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Lenore Kosinski

Edmonton, Alberta, CA
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  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 40
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  • Ever After

  • By: Aya Ling
  • Narrated by: Luci Christian
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

Kat has survived. She returns to Athelia as herself, Katherine Wilson. Edward, elated at learning she is alive, vows to bring her back to the palace. The obstacles, however, seem impossible to overcome. Marriage between a royal and a commoner is not recognized, not to mention that he is already legally bound to Katriona Bradshaw, who will do anything to keep her position as princess. And there's even more to worry about.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A solid conclusion

  • By Lenore Kosinski on 04-10-19

A solid conclusion

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

Reviewed: 04-10-19

4 stars — This final book in Kat & Edward’s trilogy definitely satisfied me, even if it felt like there was a lot going on at times.

As always, first the narrators: I’m still in love with Luci Christian. Full stop. The surprise for me was that there was a male narrator — like literal surprise, his chapter started and I actually jumped because I wasn’t expecting it. I kind of hate that he wasn’t credited anywhere, and it wasn’t until the end of the book that I learned his name — Charlie Thurston. He was pretty solid as Edward, and his accent was perfect. He was great at conveying the emotional aspects, and while I was only meh on his female voices, I find there are few male narrators that blow me away in this aspect.

I enjoyed that we got a little bit of dual POV, especially at the beginning when Edward and Kat were separated…if we hadn’t had Edward’s POV, I think the story would have been lacking. I really felt his heartbreak over losing Kat at the end of Twice Upon a Time, and his desperation to get her back.

Honestly, this book almost felt like 2 stories in one. We start with Kat getting back to Edward, which was fairly well foreshadowed by the threads not cleaned up at the end of Twice Upon a Time (Lady Gregory in particular). Part of me felt like that dragged on a bit longer than necessary, but another part of me was happy to have some of that information (especially about the Professor).

In general I was pretty satisfied with the story, though sometimes it felt like it wound around in weird ways just to make the book longer. It felt like a lot of little stories that made up one big story. There was Kat getting back, the Moran stuff, getting rid of Katriona, getting everyone to accept Kat, Bianca’s attempts at revenge, prison, Bertram & Amelie (loved that), Liam and the uprising, even a little of Poppy & Mr. Davenport and Elle and Henry. Seriously, it was a lot. I enjoyed it all, don’t get me wrong, but it made for a strange plot.

I still love Edward & Kat together, they have this epic feel to their love that you can only find in books. It was what kept me clamoring for more in this series.

I will admit, I don’t know how consistent Ms. Ling was throughout the series, nor am I convinced she created an accurate historical-ish world. But I don’t really care about those things, as I’m really only here for characters and story. I’m pretty sure there was a lot that was unrealistic, but I found I was fine with that. Something to note if you are a stickler on those points.

All in all, I thought it was a solid conclusion. It probably could have been tightened up here and there, but I was entertained. I really believe listening to good narrators helps with loving a story though.

  • Twice Upon a Time

  • Unfinished Fairy Tales, Book 2
  • By: Aya Ling
  • Narrated by: Luci Christian
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

Seven years have passed since Kat left Athelia. Through the intervention of the goblin king's baby daughter, the book is re-opened and Kat is transported back to Story World. Upon learning she is given a second chance, Edward is determined not to let her go this time. His chance of succeeding, however, seems like nil. Kat doesn't remember anything of their past, she loathes life at court, and she's anxious to return to the modern world. Not to mention that there's a price to pay for tampering with the book again....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slower to start, still loving Kat & Edward

  • By Lenore Kosinski on 04-04-19

Slower to start, still loving Kat & Edward

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

Reviewed: 04-04-19

4 stars — OK, this review is probably going to be a little scattered, and it’ll probably come across more negative than my actual feelings about the book. I’m more just explaining (probably to myself) why I didn’t rate it higher. I’m still loving this series, I just found it took me a bit longer to get invested.

First of all, Luci Christian is still hitting ALL MY BUTTONS as the narrator. I loved the different voices she used, and they were all consistent (I always knew who was talking). The amount of emotion she poured into it was just…gah! I cried so hard at times! She is definitely a fave narrator of mine, and she just proved it again in this one.

As I alluded to, this one started off a little slower for me, and I wasn’t exactly happy with the narrative…which is mostly just because I was so attached to Kat and Edward, and so Kat’s memory loss was absolutely HEARTBREAKING. There were times at the beginning where I felt like not much was happening, but then towards the end it felt like there was too much happening and I was getting overwhelmed!!

