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Rayleigh Gray

  • 10
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 14
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  • Where There's Smoke

  • Sweet Sins Series, Book 2
  • By: Kathy Coopmans
  • Narrated by: Lacy Laurel, Lorenzo Matthews
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

The lives of Dean Wagner and Tatum Fields have been ruled by the hand of fate. The past six years of my life have been consumed by guilt. Since we lost Landon to a fire, I’ve done everything in my power to protect my daughter, Leila, from finding out the truth about how her twin brother died. Nothing in my life means more to me than her. Not my band, not my reputation. Nothing. Until I see Tatum, the woman I saved on the beach the same night she dealt with a loss of her own. The daily routine I’ve settled into is what keeps me going. Work at my chocolate shop, pay the bills, repeat.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Heartbreaking emotional

  • By carvanz on 05-28-18

Not for me at all

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

Reviewed: 10-26-18

The premise of this book was quite enticing to me. A drummer and a chocolatier, both with broken pasts, destined by fate to meet…again. I also sensed the promise of mystery, some suspense, and even “family moments” between the father and his daughter.

But I was completely disappointed. Appalled even.

For the entire first 3 chapters, the characters hit me as “woe-is-me”. I completely understand illustrating their brokenness, and I also completely understand that both had gone through tremendous heartache, but saying the same thing in different ways for several, long, chapters was just too much. At first, I was quite taken with the author’s choice of describing their pain: the story told in first person, and the use of analogies and eloquent speech captured me immediately. But as the chapters went on, the sentences and thoughts became the same and I found myself bored with the story, ready for a subject change that never came.

On top of this, the cursing was overwhelming. The “F” word was used most commonly by our male main character in just about every sentence, and don’t forget, the book is told in first person. Most of the time, cursing doesn’t bother me, but surely this much cursing isn’t needed to write a compelling story. It left almost no room for creative writing.

I had expected sexual content as well, so I’m here to say that I wasn’t wrong…though my expectations were blown completely out of the water. I bailed on the book once “adult toys” were brought into the plot.

Needless to say, with the plot being as slow as it was, the characters as boring as they were, and the content that was all present in just the first 3 chapters, this book is most definitely only going to receive 1 out of 5 stars from me and I advise against reading it.

I received this audiobook from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

This is a LiteratureApproved (.com) Review.

  • Ramesses the Great

  • Ozymandias, Egyptian King of Kings
  • By: in60Learning
  • Narrated by: Alexander Doddy
  • Length: 1 hr and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

This biography introduces listeners to Ramesses II's many accomplishments as both a warrior-king and a god-king. When he died at age 96, Egyptians believed him to be a higher deity than any who preceded him; in some ways, he achieved eternal life by living on in memory through the end of the Egyptian Empire and beyond. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great in depth intro!

  • By Adam on 11-05-18

Love the narrator!

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

Reviewed: 10-26-18

in60learning is way for you to brush up on a topic in 60 minutes or less! You can choose a person or historic time and an hour later, you’ll be smarter than ever! A perfect resource for students!

Ramesses the Great is a great follow up to Hatshepsut if you're wanting to brush up on Egyptian history.

Just like other titles by in60learning, Ramesses is short, to the point, and filled with useful information. It's not overwhelming in its delivery and I enjoyed the exploration of Egyptian culture that each chapter took me through.

The narrator, Alexander Doddy, made it 100 times better than the others I've listened to! His personality and lively voice brought the story together in a way that brings the listeners into the story and makes even the boring-ish parts interesting! I'm certainly a fan of him.

Overall, I really enjoy Ramesses the Great and once again recommend it as an excellent student resource! 4 out of 5 stars. 

I received this book from in60learning for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

This is a LiteratureApproved (.com) Review.

  • Hatshepsut

  • The Pharaoh-Queen of Egypt
  • By: in60Learning
  • Narrated by: Michael Fitzpatrick
  • Length: 1 hr and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

When Pharaoh Thutmose II died, he left an heir far too young to rule Egypt. His widow Hatshepsut stepped up to take his place. For at least the next 20 years, Hatshepsut ruled as Pharaoh King of Egypt in an era of prosperous growth and peace. When she died, her nephew Thutmose III attempted to smear her good name and wipe her memory from history. However, despite his efforts, his aunt Hatshepsut holds the title of most famous native Egyptian woman to ever rule as pharaoh; she also retains a legacy as one of the most successful female leaders in early history. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • another interesting woman leader

  • By Margaret on 11-05-18

Informative and enjoyable!

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

History was never my favorite subject in school, but I’ve always been intrigued with the Egyptian lifestyles from so long ago. Their livelihoods and beliefs were just so different from other cultures that I enjoyed learning about it.

That being said, I was excited to learn more about one of my favorite pharaohs: Hatshepsut. Everything about her life is just so fascinating and even though little is known about her in great detail, her legacy of being a powerful, just, and compassionate pharaoh has survived the centuries.

In this audiobook, we not only learn about Hatshepsut and her accomplishments as a female pharaoh, but we are also informed of why certain decisions in her rule were looked upon by the people in the way they that they were. So there is a lot of information on Egyptian culture in general.

I could probably ramble on about how informative this short book is, so I’ll just say that I was very pleased with it. It’s not overwhelming in its presentation, flows easily between its topics, and the narrator did a fantastic job; especially at pronouncing the difficult Egyptian names.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it especially to those interested in Egyptian history.

I received this book from in60learning for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

This is a LiteratureApproved (.com) Review.

  • The Enigma Factor

  • The Enigma Series, Book 1
  • By: Charles V Breakfield, Roxanne E Burkey
  • Narrated by: Steven Jay Cohen
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 42

Jacob has settled into a quiet routine of a techno geek after his mother dies. The plans he made are disrupted when he discovers his life is in danger. He sets off on a mission that takes him into new technology views and exposes to him the inner-workings of unknown global technologists. Jacob learns that safeguards for technology are always evolving and being exploited. His challenge becomes how to keep ahead of the criminals and identify who to trust.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting start to a new series

  • By Matthew on 07-16-17

A great tech-y thriller!

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

Reviewed: 10-01-18

Technology can be a scary thing, especially when criminals are involved.

The Enigma Factor is a thriller that is pushed by the characters. They are incredibly well described and each have very good and unique personalities. The story is also well thought-out and unpredictable in most of its outcome, though there are a few very easily predicted scenes.

I really enjoyed the technology aspect of the story and thought that it was well placed in the world setting. What I didn’t like however, was how high the romance was and the cursing. There were multiple sex scenes and they seemed to just be thrown in for the sake of including them. The romance would have survived better, in my opinion, without the sexual tension present, plus, I would have enjoyed the book a lot more had they been omitted.

So overall, I liked the story and the characters, but because of the other content, I’ll only be rating The Enigma Factor 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from AudioBookWorm for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

This is a LiteratureApproved (.com) Review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns

  • Dragonia Empire, Volume 1
  • By: Craig A. Price Jr.
  • Narrated by: Reuben Corbett
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

The Resistance struggles to find a way to defeat the Dragonia Empire; all hope seems lost against the dragon riders, until they discover an island full of wyverns. Devarius has lost everything. His parents murdered, his sister kidnapped, and the new village he called home: destroyed. The Dragonia Empire has gotten out of control, destroying everything in its path searching for the Resistance. Devarius is left with little choice but to find the Resistance, join them, and hope he can help them defeat the Dragonia Empire once and for all to bring peace to the land of Kaeldroga.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A fun adventure.

  • By cosmitron on 06-12-18

A fantastic adventure!

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

Reviewed: 09-24-18

What a ride!

Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns was definitely my kind of adventure! It starts off with one of those beginnings like Jurassic Park and just gets even better from there.

I ADORED the characters! Every one of them were so unique and well developed. And the dragons and wyverns? They were flawless! The story has a good pace, not too slow, but not rushed either.

And the narrator did a stupendous job at reading. I loved his accents and character differentiation and he was amazing at telling the story with the necessary emotion. I was also immensely pleased that there was no cursing or sexual content either, just some mild kissing. Though the action definitely gets vivid and gory at times.

So overall, I loved this audiobook and will definitely need to finish the series! I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this audiobook from the author via Audiobookworm Promotions for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

This is a LiteratureApproved (.com) Review.

