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  • From Lukov with Love

  • By: Mariana Zapata
  • Narrated by: Callie Dalton, Teddy Hamilton
  • Length: 14 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,025
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 959
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one. After 17 years - and countless broken bones and broken promises - she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close. But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she's spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • New Favorite MZ Slow Burn

  • By Brittany M on 05-13-18

Loved the Dalton/Hamilton combo

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I read this book when it came out and enjoyed it, but it didn't make it to a favorite status.

I have read all of Ms. Zapata's books and enjoyed each of them.

I have listened to all of them that are on audio and Callie Dalton really makes them come alive.

I waited a long time to listen to this one just because it wasn't a favorite of mine.

But listening to the narration automatically put it in my forever play list.

Dalton and Hamilton did a great job. It was primarily narrated by Ms. Dalton, but the parts done by Mr. Hamilton make me want to seek out all his books.

  • Sweet Tea and Sympathy

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,259
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,955
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,929

Margot Cary has spent her life immersed in everything Lake Sackett is not. As an elite event planner, Margot's rubbed elbows with the cream of Chicago society and made elegance and glamour her business. She's riding high until one event goes tragically, spectacularly wrong. Now she's blackballed by the gala set and in dire need of a fresh start - and apparently the McCreadys are in need of an event planner with a tarnished reputation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thank you Ms. Harper

  • By green ice cream garden on 11-30-17

Beginning of what I hope is a great series

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Charming story.
Narration is spot on.

I love Harper's contemporary series. They are well written, filled with humor and not too much angst.

If I ever meet Molly Harper and she doesn't sound exactly like Amanda Ronconi, I will be deeply disappointed.

Ms. Ronconi conveys the heart and humor in Ms. Harper's books.

  • Ain't She a Peach

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,241
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,177
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,166

An Atlanta ex-cop comes to Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet - but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met. Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything - but it seems rude to embalm them and not say hello. Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love Molly Harper and her stories.

  • By Nancy on 06-15-18

Harper/Ronconi combo has never let me down

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I do enjoy Molly Harper's vampire series, but I really enjoy her contemporary titles.

This is the second (full) book in the series. There are some teasers out there, but this is the real deal story.

The heroine was quirky and charming. The hero was a bit different as well, Not quirky, but not the perfection one usually reads in a "romance."

The story was interesting, again, not your usual story line.

Amanda Ronconi is one of my few go-to narrators. Her voice is amazing. She conveys emotion well, Her male voices are not irritating and her female voices aren't grating.

  • Turbulence

  • By: Whitney G.
  • Narrated by: Erin Mallon, Joe Arden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,280
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,207
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,208

Jake Weston and I met under a cloud of cliches: Boy meets girl. Boy charms girl. Boy screws girl. He was the sexiest, cockiest man I'd ever encountered, but I had no idea he was a senior pilot when we met. No idea we worked for the same airline, and he had secrets just like me.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A very accurate title

  • By Danni on 03-06-17

I don't get its seeming popularity

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

Reviewed: 08-29-17

I will admit, I couldn't get through it.

It seemed well edited.
The narrator did a fine job.

But the story seemed too forced to me and I got whiplash trying to figure out what was going on.

He loves her.
He hates her.
He is stalking her.
He ignores her.

She is scared of him.
She loves him.
She hates him.
She never wants to see him again.
She does everything he tells her to do, even it is just wrong.

Her family is bad.
His is worse.

And then there is the back story. There was nothing appealing or believable about it at all.

I was actually in airports a lot while I was listening to it because I specifically downloaded it for a trip. But that didn't help the story any.

I am tottering between 2 stars and 3 stars, but I really wouldn't recommend it even to friends who love the whiplash stories because it just wasn't appealing on any level.

  • Fierce Obsessions

  • By: Suzanne Wright
  • Narrated by: Jill Redfield
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,220
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,114
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,111

When raven shifter Riley Porter was given sanctuary by the Phoenix Pack, she let them believe she had left her flock. Reluctant to divulge the secrets of her past, she was still embraced as family. Only Tao Lukas, the protective and passionate Head Enforcer of the pack, was resistant to the enigmatic shifter. Until Riley started to arouse in him something other than suspicion.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Love the author but.....

  • By ecarpenter on 06-14-17

Good addition to the series

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

Reviewed: 08-29-17

Suzanne Wright and Jill Redfield are a great combination on this series.

Ms. Wright writes a fairly tight story, not a lot of fluff, but lots of action. Ms. Redfield narrates it just right (yes, I was trying to get a lot of "rights" in there).

This is the story of Riley the raven shifter and Tao, a werewolf.

Tao has been in the series from the beginning. Riley is not an original cast member, shall we say.

The Phoenix Pack series is a violent series. Lots of killing and sexing (two separate actions).

But the story is well written. The villains are the villainest so you don't mind when they get torn asunder.

Excellent addition to the series.

  • Secondhand Spirits

  • A Witchcraft Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Juliet Blackwell
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,719
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,586
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,572

Lily Ivory hopes for a normal life when she opens Aunt Cora's Closet. With her magical knack for vintage fashion - she can sense vibrations of the past from clothing and jewelry - her store becomes a big hit. But when a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area, Lily may be the only one who can unravel the crime.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Witches and fashion - what's not to like!

  • By Sher on 07-23-12

Cozy Mystery with spirits and vintage fashion.

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

Reviewed: 08-29-17

A standard cozy mystery with a little bit of the supernatural thrown in.

Lily Ivory (cute name, White White, I guess to emphasize she is a good witch) is just coming into her own on many levels, opening a new business, moving to a new town, exploring her abilities as a witch.

The background and story had some unique touches to it. The world building was a bit weak, but I think I would rather than that with "room to grow" than the type of book that has so much world building the reader loses sight of the story.

Not overly violent. Not sexed up. Again, some world building and relationship building was happening.


The narrator was Xe Sands. If you like Xe generally, you will like her in this book.

  • Spells and Scones

  • Magical Bakery Mystery Series, Book 6
  • By: Bailey Cates
  • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 467
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 464

When the bookshop next to the Honeybee Bakery hosts a signing for a Savannah radio celebrity's new self-help book, magical baker Katie Lightfoot is happy to provide some delectable desserts. The whole spellbook club is going to the event, curious about the book (and maybe to sample some goodies), but the final chapter comes too soon for the author when she is found dead at the event. The prime suspect is Angie Kissel, a former witch whose familiar was once Katie's own terrier, Mungo.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another light and enjoyable Magical Bakery Mystery

  • By Kay on 09-20-16

Nice continuation of the series

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

Reviewed: 08-29-17



I liked it. I like this series. I will admit I skipped 4 and 5 because I just didn't want to deal with the love triangle that seemed to be setting up.

I picked up 6 at a twofer sale figuring if it was still going on I wouldn't be out much.
It did appear in the beginning of the book that the triangle had been dealt with at some point in the past, but it tried to rear its ugly head. I am hoping it won't be in future editions.

You don't need to have read any of the previous books to get the story. It is always helpful to have the back stories, of course, but you are given all the info you need in this.

A cozy mystery with some supernatural elements, which seems to be the "new" thing in cozy mysteries these days.

The story was fleshed out well. Lots of red herrings as is the norm in this type of book.

Worth your time and worth the credit.

Amy Rubinate did her usual good job on the narration.

  • River Road

  • By: Jayne Ann Krentz
  • Narrated by: Amanda Leigh Cobb
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 677
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 607
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 609

It's been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she'd been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party - by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Bad narrator, cookie cutter story

  • By Mary Beth Maschner on 03-11-14

If you like JAK, you will like this one.

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

Reviewed: 04-13-15

If you like Jayne Ann Krentz as a general rule, you will like this one.

Same basic outline. Same basic outcome.

I felt there was a lot of telling and very little showing in this book.

We got a lot of info dumps. When items crucial to the plot or forward movement of the story happened, all of a sudden we had a character who was willing to engage another character in conversation to tell us what exactly happened, why, and what it means for the forward movement of the plot. I will admit, it got a bit old.

