LISTENER

J. Byerly

  • 70
  • reviews
  • 171
  • helpful votes
  • 402
  • ratings
  • Dune Drive

  • The Chesapeake Diaries, Book 12
  • By: Mariah Stewart
  • Narrated by: Joy Osmanski
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26

Always believing she was an ugly duckling, Chrissy Jenkins thought she had finally turned into a swan when her real-life Prince Charming swept her off her feet. But as his true character began to crack his perfect facade, Chrissy realized that she was better off without him. Returning to her ancestral home on Cannonball Island, she reboots her life, successfully reinventing herself as a chef at Blossoms, an up-and-coming restaurant. But despite her newfound self-confidence, she still doesn’t trust her taste in men. So when she meets Jared Chandler, a handsome ship salvager, Chrissy’s certain she can keep him as a friend....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another good story in the series

  • By Haveenoughstuff on 08-02-18

Still struggling w/narrator

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

Reviewed: 01-31-19

Xe Sands started this series and she was AMAZING with different character voices. Her “Grace” & “Ruby” were perfection, men sounded like men instead of petulant teenagers and women sounded strong and sexy. I’m sure the current narrator has much talent but she has pretty much ruined this series for me. This story has been least favorite... rather than lead female making you feel compassion, frankly, I was just annoyed. It has been a fabulous and fun series, but it’s going downhill.

  • Beyond All Dreams

  • By: Elizabeth Camden
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

Anna O'Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help. Luke Callahan was one of the nation's most powerful congressmen before his promising career was shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting Mystery, Excellent Narration

  • By J. Byerly on 10-19-18

Interesting Mystery, Excellent Narration

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

As Xe Sands is one of my all time favorite narrators, I thought the narration was exceptional, of course. Her ability to give voices to different characters and to do male voices very well helps make her a favorite for me.

Regarding the story, first and foremost, know this book is a Christian romance. There is NO mention of this in the book summary. Reading the Bible, praying, forgiveness, and faith are strong themes in the book. Well done for the genre.

There is a mystery running throughout the book as well as the attraction/romance growing between Luke, the attractive Congressman, and Anna, the principled Librarian.

It was a good story and for the most part, I enjoyed it. But, the frequent reference to their hard childhoods, sins committed against them, etc became a bit tedious for me. I am particularly sensitive to that. I personally read to escape the hardships of life. 😊

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Songbird Sisters

  • The Songbirds of Darling Bay, Book 3
  • By: Rachael Herron
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

When their world-famous band, The Darling Songbirds, split up acrimoniously, sisters Adele, Molly, and Lana went their separate ways. A decade on, Adele and Molly have finally reconciled. However, Lana has remained stubbornly estranged - until now. Lana Darling’s bank account is finally filled to the top, thanks to the song she sold to another singer, but she’s never made it as a solo artist. Is it finally time to give it all up?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great storyline and narration .... but ...

  • By J. Byerly on 06-28-18

Great storyline and narration .... but ...

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

Reviewed: 06-28-18

I love the idea for the series and Ms Xe Sands is one of my favorite narrators. Has interesting characters, and swoon worthy leading man, but, Lana, the lead female annoyed me from start to finish. I actually skipped almost all of the last 10 chapters because I just couldn’t take her angry bitter manner anymore. I listened to the last 10 minutes to make sure they all lived happily ever after.

  • The Duke of Ice

  • The Untouchables, Book 7
  • By: Darcy Burke
  • Narrated by: Marian Hussey
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 34

Everyone Nicholas Bateman ever loved has died. Except Violet Caulfield, which must mean he never loved her. Nine years after she threw him over to marry a viscount, Nick is a widowed duke who prefers isolation. When a friend convinces him to leave his lair of self-imposed solitude, he considers taking another wife, provided she agrees to his terms: no emotional attachment of any kind. Now widowed, Lady Violet Pendleton hopes for a second chance with the man she’s always loved. But she isn’t prepared for the desolation in his soul or the animosity he still bears toward her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • NARRATOR WAS VERY GOOD BUT STORY WAS LACKING!!

  • By Edwina "I Love books" on 05-24-18

Least favorite of the series

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

Reviewed: 05-25-18

This has been a fun series so I was really surprised with this book. I found the main character, Nick, to be so over the top annoying, indecisive, and self absorbed, that I had a hard time getting thru the book. For brief periods, he could be very charming, but it never lasted. Violet, the leading lady, on the other hand was everything you could want. She was beautiful and charming and loving and kind and how she put up with Nick, is beyond me. haha Narration was lovely.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Songbird's Call

  • The Songbirds of Darling Bay, Book 2
  • By: Rachael Herron
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9

Once Adele, Molly, and Lana were The Darling Songbirds, a world-famous country band. Now they're just three sisters who barely speak. But that's about to change. Middle sister Molly arrives in town, and is immediately drawn to the neglected little café where she worked as a teenager. Could she dare to bring it back to life? As lead singer, Molly had always been the voice of the band. But caught between controlling big sister Adele and demanding baby sister Lana, she never felt heard. If she's going to reopen the café, she'll do it on her own terms, no more being bossed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Alls well that ends well ....

  • By J. Byerly on 05-20-18

Alls well that ends well ....

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

Reviewed: 05-20-18

Nice series, nice romance and as Ms. Sands is one of my very favorite narrators of romances, it makes for a good listen.

I was really loving it until (and this is purely a personal opinion), Molly's issues of being hurt with her weight issues was just run into the ground, Colin was portrayed as pushy/demanding at times with no real evidence of that and finally .... some rather strong political statements were made w/regards to real life issues. If I wanted politics in a book, I wouldn't have purchased a romance. Please push your agenda some place else. Having said that, the story of the sisters reuniting and bringing the cafe back to life was sweet.

  • 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 149
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

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 of the series!

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

Reviewed: 05-13-18

Loved the characters, Eve and Callum! They both came fm such hardship and heartbreak, but were still such good people. Sweet romance, a little heat, great story. Narration was perfect.

** Surprised this was listed as final book of series. What about Adair? We can’t leave him all alone. lol

  • Hello Stranger

  • The Ravenels, Book 4
  • By: Lisa Kleypas
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 795
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 732
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 727

Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man - why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair - until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again. But she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delicious!

  • By harp diva on 03-01-18

The best of the series!

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

Reviewed: 04-28-18

There was something so right about the characters - Garrett and Ethan. Loved their personalities and their interaction with each other. She was all business - except when it came to him and he was the same. It made for a tender and passionate story. None of the usual angst that I'm so tired of. lol A bit of a mystery, some adventure, a crisis and plenty of passion. Recommend!

  • Queen Anne's Lace

  • By: Susan Wittig Albert
  • Narrated by: Julia Gibson, Linda Stephens
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

While helping Ruby Wilcox clean up the loft above their shops, China comes upon a box of antique handcrafted lace and old photographs. Following the discovery, she hears a woman humming an old Scottish ballad and smells the delicate scent of lavender.... Soon, strange happenings start to occur in Thyme and Seasons: misplaced items, a ringing bell, and the appearance of lavender sprigs in odd places. When a customer mentions seeing a mysterious woman picking flowers nearby and then suddenly disappearing, China must finally admit what Ruby has always known - their building is haunted. But by whom?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and complex

  • By nancejan on 04-13-18

A new favorite!

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

Reviewed: 04-06-18

You might think after several books in a series, the characters or stories might become a bit boring ..... not if you're following China and Ruby. A wonderful story that makes you think about the many twists and turns our lives take. There's a bit of romance, mystery, gardening, friendship, and more. Ms. Gibson IS China Bayles and again does a beautiful narration as does Ms.Stephens. If you are not familiar with China and Pecan Springs, I encourage you to listen to the entire series. JB

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Later Gator

  • By: Jana DeLeon
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,076
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 978
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 974

A poacher is at work in Sinful, Louisiana, and Deputy Carter LeBlanc is hot on the trail of the outlaw, trying to apprehend him before the state gets wind of the crime and sends a game warden to take over his investigation. Unfortunately, he's hindered every step of the way by Sinful's current mayor and all-around horrible person, Celia Arceneaux, who wants nothing more than to drive Carter to resign. When a game warden turns up with evidence that implicates a relative of Gertie's, Carter is left with no choice but to arrest the boy, even though no one thinks he did it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Author Jana DeLeon is a treasure!

  • By Wayne on 03-04-18

Fun Series

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

Reviewed: 03-04-18

You just have to start at the beginning to really appreciate "the girls" and their shenanigans. One of the few series that makes me just laugh out loud! Great characters and a narrator made for this series. Ms Campbell does a wonderful job of giving personality to each. Fun cozy mystery.

  • The Daring Duke

  • The 1797 Club, Book 1
  • By: Jess Michaels
  • Narrated by: Danielle O'Farrell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 244
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 221

The wild and charismatic Duke of Abernathe is the kind of friend anyone would wish to have. He even formed the 1797 Club, consisting of 10 men who would all be dukes. But he has full-throatedly declared he will never marry and no one understands why. But Miss Emma Liston doesn't care why. A longtime wallflower with an absentee father who is a scandal waiting to happen, she needs to marry. Now. She decides to take a wild chance and ask the help of her friend Meg's brother James.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Nice story ...but

  • By J. Byerly on 12-29-17

Nice story ...but

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

Reviewed: 12-29-17

I found myself drawn to the story. Who doesn’t like one of the wallflower captivating the Duke? Unfortunately, the overdone theatrical narration all but ruined what could have been a great book. I felt the voice for Emma, lead, was juvenile and annoying and the others weren’t much better. I believe the narrator truly has talent but was too over the top. Nothing new or different in the storyline, but pleasant. Likeable lead characters.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful