LISTENER

Belen

  • 414
  • reviews
  • 1,475
  • helpful votes
  • 490
  • ratings
  • Starting Point

  • Turning Point Series, Book 3
  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

Matthew Elliott is a recovering man. As an ex-cop and ex-fighter, his new job teaching kids at the local community gym about drug awareness and self-defense, is a little bit of both. His new focus on helping street kids is helping him heal, and with Kira by his side, he's making strides. Brother and sister, Rueben and Claudia, are homeless kids and they're very much alone. As they strike a chord with Matt, he does everything in his power to help them. But when Ruby and Claude need more help than he bargained for, it stops being about work, and starts being about home. The day he met Kira, Matt's life changed direction, and it's only now he realizes that everything he's been through was a lead up to this. It was never about endings. His life, his purpose, was just beginning.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Turning Point #3

  • By Belen on 06-17-18

Turning Point #3

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-17-18

I've had such a great time listening to this series. Sean Crisden has done a wonderful job providing distinct character voices, and his emotional performance has just hit me right in the feels every time. As an aside, please note this is not a standalone story.

Matt and Kira have changed so much from when we first met them in Point of No Return to how they've survived all the things that happen in Breaking Point. At the beginning of Starting Point they're in a good place together, communicating and being open with one another and getting ready for the next chapter in their lives. 

When Matt gets involved with a couple of homeless kids that he meets working at the new community fight club it changes things for them again. While the angst in this is much less than in Breaking Point, it has its moments. N.R. Walker provides some pretty emotional scenes, and Sean Crisden performs them masterfully.

One of the things I loved about Starting Point is that while the majority of the book is from Matt's perspective towards the end we actually get Kira's POV too and we get to see just how happy Matt and Kira are.

This is a nice wrap up to the series and a clear love letter to the fans with a very happy HEA ending.

  • Breaking Point

  • Turning Point Series, Book 2
  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40

Book two in the Turning Point Series. A fight for what's right becomes a fight for his life. As guilt plagues him, Matthew Elliott's world begins to spiral out of control. The harder he holds on, the more it slips through his fingers, and he's helpless to stop it. Entering into the underground cage-fighting scene, he starts out fighting for what's right. The deeper he gets, the more guilt consumes him - the more pain he takes for his penance - and he's soon fighting for more than justice. He's fighting for love. He's fighting for his life.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Turning Point #2

  • By Belen on 06-17-18

Turning Point #2

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-17-18

Told from narcotics detective, Matthew Elliot’s, single POV Breaking Point begins almost a year after Matthew and Kira Franco met in Point of No Return and they are still very much in love.

The story begins with Matt seemingly retiring from the police force to become a MMA cage fighter. To give too much away would spoil the drama, which I really don’t want to do, but you need to know Breaking Point is a roller coaster of emotion with the angst dialed up to 11, folks.

There’s lots of drama, action, and even heartbreak. N.R. Walker puts Matt and Kira through the wringer, testing their bond and love for one another to the breaking point.

This was an entertaining listen. I absolutely love Sean Crisden’s performance of these characters and he (and N.R. Walker) even managed to drag a couple of tears out of me…again. Yes, there were tears but we are given a wonderful, sweet HEA ending to make up for everything we’re put through to get there.

If you read/listened to and enjoyed Point of No Return I highly recommend continuing the series with Breaking Point. Great narration, lots of action and emotion, and I am super glad I have the third, and final, installment in the Turning Point series, Starting Point, to jump into right away.

  • Shelter in Place

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: January LaVoy
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,047
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,872
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,861

It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Then the shooters arrived. The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. But one person wasn't satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait - and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Nora I love is back!!

  • By Indydog on 05-31-18

4.5 Stars

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-13-18

This was a great story. It was gripping, engaging, and just flat-out enjoyable. I really loved how Roberts portrayed the villain of the piece; so psychotic and so creepy.

I liked the narration for it, and I flipped back and forth between reading and listening, which worked really well for me here.

Would recommend.

  • Wilde Fire

  • A Forever Wilde Novel
  • By: Lucy Lennox
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184

Seth Walker was my first love and I always swore he’d be my last. Even after he moved away our senior year in high school, we vowed to reunite after graduation. But when he suddenly broke things off without explanation and crushed my heart, it was my turn to run. After a decade in the navy, I’ve finally come home ready to move on with my life as Hobie’s newest firefighter. Unfortunately, the minute I set eyes on the new sheriff in town, I know I’m screwed. Hobie’s top cop is none other than Seth Walker. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Otto and Seth...sigh

  • By ILoveBooksSue on 04-17-18

Forever Wilde #3

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-18

I love Second Chance romances, but I'm a hard sell with them too, especially when forgiveness is necessary. I require a lot of groveling, and that was definitely missing here.

Told in a dual POV the story begins with childhood sweethearts Seth Walker and Otto Wilde reuniting after more than a decade apart.

"Ten years. Ten years since I'd last seen the other half of myself, the boy I'd loved since I was eight years old and had fallen into the pond between our properties." -- Seth

There's very little explanation on Seth's part at first for cutting off all communication with Otto. Personally, the reason for their separation, which includes a whole lot of miscommunication, was problematic for me.

The chemistry between Seth and Otto is extremely apparent, but it just seemed that Otto forgave Seth very quickly and Seth got off a bit too easily (ha! No pun intended). The romance seemed to rely far more on Seth and Otto's young love, and the hot and heavy sex they have now they're reunited, rather than the development of the character's romance and their reasons for being together now. There just wasn't enough page time given to them getting to know each other as adults with all their baggage.

My biggest issue with Wilde Fire is, put simply, I am not a fan of ridiculous martyrdom behavior. First Seth's leading to their initial separation and then later Otto's in order to protect the arsonist.

Regardless of my personal peeves, this is a pretty intense and entertaining story. The suspense surrounding the arson was interesting and incorporated well into the rekindled romance. I love the supporting characters, and there's enough humor to simply make me a happy listener.

Wilde Fire was an entertaining listen. Michael Pauley uses distinctive character voices, which is impressive considering the large cast in the story. I found it an interesting choice on Pauley's part that even though both characters were raised in the same town, he doesn't use the same accents for both men, instead Seth's accent was more northern sounding, while Otto remained with a harder southern accent.

Recommended for those who like a Second Chance romance with lots of passion, a suspenseful side plot, a great supporting cast, and great narration who don't mind some miscommunication that's cleared before the HEA ending.

I'm really looking forward to Hudson's story and spending more time with the Wilde clan!

  • Off the Ice

  • Hat Trick, Book 1
  • By: Avon Gale, Piper Vaughn
  • Narrated by: Kirt Graves
  • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan Holt knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire and finish his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz. Sebastian has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least, not until summer classes end.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hat Trick #1

  • By Belen on 06-09-18

Hat Trick #1

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-18

Kirt Graves narrates this with easily discernable character voices and obviously enjoyed narrating this as it comes across so clearly when you're listening. For me this was a fun, easy listen.

I loved the dual POV, though the focus is definitely more on Tristan and his progression.

I loved how Sebastian and Tristan are together. They have such obvious spark and chemistry.

There's dirty talk, some pretty hot teacher/student play, a bit of humiliation, and lots of sex...Do you love dirty talk and mild kink? Personally anything even slightly humiliating is not my kink, and listening to those scenes made me slightly uncomfortable, but that's about personal preference and not a knock on the writing. Tris and Seb are completely on the same page with what works for them and both love what happens during their sexy times.

If you are looking for a low angst, smoothly written, fun story with interesting characters, delicious dirty talk, some enjoyable kinky teacher/student play (without being icky) all combined with a nice, slight, age-gap you should pick this up.

  • Blood from a Stoner

  • By: L. A. Witt
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 22

Greg Dawson’s not sure which he regrets more - becoming a vampire or becoming a software engineer. Then relief comes from an unexpected source - Zane Webber, the hot programmer Greg’s been fantasizing about for two years. Zane lets him feed, but kind of forgets to mention he’s got some weed in his system. The next thing Greg knows, he’s high as a kite...and he likes it. He wants more. That chemistry draws them back to each other again and again. Except how much of that high is secondhand weed, and how much is the electric and undeniable chemistry between him and Zane? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Funny & Sexy

  • By Jessica on 05-25-18

Fun listen

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-01-18

Great narration coupled with a fun, super sexy story. This is rather short, and I would have loved a dual POV, but in all I had a great time listening.

  • Blackbird in the Reeds

  • Rowan Harbor Cycle Series, Book 1
  • By: Sam Burns
  • Narrated by: Chris Chambers
  • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Devon Murphy has never believed that there were fairies at the bottom of the garden, but when he's in an accident on his way to his grandmother's house and comes face to face with the biggest, baddest wolf he's ever seen, he's forced to reconsider. When his grandmother asks him to look into a string of suspicious accidents, he finds a much bigger mystery to unravel. From his childhood best friend to the too-attractive deputy Wade Hunter, everyone in Rowan Harbor seems to have something to hide. Devon has to get to the bottom of it all before the accidents turn deadly.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3.5 Stars

  • By Belen on 05-28-18

3.5 Stars

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-28-18

I'm a sucker for a good fantasy story and Blackbird in the Reeds delivers the world and character building that I crave.

Told from Devon Murphy's single, third-person point of view, Blackbird in the Reeds is a nice blend of contemporary fantasy and paranormal romance, and it sets up nicely for what's to come next without being cliffhanger-ish.

Chris Chambers enunciates every word very clearly and he uses a distinct character voice for each of the large cast. His pacing is very structured and he infuses some emotion into the text bringing the characters to life. Overall I enjoyed listening to the audio and would listen again. However, Chambers' enunciation resulted in a less than relaxed delivery and, though his performance is proper and clear, I would love to hear Chris loosen up and really enjoy performing the characters in the next book.

Note: The Rowan Harbor Cycle is a series of 9 books - a trilogy of trilogies. The main characters (Devon and Wade, Jesse and Sean, Fletcher and Conner) will have their own book in each trilogy with a happy for now ending and later their (hopefully) happily ever afters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In the Wreckage

  • Metahuman Files, Vol. 1
  • By: Hailey Turner
  • Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65

After surviving a horrific chemical attack that turned him into a metahuman, Captain Jamie Callahan got a second lease on life. For three years he’s been working for the Metahuman Defense Force and leading Alpha Team - all against the wishes of his family. The job requires his full dedication, so it’s no surprise Jamie doesn’t have time for a relationship. An enticing one-night stand with a gorgeous stranger shows Jamie what he’s been missing. When a mission to take down a terrorist cell brings that same stranger - Kyle Brannigan - back into his world, Jamie’s life gets complicated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic audio!

  • By Amanda V on 04-25-18

Metahuman Files #1

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-18-18

Great story with interesting world building and a terrific narration, this dual POV sci-fi romance hit all the bright spots for me from the characters, to the plot, to the final moments - it was all really, really good. There was also plenty of action, both out of and in between the sheets.

Then add it being a fun listen on top of everything else and you can color me happy. Greg Tremblay, under his Greg Boudreaux pseudonym (for sexier titles), keeps a wide array of characters easy to follow along with while making all the good parts even better.

I especially loved that the story doesn't have a cliffhanger ending, even though it definitely opens up a series.

I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series, In the Ruins.

  • The Spencer Cohen Series, Book Three

  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 45

Learning to be in a committed relationship has been easy for Spencer. In fact, too easy. Andrew has fit into his life seamlessly. Spencer's let go of his insecurities and hang-ups, and he and Andrew are enjoying where things are headed. For the first time in years, Spencer's life is unbelievably perfect.
Andrew overthinks everything. So when Spencer gets a phone call from Australia, he's certain Spencer will push him away. But instead of driving them apart, maybe it will solidify what they already have.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous Series

  • By ButtonsMom2003 on 05-20-18

4.5 Stars

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-12-18

Once again, N.R. Walker proves she can take a storyline with little to no conflict and still create situations that tug at your heartstrings. Hard. Beware - there is a scene in this that I found very sad, and coupled with Joel's performance, had me outright bawling.

Spencer and Andrew go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly...like Vegemite and toast....like Pavlova and cream. They complement each other so well, and I love how Andrew is a rock for Spencer through some pretty rough moments.

I love how much Joel Leslie seems to enjoy performing these characters. His seamless transition between accents, the easily distinguishable character voices, it all comes together to provide a wonderful listening experience. I finished it in one sitting because I could just not bear to put it down.

If I could change anything I really wish this hadn't been broken up into three parts. Especially with the audio, I wish the three parts had been put together as one long book.

I've enjoyed listening to The Spencer Cohen series so much. I would absolutely recommend you buy them (and listen to them together)!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Kidnapped by the Pirate

  • By: Keira Andrews
  • Narrated by: Cornell Collins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53

Nathaniel Bainbridge is used to hiding, whether it's concealing his struggles with reading or his forbidden desire for men. Under the thumb of his controlling father, the governor of Primrose Isle, he's sailing to the fledging colony, where he'll surrender to a respectable marriage for his family's financial gain. Then pirates strike and he's kidnapped for ransom by the Sea Hawk, a legendary villain of the New World. Bitter and jaded, Hawk harbors futile dreams of leaving the sea for a quiet life, but men like him don't deserve peace. He has a score to settle with Nathaniel's father.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic!

  • By SassiKassi on 04-24-18

4.5 Stars

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-12-18

In the year 1710 Nathaniel Bainbridge and his pregnant sister, Susanna, are traveling to a Caribbean island outpost called Primrose Isle where their father is Governor to reunite Susanna with her husband and introduce Nathaniel to his betrothed.

Before the ship can reach its destination though it's attacked by the Damned Manta, a pirate ship ruled with an iron fist by the infamous Captain Hawk.

Things go south for the Bainbridge siblings when Captain Hawk realizes who's aboard. He quickly devises a plan to hold Nathaniel for ransom and revenge on Nathaniel's corrupt father, Walter Bainbridge, who lied and is directly responsible for Hawk and his crew losing their letter of mark as a Privateer which forced them into a life of piracy.

The plan is simple: if Nathaniel's father doesn't pay 100,000 pounds ransom Nathaniel will die.

While initially they are enemies, as time and circumstances change the two begin a sexual exploration. Nathaniel is 18 and Hawk is 41, but their age gap doesn't impede the closeness that grows between them.
He was going to hell for his sinful desires regardless, so the journey might as well be worth it.

However, their strengthening relationship presents a real dilemma for Hawk - regardless of how much his heart may be engaged by Nathaniel - if Bainbridge doesn't pay the ransom Hawk will have to keep his promise to his crew to kill Nathaniel.

Kidnapped by the Pirate is a terrific May-December, old-fashioned-bodice-ripper-style historical romance. I enjoyed the dual POV, the story paces quickly, and I loved seeing the tough as nails alpha male pirate fall for his plucky virgin captive. And let me tell you, the sex scenes are SUPER HOT.

Cornell Collins gives an exceptional performance. His timing, pacing, and emotional performance are all on point. He brings out the innocence in Nathaniel's character without making him a shrinking violet, and the softer side of alpha pirate, Hawk, and makes sure the large cast of characters have easily distinguishable character voices.

Kidnapped by the Pirate is a sexy, sweet captivating listen with some twists and turns and a lovely, and believable, happy ending.

Fantastic narration, lovely story, great ending. *sighs* This made me a very happy listener. Recommended!