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  • The Girl You Left Behind

  • By: Jojo Moyes
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Penny Rawlins
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,972
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,961

France, 1916: Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front. When their small town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War I, Edouard’s portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant. As the officer’s dangerous obsession deepens, Sophie will risk everything - her family, her reputation, and her life - to see her husband again.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Exquisite Portrait of Sophie and Liz

  • By FanB14 on 09-03-13

Good, not great

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

Reviewed: 07-12-18

STORY (historical) - This is the story of two women living in two completely different worlds. Sophie lives in a small French village in the early 1900's when it is occupied by German soldiers. Liv is a rich widow living in the present. The women are very different as well. Sophie's husband is off fighting Germans, and she becomes the strong foundation who protects her family in his absence. Liv's husband has been dead four years, but she still struggles to move past her grief.

The common ground in this story is a portrait of Sophie which was painted by her husband and is owned by Liv 100 years later. The portrait, later referred to as "The Girl You Left Behind," captures Sophie's beauty and spirit, and its brush strokes portray the love she radiates to her husband as he paints it. It changes hands several times over the years and Liv's ownership comes into question, as there are laws which protect works of art that are potentially looted or stolen during wartime. As the timelines alternate back and forth, you will experience the suffering of Sophie and her family at the hands of the Germans, and you will see Liz transform as she fights to defend her ownership of the Sophie's portrait..

PERFORMANCE - I enjoyed the performances of both narrators, though I have read other readers' complaints. I felt they were both wonderful in their ability to portray different characters and convey emotions. I couldn't recognize an authentic French accent if my life depended on it, but what I heard sounded like French to me!

OVERALL - I thought this book was a little slow to start and perhaps a bit too long, but I was entertained throughout. The war was a dark period of our history and you will hear suffering and sad things, yet the book stops short of talking about actual atrocities. There is one very short, inexplicit sex scene. I don't remember any cursing. I would recommend this book mainly for mature women, due to its heroines and the subject matter.

  • Savage Run

  • A Joe Pickett Novel
  • By: C. J. Box
  • Narrated by: David Chandler
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,905
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,694
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,690

An Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Gumshoe, and Barry Award winner, C. J. Box delivers the second pulse-pounding installment in his critically acclaimed series. While investigating a string of bizarre murders, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett is forced to flee across treacherous terrain with a deadly tracker on his trail.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Box brings the West alive!

  • By Kelly on 01-30-14

We can always count on Joe!

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

Reviewed: 06-04-18

STORY (Modern Detective) - In this book Joe Pickett, game warden extraordinaire, investigates the case of an exploding cow...and other mysterious deaths surrounding environmental activists. The story is exciting from beginning to end, but it's the vivid descriptions of Wyoming's breathtaking scenery and wildlife that sets this series apart from others in the genre and keeps this listener coming back for more.

PERFORMANCE - David Chandler is the perfect choice to perform Joe Pickett, and he does a great job varying his voice to differentiate between other characters as well. Bravo!

OVERALL - This book is a little more violent than others in the series, and I believe the F-word was uttered a couple times. Therefore, I would highly recommend it for all listeners except young children.

  • Free Fire

  • By: C. J. Box
  • Narrated by: David Chandler
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,627
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,444
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,438

Best-selling author C. J. Box—an Anthony and Macavity Award winner—earned starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist for this exceptional mystery. Taking advantage of a legal loophole, a lawyer kills four people in Yellowstone National Park and walks away a free man. As the public outcry intensifies, the governor hires former game warden Joe Pickett to conduct a private investigation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best Joe Pickett books

  • By Margaret on 03-18-16

Awesome mystery set in nature

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

Reviewed: 04-09-18

STORY (Detective) - This is probably one of my top 10-20 favorite books, and I've listened to 366 as of this writing. The imagery, the characters, the plot -- OMG, the plot! I just can't say enough about this book. The setting is Yellowstone Park, sometime in the era of phone booths and before cell phones. You will hear descriptions and interesting facts about park wildlife, Old Faithful, etc., that will make you want to go to Yellowstone. I learned for the first time about the ultra-powerful Steamboat Geyser, which coincidentally erupted for the first time in four years as I was listening to this book. Such a refreshing change from listening to books set in a big city.

