LISTENER

bookworm2bookworm

  • 19
  • reviews
  • 48
  • helpful votes
  • 68
  • ratings
  • The Scottish Duke

  • By: Karen Ranney
  • Narrated by: Tim Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66

Though raised as a gentleman's daughter, Lorna Gordon is obliged to take a position as an upstairs maid at Blackhall Castle when her father dies. Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is the most tempting man she's ever seen - and completely unattainable until, at a fancy dress ball, Lorna disguises herself as Marie Antoinette and pursues an illicit tryst, with scandalous consequences.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!

  • By Lady M on 12-16-16

Loved the prose, strong characters & plot.

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

Reviewed: 03-13-18

I am so behind in reading/listening one of my favorite authors. This is a first story in the Duke Trilogy series and I loved it a lot. I really enjoy when the characters, plot and pace align so well that I just hate to leave the world in which my heroes and heroines reside. That's exactly what happened as I neared the end of this story.

As luck would have it, and because I am way behind in my reviewing duties, I happened to have all three books in this series on my Kindle and I will read and review them in order. I also got the first two in audio, but the third one hasn't shown up in audio yet, and if it does, I'll be ready for it.

Karen Ranney is an author I respect greatly (although there are a couple of books she should not have written at all) and out of all the books I've read, 95% of them I loved to no end. The remaining 5% I'll tell you about some other time ;)

Besides the wonderful, well written and rounded main characters, I enjoyed the prose as well as the undeniable chemistry between the two.

***


"She loved a storm. She loved being out in it, regardless of the danger. She would sometimes tilt her head back to feel the rain baptizing her face. In those moments, she was as elemental as the first woman. Yet she'd never felt like she did right now."

*** *** ***

"Need could be regulated. Cravings could be mastered. Except this one.

He craved seeing Lorna like he sometimes wanted a few of cook's raisin scones or the peat smokiness of a good whiskey. No, more than that. She was a lungful of fresh air, a glass of sparkling water. She was sunshine and growing flowers, laughter and hope. She was all those things necessary to his life and important in it.

When had that happened?

The force of what he felt was petrifying.

He might as well surrender now. Fighting it any longer was futile."

*** *** ***

"She reminded him that he was a man first, then a man of science, duke, property holder, and all the other attendant roles of his position. She taught him that being a father was not passing on lessons as much as accepting and giving love.

The thought struck him with the force of a blow: she was going to make him feel."

***

The secondary characters were just as fun to read and even though the villain is predictable, I enjoyed when the comeuppance was doled out.

The narration of Tim Campbell was superb! He nailed every accent and character. I'll be looking for more books with his narration.

I'm looking forward to the next two stories in this series and hope all are as good as this one was.

Melanie for b2b

  • A Duke in the Night

  • By: Kelly Bowen
  • Narrated by: Ashford McNab
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187

The first novel in a new historical romance series from Kelly Bowen.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Struggled with this book. Good Narration

  • By Tracy T on 03-29-18

Excellent start to a new series!

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

Reviewed: 03-01-18

A Duke in the Night is the first story in Kelly Bowen's brand new The Devils of Dover series and I really liked it a lot. I did a combo of reading an ARC and listening to it. Both I enjoyed immensely. This story revolved around two very complex characters that had brought a lot of baggage into the relationship. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming watching August and Clara work through each others preconceived notions of one another.

To read a story involving strong and smart characters with plenty of flaws, is refreshing and checks that box of "relatable" every time.

I must praise the prose as well in this story. It's another thing that contributed to my enjoyment of it.

"The wide copse of trees and brush in front of August had become a portrait of gilded foliage as the sun began its descent, a low fence running just to the north creating shadows the color of dark amethyst across the tall grasses. The sky was now awash in brilliant, almost blinding color, dotted with crimson-and-topaz-lined clouds."

For all of you out there that have never read this author, I'd urge you to do so and you may as well grab this one to start.

For the fans of this author, I would say it's worth getting the Audible because the narration of Ashford McNab is spot on.

Melanie for b2b

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Someone to Hold

  • A Westcott Novel, Book 2
  • By: Mary Balogh
  • Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 346
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 313
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316

With her parents' marriage declared bigamous, Camille Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered half sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an artist who riles her every nerve.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing

  • By Avid Reader on 02-17-17

Liked it a lot.

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

Reviewed: 02-28-18


This is the second story in MB's Westcott series and it's Camille Westcott's story. She is Anna’s (the heroine from book one) half-sister, so when Anna inherited a fortune from a father she never knew, Camille and her family found themselves on the out with society and the ton.

The book, as usual is well written and plotted but it's this heroine that bugged me to no end. It took all my patience to try and understand her and her actions. Almost as much as it took our hero. I mean, the man was a saint for trying to excuse and explain her behavior.

I also enjoyed Rosalyn Landor's narration. She has a way of bringing MB's books to life with a wonderful portrayal of a vast cast of characters.

I'm really enjoying the unique concept and the characters in this series.

Melanie for b2b

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Duke's Double

  • By: Anita Mills
  • Narrated by: Rosalind Ashford
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

How do you rebuild your life when your one true love is the one who ruins it? Joanna Sherwood, the Countess of Carew, has always been wildly in love with Adrian Delacourt, the darkly handsome and devastatingly charming Duke of Roxbury. When they wed, it was her dream come true - a dream that quickly turned to a nightmare as her husband accused her of infidelity and sullied her good name in Regency society. It was only a desperate flight to Italy with her husband's best friend at her side and his promise to rescue her through a new marriage that saved her sanity.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Complex characters, fast pace + well told.

  • By bookworm2bookworm on 02-16-18

Complex characters, fast pace + well told.

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

Reviewed: 02-16-18

This is a new author for me and I think I'd like to read/listen to more of her stories and get to know her writing voice. This story is only the start to my knowing her.

The trope of second chance at love has been done before and will be done again, but for the divorced couple who've heart each other so deeply, I thought it unique. As I listened to both sides of the story and point of views, I had to keep in mind that at the time of their separation, these were very young people, Jo was barely eighteen and Dri all of twenty-four. Their marriage was just starting when his mother decided to interfere, manipulate and destroy their love.

There's a lot I liked about the story, from the characters to the plot and pace. I really enjoyed the interaction between the children, their Governess and all the secondary players.

I also liked the narration of Rosalind Ashford.

I think this is a perfect story to get introduced to a new author and I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the series.

Melanie for b2b

  • The Christmas Train

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Tim Matheson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,578
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,143
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,148

Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington to L.A. in time for Christmas. Forced to take the train across the country because of a slight "misunderstanding" at airport security, he begins a journey of self-discovery and rude awakenings, mysterious goings-on and thrilling adventures, screwball escapades and holiday magic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • On A Whim For Fun

  • By Patti on 09-25-07

Loved it!

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

Reviewed: 02-05-18


I've heard of this author, yet never had the inclination to read his work. Well, with this story, that has changed and I'll probably read more of his work in the future. The reason for it is not that he writes well, which he definitely does, but it's all the characters that he writes about are really good and well fleshed out.

This story had meat on it and Tim Matheson narration was spot on. He brought all the characters to life and I had so much fun following all of them but especially Tom and his two girlfriend, one from his past and another from his present.

This was a wonderful story of second chances, human interaction and some romance and mystery woven within it. Loved it!

Melanie for b2b

  • Lady Fortescue Steps Out

  • The Poor Relation, Book 1
  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,663
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,400
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,402

Life is not easy for the poor relations of England’s upper crust, but fate and clever schemes bring them together. Lady Fortescue and Colonel Sandhurst hatch a plan: What if they were to transform her decrepit Bond Street home into a posh hotel, offering their guests the pleasure of being waited upon by nobility? With the help of other down-and-out aristocrats, they do just that, and London’s newest hotel, The Poor Relation, is born. The establishment is an immediate hit with London’s most illustrious citizens, save the Duke of Rowcester....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Charming Regency Fun - Romance & Adventure

  • By Clare on 05-04-12

Great story and even grater narration!

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

Reviewed: 02-05-18

If you could sum up Lady Fortescue Steps Out in three words, what would they be?

Sweet, entertaining and hilarious

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved the strength and spunk of Mrs. Fortescue

Which scene was your favorite?

Scenes between the Duke and Sir Phillip made me smile

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I grinned from start to finish

Any additional comments?


Having never read this author before, I can say that this story was immensely entertaining. I literally had a grin on my face from start to finish.

The reason I got this audio book was the narrator. I fell in love with Davina Porter's narrating skills ever since she did Outlander series, so I did some research and found some other books that she did and thought to try them on. I am so happy to have done it.

Lady Fortescue Steps Out is the first story in the Poor Relation series by Marion Chesney. It is a well written story and even though I may have had some qualms about the plot, I thoroughly enjoyed all the characters in this story. For that I really thank Ms. Porter and her wonderful portrayal of them.

I am really looking forward to digging into the rest of the stories in this series. Highly recommending it to all of you that need a break from hot and heavy romances you've been reading lately.

Melanie for b2b

  • Beauty Like the Night

  • The Spymaster Series, Book 6
  • By: Joanna Bourne
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

Severine de Cabrillac, orphan of the French Revolution and sometime British intelligence agent, has tried to leave spying behind her. Now she devotes herself to investigating crimes in London and finding justice for the wrongly accused. Raoul Deverney, an enigmatic half-Spaniard with enough secrets to earn even a spy's respect, is at her door demanding help. She's the only one who can find the killer of his long-estranged wife and rescue her missing 12-year-old daughter.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • In the style of Baroness Orczy and Rafael Sabatini

  • By WA islander on 10-20-18

Heartwarming romance.

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

Reviewed: 01-05-18

Adored this story, from characters to the plot, but the romance of it just shines through and through. Oh, and let us not forget the action! There’s a lot of it and all of it is very exciting and nail biting.

I had the pleasure to read this story as an ARC and also listen to it on my Audible. Both were equally impressive.

I highly recommend you either listen to it or read it. You’ll love it!

Melanie for b2b

  • Rushed to the Altar

  • By: Jane Feather
  • Narrated by: Jill Tanner
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 144
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 100

A best-selling author of more than 25 historical romances, Jane Feather boasts more than 10 million copies of her books in print. Rushed to the Altar kicks off a new trilogy in high style. In order to inherit a fortune, Jasper Sullivan, Earl of Blackwater, must rescue a “fallen woman.” So when a lady of the night attempts to pick his pocket, he makes a daring proposal. Everything seems to have dropped into place for Jasper—but he may have made a colossal blunder.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Just Ok...

  • By Just so you know on 08-03-11

Entertaining!

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

Reviewed: 01-05-18

If you could sum up Rushed to the Altar in three words, what would they be?

Fun, Entertaining, Sensual

Who was your favorite character and why?

Clarissa, because I found her likable, astute, smart and very much capable of taking care of herself.

What about Jill Tanner’s performance did you like?

Between reading it and listening to Jill Tanner narrate it, I found myself enjoying this story very much. With her wonderful voice and an English accent, she brought all the characters to life for me.

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

Yes but alas it was not to be. I listened to it in the car and at home.

Any additional comments?


This is first the story in a new Blackwater Brides trilogy from Jane Feather and I really liked the premise of a dying uncle who will upon his death divide his fortune among the three brothers, his nephews, but only if all three men agree to marry and redeem a fallen woman. The catch is that all three men have to fulfill this or neither will get the money.

As a plot, this worked for me and I am actually looking forward to the rest of the books because I really liked all three brothers, of which the youngest two are twins.

For me, all the elements of a well written story were there. The characters, especially the heroine, I found likable, astute, smart and very much capable of taking care of herself. On the other hand, it took me awhile to warm up to the hero. I found him unreasonable at times, but in the end he did show his true feelings and his love for his brothers was genuine. I also liked the pace of the story. It was perfectly paced and moved the story forward.

Between reading it and listening to Jill Tanner narrate it, I found myself enjoying this story very much. With her wonderful voice and an English accent, she brought all the characters to life for me.

If you're looking for a fun and entertaining read, I highly recommend this story.

Melanie for b2b

  • Romeo and Juliet: A Novel

  • By: David Hewson
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,019
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 957
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 954

It's a story you think you know: the age-old tale of "star-cross'd lovers"; two families at war; a romance, so pure and absolute, fated for a tragic end. It's a story so thoroughly embedded in our culture, and so frequently retold. Yet, nothing captures the spark, the possibility, and the surprise of Shakespeare's work quite like this....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Story and The Voice

  • By Abiwim on 12-14-16

Disapointed....

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

Reviewed: 06-30-17

What did you like best about Romeo and Juliet: A Novel? What did you like least?

The best was the ending and the least, RA's narration, and I adore the voice and the man, so go figure!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Juliet, because despite her age, she had a spine and was a strong woman.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Richard Armitage?

Are you kidding me?! Of course I would.

Do you think Romeo and Juliet: A Novel needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, no follow up needed. The ending was a surprise and it should be left to the reader's interpretation of it.

Any additional comments?


First, I must say that I've never really read the "original", but I've seen many, many performances and reimagining's of it, and liked most of them.

Since this was exclusively offered to us through Audible only, and narrated by one of my all time favorite actors [I still say RA stole every scene in Robin Hood the series and overshadowed the main character] Richard Armitage, I just had to have it.

That's why I am loathe to say how disappointed I was with the narration. I was conflicted between the retelling and narration. One I liked and the other not so much. And here's why.

I liked the way all the characters were written. They all had a personality and were fun to get to know. The feel of the novel was fresh, yet old and familiar. And the ending came as a surprise and pleasant at that.

That said, Richard Armitage's narration wasn't bad, but for some reason most of the characters sounded the same, old and decrepit. That bothered me to no end! His voice is deep and memorable while conveying the story, but as soon as he goes into the dialogue, I just cringed.

Do I recommend it? You bet! It had enough humor that I'll forgive RA for his less than stellar performance ;)

Melanie for b2b

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Fallen Lady

  • Ladies of Scandal, Book 1
  • By: Elizabeth Kingston
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Boulton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 466
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 431
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 430

For reasons of his own, Stephen Hampton, Lord Summerdale, is determined to learn the truth behind the tangled tale of Helen's ruin. There is nothing he abhors so much as scandal - nothing he prizes so well as discretion - and so he is shocked to find that he cannot help but admire her. But how can she trust a man so steeped in the culture of high society, who conceals so much? And how can he, so devoted to the appearance of propriety, ever love a fallen lady?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intelligent writing and perfect narration

  • By Marcheta on 05-26-17

Character driven & heartwarming story.

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

Reviewed: 06-30-17

Would you consider the audio edition of A Fallen Lady to be better than the print version?

I don't thinks so. I believe they're equally good.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Fallen Lady?

The moment in which Helen embraces her brother is very moving.

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

His voice is memorable and it is what he brings to the story, making the story memorable as well.

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

It takes love to break the barriers and bring two vastly complex characters to accept each other.

Any additional comments?

I’ve only recently discovered this author and the two medieval books she wrote, I just loved. This one is set in Regency period and while the plot was slow moving, I thought the story revolved mostly around the developing characters and their growing relationship. I believe the complexity of the characters (and trust me, both characters had a lot of issues that only with time would be resolved) and their growing romance are as much of a plot as the real reason behind their meeting and the heroine’s past.

Our hero Stephen is sharp, intuitive and funny while the heroine Helen, is strong, witty and vulnerable. No wonder Stephen was taken with her, despite her reputation.

The story not just starts slow, but it moves at a sedate pace throughout and to some this might be an obstacle. To me, I rather thought it was a conscious decision on the part of the author. I believe that if this story was given a fast pace, we would have lost the point of what it really takes for two vastly different, extremely complex individuals to not just fall in love with one another, but to accept each others flaws and circumstances that brought them together.

Some stories are written to entertain and titillate, some to make us laugh and some to make us cry. This story actually has all of those elements but it also makes us think. We are forced to see the society and its people of Regency Era as they truly were. A society that treated women as property and put very little value on them.

Elizabeth Kingston and Nicholas Boulton are a force to be reckoned 🙂 I love them both.

Melanie for b2b


5 of 5 people found this review helpful