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Ruth

BlithelyBookish Reviews

APPLE VALLEY, CA, United States | Member Since 2015

24
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 179 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2015
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  • The Duke Is Mine

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Eloisa James
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (341)
    Performance
    (297)
    Story
    (299)

    For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick - hardly a Prince Charming - feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce,a perfect match for her in every way... every way but one. Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia. Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him....

    Ramona says: "Great Romance with a Twist"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What do you get when you blend the writing talent of Eloisa James and the brilliant narration of Susan Duerden? A decadent, romantic, sexy retelling of The Princess and the Pea, one that's deliciously fun, start to finish!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Marc Zender
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    At just over 5,000 years old, writing is actually a relatively recent invention. It has become so central to the way we communicate and live, however, that it often seems as if writing has always existed. But the question remains: Who invented writing, and why?In these 24 fascinating lectures, you'll trace the remarkable saga of the invention and evolution of "visible speech," from its earliest origins to its future in the digital age.

    Stacey says: "Loved it!"
    "Another Wonderful Course!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy listening to Audible's The Great Courses series of books. This one started out slow... lot's of background information... but the narrator is excellent and at the 30% mark, I was hooked!

    There are so many interesting facts and so much information about how languages and writing styles came and went, and I would have enjoyed this much more if there had been lecture handouts with graphs and images, but still all in all a great course/lecture.

    The one thing that shocked me was learning that The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy proposed in 2009, and now adopted by 45 of the United States, does not mandate cursive instruction. Only keyboarding is required.

    So, what happens when/if there's a time, generations from now, when something happens - like a solar flare - that shuts down electrical grids and there are no keyboards to type on? How will people communicate? Also, think about what that means. Cursive is a dying art form, and someday your grand-kids will be asking you to show them what writing looks like.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The History of Ancient Egypt

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bob Brier
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (413)
    Story
    (416)

    Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. It lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. Its Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest building in the world until well into the 19th century and remains the only Ancient Wonder still standing. And it was the most technologically advanced of the ancient civilizations, with the medical knowledge that made Egyptian physicians the most famous in the world.

    Nassir says: "Incomprehensibly complete"
    "Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Growing up I had this fascination with all things ancient Egypt. I watched the movies, read the books, and with an obsession that bordered on...well, obsessive, I tuned into all the documentaries I could find. There was a time in my life I had even decided to become an archaeologist! But, as it often does, life got in the way of my dreams and I didn't go down that path.

    Anyway, knowing all that about me, it should come as no shock when I tell you that as soon as I saw The History of Ancient Egypt in Audible's The Great Courses, I 1-clicked this baby (though I think it actually takes 3-4 clicks) and listened to all 48 of the 30 minute lectures and loved every one!

    From the first King/gods to the building of the pyramids, the Valley of the Kings, the exodus, and finally Cleopatra's heartbreaking but inspiring reign, Bob Brier brings it all to life in a way that made me feel like I was right there as history unfolded. His excitement and passion for Egyptology, coupled with his expertise on all things mummies, made this entire series of lectures absolutely brilliant!

    I will definitely he looking for more in The Great Courses!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midsummer Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (220)

    When a powerful, decisive aristocrat undertakes to protect an absent-minded young inventress from England's enemies, he finds his orderly world turned into chaos. Merlin Lambourne's stubborn dream of flight puts her at risk, not to mention driving Ransom crazy. In spite of himself, he's oddly enchanted by this muddled miss and her eccentric ways... but can he overcome his own fears and realize her invention may be the answer to saving both their lives?

    Ruth says: "5 +++ "God Almighty, I'll never sin again" stars!"
    "5 +++ "God Almighty, I'll never sin again" stars!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this story. Loved it! Not just a little, but over the moon loved it! Fun, romantic, sexy,

    I've read some reviews and it seems that Merlin, our 'genius with little common sense' heroine, grated on some people's nerves, but not mine. Oh, no. Not mine! I love her! In fact,I found her to be refreshingly unique, and she's now one of my all time favorite heroines. She and Ransom, so different, so completely and totally different... but absolutely brilliant together. They made me laugh, made me sigh, kept me listening through the wee hours of the morning.

    Nicholas Boulton is an amazing narrator. I wish he'd narrate ALL audio books. Heck, I wish he'd narrate my name! Just my name... I'd play it over and over and over. Such a deep, rich, sexy voice.

    *sigh* I'm just rambling, so I'll quit here, except to say that Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton are, hands down, my favorite author/narrator team. I can't get enough of them, and I hope that he'll narrate all her books.

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!!!!!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Wedding: The Lairds' Brides, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Heather Wilds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (573)
    Performance
    (533)
    Story
    (531)

    New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood has captured the hearts of millions of listeners worldwide with timeless tales of love and soaring adventure. Now, returning to the enchanting world of her classic love story “The Bride,” she brings to glorious life the passion, intrigue, and rivalry of medieval Scotland....

    jujubug58 says: "Incredible Narrrator"
    "Fun, Romantic, Beautiful Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Years ago, The Wedding was the second historical romance novel I had ever read, coming right on the heels of The Bride. I adore both stories and when I needed a guaranteed awesome escapism book, decided to listen to them on audio.

    The Bride, narrated by Rosalyn Landor, was brilliantly done. Maybe because I had such high expectations for The Wedding, Heather Wilds, who has a lovely, comfortable voice to listen to, really disappointed me. The warriors often sounded like pre-pubescent boys or teens and so I had a tough time imagining them as manly Highland warriors. Also, even though the words themselves were the right ones for the times, the heroine sounded like she had walked straight off the pages of a contemporary romance novel.

    As I said, Ms. Wilds has a lovely voice, but I wasn't able to stay immersed in the story due to the way she portrayed the characters.

    All that said, I truly did enjoy the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Perils of Pursuing a Prince: Desperate Debutantes

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Julia London
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (78)

    From New York Times best-selling author Julia London comes the second novel in her irresistibly romantic Desperate Debutantes trilogy, in which three suddenly destitute aristocratic young ladies must resort to desperate means to keep up appearances...and find the husbands of their dreams.

    Cam says: "Got goose bumps listening to the story"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Perils of Pursuing a Prince is my first taste of Julia London's writing, as well as my first listen to Anne Flosnik's narration, and I enjoyed both, very much! This is a fun, sexy, romantic story with moments of poignancy that made me want to weep.

    I can't wait to read/listen to more!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The King: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By J.R. Ward
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1587)
    Performance
    (1474)
    Story
    (1480)

    After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father's mantle - with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything - and everyone - at risk. Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it.

    Erin says: "Excellent as Usual!!"
    "LONG LIVE THE KING!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'll make this review quick; I LOVED this story! Loved the WARDenisms - the slang, the brand name dropping, the unique style of writing that draws me in and keeps me coming back for more. Loved it all! Even the side stories drew me in, connecting me with the couples and their struggles...

    But best of all? Seeing our beloved Wrath and Beth up close and personal. Revisiting them, in depth, as they deal with the Band of Bastards, the Glymera, and everything else life is throwing at them. THE KING is the perfect visit with the Brotherhood!

    But the audio - just okay. Jim Frangione has a great voice, but too often I felt like he was reading the story rather than performing it - or living it. I didn't get the feel that he was into it, at all. And the mispronunciations of names and words? After 12 books, that is completely unacceptable! Finally, at about 30% in I stopped listening and just read the Kindle version, and enjoyed much more. (Giving the audio a 2.5 of 5.)

    The bottom line:

    I can't even put into words how painful and beautiful and sexy this story is. Listen to the audio sample and decide for yourself. Clearly, I'm in the minority when it comes to my thoughts on his narrative skills.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret: Highlands' Lairds, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1289)
    Performance
    (1171)
    Story
    (1180)

    Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud and loyal. Her dear Scottish friend from childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another reason for the journey from her bleak English home to the Highlands: to meet the father she had never known, the Laird Maclean. Nothing prepared her, however, for the sight of the Scottish barbarian who was to escort her into his land...Iain Maitland, laird of his clan, a man more powerfully compelling than any she had ever encountered.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Nice Historical Highland Romance"
    "5 romantic, funny, very sexy stars!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story



    Audio/Kindle/Paperback Review

    Very rarely do I have the opportunity to read a book that isn't a review required read, but I needed something familiar, something comforting this past week, and so I chose to re-read/listen to this story.

    I am so, so very glad I did!

    I had read The Secret (paperback) years ago and never reviewed because I was on a Julie Garwood binge. Book after book, I didn't have time to stop and write down my thoughts because I couldn't stop reading long enough to do so. This story will always be a favorite read, but as a listen? It's amazing!

    My review...

    Julie Garwood was my first venture into Historical Romance, and the genre became an instant favorite. I grabbed every single Garwood HR I could get my hands on, and wept when I learned she wasn't writing HR anymore.

    Okay, maybe "wept" is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much!

    When people ask what my favorite HR novel is, I always think of Garwood's books. The Prize, The Bride, The Wedding... it's hard to pick an all time favorite. But I can honestly say, The Secret is right up there on the list.

    And I've fallen in love with it, all over again.

    This past weekend I listened (and read along - Kindle) to Susan Duerden not just read the book, but perform it. Her incredible ability to let each character's unique personality shine through made this an absolute delight to experience.

    The prologue is one of the best I had ever read, and now listening to Ms. Duerden bring the wee little girls, Judith and Frances Catherine to life... then bring them together again as grown women whose friendship passed the test of time and will inspire Lairds and clansmen... truly, I can't put into words how much I enjoyed this story. No, how much I LOVE this story! Every page, every sentence, every word...

    The bottom line...

    As I said, my reading time is precious to me and there isn't enough of it, but when I needed something familiar and comforting, I chose this book. That in itself should bear testament to how much I adore The Secret.

    I sighed, I smiled, I laughed... the witty dialog and laugh out loud banter, the sexual chemistry... it captured my heart and made me fall in love with the obstinate Laird Iain Maitland and the adorable, equally obstinate Lady Judith, all over again.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Almost Perfect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Julie Ortolon
    • Narrated By Jane Cramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (85)

    Maddy, Christine, and Amy, friends since college, are thrilled to learn their old suitemate's self-help book, How to Have a Perfect Life, has become a smashing bestseller - until they realize she used them as negative examples of how women let fear mess up their lives. The worst part is…it's sort of true. So, the three friends make a pact: They each have one year to face down their fears - and prove Miss Perfect wrong!

    Amazon Customer says: "Nice Surprise!"
    "Such a "feel good" story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story



    This is a review of both the Audible and the Kindle versions.

    I haven't enjoyed a new-to-me author this much in a long time and it just goes to prove the old adage about never judging a book by its cover - but in this case, its 'never judge a book by its price.' See, I've had Almost Perfect sitting on my Kindle forever! Seriously, at least couple years, I'm sure. But I had this idea that because it had been free, it probably wasn't all that good, so I was in no hurry to get to it. Yeeaaah, no! I was totally wrong about that and I'm kicking myself for having waited so long to read this story.

    Description...

    Maddy, Christine, and Amy find that an old college roommate has written about them in her new self-help book-and they're furious that she's used them as examples of how women screw up their lives. And the worst part is, it's sort of true. Together they make a pact: they'll face down their fears-and maybe show Miss Perfect a thing or two!

    Maddy rejected her high school sweetheart's marriage proposal for art school years ago. Now her friends challenge her to rediscover her lost passion for arts. In doing so, she crosses paths with her old flame, Joe, at an art camp. Perhaps it's about time that Maddy reignites another old passion.

    My review...

    There are a few things that stand out in my mind as to what makes this such an entertaining story. Most definitely Christine and Amy and their friendship with Maddy - true friends who tell you what you need to hear, even when it's not what you want to hear. Their relationship added a bit of a chick-lit feel, but not too much. This truly is a romance driven novel. And a steamy one, at that!

    Another thing I loved is the theme of never giving up on your dreams. In fact, that's the jumping off point and the foundation of the story. And while the friendship is the catalyst for Maddie reaching for her dreams, Joe is also there, cheering her on.

    But for me, best of all, I loved this second chance romance that, against almost impossible odds, was truly wonderful. No hurried forgiveness, no lame excuses that are acceptable just to move things along...the whole story, start to finish, drew me in and kept me totally invested in these very real, totally normal, compelling flawed people. (And an FYI to those I know will be wondering - there was no cheating involved when the relationship ended the first time.)

    The audio...

    Jane Cramer did a great job of giving each character a distinctive voice and personality. Her own voice is smooth, pleasant, and so, so easy to listen to!

    I'm excited to read more by this talented author/narrator team!

    My thanks to the Ortolons for providing me with a copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review. It was such a pleasure!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dream Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (233)

    In search of a legendary mare, Lord Winter enters the crucible of the red sands, forging unbreakable bonds of loyalty and trust with his young companion in the desert. But hidden beneath the ragged costume of a Bedouin boy is a remarkable young woman: Zenia Stanhope, daughter of the extraordinary Queen of the Desert. Zenia wants nothing of the danger that Lord Winter lives for. She wants only to reach England, far from the blood and sand of the desert.

    Monique says: "Laura Kinsale is an auto buy for me!"
    "Brilliant, romantic, passionate, poignant..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Brilliant, romantic, passionate, intense, poignant, sexy, exciting...

    ...all this is true of The Dream Hunter, but there are no words that can do justice to the amazing narrator/author team of Nicholas Boulton and Laura Kinsale! Every story is perfectly written by one of historical romance's best authors, then poignantly, passionately, brought to life through one of audio-books most talented, sexy, male voices.

    Do yourself a favor and try these audio books. Any story by this pair. So far I've listened to Flowers from the Storm, The Prince of Midnight, and The Dream Hunter, and each one is pure brilliance! (But Flowers from the Storm will always be my favorite!)

    It doesn't get better than this!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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