Joe Pickett, the main character, is a game warden. He always manages to get in the middle of trouble, and in this case he investigates the murder of four park visitors who are killed in the "zone of death," an area in the park that doesn't fall into any legal jurisdiction for the murderer to be prosecuted, thus he was set free. There is lots going on in this book, and it is wonderful from the beginning to the end.

PERFORMANCE - Great job. Chandler is the perfect voice for Joe Pickett, and he puts forth a lot of extra effort towards distinguishing between the different characters.

OVERALL - I would recommend this for almost anyone except younger children who wouldn't appreciate the complexities of the story. There are a couple very brief mentions of lovemaking between Joe and his wife, and there are a few utterances of the F word by certain characters. There is killing, but it's not overly violent IMHO. This series is probably best listened to in order so that you can follow the character development, however I have listened to it piecemeal and each book stands alone. Hear. This. Book. You won't regret it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Orphan Train

  • A Novel
  • By: Christina Baker Kline
  • Narrated by: Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,702
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,760
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,768

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Moving story of sharing and transformation.

  • By Kathi on 04-03-13

Had to get used to the narrator...

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

Reviewed: 04-02-18

STORY (fiction) - The first few minutes of the book were painful. I thought the narrator sounded way too young and perky, and the two timelines were confusing. Once I settled in to what was going on, I became absorbed in the story and felt the narrator was doing a good job. She is reading the story of two young girls, after all.

Anyway, the main characters are Molly and Vivian, who are both orphans. At the time of the story, their lives become entwined as Molly gets the job of helping Vivian, now a lonely old woman, clean her attic. Molly is a teenaged orphan and has problems of her own. She and Vivian bond as they go through items in the attic, which remind Vivian of her life bit by bit. Vivian had been one of thousands of young riders on an orphan train, which is a part of our American History that I was completely unaware of. Children were put on a train which traveled from town to town, and they were given to basically any family that would take them -- for whatever reason. Many of the children were taken basically to perform hard work and were mistreated.

PERFORMANCE - You might want to hear a preview of the narrator before purchasing. Sometimes she sounds like she's talking baby talk, and I had a hard time listening to her at first. She does a pretty good job, however, and she excels at performing Vivian's voice as an older woman.

OVERALL - This story is engrossing, though it is sad to hear about the orphan train and to be reminded of the plight of orphans even in today's America. There is a small amount of cursing and a short instance of sexual child abuse. I would recommend this story mainly for older girls and mature women, though I think men who are interested in the topic would enjoy it too. You will be glad Vivian and Molly found each other and are able to share their common experiences, so there is a "feel good" component to what would otherwise be a sad story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Red Sparrow

  • A Novel
  • By: Jason Matthews
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Bobb
  • Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,166
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,285
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,254

Drafted against her will to become a "Sparrow" - a trained seductress in the service, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Spy Novel (with a few quirks)

  • By Aaron on 01-12-14

Espionage Extraordinaire!

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

Reviewed: 03-26-18

STORY (Espionage) - You will love this book and will not want to stop listening! Dominika, the main character, is a beautiful young Russian woman who is trained to be a spy. She is also sent to what some call "whore school," where she learns seduction skills to better allow her to spy on unsuspecting men. Despite her training, she doesn't use sexual entrapment often, although I suspect the movie with Jennifer Lawrence is full of it, but I digress.

This book is full of everything you'd expect -- surveillance, motives, counter-motives, double-cross -- and you can really get into the heads of the players and become absorbed in their thinking. There is also a small touch of romance. This book is not about chase scenes and shoot-em-up action. It's more cerebral about who is doing what and why. There is nonstop entertainment with twists and turns that you probably won't see coming till, bam, there it is. There is also an added touch of Russian cooking recipes. They are short and added at the end of each chapter, and they are of something a character has just eaten. They are short (about 30 seconds) and don't detract from the flow of the story, but I caught myself paying attention to whatever the characters ate and anticipating the recipe.

PERFORMANCE - Jeremy Bobb does a good job with this book, especially pronouncing the many Russian words that are thrown in here and there. But I give him a mediocre 3 rating because he doesn't use different voices to distinguish characters and I've come to anticipate that from Audible narrators.

OVERALL - There are some F-bombs and cursing, but not a lot. There are also a few sex scenes that are neither long nor overly explicit. This is book one of a trilogy so the story will continue, but this one comes to a tidy conclusion if you choose not to continue the series. I would 100% recommend this book to any listener who enjoys espionage!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • After the Night

  • By: Linda Howard
  • Narrated by: Natalie Ross
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,685
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,148
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,152

"Of all of my novels, After the Night remains one of my personal favorites – and Faith Devlin and Gray Rouillard are two of my favorite characters. Faith is strong, proud, and fearless, and Gray – well, he’s just downright sexy. Faith’s search for the truth about the devastating scandal surrounding her mother and Gray’s father blazes with intrigue. Add some sultry Southern hear, and you’ve got a real scorcher of a listen." (Linda Howard)

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Can I give 6 stars?

  • By Judy on 06-18-10

Sorry, Linda, not a fan of this one...

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

Reviewed: 03-02-18

Sorry, Linda, I lost interest in this one..."
STORY (romance) - This story is set in Louisiana sometime before we had cell phones, as I continuously noticed things like the use of paper maps, phone books, answering machines and the lack of text messages, etc. I normally like Linda Howard stories, but this book fell woefully short IMHO. Faith, the main character, is hopefully infatuated with a man (Grey) who treats her like absolute shit, though she continues to love him. Yes, there are some mitigating circumstances, but I just couldn't get into their relationship due to what I viewed as her weakness and his being an A-hole.

The characters in the story are overly stereotypical, which was another turnoff, and women in the book all seem to be weak and put up with the men. Further, I got sick and tired of certain emotions or conditions being repeated over and over and over again. OMG, I got it the first five times!!! And then there are conclusions which are reached that don't seem like they should be. I actually contemplated not finishing the book but resorted to listening at 2X speed, slowing down occasionally when something important was happening (and, no, it wasn't the sex scenes!)

Complaints aside, I was interested enough in the story to finish the book. I wanted to see how the relationship between the main characters could possibly end in a romance and also in how the missing person mystery was going to resolve itself. The ending is actually pretty good, although it was difficult for me to endure and get there.

PERFORMANCE - The characters were from Louisiana, and Ms. Ross did a good job of portraying their accents. At least to this Texas girl, I got the feeling that I was listening to Cajuns. She also did a good job of distinguishing between male and female characters.

OVERALL - This book is highly rated, but I don't recommend it. I'm definitely in the minority here. But if you're still interested, please be aware that there is a small amount of cursing (F-words, etc), and there is a sprinkling of sex acts. They aren't overly explicit, but they're not for the easily offended, either.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Lost Fleet: Relentless

  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,367
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,234
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,246

After successfully freeing Alliance POWs, "Black Jack" Geary discovers that the Syndics plan to ambush the fleet with their powerful reserve flotilla in an attempt to annihilate it once and for all. And as Geary has the fleet jump from one star system to the next, hoping to avoid the inevitable confrontation, saboteurs contribute to the chaos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listen to the complete series

  • By Chance on 04-30-09

This series always delivers

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

Reviewed: 02-26-18

STORY (sci-fi) - Yes, this is an alien space battle series. I'm a female and don't usually like macho action stuff, but this series keeps me fully engaged, guessing and anxious for more. For one thing, it's fleet battles against alien ships, not bloody man-to-man fighting. Second, I really admire Captain John Geary, the main character and hero of the Alliance. Third, there's a lot more going on than just fighting Syndic fleets. Captain Geary also must juggle tense internal politics, saboteurs and other mysterious aliens who appear to be manipulating both the Syndics and the Alliance so their war will continue. Geary also has to keep peace between a female officer and a female politician, who both have feelings for him and are jealous of each other. At any rate, I enjoy this series so much that when it finishes, I plan to continue to the follow-up series as well.

PERFORMANCE - Christian Rummel is awesome. I've said that about every book I've heard him narrate. I don't know how someone with such a low sexy voice can portray women's voices convincingly -- and even two distinct women's voices!

OVERALL - I don't recall any cursing in this book, and there are no sexual situations. While men would be naturally drawn to this type of series, I highly recommend it for women, too. Listen to the series in order, as each book builds on the one previous, but each book can stand on its own as well. Go for it. This is good stuff!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Queen of Hearts

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,058
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,796
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,784

Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line for the British throne, knows how to play the part of an almost royal - but now she's off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth or risk starring in an all-too-convincing death scene...

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • So disappointing!

  • By Wendy on 08-24-14

Queen of Cozy Mysteries!

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

Reviewed: 02-16-18

STORY (mystery) - In this story, Georgie and the gang take a cruise ship to America, and there is a robbery/murder for them to solve. It always surprises me the quality of the mysteries created in this light-hearted series. I can never guess whodunnit, although this time I got it half right!

PERFORMANCE - Awesome! I can't believe Katherine Kellgren died. Such a loss! In this book she not only tackles male/female voices with multiple accents - Spanish, Irish, English, Cockney, American -- but she does a convincing Spanish male with a lisp! As a narrator, she is irreplaceable.

OVERALL - I love this series, and I can always count on it to be a fun mood picker-upper. This book delivers, as have all the previous ones. Each book stands alone, but best to listen to them in order so you don't miss any character development. No cursing or sex, so it's a good "clean" listen for the whole family. Recommended especially for females due to the girly humor, but I think men might enjoy it as well.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Spartan Up!

  • A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life
  • By: Jeff O'Connell, Joe De Sena
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,059
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 950
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 952

Twenty-six point two miles isn’t enough anymore. Obstacle course racing, which combines the endurance challenges of a marathon with the mind-bending rigors of overcoming obstacles along the way, is taking the world by storm. At the center of this phenomenon is Joe De Sena, the driving force behind the enormously popular Spartan Race. De Sena offers a simple philosophy: commit to a goal, put in the work, and get it done.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A different type of mindset

  • By Barbara on 02-02-15

A Good Pep Talk!

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

STORY - Ever thought about doing a Spartan race? Well, this book will give you an idea of what to expect on race day and many good reasons why you should go for it. The author discusses his own fitness journey and that of others. Supposedly, if you train for and complete a Spartan race, you will experience a life-changing confidence in yourself and a new life perspective where you will no longer tolerate laziness or mediocrity.

Personally, I am on the fence about doing a Spartan, and this book has not gotten me off that fence. However, it is well-done, informative and enjoyable. It does a great job of explaining (and selling) the Spartan lifestyle and code of ethics.

PERFORMANCE - Christian Rummel is one of my favorite narrators. He does a great job and - bonus - has a very low, sexy voice!

OVERALL - There is some cursing (mainly F-bombs) but not a lot. Otherwise, the book is pretty much for any audience. Recommended for anyone thinking about running a Spartan or making positive changes in their level of fitness and their life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dying to Please

  • By: Linda Howard
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 807
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 587
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 590

Loyal. Beautiful. Professional. Impeccably organized. Potentially lethal. Sarah Stevens is a woman with many distinct qualities. First and foremost a butler par excellence, skilled at running large households smoothly and efficiently, she is also a trained bodyguard and expert marksman - indispensable to her elderly employer, a courtly gentleman Sarah has come to respect and love. But her perfectly ordered life is shattered when tragedy strikes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Couldn't Stop Listening.

  • By Nyrrocdooh on 01-25-09

Nice mix of mystery and romance

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

Reviewed: 01-20-18

STORY - The main character, Sarah, is a female bodyguard/butler who is caring for a retired judge who she cares deeply for. She is featured on TV due to her beauty and the novelty of her profession. Well...someone sees that broadcast who decides he is obsessed with Sarah, and the plot thickens. Then we have the detective who works the case, finds Sarah beautiful and strong...you get it. Who did it, why, and how can he be stopped, and how can the romance grow with everything else going on? Well, listen to this good book and find out!

PERFORMANCE - i have always loved Susan Erickson, and she delivers a great performance here as usual. The only reason I gave her four stars is because the material didn't properly showcase all of her talent. (Gotta save five stars for those!)

OVERALL - Some steamy sex and some cursing, but shouldn't be ultra-offensive to anyone but the super-sensitive. If you like mystery/romance books, I'd highly recommend this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful