LISTENER

Madison W Fairbanks

Chicago, IL United States
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 19
  • ratings
  • Montana Sky Justice

  • By: Debra Holland
  • Narrated by: Lara Asmundson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

K.C. Granger is the sheriff of Sweetwater Springs. Red Charlie is a Blackfoot Indian and the blacksmith of Sweetwater Springs. When reports of Indian thievery begin, K.C. enlists Red Charlie as her deputy, even traveling with him to the nearest reservation and taking needed supplies for the starving people. The two of them settle into a comfortable working relationship. K.C. doesn’t know what to do with the womanly emotions of love she grows to feel for her deputy, and Red Charlie believes a relationship with an Indian will only bring trouble to the woman he admires.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another amazing adventure!!

  • By Kathy K on 02-13-19

Montana Sky Justice by Debra Holland

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

Montana Sky Justice by Debra Holland

Sheriff KC Granger’s story from the Montana Sky series. Historical sweet romance although the romance part is only a small percentage of the overall length.
9th book in the series. Can be read as a standalone but it’s better appreciated if you’ve read prior books. In particular, there are appearances by many prior characters such as Seth and Trudy from the Mail-Order Brides, some of the children from the various families, Andre Bellaire, banker Caleb, dressmaker Constance and Dr Angus as well as the Reverend Norton.

In this story, the town has a fundraiser in conjunction with a celebration but bank robbers interrupt and manage to make it out of town. Sheriff Granger and various members from the community form a posse to hunt the robbers down.
We learn some of the Sheriff’s past as well as some of the rigors of the old west.
I fell in love with the child Walter. He knows he has a job to do as instructed by his father, but his joy with the puppy, his appreciation of a baked potato and his worry over Deputy Chogan prove his heart is pure and good.

I alternated between the audible version and a bit of the kindle version. Listening to these historical stories by narrator Laura Asmundson is like a soothing stress reliever. Peaceful and heartwarming.

  • My Girl

  • A Montana Sky Series Novella
  • By: Debra Holland
  • Narrated by: Lara Asmundson
  • Length: 3 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

When a logging accident kills his friend and Felicity Woodbury’s fiancé, Lars Aagaard steps in to lend his support. To keep Felicity’s suitors at bay during her mourning period, the two act as if Lars is wooing her. But, already smitten, Lars hopes to turn the pretend courtship to real love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Girl: A Montana Sky Series Novella

  • By AnnieS on 09-10-18

Sweet and lovely historical romance novella

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

Reviewed: 09-24-18

A sweet and lovely historical novella from the Montana Sky series and the town of Sweetwater Springs. If falls between Singing Montana Sky and Bright Montana Sky and can be read on it's own.

This story is a touch sad as it deals with the a tragic death of a young man in his prime and the resulting grief of friends. But as in life, friends and family draw strength from each other. Felicity and Lars grow their own friendship and love out of their sadness.
It's a rich and beautiful story of survival and new love.

The Norwegian floral painting tradition of rosemal is highlighted in this story. Quite interesting and beautiful if you've never seen it.

I alternated between the audible version of this story, narrated by Lara Asmundson, and the kindle version. Both had me alternating between teary and happy.

  • 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 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

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

Bright Montana Sky by Debra Holland

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

Reviewed: 05-17-18

Sweet historical small town romance with so much heart. I love this series. With each book you revisit the growing frontier town, and the amazing families while a couple courts each other. Some books are practical as was needed in the times. Many deal with both life and death and hardship. That’s part of what’s makes them special. They become family.

This book, the 8th in the series, has a new doctor in town and his first run-in with the heroine has him frowning in disapproval of her tight corset. He knows how unhealthy a corset is but as a dressmaker, fashion is important to her. A career woman. Two of the many stumbling blocks they need to resolve.
It’s sweet and heartwarming and a little bit poignant. So many secondary characters that I want to know more about too.
A town from the past with a rosy glow. It’s a bit of escape from today’s mad world. I can’t wait for the next edition.

  • Sweetwater Springs Christmas

  • By: Debra Holland and Friends
  • Narrated by: Lara Asmundson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

Come celebrate the holidays in 1895 Sweetwater Springs, Montana, as 10 western romance authors join New York Times best-selling author Debra Holland in telling 14 short stories of love and laughter, heartbreak and healing, and most of all, Christmas joy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Holiday stories you will love

  • By Madison W Fairbanks on 01-27-18

Holiday stories you will love

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

Reviewed: 01-27-18

Would you consider the audio edition of Sweetwater Springs Christmas to be better than the print version?

Both the audible and paper version are longer than an average book. I enjoyed the audible because it was a series of stories rather than just one long story and could be listndto in stages without have no to remember the entire history.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Charity and benevolence in the old west.

Any additional comments?

Sweetwater Springs Christmas by Debra Holland and friends (anthology)
Lots of emotion, holiday generosity and family love. Very sweet. Loved these stories. Many tears. I truly enjoyed all the stories but the ones by Debra Holland also filled in a couple of blanks from the series and made the anthology wonderful.
Stories all center around the Christmas Eve Party at the new hotel in Sweetwater. The first and last by Debra Holland are tied together and include recurring characters and the joy of charity and benevolence.
The last is also Ben’s change from hoodlum to grown up good guy. It’s so sweet. I had missed this story of change and had wondered about it.
And Ike’s story: so moving.


The Gift of Music by Debra Holland

Sugarplum Dreams by Cynthia Woolf - a sweet shop opens by a single female. She and the carpenter helping her fall in love. Sweet and yah for female entrepreneurs. Mentions of the shop show up throughout the anthology.

Wishes on a Star by Linda Carroll-Bradd
A Christmas to Remember by Paty Jager

A Best Present by Linda McLaughlin - a few tears with this one but we learn Widow Murphy does have a soft heart when given the right opportunity.

The Christmas Crossing by Bev Pettersen - such determination, and responsibilities for a young woman. And they put her in jail! For her protection, of course. Lovely story.

A Family for Ike by Debra Holland - so sad, so lovely. Family and connections. The joy of quiet and love of reading.

A Christmas Far From Home by E. Ayers - the generosity of sharing, and the opposites of good people and bad.

A Promise for Christmas by Tori Scott - a brother supports a widow and falls in love

Sweetwater Springs Scrooge by Debra Holland ( inclusion in the audible version and the copy, not in the print version) - a Scrooge, second chance older couple romance. They start off with amusement in her grandchild, and soon realize their feelings for each other are still alive.

Abigail’s Christmas Angel by MJ Fredrick
Laughed out loud on this one - while on public transportation. Benedict thinking of future children with Abigail while at Christmas church services singing hymns. “Dear God”, he prayed, “if we are blessed with children, please let them get my singing voice.”

A New Home for Christmas by Trish Milburn
Upon a Midnight Clear by Jill Marie Landis

The Joy of Christmas by Debra Holland
The party. And Ben growing up. Loved this entire anthology but this one wrapped it together and tied it in a pretty red bow. With tinsel.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Irish Sisters Trilogy

  • By: Debra Holland
  • Narrated by: Lara Asmundson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82

Bridget O'Donnell left Ireland, dragging along her reluctant twin sister, Alana, to create a better life in the new world. The sisters travel to Sweetwater Springs, Montana, intending to live with their uncle's family. Upon arrival, their plans are derailed by news of their aunt's illness. James Whitson, a cowboy on the Thompson ranch, is in town to drop off a letter at the train station. When he meets the twins, he's immediately smitten with Bridget.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful!

  • By Virginia on 11-06-17

Historical romance 3 in 1

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

Reviewed: 12-19-17

Would you listen to The Irish Sisters Trilogy again? Why?

Yes, I would listen to these stories again. the theee sisters were different and each story was touching.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Irish Sisters Trilogy?

One of the memorable moments for the stories are the talk of indoor plumbing. And while the various children are not key in these stories, a few still make appearances and they always delight me.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Things happen fast in the old west with single women.

Any additional comments?

The Irish Sisters trilogy by Debra Holland

A Valentine's Choice by Debra Holland
A lovely historical novella. Love at first sight or just practical arrangements in the old west when women were not plentiful? I say love and this author portrays those feelings in the hero and heroine in this story. Instant attraction. So lovely.
I was touched by the valentine creating kitchen scene. Sweet.
The use of “old fashioned” words like copperplate is perfect for the genre.

An Irish Blessing by Debra Holland
What started out as practical in Patrick's eyes, “one twin being as good as another” to marry, soon turns into protectiveness, admiration and then love.
This love story has a lot of depth. Both Patrick and Alana have been rejected in the past. They have to learn how to get past the rejection and live up to their current relationships.
What's especially fun is well-off Patrick doing household work like laundry and washing windows and acknowledging that perhaps women should be able to vote and perhaps even running the government.

A touching and thoughtful historical romance.
Plus indoor plumbing is a huge selling point to Alana. I have to agree.
And weirdly, this is the first time I want to look ahead fifty years or a couple of generations to find out what historical impact this couple had on changing patterns in society.

A Rolling Stone by Debra Holland
Sweet historical romance. This is the third in a trilogy which is also part of the Sweetwater Springs, Mystic Sky series.
The third sister travels to Montana thinking the three will live together and make their own family. Surprised to walk in on the weddings of her two sisters, she must make alternate decisions. And although she has given up in men, she finds Moss Callahan quite charming.

I didn't like Catriona initially. She seemed self centered and vain. At one point she actually thinks to herself that she doesn't want to marry a "poor" cowboy. It actually took the hero Moss to put her behavior in perspective. She was grieving for her mother and felt left out to of the twins close connection. She certainly grew emotionally in the story and the fact that she helps with all the chores redeems her a bit.
In the end it's a sweet romance that leaves you contented with the "happily ever after".

  • Singing Montana Sky

  • By: Debra Holland
  • Narrated by: Lara Asmundson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

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.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sounds Like an Unprofessional Narrator

  • By Les Raymond on 01-30-19

Singing Montana Sky

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

Reviewed: 09-03-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Singing Montana Sky to be better than the print version?

I loved both the audio version and the book. I probably prefer the audio because Lara has a very pleasing delivery.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character is actually the town of Sweetwater Springs along with the long time residents.

What does Lara Asmundson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Lara has such a smooth delivery. She has a slight accent and wonderfully soothing tone.

Any additional comments?

Singing Montana Sky by Debra Holland

Seventh in the Montana Sky series. Can be read as a standalone.
Lovely, touching, sweet and heartening. The small and growing town of Sweetwater Springs, Montana is the heart of these historical romance stories. Each is filled with love, friendship, grief (it is the old west where modern medicine is not available) and dependable neighborly support.

The scene where Sophie is questioning the 12 year old maid Fanny about school is so touching. Sophie is generous in helping Fanny and her family and then the little girl cries because she's happy. Fanny doesn't understand why she's crying, but Sophie assures her "it's what women do." Adorable. I was crying myself at that point.

Friendship lightens grief. A powerful message.

I alternated between a paperback version and audible. Loved both. The audio version is soothing with a slight accent. Very pleasing to the ear.

  • Bunny and the Bear

  • By: Eve Langlais
  • Narrated by: Abby Craden
  • Length: 4 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 400
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 377
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 376

Bears and bunnies aren't supposed to mix, or that's what Chase keeps telling himself when his bouncy new neighbor won't stay out of his business - and his mind. However, the more he gets to know his overly perky neighbor, the more he craves her. It's a desire worse than his addiction to honey and pie.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • How did this narration get approved????????

  • By Kindle Customer on 05-31-17

Bunny and the Bear

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

Reviewed: 09-01-17

What made the experience of listening to Bunny and the Bear the most enjoyable?

The bouncy heroine is a bunny, highly sexed, and very light hearted.

What about Abby Craden’s performance did you like?

Abby Craden did a great job on the heroine and portraying a bouncy, cheerful bunny shifter. The hero sounded mostly like he was talking through clenched teeth, but then he usually was.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes,if I had the time,this would have been a great one session book.

Any additional comments?

Bunny and the Bear by Eve Langlais

Funny paranormal shifters in a suspense romance format.
First in a series.
Super sexy with lots of uninhibited sex. Not erotica.
Highly entertaining and amusing.
Not a cliff hanger but the epilogue leads to the next book. And frankly, I can't wait to read the rest of this series.
Pure escapism. Totally fun.

  • Heart of Fire

  • A Fantasy Romance
  • By: Kristen Painter
  • Narrated by: B.J. Harrison
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 550
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 508

Eager to find her place in the world and understand the frightening gifts she's been born with, Jessalyne Brandborn leaves her sheltered life to become apprentice to the most powerful sorceress in Shaldar. She hires Ertemis, the deadliest man in the realm, to get there. With the Legion's bounty on his head, dark elf Ertemis is reluctant to escort Jessalyne but needs the money she offers - especially if he's ever to find out who his father is.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • But it

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-16-17

Heart of Fire by Kristen Painter

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

Reviewed: 12-17-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I listened to this book via audible. It was enthralling and entertaining.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked the heroines naivety and her perceptiveness at the same time. I admire how she befriended everyone she met and made them feel better or richer having crossed paths with her. And on a deeper level, the cross race acceptance was commendable?

Any additional comments?

A romance where good triumphs over evil and love conquers all. And magic can be used for good. Lovely.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Mystic Montana Sky

  • Montana Sky, Book 6
  • By: Debra Holland
  • Narrated by: Natalie Ross
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229

A caravan driven at breakneck speed through the hills of Montana is the least of Magdalena Baxter's concerns. Evicted from their home, and due to soon give birth, the Gypsy woman is forced to follow her husband, Oswald, a drunk and abusive miner who hopes to find work in a neighboring town. Despite calling Sweetwater Springs home, wealthy banker Caleb Livingston clings to his elitist East Coast ways. While this may have brought him prestige, he's missed out on romance at every turn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rigid banker falls for Gypsy beauty

  • By DW Gable on 07-01-16

Mystic Montana Sky

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

Reviewed: 07-30-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend this audiobook ft anyone who loves a good romance story. This book is full of feel good moments.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite, besides the new baby that seems to magically make people happy is Caleb because it was time for him to get his happiness.

Which character – as performed by Natalie Ross – was your favorite?

I like the narrative the best by Natalie. She does a wonderful job on all the different characters, but th narrative is soothing and compelling at the same time.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I love when Caleb held the baby for the first time and their eyes met. It was a magical and spiritual moment.

Any additional comments?

Mystic Montana Sky by Debra Holland

Loved this historical romance. Sweet, engaging, and charming.
I'm so glad that Caleb found his true love. I knew there was a better man buried under the portrayed upright and proper attitude. And Ben! He's grown up a bit and yes, is sorry for the harm he caused in the past. Sweet.
This story includes a wedding with characters from a prior book. It also includes couples from many of the previous stories so it has several feel good moments revisiting wth them and remember their stories. You do not need to have read those prior books to understand this one.

I'm not a huge historical romance reader, but Debra Holland and Sweetwater Springs are refreshing, and light. I will read these ahead of many favorite authors simply because they are true feel-good romances.

Excerpt:
"The tiny body was slippery, and he held her tightly, afraid she’d slither out of his grip. He rotated the infant faceup, holding her about ten inches away from his face. The top of her head had a slight cone shape. Her blue-tinged hands pinked. The baby’s eyes were open, alert aseemingly amazed.
They connected with his
A jolt of intense feeling, of recognition, flowed between them. As he gazed on the scrunched features of the infant, love surged through him. He’d never felt such a feeling before, and his chest ached with the joyful pressure. Caleb wanted to curl her to his chest and keep her safe. He pressed a kiss to her forehead, inhaling a scent that surprised him with its sweetness.
“My baby?” Maggie asked.
The infant broke eye contact with Caleb and turned her face toward the sound of her mother’s voice. He blinked back moisture from his eyes and grinned. “You have a beautiful daughter.”
Excerpt from Mystic Montana Sky by Debra Holland

  • Mail-Order Brides of the West: Bertha

  • Montana Sky Series
  • By: Debra Holland
  • Narrated by: Lara Asmundson
  • Length: 3 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113

Bertha Bucholtz returns to her St. Louis home after an unsuccessful stay at the mail-order bridal agency. Her family house is overflowing with her thin, beautiful sisters and their many suitors, and shy, overweight Bertha is lost among the chaos. Even her baking skills - so praised at the agency - aren't special, for her six sisters and her mother are also excellent cooks. Desperate to be living on her own, Bertha searches for a job as a cook but with little success.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mail Order Bride: Bertha

  • By Madison W Fairbanks on 06-26-16

Mail Order Bride: Bertha

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

Reviewed: 06-26-16

Would you listen to Mail-Order Brides of the West: Bertha again? Why?

I would listen multiple times to Bertha's story because the couple is sweet and both shy, yet overcome that shyness to make life better for others.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bertha is sweet, shy and uncertain when the book starts, but by the end, much more self confident. A budding flower to full bloom.

Have you listened to any of Lara Asmundson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I like Lara Asmundson's performances. They are both soothing and compelling enough to keep your interest.

Any additional comments?

Mail Order Brides of the West: Bertha by Debra Holland

A beautiful and sweet conclusion to the Mail Order Brides series by Holland. It's the story of a shy and overweight girl blossoming with a job and independence. She falls into the arms of a shy and quiet man who soon wants to kiss her toes rather than just rub her sore feet in the shadows.
Definitely an "awwww" romance.
Novella length and can stand alone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful