I have to say, after reading previous reviews of this book, I expected to find myself extremely satisfied at the conclusion of it. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Trollope's writing is hard to find fault with, and Vance's narration is well done (although, I am not particularly crazy about many of his female voices). I've concluded that it's the story itself that left me wanting. Although there were a few moments when I found I had tears in my eyes, there were also many moments of tedium, with in-depth narratives about charachters and their situations that had little-to-nothing to do with the main characters. I held out hope that perhaps, in the end, I would understand why much of this was included, but to no avail. The ending was also extremely unsatisfying to me; in fact, I honestly asked myself, out loud, "You're kidding me; that's it?!?!" Although I prefer happy endings, I am content if everything is at least tied up neatly at the conclusion, which it wasn't for me here. Perhaps, if there was a second part to continue this story, it would have left me with a settled feeling of completion. Bummer for me!
I love Samantha Young's "On Dublin Street" series, so I wanted to give this a try, despite the mixed reviews. But I just can't recommend this one for a few different reasons. First, I'm all in favor of angst and build up, as long as it leads to something satisfying. This story was heavy on the former, light on the latter. Second, Renee Chambliss did her best, but her voice is just a little too high pitched and nasally, which I can deal with for the female characters. However, her attempts at the male voices were not nearly masculine enough. It's no fault of hers; it just doesn't sound good to me, and so I struggled to enjoy her male voices. Her Scottish accent was only so-so. And third, the reason behind all the drama wasn't believable enough for me to buy into. I just couldn't believe it could cause as much of a divide between the two lead characters as it did. Bummer. I read the reviews for the next book, and I am sad to say I have no need to purchase it. Same narrator, almost same story. No need to do this again.
I like this author, and the series. But this particular heroine drove me up the wall with her bitchiness, whining, and never-ending negativity. I couldn't root for her at all; I just wanted the hero to dump her and find someone else! I wanted to have compassion for her - I tried, I really did - but she was too far gone for me to even like. Sorry. I had a hard time finishing this one. Bummed me out. I am feeling a little cautious about even checking the next one out.
...I guess I can't, in all fairnes, say this, since I flat quit listening about halfway through the book. After 30+ hours of listening, I just couldn't bring myself to sacrifice another 30 hours of my life to Victor Hugo. I can't honestly report anything terrible about his writing; I know this is considered a classic, and to some, one of the best pieces of literature ever penned. I just don't possess the patience any more to wait for the story to continue to build. As others have said, Hugo's ramblings about certain topics, that truly have no bearing on the story he is trying to tell, go on for way too long. The narrator was great, and I had no issues with his performance. But, for those of you out there who've seen the recent movie or the broadway performance and want to know more, my advice to you is to stick with the visual mediums. Perhaps an abridged version would be better, although I usually shun abridgements; I may have been more satisfied if I'd made an exception in this case. Way, way, way too long for this girl!
Wow. This was my first read regarding the BDSM lifestyle, except for the Fifty Shades trilogy, which is incredibly tame compared to this. All I can say is, be prepared for NC-17 graphic stuff here. I believe this book was well written, and having listened to it instead of reading it, I didn't get thrown by the glaring grammatical errors that many readers complained about in the print version. The narrator did a spectacular job at consistently nailing the myriad of different characters' voices, which could not have been easy. The one piece I wasn't crazy about was that this setting was somewhere in the United States (I believe), but everyone in the house had British accents. I was willing to overlook this though because, otherwise, the narration was spot on. The only thing that bothered me about this story was simply my lack of understanding as to why any human soul would crave this type of lifestyle. I cannot fathom a desire for abuse, degradation, submission, and the voluntary relinquishing of one's will. I just don't get it. And I don't mean an occasional role playing game; I mean a desire to live a completely submissive life of slavery. The incessant physical pain, shame, and humiliation that these people willingly submit to is completely mind-blowing to me. I'm not sure I would ever be able to understand why any human spirit would be drawn to this. All that being said, whether this happens in real life or not, this author had me believing it was true for these individuals. I tip my hat to her.
There were only a few reviews of this book when I decided to give it a chance, and they weren't necessarily good reviews. I have to say, I was completely delighted with this little gem. So what if there wasn't enough angst or evil or bad guys? It was still a light-hearted, fun read. I suppose if you came into it with different expectations, you might be let down. Me? I wanted to be entertained by escaping through a fun romantic story, and my expectations were more than fulfilled. I had to go back and listen to several parts twice, because I laughed so hard the first time through! It was just as enjoyable the 2nd time, too. I don't think this is a Young Adult book at all, like one reviewer commented; there were plenty of rollicking sexual encounters to satisfy my needs, and I certainly wouldn't want my teenage daughters reading it yet! You will enjoy this if you give it a chance.
I thought this story was alright, but I always struggle listening to Richard Ferone's attempt at doing female voices. They end up sounding like nasally, whining, highly annoying women, which makes it difficult to really embrace the main character. I've found this to be true in other books he narrates as well; he does men fine, but makes the women sound so gratingly obnoxious that it takes a concerted effort to continue listening.
Although I have enjoyed other books written by Christine Feehan, I couldn't recommend this to anyone. It was honestly difficult to finish. I think the storyline had great potential, but unfortunately, the main characters never gained appeal to me. At first I thought it was just the narrator's voice for Raven (the female protagonist) that was grating on my nerves, but after a while, I realized it was just the character herself. If there was a stupid choice to be made, Raven predictably made it every time. Trying to understand her reasoning (her compassion for others, her belief in free will, etc.) didn't help at all. She came across as ridiculous damsel, who was always in distress. And the male lead, as attractive as he was written, lost some of his appeal to me, because of his willingness to cater to and coddle such a dolt! So disappointed. Don't waste your credit here. If you want to listen to Christine Feehan, I'd recommend the Ghostwalker series over this.
The narrator's voice for men was almost identical to his voice for women. It was awful! Plus, he paused for way too long, way too often, and it was just awkward. I'm not a fan.
The author could have made the characters less one-dimensional. Perhap I would have cared about them more. Plus, for being centuries-old vampires, it was amazing how ignorant they were and how many stupid decisions they made. They should be far wiser, having walked the earth for hundreds of years, and yet it's as if they've never encountered humans before and haven't thought anything through. I just couldn't buy into it.
Yes - Anna Fields' narration is so spectacular, and she gives the great characters even more life than Phillips!
The perpetual sarcastic back-and-forth between Blue and Dean; even though I've listened to this book numerous times, I still giggle when I listen to the two of them spar. And, of course, the opening scene in this book is one of my favorite opening scenes in any book I've ever read!
Tough choice: either Dean, Blue, or minor character Nita Garrison.
This is seriously my favorite romance book ever written. A close second is SEP's
I have listened to this book a number of times, and it never disappoints. I adore the main characters, and this is a fantastic start to Phillips Chicago Stars series. I hope she continues it!
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