3 1/2 Stars!
I listened to this book on Audible, though I do own the ebook as well.
The narrator was lovely, and MacLean's writing style and voice was also lovely.
The story was a bit flat for me. It was simply "okay". I liked it, but nothing really stood out about it after I was done. It was enjoyable while it lasted, but gone as soon as I finished.
I really loved book 2, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. But the spark, wit, and banter that was so heavy in that book was almost completely MIA in this book. I think that was why I was so disappointed in Temple's book. I missed the fun banter that MacLean gave in the last book. In OGEDAL, I marked up a few dozen passages of favorite quotes. In this one, I marked perhaps 2.
Still, I did like reading the "Killer" Duke's story, and I will of course come back for more books by MacLean. I'm curious about Chase's story next.
The Mighty Quinns: Danny was a pretty good book, if predictable at times and very rushed in the HEA department. I was in love with the fact that it is a contemporary set in Ireland and the hero is Irish. That is a big weakness of mine.
I listened to this book on audio. OH GOD. Do not do this! While the story was pretty good, a solid 3, perhaps even 3 ½ stars, the narrator was a lowly 1 star for me.
The narrator's “regular” voice for much of the story was perfectly fine. Her Irish accents, especially Danny's, were done well, too. But when she did Jordan's voice, she would switch, randomly, from a “regular” voice to a fake New Jersey accent . . . And Jordan is from New York. I'm not an expert on accents, but this accent did NOT sound like a NY native. The sound of it grated on my nerves, and the fact that the narrator would pick up and drop this accent so randomly made me twitch. One sentence Jordan would be talking in a manner that did not bother me to listen to, the next sentence/paragraph/page she would be fake NJ. Ugh.
While it is from the Blaze line, the sex was practically MIA and what was there (3 very quick scenes, I believe) bored me. I'm not asking for highly erotic and unusual scenes from every author, but if it's a Blaze, I do expect a much higher heat level than this!
Would I read another book by Kate Hoffman? Probably, there are plenty of Quinn men to choose from (almost 30 in this series it looks like!). Would I listened to another audio book by Chloe Campbell? Hm . . . I honestly don't think so. How could I be sure she wouldn't throw a random Southern accent in with an English accent or something?
Overall Story: 3 STARS!
While I've enjoyed Jessica Clare's books in the past, The Girl's Guide to (Man) Hunting left me frustrated and bored at the same time.
I listened on audio, and I kept looking at my MP3, hoping that it was near the end of the book . . . only to discover there was still 3 hours left. A bit later I'd look down again—2 hours 45 minutes left. Was this book ever going to end? [Also, 9 and a half hours for a 236 page book – WTF?] The narrator didn't help things; her voice annoyed me, quite frankly, especially her voices for the men.
It would take a long rambling rant to explain exactly why this book did not work for me. I'm not in the mood to do such a thing, so I will simply give the main issues.
I didn't care for the characters, never felt even an inkling of a connection with them. Character connection is perhaps the most important part of a story, especially a romance, so this was a huge flaw for me.
Because I didn't care for Dane or Miranda, I also quickly tired of the sex. And I like my books dirty! But every chapter there was a sex scene; their “HEA ending” was a sex scene. And don't even get me started on all the sex in the woods, with the fellow survival students nearby. No, of course they can't hear you or see you! And of course that's a good, comfortable spot in which to get it on. *rolls eyes *
The BIG drama surrounding the pictures was the worst. I could tell from the first chapter that Dane never took the pictures. But of course no one else knew this. What I couldn't understand is HOW could no one bring it up to him sometime in those 9 years, especially once he moved back to the area? You are seriously telling me that NOT ONE guy, even a teenage boy, gave Dane the old “Nice tit pics, man, high five!” shit, which should then lead to Dane's “What are you talking about?” I find that impossible. This is a small town, even 9 years later the Boobs of Bluebonnet story is still great gossip for everyone; and not ONE person mentioned it to him? *throws Kindle *
Worse, this overdone drama goes on until at least 90% in the book. The horse has been kicked too many times, leave it alone and move on. Oh wait, that's the only real conflict, better not do anything until the very last minute. Also, just because the pictures were finally taken down does not mean her life would instantly improve. It's a small town; everyone already saw the pics or at the very least knew every juicy detail about the scandal. Small towns do NOT forget easily, people, but apparently this one does, and overnight, too!
