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jstep

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  • All the Things We Lost

  • River Valley Lost & Found Series, Book 1
  • By: Kayla Tirrell
  • Narrated by: Katie Brown
  • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4

After her mother’s death, 18-year-old Katie finds herself in a town she never thought she'd see again. Lost in turmoil and sadness, a ray of hope shines brightly when she comes face to face with Julian for the first time in years. However, he isn’t the same boy she left behind. Reserved and covered in bruises, everyone in River Valley avoids him. Rumors of his activities run rampant. Despite his cold attitude toward her and her own sadness, Katie can’t keep her thoughts from straying to her childhood friend.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • YA novel dealing with loss at a young(er) age...

  • By jstep on 11-07-18

YA novel dealing with loss at a young(er) age...

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

Reviewed: 11-07-18

All the Things We Lost is Book 1 in the River Valley Lost & Found series by Kayla Tirrell. This book was easy to get into and it wasn't a bad listen at all. I just wanted a bit more depth from it. Both Julian and Katie have lost loved ones and both have gone through/are going through their own ways of dealing with it. Once childhood best friends, they've reconnected after Katie moves back to live with her father after her mom dies. They've both changed. Especially Julian, who initially treats Katie like a complete stranger. As their deal with their losses, initially on their own and then together, they grow closer and closer and what was once a deep friendship turns into a sweet romance.

I was kind of torn between 3 and 4 stars with this one. Though this is a YA novel, I felt that there was too little depth to it, even for a younger audience. Katie's mom passes away and she has issues with her father, though it felt as if that area was barely touched on and then at the end, resolved, or at least in the process of being resolved. Julian's issues with his father got a bit more resolution, but I felt as if the conflict with his brother wasn't really resolved either. I guess I would have just liked a bit more depth and a more complete story that gave me the feels. It was a good listen, though I didn't really care too much about any of the characters if that makes sense. I liked Gwen a lot as the main secondary character though. She definitely added to the story as a friend of both Katie and Julian.

Katie Brown did a good job with narrating this book, though I would have liked to have heard a bit more emotion and depth in her voice. I would try more of her narrations in the future though, as her cadence, pronunciation, etc. was good. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • What Doesn't Kill You

  • Twisted, Book 1
  • By: Jo Ho
  • Narrated by: Allyson Voller
  • Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

When Marley moves into her dorm at Blackville University, the recent murder of a Tennerson student is the last thing on her mind. She has roommates to get to know, classes to sign up for, parties to attend, and an over-protective father to avoid, who, as luck would have it, has just been hired at BU as its newest history professor. After a childhood of being bullied due to a condition she can't help having, all Marley wants is to be normal. She hopes a new start in a new city will provide that. Unfortunately, life has other plans for her. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • the story of 4 girls discovering their true power

  • By Leticia Crow on 11-08-18

Great start to a promising new series!

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

What Doesn't Kill You is Book 1 of the Twisted series by Jo Ho. First off, it was a lot of fun and I can definitely tell that Jo Ho has written for the screen before. I can totally see this as a show on the CW or Freeform. This is the story of Marley, a girl who is starting college at Blackville U, which also happens to be the same school where her father is teaching. Anyways, she meets her roommate and a few other people and during one crazy night, she discovers that there's more to the group than they had ever expected! This book was written well and does a good job of introducing the main characters to the listener and really sets things up for the next book in the series. I didn't want it to end!! So just to note, this isn't a book with a cliffhanger, per se, but know that everything won't be all tied up with a shiny bow at the end of this book. It's meant to make you want to listen or read the next book in the series.

Allyson Voller did a good job narrating this first installment of the Twisted series and I think she would be a wise choice for the others to come as well. She does a great job of giving each character a unique voice and adds the perfect amount of emotion while narrating when it's called for. I'm looking forward to listening to her narrate the next books in the series! I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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  • The Fix

  • By: Michael Balkind, Ryan Burr
  • Narrated by: Alex Perlman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

Star college quarterback, Colt Walker, has it all: good looks, brains, one of the best arms in the game, not to mention potential for the Heisman and a first round NFL draft pick, until he puts it all on the line as he slides into the ugly world of sports gambling. College football referee, Frank Gastner, is a man stewing in his own misery, consumed by a drinking problem, heavy gambling debt, and heading into a nasty divorce.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A fun, enjoyable, easy listen...

  • By jstep on 10-24-18

A fun, enjoyable, easy listen...

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

Reviewed: 10-24-18

The Fix by Michael Balkind and Ryan Burr is an easy listening story about Colt Walker, successful college quarterback, a Heisman front runner and general all around good guy. Life is good....except for the fact that he's broke. Focusing on his football career and (hopeful) draft into the NFL hasn't left much time for a job. So he breaks his own rules and starts gambling on games...

I enjoyed this book. If you're anticipating a football book, you're going to be sorely disappointed. This book more so revolves around gambling addiction, debt and one kids story of how easy it was to get into it and get hooked, as well as the repercussions that he faced when things didn't go so well. It was an entertaining, if not a tad bit predictable, listen. Regardless of whether I could see what was coming at the end for miles or not (I could), I still enjoyed the time that I spent listening and would recommend this book for someone who is intrigued by the summary, but again, understands that this ISN'T a football novel and is looking for a casual read that isn't going to make you think hard, just listen and enjoy.

Alex Perlman did a good job with the narration. I think his voice fit Colt's character well and he voiced well-developed, unique voices for the secondary character in the book as well. The book was read with a good amount of narration where appropriate and I would listen to more books narrated by Mr. Perlman in the future. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Touchfeather

  • By: Jimmy Sangster
  • Narrated by: Helen Taylor
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Katy Touchfeather is a carefree, red-headed airline stewardess who is actually a top British spy. She's lethal, seductive, and as ruthless as any double-O. Her latest assignment is to track down a scientist suspected of selling secrets to the Russians. It's a high-stakes, global escapade that takes an unexpected violent turn that shatters her life...and ultimately pits her against a billionaire industrialist with terrifying intentions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Touchfeather!

  • By J and M on 01-16-18

Loved it! Strong female espionage thriller...

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

Reviewed: 10-16-18

What can I say about Touchfeather by Jimmy Sangster other than I just loved it and couldn't stop listening to it. For a novel that was written back in the 60's, it's totally reminiscent of Ian Flemming and the old James Bond movies. Katy Touchfeather is a female British spy who isn't perfect, lets her feelings lead her occasionally, but is still a pretty strong, kick-butt main character. It seems anyone she falls in love with dies. Including Bill Partman, an inventor that she is sent to keep tabs on to make sure that he isn't sharing info with the bad guys. I won't give away more, but needless to say, I highly recommend this book and wish there were more Sangster novels on Audible so I could continue on with Ms. Touchfeather's adventures!

Helen Taylor did an absolutely fabulous job narrating this story and playing the role of Katy Touchfeather. Her narration brought life to the characters and, well, she just IS Katy Touchfeather. Between great writing and great narration, it was so easy to fall into this book and really listen to it and imagine it as if I was watching a movie in my head. I definitely recommend this book to others and would listen to more Sangster books if they become available on Audible. I'll also actively look for more books to listen to that have been narrated by Ms. Taylor. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • BOO! A Halloween Story

  • God Complex Universe
  • By: George Saoulidis
  • Narrated by: John York
  • Length: 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

When a young man from a village comes to the big city to study, he finds himself overwhelmed by the urban lifestyle. But will he manage to blend in by going to a Halloween party, when his crush asks him to help decorate the place, when the abandoned villa becomes all too spooky for him and when the illusory masks everyone wears seem to never come off?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a bad trip must be like

  • By Spooky Mike on 02-25-18

Fun, near futuristic short story...

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

Reviewed: 10-16-18

Boo! A Halloween Story by George Saoulidis was a fun, quick listen, though nothing like what I had been expecting. As others have mentioned in their reviews, this is a perfect fit for those who enjoy Tales From the Darkside or Twilight Zone. I don't want to give anything away, as it's such a short listen, but this story takes place in the nearer future. There is some futuristic tech that really makes up much of the story, but people are still people. There's a Halloween party...and a girl...and the main character gets himself into more than he bargained for when he decides to had to the party and get the girl. Enjoyable listen!

John York's narration was well done. I enjoyed his British accent and he was easy to understand and had a good narrating cadence. He was able to bring the characters, especially the main character, to life. This was my first story narrated by Mr. York that I've listened to, though I'd happily listen to more stories narrated by him in the future. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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  • Twisted Saga

  • Coming of Age Romance
  • By: Third Cousins, Danica Reid
  • Narrated by: Samuel Deeter
  • Length: 2 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

When Jason’s father leaves after having an affair, he turns to food for comfort. Sophie is quick to spot his weight gain and ensures that the next few years of his life are hell. Jason has one thing to look forward to though: college. It’s a chance to start fresh and create a cooler version of the person he used to be. He spends all summer getting back into shape, and things finally seem to be going his way, until a familiar face shows up and brings everything crashing down around him. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A bit juvenile

  • By Pam C on 10-22-18

Good Teen short story with some good lessons...

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

Reviewed: 10-15-18

Twisted Saga by Third Cousins, Danica Reid was an enjoyable listen, but I do have to preface my review by saying that I really didn't see it as a romance. Like, really. At all. Aside from that, this was an enjoyable listen and I felt that it carried some valuable lessons in the three short sections that make up the "Boxed Set." Now if you're an adult listening to this saga, might you be bored by the lack of a super deep plot and somewhat simpler characters? Perhaps. This is categorized as a teen listen though, and I felt that the writing was well done for that particular age group. Without giving away too much, this saga deals with bullying, suicide, murder, rumors, friendship, relationships, etc. That's a lot of just over two hours. Jason was my favorite character and I loved how he was there for Sophie throughout, even though she had been pretty crappy to him in the past. I'd definitely recommend this for the teen listener.

Samuel Deeter did a good job narrating Twisted Saga. There were some tough, emotional spots throughout this listen and he handled them well and with a good amount of emotion. I felt he was a good narrator for these stories and I'd definitely listen to his performances in the future. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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  • Not Exactly Love: A Memoir

  • By: Betty Hafner
  • Narrated by: Patricia Santomasso
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

It was 1969, and all the rules were changing, when Betty, a woefully single French teacher on Long Island, met the handsome but edgy new teacher at her school -- a hippie just back from Woodstock. His vitality opened up a new world to her, but when they married his rages turned against her, and often ended with physical violence. Like millions of women who discover they've married an abusive man, Betty was forced to make daily decisions to suppress her feelings or risk confrontation, to keep it secret or report, and ultimately, to live with it or leave. Part gripping story, part warm-hearted look at the '70s, and part therapeutic journey. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful

  • By Sarah Smith on 03-31-18

Authentic, insightful, sad...

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

Reviewed: 10-15-18

Not Exactly Love: A Memoir by Betty Hafner was good. Well, it actually wasn't good, or enjoyable to listen to, or entertaining in the very least. What it was is true and authentic...and humbling and reminds me of how lucky I am to have been able to escape my close encounter with a verbally abusive ex-fiance. I don't really know what else to say about this book except that it's the real deal and thankfully Betty has now been able to extricate herself from Jack's clutches. If you want to know what abuse can be like, listen to this book. If you're currently in an abusive relationship and want to know you're not alone or your abuser's actions are not unique and there is no easy "fix" for them, listen to this book.

I felt that Patricia Santomasso did a good job narrating this memoir. There's nothing "easy" or "fun" about this narration, as it's just a very difficult and heavy memoir of Betty's abuse throughout her meeting and then marrying Jack. I actually felt that her voice, though narrated well, also held a little hollowness such as one might sound when they've been through the ringer over and over again and have become a little numb. Anyways, good overall performance. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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  • Murder in Pebble Beach

  • The Monterey Peninsula Murder Mysteries, Book 3
  • By: Arlene Grace
  • Narrated by: April Richwine
  • Length: 4 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6

From the well-known author of the popular series, The Monterey Peninsula Murder Mysteries. Arlene Grace introduces her third installment, Murder in Pebble Beach. Taking place in the idealistic, small, and wealthy community of Pebble Beach located on the Central Coast of California. After a major earthquake hits the coast off of Pebble Beach, California, prominent Dentist Dr. Bob Reed is reported missing shortly after sharing an incredible secret with his brother.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great!

  • By mandy on 01-07-18

Couldn't get past poor narration...

