New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood has captured the hearts of millions of listeners worldwide with timeless tales of love and soaring adventure. Now, returning to the enchanting world of her classic love story “The Bride,” she brings to glorious life the passion, intrigue, and rivalry of medieval Scotland....
I typically adore Julie Garwood's highland warrior novels, The Bride, being one of them, but something went terribly wrong with this one. I mean, was this book even written by J.G.? It had some of the qualities, but definitely fell short of a fabulous highland novel penned with her magic touch.
The problem is with Connor MacAlister, the protagonist. The problem is that he had the personality, understanding of women, and sensibilities of a rock. His flat, harsh personality made the dialogue portions between him and Lady Brenna dull and boring, because he's pretty much hollow.
I was surprised that characters from the previous book, The Bride--- Laird Alec Kincaid and Jamie's relationship didn't have that much of a strong impact on him---well, if it did, that influence didn't come out till the very end of the book...which made it too long for me.
In the previous book, when Alex Kincaid would say things to Jamie, such as, "you have value, but 2nd place to my horse," well the man was just kidding and pressing Jamie's buttons. Yet, with Connor, when he conveyed where Brenna ranked on his list of priorities and things he considered valuable, well he pretty much meant it when he named his horse as first priority. There was also distasteful violence against a horse in this book and soldiers. I thought that was too much, as well.
Regarding the heroine, Brenna was flighty, but very sweet and incessantly patient with the bad luck she had in marrying Connor. She loved him even though he said harsh things to her, and didn't really treat her well. He was also dismissive and did not inspire trustworthiness, and this left Brenna vulnerable to his enemies.
The change of heart and character came about way too late for me in the book. When the change of heart and promise of true love comes about in the last scene in the book, um....nope not good enough to be considered a good read/listen.
Regarding the narrator, Heather Wilds was really good. I enjoyed her performance.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful
Tall, dark, and handsome Benedict Carsington, Viscount Rathbourne is the perfect aristocrat. As the heir to the Earl of Hargate, he is renowned for his perfect manners, perfect breeding, and perfect wardrobe. Unlike his scandalous brothers, Benedict is in no danger of ending up in the scandal sheets - until he meets her. Bathsheba Wingate, is a member of the DeLucey family - the rotten side - notorious for being cheats, frauds, and swindlers.
It was great to follow Benedict Carsington's MUCH NEEDED fall into love. Benedict is the responsible, older brother of the Carsington's and he's the opitome of male, aristocratic perfection. I loved how he immediately became aware of Bathsheba Wingate's presence at the museum on an ordinary day where he accompanied his studious, nephew Peregrin. Bathsheba caught his attention, as she was devastatingly beautiful to him. Regarding this strong sense of awareness the two had for each other, Loretta Chase did a fantastic job in setting up the sexual tension between both Bathsheba and Benedict. There was definitely a lot of powerful nonverbal messages emitted between the two that I found fascinating.
Peregrin and Bathsheba's strong-headed daughter, Olivia immediately started budding heads and it was fun to see both Benedict and Bathsheba getting involved to settle peace. Yet, Peregrin and Olivia formed a stout friendship that pulled in the adults, in equal measure, into an adventure that was sure to change all of their lives.
I thought Chase did a wonderful job of setting up the love story between Benedict and Bathsheba, you see and feel how he responds to her....how she makes him happy and brings something special into his life that he had never experienced before. I enjoyed the love scenes, but would have really appreciated a love scene toward the end, close to when you know they are set up for their HEA. The reason is because when they do make love both are giving into what they believe is a momentary impulse since they didn't see how they could be together long-term due to the societal backlash and consequences. This is where their love needed help and it was great to see the family involvement in making a way for Benedict and Bathsheba to be together. That was a great touch!
Kate Reading's narration was excellent. I loved her accent and inflection for Olivia's voice, especially when she writes her adorable letters.
Great love story and the addition of the children was an added delight!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Rupert Carsington, fourth son of the Earl of Hargate, is his aristocratic family's favorite disaster. He's irresistibly handsome and unapologetically irresponsible, & trouble follows wherever he goes. Still, Rupert somehow manages to escape entanglement - emotional or other - with maddening grace! But now he's a prisoner in Cairo's most infamous jail and his only chance out is accepting a beautiful widow's dangerous proposal.
Well, this book was pretty fabulous! I kept picturing scenes from the movie, "The Mummy" while I listened to this audiobook. The romance development between Rupert Carsington, fourth son of the Earl of Hargate & Daphne Pembroke was just delicious. There was great build up, as the two had a nice sexual chemistry when they met. Daphne, the scholarly, beautiful widow who is in search of her kidnapped brother, recruits Rupert Carsington for his strength to help her on this adventure. And, what a fun, romp-filled, action-packed adventure it was!-- From exploring the pyramids, surviving sand storms curled in each other's arms and crawling through burial shafts this book was enjoyable at every step.
I loved Rupert Carsington, as he was sharp in his study of Daphne. Right away, he knew she did something for him and he was the ever-present gentleman, protector and lover. He had a great sense of humor, he got along with everyone as he was just a natural leader due to his stature and charisma.
I'm very picky about historical female leads, as many times they miss the mark for me with their prim and proper natures as they fight their feelings for the hero. However, I admired Daphne's resolute forwardness with Rupert. Sure she was hesitant to take a chance on love, but when the moments presented themselves, she gave herself to Rupert with such passion and need. She might have been a bit snobby about her intellect in the beginning, but she soon came to appreciate Rupert's observations, and especially his insight about her. Rupert made her feel all woman and that was fabulous!
The villains were evil and persistent, but their hot pursuit of Rupert and Daphne also put the couple in the most fabulous sensual places to explore their love. Rupert and Daphne certainly did not waist the opportunities that presented themselves for loving redezvous, and I thought that was really appealing and satisfying.
Kate Reading performed excellent as always making this one great listen!
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
For four years play-by-the-rules bank teller Turner Hastings has brooded over her uncle's wrongful imprisonment. But when two bumbling crooks stumble into her branch (barely disguised in Yoda and SpongeBob masks) and hold up the place, she sees a chance to do something she's never thought possible: get revenge. She takes advantage of the melee to pull a heist of her own, seizing info from a security box that will exonerate her uncle.
OK, I tried....I really tried to read the complete story, but early on, this was a COULD NOT COMPLETE!! Even though I recognized the fun, interesting characters Elizabeth Hoyt created and the funny moments were good, but I could not take the fact that that heroine and hero took so long to actually meet in person. I love Elizabeth Hoyt's story telling skills, but even though I love her as an author, I could not finish this book. On a positive note, the narrator, Erin Bennett was really good!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
War hero Alistair Carsington really really loves women, and his romantic impulses have landed him in nearly as much danger as the Battle of Waterloo. To avoid his usual temptations and perhaps even repay the friend who saved his life, he's exiled himself to a place far from civilization - Derbyshire - in winter! Fate laughs at his good intentions and drives him straight into conflict with Miss Mirabel Oldridge, his match in tenacity, intelligence, and deviousness - who also happens to be wildly irresistible.
I really enjoyed Miss Wonderful, narrated by Kate Reading. Kate Reading has a way of taking you back in time to experience the period in an authentic manner with her accent, even pace and representation of characters. She did a great job of bringing this book to life. Although the title is about Miss Wonderful---Miss Mirabel Oldridge, my favorite person in this book was Alistair Carsington, the hero. I loved his character! He was referred to as a "dandy" because of his fancy and ostentatious manner of dress, but there was a reason behind the close attention to detail of his clothes and dress. Alistair was always the impeccable gentleman and his backstory was very warming as he moves forward in this book while processing his experience at the Battle of Waterloo. War definitely reaps severe consequences on the psyche and mind and perhaps Miss Wonderful's best contribution in this book was helping Alistair through that process.
Even though I did like a lot of things about Miss Mirabel Oldridge, she wasn't completely likable and that's why the story lost some Stars in my perspective. I suppose I might be judging her too harshly because her actions may be more reflective of her culture and time period, but OMG she drove me crazy with the confusing messages she continually sent in Alistair's direction. The poor man had to decipher both her action and her words. For this reason Mirabel could be the poster girl for "confusing message women send that drive men crazy" sign. She was refined, intellectual and composed by day, and by night she was a teasing vixen--who seemed to always push her way through into Alistair's room for one reason or another. OMG, take it easy girl! Also, her reluctance at their wedding annoyed the heck out of me!!
I did enjoy all of the supporting actors and the person behind the villainous acts came as quite the surprise for me. In the end, there was a sweet conspiracy that was revealed....ah! So nice!
I can't wait to read the next book in this series!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Knight Sebring knows who he is, what he wants, and what he likes. And he gets it. But he never expected something as sweet as Anya Gage to wander into his bedroom during a party he did not expect to be having to borrow his phone. Knight tries to leave Anya to the life she deserves, with white picket fences and a man who watches football on Sundays - good, normal, and clean.
I do love fine, assertive, masculine men…the kind who know how to take charge and move forward in life. And, well, Knight most certainly is that…he's a take charge kind of man. And, when Knight fell in love with Anya, it was kind of like having a mystical beast such as a vampire or werewolf fall in love with her because of the way he CLAIMED her. He pretty much told her how it was going to be and gave her a bit of time to catch up and get adjusted to the idea, but a complete claiming it was!
