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Linda Townsend

Florida, USA
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  • Tinderbox

  • By: Rachel Grant
  • Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 236
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 221

In the volatile tinderbox of the Horn of Africa, Morgan Adler has made the paleoanthropological find of a lifetime. The discovery brings her to the attention of a warlord eager to claim both Morgan and the fossils, forcing her to make a desperate dash to the nearby US military base to beg for protection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect Romantic Suspense, Intelligently Written!

  • By SB on 12-27-17

One exciting thrill after another…

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

Tinderbox marks the thrilling debut of Rachel Grant’s military romantic suspense Flashpoint series with an emphasis on adventure in dangerous locales. Rachel’s books are original, fast-paced, educational and highly entertaining all while dealing with serious issues. The tale is gripping from the onset and I was kept on the edge-of-my seat throughout with barely enough time to gather my wits and breathe before another deadly peril ensued.

I have enjoyed this series out-of-order. Each book stands well on its own. They do share characters and a setting. I can assure you that you won’t want to miss out by not reading them all in whatever order you choose. They are all fantastic reads.

This is the story of Green Beret Master Sergeant Pax Blanchard and Dr. Morgan Adler, a paleoanthropologist and daughter of a general. It is set in the politically unstable climate of the Horn of Africa. As the story opens we meet Morgan who is under contract with the Djibouti government to complete an archaeological survey of the proposed route of a new railway. But, when she and her site are threatened by a local powerful warlord, she flees her site with the discovery of a lifetime. She seeks refuge at the nearby Cape Citron military base where she is intercepted by Pax, who literally saves her life, despite Morgan’s best efforts to deter him from doing so. Fireworks are guaranteed when Pax is assigned as the head of her protection detail so that she can continue her work.

The characters are well-written, likeable, nerdy and realistic. Pax is an alpha, career-oriented, protective and puts up a robust fight to the strong attraction he feels to Morgan. Having been stung before, he’s extremely averse to having a relationship with a general’s daughter. Morgan, on the other hand, is quite open to a fling and doesn’t make it easy for Pax to ignore her. She’s a badass, knowledgeable, tenacious and has a love/hate relationship with her father, determined to succeed despite her father’s standing. Their hot chemistry is off-the-charts.

Following please find a few of my favorite lines from Tinderbox:

“His type was the shy, bookish nerds, which was exactly what he’d been until he joined the Army. He’d been a late bloomer, hitting a second growth spurt after nineteen, when he’d shot up six inches in two years and packed on the muscle that made it possible for him to do his job. But the external changes hadn’t changed who he was inside, and he was still the sci-fi and fantasy loving guy who read scientific journals for fun.”
---
“He couldn’t tell her that he’d been fighting a losing battle against falling in love with her from the day they met. That all his crazy, caveman possessiveness was because his heart had known – even when his head was too damn stupid to catch on – she was his and there was no going back to his solitary, single-minded existence.”
---
“You're a bad girl, Dr. Adler."
---
“Why would I want balls?”

Greg Tremblay provides the truly exceptional narration. His voice is clear and easy to understand. He voices both sexes equally well. I was blown away by his performance voicing a sultry female in a bedroom scene and shortly after a gravelly strong alpha. He perfectly and consistently differentiates between the multiple characters to where I had no issue at all knowing who is speaking at any time. His pacing is right-on and the end product is polished and professional. Tinderbox a great listen and I didn’t want to put it down!

I laughed, swooned, shuddered, and hyperventilated while listening. There’s a multitude of surprising twists and turns and an unexpected reveal near the end that took me completely unawares. I found the archaeological and paleoanthropological discussions to be fascinating and mesmerizing. The author makes those subjects interesting and not boring at all! I feel like I learned something while being highly entertained! I would highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys their romantic suspense flawlessly-plotted, fast-paced, action-packed, and paired with intrigue, humor and sizzling sex scenes!

  • Singing Montana Sky

  • By: Debra Holland
  • Narrated by: Lara Asmundson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65

Beautiful, wealthy, and sophisticated, opera star Sophia Maxwell is living the life of her dreams. As the Songbird of Chicago, she's lauded for her pure, rich voice and has a constant circle of admirers vying for her jaded attention. Then she loses her voice during a performance. Her doctor warns her to rest her larynx, or she'll never sing again. Devastated, Sophia retreats to the frontier town of Sweetwater Springs to stay with her sister. She's determined to recover and once again take the stage by storm.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • soso

  • By Sharlene Bowie on 10-30-18

A beautifully written tale of love and loss …

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

Reviewed: 08-26-18

Montana Sky is the seventh touching installment in Debra Holland’s Montana Sky historical sweet and clean romance series. It is an emotional story of love and loss for both the hero and the heroine which will most assuredly give your own heart a stringent workout. This is the story of diva Sophia Maxwell, aka the Songbird of Chicago, and logger Kael Kelley. Sophia has appeared as a supporting character in some of the previous books. Kael and his family are introduced herein and make wonderful additions to the series.

Do not fret for an instant if you’ve not yet enjoyed any of the previous books as each story in this series works perfectly well as a stand alone. That said, long-time fans of the series will enjoy catching up with previous favorite characters in the small western town of Sweetwater Springs, Montana.

As the story opens in 1896, with a disquieting feeling of dread, Sophia has taken on the arduous role of Brünnhilde, favorite daughter of the god Wotan in the Die Walküre opera in Chicago, Illinois. When she stunningly collapses on stage, her recovery demands that she rest her voice. She elects to visit her sister, Lily, in Sweetwater Springs to be out of the public eye while taking the recuperating sojourn she requires.

In a bit of a second chance at love scenario, the two had a short, but sweet, summer flirtation on a previous trip a few months before when Sophia sang at Reverend Joshua’s and Delia’s lavish society wedding. Regretfully, with their lives being worlds’ apart, nothing could come of it. That fact, though, didn’t keep the two from dreaming about the other.

Serendipitously, Kael just happens to also be out on medical leave due to a logging accident AND staying at his parents’ homestead which is situated near to Tyler’s and Lily’s ranch. Readers will enjoy traipsing along with the couple as they spend quality time getting to know each other. Sadly, their time together is still limited as each has responsibilities that will keep them apart. Regardless, I couldn’t help pulling for them to find their HEA!

Following please find a few of my favorite lines from Singing Montana Sky:
“They sang to his father as he crossed that last dark river, heading to the distant land of light where the Creator of all waited in welcome.”
---
“On the worst day of my life, I can still find blessings.”
---
“Gratitude tempers sorrow.”

Lara Asmundson excellently performs Singing Montana Sky. After listening to her voice the previous audios, I cannot imagine anyone else filling her shoes. Her voice is pleasant and clear and she skillfully and consistently differentiates between the characters. Her inflections are faultless and both her female and male voices sound realistic. Her polished performance makes the audio easy to follow and a joy to listen to.

Singing Montana Sky is an inspirational and beautifully written affirmation to the power of love and music. The characters are well-developed, the plot is fully-fledged, and the amazing ending will make you want to break out in song! You can’t go wrong with any book by Debra Holland and Singing Montana Sky is no exception!

Next up is Montana Sky Justice which will feature K.C. Granger’s tale. She is the sheriff of Sweetwater Springs and I’ve looked forward to her story for a long time!

  • Danger's Cure

  • Holly Danger, Book 4
  • By: Amanda Carlson
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

Holly and her crew are on a quest to uncover the locations of the medi-pods following the clues Roman left behind, hoping to find at least one that hasn’t been destroyed before the government catches on. The only problem is, someone already has. Strange UACs are popping up all over, and in order to take them out, the crew risks exposing itself. When they do, what they find is chilling. A secret government group has a dark purpose. Holly and her friends have no choice but to launch an all-out war to set things right.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A happy little find!

  • By Ray Johnson on 02-08-18

4th exciting installment in Holly Danger series!

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

Reviewed: 07-06-18

“They do not know what lies beneath their very noses.”

Danger’s Cure is the fourth exciting installment in Amanda Carlson’s addictive dystopian sci-fi fantasy series. This series is just getting better and better. This tale seamlessly picks up right where the previous book, Danger’s Race, left off. The team is back together and working closely in tandem in a desperate race to find at least one working medi-pod that the government has not destroyed. The medi-pod is needed to save the seekers infected with plush. Time is running out. The stakes have never been higher while danger lurks at every turn.

Holly continues to rock as a take-no-prisoner, kick-ass character. She’s strong, capable and has an Achilles heel in that she is intensely loyal to and caring for those close to her and for humanity. Much is reluctantly disclosed about Case’s mysterious past in this segment. He’s become an integral part of the team even though Holly claims that he still hasn’t earned her trust. I can understand her previous wariness – but, he’s more than proved himself in my eyes. Daze steals the show. He’s growing up with each story in the midst of the team, which is just a big-hearted, somewhat dysfunctional family. There’s not a romantic element in this series so far - but, I’m holding out hope that there may be one in the cards soon!

Following please find a few lines that stood out for me from Danger’s Cure:

“I’m not sure I can handle an inanimate polymer egg cracking jokes all the time.”
---
I was so caught up in the video that I didn’t hear the door to the cleaning stall open. The first things I noticed were footsteps coming toward me.
Case was naked from the waist up.
As he walked, he rubbed his hair with a small cloth to help along the drying process. I sputtered as I sat up, swinging my feet to the cool floor, refusing to flinch as my bare feet came in contact with the ground. “Where are your clothes?” I asked.
---
We were witnessing life as it was sixty-plus years ago, right before most of these people perished. It was a disturbing thought.
I couldn’t look away.

I listened to the audio edition of Danger’s Cure narrated by the fantastic Emma Wilder. Her voice is crystal clear and perfectly paced. Both her female and male voices are distinct, consistent and sound genuine. She exudes all the expected emotions. The end product is polished and well done.

This is a series that should be read in order as Amanda doesn't waste any time recapping previous events and much has transpired already. I can’t imagine jumping into this series mid-way as each book has been fast-paced, wall-to-wall action and each book’s plot has built upon prior events. This is a fantastic series with extraordinary characterizations. You won’t regret starting from the beginning.

This storyline grabs you from the first and doesn’t let go until the very end with plenty of unexpected twists and turns along the way. If you enjoy well-written, futuristic apocalyptic fiction that will keep you on the edge of your seat with a few laughs along the way, this series perfectly fits the bill! The previous installments all had satisfying wrap-ups. Breaking precedence, Danger’s Cure ends with a cliffhanger. Thankfully, Danger’s Hunt is already available. I’m really enjoying this series and can’t wait to see what unfolds in book #5, Danger’s Hunt!

  • Bright Montana Sky

  • The Montana Sky Series, Book 8
  • By: Debra Holland
  • Narrated by: Lara Asmundson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39

Jilted seamstress Constance Taylor travels to Sweetwater Springs to live with her estranged father, the livery stable owner. She plans to open a dressmaking shop and bring sophisticated clothing styles to the frontier town. Doctor Angus Cameron is bitter and discouraged from his work with upper-class Londoners and the wretched poor in the East End slums. He arrives in Sweetwater Springs to join the medical practice of his brother, the town doctor. Sparks fly when Constance and Angus clash over her fashionable creations, which he believes are unhealthy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great book

  • By Alexandria on 04-04-18

A lovely addition to the series!

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

Reviewed: 06-24-18

Dr. Angus was dedicated to the poor served by London’s East End medical clinic. Discouraged after losing a woman giving birth slums, Dr. Angus firmed his resolve to join his brother in Sweetwater Springs:
“I need to flee to the new world, to a new life, to clean air and blue skies and to wide open spaces. Perhaps there I can make a difference.”
---
Meanwhile: Constance has found her way to her father in Sweetwater Springs:
“I’m here to stay, Papa. I’ve sold Aunt Hannah’s house and stored most of the contents in my neighbor’s attic for now.”
He halted and gave her a searching look. “Are you sure about that, Connie-girl? No more traipsing around the world?”
“For the last few years, I’ve had more than my share of traipsing. I’m looking forward to settling down in one spot.”

Debra Holland transports her readers back to Sweetwater Springs, Montana in Bright Montana Sky. I know that when I pick up one of Debra’s books, my present day cares will take a back seat to the wondrous vistas and day-to-day goings-on in the small town of Sweetwater Springs. This is the darling story of two new arrivals to Sweetwater Springs: dressmaker Constance Taylor, Mac’s daughter, and Dr. Angus Cameron, Dr. Cameron’s brother.

When Constance lost her Mom, she’d essentially lost both parents as her father had sent her off to stay with her Aunt Hannah. Though they’d corresponded, she’d not seen her father again until she arrived in Sweetwater Springs, surprising him with her presence along with her ten trunks and crates. Being a dressmaker, she prided herself on staying up with the latest fashion, including tight corsets.

Our forthright Scottish hero did not share Constance’s appreciation of popular fashion trends. To say that they floundered their first awkward meeting is an understatement. Thankfully, they were both amendable to second chances and delightfully discover a mutual attraction providing many laughable and heartwarming moments.

Fans of the series will enjoy catching up with previous favorite characters including Pepe, Lucia and many more.

Following please find a few lines from Bright Montana Sky that I loved:

Hank pointed up the mountain. “If you keep going up the road, about a half an hour’s climb, you’ll hit the Swenson place.”
“Swenson,” Constance echoed. “Do they have beautiful little blonde girls?”
“Got that right. Nicest family you ever met.”
She shifted so she that she could see all three of them. “I saw five of the girls in the sweet shop once. They were so adorable; I wanted to adopt them all.”
With a raised eyebrow, Angus gave her a curious glance. “Trying to steal away the girls from their parents, eh?”
She slanted him a Cheshire cat smile. “The thought might have flitted through my mind.”
---
The trees opened up. They drove into an Alpine meadow where a few horses and foals grazed. Grassland dotted with flowers sloped to a small blue lake that reflected the puffy clouds in the sky. Beyond was a spectacular view of the snow-covered peaks.
“Oh,” she sighed. “How lovely.”
As the surrey drew closer, Constance could see that the lake didn’t end, but took a bend to the right. Two swans floated on the placid water. A canoe lay upside down on the shore. She released a pleased breath.
---
“Constance, I do not think I can go on without kissing ye. Will you allow it?
Her heartbeat kicked up. “You didn’t ask before.”
“I’m trying to be a gentleman here, but you’re making it verra difficult.”

Lara Asmundson returns to narrate Bright Montana Sky. Lara never fails to produce a polished performance that is a true pleasure to listen to. Her voice is clear and easy to understand. Her selection of voices is appropriate for the characters and consistent throughout - making it easy to discern who is speaking at any one time. Her pacing is spot-on and she exudes the expected emotions. If you are an audiophile as I am, you cannot go wrong choosing the audio edition of this book.

Debra is a storytelling genius. Her Montana Sky books always lift my spirits and sweep aside my doldrums. As a plus, this charming installment includes many interesting historical facts regarding the fashion of ladies of this period including the medical concerns regarding the corset. I love learning while being thoroughly entertained! Angus’ and Constance’s happy-ever-after is a sweet and enchanting tale and a lovely addition to this captivating series.

  • Danger's Race

  • Holly Danger, Book 3
  • By: Amanda Carlson
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

After defeating the uprising, and becoming infected with a dose of Plush, Holly is in a race to help a seeker before it's too late. Going South is the only option. But getting there is going to prove difficult, which is why Lockland has entrusted Daze with a secret weapon. A pulse storm, overzealous militia, and uncooperative siblings are only a few of the obstacles standing in their way. Once they arrive on the coast, the prospect of finding the supplies they need dwindles. But what they uncover may be far richer. A way to move the remaining survivors forward.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A real relay race for life

  • By Ray Johnson on 02-28-18

The Third Exciting Installment!!!!!

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

Danger’s Race is the third exciting installment in Amanda Carlson’s sensational Holly Danger futuristic series! This book picks up right where the previous, Danger’s Vice, left off with Holly and her crew departing to forage for the ingredients required for a plush cure. Holly, Daze and Case head south to what was Florida tasked with finding a component harvested from the sea. Not surprisingly, they are met with danger galore from multiple sources including a brutal, power-hungry militia. The storyline grabs you from the first and doesn’t let go until the very end.

Holly and her take-no-prisoners attitude continue to rock! Daze is sweet and smart, maturing and learning from Holly. I’m feeling much better about Case and his mysterious past. He opens up much more in this book, seems less on edge and appears to be becoming a better partner to Holly. There’s not a romantic element in this series so far - but, I’m holding out hope that there may be one in the cards soon! The wonderful secondary supporting characters we are familiar with do not figure heavily in this installment. That said, we meet intriguing new characters who are likely to figure prominently in future episodes.

Amanda’s future world technology is an incredibly interesting component in this series. For instance, there’s a quirky artificial egg device that Daze is gifted with specifically for their trip south that comes in mighty handy while providing laugh-out-loud comic relief. I really hope to see more of ‘her’ down the line.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from Danger’s Race:

“Males have superior brain recall and immune systems.”
---
“If you cooperate, we won’t hurt you. If you don’t, we will.”
---
“Holly shot her laser through this guy and smoked him a few days ago. Then, she gave another guy a radium ball and he started bleeding from the mouth and his skin started sliding off.”

Emma Wilder is the fantastic narrator for this series. If you are an audiophile as I am, treat yourself to the audio edition as Emma really makes it shine. She positively aces Holly. Her voice is crystal clear and perfectly paced. She consistently voices and distinctly interprets each character making it easy for listeners to know who is speaking at any time. She exudes all the proper emotions. The end product is polished and amazingly well done.

This is a series that should be read in order as Amanda doesn't waste any time recapping previous events and much has transpired already. I can’t imagine jumping into this series mid-way as each book has been fast-paced wall-to-wall action and each book’s characters and plot have built upon prior events. This is a fantastic series with extraordinary characterizations and you won’t regret starting from the beginning. Just do it.

While Holly, Daze and Case don’t find what they were seeking, they actually stumble upon something extremely valuable that holds even greater promise for the future! That’s good news, but it also heralds a whole new set of complications as Holly races to save humanity. I like that each installment in this series has a satisfying wrap-up even as Amanda is setting up the next book’s adventure. I’m really enjoying this series and can’t wait to see what unfolds in book #4, Danger’s Cure!

  • Danger's Vice

  • Holly Danger, Book 2
  • By: Amanda Carlson
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

After narrowly escaping death, Holly is back on the streets in a quest to find the elusive pico. Discovering what's on the quantum drive - the same one the outskirts had been willing to kill for - is priority number one. Daze is recovering, and forgiving the kid was easier than she thought it would be. The cranky outskirt is another story. It doesn't take Holly long to discover that Tandor's crew hasn't been obliterated, and are actively seeking retribution. They're recruiting Northerners, but she's found one who's willing to spill.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Holly is back for more action

  • By Ray Johnson on 02-21-18

A solid dystopian sci-fi listen!

