forgot to mention I rated it as 4.5 stars. Sorry about that. Anywho, the third book follows the story of Luke Fletcher as he deals with a number of issues, each of which could knock him for a loop. Coming home as a career Marine from his latest deployment in Afghanistan; entering the life of his 10 year old daughter Taylor that he had NO IDEA existed until her mother died suddenly during his deployment; meeting and dealing with his daugher's attorney. Once again, the tale of chemistry, the struggle to establish a relationship with a trouble child and get a grip on being a father, the decisions to be made for his future....all of these pieces are gradually moved, fitted and click over the course of the book. It's a lovely lovely story of all kinds of love. The narration by Sophie Eastlake is beyound superior in every way. I think she's one of the best audible has to offer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carolina Home: A Dare Island Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Virginia Kantra
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (172)

    Home to the Fletcher family for generations, Dare Island is a fishing village rocked by changing times - its traditions slipping away like sands of the North Carolina coast. Single dad and fishing boat captain Matt Fletcher deferred his own dreams to support his innkeeper parents and build a future for his sixteen-year-old son. Matt has learned to weather life's storms by steering a steady emotional course...and keeping a commitment-free approach to love.

    Kathryn @theBookDate says: "Enjoyed my first visit to Dare Island"
    "Wanna go to Dare Island"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I 'stumbled' upon this series searching for books narrated by Sophie Eastlake...one of my absolute favorite female narrators. She was barely into the second chapter when I realized this was going to be a terrific series. It's also my first experience with Virgina Kantra but certainly not my last. What a voice this writer has and what a lovely lovely story this book wove. You all know that I am a visceral reviewer; you can get deets from the bloggers galore but suffice it to say that this a sweet and sometime bittersweet love story between Matthew and Allison. We are introduced to the Fletchers (via Matt, who is a Fletcher) who become the backbone and strength of this beautifully done series. Matt's commitment to his son, Josh, is the structure around which his relationship with Allison is built. Allison is an off islander 'alien' who teaches (Josh, of course). The chemistry is there and the story builds. Don't miss this inaugural Dare Island book...it sets the stage for the rest, which, once you read this one...you'll dive right into.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carolina Blues: A Dare Island Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Virginia Kantra
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    Jack Rossi is Dare Island's new police chief. The laid-back North Carolina community is just what he needs to recover from a rocky marriage and a big-city police department. He's learned his lesson: no more high-profile women or high-pressure jobs. The last thing he wants is an unconventional alt girl rocking his world. Grad student Lauren Patterson made headlines when she kept a bank robbery from going bad. She's fled to Dare Island to clear her head and focus on writing her story.

    K says: "Easy Reading 3"
    "You Won't Be Blue with this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OH FOR PETE'S SAKE!! I have loved this whole series but this book takes the cake. What a wonderful, funny, sweet, romantic, strong, and lovely read. I wasn't sure the story of Jack and Lauren would be on par with the wonderful Fletchers but hot damn!! It's better. There is an added element of challenge and personal angst in this book that, to me anyway, did not appear in the first 3 and let me REPEAT, I loved the first 3. This is a must read for anyone who loves to melt with the richness of the story, the believability of the characters, the SUPERB writing and the familiarity of reconnecting with old book friends.

    I stumbled upon this whole series on audible.com while looking for books narrated by Sophie Eastlake, of the BEST audible has to offer. I was SO not disappointed in either Sohpie's marvelous narration but also completely captivated by the writing voice of Virginia Kantra.

    Please do yourself a favor and read this series...even better, listen to it. You won't be sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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