Did you fall for Steele like I did thru the series? Quiet-silent really-still waters run deep kind of guy? I have read/listened to all the books in the series simply because there are few in this subgenre (military/warrior/suspense romance) but have actually not finished several.
Eager anticipation for Steele's story met with flat disappointment. I think there was some laziness and formulaic writing here on Ms Banks part. I could have stomached the wimpy, whiny delicate doctor if we'd have seen more depth to Steele. But Ms Banks does deliver on sex. In this case, it has to create the bond between the couple cause chemistry and plot are lacking here. The plot devices are overused--accidental pregnancy, crazy mystery admirer who kidnaps heroine providing necessary opportunity for K&R expert creating artificial intimacy thru adrenaline sex. Banks likes these plot devices as seen in other books.
But there was almost no buildup/background to crazy kidnapper--it was like a chapter or two were cut at the last minute. I suspect ms banks was under contract to get this out while she was focused elsewhere. It shows.
On another note, the narrator, who we suffered thru in the previous book of this series has improved in this book. He does pretty well with Steele's raspy voice and it adds in a positive way. His performance was markedly better; the male lead actually has a lower voice than the female here, compared to PJ & Cole. His former monotone that made prolongued listening difficult has opened up a bit here and was not a detriment.
But it didn't save the book. I lost interest about 3/5ths of the way in. I listen to about 6-7 books a month at least, and 10% do not get finished. That said, I'd still give the book 2.8 (rounding up to 3).
I wasn't prepared for the surprise whodunit Bella Andre whipped up this tale. I was thinking it would be another awesome romance and I guess I forgot she's good at weaving a complex mystery-suspense while she's at it. I really didn't see it coming.
If you are looking for an engrossing read with characters you're really gonna like, this is your book. If you're into firefighter heros, you'll like all the insider info on the hotshots who are like the SEALs of firefighting.
Mystery and romance done right.
How do you manage a story that has to be fun and lighthearted yet thoughtful and poignant? Shalvis does this in this story as a former troublemaker does a surprising tour of forgiveness, prompted by an accidental hide-out in an AA meeting, hiding of course from the male lead in the story.
One satisfying thing Shalvis does in this series is exercise resolution of difficult childhood relationships (usually with parents) as the leads struggle with current relationship challenges.
The plot satisfies and the characters (ok, we ALL need a Lucille!) entertain while the leads struggle like we all do to realize the role of past in how we've dealt with people and relationships. Shalvis's talent is the patently original characters that don't follow stereotypes yet are sympathetic and endearing.
A great investment of a credit. I can't wait to listen again because Annie Greene is perfect!
From the description, I was expecting this to be a cross between Christine Feehan's intense rockstar romance Turbulent Sea and Olivia Cunning's Sinners on Tour sexcapades. Since most of Cunning's sinful sexcapades were too much for me with the acrobatic and gratuitous erotica, I was thrilled that this was more like the sexy intensity in Turbulent Sea.
But that's where the similarity ends. With a wonderful role reversal, James creates a fascinating character in Liberty, the soldier sister mentioned in Saddled and Spurred, sister to lead Harper Masterson. Liberty is dealing with post war reintegration as a security specialist and now bodyguard, a role usually played in romantic fiction by the male. But Liberty is far from butch. And Devin is far from the stereotypical music star. If you've caught him in previous books in this edgy series, you probably suspected that!
James does an excellent job of turning these two characters toward one another despite a lot antagonism on both sides and I was thrilled that she avoided some of the usual cliches often seen in romantic suspense. Mostly I was thrilled that she didn't used the tired "misunderstanding" plot device as I was convinced of early on. The who-done-it part was a little too obvious, and I'd down grade a great listen to 4.5 if we could.
The pacing will keep you engaged in the story, the romance will keep you warm, and the sexy parts will make you burn. James has written the best one of the Blacktop Cowboy series--in character development, plot, and resolution. Altho all the other books in the series earned four stars from me, this one gets a 5.
Thoroughly enjoyable. I might even give country music a second try!
Few authors manage to keep a complex storyline fresh through so many books (14) like Kresley Cole. Throughout the series Cole has paired the most unusual but credible characters who are each so different, with different challenges and personalities. But in this installment we finally get an inkling as to the method for the madness in delicious returns of recurring characters like Nix. In this tale we get glimpses into why Nix has been meddlingg since the beginning of the series, and we get further direction into Nix's own story arc.
What has surprised me so much is how so many books she wrote in the series have a point-in-time intersection in the immortal prison island and then each expand outward in different plots. Many of these such as Declan and Regin, Malkom & Carrow, Uiellum & Chloe and of course the incomparable lunatic Lothaire ( recent books preceding Dark Skye), follow a similar outline of epic obstacles in the fantasy multi-verse, romantically resistant characters, but feature such richly detailed stories they each stand out and alone.
Cole's uniqueness in this genre is her ability to weave complex but riveting adventurous tales of romantic pursuit, with strong physical desires that become tempered by intense self-sacrificial love. While Cole doesn't hold back describing erotic scenes, one isn't struck by the gratuitous nature of the scenes, but a furthering of the growing bonds between our two heros.
Of course, the series wouldn't be so wonderful to listen to had anyone but Robert Petkoff been the performer. Petkoff's versatility in voices and accents is astounding. I've listened to around 500 audiobooks in the past few years, and few compare to his flawless and compelling delivery.
If you are new to Kresley Cole, note that the price of the audiobooks is one of the best buys in romantic fiction. Superb writing, excellent suspense and adventure, crazy poignant love stories and some of the best audio performance out there--the prices of many of the books in this series are well below a credit and making it the best bang for your romance buck.
Strongly recommend this book for credit or cash.
After reading the first two books about these exceptional men and world they created for others like them, I had zero inkling or foreshadowing of the turn this third and final book would take. Nor would I ever have expected the sheer breath-taking opening, the meeting of the two leads, nor the rollercoaster ride to the end.
I'm not going to give anything away so when you read it you'll be gobsmacked as I was. Its another book from this series that I will not soon forget. I'm a veteran reader in this genre, reading and listening to 400 books a year, so you will appreciate my delight in not anticipating any of the turns Rice took in this book. It saddens and perplexes me that this is billed as the final book of the series since there were so many other stories to be told. But we do get to visit in with the other fledgling couples from the first two books as well as see closure in some of the other characters stories in a most satisfying way.
One of the cool things about Rice is the good technical research she does compared to other top authors. All three of the female leads in these books are all research scientists and Rice will draw you in to disease etiology, vectors, transmission, and other epidemiological issues in a way that is engrossing but doesn't alienate or bore those of us non-medical types. Our female heros are uber feminine but strong, steadfast with no cracking under pressure, no screaming, swooning or other antics of old-fashioned romance. They are as much the heros as their swoon-worthy alpha dudes.
How's that for a refreshing change of pace!
The performance was very good. I really enjoyed Kaleo Griffith in Pamela Clare's I-team series, so it was wonderful to hear his honey-like mellifluous tones in this one. He's gotten much better at his military pronunciations too. Excellent pairing.
Read the series and definitely this book. Its excellent.
This new novel by Naughton is gripping, intense, well-written, and passionate spy thriller. Enter the world of career spies, double crosses, terrorism, and two spies that try to find their way back to one another after devastating horrors and intrigue separate them years prior. Naughton does a great job in the pacing and slow unveiling of a realistic terrorism plot and how it affects the lives of so many, in particular the leads. She is setting up what looks like a perfect series.
The romance is top notch and will stay with you. I can't wait to listen to this again now that I know what happens, so I can better catch the clues. I admit I was off about who-did-it and I do not know why that creates reader delight, but it did!
We also meet a couple others whose stories will be auto-downloads when released. Hurry, Ms. Naughton.
This was an excellent audiobook, and Hilary Huber really added to the overall enjoyment with her narration. What makes this a double-whammy? At the bargain price of $7 and change, it is definitely like finding Lindt chocolates in place of your hershey bar.
Fans of Suzanne Brockman, Lisa Marie Rice and others of this genre will be delighted.
Get this book and settle in.