  • Greek Mythology

  • Beyond Mount Olympus
  • By: in60Learning
  • Narrated by: Jill Rolls
  • Length: 1 hr and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

You’ve heard of Zeus, Poseidon, Aphrodite, etc. But what do you know about the Greek underworld, minor gods, and mythical beasts? Do you know how these stories were passed on from generation to generation or what significance they held for the people who believed in them? This fascinating audiobook introduces readers to the canon of Greek mythology and its influence on the world today in language, storytelling, and even science. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent concise overview!

  • By Adam on 10-10-18

Informational, but overwhelming

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

Greek Mythology is an extremely broad topic, nevertheless, it's one that has always intrigued me. Especially since so much of our modern language and stories are derived from these myths.

In this volume of in60learning, we spend an hour listening to stories about the Greek gods, explanations of their origins, and even how Greek mythology affects us today in the modern world. 

I've reviewed a book for in60learning before (Detroit: From Boom to Bust and Back Again) however, this is my first audiobook from them. First, I'd like to say that I love the concept of in60learning! Sometimes, we're too busy to pick up a 900+ page documentary on a subject we're interested in, so in60learing has created resources that you can read, or listen to, in just 60 minutes! Now, because there is such a short amount of time, you can't expect tons of detail to be included, but if you're looking for a quick topic overview (or you're a student needing some sources for a paper), in60learning has quite a list to choose from.

As for this particular volume, I would have much preferred to read the book rather than listen to it. I love audiobooks, and the narrator certainly did a great job, but there is just so much information packed into this that it is literally overwhelming to listen to. I would have preferred reading it at a much slower pace, looking at the words myself, and probably taking a little bit longer than an hour to soak all the info in. It's just a lot, very sudden.

I did like the structure though. First they cover the origins of the gods according to beliefs, then how the gods interacted with humanity, stories of human heroes, and how so much of our culture (like Marvel and DC comics) are inspired from Greek myths. I definitely learned a lot.

So, I do recommend this book, as well as other material from this publisher, I just don't recommend the audiobook over the book. You'd likely learn much more reading the book at your own pace.  I give the audio 3 out of 5 stars. 

I would like to note that the topic of Greek Mythology is very sexual at times and this book does not leave that out. I would not advice this to be a resource for young students.

I received this audiobook from in60learning for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

This is a Literature Approved (.com) Review.

  • The Liberty Box, Book 1

  • By: C.A. Gray
  • Narrated by: Melissa Williams
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of 24, she's the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancée and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she's been living a lie. Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic. Authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room called The Liberty Box

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very Impressive

  • By Maya K. on 08-04-17

Clean, exciting, and an excellent story!

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

Reviewed: 07-12-18

"It's hard to see the truth when you're constantly bombarded with the false." -The Liberty Box

Believing the truth is often hard enough, but what if it's your own eyes that are lying to you?

The Liberty Box is the perfect combination of adrenaline, wit, humor, and surprises. Everything about this book never once lost my interest, not in the perfectly paced and detailed action, not in the slower scenes that let us catch our breath and think, and certainly not in the plot that was so full of twists. This book is so good.

Jackson and Kate are both excellent main characters and they both grow so much throughout the story. They're likable enough at the beginning of the book, but by the end, they are so real that it's hard not to love them. I was also concerned with how realistic Kate's transition from believing the lies, passionately, would be to suddenly believing the truth without question, but that concern was unnecessary because it was handled stupendously. 

 The story itself is also extremely clean! There are a few of the milder curse words sprinkled throughout (perhaps 12 at most) and there are no sexual scenes, comments, or actions, which is a huge relief compared to the books I've come across so commonly recently! The romances are pure, based on real relationship and friendship between the couples and a few brief kisses, so nothing grossly detailed. 

I firmly believe that the narrator is responsible for at least 40% of why this audiobook is so good. Michelle Williams did a flawless job in depicting each character's voice, creating suspense when suspense was intended to surface, and setting the tone for dialogue. This is definitely one of my more favorite audiobooks and I will be quick to listen to another narrated by Michelle Williams.
The Liberty Box is book 1 of 3 in The Liberty Box Trilogy and you can definitely expect to see the other 2 featured on my site in the near future. I give book 1 a full 5 out of 5 stars and will be patiently waiting by the mailbox until the next book arrives ;) 

I received this audiobook for the purpose of this review via The Audio Book Worm. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

This is a LiteratureApproved.com Review.

  • Looking for Dei

  • By: David A. Willson
  • Narrated by: Tanya Eby
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never been good at keeping secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious adoptive father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift. A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her and her friend on a path.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An exciting story that is well developed

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 04-23-18

An excellent Fantasy!

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

Reviewed: 06-18-18

“The answer to a prophecy. Tender to those around her. Deadly to her enemies.

Looking For Dei is a different type of Fantasy novel that allows us to watch the story unfold from all directions. We switch between the point of views of Nara and Mykel primarily, but there are a few scenes from their enemies’ point of views (yes, multiple enemies) which I thought really heightened the tension. We were able to feel dread for what we knew was to come, even though where they were through most of the story didn’t require a tight grip on the book.”

The narrator did a fantastic job of capturing this story and bringing the characters to life.

At first, it took me a little bit to get used to her reading style, because it sounded a little too automated for my taste. But after a couple chapters, I began to quite like the way she read and I think she did a great job with this book I had already grown to love.

The novel itself received a full 5 out of 5 stars rating and I give the audio book version 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from the author via AudioBookWorm for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own. This is a LiteratureApproved review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Legacy

  • The Biodome Chronicles Series, Book 1
  • By: Jesikah Sundin
  • Narrated by: Sunil Patel
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

A sensible young nobleman and his fiery sister live in an experimental medieval village. Sealed inside this biodome since infancy, Leaf and Willow have been groomed by The Code to build a sustainable world, one devoid of Outsider interference. One that believes death will give way to life. All is ideal until their father bequeaths a family secret with his dying breath, placing an invisible crown of power on Leaf's head. Now, everyone in their quiet town is suspect.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great world building, intriguing characters . . .

  • By The Book Junkie Reads . . . on 02-08-18

One of the best I've listened to!

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

Reviewed: 02-08-18

Formed around the bond of a brother and sister, we are transported into a world that seems stuck between its future and its past; and the characters must make the appropriate choices to keep everything from falling apart. 

I absolutely LOVED this story! It is so unique and captivating, not only the story itself, but the characters too. The narrator was simply stunning, perfectly capturing the tone of the book and providing the correct emphasis in every sentence. At one point while listening, I caught myself looking to the TV thinking that I was watching a show instead of listening to a book! 

As for the cleanliness of the novel, there always seems to be mild violence in YA novels, so in addition to that, there is a descriptive scene of grieving the loss of a loved-one that some audiences may be able to relate to a little too well and therefor may be disturbed by this scene. Aside from this, I was very pleased with how this book ended and await book two with eagerness. 

Legacy comes highly recommended! 5 out of 5 stars! 

This review was originally published on LiteratureApproved .com. I received a free copy of this book from Audio Book Worm for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Transcend Time Saga: The Complete Series

  • By: Michelle Madow
  • Narrated by: Andrea Emmes
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from 1815, England...but she doesn't know it until she meets her soulmate from the past and he triggers her memories to gradually return. When Drew Carmichael moves to Lizzie's town, she feels a connection to him, like she knows him. But he wants nothing to do with her. She knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, but that gets harder and harder as memories of her past life return. And the more Lizzie remembers, the more she's determined to unravel the mysteries of the past...no matter how deadly those secrets might be.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic read, great narration

  • By Haddie H. on 01-21-18

Captivating and Entertaining!

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

Reviewed: 10-25-17

I received this audiobook from The AudioBookWorm for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

This fantasy romance was such fun to listen to! Beautifully written, and excellently narrated, the listener is sure to be entertained by Remembrance.

I was surprised at how clean this book is. No cursing and the romance is mild, though the high school students like to hint in their conversations about their night life. The characters are all well developed, relatable in their actions, and their feelings are portrayed very well back to the listener.

The story is quite fascinating and there are just enough surprises and unexpected scenes to keep the listener interested and engaged with Lizzie and Drew’s story.

I thought the narrator did a good job in her readings, though I did notice several glitches in the recordings of a few sentences, where I assume the recording was either paused or cut. Though, other than being slightly annoyed at these glitches, I didn’t feel as if I had missed any of the story, so I was pleased with the overall audiobook experience.

I give Remembrance 4 out of 5 stars and can’t wait to finish the rest of the Transcended Time Saga!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful