Born in the worst suburb in Pittsburgh, Elaine Brogan is bright, beautiful and bold. When her father is falsely arrested for passing counterfeit $100 bills, Elaine vows to become a Secret Service agent and track down the man responsible. After barely surviving the arduous Secret Service Training Academy in Laurel, Maryland, she is transferred to bleak and blustery Great Falls, Montana.
But things do not go as planned, and Elaine soon finds herself betrayed and thrown into an adventure that takes her halfway around the world, from dark and mysterious Sofia, Bulgaria, to Moscow Russia, and finally, to Milan, Italy. In the end, will Elaine find the love and happiness she truly seeks…or will she turn to a life of obscene wealth, power and corruption?
©2011 Mike Wells (P)2013 Mike Wells
I am a romance reader through and through. But sometimes I come across a different genre and give it a shot. Quite a few years ago I found The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and was surprised by how much I loved it. I'm glad I asked Mike Wells to allow me to review an audio copy of this book. Lust, Money, & Murder was equally as good. I was on the edge of my seat rooting for the heroine. Elaine was a kick-ass heroine too. She was likable, smart, determined, successful, and strong.
Wells did an amazing job with the suspense and mystery. I was highly entertained and as a bonus there was a little romance that I didn't expect.
The audio version was pretty great. The voices and accents the narrator had to do were done so well. She tackled all of the voices incredibly and I enjoyed the whole experience.
I will definitely keep my eye on Wells and, perhaps, take a dive into more of his books.
I recommend this for anyone who enjoys strong female characters, murder, mystery, and suspense.
I just Love the Allure of a Great Romance...a Pair of Rose Colored Glasses...some Fine Wine, and a Subscription to Audible...
I discovered Mike Wells on Twitter, and found him to be a very interesting character himself. He is very well accomplished, and generous with his knowledge and advice. In other words, I like him.
I really wanted to love this novel, and while I did finish it, I did not find it to be, “unputdownable” (a self-proclamation by this author). In fact, I left it for probably a week or more before picking it back up to finish. This is not to say, however that I may not be tempted to try another of his books at some time in the future.
It could be, in part, that I didn’t enjoy this novel because I didn’t like the narrator, although I found much of the dialogue and character development to be left somewhat wanting. Overall, this read was disappointing and I would not recommend it as credit worthy.
5★ Audiobook⎮ I literally just finished this audiobook less than 10 seconds ago and I’m still heavily breathing from having held my breath during the ending. Wow! This was such a rush. I’m left with a strong urge to go door-to-door proselytizing about Lust, Money & Murder. This audiobook has an addictive quality I’ve only experienced from television shows. You know how certain shows are considered “binge-worthy”? The ones that make you stay up until all hours of the night, compulsively clicking for the next episode. Mike Wells has managed to package all of that into an audiobook series.
Lust, Money & Murder are actually three separate installments (titled “Lust”, “Money” and “Murder”), but I recommend either listening or reading to them in combined form, as I did. If not, the monstrous cliffhangers are bound to drive you crazy.
Wells takes you on a journey with Elaine (the protagonist) that spans the globe, but does so in a way that feels smooth and continuous. There are certain themes in Elaine’s life, and thus in the story, that tie everything together throughout and especially in the end.
I never knew where the story was headed, not even once. I’m usually happy if a story can manage to surprise me once. Being surprised by one good plot twist is just about all I could ask for, considering how much I’ve read. Two well-executed plot twists all but guarantee a five-star review.
I’m sitting here trying to think back and count the times I audibly gasped, jumped forward in my seat, or shot my eyes open in surprise. Not to mention the very huge twist near the end that caused me to shout so loud that my cat has yet to emerge from under the bed. Considering all of that, I feel it’s only fair that Lust, Money & Murder should be awarded at least 10 stars (out of five).
What is most impressive about this story is the fact that it managed to combine well-balanced characters with a well-paced plot. The writing wasn’t flourishy and overly descriptive. It fit the speed and style of the story perfectly. Who wants long, unnecessary descriptions slowing the momentum of an action-thriller story? There were flashbacks and a few POV changes to vary the pace from time to time, but those tactics were used sparingly and with tactfully.
I need to start a petition to have Lust, Money & Murder made into a prime time TV drama. It would make the transition from page to screen extremely easily. I recommend this to anyone who likes shows such as Quantico, Castle (without the humor), Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and Rookie Blue. Hey ABC, take a hint and option this for television already!
Narration review: As much as I adored the story, this is the type of review that tests my metal as an unbiased reviewer. The story gets a very solid 5 stars, but if I were rating the audiobook separately, it would get 3 or 3.5.
Let me be clear: Sue Sharp did a fine job of narrating the story. Her accents enriched the characters and her voice was lovely. I was even impressed with her tonal range. My complaints have very little to do with her and more to do with the sound quality and production of the audiobook itself.
There were several slip ups in the recording. So many, that I could not neglect mentioning them in this review. Phrases were repeated, there was audible dubbing, and sometimes the sound came and went. I understand that the author produced this audiobook (which I respect) and that instances like this are bound to happen, even sometimes in professional studios.
The good news is that my overall opinion of the audiobook was not affected by these errors, but only because the story and Sharp’s narration were so excellent. If that hadn’t been the case, this would likely be a very different review.
I’m not saying this to discourage you from choosing the audio version of the story, because I believe it is still worth hearing, but to simply fulfill my duty as a forthright reviewer. ♣︎
➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its author, Mike Wells, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Mike!
This is a great mystery; you get Books 1, 2, and 3 in this audio book. This book was written by Mike Wells and narrated by Sue Sharp. Elaine Brogan was born in the worst suburb in Pittsburgh; she is bright, beautiful and bold. When her father is falsely arrested for using counterfeit bills, She vows to track down the person responsible. She joins the Secret Service and is transferred to Great Falls, Montana. She soon finds herself betrayed.
The narrator Sue Sharp, did a wonderful job, and was very easy to listen too. This is the first book that I have listened to by this narrator, and I am looking forward to listening to more books by her. She did a great job with the different characters and their voices.
This book has a great story; if you are looking for a great mystery with many suspenseful moments that will leave you on the edge of your seat, then you need to get this book. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. Once I started listening to this book, I didn’t want to stop until the end.
A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
I loved the action and suspense the story line wasn't predictable and love the twists. Just when you thought you thought thou knew what was going to happen or the reason something was going to happen Surprise!! I will be listen to this story again. The narrator was a perfect choice ask the characters and accents she was amazing!!
Starting life as a beloved daughter is a good thing, isn't it? Until it's not. Going to a classy school as a teen is a good thing, isn't it? Until it's not. Saving for college is a good thing, right? And being tagged for modeling if a few classes are taken is good, right? No. But finding a purpose and a goal (revenge) is invigorating. Finding what you need to major in and doing well in college and FBI training is good, right? So is being sent abroad and finding out that you are uniquely qualified for special tasks is good, right? Until it's not. Well, you get the picture, but that's less than half of of this complex tale. So, no more hints or spoilers here. Just get a copy and get into it.
Ms Sharp did a fine job of audio interpreting the characters, their smugness/ambivalence/joy/rage and all, greatly enhancing the writer's work.
I received this book courtesy of AudioBook Blast
While Elaine did have some 'duh' moments, she was a woman who could take care of herself. Her time in Secret Service training comes in handy thru out the book. Her determination to get into the Service in the beginning of the book and her later quest for the truth made Elaine a stronger woman.
Ms. Sharp did wonders with the accents and the foreign words. I would have never been able to pronounce them. Ms. Sharp made the book even more interesting and kept me wanting more.
At over 10 hours, this would be hard to do in one sitting. It is really 3 novella length books packaged altogether. You could break it up by book and not lose any of the suspense.
Lust, Money and Murder, Books 1, 2 & 3 is the story of Elaine, a girl from the rough side of Pittsburgh and her determination to avenge her father. As the story progresses, we see Elaine make the decision to enter the Secret Service and what it takes to get there. Her attention to detail attracts the attention of a few people and Elaine is drawn in to 'the other side' of the law. Can she escape and get away from it all? Listen to find out.
Mr. Wells writes a well rounded story of intrigue and suspense. While there were a few cliche moments, all in all this is a story that I would recommend to my friends and family who enjoy a good mystery/suspense novel. Appropriate for ages 17 +
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