Kat was still just as feisty as always, though I was frustrated with her in the beginning because of course I was attached to Edward. It wasn’t as though I didn’t understand her confusion, panic, reservations, etc… But I wanted my HEA. I got back in sync with her as her memories started to return. And it was kind of fun to see that even before her memories returned, she still started to care for Edward, and want what was best for him. I loved how she helped him.

While I felt for Edward, and in general I still loved him a great deal, there were times he frustrated me as well. He was so focused on Kat, I felt like I didn’t get to see a lot of him outside of their relationship. But I loved how he respected her even as his heart broke.

There were a lot of little light moments within their romance that made me happy, and one of my highlights was definitely their date night.

I knew it wasn’t going to end all neat and tidy, but I wasn’t expecting the way it ended. It brought out my emotions again, but it was almost too much. It makes me wonder how things are going to go in the conclusion. And honestly? There are so many little side things going on—Kat’s work on the laws for the children, the Princess School stuff, Lady Gregory—I hope none of it gets lost in the shuffle in the last book.

As a side note, I noticed that the writing was a bit repetitive, especially at the beginning. Because I was listening it was a bit harder to pin down, but at one point I think Kat said the same thing with maybe only a word or two different just sentences apart. Basically, it could do with an additional edit pass to clean some of that stuff up, because it was noticeable enough that it affected my enjoyment.

So yeah… Obviously I’m still enamoured with this series, but I need that HEA like a coffee addict needs coffee…

  • Someone Else's Ocean

  • By: Kate Stewart
  • Narrated by: Lila Winters, Jason Clarke
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 280
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 281

The first time I met Ian Kemp in the sparkling blue waters of St. Thomas, I was six years old, and we shared a summer beneath the stars. The second time I met Ian Kemp, he was a shell of the boy I once knew. Turbulent and infuriating, he refused my friendship at every turn. Like me, he was a casualty of life’s cruelty, but we were planets apart. We’d both sought refuge on the island, hoping to find our anchor. Instead, we found each other and managed to reclaim our stars...until we both got swept away.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3 stars

  • By Carissa R. on 02-17-19

Interesting story, just not quite my thing

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

Reviewed: 03-20-19

3.5 stars — Do you ever have one of those books that you’ve heard rave reviews about, and you want to love them more than you actually do? That ended up being this book for me. If you love books with a lot of drama and angst, then you should totes give this book a try. I’m not usually a fan, it really depends…and for me that’s where this book started to lose it for me. So it really is just personal taste, you know? It was like I was sitting there listening to it and thinking that if I enjoyed angst, I would be LOVING all the emotions…but for me it was tiring and felt over the top.

Before I go farther, let’s talk about narrators. I had a mixed reaction on this one. In general I LOVED both Ms. Winters and Mr. Clarke’s narrations. They both had great range of emotion, really made both Ian and Koti come to life, solid pacing. Mr. Clarke’s different voices for different characters were really solid. Ms. Winters’ weren’t bad, though occasionally I would get confused, particularly between Koti and Jasmine. And while I LOVED Ms. Winters’ inner voice for Koti, I was NOT a fan of the accents she put on for both Jasmine and Ian, and even to a smaller degree Ella. In my opinion, Jasmine’s midwest accent had a strong NJ quality to it, and Ian’s South African accent made me think Austrian (like Arnold Schwartzenneger). Honestly, if you’re not good at accents, just don’t do them. Mr. Clarke didn’t put on a SA accent for Ian, and I much preferred it.

As for our characters, I enjoyed Koti’s sass, and the dichotomy of her caring side with her fierce side. I thought the backstory of her panic attacks was interesting, and added something to her personal story. It felt realistic. On the other hand her endometriosis baffled me…particularly since she no longer had painful periods after that first one, and I guess I just didn’t understand the whole sex dynamic with Ian. I did appreciate her friendship with Jasmine, and the two of them made me laugh quite a bit. It was nice to see a strong female friendship like that.

Ian was…well, sometimes I felt so much for him, and what he was going through. And sometimes he was just kind of a dick. I’m not much into alphas, and he was definitely that. Obviously I preferred his more human/kind side. And while I didn’t always enjoy his overprotectiveness of his daughter, I appreciated how much he LOVED her.

As for their relationship? I had a hard time with it. They could really hurt one another, and at times it felt mostly based on their sexual attraction…which is funny, b/c they did have a strong friendship at other times. I guess I didn’t understand their sexual relationship, and it’s not the kind that I’m most interested in reading about.

I think I was enjoying myself enough to make up for the things I wasn’t enjoying until the separation. Then I kind of started losing interest, and the things started feeling more over the top.

So yeah. An interesting story that just happened to not hit my buttons, you know? Ah well!

  • The Ugly Stepsister 

  • By: Aya Ling
  • Narrated by: Luci Christian
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152

When Kat accidentally rips apart an old childhood picturebook, she's magically transported into the world of Cinderella - as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! To get back, she'll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: The other stepsister is movie-star gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince isn't interested in balls at all. Can she ever return to the real world?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A cute story but I feel a bit robbed and confused

  • By Kay on 10-05-17

Surprised me in a lot of ways!

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

4.5 stars — Wow. I didn’t expect to cry as much as I did at the end. I think it was all the anxiety over how it was going to end. But damn…I was seriously sucked in and attached to Kat and Edward. It was such a strange tug of war between what I wanted to happen, and what I knew had to happen. Ms. Ling somehow made it work, though I’m still unsettled. Which is making me intrigued about the rest of the series.

This one wasn’t the straightforward retelling I was expecting! And I loved that! I mean, I knew it would veer off course, but it’s amazing how many little pieces of other stories I felt like I encountered. And Kat referenced modern movies and books all the time! Sometimes it got to be a bit much, but it also felt authentic for a 17 year old girl.

Seriously though, I couldn’t have predicted all the places this story would take me, all the topics it would tackle. It was a lot more involved, and it got into some deep issues from that kind of society. I loved the stuff with Jimmy and the causes that Kat stood behind, and of course her friendship with Poppy and helping her out.

Occasionally I felt like Kat was kind of naive and oblivious to some pretty obvious clues. I’m not sure how I feel about that, because she comes across as a smart cookie, yet she would overlook the most obvious of details. But on the whole I loved how sassy Kat was, how she stood strong with her convictions, and how she wouldn’t be bullied.

I kind of loved the romance between Kat and Edward…it was *really* subtle, and not necessarily a prominent part of the plot, but it reminded me of the romance in the movie Ever After.

There were all sorts of crazy side characters in this one, and they all brought something interesting to the table. From Elle, Henry, Jimmy, Poppy, Bertram, Mr. Wellsley, Martha, Kreve (no idea on spelling since I listened to it), Lady Gregory, Lysander, and Meg…damn, there was a lot going on. So many tiny side offshoot stories that either helped or distracted Kat in her journey to the HEA.

I really enjoy Ms. Christian’s narration in general… She’s so lively and just provides the perfect voice for Kat. Her voices were pretty good, even the accents were okay since we were in a fictional world, so they didn’t have to be something real. I found she occasionally pronounced things in a different way than I thought they should be, but that could be a me-being-a-Canadian thing.

So yeah. This one surprised me in a lot of ways, and I’m totally going to be listening to the next one!

  • 8 Weeks

  • Time for Love, Book 1
  • By: Bethany Lopez
  • Narrated by: Beth Stewart
  • Length: 4 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 73

Is eight weeks enough time to earn back the love of someone you've betrayed... the only one you've ever loved? Shelly has been in love with Cal since they started dating in eleventh grade. Despite everyone saying that the odds were against them, they got married after graduation and built a life together. Now, six years later, she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. Devastated, her first instinct is to call it quits...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It Got To Me

  • By Audio Audits on 04-29-17

The story dragged

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

Reviewed: 03-09-19

3 stars — This is my first book by this author and this narrator, and I will admit I was wary about the subject matter. Cheating is a hard no subject for me, and the entire book is predicated on an act of cheating by the hero. But I read a review by another cheating hater who mentioned that this one made her think and didn’t bother her as much, so I gave it a try. And I will admit that my feelings on the cheating were a lot more complicated than I expected, so it delivered to a certain degree.

But honestly? I was bored. For a short book, this one dragged for me. There was a lot of back and forth on the same feelings, bringing up the same problems over and over, and I just didn’t connect with our characters as much as I’d hoped I would.

Part of the problem for me (personally) was the narration style. Ms. Stewart has a bit more of a straightforward narration style, where there’s not a lot of inflection and emotion…for me it comes across flat. I prefer a more acted style. I found it really hard to feel anything, because I couldn’t get a grip on the depth of emotions that I was looking for. Her different voices were not bad. I’m less a fan of dual POV books being narrated by just one narrator, but at least she narrated the chapters in Cal’s head in his voice as well, which I really appreciated. But other than that, I won’t be seeking out more books from her.

As for Cal and Shelly? I actually felt more for Cal, which surprised the crap out of me. I mean, I still don’t quite understand what happened…because I tend to be of the belief that even when drunk, someone who would NEVER cheat just wouldn’t end up in that situation. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was taken advantage of, just from the way the author described Cal’s dedication to his marriage and Shelly. It just didn’t make sense. But if I just sort of accepted that it happened, I really loved how Cal showed Shelly how important she was, how sorry he was, and my heart ached for him, because he truly felt all the regret and despair over his discretion.

Shelly…well, I felt for Shelly initially. But as time went on, I was unimpressed with her. She made a lot of mistakes in how she treated Cal in those 8 weeks, and she didn’t feel much remorse. Obviously it wasn’t on the same level, but I was really disappointed with her in the end.

I enjoyed some of the dates, and some of the sweet stuff…but in the end it just didn’t feel like there was enough plot to move the story along. And I wasn’t invested enough in the inner turmoil of our MCs, so it just felt repetitive in the end.

The friends were intriguing, but I’m less interested in TJ and Sasha’s story than in Scott and Gabby’s… I might come back to them later, but I’m not feeling a rush. And the samples for the next narrators don’t sound like a match for me either, so I’d have to just read them.

So yeah. It was a solid okay book. Some good parts, but nothing really memorable. And I truly do think that my disconnect with the narrator hurt my enjoyment a bit. Ah well. I’ll try a different series by this author…

  • Paint the Stars

  • By: Christina Lee, Nyrae Dawn
  • Narrated by: James Cavenaugh, Ryan Turner
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 25

Ezra Greene has made a pretty decent life for himself. He has a nice apartment and spends his days doing the one thing he's always loved - creating art. Despite being somewhat of a grumpy recluse, he's even made a few loyal friends. When he takes a side job painting a mural at a local holistic center, he can't help being curious about a certain friendly and self-assured yoga instructor, even if he doesn't buy into any of that Zen crap. He swore he'd never be molded into anybody's belief system again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • favorite in the series so far

  • By Mtsnow13 on 03-26-18

Amazing connection between the heroes

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

Reviewed: 03-03-19

4.5 stars — This book, and this series, has been on my radar for awhile, and I’m so glad I finally dove in (even if I did dive in on book 3 instead of book 1). It just hit a lot of my buttons, and gave me a new favourite book boy to put on my list (because you know I have a list).

We’ll start with the narrators: I LOVED James Cavenaugh for Daevonte. He just somehow made him come to life, and I could practically hear the smile in his voice when he would tease Ezra. He was also relatively consistent with his other character voices. There wasn’t always a huge difference, but even the subtlest ones helped me to keep track of who was speaking without waiting for the dialogue tags. Ryan Turner was also good as Ezra, but personal taste-wise I just didn’t enjoy him quite as much. He fit for the lower-key Ezra though. He conveyed good emotion, but he wasn’t as consistent with his other character voices. Heck, sometimes he wasn’t even consistent between Ezra and Dae, but it didn’t necessarily disrupt my enjoyment. But of the two, I will definitely be seeking out more from Mr. Cavenaugh.

As someone who recently discovered she’s likely on the ace spectrum, listening to a book with a main character who is demi-sexual was really gratifying. I was able to relate to Ezra and how he saw the world. I’m not saying this aspect was a huge part of the book, but it was definitely there and present and well represented in my opinion.

Ezra was also an epic introvert, and really closed off emotionally because of a past heartbreak. While I can’t relate to the second, I can definitely relate to his time limits around big groups of people, and his need for alone time. I really loved the way that Ezra and Dae were opposites in this way, but they both tried to be mindful of the other. Ezra learned to push his boundaries for Dae…and Dae helped Ezra get out of his little bubble a bit more, all while reading him so he didn’t push too far. The funny thing is, maybe because we’re too alike, I found I didn’t connect with Ezra quite as much as Dae, but even so I felt like he showed a ton of growth in the book…it was subtle, and sometimes it took longer than I’d like, but it was more realistic that way.

Daevonte (which I’m always going to say it in my head with the same flair that Mr. Cavenaugh did at the beginnings of Dae’s chapters) was SO EASY to love. He was like an adorable puppy dog that was incorrigible, but you just wanted to snuggle with. He was hilarious, and his teasing of Ezra gave me all the butterflies. He was just charming, and open, and sassy, and kind, and genuine. I LOVED him. And I loved him for Ezra. I loved that he didn’t give up on Ezra, but sort of bulldozed himself into his life in whatever capacity Ezra would have him, while still respecting Ezra’s boundaries. I was afraid for his heart, because he put it out there so easily, and I didn’t want him to get hurt.

The friendship between Ezra and Dae, and watching that blossom into feelings and love, was truly the star of this book. I loved seeing them grow with one another, and while they hit a few snags, no one behaved terribly. God that’s so nice sometimes. I just loved the chemistry they had with one another, and I was rooting for them from the beginning.

I definitely need to go back and read the first 2 books in this series. Ezra’s group of friends were all very different, but I liked that they all supported one another. And I LOVED Daevonte’s gregarious and loving family…it’s really nice to see great parent figures in books.

So yeah. This is my first book by this duo of authors, but it won’t be my last. Solid M/M romance with an emphasis on the connection between the heroes.

  • See Me

  • By: Wendy Higgins
  • Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 95
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 90

While most 17-year-old American girls would refuse to let their parents marry them off to a stranger, Robyn Mason dreams of the mysterious McKale in Ireland, wondering how he'll look and imagining his Irish accent. Prearranged bindings are common for magical families like her own. However, when she travels to the whimsical Emerald Isle, she discovers that there's more to her betrothal and McKale's clan than she'd been led to believe. What starts as an obligatory pairing between Robyn and McKale morphs over time into something they both need.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It just worked for me...great narrator

  • By Lenore Kosinski on 02-28-19

It just worked for me...great narrator

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

Reviewed: 02-28-19

4.5 stars — I’ve decided I’m not going to clean up this review, I’m just going to post it as is. You’re welcome for the crazy.

I had a problem at the beginning of the story with the whole height stuff, and almost little people discrimination (Cassidy ew), hence rounding down.

After I got past that, I was totally enchanted and sucked in. I stayed up until 3am finishing it because I couldn’t put it down.

I FELT ALL THE FEELZ. Like I really felt the connection between Robyn and McHale, even when it was shaky, and so I felt the heartache and despair over the freaking FFG. Witch with a b.

Even though McHale could be a dumb*** sometimes, I absolutely adored him. And what I loved is that even in his dumb***ness, through the story I got to learn and understand why he was the way he was, and how he got that way. It was fascinating watching him be ostracized by his clan, often unintentionally. It was like the author took the normal discrimination that I’m sure little people feel and turned it on its head to illustrate. My heart hurt, ached for little boy him, and even grown him.

But I LOVED this shy, quiet, introvert, beta male. OMG, it was like he was made for me. And that accent! *swoon*

The narrator was AMAZING. As I’m not Irish, I have no idea how authentic her accents were, but as a Canadian I LOVED it. It felt real. Her voices were just amazing. She never faltered on having the wrong voice for the wrong character. I could always know who was talking. And I FELT SO MANY EMOTIONS because of the way she narrated! I was so freaking invested. I LOVE HER LOVE HER LOVE HER.

Robyn was an interesting heroine. I’m sure there are many who wouldn’t connect with her or understand her, but I got her. It was like, she accepted her fate and decided to embrace it and hope for happiness. I liked that she wasn’t a pushover, but she also tried very hard to make it work.

The romance was just freaking adorable. I got so many butterflies. And I believed the progression. I seriously swooned all over the place. GAH! From the basket of berries, to the tub of gifts, to the hot dancing scene, to the first kisses…I just was so invested. I feel like it’s been a long time since I shipped a couple that hard.

Cassidy and Rock totally threw me off. I wasn’t expecting their strange little side story. I kind of loved how that played out. They were both really fleshed out for secondary characters. I love how important Robyn’s relationship with Cass was, how integral to who she was. They were so different, but they complemented one another well. I’m sad the second story is likely never going to be written.

While my favourite parts were definitely the characters and the romance, I appreciated the world that Ms. Higgins built as well. I mean, leprechauns…who saw that coming? And the fae stuff was crazy, you could really feel their awesome power. I was concerned about the FFG, and the way that played out with McHale (because I hate cheating), but the author really made me believe in the Fae power.