There were a lot of things I liked about Knight and Anya together. I like how Knight made her happy and was so intensely interested in Anya. Anya, was a bit of a hollow character for me, but when you learn about her background, I suppose it makes sense. Yet, a woman blessed with stunning beauty and a humble, meek spirit is what would fit a man like Knight perfectly. I didn't mind how controlling Knight was in the bedroom. Their sex life is like liquid eroticism! But, I did mind how things ended….very unfinished for me.
I want to explain my reaction without giving anything major away. In the end, Knight is true to his word with Anya. When he began a relationship with her he was emphatic about what he would not give her, and well, he was true to his word. I didn't like that. For me, Anya submitted too much and found herself in a position where she had to forfeit her own desires for the relationship and yield to his choices. I don't like it when women have to forfeit their own desires in a relationship. So, even though the epilogue was sweet, it didn't leave me with a lasting feeling of comfort for the couple. Ultimately, I suppose I don't trust Knight simply because he holds all the control in every aspect of the couple's life. If in the future he decides he doesn't want Anya, it will be very easy to discard her without any repercussions to his life (since he has all of the control!!!). K.A. did a good job of establishing that his feelings were the "forever" kind, but I was still left with an uncomfortable feeling about how vulnerable Anya is, as a woman. Well, maybe not that vulnerable…she would have her spa if Knight broke off with her.
Knight was not a shining armor kind of hero….calling this series the "unfinished hero" is very fitting, because it didn't feel like a thorough HEA.
The narrator Savannah Richards was good, a bit exaggerative at times, but good.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy - until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.
OMG! I wish I could think up these compelling love stories that Kristen Ashley creates!--Mainly, because they touch on every heart string and more! Carson "Joker" and Carissa's story was thoroughly enjoyable! You feel for both characters as they endure some really awful stages in their lives, but when they find each other…OMG…they fit together and are thankful, grateful and explosively linked in this romance that was sexy and comforting. I listened to this book on vacation and it was the perfect listen. Kate Russel was superb as she delivered in her narration about this MC Chaos romance. For me, this book was perfect! I also loved sweet Travis….what an added joy to this story. Through this story, you will feel anger for the wrong done to both Carson and Carissa in their lives and the loss they experience, but their love for one another was like a soothing salve. But, rest assured all of the bad people get their due, and for those in the Chaos MC, well life just continues to build and get better all they way around for Joker, Carissa and the rest of the gang. I just couldn't get enough and already listened to it twice! Great listen!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
She was my sin and my temple. I both worshipped and defiled there. Gloried and desecrated. Revered and debased.
This book is a bit of a hodgepodge of blended memories past-present and it got confusing at times with the way the stories were told (Mostly through James' perspective), but I would take it that way and another other way R.K. Lilley would choose to write it. Mainly, because this is a book written for the fans and, as a fan, it was not too difficult to keep up. I LOVE how James fell for Bianca…so thoroughly, so deeply, and so--yes--well, sexually. Their love affair was beautiful and let me say they have A LOT of sex…like A LOT…LOL. This book also shares their most tender moments. I didn't care for the flashbacks of James with other women in the sex club (Before Bianca), but hey, that's part of the story too (his sordid past). But, I adored the epilogue portion that also contained Tristan & Danika (that's all I will say so as to not give anything away).
It's kind of funny, but the way other characters from the "Up In the Air" series are combined in this story and it reminded me something like having all of the Disney characters together….
Even though Bianca and James' love story was compelling…HANDS DOWN--my favorite part of this book was the parts about Tristan and Danika. I can't even begin to describe how mesmerized Tristan and Danika's story has been for me personally. That couple's story has made an indelible mark on my heart--more than any other couple I have read in novels. Their love is full of heart ache, but in this book R.K. LIlley gives fans sheer pleasure (BUT NOT ENOUGH) with the added epilogue (through Tristan's perspective) and a taste of their GOLDEN YEARS. All I can say, is that I NEED more Tristan and Danika's golden year moments….PLEASE R.K. Lilley….write more about Tristan and Danika's golden year-moments in the books that follow…
Also, Heath and Lourdes book is going to be smokin' hot!!! When I think about Lourdes, I think about Sofia Vergara. I can't wait till their book is released in audio version.
Lastly, Jason Clarke's narration was sexy as hell. Beautiful narrator….perfect for the voice of Mr. Beautiful. The only note on my part is that Stephan is officially STEVEN…because the narrators from the books that followed the "Up in the Air" series--none of them pronounce his name they way it was originally introduced. Oh well…sorry Stephan…I mean Steven….LOL
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
When her ex took her family from California to live in the small town of Magdalene in Maine, Amelia decided it was time to sort herself out. In order to do that and win her children back, she moves to Cliff Blue, an architectural masterpiece on the rocky coast of Magdalene. Her boxes aren’t even unpacked when she meets Mickey Donovan, a man who lives across the street, a man so beautiful Amelia takes one look at him and knows she wants it all from him.
"SOARING" started off really dire for me, mainly because the female lead, American heiress Amelia Hathaway, found herself in the worst case scenario for any woman. It was absolutely tragic! Right away readers are made aware of her D-bag husband, Conrad, who while cheating on Amelia, stole her children's affection, and moved them clear across the country with his new wife. OMG!!! My heart sank at her initial conundrum, HOWEVER, I KNEW…I JUST KNEW that as low as the lows were in this novel, that Kristen Ashley was going to deliver an incredible high that would blow the sad parts clear away!--And she did! This was another masterpiece in the Magdalene series….and, that was because of the beautiful love affair that built slowly, but surely between Mickey Donavan and Amelia "Amy" Hathaway.
I loved that both leads were in their late 40's and were still hot! I loved that they were both mature characters. No stupid, annoying petulant behaviors on behalf of either lead. Their struggles were believable because they were real-life problems and real-life hang-ups that needed to be worked through. So, when Mickey and Amelia solve these hurdles that spring up in their relationship….OMG, you will feel like you're are soaring in the clouds along with the leads because IT'S THAT FREAKEN AMAZING! Let me add that the love scenes were ON FIRE! Oh that Mickey Donavan…he sure had a way in the bedroom with Amelia…hot-hot-hot!!!
This whole story was amazing, and I"m grateful for K.A.'s rambling, detailed style of writing. It's so soothing and fulfilling. While, the story may have started really sad for Amelia, it developed into such a FANTASTIC, culminating end. You have the successful blending of Mickey and Amelia's family (in that implication you have Amelia winning back the affection of her children), Conrad getting what he deserved, the formation of an awesome girl possy (in Josie and her other friends), and many more beautiful developments.
OH KRISTEN ASHLEY!!! HOW YOU ALWAYS WIN YOUR WAY INTO MY HEART WITH YOUR INCREDIBLE NOVELS! This one was definitely a "HELL YEAH" for women everywhere who may find themselves in a place of loss (initially), then with much determination move their way back into a place of absolute abundance! Wow!! Simply amazing!
Narrator: I enjoyed Hollis McCarthy's performance. She did a great job
23 of 24 people found this review helpful
In a dark and broken kingdom, a ruler has to be fearless to control the streets and the ruthless people who run them. Race Hartman is just bold enough, just smart enough, and just lost enough to wear the crown. Places like the Point will always have bad things and bad people, but the man in control of all that badness can minimize the devastation. Race has a plan, but can he prevent total annihilation without destroying himself?
Jay Crownover is one of my favorite authors and it's because of her gift in describing the weight of decisions people make and the reasons they make them. In this 2nd installment, we learn about Race Hartman and Bryson Carter's romance. Race is interesting because he's the guy with the golden looks, intelligence and strong survival skills. I mean this guy can get himself out of any precarious situation with his quick wit, ability to reason & develop solutions on the spot, all while taming the flames of the danger around him. Bryson is a responsible big sister who is a college student, and she's actually Dovie's best friend. I liked that Bryson was responsible, stylish and sassy. More than anything, I liked how she was a hard worker, and that she also had a survival instinct that made her pairing with Race so understandable.
What I liked most about this novel was the constant flow of action. I mean the stark contrast between the two ways of living in both The Point and The Hill was so interesting! Crownover almost describes The Point, as a living, mythical creature that is out to destroy the will and life of it's inhabitants, and everyone deals with the challenges of living in "the Point" differently. Race seems to almost want to outsmart and balance the rough energy that is this beast called "The Point." That was a unique trait to possess, and I really liked Race for that, because it made him an optimist, in my view. The love scenes were okay, but nothing too overly tender or heart-warming. Both Race and Bryson did have good chemistry, but overall the focus is on surviving the many hurdles that came their way.
Regarding all of the surrounding characters, I loved getting a bit of some DOVIE/JAX time in! I love Dovie and Jax together and I was happy to see that they were continuing to do well together. However, I was seriously disturbed with the female lead for the 3rd installment. She is a skank and a bitch, mainly because she's responsible for the scar on Dovie's chest since she betrayed her in the previous book. Also, I freaken love Titus, and I hate the idea of him being paired with his brother's ex-lover. UGH!!! Some villains are not meant to be rehabilitated when they've caused so much damage!!!! And, believe me, this next female lead has caused enough pain for Dovie....why is she going to be with Titus, who deserves A LOT better than his brother's sloppy seconds????? UGH, I'm really pissed about that.....
Also, let me say Bryson is described as beautiful and so is the female lead for the next book (can't remember her name off hand), but Dovie is still described as somewhat frumpy. PLEASE CROWNOVER CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE DOVIE A MAKEOVER?????? PLEASE! The girl has been through so much, and she deserves to look just as hot as the other female leads.....just saying....
Narrators: Jameson Adams and Olivia Song did great. Overall, I really enjoyed this audiobook!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful