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Skipper

Skipper

ratings
149
REVIEWS
111
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
119

  • All the Queen's Men

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Linda Howard
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (246)

    No one can get close to John Medina, the CIA's legendary Black Ops specialist who works in the shadows of the government's deadliest missions. And no one knows the dangers better than Niema Burdock. A sharp, steely-nerved communications expert, Niema and her husband, Dallas, worked side by side with Medina on an explosive mission that went tragically wrong. Now Niema has withdrawn to a quiet Intelligence position, and a safe - if predictable - existence that has helped her heal her scars from five years ago. But now John Medina needs her....

    Molly says: "John Medina~ HOT sexy CIA ops~ RUTHLESS ~ LOVER~"
    "Enjoyable enough, but not Howard's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Solid narration by Kate Forbes. Fair story. Nothing special, but not bad. I liked the scenes where John Medina (Tucker) was teaching self-defense to Niema Burdoch. There's explicit sex towards the end. The two protagonists did something very stupid, hanging around in France when danger clearly lurked.

    Linda Howard's "CIA Spies" series get lots of acclaim, but personally, I think they are half-baked. They didn't feel complete as a romance nor as a suspense thriller.

    The three books in the series, in order:

    1. Kill and Tell. An old US Marine (retired) sent his "Sniper killbook" to his estranged wife and daughter. It contains evidence that would expose a corrupt senator. When said sniper is murdered, his daughter Karen turns to New Orleans PD detective Marc Chastain for help. A CIA agent (John Medina) gets involved because the bad guys also killed his father. Too much torrid sex in this one, but a decent plot.

    2. All the Queen's Men (this book). Covert CIA agent John Medina (introduced in Kill and Tell) puts the sting on a deadly explosives operation, meanwhile putting the moves on CIA techno-geek Niema Burdoch. He's loved her for five years. We also learn that John Medina has a soft spot for Karen and Marc (book 1), keeping watch over them.

    3. Kiss Me While I Sleep (very slight overlap with the two previous books). There is a mole in the CIA, and the highly trusted CIA director is in critical condition. Special agent Lucas Swain doesn't know who to trust, so he's on his own, bringing down a renegade operative in France. However, Lily Mansfield is more than he expected. Together, Lucas and Lily put a stop to a bioterrorism plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25331)
    Performance
    (23239)
    Story
    (23248)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Macgyver on Mars"
    "If you like Applied Mechanics!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent narration. The story itself was interesting and occasionally I chuckled at the cheesy one-liners, but the "Martian" didn't feel like any human being I've ever met or would want to meet. Even after nearly two years alone on Mars, with seemingly endless near-calamitous challenges, Mark Watney was apparently impervious to feelings. He exhibited no despair, fear, frustration, depression, loneliness, etc. In fact, he didn't even seem to miss his friends or family, as little as he mentioned them. No mention of faith either, but surely he might have entered into the dark night of his soul, if only for an hour?? After all, in addition to a daily grind of survivalism, he endured a steady diet of potatoes, disco music, and old 70's television episodes.

    I liked the scenes on Earth. I liked the concept of watching Watney Winnebago his way across Mars from satellite images. It felt like ""Survivor" on a global scale.

    However, I found myself zoning out during the long-winded descriptions of precisely how our hero repaired broken equipment or created new mechanical marvels from varied parts. This focus on mechanics was exacerbated by the use of abbreviations and acronyms, like MAV, MDV, EVA, IR, HAB, etc. I had to stop and think about what they meant. Technical jargon might work perfectly well for a reader more familiar with the genre.

    I did like the botanical aspects of the book. Is it possible to truly grow potatoes on Mars, using Mark's method? Seems plausible to me.

    The final paragraphs didn't fit the story. Felt like a speech.

    By the way, this book has some F-bombs and other expletives. Otherwise, it's fine for a family road trip. A family of budding astronauts, engineers, or botanists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Heat: Alpha and Omega, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Patricia Briggs
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (1551)
    Performance
    (1411)
    Story
    (1412)

    For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles' role as his father's enforcer. This time their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way....

    Nikki says: "It can't get any better!!!"
    "A "doll-maker" visits a Navajo horse ranch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Grim-dark urban fantasy with a gleaming golden lining. Contents include several scenes of bloody violence. Murder. Child abduction. Some loving smexy scenes, but no sex scenes. No profanity or vulgarity.

    Suspenseful and scary, and not too predictable. It's book 4, and by now the kinks have been sorted between Anna and Charles, making way for the alpha wolf and his omega to get playful and tender when not storming the gates of hell.

    This book is set in current day Arizona, at a Navajo horse ranch outside Scottsdale, with scenes of the Arabian Horse Show in Scottsdale. After the concluding events of book 3, Fair Game, the wronged and enraged Fae are out for blood. Innocent human children are especially at risk. Creepy "dollmaker" scenes. Gaiman's Coraline came to mind in the "Fetch" depictions.

    Despite the gruesome factor, I felt a heartwarming tone to this book, because Briggs portrays a world where great evil exists, confronted by great good. Her heroes came in all shapes and sizes, from the very little to the very large. Four legged and two. Female and male. Youthful and elderly. Sweet!

    Characters from prequels: Anna and Charles "Smith" (hah!). Bram the Marrock. Tom the werewolf from Seattle and Moira his white-witch wife, who featured in book 2, Hunting Ground. Lesley Fisher, the fabulous and gorgeous FBI agent from book 3, Fair Game.

    Themes: 1) Children as heroes who yet need our protection. Charles learns to see himself as Anna does, as a heroic badass to whom terrified children turn for protection. Adults, too. 2) Birthing baby werewolves versus adopting children. 3) Dealing with the death of loved ones: Death as a basic human right and as a rite of passage. (Really liked those scenes with old Joe). 4) The process, problems, and advantages of becoming a werewolf.

    Quibbles: The pace got a little slow for a while. I felt it most when reminiscing about the past, and a younger Maggie, but maybe this was exaggerated by the audio format. Harder to skim the slow parts when listening.

    Narration: Holter Graham did his usual solid gold job with narration, but there were some swallowing sounds that could have been edited out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Exiled Queen: A Seven Realms Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Cinda Williams Chima
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (254)

    New York Times best-selling author Cinda Williams Chima has been crafting riveting novels since her days in middle school. In The Exiled Queen, 17-year-old ex-Ragmarket street lord Han Alister is pursuing an education in magical arts. To stand up to the haters at the academy, he joins forces with a mysterious wizard—but soon discovers the price may be more than he's willing to pay.

    Skipper says: "Leave No Thought Unwritten"
    "Leave No Thought Unwritten"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent narration notwithstanding, I'm a disgruntled reader. Even though some scenes were wonderfully vivid and quite suspenseful (especially in the Shivering Fens), as a whole, I felt mildly impatient with the pedantic writing style, annoyed at the romantic developments, and irritated at the ending. Ends on a major cliff. Hanging on for dear life.

    "Leave-no-thought-unwritten" writing style: Infernal internal dialogue. The author uses a character's thoughts to reiterate things gleaned from the actual events and dialogue, to be totally sure we totally know what's going on. Totally. As if we can't catch the nuance from the story itself. Chima's mental asides occur within conversations even, interrupting the flow. These thoughts offer nothing new — they are usually obvious and/or repeated info. Sometimes they restate previous passages, italicized. Emergent plot twists are hinted at too strongly, making the twist obvious even before the reader could possibly play the prediction game. Boo! Nuff said. Forgive the rant, but I felt cheated of the joys of puzzling out the plot.

    This one reminded me too much of Hogwarts, complete with a Snape doppelgänger and a nasty trio to replace Malfoy and friends. I don't mind reading that same trope again, if it's well written and engrossing.

    Frustrating love triangles. I totally hated what the author did to Amon and Raisa.

    Foolish and obtuse hero and heroine. At times too stupid to live. The letter she wrote!! His lack of caution re Crow.

    All that said, I liked some scenes and some secondary characters really caught my attention. I might read the sequel. I want to know how it all pans out.

    Okay for kids? Probably. The contents are fairly harmless. No swearing. Lots of sexual innuendo (no actual sex, but occasional kissing and necking).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Crimson Crown: A Seven Realms Novel, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Cinda Williams Chima
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (244)

    In this stunning series conclusion, Queen Raisa ana' Marianna is desperately seeking a way to unite her people and keep peace within the Fells. Meanwhile, relations between the wizards and Clan approach a breaking point. Han Alister, now a member of the Wizard Council, learns the thousand-year-old secret that can unite the people of the kingdom - but he may not live long enough to use it.

    Rita says: "Favorite Book this Year"
    "The Last Shall Be Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great narration by Carol Monda, but I mostly read this book, alternating occasionally with audio. 3.75 stars for the story itself, the last book in the series and the best, despite some quibbles (noted last, below).

