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JulieM

Louisiana, United States
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  • The Most Beautiful

  • My Life with Prince
  • By: Mayte Garcia
  • Narrated by: Mayte Garcia
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,101
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,927
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,919

In The Most Beautiful, a title inspired by the hit song Prince wrote about their legendary love story, Mayte Garcia for the first time shares the deeply personal story of their relationship and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I can see why Prince fell in love with her.

  • By S. Winchester on 04-07-17

Like listening to stories from an old friend

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

Reviewed: 02-14-19

This audiobook was written and performed with such incredible warmth that it was like sitting beside a good friend as she told stories about her life. We learn about Mayte herself, which was wonderful. As a casual fan, I didn't know how hardworking and talented she was on her own. I do remember how glorious the love symbol album was with so many songs for her.

The thing that I appreciate about this is that Mayte sounds kind. She's not backbiting or full of bile. She speaks kindly of people and makes it so easy to understand how she could have made that connection with Prince.

Really, it's a great book. I'm glad I bought it (money well spent), and I was moved in some places but on the whole feel better for it. A good purchase for Prince fans, sure, but now I think I might be a Mayte fan because her nature comes out of every word of this book.

  • Conversational French Dialogues: Over 100 French Conversations and Short Stories

  • Conversational French Dual Language Books
  • By: Lingo Mastery
  • Narrated by: Noelia Gouty, Craig Levin, Dominic Lorange
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

We have compiled more than 100 French stories for beginners along with their translations, allowing new French speakers to have the necessary tools to begin studying how to set a meeting, rent a car, or tell a doctor they don’t feel well! We’re not wasting time here with conversations that don’t go anywhere: If you want to know how to solve problems (while learning a ton of French along the way, obviously), this audiobook is for you! 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great tool to improve your French

  • By JulieM on 02-10-19

Great tool to improve your French

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

Reviewed: 02-10-19

I am an avid language learner and audiobook listener. I have used audiobooks to improve many of the different languages I study. I know they work, and I wanted to get my ears on this since I've recently visited France and want to improve my language skills.

This audio moves at a fast pace. There are explanations and suggestions for use at the beginning and end. Each chapter has the dialogue spoken by native French speakers and then spoken in (American) English translation.

The positives: The native accents are accurate and clear. The topics and associated vocabulary are on a very nice variety of topics that aren't often covered in other language audios. They are timely and sometimes very funny. If you learned these conversations to mastery level, you would be well prepared with French.

The negatives: The English translations aren't always in natural spoken language. You can guess what they actually mean from context, but a little more care could have been done with that. The performances can sound very stilted. The female performer sometimes mispronounces her English (usually a problem with which syllables are stressed).

I don't think any of the negatives are deal breakers, but they are there. I recommend this to any French learner without reservation, and I'm happy to have gotten a review copy. I would offer a few further pieces of advice to interested listeners.

You have to do the work. This means studying the accompanying PDF and practicing speaking out loud. New learners would benefit by changing the playback speeds to slow down to really hear everything.

Disclaimer: 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

  • Agent G: Saboteur

  • By: C. T. Phipps
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

Agent G has left the service of the International Refugee Society, the world's biggest provider of murder for hire, in order to work for the US government. Unfortunately, they are sending him after his former employers, and they know him as well as he knows them. The clock is ticking, though, until the Society's remaining leadership starts eliminating their opponents and attempts to seize control of the presidency. A traitor is also providing them with all the information they need to survive until their puppet is in power. Will G and his allies survive the purge? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Professional Hitmen Never Retire!

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 11-28-18

Listen in order to get best effect

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

Reviewed: 02-05-19

Agent G: Saboteur is the second in a series, and I jumped at the opportunity to review it. I had been introduced to the character of G in Phipps's Supervillainy series where he did a crossover to book 5, The Tournament of Supervillainy. So full disclaimers here: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I haven't read or heard book 1.

We start right in the middle of the action with G and Marissa, who is G's love interest through most of the book. We continue with non-stop action to the very end, and perhaps because I didn't read the first book, I felt I was missing a lot. This definitely leans into cyberpunk but continues the general pop culture references that Phipps does so well. Other reviewers have called this James Bond cyberpunk, and there is a certain truth in that because the listener is never sure who is friend or foe or where the next double-cross will be coming from.

Narrator Jeffrey Kafer brings the vocal swagger that makes the character believable. Because I have listened to him with the other Phipps series, it's hard not to hear those other characters, but as a listener, the familiarity is comforting.

Definitely recommended for those who love cyberpunk and espionage tales. Do yourself a favor, though, and start with book one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Frame-Up

  • The Golden Arrow Mysteries Series, Book 1
  • By: Meghan Scott Molin
  • Narrated by: Andrea Emmes
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 118

MG Martin lives and breathes geek culture. She works as a writer for the comic book company she idolized as a kid. But despite her love of hooded vigilantes, MG prefers her comics stay on the page. But when someone in LA starts recreating crime scenes from her favorite comic book, MG is the LAPD’s best - and only - lead. She recognizes the golden arrow left at the scene as the calling card of her favorite comic book hero. The thing is…superheroes aren’t real. Are they? When Detective Kildaire asks for her comic book expertise, MG is more than up for the adventure.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I Was Hoping It Would Be So Much More

  • By L. G. on 12-06-18

Start of a great new mystery series

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

Reviewed: 02-03-19

This mystery series did what it was supposed to do. It kept me guessing until the end. I thought I knew who the bad guy was, but I didn't! So congrats on keeping me engaged and guessing.

The setting for this is the world of comics and geek culture in Los Angeles. Main character MG has a pretty big chip on her shoulder because she's misunderstood by non-geeks, and the geeks she's regularly around haven't respected her very much, either. She meets Detective Kildaire while in line for coffee, and thus begins her working as a consultant for the LAPD. She and Kildaire also have a mutual brewing attraction between them.

One of the things that sets this story apart from all the other "amateur sleuth solves the crimes the police can't" stories is that she makes mistakes and owns up to it. She doesn't get to ignore the problems she's caused by making faulty decisions that caused lots of damage and tied a case up in bureaucratic red tape. So many other stories act like this isn't something that could happen, and it's nice to see that reality acknowledged.

MG's two best friends help make up an interesting cast of characters that make her world richer. First is the Lawrence, a black drag queen with the stage name Latifah Nile. At one of the pivotal points of the story, the extended drag family is involved to help catch the bad guy. The other best friend is MG's roommate Ryan who is a video game developer and Lawrence's former roommate. The three are like peas in a pod, except Ryan is suspiciously missing through some parts of the story. (If my hunch is right, this might be revealed in future books.)

As for the performance, it did what it was supposed to do. I was engrossed and entertained in the story. The performer filled the role and got out of the way. That works for me.

I don't know who the Golden Arrow is. That's not a mystery that's solved, but considering this is supposed to be the start of a series, we may have other books to think about who it could be. I plan on sticking around for more.

Recommended for those who love cozies, comic books, geek culture and drag queens.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Exhale: An MM Shifter Romance

  • Flesh and Bone Series, Book 1
  • By: Joel Abernathy
  • Narrated by: Kirt Graves
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208

Two men haunted by the same ghost...Falling for "the other man" in my marriage was never part of the plan. Then again, according to Nicolae Ursache, I am the other man, and human wedding vows don't apply. Not to werewolves. Nicolae is a smug, arrogant alpha male stereotype - and I do mean alpha in the literal sense - but when the same people who killed my wife kidnap my teenage daughter, he's my only chance at getting her back. The fact that Nicolae was my wife's rightful mate means that we share a mutual interest in bringing Ellie home.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Take a deep breath

  • By Annika on 10-23-18

An Improbable Relationship Feels Probable

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

Reviewed: 01-30-19

Somewhat predictable, but still enjoyable story.

Predictable bits: The MC's surprising change at the end was telegraphed early on, especially with his declaration that he'd never want to be that. It also did what a lot of MM romances do in that the person who normally bottoms tops after some triumphal moment in which the couple celebrates. I've read enough MM to see the pattern and find that one boring.

Those criticisms out of the way, I dug this. Jack is a sympathetic lead. One thing he loves more than anything else in the world is his daughter, and that incites the plot and everything that comes after. Werewolves are used well here, and this feels very "lived in" as far as a society.

The best part was Kirt Graves as a narrator. He's the reason I gave this one a chance. If you've liked his other performances, he's up to the same standard of excellence here. He was so good, I stayed up after I'd intended on going to sleep because I didn't want to stop listening.

  • Antibody

  • Love and War, Book 3
  • By: R. A. Steffan
  • Narrated by: Gwendolyn Druyor
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

No, cyborgs are only good at three things: following orders, destroying whatever target you point them at, and walking calmly into the vaporization chamber when it’s time for them to be decommissioned. PX-12, better known to his friends as Pax, adequately performed two of those functions during his stint in the Ilarian military. D-8, his unit-sibling, performed all three exceptionally well. For that reason, when D-8’s unique distress beacon activates some seven years after Pax saw him destroyed, it would doubtless be quite surprising if Pax were still capable of being surprised.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another winning production from Steffan/Druyor....

  • By Katie on 02-16-19

Cyborgs and Telepaths

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

Reviewed: 01-29-19

It's been a while since I read the other books in this series, so it's good for me that these can be read as stand-alones. This is firmly scifi romance in that there's a main scifi theme and mission while a couple falls in love. So far the couples have been mixed species. In this story, we get cyborg Pax and Naline, who had a big role in book 2.

For those going for the romance, this was a great couple. It was one of those that shouldn't work, but it totally does. Each of the two leads have parallels with each other so it just makes sense that they fit together in the best possible ways.

The specific scifi arc in this story involves shutting down a dangerous cyborg program. All the characters have to use their different talents (hacking, espionage, medicine, telepathy) to get the desired result. The band of rebels that might have started the story has growing ranks as we get closer to the desired end of toppling the regime.

I did listen to this via audiobook, and while I normally have nothing but praise for Gwendolyn Druyor, there were three small things that bugged me.
*One, she was inconsistent with Pax's voice. Sometimes he sounded like a female character speaking. It was only context that made it clear who it was supposed to be.
*Two, her vocal choice for Cade was uncomfortable for me. He constantly sounded like he was growling. I realize it was likely a specific acting choice since he's an addict and regularly in a lot of pain. As a listener, though, it was was hard to experience so much of this character, and he has significant page time in the first half of the book.
*Third, there isn't a lot of vocal difference between Cade and Draven.
Druyor is normally very great at what she does, and this isn't necessarily a deal breaker.

So who's this book for? Steffan fans. Those who like scifi romance. People who like a story where a band of rebels sticks it to the man (shades of Star Wars and Firefly). Those who just want to have a good time for a few hours to read or listen to a fun book.

As for me, I'm ready for Ash's story... which should be book 4.

  • The Tournament of Supervillainy

  • The Supervillainy Saga, Book 5
  • By: C.T. Phipps
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 228
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228

Gary Karkofsky, aka Merciless the supervillain without mercy, is presently the most disliked supervillain in the world. Superheroes don't want to just throw him in jail, they want to deliver an epic beat down for ending their golden age by killing Merciful, the superhero with mercy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gary is back! Woo-hoo!

  • By JulieM on 01-29-19

Gary is back! Woo-hoo!

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

Reviewed: 01-29-19

I've been eating up this series from the first book, so I jumped at an opportunity to review the audiobook. Here's the disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I didn't expect to see a book 5 because I thought book 4 had wrapped up Gary's tales. Nice to see I was wrong.

Here's the deal about this story: Gary and crew (Cindy, Mandy, Diabloman, Gabrielle and others) from the previous books are back. This is almost a reboot of the series, or it's the place where the author finds his mojo again. As fun as superhero/supervillain tales can be, they can be a drain on creativity. So Phipps spins it in a new direction with this salute to Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and games of that sort.

We get the same intelligence, irreverence and cleverness that we've known in the previous books of the series, but here it's an everything goes in the multi-verse type thing. Basically, Phipps brings in characters from other book series he's written that are completely unrelated to this story and lets them play here. It works so well that now I want to get my ears on the Agent G and Jane Doe series. (A were-deer. Seriously? Turns out she's cool!)

Jeffrey Kafer's performance was as great as ever. He's a hard-working narrator with lots of titles I've enjoyed. Some of my favorite voices of his are Cindy's and Diabloman's. Even though he's got a vast audiography, he excels with scifi/fantasy titles.

Bottom line: A good story to start fresh with Gary/Merciless, but I do recommend going back to the beginning. The other books are just fun. For those who love their leads witty and snarky and who don't mind their bad guys doing good. This is why Gary is the best anti-villain.

Looking forward to book 6.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Gentleman and the Lamplighter: A Short Story

  • By: Summer Devon
  • Narrated by: Mark James
  • Length: 2 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Destroyed by the death of his former schoolmate yet unable to show it publicly, Giles Fullerton has taken to walking the streets of London in the middle of the night, the only time he can safely mourn the only person he's ever loved - until one chance meeting with a lamplighter changes everything.... Widower John Banks knows a thing or two about grief, and immediately recognizes a kindred spirit when he finally meets the gentleman he's admired from afar. And in fact, the two men discover shared passions and the possibility of a forever love - if they can overcome social taboos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • heartwarming

  • By Rebecca Azizov on 01-21-19

Charming Novella

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

Reviewed: 01-21-19

I admit that after seeing Mary Poppins Returns, I wanted to give a fiction about a lamplighter a try. This MM romance involves two people who seem to be from separate worlds but who connect in fundamental ways. Giles is grieving the suicide of the only man he's ever loved, and John is kind, gentle, and quite observant. Giles is taken by how intelligent John is, and John already knows his attraction.

This story is enhanced by the performance of Mark James. John truly sounds gentle in the audio. Not weak, just... approachable. The right person for someone who has been tortured by grief for so long.

This story as an HEA that I won't spoil. I didn't expect it to turn out the way I did, but the author put the clues there the whole time. I suspect for most readers, it will be a surprise that makes sense.

If you like MM romance that leans to the sweet side of intimacy more than raunchy, this novella is a pleasant way to spend a few hours.

Reviewer's disclaimer: 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

  • The Wrong Unit

  • A Novel
  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Rob Dircks
  • Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,302
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,248
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,246

I don't know what the humans are so cranky about. Their enclosures are large, they ingest over 1,000 calories per day, and they're allowed to mate. Plus, they have me: an Autonomous Servile Unit, housed in a mobile/bipedal chassis. I do my job well: keep the humans healthy and happy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Futuristic journey without a single misstep

  • By Julie W. Capell on 10-03-16

The Father/Son story I didn't expect

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

Reviewed: 01-17-19

This is my 4th Rob Dircks book, and I think I have a feel for some of the things this author brings to the table. Each author has personal themes that run through multiple works. It’s a symptom of who we are as people that the stuff that interests us will become evident. Now with Dircks so far you get scifi, humor both high and low, and an interesting sensitivity to the human condition. I appreciate all these things.

The story of The Wrong Unit is that 800 years in the future a sentient servile unit [Heyoo] is tasked with caring for the child [Wah] who will eventually free humanity from robot enslavement. Thus begins an adventure that spans years, continents and oceans.

Dircks is the narrator of his own novel, and really he’s the best person for the job. He makes the words believable because they’re his own, but he knows how to deliver his humor bits. He even sings briefly at one point, and I was struck with the beauty of his vocal tone. [It was a very music nerdy, “Wow! That vibrato is so lovely.”]

During this journey, Heyoo starts near the end of his expected life. It is a father’s journey, even if his human son is having adventures. The theme is kept throughout the story. Heyoo is aging, but he is doing everything in his power as he deteriorates to make sure all is well for Wah. There is a lot of love in this, and it most likely comes from a place of experience. We help each other out and make lives better along the way.

There were a few things where I thought to myself, “It wouldn’t work like that.” For example, the rate of language change would make it so that Iceman wouldn’t understand the language Wah was speaking. The roads over North America would likely be cracked and overgrown. (Yes, yes, I know some Roman roads still exist, but those are exceptions.) While I noted that, these unlikely things didn’t get in the way of me enjoying this novel.

This book is for:
*people who love scifi, especially humans revolting against robot overlords
*people who might have liked Mr. Data from Star Trek: TNG
*lovers of quirky humor, and
*those who might think an adventure with an android “father” and his human “son” might be intriguing

Me? I’m already ready for a new Dircks title because I enjoy what he does and how he does it.

Full disclosure: I did receive a review copy from the author, but I would have purchased the title anyway.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Vampire: Book Two

  • By: R.A. Steffan, Jaelynn Woolf
  • Narrated by: Gwendolyn Druyor
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

My father has been kidnapped by my worst enemies. Either that, or he willingly sold me out to them. Whatever the case, I’m going to find him. Mind you, this would be a lot easier if every Fae in Chicago wasn’t already out for my blood. They’re not getting it, though.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • the second book is wonderful

  • By Rebecca Azizov on 01-29-19

Tense action across realms

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

Reviewed: 01-17-19

In this exciting continuation of The Last Vampire, we get the further scary and life-threatening adventures of Zorah, who is part succubus, and Rans, the titular vampire.

After an opening scene where Zorah gets drunk (and the narrator has a ball performing it), Zorah’s father is still missing. She wants to find him so she can discover whether he was really on her side or sold her out. She decides to use one of Rans’s contacts without his knowledge to go in search of her father, but the consequences are nightmare levels of chilling.

The story moves at a fast pace and is absorbing. There are levels of political machinations that Zorah and we readers aren’t aware of yet. The showdown at court toward the end is just one clue of the multi-layered big picture. This is especially evident in the epilogue that leads us waiting eagerly for the next adventure.

One of the things I liked about this story was that Zorah thought she suffered chronic illness before the reveal that she was part succubus. I enjoyed seeing this different type of heroine depicted on the page because it’s a very real slice of life. Several of my friends have chronic illnesses. Another thing about Zorah is that she doesn’t start as a “strong” heroine. She begins everything as weak and afraid, and she’s going through the journey on the page to have true strength of character.

I will say that the title of the series is misleading as Rans is not the main character. I assume we’ll learn more about him in other volumes. As an attention grabber, though, “The Last Vampire” is a lot more interesting and immediate than “The Succubus Who Didn’t Know She Was a Succubus” or whatever could be said about Zorah.

A note on the audio performance: Gwendolyn Druyor is the voice of Steffan/Woolf. If you’ve listened to any other titles, you know what to expect. If you haven’t heard her performances before, you’re in for a treat. She’s very good and always adds things to her performances that make the dialogue sound like real people speaking.

This is recommended for readers who like urban fantasy and paranormal romance since there are fae, demons, a succubus, and yes, a lone vampire. Do yourself a favor, though, and start with the first book if you haven’t done so already.