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Kinako Ice

NC, USA
  • 27
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 141
  • ratings
  • Enchanting Pleasures

  • The Pleasures Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Eloisa James
  • Narrated by: Susan Duerden
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 479
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 439
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 439

Gabrielle Jerningham cherishes the portrait of her betrothed, the perfect Peter Dewland... until she meets his commanding older brother Quill. But it is Peter to whom she has been promised. And how can she possibly transform her voluptuous, outspoken self into the poised gentlewoman Peter requires?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thankfully this is finally an audiobook

  • By Maine Knitter on 04-23-15

More Turbulent than Fluff

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

Reviewed: 09-23-18

With slight reservation, I recommend this book. I haven’t listened to the previous two books yet, but intend to. Sophie, the character in the second book, was a really delightful and supportive friend for Gabby and makes me want to hear her story in particular.
What I enjoyed: Gabby and Quill seem like a good match, and there’s definitely chemistry. I felt invested in the characters. Also, I appreciated the slightly more thorough depiction of what happens at a ball. The story has both humor and drama and features a couple rather steamy scenes as well.

What detracted: This book was very frustrating due to either characters’ density or stubbornness and at times I had to take listening breaks before getting through it. The characters are passionate and their conflicts seemed to escalate quickly at times. It’s definitely a story of a volatile love. Gabby was lovable although a little innocent in a puritan kind of way.
When they were attuning to one another and things were good, I thought Gabby and Quill were an awesome couple. All the times when they were together and not fighting, was great, and makes the book worth it. But they fight a lot. I mean… big ones too. By the end I kinda just wanted the turmoil to end and I briefly had a self-righteous thought that it’d serve Gabby right if she died.

The main conflict at the end was probably the most disturbing to me. It is similar in weight and disturbing-ness to what the heroine did in Julia Quinn’s “The Duke and I,” (a book, which minus that part, I thought was very good). As a proponent for both self-determination and consent, it felt wrong. That said, James makes the heroine’s motivations clear and therefore I could sympathize while also disagreeing with her choice.

It has a happy ending, and I like the characters – but the constant ups and downs and randomly heavy/sad moments (deaths) were somewhat jarring and ultimately kept it from being as even and rewarding as I’d hoped for.

  • The Heiress's Deception

  • Sinful Brides, Book 4
  • By: Christi Caldwell
  • Narrated by: Tim Campbell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114

Lady Eve Pruitt has never forgotten her childhood friend, the young pickpocket Calum, who she feared had been condemned to the gallows. Now, years later, Eve is the one in danger. Her brother, made desperate by gambling debts, threatens to steal her inheritance, and Eve has no choice but to run. Under an assumed name, she takes a job as a bookkeeper at the notorious Hell and Sin Club. Nothing in this bawdy den shocks her more than discovering that her employer is none other than Calum.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best for Last?

  • By Kinako Ice on 08-07-18

Best for Last?

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

Reviewed: 08-07-18

Comments on the series: I listened to all four of the Sinful Brides books in less than a week, one right after the other – popped ‘em like popcorn! The first, to me, was the weakest of the series and they each got increasingly better with every succession. After finishing the second book, I was sold and immediately bought the on-sale kindle books and then audio/whispersync versions because it cost less to buy both versions paired at the time. I would still recommend listening to the first book to get a little background and for completion’s sake – but if you really want to skip it, start with the second, The Scoundrel’s Honor. The third and fourth are my favorites of the series, and I will be re-listening to them in the near future.

The somewhat taboo pairings between people working/living in the gaming hell and the aristocracy is a commonly found trope in regency romance, however I found Caldwell’s take of this dynamic to be interesting and her characters in this series and in particular, this book, were great. The Heiress’s Deception is a good blend of light entertainment and drama. It’ll tug at those heart strings a bit at times, but won’t leave you depressed or too despondent at any point. The love scenes are not overly graphic or long, but are pleasant and steamy enough to add in some excitement.

If you start at or near the beginning of the series, one thing you will notice is repetition. Phrases, terms, and even situations are re-used between the four books. This bugged me about the writing, but I can overlook it because I enjoyed the story and characters that much.

While not flawless, The Heiress’s Deception is worth a credit and I found to be addicting entertainment. It's my favorite of the series.

Other Recommendations:
If you want EVERY conversation or interaction between the main characters to lead to a make-out session and more, then try: Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas, it’s good, but there’s a lot of that - seriously

Between the Devil and Desire by Lorraine Heath is my personal favorite for a rewarding story of a reforming game-hell owner transformed by love

  • Shameless

  • House of Rohan Series, Book 4
  • By: Anne Stuart
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 311
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249

A long string of tragic loves haunts Viscount Benedick Francis Alistair Rohan. Cool and cynical, he's weary of life's fickle games and wants a prim and proper wife he can ignore while indulging his sensual appetites. Lady Melisande Carstairs is nothing less than a tornado storming into Benedick's measured life. Possessed of boundless energy and the soul of a reformer, Melisande always conquers, whether it's saving the souls of soiled doves or seducing the man she's inconveniently fallen for.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid Romance

  • By Malena on 09-06-12

Getting It On In A Tunnel

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

Reviewed: 01-29-18

Surprisingly this fourth book was a little tamer and returned nearer to what can usually be expected of a regency romance (don't they all have some cult virgin sacrificing?) There’s still the presence of the Heavenly Host, but the main characters force us to view it mainly from an outside/detached perspective. I enjoyed all 11+ hours and have no major complaints. Melisande was a likable character as she was dedicated to a cause and was actively working towards improving society. I was initially concerned that Benedick would live up to the second half of his name, but he underwent the love transformation that I like to see, and he became more and more relatable and interesting as the story progressed. I like how the couple partnered up and worked together to uncover the mystery of the Heavenly Host. Kind of like Good Cop, Hot Cop... In between the steamy lust-fest (and the tunnel bump-and-grind session), there's a couple rather sweet moments. The secondary love story was almost non-existent here, and I wish there had been a little more to it. In the end, I think the main characters worked well together and it was an enjoyable, mostly trauma-free listen!

*no sacrificial virgins were harmed in the writing of this review

  • Breathless

  • House of Rohan Series, Book 3
  • By: Anne Stuart
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 381
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 282
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 281

Ruined beyond repair and shunned by London society, lovely Miranda Rohan rebelliously embraces the freedom that comes from having nothing left to lose. However, this dangerous course throws her under the power of the darkly enigmatic Lucien de Malheur - known to many as the Scorpion. Seeking to destroy the Rohans, Lucien traps Miranda in a marriage she thinks is based on friendship but instead is rooted in vengeance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Your Ordinary Love Story

  • By Judy on 03-31-11

Take the Summary Seriously!

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

Reviewed: 01-29-18

I’m still trying to process this one. I was probably more addicted to this one even slightly more than I was with the preceding two books in the series. The banter and back and forth between the two characters playing off one another and trying to thwart the other was pretty darn great! On the other hand, I couldn’t condone most of Lucien’s morals and motivations and I had to work to keep reminding myself to suspend my belief that Miranda could still love someone who didn’t bat an eye at potentially murdering someone from her family and who actively and intentionally worked to make her miserable (at least intermittently). I define love as wanting to do good for others. But Lucien frequently did not seem to want good things for Miranda and I was torn between hoping for them to come together, or wanting her to move on and run away. Mainly I just wanted Lucien to wake up and snap out of his maliciousness. He has a near-FATAL case of denial. As far as love-hate stories go, this one is pretty extreme, and yet, for the most part was also entertaining. The last scene in this book was so surprising… and I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. Essentially it’s a happy ending. (In reality I think this couple would need a lot of counseling – but the next book lets us know they get on well.)

However, I really enjoyed the book from beginning until almost the end, and I laughed multiple times. This might be the funniest of the four books because of some of the ridiculous things that Miranda says when she’s attempting to taunt Lucien! I still recommend this one. It is an interesting and overall fun story once I shrugged off my minor qualms. Additionally, one of those qualms is the messages about/definitions of rape presented in the story. I’m pretty sure Miranda’s experience qualifies as rape. Also, it can be rape even if the victim climaxes.

Just know, that when the summary says that Lucien is out for vengeance, they ain’t jokin’! Holy moly, he holds on to that motive (frustratingly) for the WHOLE book. We as readers/listeners can tell well before Lucien can, that he cares about Miranda, but the author’s dedication to making Lucien’s character cling to these revenge motives ultimately impedes and hampers both his character’s development and that of the main relationship. However, it also creates some memorable and pretty amazing situations and dialogue, so… It sort of pays off? But I can’t help but wish that at 2/3 of the way through he would’ve had his personal breakthrough and there would’ve been a little less emotional manipulation in favor of his embracing the joy of being in love.

Susan Ericksen is wonderful and I almost didn’t want it to end so that I could keep listening to her. Her voice/accents for the sexy thief were my favorite!! Incidentally, I was very intrigued by the secondary love story between Miranda’s friend and the king of thieves, and while it was a happy ending, I was disappointed that their story wasn’t more fleshed out.

Overall I can recommend this one with some hesitance about the main character being both rather fascinating and sarcastically awesome… but also warped.

  • Reckless: House of Rohan Series, Book 2

  • By: Anne Stuart
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 441
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335

Adrian Alistair Rohan lost his faith, and now, a dedicated member of the depraved Heavenly Host, he loses himself in his only pleasure: the seduction and debauchery of beautiful women. Rich, charming, and devastatingly skilled in the arts of love, he never fails in his conquests…until Charlotte Spenser. Charlotte is facing a desolate, passionless future, none of which matters to Adrian, who imagines her a toy until better prey arrives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magic!

  • By Judy on 03-10-11

A Nice Scandalous Listen

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

Reviewed: 01-29-18

The secondary love story in this book is my favorite of the four books, and I wish they had gotten even more attention and development. Of the series, I would probably be most excited to re-listen to the first and second books. The main character is pretty immature, but he does eventually come around and I was able to route for the main and especially the secondary couples. There are some provocative, interesting, exciting, and rather touching scenes. This book, as well as all in the series, flirts with that fantasy of being somewhat dominated by an alpha male, but manages not to go overboard. I recommend this one!

  • Ruthless

  • House of Rohan Series, Book 1
  • By: Anne Stuart
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 903
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 709
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 719

Few outsiders will ever witness the dark misdeeds of the Heavenly Host. And among this secret society, where exiled Georgian aristocrats gather to indulge their carnal desires, fewer still can match the insatiable appetite of their chief provocateur, the mysterious Viscount Rohan. Pursuit of physical pleasure is both his preferred pastime and his most pressing urge, until he encounters the fascination of a woman who won't be swayed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved It!

  • By Judy on 03-07-11

Grand Gestures Make Good Endings

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

Reviewed: 01-29-18

I have enjoyed this series. What I like about it is that it’s a little different from many regency books because the main male character is always a little devilish/hedonistic and the main female character is a combination of innocent and not, but always sassy! For all the setting and build up of the Heavenly Host, I was worried the love scenes would be a little crazy or kinky, but they were actually fairly traditional and well done (that early carriage scene was prettttty good). That’s not to say that there weren’t plenty of surprises. I have to say, there’s something about these books that I kept thinking about them after I’d finished them. Power differences between the two main characters were simultaneously disturbing and titillating. Of the four full-length books, the secondary love story was one of the least interesting here, but sweet nonetheless. The series seems to follow the sons or daughters of the Rohan family, and while I listened to them in order, it’s probably not necessary. I enjoyed the banter and characters and had a hard time putting this down. I was pretty darn touched by the ending!

I sought out this series specifically because I wanted to hear more of Susan Ericksen’s narration, so it goes without saying how I felt about the performance. <3 (Ok, I’ll say it: superb!)

  • The Harder You Fall

  • By: Gena Showalter
  • Narrated by: Savannah Richards
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147

Millionaire video-game creator Lincoln West has a dark and tragic past. The sought-after bachelor lives by a rigid schedule and a single rule - one relationship per year, lasting no more than two months. No exceptions. When he gave up the big city for a small town, he hoped to escape the worst of his memories - until a brash beauty dredges up long-buried emotions. A reformed party girl, Jessie Kay Dillon is determined to walk the straight and narrow.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • SENSUOUS, ANTICIPATORY, &, MY FAVORITE..HUMOROUS

  • By Coooper on 11-29-15

A Real Romantic COMEDY

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

Reviewed: 12-22-17

This book was an irresistible combination of humor and sizzle! You’re in for a treat with this one. I found I loved the heroine, Jessie Kay – she’s just a bright and feisty personality that the narrator, Savannah Richards did an excellent job of bringing to life. She's the fun, crazy one the group of friends, and has an indomitable spirit to boot, while also being really sweet. Her and West playing off one another was sometimes electric and sometimes hilarious. This is my first book by Showalter (yeah, I jumped right into the 3rd book in the series – it seemed the most interesting of the descriptions) and I’m almost hesitant to try another because I think this one will be hard to surpass!

  • The Viscount Who Loved Me

  • By: Julia Quinn
  • Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,074
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 984
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 982

Anthony Bridgerton hasn't just decided to marry - he's even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended's older sister, Kate Sheffield - the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate's the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good One!

  • By Lady M on 11-21-16

Stubbornly in Love

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

Reviewed: 12-21-17

I loved the first book “The Duke and I,” however I think I connected with this one and enjoyed it even more. I had doubts about Anthony as his character was a little over-protective and was somewhat of a killjoy in Daphne and Simon’s relationship in the first book. However, getting to know his inner-workings and motivations, as well as Kate's, was both interesting and entertaining. I think Quinn did a great job showing how the characters’ relationships with their parents and traumatic experiences (death) impacted who they are and how they react to things was very well written, although frustrating at times. Their experiences with their parents: love and loss, were simply beautiful and touched me in a way that I don’t always experience in romance books. And while there are many tender moments, the book is chock-full of situations where Anthony and Kate are being mischievous, banter/arguing, or just being playful. Everything that happened at the house party in the middle was simply wonderful, and I would re-listen to this book in a heartbeat. The story had great pacing, and Rosalyn Landor’s narration matched perfectly with the story and really captured the characters’ emotions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Complicated

  • By: Kristen Ashley
  • Narrated by: Lance Greenfield, Erin Mallon
  • Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,043
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,608
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,606

When small-town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn't be stronger, but the timing couldn't be worse. Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids and himself is his only priority. Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that's perfect for them - a sleepy little town in Nebraska.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Complicated was a pleasure to my senses!

  • By Kara Hildebrand on 05-02-17

Just The Right Amount of Intense and Fun

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

What great narration! Greenfield and Mallon both gave wonderful performances for Hix and Greta. Greenfield had a gruff and curt quality at times that I think worked perfectly for Hix’s confident and in-control personality. I loved the balance of romance, mystery and drama with all the characters. Hix and Greta were both likable and relatable while still being flawed and vulnerable. One of my favorite parts was the fight between the two when Greta really let Hix have it, it was very entertaining! I do think it could have been about 4 hours shorter for more impact, but I understand that there were a few loose ends that needed to be tied up. I think it could make a good series as some of the supporting characters are dynamic enough to warrant telling of their stories. There is a fair amount of profanity and steamy scenes, but it isn’t overpowering to the main story. I really enjoyed listening to this and would recommend it to those wanting a more mature love story with a dash of crime-drama and small town nostalgia thrown in.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Two Brothers

  • By: Linda Lael Miller
  • Narrated by: Brian Hutchison, Susan Bennett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

Marshal Shay McQuillan has a lot on his hands - stagecoach robbers to hunt down, a murdered fiancée to avenge. He certainly doesn't need an identical twin brother he never knew existed turning up out of the blue and telling him what to do. Even less does he want pretty Aislinn Lethaby trying to rescue him from danger. Because, to tell the truth, Aislinn is a sweet distraction from duty whom Shay just can't resist.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • OKAY

  • By Shawneequa on 12-28-16

An Interesting Premise that Half-Delivered

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

Reviewed: 12-01-17

This audiobook is split into two stories. The first is the story of Shay, the twin who is a drunk sheriff who turns things around after meeting his long-lost twin. There are some fights with stupid townspeople and then he gets the suddenly easily-won girl. The second story is of Tristan, the former bounty hunter who falls for a girl with a lot of sheep. Apparently having sheep means people gonna hate. And since this is sort of a western, hateful cowboys means gunfights.

This wasn’t awful, but it’s still kind of a miss for me in that while it wasn’t bad, I don’t have strong feelings about it one way or the other. The characters were fairly likable but somehow kind of superficial and only mildly interesting. While the narration wasn’t awful, it felt somewhat too removed from what was going on for the characters. I felt more engaged and intrigued by the premise of the second story: two people fighting over the same land and that competition turning into something romantic. But there weren’t really any sparks between Tristan and Emily. Simply writing that there are sparks when they look or briefly touch the other is not the same as characters actually having chemistry and personality. Of their whole story, maybe the most memorable moment was their meeting. Perhaps this book would be good for a light read, but it didn’t really satisfy my romantic reading itch.