And the instalove because they were (very very briefly) boyfriend and girlfriend before high school graduation, so therefore they're finally meant to be together after NINE YEARS without seeing each other . . . *head desk * No. No no no. No.
Really, I could go on, but I won't. The one star alone should tell you that this Clare novel didn't appeal to me. At all. Will I try more of her books in the future? Sure, I had a fun time with the fourth book in this particular series, and it takes a lot for me to stop reading an author.
4 1/2 STARS!
Loved ON DUBLIN STREET, why did I wait so long to read it? Hello, sexy, possessive Scottish hero, just what I love! :)
The narrator's Scottish voices were great. But the voice used for Joss annoyed me at times, and I had a hard time telling the difference between things she said out loud and things she mused about in her head. Still, Paula Costello did a good job with the book, and I was happy to listen while walking the dogs.
I'll admit that Joss made me frustrated at times, as she struggled to come to terms with her past and issues, but I couldn't stay mad at her completely, as I realize she went through a lot. I'm just glad that she did let Ellie, and then Braden, in to her life. And Braden -- well, he was great, if at times very intense. No complaints there, though!
In fact, I think it's time for me to pack up and move to Scotland, find my own Braden. :) I'll definitely be coming back for the rest of this series, I enjoyed the rest of Braden's family and the secondary characters.
Oh, the smexy times, easily! Suspense, great action, great banter and the brotherhood moments were great, but the the sex! WOW. Hot, delicious, and so, so good. Luckily Valentine was a fantastic choice for the sex scenes, though that may sound like an odd compliment, I assure you it's a good thing. Some narrators are okay when it comes to the smexy times – not great, not bad, just reading it. Often while listening to audio books, the sex scenes do not stick out, since I'm not reading them myself. Not so with Kaye's fantastic writing and Seraphine Valentine's great voice and “expressions”. The sex scenes came off (heh) as very potent, not cheesy in anyway. * SHUDDERS * Trust me, I was very, ahem, happy while listening – not always a good things since 90% of the book was listened to while I was walking the dogs each day, and some neighbors stop me to say hi . . .
I fell in love with all the men, but I have a soft spot for Jeremy -- he had better get his own story!!
Hm . . . Again, Jeremy sticks out, but she did a *great* job with all of the characters, I thought!
If I had the time, I would have done so! As it was, I came back from my walks and usually listened another 30 minutes while doing things around the house before, reluctantly, pausing it for the day.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved Hard As It Gets. I loved it. A LOT. Happy dance, fan girl squee, loved it! I'm dying to read the rest of the series, and I know that I will be coming back to reread this book many times in the future.
I admit, there were some moments when Valentine paused (where there didn't need to be pauses) that slightly annoyed me, but all in all she did a wonderful job with the story and I will listen to her again, as well as buying a print/ebook copy of the book for my keeper shelf too.
I highly recommend this series, author, and narrator – I'll be coming back for more!
Not really; the story was nice, a very pleasant read, even though it wasn't my favorite book from Mayberry. But even Mayberry's "worst" are still very, very good!
Hm, I don't know. Her English voices were fine, but her Australian voices annoyed me a bit, and I found them lacking.
Perhaps. I would rather have read this in print/ebook and saved my money for a better audiobook to enjoy on my walks.
I am curious to read Violet's story, but I'll do it in ebook, not audio (even if it was available).
Hot Island Nights is a nice, quick summer read. A sexy “damaged” hero, plenty of passion, and an overall sweet story. I will always recommend Mayberry, and even with 3 Stars, this book is no different!
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