I first bought Carrots for Kindle in 2011 on a whim. Naturally when I got the chance to listen to it as an Audible book I couldn't wait to listen to i..Show More »t.
As a Regional Officer with the British Diplomatic Corps, I travel bi-weekly, usually to a foreign country and usually it is a long, long long airplane trip. So I really want something that will capture my attention, and really pass the time without FEELING like 9, 10, or 11 hours is going by, steadily sucking the will to live from my body like a black hole.
I decided to start getting audible books since I have devices I can use that will enable me to listen in comfort and pass the time.
I was a little concerned about listening to Carrots, as I had read it, and I have just finished the newest book in the series, Trapped by Revenge, the 5th Shelby Nichols adventure. Boy, was I wrong.
Well, was I? There I am, sitting in my seat, and listening to Wendy King's phenomenal audio production, and now I'm gasping out loud. The first time, I knocked my drink over. Next thing I know, I'm laughing out loud, and Mr. 5E sitting next to me thinks I'm taking a nutty. Nothing daunted, I'm worse than the person at the movie theater who then starts talking to the screen: "No, no, don't go in there!" By this time on my overnight flight Mr. 5E is snoring, but I think the flight attendants began rooting about for their Valium reserves.
Fortunately, I was not incarcerated upon landing, but I just loved listening to the book. Possibly more than reading it! It was fresh, it was so well done and so consistently produced that there was nothing to complain about. I was sucked into the story completely, and 8 plus hours seem to pass in the blink of an eye.
It is hard in a way to separate the content of the book from the audio production. The book was incredibly well written, the story very enjoyable, the characters entirely believable, and the quality of the writing fantastic. Equally, Wendy's voice characterizations were right on the money. She puts just enough intonation and inflection into the recordings that you can tell when it's Shelby, you can tell when it's Uncle Joey, and you can tell when it's Ramos. It is what I think of as understated elegance.
I would recommend this Audible book to anyone. The Shelby Nichols adventures stand in and of their own right, but it is far more enjoyable listening to the professional, flawless recording in some ways than reading the book. What it really did was make me want to listen to them all, so I am now eagerly awaiting the release of the next book through Audible.
This is an absolute winner: Do yourself a favor: Get it!
Fast Money is the second installment in the Shelby Nichols adventures series. I am not a "psychic soccer mom" kind of guy. I like action, engaging..Show More », lost in the story real life nitty-gritty characters that can keep me absorbed for 9-11 hour flights. I like books I can listen to whilst driving that keep my mind focused instead of just another mindless song. I started reading Colleen Helme's books when I stumbled upon Carrots, the first Shelby Nichols adventure, whilst stuck in my car in a downpour at a supermarket. The parallel got me involved, but the story got me committed. Since then I have read and enjoyed ALL of the Shelby Nichols adventures that up and coming author Ms. Helme has penned. I started listening to them from Audible when they became available, and I have been pleasantly surprised and delighted that I did. These stories and the entertainment I derive from them will remain long after the price is forgotten. An audio performer can make or break a book. The voice we hear MUST be recognisable as the character we imagine, or all is lost, including interest, which will fast fade away and die. Fortunately, Wendy Tremont King IS Shelby Nichols incarnate, or at least her voice is, and that makes all the difference. Wendy does a 5 star job of performing in Fast Money. Her depictions of the other characters in the story, including the male mob boss Uncle Joey, the NOT love interest and hit man Ramos, and the Detective "Dimples". Her voice characterisations are understated, and that suits the performance admirably. It adds believability to the story. Colleen's writing and portrayal of the different personalities and mannerisms of the characters already make them utterly believable, and Wendy's portrayals only add to that panache. It had been more than two years since I had read Fast Money, and I had actually forgotten a lot of the story, including the surprise and dramatic ending at the banquet by the time I got the Audible version and listened to it. I found myself laughing out loud, gasping at times, and generally so absorbed in the story that I actually at one point turned to the person in 6D next to me and asked, "Oh no! How is she going to get out of that?!" Fortunately, Ms. 6D was asleep at the time, and I quickly looked around to see if my gaff had been noticed. Fortunately, most everyone was asleep or absorbed in their own entertainment. I have pondered long and hard about why I like the Shelby Nichols adventures so much. They are part mystery, part crime drama, part fantastic story... The thing is, they are so darn real and realistic, that they remind me of my own life (minus the mind-reading, drat)! The book (and narration) is done in such a stream of consciousness fashion by the main character, that I can really relate to them. Shelby is an accidental heroine. She really loves her husband and kids. She really wants to be a good mom and wife. But life keeps happening to her. I don't think it is just my own job, which involves 2 weeks of national and international travel a month that makes the stories resonate so much, I think it is really the path of my own life, and the power of events outside of our own control. Shelby, like me, makes commitments, tries her hardest to keep them, but stuff keeps happening, and life gets in the way. And she tries to do the right thing, not the easy thing, and that creates a non-stop roller-coaster adventure you cannot stop listening to. One of the best things about this style of writing: Shelby gets to hear in her mind how people perceive her. Which can be VASTLY different from how she perceives herself. Fast Money cost me sleep when I could not put it down as a written book. The audio book kept me constantly listening and recharging my iPad Air battery, listening on long flights, listening in the hotel, listening in the car... All with gripping and absorbed interest. It is a great book, and if anything it is more entertaining to listen to than to read. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! Without any reservation, for pretty much anyone from tween to teen to AARP member. This is quality writing and performing at its best, and if I were you, I would avoid the disappointment of missing out on this fantastic book. Just plan on being hooked for the whole series! Got Shelby?
I read Lie or Die before I listened to it and I loved it both times. It's hard for me to say which I enjoyed more, but it was fun to go on walks and w..Show More »orkout while listening to the book! I can't walk my dogs and read, but I can certainly walk and listen! Wendy does a great job narrating, so that makes it very easy to listen to.
Colleen Helme's books are so fresh and exciting. She's the best author I've read for a long time. And Wendy Tremont King is totally the right 'voice' ..Show More »for Shelby, (And Uncle Joey, Ramos and Dimples). Dearly love Uncle Joey and Ramos, something I already did before I got the audio books. Now, Wow! How exciting to be able to picture these characters in my mind as the action unfolds..Colleen writes so vividly that I am right there through all Shelby's escapades. Plus, the editing for these books is fantastic. Thanks a bunch to whoever deserves that praise. I had begun to expect to have to get past grammatical errors in every book I bought whether paperback or ebook anymore.
To Colleen and the people who have helped make these books a reality ...Thank You!
4.5 stars. My Initial Reaction... Trapped by Revenge was the best Shelby Nichols book thus far! Shelby's landed herself in the worst mess yet..Show More » and I really wasn't sure if she'd manage to get out of it.
The Narration... I've teased that Wendy Tremont King isn't very good at Mexican accents (and she's not). But in Trapped by Revenge, I discovered that she does country very well! Plus, she continues to give solid performances for all the characters and I really love her for Shelby. I can't imagine anyone else narrating this series at this point!
The Characters... I still really love Shelby. She's just so genuine! She may lie plenty when dealing with people - since she has to cover up her ability to read minds - but Shelby doesn't lie to herself. She knows when she's wrong or has done something she shouldn't and owns it! I just wish she felt guiltier about her interaction with Ramos... but I guess it's okay to flirt and lust a bit, as long as she continues to know she loves Chris and will remain faithful to him, right? It would break my heart if Shelby ever did cheat on Chris, though.
I've always liked Shelby and Chris's relationship - it's refreshing to read about a couple in love after years of marriage and two kids. And Chris has only grown in my esteem over the course of the series. He started off not knowing how to deal with the Shelby and her new abilities, but by Trapped by Revenge he fully appreciates her abilities and supports her strength. He's her rock and support, just like a husband should be. Sure he wants to keep her out of trouble, but he doesn't stifle here either.
Ramos and Shelby's relationship changed a bit in the last book and I was nervous about how they would progress. They are openly flirtatious - so much so that Uncle Joey suspects they're having an affair - and I wish it were toned down a bit. But ultimately, I think Ramos respects her and her marriage too much to REALLY try anything. I have to say I enjoy their flirtations, as long as they keep it at that.
Uncle Joey is great as usual. I know he's supposed to be this mob boss bad guy, but I never feared him and by this point I would really be sad to see him get in trouble. He cares deeply about Shelby and I think he's a good guy to have in her corner (as Trapped by Revenge really shows).
It was also nice to be back with Dimples (Detective Harris) in Trapped By Revenge. I missed him in the last book and in Trapped By Revenge he really proves what a good friend he is.
A new character was introduced too - Billy Jo. Billy is a reporter and has a thing for Dimples. She's a good investigator, really country (at least in the audio version) and I like her a lot! I hope we see more of her in future books - I think she adds an interesting dimension to the story.
The Story... In Trapped By Revenge Shelby's landed in the worst mess of all. She goes to visit a private detective for Uncle Joey and when she gets there he's dead. Worse yet, he's written her name on a piece of paper. Shelby is able to grab the paper, but it doesn't do her much good, because quickly the evidence framing her as the killer escalates. Uncle Joey thinks a judge is involved and Billy Jo recognizes a similar MO between her case and another one she's working on. No matter how you look at it, things are not looking good for Shelby.
I loved seeing the way Shelby had so many people working to help her - if you had doubts about Uncle Joey's intentions toward Shelby before, they're gone now. But regardless of how many powerful people she has on her side, the evidence isn't looking good and Colleen Helme didn't pull any punches. Poor Shelby is going through it and you really don't know when or if she'll get off!
Concluding Sentiments... I loved Trapped By Revenge and cannot wait for Deep in Death to come to audio!