LISTENER

Empress Karen

  • 847
  • reviews
  • 1,088
  • helpful votes
  • 974
  • ratings
  • Forged in Ember

  • A Red-Hot SEALs Novel, Book 4
  • By: Trish McCallan
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204

Amy Chastain has made a lot of enemies - none so ruthless as the insanely powerful New Ruling Order (NRO). When they killed her husband, it was hell. Then they targeted her children by injecting them with a dangerous, experimental isotope. Now Amy trusts only one man to help her: the ex-commander of SEAL Team 7. In the company of Navy SEALs, Jace “Mac” Mackenzie was in his physical element. Now he’s on the run from the same cabal that poisoned Amy’s children. That doesn’t stop him from launching a mission to bring down the NRO - and find an antidote. But the clock is ticking.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Almost 2 years!

  • By SanfordHoney on 09-18-18

Paranormal Romance

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

This was purchased on 70% members thank you sale. Book 1 is narrated by my fave Angla Dawe. That story is great and not to be missed. See her in mystery author Marcia Clark series.
I loved the character Amy and her sons in book 1 so I had to get this story about her. At book 1 it never dawned on me that this series was a modern paranormal until I started listening to this story. I have skipped the other heroes stories as Luke is not my fave narrator even though his brother James is one of my all time favorite narrator eg any Robert Crais Mysteries.
Do not get me wrong, I own about 12 books he narrates, but the old adage about the other brother can do no wrong seems to apply for me. When he deepened his voice like he does in this book for our hero, its fine. His portrayal of the Iron Druid Chronicles is spot on.
If you like American Indian tribal rituals, then books 2,3 are for you.
If you read book 1 you will see how strong and resourceful our heroine Amy was under fire.
I loved our hero Mac in book 1, who would not love him after he takes action on behalf of Amy.
Revenge is a dish best served cold!
I do use 1.25x speed to match the author intentions.
Were my comments helpful?

  • So Good

  • By: Nicola Rendell
  • Narrated by: Felicity Munroe, Rock Engle
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 27

On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he's ever laid eyes on. She's naked, she's gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn't just any woman making his knees buckle. It's his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he'll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific best friends to lovers story!

  • By ShannonVM on 06-13-18

Can Not Tell a Book By Its Cover

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

I purchased this book due to the cover! I had finally listened to a 2013 book read by Felicity Monroe, who I am not a fan but liked the premise of Fatal Force, which turned out to be a fairly good listen. Not sure why I looked at more narrations from Ms Monroe, but I happen to see this book cover. I am a push over for stories with hunks and small dogs that cuddle eg. Karin Slaughters Will Trent series with Betty his small chihuahua.
As this book was on the Members 70% thank you sale, I thought ok. However after perusing a few chapters, found the profanity was unreal, who talks with the F bomb in every sentence??? Ok some people do, I for one do not want it in a romance story, when it adds absolutely nothing!. Such a shame as the premise was cute and who does not like a hunk with a cuddling small dog?
I own many of Joanna Wilde, Reapers MC, and yes that has the appropriate amount of profanity as the genre calls for in a story. Those are well written.
This not so much!

  • Royal Design

  • A Royals of Monterra Novella
  • By: Sariah Wilson
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 2 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114

Bellamy Sullivan's life is hardly regal. She's a waitress from Ohio who's been on her own since she was 16, working several jobs while her dreams of being a fashion designer stay just that. But everything changes when PR maven and soon-to-be-royal Lemon Beauchamp drops in to announce that Bellamy is a princess. Unfortunately, Bellamy's newly assigned bodyguard is the last man she wants to see.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sans Shirt

  • By Empress Karen on 12-07-18

Sans Shirt

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

Good buy on 50% sale. I am a huge fan of narrator Ms Dawe as she always makes our hero such a dreamy hunk. No disappointments on this read. Our hero is what hunks are made of.
Short listen that is packed with humor, and good rules of engagement with the male species eg. Do not mistake friendliness for flirtation.
Beware Christian Louboutin wedge sandals do not give blisters at $2,000.
Since I am not familiar with the other narrators in this series, I may not pursue those books.
Were my comments helpful?

  • Home for Christmas

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 2 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 289
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260

From the incomparable Nora Roberts comes a classic, heart-warming tale about the enchanting Christmas season.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-03-16

A Red Wagon Friend

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

I purchased on 50% sale due to narrator, Will, who read Tiffany Snow book, Kade. It is a top favorite.
This is a Nora classic from 1986 and stands the test of time especially performed by Mr Damon.
This is about shared new beginnings and a perfect re listen during the holidays.
We’re my comments helpful?

  • Badlands

  • By: C. J. Box
  • Narrated by: January LaVoy
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 875
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 813
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 807

Twenty miles across the North Dakota border, where the scenery goes from rolling grass prairie to pipeline fields, detective Cassie Dewell has been assigned as the new deputy sheriff of Grimstad - a place people used to be from but were never headed to. Grimstad is now the oil capital of North Dakota. With oil comes money, with money comes drugs, and with drugs come the dirtiest criminals hustling to corner the market.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Huge C.J. Box fan; this book, however, not so much

  • By Kate on 08-03-15

Heroes Do Not Cry and Can Be Invisible

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

Reviewed: 12-02-18

I purchased this book due to narrator Ms LaVoy even though this author is not for me. I tried book 1, Joe Pickett series from the 1st in series sale, and took another chance on this author since I love Ms LaVoys spot on narration. Frankly, she saved this book from being just a gory graphic semi white supremacy minded story.
Since Ms LaVoy does such a great job on our little man, who MANS UP due to a weak, but loving self serving mother, this story will steal your heart.
This author can write well in the Earnest Hemingway style make no mistake! He has great descriptions that paint a vivid picture eg crouched like a feral cat. Believe me, I would never visit North Dakota in the winter based on the authors depiction of the terrain in this story.
I liked the characters in this story and see another book coming, but I do not like graphic descriptions eg author Karin Slaughter early books, Undone. I just do not trust where this author is going and how much gore he can tell, so I will have to pass on the next Captain Kyle adventure. The next book is not narratored by Ms LaVoy, a shame, but the sample was good even though authors fans did not like that new female narrator either. When authors like to branch out in there characterization their fans can keep them from expanding their writing style as I have seen from review comments.
This was a fast pace story, but I do use the 1.25x speed to match the author intent.
Were my comments helpful?

  • Bedded by Her Highland Enemy

  • By: B. J. Scott
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

Brianne Dunbar survived the massacre that claimed the life of her husband and son and vows to seek revenge when she learns that the king has ordered her to marry the lecherous son of the laird she believes is responsible for the attack. Can she follow through with her plan, or will the secrets she carries change her destiny?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it.

  • By Starlet M. on 03-19-16

Celtic Romatic Suspense

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

Reviewed: 11-28-18

This is my first read from this author purchased on the 50% sale. I purchase all I can of narrator Ms Dawe when she reads in a Scottish brogue, none better. See Hanna Howell series, books 5,6.10 are my 5 star faves. This narrator makes that series wonderful as she puts you right there in the Highlands, on horseback or in the Crofts,
Note I do use the new 1.25x speed on a mystery and suspense to match the authors intent.
This author writes a light romantic, nothing too steamy, fast moving suspenseful adventure with a dab of comic relief in this tale. See Audibles short author Bio for instructions on seeing more titles.
The publishers summary is spot on.
In my humble opinion, this tale is just a bit too short, 6hrs. 30min for the author to fully make this adventure into a 5 star re listen story, unless I just want another round of listening to Ms Dawe delightful Scottish brogue from our hero and friends.
While I love the Hemingway writing style, and this author truly has that gift, this tale needed just a bit more to make this a fully satisfying stand alone book. Great authors do it in about 8 hrs, and it is rarely the case under that time frame.
Come to think of it, I see a saga series coming if the hints were spot on. Eg Colin character is just only one example.
At the time of this review, this is the only story published at Audible by this author. So without knowing this authors other books, there maybe other stories to continue this tale with familiar characters.
Were my comments helpful?

  • A Rogue to Avoid

  • Matchmaking for Wallflowers Series, Book 2
  • By: Bianca Blythe
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

The only thing Lady Cordelia and Lord Rockport can agree on is their mutual abhorrence. Lady Cordelia was supposed to be the perfect debutante. But three broken engagements later, she's the subject of titters rather than laudations. Now relegated to the wallflower section of every ballroom, she does not want anything to plummet her further into scandal. She absolutely does not want to have anything to do with the too handsome, too roguish, too Scottish Marquess of Rockport.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Pigs, Give Them Some Food and Some Mud, Happy

  • By Empress Karen on 11-27-18

Pigs, Give Them Some Food and Some Mud, Happy

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

Reviewed: 11-27-18

This is my first read by this author purchased on the 50% sale. I purchase as many Scottish reads Ms Dawe records as I can afford. She takes you right back to the Highlands you remember or if you have never had the opportunity to visit yet, her reads will take you right into the village so you can join in all the adventure.
This is a light romance Regency tale of two unlikely characters who escape on an adventure and find the other persons attributes and humor can change their opinion.
This is not a steamy romance but one of discovery and trust.
Our hero has so much cheerfulness throughout this tale, which is the most redeeming quality of the story.
The dialogue exemplifies the humor the author set forth, hence the headline.
Although our hero himself has experienced betrayal so close to his heart, he trusts his new found opinions and follows it.
Try Nora Roberts contemporary MacGregor series eg MacGregor Grooms for the most fun with the MacGregor, himself. It will steal your heart.
Often I use the new 1.25x speed to match the adventure.
Hope my comments were helpful?

  • As High as the Heavens

  • By: Kathleen Morgan
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

The year is 1568 and Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned in Lochleven Castle. But Mary’s supporters, including noblewoman Heather Gordon, are planning a daring rescue. In order to gain entry to the castle, they need to help of one man - a resident of a small cottage in the frigid Highlands who just happens to resemble someone with access to Lochleven. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Scottish Man In the Iron Mask

  • By Empress Karen on 11-25-18

Scottish Man In the Iron Mask

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

Reviewed: 11-25-18

I purchased on the 50% sale as I love all Scottish reads by narrator Ms Dawe. She is tops with this accent and reads this authors work so verrrry well. As an avid fan of hers, over 100 reads, do not miss Hanna Howell Scottish series, top fave books 5,6,and 10. If you love mysteries see Marcia Clark series Samantha Brinkman. My top fave contemporary Julie Garwood Sweet Talk.

This is my 1st read from this author who is inspirational throughout this book. I was a bit surprised as this book is listed under Romance Historical and publisher did not note any Inspirational comments eg Lindsay McKenna , but did outline this story spot on. However, if you read Audibles short author bio, it outlines authors transition to this genre. Author has some excellent inspirational genre within this historical romance. This is a bit tricky, and author blended good old fashion Scottish history with a little bit of Alexander Dumas to tell a romance tale that touches your heart. If you have never been to the highlands or you want to revisit it, this author puts you right there in the Crofts or dank castles of its day.
Author or publisher chose the best narrator to tell this romance tale as Ms Dawe makes our hero so wonderful it can break your heart. Our heroine is strong and educated and will not be dragged through life by the ideals of others.
Note: I do use the 1.25x speed to match the adventure.
I hope my comments were helpful?

  • The Tomb

  • Repairman Jack #1
  • By: F. Paul Wilson
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 955
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 811
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 813

Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Gia, Repairman Jack doesn't deal with electronic appliances. He fixes situations for people, often putting himself in deadly danger. His latest project is recovering a stolen necklace, which carries with it an ancient curse that may unleash a horde of Bengali demons. Jack is used to danger, but this time Gia's daughter Vicky is threatened. Can Jack overcome the curse of the yellow necklace and bring Vicky safely back home?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty good story

  • By Elena on 07-15-09

Paranormal and Modern Detective

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

Reviewed: 11-15-18

I purchased due to Joe Barret narrating this Halloween $6.95 sale book. Clever of Audible to pull together all these books which have a baring of Halloween genre so to speak.
If you are a Joe Barret fan like I am, then do not miss author Brian Haig Private Sector as Mr Barrett makes the Sean Drummond series so much fun entertainment.
I am ok with paranormal if I know it before purchasing,but this was a surprise unless you trudged through all the books reviews and found the 1 review that was helpful enough to mention this was a paranormal story. Do not get me wrong, this is a good story and quite inventive as the story develops if you love paranormal, but if you are wanting a pure modern detective eg: Jack Reacher style, then hence the reviews of the absurd.
This author is not for me but I can see why this series has a such fanship at $20.99 a book!
I do use the 1.25x speed to match mystery stories intentions.
Were my comments helpful?

  • The House of Secrets

  • By: Brad Meltzer, Tod Goldberg
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, January LaVoy
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,532
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,393
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,393

When Hazel Nash was six years old, her father taught her: Mysteries need to be solved. He should know. Hazel's father is Jack Nash, the host of America's favorite conspiracy TV show, The House of Secrets. Even as a child, she loved hearing her dad's tall tales, especially the one about a leather book belonging to Benedict Arnold that was hidden in a corpse. Now, years later, Hazel wakes up in the hospital and remembers nothing, not even her own name. She's told she's been in a car accident that killed her father and injured her brother.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Nope.

  • By Anonymous! on 06-17-16

Just Doing Right

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

Reviewed: 11-14-18

I purchased on Halloween $6.95 sales due to Mr. Brick and Ms Lavoy narratoring. They can read a phone book together and it would be great. However, they still can not make up for good editing.
The premise was good and you could envision a series coming, but the two authors just could not convince me to try another of their co-written books. They have good characters that would be great in book 2, but alas this book just eluded to how great they could be in another story.
It seemed like the two authors struggled to get two books into the first story. The last 2 hrs are the best, but that same type of writing needed to be at the beginning as it was too obscure to follow as many of this books earlier reviewers attested too,
Note, I did you the 1.25x speed which helped move the story along.
Were my comments helpful?