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

Murder in Pebble Beach by Arlene Grace is Book 3 in The Monterrey Peninsula Murder Mysteries series. First off, I would recommend listening to the other books in the series first if you are interested in this book. Listening to the book, I wasn't aware that Abbey was a main character in the other stories and I felt that her part in this book, which was fairly large, didn't fit in with the murder mystery and the shipwreck story. That being said, now that I know that it's part of an ongoing storyline, it makes more sense. The story itself was okay. I think it honestly would have been more enjoyable to read in book form, as I couldn't get into the story because of the narrator. If you've read more of Ms. Grace's stories and enjoyed them though, I'm sure you would enjoy this story.

April Richwine's narration was pretty poorly done and was the main reason that I wasn't able to get into this book. When Abbey and her boyfriend are talking and things are a little steamy, a flat, monotone voice does absolutely nothing to bring me into the story. It feels false and like a person is just reading the words without attempting to put any emotion into what they're saying. That being said, there were other times like when Abbey was with I think it was her mom and some other woman, where the emotion was there. The two women, when conversing with Abbey's ex-boyfriend, had a cute southern accent and were read with emotion. It was the other majority of the book though, where that emotion was lacking. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

Did you find this review helpful? If so, would you please take a moment and select the 'helpful' button below? Thanks so much! Also, it's funny to note that at this time any negative reviews are getting voted not helpful and the two positive reviews got helpful votes. We are asked to be honest in our review. Even a negative review may help others decide whether to listen to a book or not. Just saying!

  • Lonely Magnolia

  • By: John Isaac Jones
  • Narrated by: Tom Zainea
  • Length: 1 hr and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

A shy, lonely computer genius tries to find love in the digital age. He would never be the same! The story of Pygmalion for the 21st century!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lonely Magnolia

  • By ZOE R on 12-11-17

Poor guy didn't know what hit him!

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

Lonely Magnolia by John Isaac Jones was, in my opinion, a super enjoyable short story with a unique twist. Now, as some reviewers have noted, Carl, being a super tech wunderkind, isn't really written in this short story in a very techy way, so you have to let that go a bit to enjoy the story without getting held up on the lack of super accurate tech talk. Regardless, this is the short story of a man who designed an amazing algorithm for online dating and then ends up entering the online dating world with surprising results.

Tom Zainea did a great job narrating Lonely Magnolia. He voiced both the male and female characters really well and had the accents down wonderfully. Not every man can pull off a southern woman's voice, but Mr. Zainea's voice didn't sound forced at all. A very enjoyable listen. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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  • Whiskey Secrets

  • Whiskey and Lies Book 1
  • By: Carrie Ann Ryan
  • Narrated by: Gregory Salinas
  • Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28

Dare Collins is a man who knows his whiskey and women-or at least that's what he tells himself. When his family decides to convert the apartments over his bar and tap house into an inn and hires on a new innkeeper, he's more than reluctant. Especially when he meets the new hire. But he'll soon find that he has no choice but to work with this city girl and accept her new ideas and the burning attraction between them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Secrets, Secrets, Secrets

  • By Listening is Reading on 02-13-18

This was a nice, easy, enjoyable listen...

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

Whiskey Secrets by Carrie Ann Ryan was a nice and easy listen. Were there a few predictable parts? Yes, but the story was unique and well written and made for an enjoyable afternoon listen. Dare and his family own a bar/inn and Kenzie is hired to run the inn part of the business, as Dare's parents are looking to retire. Kenzie and Dare are drawn to each other but both harbor their own secrets that could pull them apart or put them in danger. Neither one of them really wants to let anyone in after the things that they've been through either. This is the story of them falling in love and the obstacles that they have to overcome to see if they have a real possibility of a future together. Again, like I said, this was a nice and easy listen and if the summary sounds enjoyable, then I'd recommend this book for you.

Gregory Salinas narrated Whiskey Secrets really well. The main characters, Dare and Kenzie, were both performed really well, as were the other characters. Each person had their own distinct voice and the perfect amount of emotion to bring them to life. Mr. Salinas even did a great job with the female voices, which sometimes male narrators have a difficult time with. I'd listen to more of his narrations in the future without hesitation. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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