Shelby Nichols is an average woman who is married to the only guy she ever fell for. Her life is organized and predictable, revolving around her husband and two children. All that changes the day she stops at the grocery store for some carrots. As the cashier rings up her purchases, a gunman is busy robbing the bank inside the store. When a customer grabs the robber's mask, he is shot and everyone runs for cover. Everyone except Shelby, who finds herself face to face with the killer.
The next thing she knows, she's lying on the floor with a bullet wound to her head. Luckily, the bullet only grazes her scalp, and she doesn't suspect any lasting affects until later, when she suddenly 'hears' what people are thinking. With this uncanny ability, her life takes on a whole new dimension. Her kids think she's bossy and too old to understand them, but that's nothing compared to her husband. He says he loves her, but what is it about the redhead at work that he doesn't want her to know?
As if that isn't enough, the gunman knows she can identify him, and he's out to silence her forever. In her fight to stay alive, she is saved from certain death by a handsome hit-man with ties to organized crime. This pulls Shelby even deeper into danger, where knowing someone's thoughts can not only hurt her feelings, but get her killed.
©2011 Colleen Helme (P)2013 Colleen Helme
My Initial Reaction…
Carrots is a cute story with a good bit of mystery and lovable characters. I wasn’t glued to it, but I did enjoy it.
Wendy Tremont King is a new to me narrator and she’s solid. I can’t quite give her the mad props I give Amanda Ronconi or Bahni Turpin – she doesn’t have that extra je ne sais quois they have. But she delivers a nice reading with varied character voices. She was a particularly good fit for Shelby.
The characters were what I liked most about Carrots. Shelby is so relateable and lovable – she’s a stay-at-home mom whose life completely changes when she stops one day to get some carrots, gets shot and, as a result, gains the ability to read minds. What I loved best about Shelby was her spunk. She gets herself into some seriously bad situations, but she never whimpers away. She literally tells off a mob boss and it’s hilarious. You can’t help but love her.
We don’t get to know Shelby’s husband, Chris, all that well, but I mostly loved him too. It was so refreshing to read a book about a couple who are married, have two kids, and are clearly way past the honeymoon phase and yet so completely in love. I totally respected that he was working with this young, hot lawyer – Kate – who was throwing herself at him and he didn’t even give her a second thought beyond working with her. It earned him serious points in my book. What I didn’t love about him – he didn’t see his wife for all that she was. Shelby is tough and strong and independent – but sometimes he falls into treating her like she’s dumb/naive and helpless.
Finally, there’s the two main mob characters – Uncle Joey and Ramos. They’re supposed to be the bad guys but I was never afraid of them. They were just a bit too nice for the mob. I never believed that they would hurt Shelby, not really. I liked them a lot and found myself really hoping that they would be okay – not even go to prison, honestly. It was the difference between Carrots being a fun, sweet read and an intense read.
Carrots begins with Shelby going to the grocery store to get some carrots that she needs for chicken soup. I knew I liked her from this opening scene because her trip to the store went for just carrots to all kinds of junk food. I was laughing at her rationalizations and realized quickly she was a woman after my own heart. Anyway, through a series of unfortunate events, Shelby gets shot and acquires the ability to read minds. And it completely changes her life in cool, but also seriously dangerous ways.
As the story winds together the complications of Shelby’s new ability and the danger of being the eyewitness of a crime and builds in fairly ridiculous, but fun ways, until Shelby gets herself into heaps of trouble. I had plenty of eye rolling moments, but if you aren’t looking for a serious storyline it’s super enjoyable. And one element of the mystery totally through me off and was an actual shocker at the end.
If you’re looking for a quick, sweet read with lovable characters, you’ll enjoy Carrots. It’s far from a serious mystery, but that was the beauty of it for me.
**I received this book for free from Audiobook Jukebox in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
I first read Carrots a couple of years ago when it first came out in print and quite honestly had forgotten what all happened in the book. I loved hearing her tales of adventure and woe and how she just seems to get in deeper and deeper.
I had read the book before, so it didn't really keep me on the edge of my seat. But it was definitely fun to have the book read to me.
Possible SPOILER ALERT - when everything hits the fan and almost every character ends up in Uncle Joey's office trying to save the day. It's hilarious that Shelby's husband is the one that ends up clobbering her/endangering her life at that point.
It definitely made me laugh out loud and giggle at other times. She really is so funny and I like to think that Shelby could avoid so many of the binds she gets in if she would just confide in her husband. But then, she is just so adept at getting in over her head I wonder if that would really help. It is refreshing to read about the love Shelby and her husband have for each other. It doesn't seem like there are a lot of marriage relationships like that depicted in the media today.
The audio was enjoyable. I would have liked just a little bit more emotion given all that happens to Shelby, but it was still an excellent job by the narrator.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Carrots! It is definitely at the top of the list.
I really like Shelby. She is so funny and gets into so much trouble! I think she is a great character and I'm looking forward to listening to/reading more Shelby Nichols Adventures!
Wendy did an excellent job. She is very easy to listen to. I am excited to hear that she will be doing more of the Shelby Nichols Adventures! I love to read aloud and I'm a little bit picky about narrators performances. I have nothing to complain about and only praise for Wendy's performance.
Yes...but I couldn't. It made traveling in my car much more enjoyable, and I wanted to keep driving just so I could listen to more! I had to listen to it inside as well so I could finish the book faster.
This was an awesome book and I'm so glad there are more to come!
Hearing peoples thoughts. Could you handle it? And hearing what they really think of you? Shelby has that awakening in her. Now she worries about hearing what her husband thinks, especially since they hadn't been spending much time together with his work at the law firm. Is she boring? Then there's her kids, teenagers...
Then all the others she hears too. She tries so hard to hide it but act on what she hears too.
There were a few things tied together here as Shelby's world grows with hearing thoughts.
Oh the thoughts that Shelby hears from a few others. The ones on the young girl that's drooling over her husband... Yeah. I'd knock her out. Shelby is so well reserved to handle her. But I do worry about Shelby and Chris's relationship in this book. Not because of a possible other woman but because of the thought reading aspect. There is love between them but the thought reading is a lot to take in and know your wife could be reading your thoughts. Also, they sound a little strained as a couple with the long hours he works and her doing for the kids. At times I think this thought reading could help bring them closer again, but not sure. I even started hoping they could work through the changes in their lives because they have a true love to them.
How Shelby comes to meet Uncle Joey is a great tie-in here. Just the chances of it all. Someone in "Uncle Joey's" position would definitely be connected on all ends, including with a lawyer. And Shelby reading thoughts, well she's going to learn things she probably shouldn't know. lol.
Her life really does change. She offers to help her husband with his clients and cases. But also helps police with tips on another at station, that turn out well and Detective Harris (Dimples) asks her to help from time to time. But the biggest thing is working with Uncle Joey. All the new work as a consultant with her thought reading ability. We get the solution to the robbery/shooting but it brings Shelby into other issues to work through as well.
Wendy has embodied Shelby to the fullest in her narration! I believe she is Shelby Nichols as she talks, sounding like she's living the moments. Wendy may not do completely different voices in pitch and sound, but she brings each characters personality to live in her voice and they do sound different. They do have different cadences to fit the moment and each individual. Listening to Wendy, I don't think there is anyone else that could bring Shelby to life as she does.
Is it terrible that I love the "hired" gun that is Uncle Joey's man? I really do. The more time Shelby spent with him, the more I liked him. And didn't think he'd kill her, well he would but really not want to.
Shelby is a fun person in her adventures. I will be continuing with the next books in the series!
#TakeMeAway ~ Love to be swept away by a great story and narrator!
I got "Carrots" after listening to book six "Deep in Death" and enjoyed it so much I picked the first book to start the series from the beginning.
Carrots was a really good story but after listening to book six in the series, I can confidently say the stories get better so if you are undecided about continuing the series, I think you definitely like the other books in the series (at least book six which hints of events from earlier stories.)
Carrots does set the foundation for future stories and the characters are developed throughout the series.
While PNR are my favorite types of stories, I love to break and listen to stories like Carrots that are light, fun and highly entertaining.
Really enjoyed "Carrots: a Shelby Nichols Adventure. Can't wait to read the next in the series. Colleen Helme has a
wicked sense of humor and a solid take on marriage and family life. Love the crazy adventures too! Very good characters!
Enjoyable and did keep my interest. Not overwhelming with too many characters to keep track of. Very good cozy mystery. Not that I couldn't put it down but I didn't mind picking it back up (so to speak) either. Just liked it!! Bought the whole darn series :)
"Dr. Geoff" wrote a review on Feb. 27, 2014 of ""Fast Money"" (book 2 of this series) that is nearly exactly what I think of this book. I read the synopsis and thought it might be good to check out. Lately, I've been picking some really lousy books so I started doubting this choice. Then, I listened to the first chapter and couldn't wait to hear more. I'm now ready to get that 2nd book and see if Dr. Geoff is right about that one.
One of my all-time favorite mystery series is David Rosenfeld's "Andy Carpenter Mysteries" series. I gobble each book as it is published. I suspect the same will be true of this series. I heard it, understood every facet of the story and the characters and I'll remember this story for a long time to come. And it is worth revisiting down the line. I believe part of it's charm is imagining what I would do with such a "gift".
If there was anything negative to say about this story, its the cavalier and repetitive nature of our heroine to lie (especially to her husband) that bothers me; she doesn't think before she speaks and will choose to lie automatically. Of course, that created much of the thrust of this story, but still, I kept yelling at her not to make the same mistake - she did anyway. I guess I am choosing to keep yelling at her through the rest of her run.
I am open to reviewing quality products.
This is a really interesting read, I was not one hundred percent sure about it at first. I went into it a little blind, thinking it looked like an intriguing mystery with a slight twist. Shelby is kind of a stay at home mom version of Stephanie Plum or Kathleen Turner. She is the least likely detective candidate, a touch naive and quirky.
After an accident gives her the ability to read minds she gets into all sorts of trouble. She does tend to speak before thinking, which enables her to fall into bad situations. She is generally very likable and in a stable relationship with a really understanding husband. I had concerns about her lack of sharing with him, open communication would have gone along way in avoiding much of the trouble. But then there would be no real book, so it did serve a purpose.
The story is not overly complicated, I caught on to who-dun-it pretty quickly. While it was a touch predictable it was still an enjoyable read.
The whole book is from Shelby's POV, which is slightly limited, except for the times she used her gift. This really opens up the other characters, it gives insights into their motivations. The mind reading is a clever device, not an ability I would want, she definitely needs to work on those shields. It would help with her marriage, hubby is not loving the intrusion.
It is refreshing to see a married couple who really is in love, no cheating or faking affection. You get a real sense that Chris and Shelby are truly in love, after 14 years of marriage that is great to read. I was thrilled to see the author did not make it one of those books where the woman finds out her personal life is a wreck.
The pace of the story steady, not a fast paced read but not a drag either. The narrator for the audiobook, Wendy Tremont King does a great job of keeping the story moving. She has a really appealing tone that instills energy into the story. Her voice makes Shelby seem real and less of a flake, she manages to make her sincere and sweet. While her male voices are not very deep, they are distinct and separate from the females. It is also easy to tell the difference when she is thinking and speaking. The narrator also has an added challenge of making it clear when she is hearing thoughts rather than people speaking to her. Ms King is a real compliment to the book, I am not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if I were reading it on my own.
I was kind of put off with the very end of the book. I suspect the choices she made will come back to bit her in the butt. Time will only tell, I a can not wait to jump into the next book. Both the author and the narrator are new to me, and I am eager to see more of both.
Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.
If books were food, this one is cotton candy. It's easy to read, enjoyable, forgettable and completely devoid of any healthy calories (keeping with the analogy).
Definitely has a female target audience but I zipped through it and didn't mind it. I don't regret the read but I won't be reading book 2.
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