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Mike

Urbana, IL, United States
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 46
  • helpful votes
  • 466
  • ratings
  • More Than Words

  • Pink Bean Series, Book 9
  • By: Harper Bliss
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 4 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 19

Katherine Jones has said goodbye to her old job as a luxury lesbian escort and embarked on a new adventure with her best friend Rocco: opening a third branch of the Pink Bean coffee shop. Rocco's aunt, Hera Walker, is tasked with renovating the building of the new Pink Bean. It's Hera's first job after recovering from the sudden death of her long-term partner and she finds it hard to reconnect with her former life. Her first new client being an ex-call girl isn't exactly helping.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another winner

  • By Lorraine Rusnack on 04-03-19

Good story - SUPERLATIVE narration!

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

Reviewed: 04-14-19

Harper Bliss is simply one of the finest romance authors around. Her ability to take a character - be it the President of France, or an Australian call girl - and make her into a believable human being with real needs and desires is nothing short of remarkable. Like much of the Pink Bean series, this story effectively explores the themes of societal expectations and prejudices and their effects on people and relationships. The descriptions of the characters, their feelings, and desires are finely wrought and woven together in a viable plot that feels as if it were drawn from real life. That being said, The end of the book feels somewhat rushed and abruptly ends in a matter which I can only describe as "ante-climactic".

Angela Dawe - what can I say? Ms. Dawe is a wonderful reader who gives each of the myriad characters in the Pink Bean series an individual voice and fills each story with moving emotion and hypnotic sensuality. In her performance of this book, she truly brings it. I would have leapt to my feet to give her a standing ovation, but was stuck to my chair in awe of how truly amazing her narration was. Superlative - that's what I can say.

  • The Road Ahead

  • By: A.E. Radley
  • Narrated by: Ella Lynch
  • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38

Rebecca is stuck in Portugal. All planes to England are grounded, and it's only two days until Christmas. Desperate to get home but without money to hire a car, she's stuck. She sees an opportunity when she meets a snobby businesswoman with a broken leg, a platinum credit card, and a desire to get home. A tentative agreement is struck in order to reach their destination before the festive deadline. Will they make it, or will they kill each other along the way?   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very Sweet!

  • By Sondra A., Cobb on 10-04-18

Short and sweet...too short

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

Reviewed: 03-06-19

This light, sweet, and charming story of the attraction of opposites perks along pleasantly until the rather abrupt and unresolved ending. Still, it's a nice enough listen with a fine narrator who helps make it more than good enough to justify the use of a credit. I'd happily listen to the sequel, if audible offered it.

  • The Art of Us

  • By: KL Hughes
  • Narrated by: Abby Craden
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210

Eighteen-year-old Charlee Parker met the love of her life in a parking lot-a leggy brunette with a valedictorian medal hanging from her rear-view mirror and an attitude as biting as a Boston winter. Alexandra Woodson was guarded, a 19-year-old orphan set on a bright future in hospitality administration. She never imagined an art student with a penchant for cheesy pick-up lines and stealing parking spaces would crack her rigid exterior and claim her heart. For four years, theirs was an enviable love - evergreen and growing. Unbreakable... until it broke.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Now That's a Love Story!!!!

  • By Sondra A., Cobb on 03-29-18

Wonderful writer - even better reader!

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

Reviewed: 04-06-18

Abby Craden can draw a chalk line around this story and hang up the yellow tape. SHE KILLED IT. The emotion and meaning with which she filled every line was stunningly beautiful. It was so lovely it literally stopped me in my tracks on more than one occasion.

KL Hughes writing was marvelous, eliciting several out loud "wows" from me as I listened to her meticulously crafted sentences. This story's narrative does not follow a linear time line, which caused me to back the audio a few times to figure out when the action was taking place. However, this chronological breaking up of the story enhanced the overall tale rather than detracted.

The Art of Us of was an amazing listen and an excellent use of a credit.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Pond

  • By: Gerri Hill
  • Narrated by: Abby Craden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 556
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 508

Grieving over the loss of her family and feeling like her life is unraveling, Lindsey McDermott quits her job, gets a puppy, and retreats to her grandparents' home in the Texas Hill Country. She spends her solitary days walking childhood trails and reminiscing, trying to reconcile the conflict within her as she struggles with survivor's guilt. After the death of her husband, Hannah Larson needs a change. At the suggestion of her mother-in-law - and against her better judgment - she and her son Jack move to tiny Utopia and into her husband's grandmother's house.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful, loved it

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-26-17

There MUST be a sequel!?

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

Reviewed: 12-08-17

Gerri Hill gives us a wonderful story of loss and recovery that is marred by an ending as abrupt as an unexpected stair. The lack of a satisfactory climax to one of the principal conflicts in the narrative leaves me hoping that a sequel is forthcoming. Like, soon!

There are a couple of flawed edits in the recording, but Abby Craden's usual superlative performance maintains Ms. Craden in her position at the top of my Audible pantheon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Roundabout

  • By: Gerri Hill
  • Narrated by: Nicol Zanzarella
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 232
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234

Megan Phenix - bar and grill owner in gay-friendly Eureka Springs - is labeled as "playing hard to get" and finds herself the object of much unwanted attention. If only she were seeing someone...maybe the women would leave her in peace. Leah Rollins thinks 50 is too young to retire, so instead she opens a store in the touristy shopping district of Eureka Springs, next to the popular Phenix Grill. She soon learns that Megan Phenix is a bit on the grumpy side as they spar over parking spaces....

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • uncomfortable, shocking, disappointing

  • By nancy on 05-22-17

Can't like this story.

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

Reviewed: 04-06-17

Gerri Hill is a solid writer whose books I've consistently enjoyed - until this one. The plot of this story is driven by the premise that a woman is being blackmailed by a stalker who is posting revealing photos of her on facebook. I understand the story is supposed to be upbeat and funny, but I can't get around the blatant cruelty of the act. What's more, the woman's weak and ineffectual responses to this humiliation are frustrating and baffling. The victim's sister keeps telling her this degradation is all in fun and it shouldn't be taken seriously. The sister won't even ask the stalker, her friend, to stop. Some sister.

The romantic relationship is handled well and is easily the highlight of this otherwise off-putting tale.

Nicol Zanzarella does a fine job of narrating the story, but couldn't rescue it for me.

I'll admit I couldn't finish this one. Things may all come out right in the end, but I can't like this story.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Hunter’s Way

  • By: Gerri Hill
  • Narrated by: Abby Craden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 661
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 617
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 614

Homicide detective Tori Hunter was used to doing things her way. But even after six different partners in seven years, she was not prepared for the hot-tempered Samantha Kennedy. Samantha, on the other hand, was trying to juggle a new job and a demanding boyfriend and now finds herself with an even greater challenge - being partnered with the most difficult detective in the entire squad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love this book!

  • By Heather Dodge on 10-08-15

Very satisfying use of a credit

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

Reviewed: 01-01-17

Abby Craden's terrific narration takes a good romance/police procedural and turns it into a very compelling and satisfying use of a credit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Go Set a Watchman

  • A Novel
  • By: Harper Lee
  • Narrated by: Reese Witherspoon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14,394
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,193
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13,159

An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, best-selling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • To Kill A Mockingbird vs Go Set A Watchman

  • By Sara on 07-15-15

Humanizes a god.

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

Reviewed: 07-16-15

Firstly, this story is wonderfully well written. Given that it is essentially a draft of a first novel, Harper Lee's writing rings with authenticity and truth.

Secondly, I don't think I'm promulgating a spoiler when I mention Atticus's bigotry in this story. His racism is blatant, patronizing, and repugnant. It is, no doubt, true to its time and place, but jars against modern sensibilities. That being said, Jean Louise's disillusionment with her once worshiped father seems to parallel that of many To Kill a Mockingbirds fans - and answers much of their criticism. This story is essentially a coming of age tale about a young woman struggling to come to grips with the human fallibility of her father.

Thirdly, the conclusion of the story left me wanting more. I do hope against hope that Ms. Lee has a third book laying around somewhere.

Lastly, I loved Reese Witherspoon's performance. Her voice brought real emotion to Jean Louise's struggle and did a fine job of bringing out the humor of the book.

Really last - one quibble. The music inserted between the parts of the story did nothing to enhance my enjoyment of the narrative. It was kind of like being hit in the side of the head with a pillow when I wanted the reading to go on.

1 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Nothing Girl

  • The Frogmorton Farm Series, Book 1
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,576
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,407
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,402

Getting a life isn't always easy. And hanging on to it is even harder.... Jodi Taylor brings all her comic writing skills to this heartwarming tale of self-discovery. Known as The Nothing Girl because of her severe stutter and chronically low self-confidence, Jenny Dove is only just prevented from ending it all by the sudden appearance of Thomas, a mystical golden horse only she can see. Under his guidance Jenny unexpectedly acquires a husband - the charming and chaotic Russell Checkland.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not To Be Missed!

  • By Kindle Customer mmr on 03-28-15

A Mystery, a Romance, NOT a Fantasy

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

Reviewed: 06-06-15

This is a terrific listen. It is one of those stories that makes you sit for a moment in quiet satisfaction and appreciation of its fine quality when it ends.

Jenny, the main character, is a tremendously sympathetic character. I instantly found myself rooting for her in spite of the fact that I usually loathe weak protagonists. Her growth throughout the narrative is a joy to behold. In the course of that growth there are a few moments of writing that are so magnificent they make you catch your breath in delight.

This story is like Jodi Taylor's St. Mary's series in that it contains moments of Taylor's wonderful wit. However, it is definitely not a science fiction or fantasy story regardless of the presence of an invisible talking horse - which is more of a psychological artifact than anything else. My only quibble with this tale is the presence of an enormous red herring which gives you no way to figure out that it is leading you astray as you try to predict where the story is going.

Lucy Price-Lewis provides a first class narration that contributes to making this fine book a great use of a credit.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • The Wrong Stuff

  • The Adventures and Misadventures of an 8th Air Force Aviator
  • By: Truman Smith
  • Narrated by: James Killavey
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 953
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 857
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 865

Between April and July 1944, Truman Smith flew 35 bombing missions over France and Germany. He was only 20 years old. Although barely adults, Smith and his peers worried about cramming a lifetime's worth of experience into every free night, each knowing he probably would not survive the next bombing mission. Written with blunt honesty, wry humor, and insight, The Wrong Stuff is Smith's gripping memoir of that time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Action, suspense, and history

  • By Allan on 03-17-15

Good book....bad narrator

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

Reviewed: 04-04-15

If you have any interest in WW II, this story of a young B-17 pilot will hold your attention. It is told in a lighthearted and humorous tone while at the same time acknowledging the horrors of war. I enjoyed this book.

That being said, the narrator of this book was AWFUL. His voice is pleasant enough, but his reading was stilted and unnatural to the point of distraction. Speaking of distractions, his mispronunciations of words that frequently occurred in the book were distracting to the point of making me wince. Come on! "Turrent" for turret, "Marquis" for Maquis, and "Red Bull express" for Red Ball express, it really started to grate on my ears.

Don't get me wrong. This is a good story, but brace yourself for the narration.

2 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • War and World History

  • By: Jonathan P. Roth, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Jonathan P. Roth
  • Length: 25 hrs and 1 min
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 236
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209

This fresh and challenging inquiry into human societies takes a deep look at the effects and roles of war. As the most complex of all human endeavors, warfare - from ancient to modern - has spurred the growth of essential new technologies; demanded the adoption of complex economic systems; shaped the ideology and culture of nations; promoted developments in art and literature; and spread faith across the globe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • War & Its Interactions with History & Civilization

  • By Jamie Nettles on 12-06-15

World History > War

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

Reviewed: 11-26-14

This course seems more like a survey of World History than the title would suggest. I found the lack of detail regarding both Military and World history often left me wanting more. Given the scope of the course - from the dawn of mankind to the present - I guess this isn't surprising. I stuck it out to the end, but I was more than ready to be done with it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful