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Catherine

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  • 89
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  • 88
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  • Devil of the Highlands

  • By: Lynsay Sands
  • Narrated by: Marianna Palka
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,198
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 850
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 847

They call him the Devil.... He is the most notorious laird of Scotland: fierce, cold, deadly...and maybe even worse. Yet Evelinde has just agreed to wed him. Anything, she thinks, is better than her cruel stepmother. Though Evelinde should be wary of the rumors, she can't help but be drawn to this warrior...for the Devil of the Highlands inspires a heat within her that is unlike anything she has ever known.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Eeyore

  • By Rebecca on 07-20-11

Good writing mired in bad reading

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

Reviewed: 10-03-18

The reader sounded like her high school English teacher had told her to read aloud in class. I won’t call it narration because there is no nuance to distinguish the performance from reading aloud. She handles the dialogue of the two main characters okay, but the descriptive narrative in between is stilted and flows like she is seeing the words for the first time. It made it hard to recognize that the book is actually well crafted and the characters are actually well developed. The writing underneath this horrible reading may in fact be pretty good. I’ll try another book by Lynsey Sands as long as it is not read by Marianna Palka.

  • The Family Gathering

  • By: Robyn Carr
  • Narrated by: Therese Plummer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 659
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 604
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 606

Dakota Jones is the second youngest of four children who had a difficult upbringing living with parents who struggle with mental illness. He escaped his family as soon as he could by joining the military. Now, after several tours of duty he has been discharged. He has nowhere to go and no solid plans for the future. Refusing to return home to his parents he arrives in Sullivan's Crossing where his brother Cal and sister Sierra have each experienced the healing power of the place and its people. Nestled at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide Trails, the area attracts those looking for answers or direction or a new lease on life. Dakota will come to terms with his less-than-perfect family and will plant the roots he's never had.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • HOME RUN AGAIN!!!!!!!

  • By Artkeep on 04-23-18

Like spending time with old friends

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

I enjoy this series. It is not quite as entertaining as early Virgin River books, but they pass a rainy afternoon pleasantly.

  • 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 95
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 90

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 1,497
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,392
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,384

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.

3 of 4 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 467
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 421
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 421

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 505
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 472
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 471

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 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 184
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 176
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 175

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 785
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 715
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 720

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 366
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 348
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 347

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 10,669
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,705
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,696

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.