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

Reviewed: 05-15-18

Danger’s Vice is the second gripping installment in Amanda Carlton’s addictive Holly Danger futuristic series. This story picks up right where the first book, Danger’s Halo, left off as Holly and her crew embark on another riveting adventure determined to save what’s left of the world.

As this tale begins, we quickly learn that just because Tandor bit the dust in the previous installment, it doesn’t mean that the very real threat posed by his former crew has lessened. If anything, the danger element has intensified as Tandor’s second-in-command has quickly stepped up to take control and he’s even worse than Tandor was. This time, it’s not just Holly and her crew in the notorious villains’ sights: the whole city is.

Meanwhile, Daze, Holly’s retainer, is slowly recovering from his ordeal. Holly’s family has accepted Daze with open arms and Holly’s nurturing of him showcases her soft side.

Case also returns, but he has a way to go to be accepted by Holly. In the previous tale, he lied and put her life on the line. In his favor, he’s a wealth of information and he did save all their lives at the end of the first book.

Regardless, the stakes are high as the crew struggles to discover the secrets held on the mysterious quantum drive. First, they have to get their hands on a working pico computer!

Holly is a fantastic kick ass heroine. She’s smart, strong, tough, fearless, capable, innovative, assured and caring. Her friends are her family and mean everything to her. She will put her life on the line without hesitation for them.

I listened to the audio edition of Danger’s Vice which Emma Wilder narrates with a truly exemplary performance. Her voice is clear and easy to understand. The voices she uses for the multiple characters seem perfectly appropriate for them and they remain consistent through-out. She expresses the proper emotions and her pacing is spot-on. The end result is a polished, professional package which enhances the story. After listening to the audio, I can’t imagine not opting for the audio edition. I look forward to listening to her again soon!

If you are looking for a romance, you may want to look elsewhere. It’s not a romance – at least not yet, However, I’m holding out hope that there will be one in this series’ future.

I strongly suggest that this series be read in order.

I’m a huge fan of Amanda’s books and have quickly fallen in love with this exciting series. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, teeming with mystery and chock-full of perilous suspense. There’s a lot going on in Danger’s Vice and you won’t want to miss a second of the hoopla! If you enjoy solid dystopian sci-fi reads that are guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat, I’d encourage you to check out Amanda’s Holly Danger series. I can’t wait to dive into Holly’s next endeavor in Danger’s Race!

  • Danger's Halo

  • Holly Danger, Book 1
  • By: Amanda Carlson
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40

Holly Danger's current assignment, gleaned from a set of foggy instructions and a handful of coin stuffed into a slot, is to pick up a street kid who's about to terminate himself off a cliff. And, as a rule, she doesn't turn down currency. Her job as a salvager keeps her fed and clothed above the norm, which isn't saying much. The norm in this city is a scrape-by existence in a post-apocalyptic world, where the rain never stops, food is always scarce, and the elite have deserted the ranks in search of something better.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Takes a while to get into.

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 11-04-17

Amanda's post-apocalyptic sci-fi series debut!

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

Reviewed: 05-06-18

Danger’s Halo heralds the exciting debut of author Amanda Carlson’s new post-apocalyptic science fiction series set one hundred fifty years into the future. I’m a huge fan of Amanda’s and have inhaled everything I’ve ever read by her. As far as I know, this is the first time she’s ever ventured into sci-fi – but, no worries, she clearly has it aced. This series revolves around a smart, strong and capable kickass heroine, Holly Danger, a talented salvager with trust issues in the futuristic world Amanda has created. Holly prefers to work alone, but she has a close-knit team populated by a colorful assortment of characters that provide backup when needed.

The bare bones scenario of the world is that life on planet earth has become a daily hazardous struggle after humanity was nearly destroyed by a meteor strike. Meager remaining resources are dwindling with every passing day. The future looks even bleaker. Power plays are the name of the game and the government that is left has no care for the survivors trying to eke out an existence.

As the story opens, Holly has been hired to track down and return a street kid to a mysterious client. The client has promised to pay with hard-to-come-by coin so this isn’t a job she wants to ignore. She easily finds him, but what should be a quick and easy job, swiftly becomes complicated when she sees herself at that age in him, and, in a spur of the moment decision uncharacteristic of Holly, offers to protect and sustain him for a year instead of turning him over to her client. Of course, this agreement is predicated on the kid’s decision not to end it all by jumping off the cliff he’s currently perched on. Thankfully, an agreement is reached and brave and vulnerable Daze becomes Holly’s responsibility for a year, setting off multiple repercussions - most notably placing Holly and her team squarely in the cross hairs of the powerful and influential client Holly stiffed by not returning Daze to him.

Please find a few of my favorite quotes from Danger’s Halo:

“Does everything you own stink?”
---
“Daze was within a daze.”
---
“Darby, stop fondling my batteries.”

This is not a romance. If you are looking for a romance, look elsewhere… though that may change further into the series as a character is introduced herein who may evolve into that. I hope so, but it’s way too early to tell.

Emma Wilder provides the excellent narration for Danger’s Halo. I’ve never listened to her previously, but I thoroughly enjoyed this audio edition. Her voice is crystal clear and easy to understand from the get-go. Her pacing is spot-on and she exudes the expected emotions. Her character voices seem appropriate for each persona and they are consistent throughout. The result is a polished performance and pure listening pleasure. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another audio by her based on this experience.

This opening salvo was an intriguing, fast-paced. non-stop adventure teeming with suspense and danger. The story line hooked my attention from the get-go and didn’t let up until the very end, keeping me on the edge of my seat for much of the ride. I really enjoyed this first installment and can’t wait to see where Amanda is going to take these characters and this series next. If you enjoy futuristic adventures with amazing characters, strap yourself into Holly’s craft which she named “Luce” and hang on!

  • Curiouser and Curiouser: Steampunk Alice in Wonderland

  • Steampunk Fairy Tales
  • By: Melanie Karsak
  • Narrated by: Lesley Parkin
  • Length: 5 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

To save the Hatter, Alice must work with the one man she despises so much that she might still love him. Alice thought she'd turned over a new leaf. No more working for Jabberwocky. No more making deals with the ruthless Queen of Hearts. No more hanging around The Mushroom with tinkers, tarts, scoundrels, and thieves in London's criminal underbelly. But she'd been bonkers to dream.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • this book is a masterpiece in itself

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 01-29-18

A fantastically dark Alice with a steam punk flare

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

Reviewed: 05-06-18

William chuckled. “Shall we take it all in?”
Barely able to breathe, I nodded.
“Now, there is my Alice,” he said softly. “Her curious eyes open wide.”
I smiled. “It’s a wonderland.”

As soon as I saw the cover for Curiouser and Curiouser by Melanie Karsak, I knew I had to read it! Imaginative fractured fairy tales are one of my favorite genres and I have loved Alice in Wonderland tales since my childhood. I’d never previously picked up anything by this author – but, after inhaling this superb tale set in Victorian England, I want to read everything she’s written! This book is not for young children. It should be fine for older teens to adult. Just know that there are some horror scenes that could forever taint Alice for younger readers. That said, I absolutely loved this fantastically dark Alice with a strong steam punk flare!

This retelling features a slew of familiar, but twisted, characters that share many characteristics with the much-loved childhood version – but, in a totally new setting. There’s Alice, of course. In Curiouser and Curiouser, she and her sister are left orphaned at a young age. Alice quickly develops a knack for lifting valuables so the two sisters can survive. William, the Caterpillar, returns as Alice’s past love interest and her childhood partner in crime. Alice, now in her twenties, walked away from her life in the city’s seedy underworld and now works as an elderly man’s companion.

As the story opens, William desperately needs to complete a task for the Queen of Hearts, a shockingly evil queen of horror herein. He needs Alice’s unparalleled petty thief skills to successfully pull it off. To present his proposal to Alice, William has the rabbit lift the valuable watch of Alice’s employer which Alice dutifuly vows to retrieve. William uses Alice’s love for her fragile sister and her sister’s fiancé, The Hatter, to ensure that Alice will cooperate.

The story alternates between present day and flashbacks into Alice’s past filling in details about her and William’s history. Alice is, hands down, the consummate heroine. She’s smart, skilled and caring. While I didn’t care for Williams’ tactics at first, it wasn’t long before I was pulling for the two. The result is a vivid masterpiece of rich storytelling that I did not want to end!

Following please find a couple of teaser quotes from Curiouser and Curiouser:

“If you say it again, I’ll stab you.” I said.
“All I said was that you look lovely. I hardly think that’s a stabbing offense.”
“Shows what you know,” I replied.
---
I heard feet rushing quickly down the cobblestone toward us. The sound of it set my nerves on edge, and my old instincts kicked in. The runner didn’t slow as the footsteps approached. I moved to grab the knife hidden out of sight under my apron, but my hands were all tied up with Lord Dodgson. If I let go, he would fall.
“Watch yourself, boy. What? Hey,” the footman called.
A boy with a mop of striking white hair, wearing an expensive but oversized waistcoat, slipped between us and was gone again in a flash.
“My pocket watch! My grandfather’s pocket watch,” Lord Dodgson cried, clutching his vest where he always kept his pocket watch. “Stop that boy. He stole my pocket watch. Alice!”
I glanced up the street to see the boy dangle the pocket watch teasingly before us.
“Rabbit,” I hissed.
“Your Grace…I need to—”
“Go, Alice. Go.”
The footman held tightly onto Lord Dodgson so I could let go. I turned and faced the boy. Rabbit, the little albino street rat, was grinning at me. Sneaky little pickpocket. What was he doing in my part of town? He’d grabbed the watch so deftly. Not bad. Some people said he was almost as good as I used to be.
Almost.

Lesley Parkin provides the outstanding narration of Curiouser and Curiouser. This is the first time I’ve ever listened to her. Sometimes I have a learning curve with a new narrator, but I experienced no issues following her performance from the get-go. Her voice is clear and easy to understand. Her pacing is spot-on. She expresses all the expected emotions and the voices she used for the characters are ideal fits. Her south London accent made listening to this audio book a pure pleasure. I can’t wait to listen to her again soon!

The author’s writing is addictive and I didn’t want to put it down once I’d started. I found myself squeezing in listening time because I couldn’t stop thinking about the story. The author made me feel that I was experiencing everything with Alice from the wonder at the steam punk characters to feeling the horror that Alice saw and smelled when in the Queen’s castle. There is a romantic element, but, if you are looking for a true romance, I would look elsewhere as this relationship works as a complement to the story. If you enjoy powerful and ingeniously plotted gloriously dark fantasies, highly original steam punk tales, or just crave a fun, well-told story featuring a whole new Alice, I’d highly recommend checking out Curiouser and Curiouser!

  • Cold Fear

  • Cold Justice Series, Volume 4
  • By: Toni Anderson
  • Narrated by: Eric G. Dove
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167

When old evidence turns up on a fresh corpse, ASAC Lincoln Frazer is determined it won't delay the execution of a convicted serial killer. But when more young women are brutally slain, it becomes clear - this new killer is intimately familiar with the old murders.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another great installment

  • By TR on 01-25-16

A pulse-pounding suspenseful murder mystery!

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

Reviewed: 02-02-18

“She’d do whatever he wanted to save her dog or her sister.”

Cold Fear by Toni Anderson is a suspenseful murder mystery set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It’s the fourth installment in the author’s Cold Justice series and my first Toni Anderson book. It’s primarily a pulse-pounding whodunit thriller with the romantic element secondary. The story kept me on the edge of my seat throughout hoping that the killer would be found quickly while dreading another victim.

I’m not going to bore you with a description as you can derive that from the book’s blurb. The opening scene is quite emotional and very sad. The story is told from multiple points of view including that of the killer. The killer’s thought processes are deeply disturbing and brutal multiplying the horror aspect of the tale.

ASAC Lincoln Frazer and former Army Captain Dr. Isadora “Izzy” Campbell are the main featured characters. They are well-written and developed as being likable, driven, efficient, genuine and smart. However, I had issues with both. Without going into specifics, Izzy withholds critical evidence that wastes days of valuable law enforcement time while women are horribly dropping like flies. In her defense, she committed the initial atrocious deed while she was a minor and under extreme duress. But, her whys and wherefores for withholding the information are rehashed over and over which makes those parts of the story drag. Izzy should have disclosed the information long before now, but she holds back the info now because she fears repercussions. I had a hard time digesting this seeing how Izzy is a doctor and privy first-hand to the horrors being perpetrated.

To be fair, I also found the hero’s reaction to Izzy’s confession to be deplorable. He was the opposite of supportive while she was obviously experiencing such trauma reliving her childhood experience. I’m obviously in the minority with this opinion, so please take it with a grain of salt.

Other than the above issues, I liked the characters and the story. The chemistry between Frazer and Izzy was great and their few sex scenes were well done.

I listened to the audio edition. It marked my first time listening to anything voiced by Eric G. Dove. He did a very good job with the narration. His voice was smooth, easy on the ears and clearly and purposefully articulated. The end product was polished and professional. I would not hesitate to pick up another of his works based upon this narration.

I jumped into this series with this installment – which is the fourth in the series. The story seemed to work well as a standalone. Overall, I enjoyed this book and never considered not finishing it. The identity of the murderer remained elusive until the surprising twist of an ending. The story was extremely emotional and riveting. That said, I read to escape and prefer my mode of entertainment to include a bit more romance and less descriptive, too-real, hard-core violence. If you fancy heart-pounding fear, chills and fright with your thrillers, this action-packed read could be your nirvana.

  • Must Love More Kilts: A Time Travel Romance

  • Must Love Series, Book 4
  • By: Angela Quarles
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63

Highland Games fanatic Fiona Campbell believes her only value is her family's history, myths, and legends. So when she travels back to 1689 Scotland and discovers she's the Fiona of family legend, you'd think she'd be excited. And she is. Except that the legendary warrior she's to save her ancestor from is the hottie in a kilt she just handfasted. Duncan MacCowan once trusted his heart to the wrong woman, but when a strange lass drops into his life and pries opens his heart again, he impulsively handfasts her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spunky American Saves Ancestor & Catches HOT Scot!

  • By LilMissMolly on 11-05-17

Fun, Engrossing & Passionate Time Travel Romance!

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

Reviewed: 01-21-18

Awesomely finishes the storyline arc that began with Must Love Kilts!

It still shocked her. In the quiet moments when she took in her surroundings. She was in friggin’ seventeenth century Scotland. Here on a wish from the magical calling card case her sister received from a friend. She’d seen an actual historical battle. There were men in kilts everywhere.

Must Love More Kilts by Angela Quarles is a fun, exciting and swoony Highland romance. It is the fourth book in the author’s “Must Love” series and the second book in the narrative arc involving the Campbell sisters who time travel back in time to Scotland on a bet to prove whether hot guys in kilts are a myth or a legend. If you are a newbie to Angela’s Must Love series, I would highly recommend that you read the previous installment, Must Love Kilts, before diving into this entry as this entry finishes the storyline which began with that book. Thus, Must Love More Kilts begins where Must Love Kilts ended, at Dungarbh Castle, stronghold of the MacCowans on Loch Garry, Scotland in 1689 during the reign of James II, right before William of Orange comes to power.

Must Love More Kilts is the story of Highlander Duncan MacCowan and Fiona Campbell. In the previous book, Duncan and Fiona met and handfasted the same night that the sisters had arrived in seventeenth century Scotland. Traci and Clan Chief Iain MacCowan found their HEA in Must Love Kilts. Now it’s Fiona’s and Duncan’s turn to find theirs, but there are some major obstacles in their path.

First of all, you must understand that Fiona loves history and especially her family’s history. History is her forte, her claim to fame and the only thing she feels she excels at. With that in mind, Fiona’s life has taken on new purpose since that fateful night with Duncan. As Fiona was exploring Duncan’s very fine physique, she was shocked to discover the very scar and tattoo on his torso which marked him as the MacCowan warrior of her favorite family legend - the warrior who her grandpappy said the Fiona of old would stop from killing her ancestor. In a cruel twist of fate, Fiona realizes that she must be that Fiona of old, leaving Fiona with a terrible dilemma. She’s in love with Duncan, but she and Traci will cease to exist if she does not stop him. So, without explanation – as how could she explain this to Duncan? - Fiona abruptly flees their bed before they consummate their marriage.

The couple does not speak of the incident afterwards. But, when another Highlander wants to take Fiona as his wife, Duncan’s heart reacts with jealousy, and the couple embark on a wild and gripping adventure.

I loved both of these main characters! Fiona and Duncan are strongly attracted to each other but each refuses to follow their heart for differing reasons. Fiona believes she can’t allow Duncan into her heart as the legend must trump her feelings. Duncan, badly hurt by another woman to whom he gave his heart, and now abandoned by Fiona when she was seemingly repulsed by his scar, believes that he’s unwanted by any woman and doomed to be alone forevermore. He has vowed to hold the keys to his heart close forevermore. Can they learn to trust and break down the seemingly impenetrable wall between them? It’s not at all clear they can…

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from Must Love More Kilts:

She did not want to have to choose between the legend which had finally made her feel as if her life had meaning and this beautiful, caring man whose soul seemed to echo with the same beats as her own heart.
---
No, he didn’t view the scar as shameful, though he did in its getting. For he’d not received it in battle. He’d received it the last time he’d ever acted foolishly over a woman.
Oddly poetic that the very woman who brought out that foolish side again was turned off by the scar. As if the scar and tattoo were a shield. A shield protecting him forevermore from heartache.
---
She dragged the soft cloth up and up, the fabric tickling along his sensitized skin. He trembled. Never had he been so responsive to a woman’s slightest touch.

Mary Jane Wells returns to narrate Must Love More Kilts. She’s one of my favorite narrators and never fails to deliver a polished, professional performance. As with the previous installments, her narration is nothing short of superb. Both her male and female voices sound genuine. Her accents sound realistic and her narration is easy to understand. Her performance transports me into the story as she really does bring Angela’s sexy tale to life. If you enjoy audios, I’d highly recommend that you elect to listen to this entire series in audio. Every facet is excellent and you will not be disappointed.

The author’s entire Must Love series is beyond fantastic. Every installment has merited top marks from me. I love how Angela blends romance, paranormal and history into a fun, engrossing and passionate tale that you won’t want to put down until the last word has been read. I can’t wait to see where Angela takes this series next!