Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.
What a spectacular story! If you loved the Martian, prepare yourself because Andy Weir's mastery for story telling has only gotten better. I loved this book. I will listen to it again, and let me tell you that with nearly 1200 titles in my library very, very few books warrant a second listen.
Andy's protagonist (Jasminda "Jazz" Bashara) this time around is a whip-smart, self-taught smuggler with a photographic memory who happens to be a young woman. Here's another thing I love about Andy Weir - he is generous doling out smarts and strength to women. He did it with several characters in The Martian, and he has done it again in Artemis. Girl power!
The thing I liked most about this book were the characters - women's lib aside. You missed a lot of that interaction in The Martian (obviously), so it was nice to have a good handful of colourful characters that interacted with Jazz on the regular.
Again, there's a lot of science talk in this book but it is accessible to everyone. You might have to back up and take a second listen a time or two, but Mr. Weir does a smashing job of simplifying the complexities. And, you'll learn a lot - like why coffee on the moon just doesn't taste like it does on earth.
I would be remiss of failing to mention Rosario Dawson's superb narration of this story. In a word: WOW. She seamlessly narrates between several accents some of which include American (or I suppose Artemian), Arabic, Ukrainian, Kenyan, English, and Brazilian. She manages distinctly different voices for each of the characters - switching between sexes and ages just effortlessly. Five stars are not enough for her performance. Of course, not many publishers/authors are willing to pay for a film actress to narrate a book...so enjoy this rare treat.
This book delivered with several laugh-out-loud moments, and nail biting, edge-of-your-seat suspense. Jazz was every bit as human as The Martian's Mark Watney when it came to mistakes and oversights that produced near-disastrous consequences.
Worth a credit? ABSOLUTELY.
8 of 13 people found this review helpful
At age 14, Zelda Rossi witnessed the unthinkable, and has spent the last 10 years hardening her heart against the guilt and grief. She channels her pain into her art: a dystopian graphic novel where vigilantes travel back in time to stop heinous crimes before they happen. Zelda pitches her graphic novel to several comic book publishers in New York City, only to have her hopes crash and burn. Circumstances leave her stranded in an unfamiliar city, and in an embarrassing moment of weakness, she meets a guarded young man with a past he'd do anything to change....
This is my fourth Emma Scott book. The Butterfly Project was EPIC. Ms. Scott, I'm officially a super fan and I will now automatically buy every book you write without hesitation.
I don't even know where to begin with this review. The characters she writes are so real, such poignant portraits of the good and ugly things that make people uniquely beautiful.
The two main characters are dealing with tremendous pain and regret. The heroine is debilitated by the guilt from not being able to stop the pedophile who kidnapped and killed her younger sister. The hero is barely scraping by in a parole-enforced existence of misery and regret: the consequence of participating in an armed robbery that ended in the worst possible way.
While the back stories of both main characters are violent and tragic, I liked that the author only provided the barest minimum of detail to understand their pain. It seems that there is this trend in our culture to provide gory details...we're becoming desensitized to violence and even though this is fiction, I'd rather not hear about what a pedophile does to the child he kidnapped.
I was captivated from the very first meeting of the two main characters. There was just something there - a spark and instant connection that just couldn't be dismissed. The romance between them began with a friendship - a mutual benefit of each character in desperate need of a second chance. It was a very slow burn, but when it finally happened it was quite steamy.
As for the narration, it was very good. Amy was excellent - she was quite good differentiating male and female voices and imparted believable New York accents for specific characters. As for Guy Locke, I have two gripes. First, the New York accent Amy provided for Beckett disappeared when it was his turn to narrate. Second, his enunciation annoys. I've listened to several other audio books that he has narrated and that problem has been prevalent in all of them. Words like Manhattan come out as Manhat'n, button comes out but'n, swimming is swimmin'. It's kind of a lazy way of speaking by dropping t and g consonant sounds. It grates after a while.
This book ticked all the boxes for me. It was truly a journey. There were moments I smiled and laughed, and there were also several moments that brought me to tears. This book is definitely worth a credit...just keep a box of Kleenex nearby!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Noelle Charlston lives a fairy-tale life: a doting father, a powerful job, and a future blessed with financial security. However, two meetings with two men changes her happy existence forever. First, she meets the man who makes her heart sing. Three years later, she meets the man who makes her blood quiver. Broken-hearted from a teenage romance, Noelle's freedom is no longer hers. It belongs to the stranger her father believes is her perfect match. The stranger who pulls his lies over everyone he touches.
Crown of Lies is my fourth Pepper Winters book. I'm a fan of her writing, but I have had issues with the narration of some of those books. Happily, this time I am a fan. This is dual narration at its best. Kylie Stewart handles the female dialog competently, while Eric Rolon is exceptional at voicing all male characters. Bravo to Eric...this is the first book he's narrated for audible and he was fantastic! His voice was just right for our hero - he really made the listen sexy.
The story itself kept me interested. Enter Elle - a girl groomed to run a department store empire from a young age. She leads a sheltered life of wealth and privilege, and then one night she rebels against her golden shackles. This leads her to a mugging and attempted rape in a dirty back alley somewhere in NYC. Our heroine is rescued by a young homeless man. Fate removes the anonymous good Samaritan, and Elle's exhaustive attempts to find him fail.
Three years after that night, Ms. Winters keeps the intrigue going. There's a father with a heart condition, a persistent unwanted suitor, and a wealthy and mysterious man who seems to know an awful lot about our heroine.
I like Pepper's erotica. She expertly builds sexual tension in her stories, and then releases it in the steamiest ways. Talk about sex on fire! Fair warning however: this story comes to a close with one hell of a cliffhanger, so be prepared for that upset.
Time for the gripe, and I've alluded to it in my headline. Poor, poor Elle. She must be one hell of an irresistible beauty because by the end of this book, she will have been threatened with rape on three separate occasions. Seriously, is she putting off some type of crazy pheromone that brings all the rapists out of the woodwork!?
All things considered, Crown of Lies kept me listening - great writing and narration. Well worth my credit.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
I hired her to fix my company, to bring Marks Lingerie back to life. I didn't expect her to become my friend. I didn't expect to fall in love with her. The first rule of business is to never touch your employees. I think there is another rule about not falling for your best friend - a rule against imagining the curves of her body, or the way her breathing would change if I pulled down her panties and unzipped my pants.
The last Alessandra Torre book I read was Moonshot. That was a good book. Love in Lingerie however fell very short of that mark.
This is a typical office romance between a hyper-sexual alpha boss and his attractive subordinate. The heroine will go through two long term relationships both destined for the altar, whilst the hero runs through countless anonymous sexual encounters and one long-term relationship.
Both pine for each other but the other people in their lives, and a flimsy excuse of a non-fraternization work policy keeps the couple firmly in the friend/co-worker zone despite chemistry, mutual desire, and eventually love. There is innuendo, flirting, and some fleeting touches through the book. My problem with this story is how long it took for the couple to finally get together (not until the last hour of the book!).
This story is told from dual POVs, all narrated by Rose Dioro. I find Ms. Dioro's narration just okay. Her speech is a bit too breathy for me, and I didn't like the way she voiced male characters.
I just wish there had been more plot to this book. Some twists, secrets, or a crazy ex in the mix would have helped. In the end, I just found it boring and frustrating. There wasn't enough of a story to sustain the reader until that final hour when the relationship finally came to fruition.
Not worth my credit. It is back to the return bin for this one. I just wish I could get that wasted listening time back.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I've had many moments in my lifetime, moments that changed me, challenged me. Moments that scared me and engulfed me. However, the biggest ones - the most heartbreaking and breathtaking ones - all included him. I was 10 years old when I lost my voice. A piece of me was stolen away, and the only person who could truly hear my silence was Brooks Griffin. He was the light during my dark days, the promise of tomorrow, until tragedy found him. Tragedy that eventually drowned him in a sea of memories.
I stayed up all night listening to this masterpiece of a book. It's nearing the end of 2016, and Ms. Cherry's wonderful new book has made it onto my short list of favourites for the year. What an exquisite story of two childhood friends who fall in love from the start but must surmount unbelievable challenges to find happiness.
There are so many sweet moments in this book. The very start when Brooks and Maggie first meet is just adorable. I found myself chuckling out loud listening to their early letters back and forth - Maggie planning their wedding in the forest and Brooks vehemently insisting she is crazy and that he couldn't marry a girl he hated.
Not far into the book, Maggie experiences a trauma which leaves her housebound and mute. The trials her family goes through in the aftermath of the trauma and Brooks' commitment to being there for this broken girl is so poignant and believable. I loved the secondary characters in this book - especially the mean old bird of a neighbour who never gave up on the damaged girl next door.
You will spend the entire book wishing Maggie could find her voice and tell people what happened to her. You'll hope for the potential catalyst that will finally propel her into the world outside her home.
When I say this book has all the feels, I truly mean it. I laughed and cried. I felt the stabbing pain of jealous betrayal and then the amazing high of loving declaration. There were moments of fear, and finally times to rejoice. I've read all of Brittainy C. Cherry's books, and this one is my favourite by far. Ms. Cherry is an author whose work I will automatically buy every time.
The narration provided by Erin Mallon and Joe Arden is excellent. A five star performance without question. They make a great team and each easily handles the task of convincingly voicing the opposite sex. It would have been perfection had it been more of a duo with Erin handling only the female dialog and Joe reading the male dialog. However, I won't deduct a star from the narration for that reason as few books are recorded in this manner.
My only small gripe with this book came down to sex between the hero and heroine. I love romance books that are heavy on the plot and lightly sprinkled with a few erotic encounters. Silent Waters has plot for days...I just wish the physical relationship was a little more detailed and a bit more steamy. Their first encounter was only beginning and then it was abruptly cut off with a chapter and POV change. It kind of left me feeling cheated - I patiently listened through that angst and sexual tension and when it came time to deliver, I was denied!
Don't even wonder if this story is worth your time and credit. Just buy it, listen, and enjoy!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
During one wild night in college, Jentry Michaels is a tidal wave of ink that brands Aurora Wilde's soul. An unparalleled stain she can't forget despite the many months that have passed - and despite the distraction she'd hoped she would find in her new relationship with Declan, the charmer who captured her heart soon after. Jentry has irrevocably touched her soul, and he is intertwined in her present and future in ways she never fathomed. Now Aurora is faced with keeping that night hidden, though it feels as if the ink has indelibly etched their story across her skin.
I've been needing another fix of Ms. McAdams' particular flavour of angsty love triangle hell, and she has once again delivered. The story begins with a steamy encounter between the heroine Aurora/Rorie and the mysterious man called "J" who could only promise her one night. Fate is unkind when nearly a year later Rorie (now in a committed relationship with Declan) comes face to face with "J" who is actually Jentry - Declan's brother.
This story feels real. The characters, the situations, the ensuing drama all make up a great story. I particularly liked Aurora's best friend. She was loyal and protective as she should be, but was also a straight-shooter. She disapproved when Aurora and Jentry began to stray together and was vocal about it. I thought that it was a very genuine reaction.
I must also mention Linda (Jentry and Declan's Mom). What a well-written villain! It has been quite some time since I hated a character as much as I hated this family's matriarch. She was so mean, calculating, and condescending towards poor Rorie. You will spend nearly the entire book cursing that woman and wondering if Rorie will ever stand up to her.
As far as comparisons go, this book is very similar to Molly's other book Taking Chances. That book is still my favourite of all her works. I See You has a much clearer HEA. This book won't evoke tearful emotion - and maybe that is a good thing for most readers. I guess I'm a bit greedy in liking to experience the full gambit of emotions in every story.
Now I must drop the negative and I have to harp on it for a bit: the COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY skipping back and forth between the past and the present. Take the prologue. As I mentioned, it begins with the one night stand between Rorie and Jentry. The hook is successful, except you don't get the whole encounter. Instead, the encounter is peppered throughout the novel in broken fragments. Later, there are more jarring skips between present time and three weeks ago, then a week ago, etc. I honestly had to back up the dialog and listen to some parts over again - following the timeline and trying to figure out what events took place just made for confusion. I know many authors use this technique to drive the plot and keep things interesting, but in this case it did more harm than good.
Finally, the narration was very good. Dual POVs courtesy of Em Eldridge and Graham Halstead. Each gave unique voices to the characters and were convincing when reading dialog of the opposite sex.
I automatically buy Molly McAdams' works and I don't do that with many authors. This story was definitely worth my credit. If you like angsty, new adult romances, this book won't disappoint.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Cate Forbes, a dedicated college student with a carefully plotted future, doesn't know the first thing about love. When she accepts a blind date with a rumored tasty piece of eye candy, she thinks she can get by with a night of fun. Cate's plans quickly unravel when she gets one look at the sexy Drew McKnight....
Okay, I am still blowing my nose and wiping tears from my face. Every once in a while, I like to read a book that will provide a good cathartic cry session and Cruel & Beautiful delivers. What an incredible tale of epic love and loss that still meets a HEA.
This book is told from the POV of Cate Forbes and narrated nearly entirely by Erin Mallon. I've listened to books performed by Erin before, and she takes some getting used to. At first, I found her voice to be a bit too breathy and her inflections tend to make many sentences sound like a question or hesitation. Once you get past that, she does a good job. I like the way she voices male characters. Jason Clarke narrates only the epilogue and handles it quite competently.
The publisher's summary warns that the book will "leave you in the dark with questions." That is no lie. The prologue will hook you, and from there you will go on a journey through the past and present alternating nearly every chapter. I spent 3/4 of the book feeling frustrated by all of the back and forth and I had nearly decided it was an unnecessary gimmick. I was very, very wrong. You'll have to be patient - this book is 14+ hours long, but so worth the time. The reveal was SPECTACULAR.
My only complaint came down to the sex scenes. Simply put, there were too many of them. After a while, the scenes felt a bit repetitive and boring. Less would have been more in this case. Fortunately, the copious sexual encounters didn't impact the plot.
This author team of A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine were new to me. I would definitely read another book by this duo. Well worth my credit! This is one of my favourite books of 2016.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Once, the only thing that mattered to me was football - training, playing, and earning my place on the best team at every level. I had it all, and I threw it away with a semester of drugs, alcohol....
Let me start by saying that this HEA was a hard fight right up until the end. The prologue of this book will hook you. If you can tolerate all the back and forth, not just in terms of time but also POVs, the story will not disappoint.
Spinning out is told from the POV of Mia Mendez - a girl from a trailer park reeling from the divorce of her parents, incarceration and eventual death of her brother, and an alcoholic father. The second POV brought to us is Arrow Woodison - college football star athlete serving house arrest for possession of drugs. Mia and Arrow share an instant connection, but fate keeps them apart time and time again.
At the root of this story is the mystery surrounding a hit and run accident responsible for the death of Mia's brother, and complete disablement of Mia's boyfriend, Brogan.
I liked Mia's character. She was so strong despite life constantly stomping all over her. The world Ms. Ryan constructed for her characters was detailed with sub-plots abound to keep things interesting - maybe a little too much, actually. I missed football games, and day-to-day college life. Fair warning: there were very few happy times in this book - it didn't make me cry but man it was a depressing listen.
Narration deserves a solid 5 stars. Summer Roberts and Tyler Donne make a great narrating team. It would have been better had Summer read only the female dialogue, and Tyler handled the male dialogue but sadly very few audiobooks are recorded this way. With that said, each narrator did a good job intoning characters of the opposite sex.
Down to the most important question: credit worthiness. I vote yes. I'm on the fence as to whether or not I'll continue the series once they are published.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
A brand new, edgy, sexy standalone from CD Reiss. Her name is Cinnamon. Cin for short. Band mates Strat and Indy don't know anything about her except she's smart as hell and sexy as heaven. They can't agree who gets her, so they do the only thing two best friends could do. They declare her off limits to both of them. Margie, AKA Cinnamon-you-can-call-me-Cin, has a thing or two to tell these guys. Nobody "gets" her. She'll let them know which one she wants when she can decide between them. Until then, their little pledges and promises aren't her problem. Her family is her problem.
I have read all of CD Reiss' books about the Drazen family in no semblance of order. The great thing about her books is that the individual novels and series about the Drazen siblings are self-contained stories and you don't need the background or history to follow the story. However with that said, all of the ties between those stories paint quite a spectacular picture and with the latest addition of Secret Sins, Ms. Reiss does not disappoint.
The first book I read was Forbidden which followed Fiona's story. I fell in love with the clever writing and the mystery of the uber-wealthy Drazen family. Margie (the eldest of the Drazen children) had a prominent role in that book, and I was excited to finally have her story.
I just wish there had been a lot more story. My overall review of 4 stars is only because of the huge disappointment that was discovering this book was only 4 hours long followed by the 2 hour long inclusion of Beg (the start of Johnathon Drazen's story). I felt CHEATED! As a rule, I do not use credits for books that are less than 6 hours. And while I loved this story, had I known it was actually more of a novella than a novel I would have waited for a sale.
Let's talk narration. In a word: PERFECTION. Elena Wolfe, you are a master narrator. The combination of Ms. Reiss' writing and Elena's narration is a beautiful thing. As always, expertly performed rather than simply read.
Be prepared for a lot of back and forth with this story. It jumps around from early 1980's to mid 1990's. The story was great, but you will feel the frustration of all the skipping. Also, expect a few satisfying sexual trysts. CD Reiss sure can write a great sex scene! Finally, as promised this book delivers one hell of a twist. I'll just say that the title of this book could not be more fitting. Oh, the Drazens and all of their secrets!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Being the only woman working for a professional baseball team isn't easy. As the San Diego Shock's newest athletic trainer, Allie knows all about long hours, endless travel, and warding off players' advances. Given she's already the subject of a handful of rumors about how "lucky" she was to have earned such a coveted position, she can't so much as flutter an eyelash a player's way if she wants to be taken seriously. But number 11 is doing more than fluttering eyelashes Allie's way. Far more.
I've been on a bit of a kick lately listening to sports-themed romance books. Until this book, I'd never read any of Nicole Williams' work. Unfortunately, this story fell flat for me so I won't be seeking out other books by this author.
I liked the premise of this book - an athletic trainer who starts a romance with the team's star athlete. There was chemistry and so the romance part of this story worked. What didn't work was the story itself. The characters were just so flat. The author shares very little in the way of the heroine's life and even less of the hero's - though, this book is written from the POV of the heroine only.
The book revolves around the two main characters...mostly their hotel rooms and very little actual baseball or things outside of their respective jobs. Honestly, I just didn't care about the characters all that much. I didn't know enough about them to be invested in their relationship.
There were some attempts to drive the story - like the necessity of secrecy about the relationship (fraternization policy, and disrespect of the female trainer, etc.). There was also a couple secrets in Luke's past which of course ended up being misconstrued and caused the stereotypical separation towards the end of the book. None of these things were compelling enough to elevate the story to anything above a "paint by numbers" romance book.
As for the narration, Lauren Sweet was this audiobook's saving grace. Her native speaking voice takes some getting used to - it comes off a bit nasal-y and you'll find her voices for Luke's teenage sisters pretty annoying. However, Lauren's male voices are AWESOME.
If you are looking for a great baseball romance, I'd recommend Moonshot (by Alessandra Torre). If you are just in the mood for sports and romance, then my personal favourites are Kulti (by Mariana Zapata), and Verite (by Rachel Blaufeld). All three are far better choices than Stealing Home...trust me.
Worth a credit? Nope. I don't think I'd buy this one even if it was on sale.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful