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"wand3rlust" Melissa

Kentucky
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  • 15
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  • What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding

  • A Memoir
  • By: Kristin Newman
  • Narrated by: Kristin Newman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 663
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 589
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 591

Kristin Newman spent her 20s and 30s dealing with the stresses of her high-pressure job as a television comedy writer, and the anxieties of watching most of her friends get married and start families while she wrestled with her own fear of both. Not ready to settle down and yet loathe to become a sad-sack single girl, Kristin instead started traveling the world, often alone, for a few months each year, falling madly in love with attractive locals who provided moments of the love she wanted without the cost of the freedom she needed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Every avid female traveler should read this

  • By Andrea on 10-02-17

Enjoyed it greatly despite the title

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

Reviewed: 10-01-16

I have to admit, despite being a single childless 30-something solo traveler and that I will read travel memoirs any time I get the chance, I hesitated to pick up this book. The title just really rubbed me the wrong way. I got the impression it was going to be about a privileged woman jet-setting while bragging about how much fun she was having instead of settling down.

And it is about that *a little* but not in the overbearing way you might think. She's humble in her experiences and honest to a point of being extremely relatable. She's got a lot of depreciating humor which I am a fan of.

Also, while I typically don't enjoy authors reading their works, this book is most definitely helped by the fact that Kristin reads the memoir. Her humor comes through big time and it feels like she's sitting there telling you all these fun stories herself.

It has inspired me to get out on the road again despite the fact that (as she points out a few times) it's hard to be a 30-something traveling alone because you're surrounded by 20-somethings and couples. If she can do it, so can I.

If you're not sure, give the audio sample a chance, that's what drew me in in the first place.

  • Dark Lover

  • The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1
  • By: J. R. Ward
  • Narrated by: Jim Frangione
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,997
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,555
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,573

The vampire Darius fears for the life of his half-breed daughter, who is unaware of her unusual destiny. To oversee her transformation, Darius seeks help from Wrath, a dangerous loner and the world's only purebred vampire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awsome title even for the Men

  • By John on 04-19-09

Absolute Garbage (and not the fun kind)

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

Reviewed: 03-25-15

I got this as part of a "2 for 1 credit" deal if I remember correctly. I'm just glad the second book was so wonderful, but I think I'd rather have just paid full price for the other book if I'm honest. Lesson learned. The only way I even got through this was because I had to see how much worse it could get as I continued. And the answer is, it got so bad that it suddenly turned into a hilarious satire on vampire/power/wish fulfillment fiction. If only it were intentional... also IDK if the narrator was bad because to content was so bad or if he's also just a bad narrator, but in this case I'll give him one free pass.

Now, where to even start? Well, first things first: Rape Trigger Warning. Yes, let's introduce the main character getting sexually assaulted and nearly raped. Then she gets leered at by a co-worker and not soon after having sex with some dude who was stalking her outside patio door. Then she gets badgered by the leering co-worker (who BTW is a police officer) to go to dinner IDK how many times while we get his inner thoughts about how he admires her perfect breasts and how she's drama free and "NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS"TM.

Oh and there's consent issues throughout the book from Wrath (yes Wrath, both first and last name according to him lmao) claiming Beth is HIS and his alone, more sexual threats, more demands, more "marking her with his scent" *gag* more controlling what she does, where she goes. Just... how can people love this abusive crap??? And Beth who is supposed to be the protagonist gets no say in her life at all!

Let's not mention the creep-tastic factor of this all starting because her father died. And the general creepiness of how Wrath reveals all this information about her father/vampires while keeping her stashed in her fathers former room.

And then, all the squicky creepiness aside there's the hilarity of all the horrible names. There's the hilarity of these centuries (???) old white vampire men (yep all white. not one single black or even dark skinned vampire to know of) and they're all saying "bro" and "whack" and "man" and "totally" like they're 13 year olds imitating a cross between skate punks, mobsters and rappers.

And hey if your only reason for reading this is the sex then I'd just say go google some vampire smut AU fanfiction from your favorite fandom, because I've read so much better without having to waste hours and days of dredging through something trying to be plot to read some sexy scenes. And these scenes are wrapped in insta-lust and guilt/shame and horrendous "i can't control myself" power fantasies. Just... no. Gross. Move on.

Jesus. I just wanted a guilty pleasure read. Is that too much to ask for? I have wasted too much time reading this and now writing this review. But given the overwhelmingly positive rating here I couldn't just let it drop.

P.S. Poor Marissa. I wouldn't wish Butch on my worst enemy for the ass that dude is, and yet she winds up with him after all the other crap that got shoveled her way. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Darkling Thrush

  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Max Miller
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 216
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 203
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 201

Fed up with his desk duty in the Imperial Arcane Library, book hunter Colin Bliss accepts a private commission to find The Sword's Shadow, a legendary and dangerous witches' grimoire. But to find the book, Colin must travel to the remote Western Isles and solve a centuries' old murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Magical Story

  • By Tony Squared on 10-24-12

Mysterious & Charming. A break from Lanyon's norm.

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

Reviewed: 10-29-14

I really really enjoyed this book and wish it were a longer series. It's a nice divergence from the typical murder mystery Lanyon usually writes.

I enjoyed the mystical/fantasy elements to the story as well as the early 20th century feel to the environment. The chemistry between the two leads was really well done and I hope there's more of these two to come at some point.

The narrator took a while for me to get used to and there seemed to be some audio issues where it'll go from whisper quiet to a much louder voice which you can tell is when the narrator stopped/started recording but after all is said and done I really did like his tone and his voices for everyone.

More than any other Lanyon story I find myself REALLY wanting to listen to/read this one again. Which I plan to do soon as I finish the book I'm reading right now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • If You Want to Write

  • A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit
  • By: Brenda Ueland
  • Narrated by: Pat Carroll
  • Length: 1 hr and 27 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145

In her 93 remarkable years, veteran freelance writer, memoirist, and writing teacher Brenda Ueland published some six million words. She once said there were two simple rules that she followed absolutely: to tell the truth, and to not do anything she didn't want to do. Such integrity both distinguishes and defines If You Want to Write, her best-selling classic that first appeared in the late 1930s and has inspired thousands to find their own creative center.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The most inspiring book

  • By Ronnie on 04-20-08

Great but need the unabridged version!

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

Reviewed: 09-26-14

I've owned the print copy of this book for several years and bought the audio version here because it was relatively inexpensive, and nice to listen to for a bit of a pep talk type motivation. Pat Carroll has THE perfect voice for this kind of book, she has a voice that reminds you of someone you'd sit and chat with about your life, someone you'd seek advice from. I hope in the future she'd be willing to do the full unabridged copy of the book. If you don't have the print version I highly recommend that as well.

  • Among the Living

  • PsyCop, Book 1
  • By: Jordan Castillo Price
  • Narrated by: Gomez Pugh
  • Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 701
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 663
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 662

Victor Bayne, the psychic half a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who's more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves. He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic (or "Stiff") from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner's retirement party, and it seems like his dubious luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer surfaces who can change his appearance to match any witness' idea of the world's hottest guy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect narrator for one of my favorite books!

  • By Jesi Lea Ryan on 08-17-14

Delightful! Yes really!

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

Reviewed: 09-26-14

I've been meaning to come review this book for 2 weeks now. I am so glad I picked this up and yet sad that I have to wait for the rest to be released. (Which I sincerely hope will be soon!) It's short, about 3 hours listening time, and I listened to it on a weekend drive to visit some family. Normally my drive only takes 2 hours, but I stopped for coffee and gas on the way and didn't even mind getting stuck in traffic on the way so that I could listen to the entire thing in one go.

Anyway, the story kind of jumps right into things with the two main characters which jarred me a bit but given it's such a short story it's understandable. I like that the concept is simple with people having different types of psychic abilities (medium abilities, precognition, lie detector, etc) and that there's different strength levels of ability as well.

The characters are so wonderfully fleshed out. Victor was charmingly awkward and self-deprecating, Jacob was playful and confident. And I have to specifically point out how well the women (Lisa and Carolyn) were written in this book. I adored Lisa and how straight forward she is in the beginning and how ready she is to prove herself later. Her vulnerability is disarming as well and makes her so very well rounded as a character. I look forward to finding out more about her in future books! The reason I point all this out is, I've found M/M-centric fiction has a nasty habit of having their lead men being notoriously misogynistic. That is NOT the case here at all and it was a breath of much needed fresh air. I should add, the diversity in the story is nice as well. The well rounded characters help balance out when the main character, in all his flaws, sees and notes things with some prejudice viewpoints.

Gomez Pugh is a great narrator and I only have to pick at his portrayal of Jacob which kinda reminds me of the actor Patrick Warburton. So it borders more on amusing instead of sexy. ;) Other than that though his voices a great, the reading is clear and he has a very soothing voice as a whole. I sincerely hope he continues reading for this series!!

Overall I highly recommend it even to people who might not usually go for paranormal/supernatural type stories.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Cut and Run audiobook cover art
  • Cut and Run

  • By: Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban
  • Narrated by: Sawyer Allerde
  • Length: 13 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,133
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 985
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 988

An erotic gay romance, a suspenseful thriller.... A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case. Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work. He's cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunned and surprised.

  • By Zion on 08-05-10

"Who was that again?!" Melissa huffed miserably.

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

Reviewed: 09-03-14

I wanted to like this. I really wanted to like this. Audible recced this series to me after listening to/reading Josh Lanyon's Adrien English series (which I enjoyed for the most part and would probably rec to people). So I clicked on this series and was willing to give it a shot given all the positive reviews.

However, I don't see where most of them are coming from. I don't normally leave bad reviews for things but unfortunately in this case I feel it's fair so other people know what they're getting into.

Heed the warnings about the overuse of adverbs. I normally don't pick at things like that but trust me when I say that they weren't nitpicking either. Every other sentence X said something succinctly. X admitted something quietly. Z shrugged noncommittally. It was overdone to the point of being annoying. There's nothing wrong with using "said" it's an invisble word that clues us in to who is talking, don't be afraid to just use said and show us that they're being succinct, miserable and quiet in their movement or words.

Also the POV shifts are grating. I don't mind POV shifting after major sections of text or from chapter to chapter, but this was POV shifts in between two sentences back to back to back. Made worse by the fact that the narrator doesn't do different voices for Ty or Zane.

Trying to work out who was who took me nearly half the book. Especially given how closely they resemble each despite their supposed "straight laced" and "slob" attire. (Which BTW changes to them both dressing nearly identical within a chapter or two and then switching styles in the last half of the book.) They also speak exactly like each other, which sounds a lot like 16 year old boys to me... but that's a whole other rant.

If they'd stuck to one POV for at least a single chapter it would help as well with all the "Zane did X Ty did Y" sentences because they could lay off using their name in each and every single sentence.

Additionally this book could be cut in half with simple edits. There's no need for a fight in the alley to last 15 minutes of reading time. None at all. I used the "30 seconds ahead" feature from the audible app numerous times to skip through several minutes of people talking in circles. There was one particular chapter of a victim and her POV that was completely unnecessary and the entire thing could've been cut.

And speaking of length and chapters... chapters being an hour long (numerous times) is also kind of ridiculous. Please find a breaking point so those of us who like to stop at the end of the chapter aren't pulling our hair out for some characters to repeat the same argument they've had 5 times already.

Basically, this could've been a good story, or in the very least a fun romance/erotica romp with the help of a good editor and re-write, but as it is I can't recommend it at all. I certainly don't think it's worth buying or a credit.

Finally, I have to add that I am getting very tired of the sexism and blatant misogyny flung at women in the M/M genre. Calling women bitches, using them/fridging them as props for the angst of your main male characters and blatantly disrespecting them by leaving your phone connected while screwing your boyfriend as she "yells angrily" is just old and tired. Women are not screeching bitter bitches there for entertainment. This is all the more frustrating by the fact that two women wrote this book! Don't get me wrong though, the sexism and misogyny was prevalent in Lanyon's books as well, though not quite as bad as what I saw here. Still, this is a problem for the M/M genre as a whole. So, please writers, men and women and anyone in-between please remember that women and any side characters in stories deserve just as much as thought and respect as your main characters.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

  • By: Charles Yu
  • Narrated by: James Yaegashi
  • Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 248
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 223
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 225

Minor Universe 31 is a vast story-space on the outskirts of fiction, where paradox fluctuates like the stock market, lonely sexbots beckon failed protagonists, and time travel is serious business. Every day, people get into time machines and try to do the one thing they should never do: change the past. That’s where Charles Yu, time travel technician—part counselor, part gadget repair man—steps in. He helps save people from themselves. Literally.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Audio Not the Way to Go Here

  • By Garrett Matthew on 10-14-14

When it happens, this is what happens...

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

Reviewed: 09-02-14

I think this is well worth a credit given the entertainment factor and that it's not an overly-long book. That said, I'm planted firmly in the *I adore this and no one can change my mind* side of things though, so I'm admittedly biased. I would recommend this novel for anyone who loves Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" or maybe even Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

It has heart, humor, it makes you think about life and your mortality. It makes you think about how you view and experience the world. My absolute favorite gem from the book is this (paraphrased) bit about how "time heals ... time is a machine ... it will force you to move on and you have no choice in the matter" because it's stated so simply and yet, it had not occurred to me to be quite so aware that I should pay attention to actual in the moment feelings. Even the painful ones.

James Yaegashi is a wonderful narrator and I can't wait to listen to more from him. Likewise, I look forward to more novels from the author Charles Yu.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Death of a Pirate King

  • Adrien English Mystery Series, Book 4
  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Chris Patton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 425
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 407
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 401

Gay bookseller and reluctant amateur sleuth Adrien English's writing career is suddenly taking off. His first novel, Murder Will Out, has been optioned by notorious Hollywood actor Paul Kane. But when murder makes an appearance at a dinner party, who should be called in but Adrien's former lover, handsome closeted detective Jake Riordan, now a Lieutenant with LAPD - which may just drive Adrien's new boyfriend, sexy UCLA professor Guy Snowden, to commit a murder of his own!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent performance of an excellent book

  • By Jennifer on 10-24-13

Favorite in the Series by far

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

Reviewed: 08-25-14

This was a good read, fast read even though it's nearly twice the length of previous novels I couldn't stop listening and waiting for Adrien and Jake to work out what was going on. I find it interesting that the mystery isn't so much cloaked for the readers, but more cloaked to both Adrien and Jake due to the amount of other things going on in their life and in their heads that they can't see what's in front of them.

I started this series a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed the first in this Adrien English book, so after the rave reviews of the 2nd and 3rd books I was admittedly a little disappointed that I wasn't enjoying them as much as everyone else and I wasn't even sure I was going to try this fourth book. I think my disinterest had more to do with the way the mysteries were framed in the two books.

That said I'm glad I cracked and got this one because this fourth book absolutely suited all my preferences much more than the previous two. Not that it wasn't so much playing in the supernatural and mystical as it was just getting down to the nitty-gritty of character building with people who are trying to protect their hides. But also that Adrien and Jake have had time to grow in the gap from the last book to this one.

Adrien has always been a somewhat (intentionally?) difficult to like narrator. For me at least, though I don't think that's a bad thing. It makes him real. He's flawed, he's got a pushy attitude, jumps to judgement and at times spews out an annoying amount of casual sexism, so it was a delight to see how much his new family has helped him grow as a person. Even behind all that hurt and bitterness he has in this story, it's more understandable and relocatable because he has reason to be lashing out. Also, I'm sorry to say, Guy is nice and all but about as exciting as moss growing on a rock so unfortunately I didn't care so much for his role in Adrien's life. But then again I didn't care for his role in the last book either.

Jake on the other hand has grown on me more and more and has now entered a special place in my heart. I resented Jake as much, if not more than, Adrien in the last couple books, but the way he and Adrien played off each other here showed just how much he'd grown to accept himself. Another reviewer mentioned that they don't have much interaction, but I'd disagree and say it's the similar to previous books. Adrien does go off on his own a lot but he's actually more in contact with Jake than he's ever been. And lord is the longing and the feelings ever still there in full force.

Lastly I will also add a slight spoiler, but an important one as it's bound to be a huge TRIGGER for some. There is a threat of brutal rape that occurs towards the end (about the last 20 or 30 minutes if i recall correctly) and it made my stomach absolutely churn with fear. I had to pause the audiobook and collect myself to continue. So keep that in mind as you're reading.

The only thing I'll nitpick about is the way Adrien perceives women in general, as mentioned above. (Or maybe it's more the way Lanyon writes them? I can't tell yet.) For example, Kate is only ever mentioned in passing like a prop to Jake's angst, Porter's new wife was written as being a stereotypical "dumb" blonde who's only married the man because of money. In previous novels describing the girls Angus knew or even Angus' girlfriend whom we never actually meet. It makes me sad to see Adrien so harsh towards women calling them bitches, portly and pug faced when he has no reason to. That said, it was a vast and welcome improvement for this novel with the inclusion of his new sisters and his doting mother who was portrayed much kinder and less nagging this time around. I hope the trend continues in future works.

P.S. Chris Patton as a narrator is an absolute gift! His voice for Jake gives me chills and his biting sarcasm for Adrien makes me laugh so hard sometimes I have to rewind to listen to what I missed. I look forward to listening to more of his work as well.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful