Paradise, Idaho, may not be the largest town, but for newly minted professor Zoe Santangelo, it's the first step on the path to her big break. After teaching in a small Idaho school, her next stop is the Ivy League, and no one is going to stand in her way. She'll do what it takes to move up, to protect her students from a creepy campus stalker - and to protect her heart from Cal Jackson, the hot, hunky cowboy who keeps coming to her rescue.
After a career-ending injury, Cal has left professional football behind and come home to work the family farm. He's determined not to get mixed up with any more city girls who don't want to settle down with a country boy. But after he rescues sassy geologist Zoe from a snowy ditch, he can't stop thinking about her. Can Cal keep Zoe safe from whoever is targeting her - and can he show her that having ambition doesn't mean she has to sacrifice love?
©2015 Rosalind James (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I love being swept away by a new romance and thankfully Audible's ever growing Library means I get to indulge myself over and over again
What an all round great listen..... there's the chilling mystery and suspense of the sub plot, the beautiful sexy romance between Cal and Zoe who are both very likeable fun characters and they have such great chemistry and rapport. Then there's the teamwork of two awesome narrators who each stuck to their own gender's words making the book flow like a conversation. Finally, you get 11 hours of an entertaining and enjoyable listen for under $8 - so no need to use a credit therefore there's absolutely no dilemma here..... just add it to your cart now.
This was a great listen ~ not only was the narration TOP notch, but the story was excellent...lots of romance, but enough suspense to keep me guessing all the way through. Likeable characters who totally sucked you into the story...I hope, HOPE there's more out there for me to discover!! I bought this one on a whim, for narration alone, and loved the story! I'm hooked!
I really expected/wanted Rosalind James' "Paradise, Idaho" series to be as well written and entertaining as her "Escape to New Zealand" series, but I was sadly disappointed. The effort to interject a suspenseful, life and death drama into the novel may have been the element that resulted in characters with less richness and complexity, but I am afraid that the narration is what made the listening experience disappointing.
The characters in the NZ novels where deep, rich and compelling. The listener learned about each person's values and motivations. They became able to anticipate each character's reaction to each new element of the story. Several characters in each novel were self-possessed enough to speak directly and to be up front with their feelings. The novels were refreshing in that they did not rely on game playing and emotional dishonesty to sabotage romantic relationships and create drama. That in itself kept the stories moving and allowed the author to get to what really mattered.
In Paradise, Idaho - Zoe is anything but emotionally honest. Her urban habit of seeing danger in every stranger keeps her from opening herself up to any new friendships or human connections. And her habitat of guarding her true feelings from her parents foreshadows her inclination to withhold her real self and keeps her from being truly honest or up front with anyone, even with herself.
Now to narration. It is not fair to compare Natalie Ross to Clair Bocking because Clair Bocking has no equal. It is not only that Bocking can create a complete ensemble of distinctly different character voices of all ages and all genders, she also reads the story as if they are her words coming spontaneously out of her mouth in the moment that the action and/or conversation is taking place. Natalie Ross' narration is less "in the moment." Somehow she is not as engaged in the story - so it is hard for the listener to care as much about the outcomes.
Phil Gigante, however, is successful with the male characters. Cal is quite compelling and Luke seems quite fun. Gigante's reading is "in the moment" and draws the listener in, but that is unfortunately not enough to save the production.
I will listen to the second book, because I am really interested in Luke and I want to change my opinion about this series.
Blue Moon Reviews
I bought this because there are so many rave reviews for the author's works. But even the stellar Gigante and Ross narrating team didn't allow me to accept the hero's creepy, winky-winky sexism nor the university's institutional discrimination against female professors and students, which the author presents as PERFECTLY NORMAL. I bailed out soon after the heroine endures her father's verbal abuse, which she accepts as PERFECTLY NORMAL. So to recap: Zoe is steamrolled by her would be boyfriend, infantalized by her father, and patted on her pretty little head by all the university men. Don't tell me a woman is feisty and spirited when she gives up on all of her battles. DNF.
I listened to the whole thing, I'll give it that.
It wasn't horrible just very cliche. Nerdy girl doesn't realize how amazingly hot she is until her sorta trashy but really cool friend lets her rummage through her closet and forces her to go out in something that's cut above her ankles.
Hottest guy in town only has eyes for her even when she's still dressing nerdy.
She ends up changing everything about her life, even allowing him to dress her. But of course her giving up her career goals that she'd wanted her entire life was her decision because of course it was really what she'd wanted all along.
It bothered me that someone who is supposedly so smart and terrified of men makes the kind of mistakes that she does. I did like the parts with the shot gun and the baseball bat.
I could have done without the 30 minute it gets better speech. Really. I've never fast forwarded through a book before but I just couldn't take it. I get the point but the entire thing could have been summed up in one paragraph not an entire chapter.
This is a book/series is departure from Rosalind James' previous "Escape to New Zealand" and "The Kincaids" series. It definitely fits in the romantic suspense category because there is a villain that creates a situation where you're not quite sure what's truly happening all the way around so you're kept waiting (in a good way) for things to cogamut of witty, sexy, exasperating, confusing, frustrating, intense, and tender. Sincntinue to unfold/be revealed and then, ultimately, be resolved. However, if you're looking for the espionage or "out there", darker portion of romantic suspense, this book may not be for you as that's not where the anticipation comes from. Without giving too much away . . . Zoe Santangelo has a PhD in geology (specializing in hydrogeology) that has come to the small town of Paradise, Idaho to start her journey to becoming a tenured professor at one of the predominant research universities in the field. Like many others with similar aspirations, Zoe starts at the bottom of ladder at a smaller institution, eager to work her way up. She loves her field, teaching at the university, and working with students but knows that she'll be moving on as soon as she can. Cal Jackson is a former NFL football player who has come home to run the family farm after his career is ended by an injury. He loves what he does, his family and the town but is possibly looking for more as well. The two meet and interact as a result of their relationship to the university. The story chronicles their struggles, both individually and as a couple, as well as a campus situation that has everyone concerned for the safety of students and Dr. Santangelo. Both characters have their own issues that results in sort of power struggle that they need to work through that ultimately affect their relationship. The pair are very likable and believable. Zoe is highly intelligent yet down to earth, and very independent, yet unsure of herself. Cal is self-assured, a bit of a control freak and almost cocky--but in a way that endears him to the reader. Their interactions run the gamut of witty, sexy, exasperating, confusing, frustrating, intense, and tender. Since this is also a romance, it doesn't hurt that things get a bit steamy occasionally. Overall, there is just the right balance the romance and suspense. Don't expect a wimpy heroine that needs rescuing--that's what gets Cal into trouble.
The performance? Sends a great story right into the stratosphere! I wasn't too sure of how I was going to like a male and female narrator interacting within same chapter. (I love Kristen Proby's "With Me" series that has a male and female narrator but they trade chapters because that's how the books are laid out--male vs. female perspective.) I have to say the narration TOTALLY WORKED and enhanced the performance. Natalie Ross was new to me and she does an outstanding job of getting Zoe "right". Tone, pace, inflection and emotion for each segment are spot on and really bring Zoe to life. Phil Gigante knocked it totally out of the park with Cal. He gets the "good ol' boy" persona right while making him real (as well as swoonworthy). Combined, the dual narration really works in all the different situations and brings out the emotions for each section. Can't wait for Hold Me Close to be released in print and audio. It'll be a great story and if it's narrated like Carry Me Home, it's already a winner.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross. The Best! Excellent production values. Sweet and engaging story. Worth the credit...worth full price! All this and a big, ugly dog.
The story was trite and the heroine was one dimensional. I love a sappy romance...but this was - ugh!
I love these two narrators but they couldn't save this story either.
Busy mom and "Nana." Love the audiobooks so I can keep hands free for multi-tasking. Originally from So. Calif., living in Montana
I enjoyed this book. It is a definitely change from Rosalind James’ usual stories. I have read all of her Escape to New Zealand series and loved them. This book was different. What I love about Ms. James’ writing is that it is always fresh. She doesn’t get stuck reusing the same phrases over and over again.
I like that this audiobook had a male and female narrator which makes the story much nicer to listen to. She has created unique characters. Her male lead, Cal, is the guy most women want, kind, loving, masculinity that won’t quit. The narrator did a wonderful job with his voice. The female lead, Zoe, is a little less likeable to me but still the story worked.
This book was a romantic suspense –and she blended the two very well. I am looking forward to more in this series.
This is one of the best audio books I've listened to. The combined male and female narration worked perfectly. Excellent!
A great story well told.
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