LISTENER

JulieM

Louisiana, United States
  • 62
  • reviews
  • 85
  • helpful votes
  • 245
  • ratings
  • Confessions from the Heart

  • Confessions Series, Book 0
  • By: T.B. Markinson
  • Narrated by: Lori Prince
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Cori Tisdale fears she'll never find a woman who loves her for her and not because she has a famous mother and rich uncle. In an attempt to protect herself, she fills the void in her life with a "friends with benefits" relationship. That is until Cori meets the beautiful and mysterious Kat Finn. Cori quickly falls for the artist, and not everyone in her life is happy about it. Will Cori be forced to choose between love and friendship? Confessions from the Heart is a smart and funny prequel to the best-selling lesbian romance series.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nope, not for me

  • By JulieM on 09-23-18

Nope, not for me

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

Reviewed: 09-23-18

I voluntarily received a review copy of this because I am a fan of the narrator. I still am. She's quite good and has a voice that fits really well with women in their 20s. Plus she's "wicked smart" when it comes to accents.

Had this been a different narrator, though, I would have put this on DNF. I just didn't like it. Cori was an unsympathetic lead character to me. She slept around, even if she didn't think of it as such. Her love interest Kat had her own oddities. They met in a store where she was short on money. I get that it would happen, but later she's seen as having a shopping habit.

I didn't like these people. I didn't like this story. It felt a little like "rich white lesbian problems." Really, the best part of it was that in this world LGBT characters just ARE. There isn't bit of surprise or censure about lesbians. Other than that, no thanks. I don't plan on picking up other books in this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Forget Me Not

  • By: Willow Winters
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel, Erin Maguire
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

I fell in love with a boy a long time ago. I was only a small girl. Scared and frightened, I was taken from my home and held against my will. His father hurt me, but he protected me and kept me safe as best he could. Until I left him. I ran the first chance I got, and even though I knew he wasn't behind me, I didn't stop. The branches lashed out at me, punishing me for leaving him in the hands of a monster. I've never felt such guilt in my life. Although I survived, the boy was never found. I prayed for him to be safe. I dreamed he'd be all right and come back to me.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wow

  • By Kindle Customer on 02-20-18

Not my kind of romance

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

Reviewed: 09-15-18

I'm a Christian Rummel fan, so I cam for him. But t his is a dark "romance" that really centers on a man with DID who kidnaps a woman who shared his childhood trauma. Yeah... the book thinks it's too clever by half, and it's just not the think I'm looking for. Not even Rummel could save this for me, and he's fantastic.

  • Antigen

  • Love and War, Book 2
  • By: R. A. Steffan
  • Narrated by: Gwendolyn Druyor
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

Ryder isn’t a stupid woman, and she knows better than to volunteer for things. Volunteering always gets you into trouble. So it’s really no surprise when her undercover operation to retrieve Temple Akenzua from the belly of a Regime prison goes tits-up in fairly short order. With Ryder stuck on the wrongs side of the bars, the rescue mission has now become a mission of survival. Her only hope - and Temple’s - lies with her comrades in the Shadow Wing. Ryder just needs to stay alive until they come up with a plan. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a great series

  • By Rebecca Azizov on 09-24-18

About my favorite character from book 1 (Antidote)

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

Reviewed: 09-04-18

In the previous book, Antidote, I really liked the characters of Ryder and Ash. Steffan does not disappoint because this book concentrates on Ryder AND we get more Ash page-time. All of that is a win for this reader.

The main plot is how Ryder infiltrates a prison to help get Temple, Skye's brother, out of prison. All those delicious questions get answered. Why was she formerly a doctor? What happened? We learn of her sad past as the emotional internal journey. The outward journey has fights in the prison yard, an ambassador who is not quite what she seems, and a prison break that is magnificent chaos.

The elements of the story include a small group fighting the big guys, inter-species cooperation (and copulation), medicine and nano-technology, and a blistering-hot romance where you just can't wait for the leads to get together. Ryder and Temple may be unlikely, but yet they are perfect for each other. You probably could start this book as a stand alone without Antidote, but you'd get more out of the experience if you read/listened to them in order.

I listened to this as an audiobook. There is little I could say of the narrator that I haven't already pointed out in other reviews. She's fantastic. Druyor has deft skill with male and female voices and various accents. I may particularly enjoy how she handles her snarky Brits (Ash here, Xander in the Circle of Blood series). Her performance with this one was wonderful, and I can't wait until the audio of book 3 drops.

  • The Chosen One

  • By: T. B. Markinson
  • Narrated by: Lori Prince
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

Girls are a risk college freshman Ainsley Carmichael can't take. Her powerful political family sees her as the Chosen One who will someday be president. Upholding a carefully crafted veneer is second nature until the first day of class when Maya's mysterious gray eyes hold her in thrall. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, awesome performance!

  • By Monique Mehring on 05-29-18

NA love story with a twist

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

Reviewed: 08-19-18

In theory, everyone rebels against their constraints sometime. It's how they test who they are and who they want to be. In this story, out lesbian Ainsley Carmichael, who has been groomed by her grandmother from the womb to be a future President, finally gets her chance to go against the role she's always accepted because she wants to get a chance to love Maya, a secretive student in her history class.

The story has some refreshing parts, such as Ainsley not deliberating whether she liked girls. It's a fact and her family knows. What Ainsley must not do is engage in scandal, including no social media and no behaviors that could cast aspersions on her future career.

Ainsley herself is pretty fun. She's the dictionary example of adorkable. The story is told from her humorous point of view, and she's clutzy, especially around the object of her affections.

Maya herself is a mystery, and solving that mystery is one of the features of the story. It definitely has a surprising turn. I thought we were going to discover that Maya was somehow an illegal, even though she is a black Puerto Rican. No, the answer is something else entirely, and a nice twist.

When I got to the end of it, honestly I expected more. Where are the sequels? Where is the story with Fiona and Pat? Markinson could continue in this world she created, but I don't know if she has plans to.

As for the narration, Lori Prince is wonderful. This is only my second time to listen to her, but it won't be my last. She is deft at handling a young-sounding protagonist. I wouldn't be surprised if she read YA titles. But she's not limited to that.

My favorite thing in her performance was her voice for the character of Pat, a young doctor originally from South Boston who sounds exactly like a Southie. While I don't find the accent very appealing, Prince performed him as a fully fleshed out character, and not once does she ever break character. He's believable, and that makes this audio and Prince's performance top notch.

So if you want a lesbian romance well-performed, give this a shot.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In the Wreckage

  • Metahuman Files, Vol. 1
  • By: Hailey Turner
  • Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99

After surviving a horrific chemical attack that turned him into a metahuman, Captain Jamie Callahan got a second lease on life. For three years he’s been working for the Metahuman Defense Force and leading Alpha Team - all against the wishes of his family. The job requires his full dedication, so it’s no surprise Jamie doesn’t have time for a relationship. An enticing one-night stand with a gorgeous stranger shows Jamie what he’s been missing. When a mission to take down a terrorist cell brings that same stranger - Kyle Brannigan - back into his world, Jamie’s life gets complicated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic audio!

  • By Amanda V on 04-25-18

Came for Greg Boudreaux

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I am a fan of the narrator, and that's the main reason I picked up this title. I actually liked the non-romance plot of the story, and the narrator is brilliant as always. But I just got tired of all the sex scenes.

Me listening, looking at the play time in the app: Really? Another one? So they're just going to be having vigorous meta-human style sex for the next half hour?

I would listen to more of the series because the team was cool. I want stories about Katie and the others, so the author does well establishing the world. When an author introduces a team like this, I want to know about the entire team, not just the gay or straight ones. This author seems to be about the MM and not much else as she focuses on the romances of a pair of adopted brothers on the team.

If you like Greg, you know how awesome he is. If you need more than just Greg's awesome voice and want awesome content to go with it... rate your expectations accordingly to whether or not you can stand long, drawn out sex scenes that involve a lot of delayed orgasms. Wasn't my thing, but it could be yours.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Society's Child

  • My Autobiography
  • By: Janis Ian
  • Narrated by: Janis Ian
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,027
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,026

Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, when her soul-wrenching song "Society's Child" became a hit. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career. In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures - and the hopes and dreams - of an extraordinary life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh my! What a book!

  • By OKCycle on 12-17-12

Worth a listen even if you don't know her

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Compelling. I had only vaguely known Janice Ian by name before listening to this award-winning auto-biography. Just from the sample she sounded like an interesting person, and the content of the book proves she is interesting and then some.

This audiobook makes me want to listen to her music now. And her life story is told with so much warmth that I feel I'd just like her if we ever met, like she's a cool lady. Nicely done, Janice. I hope you remain happy and healthy.

Recommended to musicians, biography fans, and people who can give a personal touch on 20th Century events in history.

  • Canada

  • By: Mike Myers
  • Narrated by: Mike Myers
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,031
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 960
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 959

Comedy superstar Mike Myers writes from the (true patriot) heart about his 53-year relationship with his beloved Canada. Mike Myers is a world-renowned actor, director and writer and the man behind some of the most memorable comic characters of our time. But, as he says, "No description of me is truly complete without saying I'm a Canadian". He has often winked and nodded to Canada in his outrageously accomplished body of work, but now he turns the spotlight full-beam on his homeland.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome book by my favorite comedian

  • By Spencer cox on 09-21-17

Fun listen. Heartfelt, educational. Recommended.

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

I am not Canadian, but I have long had fond affection for the country. I think it helps that I grew up in North Dakota in a time where their entertainment would subtly sneak across the border. Then later when I was getting my bachelor's degree, so many of my classmates were from Canada. If you watch movies or TV at all, some of the best (and most attractive) entertainers are... you guessed it, Canadian. So it was a no-brainer to pick this audio up for Canada Day.

Both a memoir and culture study. Mike Myers proves himself to have a sharp mind, and he's a skilled performer. In one section he tells of a dialect coach who told him he'd never ever be able to speak in Received Pronunciation. Yet that's exactly what he did, and beautifully so.

This was great, high up there in my esteem with John Lithgow's Drama and Billy Crystal's Still Foolin' 'Em. If I got sentimental weepy at the end, well... I was listening by myself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lover's Absolution

  • Circle of Blood, Book Four
  • By: R. A. Steffan, Jaelynn Woolf
  • Narrated by: Gwendolyn Druyor
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

Xander hates werewolves. In all fairness, they’re not too keen on him either. Normally, avoidance would be the obvious solution. At least, it would be if the werewolves in question weren’t holding a newly-turned six-year-old vampire child as a prisoner. Alone in London, it’s up to Xander to rescue the boy before he can fall into the hands of Bael’s sadistic servant, Bastian Kovac. That mission that becomes exponentially more difficult when Xander discovers the identity of the mysterious female werewolf acting as the boy’s guardian.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’d Give It 10 Stars! The Series Is Incredible! I Hated to Reach The End

  • By Romance junkie on 09-24-18

My favorite so far

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

For this 4th volume in the Circle of Blood series, we focus on the wise-cracking youngest vampire Xander. Those who’ve been reading the series may be looking forward to this because snarky, drunken characters can be fun on the page.

To any new readers, you could jump in here. While there isn’t a lot of rehashing what’s gone before, the over-arching plot isn’t hard to pick up. The story in small here is that once again one of the core group of Vampires meets the reincarnation of the main love interest.

There were a few things here that made the story pop for me. First of all, the heroine is Buddhist, which helps the writer and reader skip the disbelief in reincarnation. That would have been really annoying to see for six back to back books (as the series is planned to be). So with that weight off, it allows the characters to have more fun and less angst. Not that things are all roses. That wouldn’t be a very interesting story.

The reader is warned in the summary that Xander hates werewolves. As a fan of werewolves, it was great to see that element in this story. Yes, something about werewolves gets between Xander and his happy for now ending. Xander and his love both go through unexpected physical changes in this story, and I have to say that this was one of my favorite things that happened.

On the whole, this just might be my favorite book in the series so far. I’m still looking forward to book 6, which is supposed to be Snag’s solo book. But the authors gave us some nice Snag backstory in the middle of this Xander book, so that helped things roll along nicely.

As per my usual, I listened to this as an audiobook with Gwendolyn Druyor narrating. She’s the go-to voice for Steffan’s characters, and it’s one of my favorite creative partnerships up there with Hearne/Daniels and Harper/Ronconi. Really, I have nothing to say about the performance, but that’s because it’s just that good. She lets the story shine and doesn’t have to draw attention to herself. As a bonus, Druyor handles regional accents like a dream.

To new or reluctant readers, here’s the deal: Vampire story where the vamps are wanting to reunite with their lost loves while fighting a great evil that threatens all of humanity. There is a large cast of characters, but each book focuses on one pairing. It would be easy to pick up and enjoy. Plus, Steffan always brings the steam in her stories, and she doesn’t disappoint in this series, either.

Disclaimer: I voluntarily received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  • Theirs to Protect: a Reverse Harem Romance

  • By: Stasia Black
  • Narrated by: Smokey St. Clair
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 281
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 249
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 249

In a world where there’s only one woman for every 12 men, a lottery is the chance for five lucky men to win the prize of a lifetime… her hand in marriage. Nix never put his name in the marriage lottery for a reason. He doesn’t need a woman. There aren’t that many to go around anyway, not after a genetically engineered virus wiped out 90 percent of the female population. He has his job as the head of the Security Squadron and it’s all he needs. He looks out for the township. He protects the few women who are left.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sexy and Entertaining!

  • By bookbruin on 06-03-18

A reverse harem romance

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

Reviewed: 05-26-18

This story is set in a near post-apocalyptic future where women are only 10% of the population. Society is in shambles, and against her will Audrey finds herself in a new community and immediately raffled off to be the bride of 5 different men. She is understandably upset about this. Her view from her set of experiences doesn’t paint this in any possibly good light. She suspects abuse of power, and later finds it in a different woman’s marriage.

One thing the story has going for it is that the characters are distinct. That helps with getting to know Audrey’s five husbands. Phoenix “Nix” Hale is the big and scarred head of security and the leader within his new clan. Clark is the sexy one. Matteo is the damaged one from having been in sexual slavery who connects with Audrey first. Danny is the enthusiastic oaf who has a big heart. Graham is the nerdy guy who might be autistic, but his need to count doesn’t seem to bother Audrey.

Beside the general societal disarray, Audrey has a problem when another woman’s husband threatens to rape her and to kill her husbands. She’s and acts that way most of the book. The question is whether she’ll try to carry the burden to protect her husbands on her own or to open up and share with them so they can all deal with it together.

The narrator’s performance was mostly good. I thought it an interesting but ultimately good choice to pick a male narrator. He uses different voices for each husband and makes them sound as distinct as they are in personality. The only problem I noticed was he doesn’t pronounce the word “bravado” correctly. It wouldn’t have been so noticeable if the author hadn’t used the word so often in the text.

In this book, even though it’s told in third person, every chapter is introduced with its POV character. That is a silly thing for the author to do when it is clearly obvious from the text whose point of view it is. Even with the six different people it could be, it’s still obvious to the reader who’s in focus. I really wish indie writers would stop doing things like that and trust their readers to have some level of intelligence.

One of my usual peeves in contemporary romance is the epilogue where some big event has happened. For example, if the couple was only dating at the end of the story, it epilogues to the wedding. Or if they were married, it goes to the birth of he first child. I live for books that decide NOT to do that because I need variety.

The epilogue for this book is not that kind of epilogue, and I actually enjoyed it very much. It gave me a satisfying end I didn’t expect but needed. It also sets up future stories for this world/series. I am curious enough to follow the next installment whenever it comes.

Bottom line: Like in many romances there is a person being quiet about a problem that only later becomes a bigger problem because it wasn’t shared within the relationship. If lack of communication is one of your reader peeves, then you might opt out of this. Otherwise, feel free to give this one a try. It has interesting world building, distinct characters, and seems to make the reverse harem work, at least for the main characters.

Disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Magic Between the Covers

  • Love in the Library, Book 1
  • By: AJ Tipton
  • Narrated by: Audrey Lusk
  • Length: 1 hr and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

Eliza Hannigan is obsessed with the unseen. When she was young, her mother disappeared before her eyes, and Eliza won’t stop until she finds out what happened. When her research leads her to the handsome Drew Nagle imprisoned inside a book, she hopes she has finally found the answer. But as the magic that sustains Drew begins to fade, Eliza must race against time before she loses him and her mother for good.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • cute magic story

  • By Listener on 08-28-18

Good, concise story

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

Reviewed: 05-26-18

I wanted to listen to the audio of this novella because I am a librarian, and I like the idea of falling in love in a library amuses me. Because of the nature of novellas, the tight focus of the story is about Eliza trying to find her mother after she disappeared in a magical accident. Eliza has worked for years off page to build her skills as a witch, and it finally pays off when she encounters a man trapped in a book who can help her. The novella comes to an expected satisfying end with the possibility of more stories told in this world.

There isn’t necessarily a point where the book drags, but I personally didn’t enjoy the sex scene. Yes, there is one even in a short novella. Maybe it’s just me as a reader, but the tonal change was jarring. It might not be a big deal to anyone else. I think part of my problem with it was that I misunderstood Eliza’s age and perceived her as being out of character. The mistake was mine, not the author’s.

In every audiobook, there are two things to think about: the story itself and the performance of the narrator. I did not life this narrator’s voice. There is nothing wrong with the performance because she’s technically quite good. I just don't like the sound of her voice. I decided to listen anyway because sometimes my opinion on a voice can change the more I spend time with it. Unfortunately for me as a listener, that never happened.

Bottom line: Fast, tightly plotted novella for those who enjoy books, magic, and the love of a daughter to her mother. There’s a bigger mystery in the novella that will hook you and make you want to read more in the series, but the story itself is complete.

Do listen to the sample audio to help decide if this is the audiobook for you. The sample is a very good representation of what you’ll get in this book.

Disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.