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Devil's Lake: Bittersweet Hollow Book 1 Audiobook

Devil's Lake: Bittersweet Hollow Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

After two years of brutal captivity, Portia Lamont has escaped and returned to her family's Vermont horse farm - only to find her parents gone to New York to try an experimental treatment for her mother's cancer, and her childhood friend Boone Hawke running the farm. The man Boone has become frightens her to near paralysis, but she's too traumatized and physically devastated to put up a fight.

Like the rest of her family, Boone has never given up hope that Portia would return. But when she turns up battered, skinny as a 12-year-old boy, afraid of everything and unable to talk about what happened, he does the only thing he can - try to help her heal. He summons the town doctor and Portia's parents, and sets out to put this beautiful, broken woman back together again.

Through her family's love and Boone's gentle affection, Portia gradually comes back to herself, and starts to fall for her old friend in a whole new way. But one thing threatens her fragile hopes for recovery: The man who took her promised that if she ever escaped, he'd kill her. Slowly. And someone is definitely watching her...waiting to make a deadly move.

©2014 Aaron Paul Lazar (P)2014 Aaron Paul Lazar

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  •  
    Sapphire Reader Mountain Top, PA, United States 02-20-15
    Sapphire Reader Mountain Top, PA, United States 02-20-15 Member Since 2015

    I am a audio book lover turned Audio Book Reviewer since Nov '14. Love it and now started my own review blog featuring all the reviews here!

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    "An Emotional Rollercoaster Ride!"

    Devil’s Lake by Aaron Lazar was a sobering intense story of what is sadly too real! This book will hit a lot of emotions as a reader that will have your heart pumping for the danger and for the tender parts of closeness. This review is based on the audio version of the book narrated by Gwendolyn Dryer. She had me at the edge of what is next feeling! Since this book was dedicated to the young ladies that were kidnapped in Ohio. It lends that is the primary topic of this book. Abductions by those we see as normal on the outside yet very scary on the inside to the captives. This story was so well layout in a timeline that is so believable. Right out of too many headlines. It will leave you with maybe some feelings you did not have before. It really draws you in. It is a bit of an underlying love story as well.

    This story surrounds a young college student, Porsche that was kidnapped at the closing of a garden center where she work at. Watched indiscreetly by a patron that for hours looking at the flowers in the garden center. Putting some in his basket putting some back. Nothing that Porsche has not seen with avid gardeners. Upon the closing of the store Porsche asked the gentlemen to make his final selections and he ends up bringing to the counter a single geranium. After closing up and feeling uncomfortable over the whole situation. Porsche locks up and finds herself approached from behind and a rag put over her mouth. So now I am getting ahead of myself.

    The story opens as Porsche is racing home to her parents. Her little dog Cupcake right by her side. “We’ll be home soon.” That is all she could think of. Gone 2 years. 2 long years. Had her family given up hope that she was still alive or were they resolved she was dead and they would never see her again. Rushing into her parent’s home calling out their names. Where was everyone? Then a deep voice comes from behind her and she starts to panic. With relief seeing that it was not her capture that followed her but, she kept telling herself all the way home that she knew that she has killed him! “Who are you?” Is all she can say as she surveys his eyes, his face and broad shoulders? “You know who I am Peaches! It’s Boone.”

    Boone a childhood friend is helping take care of the farm. As he explains to Porsche where her mom and dad is. That her sister is now married to a college professor. Knowing that she would not see them till the next day. Boone sees that she is in dire straits he finally talks her into eating, showering and getting some rest. Knowing that her parents were out of town she knew he was right. She would see them tomorrow.

    The absolute joy when Porsche is finally reunited with her family is very uplifting. Aaron really hit the nerve of all the emotions that just pour out with the reunion. The questions of where she was the last 2 years. What was happening with her mom’s health? How or did her sister Grace beat her addiction from her actions? Who was her new husband and how did they meet? I find that all the questions are unraveled in the story at a nice pace.

    How even after 2 years she could still see her sister really didn’t change all that much even being married. Why? Was she now jealous of the attention that Porsche is getting? However, as the story unfolds and Porsche starts telling the family her story her sister Grace finds that she can’t help wondering and wanting to feel for her sisters’ distain for her capturer named Murphy. To protect her.

    Now, the story goes back to the beginning of my review. Porsche now tells them how the capture unfolds to a cabin at Devil’s Lake, WI. The things that Porsche’s capturer makes her do. Now home will she never want another man? Did she kill this man? Afraid that Porsche will be arrested for his murder. If indeed he was killed when she finally escape. Boone and Grace’s husband Anderson head to WI to find out. What steps will they take to protect her throughout the story?

    After returning back to the farm in Vermont to inform her that he was not dead based on the information she gave them. Now she feared that her capturer is coming to seek her down. What risk will he take to get her back? Was her family and the police ready to take on one guy? Only this time he takes her sister Grace. Is her capturer ready for her sister’s strong will? Will everyone find her sister in time? What happens between Boone and Porsche? Will there be a happy ending? I will not spoil the stories ending for you.

    The narrator Gwendolyn Druyer, is my first experience listening to her. She did a wonderful job with the list of characters she had to perform. She did have the same similar voice as I have heard with other female narrators. A soothing voice when needed. To a scared voice of Porsche and Grace as they were held captive. The male voices I could tell the difference but found Boone’s voice a bit too sultry at times when I didn’t feel it fitting. She capture the mood of each of the scenes and the transition from character to character. I will be looking for her name in future narrations she performs. Whether for any of Aaron’s books or for other authors. Well done Gwendolyn!

    I highly recommend this book from young adult +. I would even recommend this for young teen girls to listen to. Being a mother and knowing what I have heard over the years from my girls of not being afraid. This book makes me afraid for them.

    Please note that this book was provided to me by the author. In no way was his or anyone else influenced me in the final review of the book. Please feel to comment and if you feel my review was helpful please like it!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wickedwolvesanddreamingdragons 01-16-15
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    "Thrillride that will not let you stop listening!"

    When I started listening to this book I did not know much of the back-story. I don't follow news or TV, I am a bookworm what can I say. In the beginning this book was dedicated to the women held captive in Ohio. That got me thinking "okay so this could have actually happened to someone" and I kept that in mind while listening.

    The Story is of Portia who was kidnapped and held for 2 years by a psychopath named Murphy. He made her wear a nurses uniform and kept her locked up and inside. She finally escapes and makes her way home only to find her parents gone, in another state and a neighbor taking care of the family farm.

    Boone, a neighbor and Portia's childhood friend looks after her until her parents can make it home. Eventually her sister and new husband come too. Boone never leaves her and was a strong character throughout the story. (Yes I loved him!)

    Portia making it home is only half the battle, she doesn't know if she killed Murphy or just stunned him so she is constantly jumping at any odd noise. I think that would be awful, just looking over your shoulder constantly. In the end I was so glad that things were resolved.

    The narration was amazing. Gwendolyn Druyor did a fantastic job portraying different voices for the characters and I could easily tell who was speaking. The flow of the story was made that much clearer with the seamless narration.

    I will definitely be listening to more from this Author/Narrator team in the future.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    U.P. 12-16-14
    U.P. 12-16-14
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    "Time to heal: an abducted woman coming home"
    What did you love best about Devil's Lake?

    I love the opening scene, because it sets the tone for the entire story. We hear Portia coming back home, having escaped from her abductor. She is in a severely weakened state, "Her heart slammed against her ribs, quickening with every mile she recognized," and has an overwhelming yearning for safety, for home. "Green mountains surged into the clouds in the background. guarding the rolling hills of the valley where her family's farm nestled in the hollow." But the place is empty, except for her childhood friend, whom she barely recognizes, and because of her harrowing experience, she is afraid to be touched. "`It's me.' He offered her a hand, but she pulled her away."


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The description of the abduction is vivid and at time quite stark, as it must be, so I wanted to reach out and rescue Portia from her abductor.

    "Shhhh," says Murphy, in his frighteningly metallic voice. "It's okay. You're with me now, sugar."

    We get a glimpse into the way she managed to survive the torture and starvation. "Pretend to be respectful and sweet," she tells herself. "Go along with him. Watch and wait... If you don't fight him, he'll have nothing to push against." And throughout the ordeal, she braces herself. "You can do this."


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last part creates a much needed conclusion to the story. Anderson and Boone work their way toward Devil's Lake and watch for the cabin with the boarded up windows. Grace, Portia's sister, plays a great role, which I am not going to divulge here, except to say that in the end, she and Portia renew their bond of sisterhood, and cleanse themselves of the past. It is so symbolic that they do it by diving beneath the surface of Devil's Lake. This is the part I love best, because it suggests the possibility of harmony.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    in spite of the suspense at certain twists and turns, I truly took my time with listening, because some parts of the story are heat wrenching and I wanted to take it all in. I wanted to savor every shade of every word, as the narrator, Gwendolyn Druyor, gave expression to Portia's pain, her initial confusion and mistrust in others, having gone through an unimaginable ordeal. And towards the end I could feel, in her voice, the beginning of healing and hope, not only for Portia but for her sister, too.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is dedicated to the women kidnapped and held hostage for ten years in Cleveland, Ohio, and so it is with great tenderness that the author, Aaron Paul Lazar, imparts this story, which I imagine must have been inspired by what he learned about the case, and by his great compassion. Being based on a true story is not enough--an author must make it vivid, even in the most harrowing parts, to the listener, which Aaron Paul Lazar does brilliantly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina PLATTE CITY, MO, United States 04-12-16
    Christina PLATTE CITY, MO, United States 04-12-16 Member Since 2013
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    "What A Ride!!!!"
    Any additional comments?

    Wow!! Double WOW!! I was up with this book all night. Every time I tried to put it down it seemed to call to me and I was listening 10 minutes later. This is one that tugs at your heart strings. I felt myself rooting for her from the beginning of the book. I can't wait to read the next one.I was given this book in trade for an honest review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole 04-07-16
    Nicole 04-07-16
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    "Outstanding"
    What made the experience of listening to Devil's Lake: Bittersweet Hollow Book 1 the most enjoyable?

    This book grabbed my attention from the very beginning and never let go. That's the best kind of book! I will definitely be purchasing other books in this series and I have a new author I love!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Devil's Lake: Bittersweet Hollow Book 1?

    Just when you think you have it all figured out, it has a twist and you are caught up again in the plot turns; I didn't want to stop listening!


    What about Gwendolyn Druyor’s performance did you like?

    Easily recognizable characters just by the voices. The antagonist in the story had a creepy voice, which just added to the story plot.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the main character begins to recognize she can move past her trauma and have her own life, and possibly love...


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelvin L. Reed Las Vegas 02-17-16
    Kelvin L. Reed Las Vegas 02-17-16
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    "Well done suspense tale"

    "Devil’s Lake" by Aaron Paul Lazar held my interest from the start. The story about a young woman who escapes the clutches of a madmen after two years of captivity is not new. However, I was captivated by Portia’s plight and the descriptions of family and friends who support and later defend her when the madmen comes to reclaim her. The narration by Gwendolyn Druyor is exceptional. The reason for Portia et al not telling the police everything—clearly a plot device—had me rolling my eyes, but other than that I strongly recommend this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 02-09-16
    Laura 02-09-16 Member Since 2014
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    "great read"

    "This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com."

    this is not the type of books i normally listen to or read but I loved it anyway. would read more like it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela 02-06-16
    Angela 02-06-16 Member Since 2015

    When I discovered Audible it was like discovering love :-) I love receiving codes and in return I post reviews. Wife, and mom of two,

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    "A Kidnapping!"

    I first gave it a 4 star rating until I realized and learned this story was based on a true story. I honestly can't say I heard it mentioned in the start or even in the end if the audio. Of course I normally tune out the beginning of the story when it starts and at the ending when it's over. I went back and listened to the story again. From what I learned a group of women were kidnapped for 10 years in Cleveland.

    The author, Aaron Paul Lazar wrote this story and it truly surprised me of his understanding and the compassion he had writing this story. I am thankful that he changed the story from the true story. He wrote this story and made it his own even though the true story inspired him. Aaron has written a story that inspired me, it was intense, it kept me glued to my seat, and my heart pumping hard at certain times in the story. Aaron pulled it off and did a magnificent job in doing so. This is my first story I've ever heard by this author but he has a new fan for life.

    Narrator Gwendolyn Druyor did an outstanding job. I've never heard any of this narrator's work before Devil's Lake. I'll check to see other stories she's narrated. Gwendolyn brought so much emotion and feeling to this story. With this story being based on a true story the narrator made it feel so real to. Druyor captured my attention and she held it from start to finish. She brought this story to life as I listened to her tell this story. I'm sorry that I don't write about the stories and give details in my reviews but I hate to be one of those spoiled people. I think The excerpt gives you enough detail to capture your attention. Overall, my first rating of 4 stars is now a 5 star rating from me. This is a great story, not my normal genre but I enjoyed it immensely, so much that I listened to Devil's Creek immediately after.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandy Blackerby 01-26-16 Member Since 2013

    I am a fun loving mom that enjoys a great Book!! I'm happy to have Audible with a busy life it makes it so easy to still get lost in a book!

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    "I'm looking forward to more from this author!!"
    Any additional comments?

    I love it when I find a HIDDEN GEM in the sea of books!! TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THIS IS ONE OF THEM!! I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR MORE BY THIS AUTHOR!! THE NARRATOR DID A GREAT JOB AS WELL!! I don't do reviews that give spoilers nor do I just repeat what the book is about.... SO HERE IS A BREAKDOWN DID YOU
    ~Did I enjoy the Book??
    **ABSOLUTELY**
    ~Was The Book Worth A CREDIT??
    **AGAIN IT ABSOLUTELY WAS IN MY OPINION**
    ~Was the NARRATOR Good??
    **Yes**

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DRS 01-23-16
    DRS 01-23-16

    Enjoy reading fiction, thrillers (JD Robb), romance, military and comedy (Evanovich). Listen to Audiobooks on treadmill and long road trips!

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    "Devil's Lake"

    Excellent read on survivorship. Strong characters, narration crisp and on point. Would like to see a sequel!


    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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