LISTENER

kestergayle

  • 73
  • reviews
  • 189
  • helpful votes
  • 1,269
  • ratings
  • Intention

  • By: Ava Harrison
  • Narrated by: Shane East, Andi Arndt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105

I had it all. Dream job, fancy apartment, great family. But there was one thing I didn’t have. Would never have. Then he showed up. Rich. Arrogant. Condescending. He came to me with an ultimatum, and I had no choice but to agree. I needed to convince the world that I was Nathaniel Harrington’s girlfriend, so his legacy would stay intact. Spending time with him would be difficult. And fooling the world would be even harder.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sigh!

  • By Niaboo2000 on 02-10-19

Spoilers ahead!!

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

This is a well-written and well-narrated book. It holds your interest from beginning to end, and has a unique setting. The characters are clearly delineated and relatable.

Having said that however, I do get tired of the trope of a woman not being/feeling like a 'real' woman if she doesn't have kids. This woman is struggling with serious reproductive issues, and despite her success as a working woman and executive, she feels unfulfilled because of that. This drives a great deal of the plot. Just once I'd like an HEA where the couple choose not to have kids. Not everyone wants them or even likes them. It's just as valid of a choice as parenthood, after all. Other than that, I liked the book well enough, and it works quite well as an audiobook.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Devil's Daughter

  • The Ravenels Meet the Wallflowers
  • By: Lisa Kleypas
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 498
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 458
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 459

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: He’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself...as none other than West Ravenel. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delicious Perfection!

  • By kestergayle on 02-20-19

Delicious Perfection!

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

Reviewed: 02-20-19

As usual, Kleypas does an amazing job with this luscious historical romance. Here, the Ravenels meet the Wallflowers (again), and the Duke himself lurks around the edges like a slightly tarnished Cupid, quietly arranging the lives of those he loves.

Wes Ravenel meets Phoebe, a beautiful young widow and the daughter of the Duke of Kingston. She initially hates him because he bullied her late husband in boarding school. But she comes to see him as only human, and they forge a path toward friendship. Of course, deeper feelings develop, and he feels unworthy of her due to his past as a rake and a drunkard. Meanwhile, he helps her begin to take charge of her young son's estate and to help her see the potential the estate has to offer. And feelings continue to deepen between them.

There are bad guys and deep secrets, it's a romance novel after all! But the dialog is amusing, the chemistry is heated, and the Duke all but steals the show. If you like historical romance, if you like Kleypas and her Wallflowers series, if you've been enjoying the Ravenel series, I think.you'll love this one. I listened in one sitting, it went down like ice cream, and I will re-listen soon. While it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone. There are references to other characters and events, but they are explained well enough as to not be distracting. (If you've not read any of the others in the series, I encourage you to read Marrying Winterbourne. It's the second book and just as delightful.) Highly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Girl Like Her

  • By: Talia Hibbert
  • Narrated by: Rupert Channing
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

After years of military service, Evan Miller wants a quiet life. The small town of Ravenswood seems perfect - until he stumbles upon a vicious web of lies with his new neighbor at its center. Ruth Kabbah is rude, awkward, and - according to everyone in town - bad news. Thing is, no one will tell Evan why. Does she perform ritual sacrifices? Howl at the moon? Pour the milk before the tea? He has no clue. But he desperately wants to find out. The more Evan’s isolated, eccentric neighbor pushes him away, the more he wants her. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Offbeat and utterly enjoyable story and characters

  • By kestergayle on 02-03-19

Offbeat and utterly enjoyable story and characters

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

Reviewed: 02-03-19

This is a story about a black woman living in small, insular town in England. She is on the autism spectrum, and has a bad reputation in the town. Her go to response to stress is to tell people to eff off and she stays at home rather than deal with the negative comments from the townsfolk. A handsome and kind man moves in next door to her, and they become friends. He's all about doing the right thing, and when he realizes that Ruth has no stove, Evan begins to cook for her. As time passes, he becomes very attracted to her, but he has to fight through her defenses and and prove to Ruth that he's not out to use or hurt her. Ruth meanwhile, needs to learn to be proud of who she is and get over some devastating experiences from her past.

I loved this story, was very invested in these characters, and enjoyed the journey they had to take to get to their HEA. Ruth and Evan are ordinary working class folks, no billionaires here. He's alone in the world, and served in the Army for several years. Ruth has a sister and mother that she's close to, but no friends. This love affair is a joy to watch develop, and they really earned their happiness.

The narration is perfection, and the story is written in third person so there is one omniscient 'voice', which I prefer. Rupert Channing is the ideal reader for this series. Can't wait for the next book!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Cowboy Brave

  • By: Carolyn Brown
  • Narrated by: Chelsea Hatfield
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77

This city girl's about to get a dose of cowboy charm. Emily Baker doesn't rough it - anymore. Born and raised on a farm, she's worked hard to distance herself from that life, thank you very much. But when the seniors at the nursing home where she works beg for a ranch retreat, she caves and heads up to the Longhorn Canyon spread. With one glance at the sexy cowboy who opens the door, she's suddenly thinking a week with him might not be so bad after all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Where’s my second book?

  • By Gsabe on 01-12-19

Only one book in this purchase

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

It's not terrible, but there's nothing original here. The writing is underwhelming, and the plot is predictable. But mainly i just want folks to know you only get one book with this purchase, despite what the blurb says. So buyer beware!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hosed

  • By: Lili Valente, Pippa Grant
  • Narrated by: Jacob Morgan, Virginia Rose
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271

The world’s sexiest firefighter is about to get a second chance with the virgin next door.... He’s bossy, arrogant, and so ridiculously hot that he should come with a warning label and a pair of flame-retardant coveralls. He’s also the boy who broke my heart when we were in high school. I want to move in next door to Ryan O’Dell the way I want to be the virgin gamer geek suddenly in charge of running my sister’s sex-toy factory. Too bad both are written in my stars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Quirky, original, and fun!

  • By kestergayle on 01-19-19

Quirky, original, and fun!

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

Ok, I loved this. It was silly, sassy, funny, and a bit different.

We have the small Georgia town of Happy Cat, where a woman named Savanna has opened a sex toy factory. Some of the citizens are quite irate about that. But Savanna gets her heart broken, leaves town in her grief and ominous things begin to occur at the factory. Meanwhile, her sister Cassie comes to town to operate the factory in Savanna's absence. When there is a fire at the factory, firefighter Ryan comes to the rescue. They were in high school together, where Ryan unwittingly broke Cassie's heart. That's how the story opens.

But, the charm of this tale is in the small town setting, the quirky characters, and George Cooney, Raccoon Extraordinaire. The love story is sweet, the 'drama' is fun and intriguing, and the denouement is emotionally fulfilling. I laughed many times while listening, and smiled hugely the rest of the time. If you like Lauren Blakely's books, I think you'll like this too. There is some angst, but it's not overdone, mostly I just found myself rooting for these two (and George, of course!), and enjoying my little trip to Happy Cat. I hope this is a series, because Ryan has some hot brothers, and of course there is still Savanna who needs an HEA. This is definitely a book I will listen to many times! (Be sure you listen to the second epilogue, it'll definitely make you laugh.)

The narration was perfect. Jacob Morgan/Zachary Webber was as wonderful as always, and Virginia Rose had just the right soft, sweet voice to perfectly embody Cassie. These two make a great team, and I'd like to see them paired up more often. If this does turn into a series, I certainly hope they narrate each volume! Frankly, I'd like to see them (and hear them!) more frequently in general. They are both too talented not to see more air time. I hope you're listening, Audible!

If you like humorous, unusual, contemporary romance, I think you'll enjoy this. It would be a wonderful pick me up on a blue day, a nice comfort read, or if you've just listened to something dark and heavy this would be a great mood lightener. It's not very long, so it would be a lovely book for the airplane or car, as well. I highly recommend this one!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The First Taste

  • By: Jessica Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
  • Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,615
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,484
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,484

Single dad Andrew Beckwith has already devoted his life to one girl - and as far as he's concerned, she's all he needs. The inked, rough-around-the-edges bad boy left his reckless ways behind six years ago when his daughter Bell was born. When Bell's mother walked out of their lives, Andrew vowed never to let another woman close enough to hurt them again. But when sharp-tongued Amelia and stubborn Andrew cross paths, sparks fly - and burn. After all, it's not as if opposites ever attract.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Opposites Attract in the best possible way

  • By Jordy ♡♡♡♡ on 06-25-17

Not up to Hawkin's usual level.

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

Reviewed: 01-16-19

It's not a bad story, but it's way too long for one thing. It seriously needs tightening, and I never really understood the attraction between the two main characters. Once they got to know one another it made more sense, but there is a moment when they have only just met that they decide to have a one night stand. All they do is bicker and fight for dominance, and yet they seem committed to this night of sex. This happens really early in the story, so it's not a spoiler.

The H is a single dad, and I know his daughter is supposed to be cute. But I found her to be spoiled and whiney, and I hate whiney kids. So that didn't work for me. And the h is working on a divorce from a manipulative, controllng, abusive man, but he has deep pockets and keeps threatening her with losing everything she's worked for. But he was written so one-dimensionally that I found him to be almost laughable. He was supposed to be so dark and menacing, but he was not. So that didn't work for me, either. Those two characters were major parts of the conflict and drama of the story, so that was a bit of a fail.

As for the narrators, they were ok. Andi Arndt obviously had a head cold, so her usual energy and variety of voices was off a bit. She was still fine, but not at 100%. Sebastian York, as usual, does a great job reading the H's part, but his female voices, bad guys, and goofy co-workers all sound alike....nasal and sarcastic. I fail to understand why he's so popular when there are many other male narrators who are far more talented. Zachary Webber, anyone? Or Joe Arden, Teddy Hamilton, Shane East, etc. I know I'm in the minority, but really Audible. Give some of these other, enormously talented, narrators more opportunity to build a following. They deserve it!

So, I can't wholeheartedly recommend this title, but if you're a Jessica Hawkins fan, or you like the blue collar man/city girl trope, or you can't resist the Arndt/York duo, this might be right in your wheelhouse. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. I just wish it were more original and had better editing.

  • The Christmas Hirelings

  • By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,210
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,597
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,562

Sir John Penlyon is planning to spend Christmas at his estate with his niece and his friend Danby, the closest thing he has to family since disowning his daughter years ago. (She eloped with the parson, who was, of course, penniless.) Danby suggests that at Christmastime the estate needs the presence of small children, and offers to find some - the “hirelings” - despite Sir John’s skepticism. Three children duly arrive, and the youngest, precocious four year-old Moppet, quickly endears herself to Sir John. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A warm and lovely Christmas story

  • By Elisabeth Carey on 12-13-18

Lovely, old-fashioned Christmas tale

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

Reviewed: 12-18-18

Voiced by the extremely talented Richard Armitage, this story rivals (if not bests) that of Dickens A Christmas Carol. More accessible to modern audiences, though nearly as old, I encourage you and your family to find time for this over the holiday season. It may become a family tradition, and it's brief enough to listen to over one or two evenings. Far more engaging than most modern holiday fare, I loved this charming story. Armitage's vocal talents add gravitas and a hint of pathos, which is just enough to have you listening intently. This was a wonderful story, unexpectedly moving, and I highly recommend it.

  • Two Wedding Crashers

  • The Dating by Numbers Series, Book 2
  • By: Meghan Quinn
  • Narrated by: Virginia Rose, Joe Arden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

I don’t know what love is anymore. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I’m going to tell you a little secret: I’ve lost the spark. You know the kind of spark I’m talking about? Where butterflies take flight in your stomach from two hands innocently colliding. Yeah, that spark. Except I haven't felt that feeling in forever; there is nothing left inside of me. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem - but I’m a writer on a serious deadline, and my editor is breathing down my neck for a romantic Nicholas Sparks-type love story.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ANOTHER PERFECT ROM/COM FROM MEGHAN QUINN

  • By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 11-05-18

Fun, funny, and poignant

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

This is a seriously fun book. It had me roaring with laughter, eager for the next development, and awed by the journeys the two main characters had been on before they ever met. It's one of the most enjoyable romances I've read in months, and I highly recommend it.

We start out with a truly funny 'meet cute', involving baby puke and naked encounters. Riley (the h) is a successful romance writer and Beck (the H) is a painter who does murals for zoo habitats. Neither is rich, both are in Key West to crash a wedding for their own purposes, and they become attracted and spend several days together on this mini-vacation. Over the course of their visit, they grow closer, but both are harboring secrets they are not yet willing to divulge. Now, I've read many many contemporary romances, and they all involve secrets. But these particular secrets, especially Beck's, are not your run of the mill book fodder. Because of the author's skill, she is able to take this story from hilarity to tragedy without missing a beat, making it riveting, plausible, and heartfelt all at once. I loved the paths they each had to travel in order to come together, and Beck is now my favorite book boyfriend! (Move over, Jamie Fraser!)

The narration is wonderful, Joe Arden gets better with every book I listen to, and he makes Beck's qualities of being funny, intelligent, thoughtful, passionate, and determined really come alive. Virginia Rose also breathes life into Riley, helping you to empathize with her trials and appreciate her humor and intelligence.

If you don't laugh out loud at least once when listening to this book, you're made of far sterner stuff than I am! I adored the humor, fell in love with Port Snow, Maine, and related to the characters and the obstacles they had to overcome. Definitely worth a credit, and I highly recommend this book if you're looking for something original and extremely well-written.

  • I Am Spartacus!

  • Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist
  • By: Kirk Douglas
  • Narrated by: Michael Douglas
  • Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160

Now, more than 50 years after the release of his enduring epic Spartacus, Douglas reveals the riveting drama behind the making of the legendary gladiator film. Writing from his heart and from his own meticulously researched archives, Kirk Douglas, at 95, looks back candidly—and often with self-effacing humor—at his audacious decision to give public credit to Trumbo, thus effectively ending the notorious Hollywood blacklist.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • McCarthyism, Hollywood, Spartacus and Kirk Douglas

  • By Jefferson on 02-02-18

A Moving Tale

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

This is a fascinating depiction of Hollywood, politics, the creative process, and America of the 1950's. While dramatic and entertaining, Douglas's prose is matter of fact, simply stating the facts and events as they occurred. This minimalist approach makes the story all the more profound, in my opinion.

There are many anecdotes film buffs will enjoy, and the portrayals of the major players...actors, writers, producers, family members and friends are beautifully drawn. These individuals, many long dead, come to vibrant life in this book and give this story a flair and vitality that I found compelling. This book about the making of a movie would make a wonderful movie itself, and there might even be a young-ish Douglas male right for the part of the family patriarch, who knows? (Michael, you're too old, sorry!) Douglas does not shy away from poking fun at himself, and he takes every opportunity to sing the praises of his wife, Ann. She is clearly a remarkable woman, and is utterly unafraid of confronting her sometimes volatile husband when he needs a set down.

While I enjoyed the entire book very much, the most moving scene for me was when Kirk Douglas invites Dalton Trumbo to the studio commissary for the first time since he had been blacklisted. Douglas's description of Trumbo's reaction was poignant indeed.

The narration was good, but not excellent. Michael Douglas has unclear speech at times, and doesn't use inflection nearly as much or as effectively as he should. But, he is more of a movie star than an actor, so his performance was about what I expected.

Film buffs, students of McCarthyism, those who are interested in mid-century America, and folks who enjoy well-told memoirs would all find this book worth the time. Highly recommended.

  • Face Off: Emile

  • Nashville Sound, Book 1
  • By: Alicia Hunter Pace
  • Narrated by: Andrew Eiden
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

Emile Giroux has vowed he will be everything his stepfather is not: cultured, charming, sophisticated, and - above all else - a rich, successful NHL star. One of the top goalies in the league, the French Canadian strives for more, still haunted by his troubled childhood. Amy Callahan was a freelance professional organizer until an ambitious, domineering boyfriend took over her life and cleaned out her bank account. When Emile finds Amy literally kicked to the curb, he seizes his latest chance to rescue a damsel in distress - only Amy doesn’t want to play that game.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Adorable!

  • By kestergayle on 08-24-18

Adorable!

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

This is a warm and delightful story of a Prince Charming in a goalie mask and a Cinderella with a purse full of multi-colored pens. There's even a somewhat grizzled fairy godmother, with mystical powers of intuition and empathy. Cinderella's suddenly penniless, deserted by the man she hoped to marry, alone with no one to turn to. The prince, complete with a delicious French-Canadian accent, takes her in and helps her start to get back on her feet.

Naturally, romance ensues!

I adored this story; the characters were charming, the hockey environment was realistic, and the plot was sweet without being cloying. And if you don't fall in love with Emile you're made of much tougher stuff than I am! The conflict was a bit contrived, imo, but it worked fine.

I've read quite a few sports romances over the last year or so, and this is one of my favorites so far. I am very much looking forward to more books in this series, as there were many members of the hockey team that deserve stories of their own. The narration by Andrew Eiden (aka Teddy Hamilton) was wonderful, it's the best I've heard from him so far. I do not speak French, but the French passages were very smooth and authentic sounding, and Eiden's English language passages were heartfelt and very conversational. This is not a traditional dual POV book, nothing is in first person. The entire book is written in third person with a great deal of inner dialogue from our two main characters. This is my preferred reading format, so it worked beautifully for me.

If you're looking for a lovely, sexy romance, with a heroine who does some growing up, a hero who learns to listen, complete with an HEA, here's your next listen!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful