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tina

researcher, mad off-roader, desert girl

Member Since 2012

ratings
313
REVIEWS
33
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
8
HELPFUL VOTES
34

  • Embrace the Night: Envy Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Joss Ware, Colleen Gleason
    • Narrated By Sebastian Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Simon Japp will never forget his violent past. But when civilization is all but destroyed, he sees his chance for redemption. Blessed with a strange "gift," he's determined to help the resistance against the Strangers, the mysterious force that stalks them at every turn.

    Marcia L. Berbeza says: "Hooked on This Series!"
    "Fresh, new, & riveting adventure romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series was an unexpected surprise I'm so grateful to have found. It was a review by Nalini Singh that I caught someway in my browsing for something new.

    This is a post-apoplyptic adventure tale that will appeal to paranormal, urban fantasy, and sci fi romantics as well as fans of Hunger Games. But Gleason/Ware brings romantic fiction readers a couple new things that I rarely (if ever) see in romance. Passionate, sexy alpha dudes who are sexually principled and not erotically opportunistic. Are these hot stories? Oh yeah. Heck, Nalini Singh recommended them after all (can you tell she's in my "five"?).

    But in the first two books of the Envy Chronicles I've read including Embrace the Night, our guys want more than a quickie after a very long dry spell and hold out until their lady gives in. How refreshing is that in romantic fiction?

    In Embrace the Night, Simon our mysterious deadly lead, is coming from such a dark place that he is convinced that he isn't good enough and fights everything in him to see our leading lady is matched up with someone better than him. She isn't having it.

    For the reader who wants a little more substance to backstory in a novel like this, there are some very interesting conundrums for the modern reader to contend with particularly with the open promiscuity of this sparsely populated world and the reasoning behind it--the urgency to repopulate the planet. But who benefits from that?

    Gleason/Ware has a few weaknesses in this world she has created. She doesn't deal with some of the logistical infrastructure issues (food production etc) which would be the number one issue (see maslow). She is also not good tactician. There are scenes in both first and second book where the tactics are lunacy (telling strangers your plans for survival in given situations; not asking pertinent questions at key moments etc).

    But I so enjoyed these both and the very different characters that populate each romantic tale that I will happily overlook those flaws. You may read other reviews saying book two sizzled more than book one, and I disagree. Dr Elliot Drake had to endure some terrible situations that would darken the visage of any doctor. He may be in my top 10 romantic heros of all time (even tho he committed some of the previously mentioned tactical errors). Gleason/Ware had to do a lot of world building very succinctly and I love many aspects of how she did it. Plus, there are a couple major mysteries that are unfolding through the books that will keep you eager and interested.

    Fans of Zombies will also love this. Gleason's creation myth for the zombies is original, curious, and keeps you wondering. It also keeps up the tension and provides that unifying element that keeps people together. I have to admit I am not a fan of zombies, and this is my first foray into that genre, and I really enjoyed it. It wasn't comical caricatures, but creatures with a purpose. And that purpose has yet to unfold...

    Finally, the narrator, Sebastien Fields was excellent. Added so much to my enjoyment that I got lost as he brought Simon and Sage so clearly into my mind. I am grateful to whatever weird link led me to this series and recommendation that scooted it up past my usual fare (Pamela Clare, Nalini Singh, Christine Feehan, Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Sherrilyn Kenyon etc).

    If you are in the mood for something intriguing and different, download this series ASAP.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breaking Danger: A Ghost Ops Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lisa Marie Rice
    • Narrated By Kaleo Griffith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Only one man and one woman can stop the world from burning in this thrilling final volume in Lisa Marie Rice’s sexy Ghost Ops series, in which an elite super-secret military team must face down doomsday and protect the gifted women they love. Haven, a community of misfits and geniuses, is one of the few safe places remaining in a world on fire.

    tina says: "Completely unexpected & hair-raising turn"
    "Completely unexpected & hair-raising turn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.
    tina

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Extreme Measures

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Elisabeth Naughton
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Being prepared for any scenario is the trademark of any good CIA operative, and Eve Wolfe is one of the best. But when her latest mission literally explodes in her face, she wakes up labeled a traitor and - even more surprising - in the custody of elite Aegis Security operative and ex-lover Zane Archer. Although she still secretly has feelings for Zane, he’s now demanding the one thing that she can’t give him: The truth.

    tina says: "Suspenseful thriller and poignant passion!"
    "Suspenseful thriller and poignant passion!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Allegiance: The Penton Legacy, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Susannah Sandlin
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (50)

    British vampire psychiatrist and former mercenary Cage Reynolds returns to Penton, Alabama, looking for a permanent home. The town has been ravaged by the ongoing vampire war and the shortage of untainted human blood, and now the vampires and humans that make up the Omega Force are trying to rebuild. Cage hopes to help the cause, put down roots in Penton, and resolve his relationship with Melissa Calvert. The last thing he expects is to find himself drawn to Robin Ashton, a trash-talking eagle shape-shifter and new Omega recruit.

    tina says: "Not as good as first few books"
    "Not as good as first few books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Backup Plan

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Sherryl Woods
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (133)

    It’s finally time for Dinah Davis to go home. The world-weary correspondent wants to settle down with the sweet guy she left behind in South Carolina’s Low Country. Instead, she’s confronted by his black-sheep brother, and – despite her longing for serenity – sparks fly. How can she possibly trade her perfectly safe backup plan for a risk-taking guy like Cordell Beaufort after all the dangers she’s already faced? But to Dinah’s dismay – backup plan or not – her heart has its own ideas.

    Elizabeth says: "A Romanti Treasure"
    "Warm romantic tale with nontraditional heroine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Just Over the Mountain: Grace Valley Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Robyn Carr
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (253)

    Here in this peaceful community, folks look out for one another like family, though sometimes a little too well. In a town like this, it's hard to keep a secret - but Dr. June Hudson has managed to keep one heck of a humdinger…. Though visits from her secret lover, undercover DEA agent Jim Post, are as clandestine as they are passionate, somehow it fits with her demanding schedule as the town's doctor - a calling that requires an innate ability to exist on caffeine, sticky buns and nerves of steel.

    Cyndi says: "Robyn Carr Does It Again!"
    "Not really a romance..."
    Overall
    Performance
    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rock Chick

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Kristen Ashley
    • Narrated By Susannah Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (614)
    Performance
    (584)
    Story
    (590)

    Indy Savage is a former wild child (okay, maybe not so "former") and current used-bookstore owner. Lee Nightingale is a former bad boy and now runs a private investigation service. Toss together a quiet barista with a not-so-lawful side-business, a crazy Vietnam Vet, a pothead, a drag queen, family and friends who will not mind their own business, a few stun guns, and a bag of diamonds, and mix them all up with some shootings, a high-speed chase and car bombs exploding, then hang on for your first wild Rock Chick ride.

    karen says: "A Rockin story"
    "Strap yourself in for the ride: WooHoo!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.
    -tina
    (countdown: 38 days till the next one.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wicked: A Novella of the Elder Races

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (137)

    For a librarian with a focus on rare magic books, Olivia's new job is a dream come true. She has been hired as part of a team to help manage the safe transportation of the collection of books owned by the Vampyre sorceress Carling Severan. The fact that the library is located on a mysterious island in an Other land only heightens the adventure. Head of security for the expedition, Sebastian Hale is tired of his rootless life of adventure and finds himself attracted to the calm, beautiful librarian. But he is living a personal nightmare.

    Candateshia Pafford says: "Love me some Elder Races!!!"
    "Thea Harrison does it again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thea Harrison doesn't know how to write a bad or boring story.
    This was fun and satisfying. Her world of nightkind is so well written, and Harrison never disappoints with original characters and romantic pairings. Altho a bit pricy for less-than 4 hours, it is worth it. You'll love it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1288)
    Performance
    (1179)
    Story
    (1185)

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "Ultimate right-wing conspiracy fantasy adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the late 1980s, in the military, I was into survivalism--being able to survive in case of societal breakdown/Soviet invasion/EMP and other disaster scenarios.
    So, I thought this would be a fun dip back into that pond. A.American is clearly infatuated with name-brand gear and for the non-survivalist, you will have to stick it out in the long descriptions of acronym-laden gear required to be "prepared".

    This book plows deeply into the conspiracy mutterings of the ultra right wing, namely that the government wants totalitarian control over you, wants to take your guns, your right to defend yourself, your food, your independence and your autonomy.

    Within that conceptual housing, the theme was deeply anti-social in that as our lead guy tries to make it back to his family to east Florida from where he's at near Tallahassee and is accosted at nearly every interaction with other people who try to take his backpack, food, weapons, and life--and this but a few days after the event (an EMP of some sort). Thru his Magyver-life wileyness, he is able to extricate himself and stay on track for home. But not without meeting up with the ultimate uber "prepper", the mysterious Sergeant and his team of black op "patriots" fighting an unnamed secret counter-insurgency (again, were talking only days into this after the event) after they defect from a military operation run by Homeland Security who has now taken control of the US.

    Time and time again, the author keeps reminding the reader that "Iron makes right" (guns will rule), that guns will rule the natural homicidal tendencies that seem to run in all of us even a day after all the electronics stop running. That evil will rise the top if good men stand by (without guns). That all people who lack something will suddenly become "socialists" and demand we share with them. That child predators will take over if they have guns and can only be stopped by those who also have guns.

    In spite of some interesting writing (where nearly 25% of sentences in some sections began in first person "I went....I held....I then...."), I quite enjoyed this until about 2/3rds of the way in where the two sidekicks are painted as annoying cowards for being down on killing in the name of self-defense and then the constant proselytizing about need for guns and repetitive theme of how evil people will have guns so you must too. I didn't understand why these two, whose lives were at stake would suddenly have such reticence, and the character about-face was jarring.

    I get the gun argument, and as someone who actually spends about 30 nites a year in the wilderness of the Sierra, White, Inyo and other mountain ranges, often happily alone, I get the self-sufficiency argument. But the amorphous arguments of the evil conspiratorial DHS and its gestapo-like agents in black helos arn't actually backed up with any kind of plot or rationale. The author seemed to been building a good plot for why the govt was being taken over and resulting chaos, but he totally ran out of steam and it degenerated into a rant about might makes right.

    About halfway in to the book, I was driving across the mojave and the struggles in the book had me thinking I needed to replentish my water and other supplies (you know, just in case!) But in the last quarter of the book I felt pretty let down. I was hoping for a good story about the government takeover, but he never delivered.

    This book will fan gun-right fervor like nitroglycerin, and it will very much resonate with those who think the government is bad, is trying to control them and other such ideas. But it contradicts itself, and doesn't really develop any kind of plot other than one tactical scene following another.

    Halfway thru, I was excited for the next book. By the last hour, I just wanted it over with. This is appealing to some folks, but perhaps less so if you are sticky about having some plot to go with your conspiracy and doomsday scenario.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Crossfire: Protectors, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Lisa Marie Rice
    • Narrated By Charles Constant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (84)

    Former Navy SEAL Sam Reston keeps to himself. His world is dangerous, uncertain, violent…and there is no room in it for the helpless and weak. Then the most beautiful woman in the world moves in next door to him…Nicole Pearce's life is complicated enough-with an ailing father and a new business to worry about-and the last thing she needs is to get involved with a secretive, hard-bodied, hardheaded neighbor.

    tina says: "Satisfying, sexy and intense"
    "Satisfying, sexy and intense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read the later two books in this series a few months back, really liked them, and loved this audio version of the first book. If you are a fan of the alpha guy and smart sexy female lead, then this book will satisfy. Lisa Marie Rice delivers a great and original story and tantalizes with an equally surprising romance. Both characters are completely likeable and compelling. Unlike so many guys painted by this genre, Sam isn't really a people-person, and is prone to awkward interpersonal gaffes, but unlike other tales, Sam knows immediately he wants this lady and his primitive side goes to lengths to imprint on her early on. We don't have any of the usual dude-denial (phew). The action moves too fast for sam to sit around thinking too much.

    Lisa Marie Rice is a wonderful, dependable way to spend your credit. She always delivers punch and satisfaction. Her interesting life experiences give us a variety of backgrounds that just thrum with excitement.

    The narrator, Charles Constant, was a new one for me. He did not distract from the book in any way, and did a fair job of the male voices and overall. He is not in my top 10, but maybe he was the perfect voice for a good book...
    Go for it. Get this book and sit back and enjoy!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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