I loved that Robyn’s parents played such a strong part in her life, and that they had such a close relationship. I loved that she wanted a fabulous love story because she was inspired by her parents love for one another.

So yeah. That was a whole bunch of stream of consciousness, but it all boils down to despite a hiccup at the beginning of the story, I COMPLETELY fell in love with it and I can totally see myself listening to it again.

  • Neanderthal Marries Human: A Smarter Romance

  • Knitting in the City, Book 1.5
  • By: Penny Reid
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Grace, Sebastian York
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,236
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,162
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,156

After just five months of dating Janie, Quinn - former Wendell and unapologetic autocrat - is ready to propose marriage. In fact he's more than ready. If it were up to Quinn, he would efficiently propose, marry, and beget Janie with child all in the same day - thereby avoiding the drama and angst that accompanies the four stages of prematrimony: engagement; meeting the parents; bachelor/bachelorette party; and overblown, superfluous wedding day traditions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Wedding to End All Weddings

  • By Angela S. on 04-11-17

Enjoyed it even more than the first book

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

Reviewed: 02-28-19

4.5 stars — There was a lot more to this story than I was expecting. I’m actually a fan of stories that address “what comes after the happily ever after”, and in a way that’s what we get here. I loved that we got to delve a little deeper into Janie and Quinn’s romance and see how they would tackle the next challenges in life. It was that extra that I didn’t know I wanted or needed.

First, the narrators: Jennifer Grace was just as enjoyable giving voice to Janie’s quirks in this one as in the first one. I once again loved her pacing, emotions, the consistency of her different character voices…just all of it. I will definitely look for more from her in the future. Sebastian York on the other hand is one whom I haven’t enjoyed as much previously. I will say that I didn’t mind him as much in this one. Whatever quality of his voice that bugged me in the other book didn’t bother me quite as much in this one. Basically he’s still not a narrator I would seek out, but he didn’t dampen the story for me this time. I think part of that is that he had less sections (it definitely wasn’t 50-50 with the female narrator). I still wasn’t super excited with his voice for Janie, but again…it wasn’t as bad as the other book. So yay! That means I don’t need to completely avoid him! 🙂 Trust me, that’s a win since he’s very popular.

All the fabulous aspects from the first book were present in the second: awesome nerdy humour; ridiculous situations; hot chemistry between Quinn and Janie; the best girl gang I’ve ever read. It wasn’t a reprisal of the first book, it was just MORE. And I loved all those aspects just as much this second go round. My favourite really is the tight knitting gang, and both their crazy shenanigans and their unwavering support of one another.

I think I laughed EVEN MORE in this book. And it wasn’t just the crazy antics….more often than not, it was little one liners from the wondrous brain of Janie. She would just surprise me and I would laugh out loud. Sometimes it’s the subtle humour that pulls me in more than anything.

And while the laughing was good, it was the heart in this book that really put it over the top for me. Pretty much everything surrounding Quinn and his parents, and more importantly what Janie gained from her new relationships with Katherine and Desmond had me tearing up on multiple occasions.

One thing I will note, I haven’t read many of the books in this series, and I’m trying to go through them in order. But I think the timeline in this one overlaps a LOT with book 2, so I’m not sure if I should have read that one first or not. I guess I’ll find out when I read it next.

So yeah. Great success. What really made me happy is that at this point I was just invested in our characters, so any little bits that bugged me in the first book just settled for me in this one, and I was able to just enjoy myself. It definitely makes me want to finish the series SOON SOON SOON!

  • Neanderthal Seeks Human

  • A Smart Romance, Knitting in the City, Volume 1
  • By: Penny Reid
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Grace
  • Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,087
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,915
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,911

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn - the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies - to make her an offer she can't refuse.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun, funny and very entertaining

  • By SIMARA on 11-21-17

The narrator enhanced this book so I liked it more

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

Reviewed: 02-23-19

ON REREAD:
3.5 stars — So I think listening to the audiobook helped me put Janie’s quirks and thoughts into a better context. The narrator just had a way of making me understand how flustered Janie was in some points, so the parts that I previously thought were clinical were more just endearing or sexy…if that makes any sense. So on one hand, I definitely enjoyed this book more on reread, which I think is 100% thanks to the narration by Ms. Grace.

On the other hand, I’m a different reader than I was previously, and there was something that bothered me more this second time around. I’ve become more sensitive about noticing slut-shaming in books, and I’m really not a fan. And I’m not sure if it was because I was listening to it, but the number of times Janie says slamps just started to grate on me. I totally, 100% get that Janie is mostly using it just as a way to group people and give them a label…and she wasn’t only calling women slamps. But am I wrong in interpreting that slamp is a merging of slut and tramp?? If it’s something else, I really feel like she should have explained the meaning (I even tried googling it, but came up empty). It’s just…those words have very different connotations for women than manwh*** does for men for example. Unfortunately. Now, again, I can honestly say that I don’t think Janie was making judgements about the slamps, so that was kind of the saving grace.

One other note about the narration — there seemed to be some technical issues in the chapter where they’re in Las Vegas. There were really long pauses where I worried it had stopped, or I was missing words. But it honestly only happened in one tiny section, so no idea what happened there. Otherwise Ms. Grace’s performance was fantastic, and obviously just enhanced the book for me! Great pacing, great emotion, great different voices.

So yeah, enjoyed it more than the first time around. Round up.

  • Hate Notes

  • By: Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward
  • Narrated by: Sebastian York, Lynn Barrington
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,743
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,335
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,327

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress. Something blue. I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.” Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true. The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THIS IS MY LOVE NOTE..

  • By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 11-09-18

Didn't enjoy narrator, story lost its luster

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

3.5 stars -- I started off LOVING this story, but not really enjoying the male narrator (I'll get to that).  And I'm not sure if it truly lost its luster, or if the narration grated on me, or most likely a combination of the two, but I found myself just wanting to get to the end of the story and move on...not a good sign.

So let's start with the narrators.  What was wrong with them?  Objectively nothing.  Both narrators had great pacing, no unusual pauses, good inflection...just solid.  I actually enjoyed Ms. Barrington.  The amount of emotion she poured into some scenes had me crying along with her.  I was on the fence with her Iris and Reed voices; they didn't annoy me, but I've had better (though, let's get real...narrating another gender is just hard).  And then there's Mr. York.  Again, talent-wise there is NOTHING wrong with his narration.  But there was a quality to his voice that just didn't work for me...part of me wondered if there was a slight, barely detectable lisp?  Honestly, I don't know, but the longer I listened to him, the less I liked his narration.  And it's just a personal taste thing.  Most of the time narrators lose me on their other gender voices, but I didn't even enjoy his normal voice.  Ah well.  Sometimes they just don't click.  But I do think that it made it so that I enjoyed this book even less than I would have if I'd read it.  Bummer.

So on to the story.  I can honestly admit that I was for REALZ laughing out loud for parts of the beginning of the story, especially when they first meet.  It made me so excited, because I was anticipating a similar feel for the rest of the story.  But the laughs died down for the rest, and it got more serious.  Which is not a bad thing at all.  But I also felt like the story dragged in parts.  There was a lot of "deciding what's best for the other person"-ness, which is okay for a bit, but it went on too long in this one.

Charlotte was a pretty quirky heroine, and I enjoyed the way she saw the world sometimes.  I didn't always connect with her, and I'm honestly not sure why.  She really had no issues bounding into other people's personal spaces (figuratively).  I think she was supposed to be more endearing than I actually found her to be...  I thought her issues with her past, and her family was an interesting side story...but again, that went on longer than I anticipated.  And is it just me, or is it weird that she doesn't seem to have any friends?  Then again, neither does Reed.  Who are these people?

I didn't really fall in love with Reed either.  I mean, he was a bit of a jerk off and on...and quite frankly, though his "secret" was intriguing, it really didn't excuse his behavior for me.  Again, I'm not an alpha girl.  I'm just not.  He wasn't a super alpha or anything, but there was definitely lots of possessiveness.  I know some women find that swoony, but alas I only like it in doses and particular circumstances.  And he took WAY TOO LONG to figure his shiznit out.  So I grew impatient with him.

And while I didn't like either narrator's voices for Grandma Iris, she amused me with her machinations.  A lot of what happened with all that felt unrealistic, but eh.  I was okay with that.

So basically, I should have given up on the audiobook and finished it by reading the ebook instead (I gotta stop pushing through, especially if I already own the ebook).  And the pacing of the story just didn't work out for me...I felt like it could have been tightened up and I might have enjoyed it more.  Extra half star goes to their first meeting though...solid gold.