I love this author's style and imagination. Loved the series even tho I started with book two and followed with book one, then three.
That said, this one was a bit of a disappointment. We had much of the same cast, altho there were curiously "convenient" absences by some of the core characters that played nicely in the story arc such as Hannah, the immortal young cherokee psychic. She gets sidelined in a flat way that tells me Ms Sandlin may be growing tired of the series. Some of the muddiness in the romance with various folks vying for the same mates also seemed forced. In fact I was quite bored by the whole thing.
But most disappointing--the lovely complicated scheming bad guy(s) that were so easy to hate in previous books were, in this book so predictable from very early on (chapter one or two?), that there was no suspense for me throughout the book. It's not a terrible book and if you are a fan of the series, you'll like this latest edition, but its definitely not like the first three in terms of suspense, romantic heat, plot and story arc. You'll like it. You just may not get the same thrill as earlier books.
There is a set up for Nick's ("Zorba") tale in the next book. I look forward to it.
Narration was fine and she kept on her toes with the Irish, Scottish, English, and deep south accents. Ms McFadden does a respectable job keeping them straight and moving at a good pace through the book.
This was a classic romance starring an nontraditional female lead who is a hard hitting war correspondent who struggles in silence with PTSD. I applaud the author for dealing with this subject in a non-combatant and in not making it too melodramatic, but making it one of the challenges the couple has to deal with.
There have been a variety of romance books that have featured characters suffering from this who are magically cured thru family "love" and other platitudes that overlook this difficult condition. Woods depiction is realistic as is the resolution.
This is a wonderful warm listen with a cast of characters you come to know and love not unlike Robyn Carr's Virgin River series, the characters all working on relationships or the lack of thru the book.
I offer 4 stars because it went on about an hour too long and could have used a little editing toward the end.
But I recommend this listen for a satisfying love story.
Readers of Virgin Valley series by same author will recognize the style, but not the romance, because it was distant--literally.
This is more a pastoral description of a country doctor's life, and not so much the medical portion, but the personal side of her life focusing more on the mystery of the bones found in her aunt's backyard. Features the usual eccentric characters and their daily dramas. Periodically we hear from the doctor's distantly stationed boyfriend.
But my romantic sense felt flat in this book.
If you haven't read the first book in this series (like me), you will get updated with one-line sentances that apparently featured large in the previous book. But you might feel rushed, as did I.
While I have given 8 of the Robyn Carr books in the Virgin Valley books solid "4s", this one was disappointing. The characterizations were solid, the large cast of characters and the many small town dramas were interesting. Its not a bad book. Its just not a romance.
Terese Plummer is reliable as the voice for Robyn Carr.
Kristin Ashley delivers more non-stop action in one chapter than 3 episodes of the tv series "24". Fresh, fun, her bawdy eccentric cast of characters will make you smile, laugh, and unable to turn the audiobook off.
Because I really liked her Mystery Man and Wild Man books, I had bought Rock Chick a while back but wasn't really drawn in by the description on the kindle version. It was fun how she threw in the overt references to Rock Chicks and included Lee in those two later books. Trusting Ashley, when it came out on audio, I got it instantly. Good decision. I had bought the next one in the series before the second half of the book even started.
Prospective reader: if you are having visions that this is going to be set in rock band groupies world, and find that doesn't appeal (it didn't to me, hence my delay to read it), don't worry, its not. Indie just loves loud rock and had a close encounter with joe perry from Aerosmith which is a highlight of her wild child days and is frequently referenced as a comparison point. Since the book is non-stop absurd crazy, she has a lot of comparing to do.
I love Ashley's "real", conversational delivery, the absurd over the top situations and dialogue and the fact that the characters are not the usual idealistic specimens that populate many writer's minds (and not the real world). Indie collects misfits and they make the scene. Jones does a truly fabulous job getting the intonation, pacing, emotion, and characters right in her delivery. She was the perfect choice of narrator to make this a 5 star-gimme-more book!
This goes on my top 5 of 44 audiobooks this year. Get it and strap yourself in.
Oh, and this also warrants a $15 bottle of wine, not the cheap stuff.
(countdown: 38 days till the next one.)
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