    This series is YA with some allusions to sex but no explicit sex scenes. It's high fantasy in some sense, but no dragons, pixies, or gnomes. Lots of magic, though. Green earth magic used by the mountain clans (copperheads) and wizardly mumbo-jumbo used by the "gifted" (jinxflingers). And there are portentous visions of Gray Wolves (the spirits of ancestors, ancient queens). Pretty cool, but maybe the wolves appeared too frequently and lost a little of their pizzazz.

    Compared to books 1 and 2, characterization is fairly consistent here in book 4. Characters didn't act counter to their upbringing or intelligence just to steer the plot. I didn't find myself rolling my eyes at stupidity, either. So, all good.

    Several romances are going on. Primarily, there is Hans and Raisa, newly crowned queen. They earn this HEA and it felt solid. Dancer and Cat continue to develop their unlikely and yet heartwarming bond and --- SURPRISE! --- a secret relationship is revealed, one that began in book 2.

    Villains are many and varied, but not cardboard. Sometimes they surprised me. Mostly they didn't.

    Embraceable secondary characters. Fire Dancer develops a splendid new power yet stays true to his heart. And what a big heart it is! Crow is just a wonderfully vivid character -- no easy feat, considering he's only spirit. I loved his quirky brilliant personality, and wanted a happy ending for him. Lucius the blind immortal is textured, layered, and has a compelling backstory. The new captain of the Highland Army is a woman; she's weathered, sensible, and textured. I got a solid read on her. Cat played in some key scenes -- and not always on her basilka harp. Also, Dimitri and his Waterwalkers (from book 2) played in a brief but fun little scene. I did wish for children to get a pivotal role in this series, but even though they are occasionally present, they are minor players.

    The plot includes a fair amount of political posturing as a new high wizard is elected, but it's easy to follow and necessary to the plot. I liked the scene when the wizards voted and various surprising event occurred.

    Three Quibbles:

    Still miffed about what happened to Amon. He went from a burning hunk of love in books 1-2 to some flat and colorless character. The least Chima could have done was portray him with his fiancée in some tender and loving scenes.

    Pace bogs down in too much internal dialogue, used by the author to ensure her readers remember important events, make key connections, and perceive her characters in the light she wants. I dislike this style of writing. Authors should trust readers to do their part. No need to spoon-feed us. Take out all the mental asides, reflection, rumination, guilt-tripping, etc. and the book would be better. And much shorter.

    It's a bit predictable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Demon King: A Seven Realms Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cinda Williams Chima
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (332)
    Performance
    (264)
    Story
    (269)

    The first of a new young adult trilogy, The Demon King features a former thief, Han, who’s trying to provide for his mother and sister. One day Han, who sports mysterious (and certainly magical) silver cuffs on his wrists, confronts wizards setting fire to a sacred mountain. Now possessing one ofthe wizards’ amulets, Han faces more trouble than he ever could have imagined.

    Sharon says: "Sooooooo Good!!!!!"
    "Weak characterization, but a promising start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I alternated between reading and listening to this series opener. Excellent narration by Carol Monda. This is YA high fantasy with castles, queens, clans, dark wizards, and a whisper of romance. At the author's website, there's a map and a list of characters, etc.
    The story is told in 3rd person POV, hopping from Han to Raisa. I think the POV changed at the beginning of each chapter.

    Despite some vivid scenes, I found this story fairly predictable and frequently frustrating — but eventually promising. I will read the sequel. People say the books get better and better.

    Some vivid imagery, some witty dialogue, several suspenseful scenes, brief but tight battles, bloody murder, a little humor, and some heartrendingly poignant moments balanced by heartwarmingly loyal friendship. There's court intrigue, dangerous enchantments, ancient amulets of great power, and a deep dark secret spanning a thousand years.

    What's not to like? Info dumping — too much boring expositional narrative, especially in the beginning — and too much internal dialogue for me. This slowed the pace for far too long.

    Also, I couldn't get a handle on the characters! They breach. Several supposedly clever characters were unbelievably slow to catch on. Furthermore, a supposedly benevolent character caused a lifetime of family distrust and cruel suffering. Then there's the Demonai warriors. A good warrior is INTELLIGENT, not a biased bigot with a blade. Chima describes them as a LEGENDARY warrior clan -- yet she depicts them as murderous race-haters -- yet she clearly wants me to like Averill the Demonai Lord, and Elena, the matriarch of the clan? Also, the part about the twin babies? Who would handle that situation and its aftermath with such blinded bias, yet be described as wise? Ugh.

    That said, the story caught my attention enough to read the sequel. I want to find out how the characters come together at this academy for wizards and warriors. I want to watch them bond together in a common goal (assuming they do). I am fairly interested in Han, Fire Dancer, Princess Raisa, and Amon, her guardian. I want to hear more about Amon's cadet pack of Gray Wolves. I want to see all these young adults come into their own power and set the corrupt kingdom to rights.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The River Knows

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Amanda Quick
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (92)

    The first kiss occurred in a dimly lit hallway on the upper floor of Elwin Hastings' grand house. Louisa never saw it coming....Of course, Anthony Stalbridge couldn't possibly have had romantic intentions. The kiss was an act of desperation, meant to distract the armed guard who was about to catch the pair in a place they most definitely did not belong.

    carmen fierro says: "good"
    "Stand-Alone Victorian Era Romantic Suspense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Entertaining whodunit, and Kellgren's narration is crisp yet easy on the ears — except for a few abrasive tones assigned to a few male characters. For example, the hero always sounds fine (easy on the ears), but I disliked Mr. Digby's querulous, angry tones (thank goodness, he's just a bit part). With the buds in my ears, caustic tones hurt.

    This is a stand-alone novel, not part of the Arcane Series, and not paranormal. A romantic suspense, THE RIVER KNOWS is set in London towards the end of the Victorian era. One recurring theme is women's clothing:

    ********
    "But she and Emma were both staunch advocates of the rational dress movement, which held that ladies should wear no more than seven pounds of underwear. As for corsets, the movement had wisely declared them to be injurious to women’s health."
    ********

    In the prologue, the heroine kills an English lord in self-defense. A year later, she is living under an assumed name, disguised as a drab, and working as an undercover reporter. I like that kind of set-up -- a fairly common trope in Quick's historicals.

    A decent whodunit (but nothing special), with snappy dialogue, suspense, humor, and some heartwarming loyalty scenes. A few secondary characters added to the fun, especially Louisa's dear friend Emma and Anthony's delightful, intrepid family. A few psychopathic villains kept the momentum moving, and Inspector Fowler made another welcome appearance.

    Quick went with her formula, but it's a good one, and at least you know what you're getting.

    Contents include three sex scenes (one is a fade-to-black scene). Minimal cursing or profanity, but there is some. No pejorative terms for female anatomy. Some violence, including bloody murder.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. Mike

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Benedict Freedman, Nancy Freedman
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (92)

    A moving love story set in the Canadian wilderness, Mrs. Mike is a classic tale that has enchanted millions of readers worldwide. It brings the fierce, stunning landscape of Canada to life and tenderly evokes the love that blossoms between Sergeant Mike Flannigan and beautiful young Katherine Mary O'Fallon.

    Dale C. Farran says: "How could I have missed this all these years?"
    "1907-1918 Married Life in the Canadian Wilderness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Holy smokes! I've been through the fire with this one. A classic, published in 1947. It's realistic historical fiction with some sense of a love story but also a good deal of personal tragedy, including some truly grisly scenes.

    I alternately read the e-book and listened to the audio, narrated superbly by the talented Kirsten Potter. It was also made into a movie, starring Dick Powell and Evelyn Keyes, but I haven't seen it.

    This fast-paced narrative is told in 1st person POV in the perspective of "Mrs. Mike" (the name the Cree and Beaver natives use for the heroine, Katherine Mary O'Fallon Flannigan, of Boston).

    The story begins in March 1907, on a train bound for Calgary, in the midst of a historic snowstorm. It continues in Alberta and British Columbia, Western Canada (Calgary, Hudson's Hope, Peace River Crossing, and Grouard, near Lower Slave Lake).

    Descriptive. Vivid imagery. Educational. Sometimes funny. Sometimes profound. A few sweet loving scenes, with hugs and kisses. And terribly horribly grim at times. Very sad.

    Realistic look at life in the Canadian wilderness, the serenity, the majesty, and the horror (forest fires, diphtheria, horrible deaths -- even of beloved characters -- whiskey smuggling, insanity, murder, wonderful natives, missions, mosquitos, bears, wolves, prairie chickens (rabbits), dogsleds (huskies), etc.

    The authors credibly portray three women of tremendous emotional courage and resiliency, especially Sarah and Constance, but also Katherine Mary (Mrs. Mike) herself.

    Loved the hero of the tale, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Mike Flannigan. His love for life, for the wilderness, for the natives, and for his girl Kathy was transparent. When they marry in 1907, Mike is 27 years old and Katherine is 16. When the story ends, they are each about 12 years older. They've suffered great loss and experienced great joy in only 12 years. Katherine has grown up.

    Quibbles:

    The book suddenly ends after almost 12 years of marriage, so we just have to assume they live a good life together with their children. I wish there were more closure. My other quibble is that some scenes and characters were glossed over or forgotten. But that's minor. Also, the chapter about the Chinese emperors did not seem to fit at all, never mind how silly it was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flash

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jayne Ann Krentz
    • Narrated By Kate Fleming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (86)

    Olivia Chantry may keep her desk in disarray, but she's a dynamo when it comes to business; her Seattle-based company, Light Fantastic, organizes dazzling events that create the flash her clients need to promote their products and causes. Her success almost makes up for a marriage that ended in disaster. When Olivia inherits a large portion of her uncle's high-tech lighting firm, she butts heads with the co-owner, Jasper Sloan, a venture capitalist with all his ducks in a row.

    Karen says: "good Krentz story"
    "Tripping the Light Fantastic in Seattle"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this stand-alone romantic suspense, set in contemporary Seattle. I first read it years ago. Now I've listened to it, narrated by Kate Fleming (aka Anna Fields). She's got a broad vocal range and portrays men well. Sadly, she passed on in 2006.

    The POV is 3rd person, switching from hero to heroine, and occasionally to some mysterious chess player. Contents include a few sex scenes, a little violence, minimal swearing, minimal religious profanity, and no crude terms for female anatomy. Suspense includes murder, blackmail, etc.

    Why do I read books by JAK?? It's typically not for the suspense, even though that is usually fairly interesting. The main reason I come back to this formulaic author is this: She writes about honorable men who are deeply alone. Misunderstood, misjudged, unwanted, and/or taken for granted. Whatever. I feel for these guys, even though they are tough, shrewd, sexy, and rich. I like them because -- true heroes -- they keep on doing the right thing, without fanfare, despite public opinion. I like the heroines, too. Krentz sells me on their HEA. It's heartwarming and satisfying, knowing the couple is going to take care of each other and contribute to the well-being of others.

    Quibbles with this story: Some trivial dialogue did get a little wordy at times in audio format, where I cannot skim. The chess player's POV was sporadic and felt like a poor fit. Also, the big bad villain is a stretch.

    The story begins with two prologues, running along parallel lines. In the first prologue, set 8 years in the past, the hero (Jasper Sloan) is burning some mysterious documents while tending to his newly adopted nephews, Kirby (age 10) and Paul (age12). Jasper's wife left him a year ago, when the boys moved in, after their father died. Their father was named Fletcher Sloan, Jasper's step-brother.

    In the second prologue, set 3 years in the past, Olivia Chantry is also burning mysterious documents. Her artistic husband Logan Dane just died (gored, running with the bulls, haha! ). Olivia's cousin Nina and Logan's family blames her for driving him to it, by starting divorce proceedings. (His family includes Sean Dane, etc.).

    Chapter One: Fast forward to the present, in Seattle, where young Kirby and Paul (now in college) think that Uncle Jasper is off his venture-capitalist game, and fast approaching a midlife crisis. "Take a vacation!" they insist.

    Meanwhile, Olivia runs an event company called Light Fantastic. Using special lighting effects, she stages parties, conventions, trade-shows, etc. Her Uncle Rolly owns a lighting company called Glow. She uses his lighting equipment at her events, so it's a partnership. Jasper -- a venture capitalist -- is the money man, funding Glow.

    Then Uncle Rolly dies (at the beginning of the book) and everything changes at Glow and Light Fantastic, because Jasper owns 51%, controlling interest.

    Jasper is orderly, organized, and logical. Conservative. Reserved. Olivia is his polar opposite. He's fascinated and bedazzled, but can they work together at Glow? Jasper makes it clear that he's in charge, but Olivia resists. She worries that Jasper will be hard on her Chantry relatives who work at Glow (Aunt Rose, etc).

    Other Characters:

    Jasper's father is Harry Sloan, a businessman. Harry has an adolescent daughter (cannot recall her name). Jasper's nephews are Kirby and Paul.

    Andy Andrews is a journalist for the financial paper.

    Eleanor Lancaster is a candidate for Governor. Olivia's brother Todd is Lancaster's policy consultant and speechwriter. Dixon Haggard is her campaign manager.

    Aunt Zara works for Olivia at Light Fantastic. Aunt Rose works for Jasper at Glow.

    Olivia's Uncle, Rolly Chantry, and his friend Wilbur Holmes were involved in a longterm intimate relationship.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reluctant Lord: Dragon Lords, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Michelle M. Pillow
    • Narrated By Rebecca Cook
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Lady Clara of the Redding, a living statue of perfection, has been raised a true Redde noblewoman. She has been taught to never show emotion, to never raise her voice, to touch as little as possible, and to never act wildly or rashly. According to her people’s custom, the new generation cannot begin until the current one is settled. She is the last of her siblings without a husband and her pregnant sisters will remain in stasis until she’s married.

    Skipper says: "Feed the ceffyl a solarflower!"
    "Feed the ceffyl a solarflower!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read the ebook and listened to audiobook. Rebecca Cook is an excellent narrator. I will look for more of her work.

    The only other book in this series I've read is #2, The Perfect Prince, but the plot was easy enough to follow.

    Contents: About six sex scenes (most scenes are quickies or fade-outs). A little bloody violence. Minimal or no swearing or profanity. Only a few typos.

    Setting: In the future, on an alien and somewhat primitive planet.

    As for the story, what a delightful surprise! I totally enjoyed this "dragon-shifter meets empath" erotic romance. It's got a solid story, not just sex scenes, which can get so boring.

    An intriguing story. Fairly light. Laughed aloud several times. It's opposites attract, with a playful, sexy prince falling for a hands-off noble lady (but be warned, he feels a mating call towards her). It's heartwarming, seeing the rigidly straight-laced Lady Clara -- terrified in the beginning -- learn to enjoy life on an alien and primitive planet (poor child -- decked out in that horrendously heavy get-up).

    Pillow penned a coherent and engaging plot, complete with an environmental pitch against fracking that fit neatly into the narrative (I could imagine her soapbox). Vivid scenes in the mine shaft. Good fight scene with nasty aliens, the Troe. Adorable (and funny) scenes with great horned herds of ceffyls. Solarflowers!

    And tongue-in-cheek — I roared when the gift from Clara's family was revealed.

    This book's got danger, passion, humor, and friendship. It's also poignant and sometimes sweet. Secondary characters added to the fun, especially in the mining village. Moving scene at the end, with Clara's esteemed mother, Great Lady of the Redding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Next Always: Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2619)
    Performance
    (2311)
    Story
    (2319)

    The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, the changing of hands, and even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major face-lift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect in the family, Beckett’s social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was sixteen.

    krista says: "A cozy romance"
    "An advertisement for the Boonsboro Inn?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I played this audio on slightly faster speed. MacLeod Andrews is a fine narrator, but he reads slightly slowly. That's fine with complex text, but there's nothing convoluted or challenging about this text, nor is the prose lyrical enough to linger over.

    The setting is a small historic town in Maryland. The BoonsBoro Inn is a real place, owned by Nora Roberts (author) and her husband(?) Bruce Wilder. That's the problem. The author needed to stand back from this book. It's too personal to her, so she spends too much time describing the details of her inn, undergoing reconstruction. We hear about the new picket railing, the details of the ceilings, the furniture, the window treatments, the naming of the guest rooms (named after famous lovers, including some of her own characters). It started to feel like one big advertisement. Boring. The bookstore where the heroine works, Turn the Page, is also owned by Bruce and possibly Nora.

    Characters:

    A ghost. The inn is haunted. The specter plays a bit part, but some readers don't like even a whiff of the paranormal. Fine with me, though.

    Montgomery characters: Beckett Montgomery is the architect and hero of this tale. His brothers Ryder is the construction manager. His brother Owen is the general manager and master cabinetmaker. These three brothers, with their widowed mother, run the Montgomery family business.

    Clare Brewster (née Murphy), a war widow with three sons under 10 years old: Murphy, Liam, Harry. (I love books with authentic-feeling kids playing solid roles, so I may come back to this.) Her best friend is Avery. Clare was a cheerleader in high school (ugh) and Beckett has loved her from afar since he was 16.

    To quote from another review: "There was some foul language, which tends to turn me off anyway, but this felt sprinkled in kind of randomly, like she had to put it in to make her male characters seem masculine. And I guess I get it, because they "sounded" like men being written by a woman." (including token gratuitous religious profanity, which bugs me)

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