LISTENER

Paul J.

New York, NY
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 69
  • ratings
  • The Last Grand Master

  • Champion of the Gods, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Q. Gordon
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, God of Evil. For 3,000 years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin's evil was nearly forgotten. But then Meglar, wizard-king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master's will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor. Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ooops?

  • By Aislinn Wolfsong on 09-09-17

Wonderfully Written, Wonderfully Told!

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

Reviewed: 03-02-18

What a fabulous story!

Romance, adventure and truly round characters (even the minor ones are so vividly drawn!) make this one of the finest books I've listened to in a long time. There was humor and pathos too; on a number of occasions I laughed aloud, at other times tears welled up. These are characters you can't help root for. Farrell, for instance, has such a giving, selfless heart, yet despite his being a prince and one of the most powerful wizards of his age, he thinks of his own failures and doesn't realize the depth of his courage or the true nobility of his soul.

The plot drips with intrigue and suspense and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Absolutely riveting from start to finish. I just couldn't stop listening.

It's so refreshing to find a book driven by a thrilling plot and rich wonderful characters, and isn't just another collection of graphic sex scenes cobbled together and masquerading as a story.

Happily, the excellent writing by Mr. Gordon is accompanied by an equally stellar performance by Mr. Leslie, who breathes life into every character. Together, writer and reader make for a work that's just plain superb in every way. I'm so glad I stumbled on this book! Already it's one of my favorites.

When oh when are the sequels coming out??

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Imperfection of Swans

  • By: Brandon Witt
  • Narrated by: Kirt Graves
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148

Kevin Bivanti's dream is to open a wedding dress shop, a place with the stunning gowns to make every bride-to-be feel adored. At 38, he quits a successful advertising career to buy an old brownstone in a trendy Boston neighborhood and to make his dream a reality. When one of his cosigners drops out, fate intervenes, ushering in Casper James, who hopes to open his own bakery. With Casper willing to take the risk, their ambitions meld into a wedding dress and wedding cake boutique.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb!

  • By Paul J. on 03-28-17

Superb!

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

Reviewed: 03-28-17

One of the most moving, insightful, and hopeful stories I've read (or rather, listened to ;-) in a long time. I couldn't help falling in love with Kevin and Casper, and being pulled along on their journey together. I'm so glad this book was written. Yes, it was a love story, but it was so much more . . . . That it was based upon a close friend of the authors, the real Kevin, made it all the more poignant and triumphant, and it was lovely to hear Kevin's letter to us at the close of the story. Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your experiences with Brandon Witt, and through Brandon's superb pen, with all of us.

This book has it all: Wonderful characters you can't help feeling close with, a beautiful and sensitively written story, and all read to perfection.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Servant

  • By: Mary Calmes
  • Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
  • Length: 5 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 83

After saving his younger brother's child, Daemon Shar is cursed by a witch and runs far from home, a stray who will seemingly never be anything more. But destiny is hard to outrun, even for a man who is now more cat than man beneath his robes and cowl. A chance battlefield meeting between him and Ehron, a foreign lord, gives him purpose amid the darkness of his accursed life. Soon Daemon finds that his true nature cannot be corrupted no matter the form he inhabits.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Puss In Boots has a hot new plot!

  • By Kindle Customer on 04-09-16

Absolutely Wonderful!

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

Reviewed: 04-04-16

This book was a huge delight! I just couldn't stop listening! Sweeping and epical in its scope, yet filled with romance, secrets, suspense, and great characters who embody honor and make you care about them -- this is yet another crackling good story by this great author. In my eyes Mary Calmes is the Queen of Writers of gay romance novels. I had the great privilege of meeting her some years ago at a book fair in NY, and she is every bit as warm and lovely in person as anyone who's read her stories and the huge heart they contain would expect. If only they had books like this when I was growing up! I'm so grateful we do now. Bravo Mary Calmes!!! And the same to Greg Tremblay, who brought her golden words to life so masterfully. Beautiful beautiful all around.

  • The Mating of Michael

  • By: Eli Easton
  • Narrated by: Michael Stellman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 339
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 337

Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it's cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Equal parts sweet, funny, sexy, and touching.

  • By JC on 07-18-15

Soaring!!!!

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

Reviewed: 12-19-15

What a heartwarming, fantastic story!! Tightly woven, beauty written, and beautifully read. This deserves top honors all around. It is utterly uplifting, with wonderful characters and a gripping story. It had me in tears (the good kind) for nearly a half hour. Thank you for this gift!

  • Blue Days

  • By: Mary Calmes
  • Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
  • Length: 2 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 445
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 428
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 432

Falling for a coworker is rarely a good idea, especially for a man getting a last chance at salvaging his career. But from the moment Dwyer Knolls sees the beautiful but socially awkward Takeo Hiroyuki, he seems destined to make bad decisions. Takeo's life is a string of failed attempts to please his traditional Japanese father. Unfortunately, succeeding in business turns out to be just as difficult for Takeo as changing from gay to straight.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Ehh on the story, but a great narration.

  • By Heather K (Dentist in my Spare Time) on 02-01-15

Such a Delight!

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

Reviewed: 02-24-15

This was a wonderfully written, feel good story with characters that leap from the page. In less than three hours of listening time I was completely transported to Dwyer and Takeo's lives, and happily so. At times I laughed out loud, and who would've thunk I'd need the kleenex by the end?

I love the quirks in their characters that tell so much about them: i.e. how awkward Takeo is with people in his office, stiff and formal and honest to a fault - the proverbial wet blanket - even as he can't figure out why people don't seem to like him. And I was charmed by Dwyer's childish antics revealing his affection for him, like the time he sailed a paper airplane into Takeo's office - such great detail - he's still a boy at heart. That Takeo hasn't a clue what a truly good, lovable person he is was also painfully endearing.

The setting of the story was written with conviction, forming the perfect backdrop for these two wonderful characters. Mary Calmes just nails the world of office politics with its assorted (and sometimes dubious and backstabbing) cast of characters and egos. But while a keen observer of the corporate world's harried, competitive side, Ms. Calmes doesn't give in to stereo-typically trashing it as a lesser writer might, but also perfectly describes the excitement and creativity that that world can also sometimes embody. Of course this is only the background for her romance, but for me a convincing setting is part of what makes a great story, and the setting here is fascinating in its own right, the perfect backdrop for drama.

Finally, I'd be remiss not to acknowledge the truly stellar performance of the narrator, Greg Tremblay, who's inflections, accents, timing and obvious love for the characters made the story leap from the page. No overacting here - just the breath of life. He so completely "became" these characters that I can't imagine them being narrated by anyone else.

This book is already one of my favorite listens, and I'll be returning to it again for sure. My thanks to Mary Calmes, Mr. Tremblay and all involved!

  • A Reason to Believe

  • By: Diana Copland
  • Narrated by: Jack LeFleur
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 827
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 789
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 794

Detective Matthew Bennett doesn't believe in ghosts. So when the spirit of a murdered child leads him to her body, he's shaken to the core - and taken off the case. Unable to explain his vision, or to let go of the investigation, Matthew turns to renowned medium Kiernan Fitzpatrick. Though he has doubts about Kiernan's claims to communicate with the dead, Matt is nevertheless drawn to the handsome psychic, who awakens feelings he thought were long-buried.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Addictive listening

  • By A.R. on 01-03-13

Superb in every way.

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

Reviewed: 12-10-12

What made the experience of listening to A Reason to Believe the most enjoyable?

The story was both exciting, suspenseful, romantic, and beautifully written. I was on the edge of my seat.

What did you like best about this story?

Along with a crackling good plot, I loved the four main characters. These were people you can really care about, each in their own way - people I would welcome into my life in a heart beat.

Which character – as performed by Jack LeFleur – was your favorite?

Not an easy question, because they were all so engaging. I loved Kiernan, for his boyishness & mischievous qualities, but also for his empathy & caring, and a wisdom beyond his years. But equally strong cases could be made for the loyalty, courage and endearing qualities of the other three main characters: Matt and his sister in law, and Kiernan's sister Aiden.

The author's ability to bring out the essence of her characters is uncanny - even in small things like the quirky humorous tee shirts that Kiernan loves to wear. I found myself laughing out loud in a number of spots, but also needing the kleenex at some of the more moving passages. Other times I was ready to cheer.

If you could take any character from A Reason to Believe out to dinner, who would it be and why?

It would be either Matt or Kiernan. That's a tough choice; they're both terrific characters for different reasons.

Any additional comments?

This is just an all around brilliant book. Truly first rate, with engaging characters you wish you knew, and a story line that never lets up. Many passages I simply had to listen to twice, or even three times, before allowing myself to go on. You just want to savor them. It's really that good.

I hope Ms. Copland comes out with many more books. There's such a lot of mediocrity out there; we need more writing on this level. Finally, I can't imagine a more perfect dramatization than that delivered by Mr. LeFleur. He did justice to this wonderful, suspenseful, feel-good story.

So I say again . . . just brilliant!