It was a perfectly enjoyable book to listen to while walking various airports and flying from Boston to Atlanta and back.

I listened to the Audible version. The narrator was fine. Nothing outstanding either positively or negatively.

  • Any Witch Way You Can (Wicked Witches of the Midwest Book 1)

  • By: Amanda M. Lee
  • Narrated by: Aris
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 585
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 527
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 523

As the local editor of Hemlock Cove's only newspaper, she just happens to be present when a body is found in an area corn maze. To make matters worse, the police believe the murder may have something to do with the occult.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Horrible narrator!!! Please get a new one!!!

  • By Laura on 06-20-15

Meh

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

Reviewed: 04-13-15

This book, oh, this book.

It has a great premise. Its execution is not even that horrible. It has as good a plot as you are going to find in this type of book. It has almost likeable characters. There is plenty of sequel bait if one likes it to have the opportunity for many more.

But the editing. Wait, there was no editing. If there was editing, the author needs a refund.

Here are a few of the phrases that stood out (note: I was listening to the Audible version and only wrote down quotes/words when convenient): "I rose my eyebrows confrontationally." Okay. I guess her eyebrows were up in arms about something. Still don't know how one can do that confrontationally unless they were advancing on someone else.
"Extended beer gut." I guess that would be as opposed to the flat beer guts.
"She was understandably curious, which I understand." Hmmm. I don't understandably understand.
"I mentally kicked myself." Glad for the clarification.
"Nodded mutely." Nodded speakingly I guess would be the opposite.
"Muttered blandly." Hmm. "Muttered spicily" would be if they were having Indian food, I guess.

And I added my comments only because that is what I thought when I heard those clips. I was taken out of the story time and time again by comments like these.

Every action had an adverb in front of it. They couldn't be slumbering, they had to be "happily slumbering." They "nodded mutely," when "nodded" would have been fine and dandy. She couldn't just be "curious," she had to be "understandably curious."

That is the kind of stuff that a good editor will deal with for the author. That is the kind of stuff that will make people not remember your story but remember your -ly adjectives and adverbs being unrelenting.

And then there was the dialogue. If I weren't so educated on YA books, I would dismissively say, (see, I can do it, too) "Oh, this dialogue belongs in a YA book." But I know that dialogue in YA books can be very quick and clever and not all snark, quirkiness, and attempts to be too cute for words.

There were a number of good parts of the book. I liked the characters when they weren't so snarky or know it all. I liked some of the parent-child interactions. But much of the book was cute and quirky for cute and quirky's sake.

Since I did listen to the Audible version, I will say a thing or two about the narrator. First, she read very, very swiftly. Second, she pronounced some words incorrectly. (See, that dang -ly popping up again.) "Vehemently" was pronounced "vee-HE-ment-lee." Strong emphasis on "he" when "he" is really not how it is pronounced. This word came up a number of times in various forms and all were mispronounced.
Now, since I didn't follow along with the text, I don't know if the wrong word was written a few times or if the narrator just read the word wrong, but that happened. Again, totally takes you out of the narrative.
She also seemed too arch. Again, that might have more to do with the written dialogue than the spoken, but it was an issue. Sometimes I felt it was totally the wrong tone to be taking.


I so wanted to love this book. As it was, I just finished it because I didn't want to start another one.


11 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Accidentally Dead

  • Accidentally Friends, Book 2
  • By: Dakota Cassidy
  • Narrated by: Meredith Mitchell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 753
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 695
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 698

It's a lousy first day on the job for Nina Blackman. A patient, loopy from the anesthesia, bites her. At least he was cute. The next morning, Nina wakes up with a set of razor-sharp fangs, bionic vision, supersonic hearing, and a taste for blood. But there's a good explanation: It's her patient, Long Island vampire Greg Statleon. Is Nina willing to commit to one man for eternity, even if they are perfect for each other?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You can't always believe bad reviews

  • By Denise on 07-14-15

Save your credit, your money, whatever.

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

Reviewed: 02-06-15

I am not sure there is a word in the English language to describe how much I hated this "heroine." Nina Blackman. Gosh, I don't even like her name. A vampire called "blackman" conjures up visions of Dracula in his black tux and cape. Yep. Don't even want to hear the name Nina ever again. What a whiny, cranky, bitchy heroin. Okay. That was cathartic. Let me continue.

Why, you ask, did I subject myself to listening to the whole book. Simple. I am cheap. I bought it on Audible (after listening to a snippet and reading a couple of reviews) and dang it, I was going to listen to it. But yet there was another more salient reason: as a reminder never to fall prey to the Audible Buy Three for Two Credits "sale." Yep. Cheap gets me every time. But when I see the sale next time, I am just going to say "Blackman" in the same tone with the same expression Jerry Seinfeld says "Newman." Then I will know just to turn away, don't look for that elusive third book.

So here is the thing. The story was okay. Nothing original, really. Dental hygienist gets a quasi bite from a vampire. Dental hygienist becomes a vampire. It should have been fun, enjoyable even. But it wasn't.

Nina Blackman has had a hard life. Nobody is saying she hasn't. Her mother was a serial abandoner, until she just never came home again. her father was on over-the-road trucker who often had to leave, of course, and then he died. So she was raised by her grandmother, a seemingly loving woman who wants nothing but the best for her granddaughter.

Nina has two really good friends, whether she will acknowledge this to anyone, including herself, or not. These two friends stick by her through thick and thin, unfanged and fanged. In fact, one of the friends accidentally became a werewolf in the first book of this series. But I digress.

Nina Blackman is one of those people who wallows. She wallows in how poor she is. She wallows in her history. She wallows in her absolute misery with herself and who and what she is. And this is before she was turned into a vampire. She knows she is a miserable creature. She knows she is absolutely miserable. She knows she visits this same misery upon everybody who comes into contact with her. How do I know this? Because she goes on and on and on about it interminably.

But for some reason, she is rewarded for this wallowing. She has two great friends who prove time and time again they are there for her. The vampire that turns her accidentally? Well, he is a hunk and a half, rich, has developed the great skills of flying and wishing things into existence. If that won't make you fall in love, nothing will.

Well, after a lot of really stupid machinations and manipulations, Nina the Execrable Being and the Vampire Hunk marry. Now, give our girl the credit, she married him to save his life. He marries her because her lurves her, apparently. But here is the problem. They are going to live forever (barring even more stupid machinations and manipulations.) This is an impediment to their mating/marriage. Vampire Hung drags his feet (and believe me, I would, too, but for different reasons) about marrying our girl Nina. But he is afraid that she will be bored with him century after century. He wants her to be sure. Well, she is sure.

But let me tell you the part that really got me about this story. There is NO character growth on Nina's part. There is no maturity attained. There is nothing. Not only that, she doesn't plan on maturing, on allowing for growth. At the very end of the book, right before they marry, Nina recounts all of her character flaws, both in her head and out loud to Vampire Hunk. Every.last.one.of.them. And Vampire Hunk rejoices in her difficult personality. Seriously, dude. This may be charming now because as Vampire Hunk you are used to people bowing and scraping and kissing up to you. How charming that she doesn't. But let me tell you, that will get old fast. You can't even say hello to this woman without her getting upset. You can't give her a gift without her doubting its sincerity.


So bottom line: she plans on carrying on for all eternity just like she has for this book that seemed to last for an eternity. No, a complete personality transplant would not be realistic. But hey, it is a VAMPIRE book. Nothing realistic needed. No, I didn't want/expect to see Lucrezia Borgia turn into Anne of Green Gables. What I wanted to see was something, anything to show that she wasn't going to continue the loathsome personality of her past.

Yeah. So I listened to the Audible version. The narrator was Meredith Mitchell. I will not got out of my way to listen to Meredith Mitchell again. I don't know if it was the character or the voice characteristics of the narrator, but it was not a pleasant listen. Ms. Mitchell's voice seemed harsh and may have made Nina even less likeable.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful