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  • Allegiant

  • Divergent Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Veronica Roth
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin, Aaron Stanford
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18,491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,631
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16,742

What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times best-selling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of listeners in Divergent and Insurgent.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • What a let down!

  • By Judy on 11-05-13

Just Okay

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

Reviewed: 07-24-15

Here's the thing about Allegiant. I went into it knowing that it was this huge polarizing book. People loved it or hated it. I was prepared to feel the same - and I 100% see why people felt both ways. For me, it's 50/50. Hence, 3 stars.

From the get go I was less than thrilled with Allegiant because "whoa, what was this? Tobias's POV and two narrators?!" In and of itself, adding in another POV isn't bad. But what I quickly realized in Allegiant was that I don't really like Tobias/Four that much. I've been back and forth with their relationship - I didn't feel it in Divergent but I liked it in Insurgent - and throughout Allegiant I came back to that original feeling. All because of Tobias - being inside his head did not make me like him more, it made me like him less.

I don't think the narration helped me like this change, either. The addition of Aaron Stanford (male narrator) would have been fine if he was playing all the male parts, I think. But instead he was narrating all the chapters from Tobias's point of view and Emma Galvin was narrating all the chapters from Tris's point of view. So I've got two sets of voices for all the characters to keep track of - 1 set of voices I've known for two whole books, the other is brand new. While both narrators did a good job, the change made the addition of Tobias's POV all the more jarring for me, I think.

I do, however, understand why Veronica Roth made the decision to tell the story from dual perspectives. For where she wanted to go, it made sense. Do I support where she went? *shrugs* I'm abivalent to it. I never cried, though Allegiant took on much more depressing view than expected - repeatedly. But I'm not really upset about any of those depressing moments either.

All in all, not the amazing ending I hoped for, but I didn't hate it either. I would have liked to be wowed, but at least I'm not angry.

  • The Unleashing

  • Call of Crows, Book 1
  • By: Shelly Laurenston
  • Narrated by: Johanna Parker
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,390
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,290
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,282

Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn't for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even have seen her die. In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig "Vig" Rundstrom has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty good start to the series :D

  • By Malinda on 08-06-15

Lots of Fun

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

Reviewed: 07-24-15

*This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.*

The Unleashing was so much fun! I forget where I saw it reviewed, but the mention of the dog companion playing a big part put the book straight on my TBR. Thankfully I mentioned to one of my book club administrators and she decided we should read it for July - because who knows when I would have gotten around to it. And that would have been a total loss. Any book that begins (within the first chapter or so) with the main character refusing to save her own life if she can't have her dog is a book with a main character I'm going to love. And yeah, I so loved Kera.

Kera is an ex-Marine - or as she would say former Marine because you never stop being a Marine. Yep, she's intense about her Marine background. But she owned it and it felt right - it was very believable (especially if you've ever known a former Marine). What I really loved is that it established her having some basic combat skills, but at the same time, Shelly Laurenston didn't act like being a Marine would have made Kera prepared for all combat situations or invincible. And most importantly, Kera has a huge heart. Her love of animals was probably the number one reason I loved her. From her dog Brody (a PitBull with a large role in The Unleashing, though I don't want to say more and spoil some of the... surprises!) to pretty much every animal she encounters, Kera is full of love for them. The number two reason - she's an organizational, control freak. So basically, she's me - though way more bad ass. LOL! I totally understood her desire to organize when confronted with an incomprehensible situation. I also really appreciated that Shelly Laurenston took this character's background and used it as an opportunity to mildly intertwine commentary on PTSD and treatment of veterans in the US. It was well done, made a postivie message, but didn't weigh down the book.

One of the challenges in writing this review was also a challenge in listening to The Unleashing. There are SO MANY characters and lots of points of view. For the first few chapters I was constantly trying to keep straight who the characters were. I'm very thankful I was listening because Johanna Parker did a fantastic job with the narration and her voices were one of the first ways I started keeping the characters straight. The other was Shelly Laurenston's really great way of somehow having a ton of characters and still giving them unique personalities. One that has to be mentioned, though, is Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom. He's the love interest - a bit reclusive and intimidating. He's a Raven - Kera is a Crow - and an expert weapon maker for the different clans. The way he says things - kind of blunt and often wrong - was hilarious and made him very lovable. Things got hot and heavy here - so if you like a bit of sexy with your kick butt and laughs, The Unleashing delivers.

BTW - that's another fun element to this book, the inventive take on Norse Mythology. I don't know it well enough to know how much twisting and reinventing Shelly Laurenston did, but I know that I enjoyed it and I especialy enjoyed that it didn't really matter that I don't know it well. It didn't weigh the story down, just gave it structure.

I laughed a lot reading The Unleashing - quite a few bits are quite ridiculous. But in an "OMG that's so ridiculous but so plausible" kind of way, not a "my eyes are rolling out of my head" kind of way. Beyond the confusion of keeping all the characters straight up front, the ridiculousness (which is rarely a 5 star read for me - funny just doesn't blow me away like rip my heart out and stomp on it does) - the other reason this is 4 stars for me is the ending. Not that it's bad. It's so not. But it just ended. Things are SO NOT resolved. It was one of those times that the book ends and you turn the page (or in my case, check to make sure you downloaded all the audio files) because you just can't believe that's it. But on the plus side, it's not a real cliff. I'm not tortured waiting to see what will happen. I will most definitely be picking up book 2 though.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Unleashed

  • By: Sophie Jordan
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 62

What if the worst thing you ever did was unforgivable?

Davy's world fell apart after she tested positive for homicidal tendency syndrome. She was expelled from her school, dumped by her boyfriend, abandoned by friends, and shipped off to a camp that turns HTS carriers into soldiers. Davy may have escaped, but the damage has already been done. The unthinkable has happened. Now, even worse than having everyone else see her as a monster is the knowledge that they may have been right about her all along. Because Davy has killed.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 2 Stars - Didn't Work For Me

  • By Berls on 07-24-15

2 Stars - Didn't Work For Me

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

Reviewed: 07-24-15

Unleashed was such an incredibly disappointing follow up to Univited. The first book was easily one of my favorite books of 2014, but I almost DNFed this one. I had to leave it and come back and then I was only listening for the sake of knowing what would happen, not really interested in the story. As excited as I was for Unleashed to come out, I now find myself wishing that Univited had been a standalone.

I felt like the two books had NOTHING in common. Univited was so unique and fresh, in my opinion at least. I was convinced by the concept and, while I believed that everything could go down the way they did, I was appalled by them. The idea that a person could be defined by a gene that marked them as capable of murder was as bad as racisim. More importantly, Sophie (the MC) was devestated by what happened to her and thought it was brutally wrong. Enter Unleashed - I don't know who THIS Sophie is. She's defeated and not just accepting that carriers are all murderers, but it's like she WANTS to believe it. She's done fighting and she's become the angsty, disappointing teen of so many YA novels.

So the main character is an entirely different, less likeable, person. But at least I have the secondary characters I loved, right? NOPE! This is a bit spoilery, except that the synopsis kind of tells you it too - they make up maybe 4 chapters of the entire book! GRRR! Because of some perfectly legitimate problems that occur they are completely removed from the book and we have this whole new set of characters to decide how we feel about. And, on their own, I guess these characters are worth knowing. But I didn't care about them because I waited A WHOLE YEAR to see what would happen to the other characters.

I do have to admit, there is a decent plot here buried in the disappointments. There's a bit of a mystery and the new love interest is a decent guy. He's even one I could like. The reason why those elements don't fully redem the book for me is they're so PREDICTABLE. It's like we went from this fresh, unique concept and then whoosh, we've moved into every dystopia ever. Yeah, that's an exaggeration, but I'm telling you, for a while I felt like I was reading book 2 of the Shatter Me Series. A good book? Yes. Did I want it to reappear in a new setting with new characters minus the super abilities? Not really.

I should mention that the audio was as good as before and Rebecca Gibel's narration is solid. Perhaps the only reason I was able to finish reading Unleashed actually.

I'm very disappointed because I not only enjoyed Univited, but Sophie Jordan is a favorite author of mine. Hopefully her next book will be back to what I loved about Univited!

2 stars Didnt Work

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Crossing Danger

  • A Shelby Nichols Adventure
  • By: Colleen Helme
  • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 354
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333

Shelby Nichols isn't your average soccer mom turned private investigator. She's more on the quirky side with a little wild thrown in. That's because a near-fatal gunshot wound to the head left her with the ability to read minds. This lands her in all kinds of trouble, and this time is no exception. Helping a reporter, Billie Jo, get the lowdown on a case is just the tip of the iceberg. When her best friend's niece goes missing, Shelby is pulled into a conspiracy that involves the police and the leader of a violent drug ring.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shelby Nichols was very normal until...

  • By Wayne on 09-25-17

Shelby Just Gets Better & Better

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

Reviewed: 06-30-15

It just keeps getting better and better! As I read each book in this series it becomes my new favorite. I absolutely love the character evolution - Shelby is really growing and yet in the most essential ways she hasn't changed. I loved Crossing Danger and I'm so excited for the next one to come out.

The characters make this series - I love everything about Shelby. I love that she's a great mom and wife, and yet she's still discovering this new exciting part of herself. Her ability to read minds has changed her life and she's embracing it - she's getting better at investigating and dealing with the bad guys; she's discovering new abilities; she's even learning some self-defense. Oh, and she's continuing to be an expert at landing herself right in the middle of trouble!

This time a family friend needs Shelby's help when a daughter goes missing - and, of course, Shelby is happy to help. Even when she gets stuck working with Bates, the one cop that has made no secret that he dislikes her. Of course, there's still plenty going on with Uncle Joey and Ramos and there's more overlap than usual there which was cool. As usual, the mystery is well put together and not too easy to solve, even with Shelby's abilities. And, as usual, Shelby scares everyone by putting herself in danger (including me)!

I don't know what else to say without spilling specific details and that's the fun of reading it! Great mystery, fun charaters, humor, character development - what more do you want from a book, right? Oh how about a good narrator? Wendy Tremont King does a great job and I'd be bummed if she stopped narrating this series. Even though I've made fun of some of the accents, she's Shelby for me 100% and I think her male voices are good as well. And I just love the voice she does for Billie Jo (southern) :)

I'm so ready for the next book - and the way Crossing Danger ends, the next book is sure to be exciting! I bet we end up in Paris :)

**I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stray

  • Shifters, Book 1
  • By: Rachel Vincent
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck
  • Length: 13 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,803
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,156
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,155

"I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds. Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Alexis on 08-09-07

Spunky Heroine & Great World Build

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

Reviewed: 06-28-15

Stray was the start of what I expect will be a great series, with a great world and complex characters.

For one, I really like this world. I like my werewolf shifters just fine, but cat shifters are a nice change of pace - I don't think I ever got exactly what kinds of cats they are but I pictured Jaguars for some reason (if there's an actual type named and I missed it, someone tell me please). There's a sort of class system - cats born to the families have a higher class than strays, or those that are changed by another cat shifter - and, like all class systems, it has some problems. That created an interesting tension that I think could go far as the series progresses.

I also really like that women are a rarity - they have more boys than anything - and thus females are treasured. Especially since, as is typical in cat hierarchy, they are a matrilineal society. That had had frustrating consequences for the main character, Faith though. She doesn't want to lead or settle down in marriage and have her life be about giving her pride children - particularly a girl child. She wants to go to school and have a more "typcial" tragectory. I can 100% appreciate scoffing at the responsibilities that she has ahead of her and feeling so trapped by all the expectations that all you want to do is run. Faith apparently has quite the track record of running and I mostly love her for it.

I say mostly because sometimes she goes just a bit too far. Stubborn would be an understatement when describing Faith. She sometimes ignores reason to stick to her guns. And that got a bit irritating. I wanted to shake her and tell her how stupid she was being. Speaking of being stupid - she gets some information at the end of Stray that I'm almost positive will show up in future books because it seemed pretty damn critical and she just shrugs at it and moves on. Yeah dumb move.

But Faith is not a TSTL (too stupid to live) heroine most the time. Most the time she's a fiesty, smart, tough cat and I loved her for it. Her stubbornness was even endearing, especially since it made her a character that is flawed and has room to grow. I don't like my characters too perfect after all.

The pace was good and kept me engaged from beginning to end - Stray had elements of mystery, though mainly it was just a bit of suspense and action. I should note that it does have some scenes with fairly light sexual abuse (if there's such a thing) and mentions of rape, though not graphic. Just in case that's a trigger for someone.

I listened to Stray and Jennifer Van Dyck did a really good job. I thought the voices were distinct and the male voices weren't overly feminine. And I was able to listen at 2x speed with no loss of performance, which doesn't hold true for all narrators. I'm glad I have book 2 on audio too, because I definitely plan to continue soon and I will be listening for sure!

  • The Harvesting (The Harvesting Series Book 1)

  • By: Melanie Karsak
  • Narrated by: Kristin James
  • Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 305
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 286
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 285

While Layla Petrovich returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she never could have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla's cool head, fast blade, and itchy trigger finger to survive the undead apocalypse that's upon them. But even that may not be enough. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A paranormal - horror mashup that works!

  • By jami on 04-09-15

A bit too easy..

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

Reviewed: 06-14-15

3.5 stars

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

To be fair to The Harvesting, I read the majority of it when I was in an extreme reading funk - and it was the first audio book in a string of audio books that I didn't quit. So maybe that alone should earn it more than 3.5 stars - but it still didn't have that special something that made me love it.

I think that my problem - the thing that kept it from being great - was that everything came a bit too easy or was a bit too convenient. It's the Zombie Apocalypse and this town is dealing with it way too well in my opinion. I mean they did lose a lot of people, but it never felt truly catastrophic.

And the main character just so happens to be a medieval warfare and sword fighting expert who speaks Russian dialects fluently. How handy! I think I just like to see things not be so simple.

Despite those negative points, the story is a good one. I liked the way zombies worked in this world and the way the author blended multiple mythologies. Definitely some good world building that kept me curious and - because of how it ended - left me with questions for book 2.

The narration was pretty good as well - I ended up listening at 1.5x-2x speed, which isn't great for most narrators performance. But Kristin James held up under the high speed pressure. I still heard good accents and, for the most part, good variation in voices. There were a few points where characters lost their distinctive voices and blended into each other, but not enough to bother me. I would continue listening if/when I read book 2 in the series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Insurgent

  • Divergent, Book 2
  • By: Veronica Roth
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,544
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,058
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20,187

One choice can transform you - or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves - and herself - while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Decent but not as interesting as Divergent

  • By Lore on 03-08-14

4.5 Stars - Enjoyed every minute

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

Reviewed: 05-30-15

I was thrilled to read Insurgent finally, because (1) I want to see the movie and have a strict rule about reading books BEFORE watching the movie and (2) I'm already into the series. Now that I've read Insurgent I'm equally glad it won. I devoured it in just 2 days time and I've already downloaded Allegiant to start on as soon as I'm done writing this review :)

Even though I read Divergent back in November of 2014, I had no trouble picking up where the story left off - although I did have to try and separate in my head the book's version versus the movie's version since they are slightly different. I felt like the pacing in Insurgent was pretty non-stop, which I loved. Even in the lulls there was a lot going on mentally - Tris was either trying to figure out her own feelings, what was happening on a larger scale, or there were developments within the different factions.

There were so many twists and turns in the story, I don't think it's possible to call all the twists - I did call one of the biggest ones (*mental high five* lol) but I wasn't 100% sure of it until literally the last moments of the audiobook. The story just keeps you on your toes. One of the things I really liked was the stress in Tris and Four/Tobias's relationship - particularly because it wasn't caused by the introduction of third person. No love triangles here - just the stress a new relationship would understandably go through in the midst of a rebellion/war/revolution (it's kind of all three) where both partners are deeply involved and don't always agree 100%. I don't necessarily dislike love triangles, but this was still a refreshing change for a YA dystopian.

Needless to say I did really enjoy the story and I can't exactly tell you why I'm not giving it the full five stars, except to say it wasn't quite five stars. *shrug* But 4.5 is pretty damn good, right? Oh and I should totally mention that Emma Galvin does a really good narration - I listened at 1.5 speed and it still sounded really good, with a variety of voices and clear male voices. Not all narrators can handle that increased speed in my opinion, so I'm putting her down on my list of pretty great narrators.

Can't wait to see how this trilogy wraps up (please don't let it have the YA dystopian third book kiss of death....)

  • Deep in Death

  • Shelby Nichols, Volume 6
  • By: Colleen Helme
  • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 376
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350

Running "errands" for her mob-boss employer Joey "The Knife" Manetto often ends with Shelby in trouble, making her cautious about continuing her association with him. Instead, she focuses on a new client, who hires Shelby to find her missing mother. What seems like a routine case turns into something more sinister and deadly than she ever imagined.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I am now addicted to this series!

  • By Wayne on 09-24-17

Shelby is the EXPERT at getting into trouble!

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

Reviewed: 05-29-15

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I just love my adventures with Shelby Nichols. When Colleen offered to give me an audio edition of Deep in Death for review I was so excited, I rushed through my current audiobook to get to Shelby. And I was not disappointed. Shelby is an EXPERT at getting into trouble :)

Those of you who have seen my previous reviews for this series know that one of my favorite things is that Shelby is a middle aged mother of two and happily married. Not enough of our heroines are this age or in this stage of their lives, so I just really enjoy that element of these books. In Deep in Death that element remains strong and I enjoyed it as much as I always do - it's neat to see the kids are growing older and how that's changing her role as a mother. In previous books Shelby and Ramos started having chemistry and, though it continues to be an undercurrent, I enjoy seeing her maintain a friendship rather than straying from her husband. It's nice to see a healthy relationship - plus the sexual tension that creates with Ramos is fun too ;)

Shelby is just getting back to work in Deep in Death and everyone's trying to keep her from getting into trouble, seeing as she just suffered her SECOND gunshot wound. Seems Shelby doesn't have a clue how to stay out of trouble, even with Uncle Joey backing off. Note, though he isn't using Shelby like he used to, Uncle Joey and Ramos and the gang are still a huge part of this book - thank goodness, because I just love them! The mystery and tension in Deep in Death were at an all time high and I sped through this in just a couple days.

I continue to really enjoy this series on audio - it's really the only way I will read it at this point. Wendy Tremont King IS Shelby and Uncle Joey and Ramos and Chris (Shelby's husband) at this point. I still have to laugh when she does accents, but even her accents are a treat for me at this point.

I'm really excited because the next Shelby book is out on audio already (usually there's more of a wait) so I'll be digging into that soon too!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • My Bluegrass Baby

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,789
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,546
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,535

Sadie Hutchins loves her job at the Kentucky Tourism Commission. Not only could her co-workers double as the cast of Parks and Recreation, but she loves finding the unusual sites, hidden gems, and just-plain-odd tourist attractions of her home state. She’s a shoo-in for the director’s job when her boss retires at the end of the year…until hotshot Josh Vaughn shows up to challenge her for the position. Josh is all sophisticated polish while Sadie’s country comfort, and the two have very different ideas of what makes a good campaign.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi Do It Again!

  • By Maren on 04-12-13

Great Fun and Fantastic Author-Narrator Duo!

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

Reviewed: 04-08-15

I've missed the Molly Harper, Amanda Ronconi duo. Its been almost a year since I picked up an audio book by this duo and it was too long. My Bluegrass Baby was the laugh out loud, sweet romance I've come to expect from Harper. And Ronconi delivers those one-liners so perfectly I don't think you can help but laugh out loud, wherever you are, no matter how inappropriate the timing.

My Bluegrass Baby won't blow you away with the originality of its storyline - you know the end pretty much as soon as you start. But that's really not the point - the getting there is the fun part.

I love the characters Harper creates, they're so real - they are full of glaring flaws and weaknesses, but they have so much heart and goodness too. I loved the main characters Sadie and Josh - even when they were behaving badly.

I'm so used to Harper writing in small town settings, I didn't realize at first that My Bluegrass Baby doesn't have that at all. But she created her own version of a small town in the tourism office's community - they're like that small town where everyone's in everyone's business and, with few exceptions, loves each other like a big, dysfunctional family. I love that element in her books and I'm glad it showed up in a unique way here.

If your looking for a quick romance that will make you smile and laugh, pick up My Bluegrass Baby. And I insist, you HAVE to listen to this one. It would be a shame to miss out on the greatness of Amanda Ronconi!

  • Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage

  • Highland Pleasures, Book 2
  • By: Jennifer Ashley
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,670
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,566
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,565

Lady Isabella Scranton scandalized London by leaving her husband, notorious artist Lord Mac Mackenzie, after only three turbulent years of marriage. But Mac has a few tricks to get the Lady back in his life, and more importantly, back into his bed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Emotionally Fullfilling

  • By Felicia The Geeky Blogger on 12-30-13

Almost as good as the 1st

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

Reviewed: 03-30-15

3.5 stars
**This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.**

The problem with loving the first book in a series as much as I loved The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie is that it sets some really high expectations. And while I loved Mack (the male MC) he just can't hold a candle to his brother Ian. I think what made the previous book so great was that it was SO DIFFERENT from any historical romance I'd ever read - because Ian was so special.

The point is, I was disappointed, but only because book 1 was SO GOOD. Which means Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage was still a great historical romance. I love this family - the brothers are close and support each other, but they bicker just like you'd expect brothers to do. And they have a horrible reputation in high society, being the infamous Scottish MacKenzie Brothers. I love seeing how wrong everyone is about them. I mean, yeah, they're scandalous. But they're also GOOD people, a bit damaged and rough around the edges, but wonderful just the same.

And it takes a special breed of woman to love a MacKenzie brother and survive it intact - Beth was perhaps more cut out for this life than the genteel Isabella, whom Mack eloped with the same night he met her at her coming out ball! Yeah, scandalous! (side note - I loved seeing Beth and Ian's relationship continue!)

I really enjoyed that Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage was a AFTER love-at-first-sight falls apart story - Isabella and Mack have been through some rough times following their whirlwind marriage and they didn't know how to deal with the realities together, so when we join them they've been separated for three years, with little hope anything will ever change back. It's a great story line and there's nothing like seeing a couple fight for a love they once had and fall in love again.

There was some great mystery and some small surprises along the way that made Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage a fun, quick read - made even better by Angela Dawe's fabulous narration. She does great voices and personalities really come through. I'm glad I decided to grab this series on audio and can't wait to move forward!

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