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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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!
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!
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