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Catherine

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  • The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek

  • By: Jane Myers Perrine
  • Narrated by: Chris Sorensen
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 87

The first novel in a charming new series, award-winning author Jane Myers Perrine's The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek is an amusing, warmhearted look at a small town's reception of its newly ordained minister. The mission of committee members Miss Birdie and Mercedes is to educate Adam Jordan on how things should be done in town. But soon the ladies decide on a new goal - to find him a wife.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Would that it were possible!

  • By Sara on 09-24-13

Misses the mark

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

Reviewed: 06-22-18

It seemed as if the author aspired to be James Herriot or Jan Karon by writing a book about quirky small town characters, but she misses the mark.

There was nothing lovable about her core character and for a book about a minister and his relationship with his church ladies, no one EVER suggested trusting their concerns to God. She wrote a book about women I would not want to go to church with, and I am certainly not interested in listening to any more about Miss Bertie.

Oh, bad choice of narrator. He sounded more suited to read children’s stories. He did not ruin the story, but he did not improve it either.

  • The Substitute

  • Wedding Pact Series #1
  • By: Denise Grover Swank
  • Narrated by: Shannon McManus
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,216
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,118

Megan Vandemeer meant to tell her parents about her broken engagement, but a month and a half later she finds herself boarding a plane home to her wedding. Having stretched avoidance to its limits, it's time to come clean - a terrifying prospect since her mother is sure to blame her rather than her cheating, emotionally frigid ex. A couple of drinks and two Dramamine later, Megan finds herself spilling her sob story to the tall, dark, and handsome stranger in the seat next to her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable & Fun Story

  • By Amy M on 10-23-16

Far fetched premise made unbelievable by unremarkable narrator

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

Reviewed: 04-06-18

This book could have been passable with a more experienced narrator. Shannon McManus was reading rather than performing, and her inability to to infuse substance into the characters made it difficult to believe in the emotional bond that Denise Swank was trying to develop. The result was that the whole package came across as lame.

For the first two thirds of the book Josh kept describing Megan as amazing and special, but there was absolutely nothing in her words or actions that supported such an appraisal. She was afraid of her mother, she persisted in perpetuating a colossal deceit, she had no backbone and the only coping mechanism she thought to employ was avoidance. Other than being pretty and making a couple of witty remarks, there was nothing about her to warrant Josh’s admiration. Watching her fall for him as he stood up for her and supported her was conceivable, but the idea that Megan had enough substance to earn Josh’s love was far fetched.

I got this as part of the Romance package...so it did not cost me a credit. If it had, I would be asking for my credit back.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Duke in Shining Armor

  • Difficult Dukes
  • By: Loretta Chase
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 428
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 387
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 387

Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friend's bride. All he's trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom. For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her family's ecstatic. And Olympia? She's climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderfully humorous and entertaining!

  • By Millicent j Hill on 12-13-17

I loved the banter

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

Reviewed: 02-23-18

The leading characters are fun and the interplay between them is endearing. I adore the terms of endearment they come up with for each other as the story progresses!

Kate Reading is a pro and she always does a great job. I am always surprised at how good her male voices are.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Much Ado About Highlanders

  • By: May McGoldrick
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 459
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 458

Highland warrior Alexander Macpherson has lost his wife. When he agrees to take Kenna Mackay as his bride to advance his clan's power in the north, he expects a bit of an adjustment. He doesn't expect the sharp-tongued beauty to run away on their wedding night. Still, Alexander wants his runaway bride...and he has the sneaking suspicion that she wants him, too.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Samantha Taylor on 02-23-17

A total waste of time

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

Reviewed: 01-21-18

What puzzles me is why I kept listening.

The author is very poor at crafting a story and developing characters. It is like she reduced the works of Nora Roberts and Julianne MacLean to formulas and then wrote a book that ticked each box. Nothing original.

And the internal journeys the characters take as they wrestle with their emotions are lame. One minute a conflict is insurmountable and the next it is no problem. Lame.

Total waste of my time.

  • Clam Jam

  • By: RC Boldt
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Hart, Jeremy York
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 170

Clam jam. Definition: the female equivalent of a cock block. Example: You're chatting with a guy you're interested in, and your friend comes along and lays claim to him. That's my life - except it's worse. My friend who keeps "jamming" me is my gay roommate. Fact: He went home with three - yes, three - of the guys I had been so sure were into me. Fact: He's really pissing me off. I'll never manage to get a boyfriend before the age of 50 if he keeps this up. Fact: Secretly, I wonder what it would be like if he weren't gay.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So f%#&ing funny!!!

  • By Erin H. on 05-26-17

Waste of time

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

Reviewed: 08-31-17

I can't believe that I stayed with this book as long as I did. I kept wanting it to get interesting, but it never did.

There was never any development of characters. The author never gave the readers any details of these characters' lives that helped the reader gain any insight into these people. We don't learn what life experiences shape them, we don't learn what they're doing with their lives and where they want life to take them, we don't learn anything about what outside of themselves is important to them, we don't learn how they treat the people around them or how they allow other people to treat them.

All Maggie and Rye ever talked about was how hot the other was.They never talked about what qualities in the other person the found attractive. Rye talked at the very beginning about watching Maggie laugh with another guy and wishing she was laughing at something he said, as if that explains why he's already in love with her before he even meets her. He's never spent a moment in her company, never listened to her talk about herself or her dreams, but he's in love and she's "the one". Maggie was the same. She never talked about what it was in his personality that she found attractive.

I can't believe I wasted so much time on this book. It could have something to do with the fact that my TV was out for a couple of days, but that is no excuse. I could have written some letters with the extra time.

If you care about character development, save the credit.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Delicious!

  • A Novel
  • By: Ruth Reichl
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 767
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 698
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 703

In her best-selling memoirs, Ruth Reichl has long illuminated the theme of how food defines us, and never more so than in her dazzling fiction debut about sisters, family ties, and a young woman who must finally let go of guilt and grief to embrace her own true gifts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Julia Whelan's reading makes this book come alive.

  • By Rachel Ellyn on 09-28-14

Delectable!

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

Reviewed: 02-25-17

Formerly the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, Reichl is an impressively descriptive wordsmith who uses adjectives, similes and metaphors so much more inventive than any I ever seized upon that I found myself complementing her regularly throughout the book. And the story completely drew me in. It is a drama, a mystery, a love story and a romance braided together like Italian Easter Bread. I highly recommend this compelling novel.

  • The Next Best Thing

  • By: Kristan Higgins
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302

Lucy Lang isn't looking for fireworks. She's looking for a nice, decent man. Someone who'll mow the lawn, flip chicken on the barbecue, teach their future children to play soccer. But most important: someone who won't inspire the slightest stirring in her heart - or anywhere else. A young widow, Lucy can't risk that kind of loss again. But sharing her life with a cat named Fat Mikey and the Black Widows at the family bakery isn't enough either.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • The angst lasted forever!

  • By bebe on 05-09-17

Without sadness we can't appreciate happiness

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

Reviewed: 01-19-17

Like all of Kristan Higgins books, this book is filled with entertaining characters, witty banter and lead characters that you come to care about quickly.

And like all of Kristan Higgins books, the main characters struggle with an underlying layer of sadness in their hearts. What is slightly discouraging about this title is that the characters struggle with the sadness for the whole story, keeping a tug in my chest for the entire 10-hour playing time.

The sadness is a necessary part of these characters' personal journeys, but this book may be harder to listen to than most Kristan Higgins' novels because each was resigned to the idea that their sadness was going to be part of their lives forever.

I do recommend this book, but maybe not if you are in a sad place yourself. Set it aside for a time when you can enjoy a a good tug on your heart strings.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Agent to the Stars

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,998
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,072
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,064

The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hollywood Agent Represents Stinky Aliens

  • By Bryan on 04-22-11

A fun ride! Kudos Wesley Crusher!

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

Reviewed: 12-02-16

I highly recommend this very entertaining book by John Scalzi. The story begins with a race of space aliens deciding to hire a Hollywood agent to manage their introduction to the people of Earth. Humor and entertainment flow from there. Also, some very good writing and cleverly developed characters.

The book was read by Will Wheaton, also known as Ensign Wesley Crusher from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (who also plays himself in "The Big Bang Theory"). His performance completely overwhelmed me with it's extraordinary quality that I was reminded how he won awards at age 14 for his performance in the feature film "Stand By Me". He so convincingly created more than half a dozen distinct characters that I found myself applauding his performance several times throughout the 8.75-hour reading.

I can recommend this story in printed form, but I recommend the EXPERIENCE as an audiobook. Either way, "Agent to the Stars" is a fun ride.

  • Worth the Fall

  • McKinney Brothers, Book 1
  • By: Claudia Connor
  • Narrated by: Johanna Parker
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,392
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,283
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,282

Abby Davis isn't wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she's busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn't looking for fun - he's a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions and fallen brothers. Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt has been sidelined by a combat injury, and he is haunted by the loss of his best friend and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL - focused and dedicated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fabulous ride for the emotions!

  • By xstitchnut on 03-07-17

Not worth the time

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

Reviewed: 09-03-16

This book was too long and too easy to loose interest in.

I like the characters, especially the kids and brothers, but the two main characters were so hung up on the issues around which the story turned (each one having a hang up that kept them from moving forward in life) -- the story really started to drag. I was so tired of Abby's fear of being left and Matt's promise to T. OMG! Enough already!

Anyway, I begrudge the loss of the time I spent finishing this book more than the loss of the credit I spent buying it. Don't waste your time.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop

  • By: Carolyn Brown
  • Narrated by: Laural Merlington
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 797
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 698
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 694

Stella's mama never should've put Stella on the church prayer list. With Stella's 27th birthday coming up fast, Nancy desperately wants to see her daughter married and giving her grandbabies. Petitioning heaven seems like a surefire way to get it done. But in Cadillac, Texas, where the gossip's hotter than the city's famous jalapeño peppers, it isn't long before all hell breaks loose.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • love her books!

  • By marie popick on 03-31-16

I want my credit back!

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

Reviewed: 08-25-16

This book was a real disappointment. The premise had the opportunity to be very entertaining, but the execution was lame. Any comparison to "Steel Magnolias" is an insult to Robert Harling.

The borderline-heretical theology in this book is disturbing and undermines the believability of the story. It makes me wonder whether this author knows anything about church or church goers. Not one of these characters displays any actual faith or devotion to God.

There is no way that a responsible minister would allow a parishioner to behave the way Heather behaves -- or allow her to claim to be doing what she does in God's name. With such a fallacy at its foundation, the entire story becomes hard to swallow and the leading man, Preacher Jeb, becomes hard to respect.

The effort to make the character of Agnes like the "Steel Magnolias" character of Weezer is forced and insulting. For all her outrageousness, Weezer at least had a little class. Agnes is just Carolyn Brown overreaching in an effort to duplicate that loveably cantankerous character.

As for the quality of the writing, this book is at least 3 hours too long. It is repetitive, redundant (am I repeating myself) and makes a big deal about things that aren't a big deal. Cussing in front of a preacher? Big sin! Everybody in town heard when she lost her virginity because the boy bragged about it? That only follows a girl around if she choses to let it. Gossip travels fast in a small town? Well, maybe unrealistically fast in this book....but everything about gossip in this book is unrealistic.

Don't reinforce Carolyn Brown by buying this book. I will not be wasting credits on another of her other titles.