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  • Magic Strikes

  • Kate Daniels, Book 3
  • By: Ilona Andrews
  • Narrated by: Renee Raudman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 605
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 562
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 557

When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it's a job for Kate Daniels...Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that's saying a lot. But when Kate's werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is my favorite so far!

  • By Suzanne on 10-22-17

A Fantastic Third Installment!

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

Reviewed: 09-23-18

This is one of my favorite books of the series. Things start off quickly with Derek sustaining irrevocable and brutal damage that is the impetus for a series of decisions and actions of several key characters in the series. I enjoyed the action-packed plot, how the authors set it up from beginning to end, and how I didn't ever feel rushed through anything. But, it's the smoldering, slow-burn connection between Kate and Curran that really heats up this series in this installment, without giving everything up all at once, so you still feel just as invested in their relationship as when you started the book. Curran continues to do his dominate, alpha persona without ever crossing into intolerably overbearing or patriarchally insulting, and Kate is just as loyal, headstrong, and courageous as she has been in previous books. I also appreciated the introduction of some more secondary characters and further exploration of others we already know. The ongoing series foreshadowing is done well by giving the audience just enough to know significant things are still in motion but nothing more than just enough.

Renee Raudman finally seemed to hit her stride with this book with better differentiation and consistency with accents and characters, so I was happy to go up to four stars with narration. There still seems to be the occasional mispronunciation, but when they are few and far between, I can ignore them more easily.

A whole-hearted recommendation to fans of paranormal fantasy, fantasy romance, the authors, and the series.

  • Beautiful Bastard

  • By: Christina Lauren
  • Narrated by: Grace Grant
  • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,718
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,260
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,276

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate - and completely irresistible. A beautiful bastard. Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative - completely infuriating - creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Panty Ripping Good Time

  • By Annie on 02-28-13

Great for What It Is

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

Reviewed: 09-22-18

This is one of those books that if you come in with the right expectations, you're going to enjoy it for what it is and not get stuck on what it isn't. What it is: This is an erotic romance about two young professionals who like to get it on so much that they start to lose focus on other things that matter to them (e.g., work aspirations, family loyalties, etc.), and then their attempts to find a balance with it all. If this sounds appealing to you, then you're probably going to like it because it's just right with the hot and steamy, and it's been highly rated by a ton of people. Here's what it isn't: This isn't amazing writing or a great story. In those regards, it's pretty average, and a lot was underdeveloped, especially characterization and the ending. I was entertained and got what I was looking for with this book all the while knowing it's not in the big leagues like some other books of this genre.

The narration worked for the book, and I have no complaints there.

I recommend this to fans of contemporary romance who don't always need sophisticated plots or characters to feel entertained.

  • Beautiful Stranger

  • By: Christina Lauren
  • Narrated by: Grace Grant, Jonathan R. Cole
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,576
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,363
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,350

Escaping a cheating ex, finance whiz Sara Dillon's moved to New York City and is looking for excitement and passion without a lot of strings attached. So meeting the irresistible, sexy Brit at a dance club should have meant nothing more than a night's fun. But the manner - and speed - with which he melts her inhibitions turns him from a one-time hookup into her Beautiful Stranger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Creative! Creative! Creative!

  • By laura on 06-05-13

Simple and Steamy

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

Reviewed: 09-22-18

I appreciated this book as entertainment, but I could easily stop listening to it whenever I needed to. The romance and sexcapades in it are more raunchy with the whole voyeuristic element than many other romances out there, and Max did come off as a likable, sexy leading man. That's what I liked, and it was all good enough for me for the overall listen. What fell short for me was Sara's character and the story. They were both underdeveloped, and Sara often came off as immature and irrational rather than a woman overcoming some past relationship wounds.

I enjoyed the performances and thought they added to the experience.

I recommend this to fans of the authors, although this may not hold up to Beautiful Bastard for die-hard fans of that book. This may also be a good one for people who like a little more steam in their contemporary romances but don't mind an average story.

  • Tap Left

  • By: A. Zavarelli
  • Narrated by: Tracy Marks, Aaron Shedlock
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 240
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 238

There’s a thin line between hate and tolerance, and it seems to sit squarely between us. Lola Bell could easily bring an army of men to their knees, as long as she never opened her mouth. She’s soft in too many ways. A people-pleaser who goes the extra mile. Some might call her an easy target. In short, she has all of the qualities that I despise. But when it comes to me, she doesn’t hesitate to fling her poison arrows my way. She has every right to her feelings. Over the years, I’ve given her plenty of ammo. Yeah, I hate Lola. But it doesn’t stop me from wanting her too. When she makes me a proposition I can’t refuse, there’s just one problem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sweet & sinful

  • By Misty on 12-16-17

Entertaining but Lacking Substance

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

Reviewed: 09-21-18

I'm a fan of the author, but like some other reviewers have stated, A. Zavarelli's Boston Underworld series is pretty dang awesome, so this in comparison just isn't as good. It's not bad like some of the author's other works (The Bleeding Hearts travesty...), but the characters, plot, and romance were all pretty average or only slightly above. Daire wasn't pulled together as well as some of the other darker characters this author has done, and Lola was more difficult to connect to so that you care what happens with her. I don't regret listening to this book, I was just a bit disappointed knowing I've enjoyed other A. Zavarelli books significantly more.

The narrators were great, and they helped this book along, so no complaints there. I tend to like Tracy Marks paired with the author's various works as well.

I recommend this to fans of the author (just don't expect the same caliber as Boston Underworld), or for people who don't mind the mean-guy trope in their contemporary romances.

  • The Selection

  • The Selection, Book 1
  • By: Kiera Cass
  • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,366
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,614
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,620

For 35 girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth... to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels... to live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You might want to wait... if you hate cliffhangers

  • By Kindle Customer on 04-27-12

Should Have Been a Lot Better

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

If you want subpar writing, characterization, and follow-through with a YA dystopian fiction book, this is just for you. The Hunger Games was actually a great series in these areas whereas this was lackluster at best. I couldn't get into any of the characters, and I felt like the author tried way too hard to get me to like the protagonist, which I never could get around to doing. The writing just wasn't good, and probably is what makes this book one I won't ever listen to again. The story could have been so much better, the potential was definitely there, but it fell apart really early on and never came back together. This felt like a high-school English class writing assignment to me as many other YA dystopian books seem to do.

The performance was average so it received an average rating from me.

I only recommend this to people who like poorly-executed YA dystopian fiction.

  • Hello Stranger

  • The Ravenels, Book 4
  • By: Lisa Kleypas
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 760
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 701
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 694

Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man - why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair - until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again. But she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delicious!

  • By harp diva on 03-01-18

The Series Stays Strong

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

Lisa Kleypas once again delivers an entertaining historical romance and another great addition to the series. I was unsure at first given the protagonists were people we only know a little about from the earlier books, but I quickly found them both likable, relatable, and interesting. The romance was great to experience as it unfolded with just the right sizzle at the right times to keep you hooked throughout. Kleypas is also a great storyteller, and I liked the intrigue and action of the plot for a historical-romance book.

Mary Jane Wells is perfect for this series. She knows how to interpret the males and females just right, she does a great job with differing accents, and her pacing and tone are on par. I hope she continues to narrate the entire series.

I solid recommendation to fans of regency romance, the author, and/or the series.

  • Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart

  • By: Sarah MacLean
  • Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society's rules: She speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London's most practiced gossips...and precisely the kind of woman the duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Like the Story - Horrible Narration

  • By Bklyn Diamond on 12-13-16

A Decent End to the Trilogy

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

I enjoyed this series, and this was a suitable end for it. Simon is a bit of a hard-ass, but I think that fits pretty well with his title and role as well as the time period of the book. He makes some questionable decisions that aren't going to win him points regarding his loyalty to others, but I think that's part of his character growth throughout the book, so I don't mind a little less-than-perfect male protagonist if done decently. Juliana is likable enough for me. She was never supposed to be someone who cares what others think or about following the rules of the aristocracy, so her wildness works, especially as a complementary fit with Simon. Their back-and-forth was a little redundant at times, but again, I overall liked the book.

I thought Barrie Kreinik was just fine. Some parts could be a little more polished, but she delivered a good performance for what I was looking for out of this.

I recommend this book to fans of regency romance, the author, and/or the series.

  • Man Hands

  • By: Tanya Eby, Sarina Bowen
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels, Erin Mallon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 831
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 780
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 777

At 34, I'm reeling from a divorce. I don't want to party or try to move on. I just want to stay home and post a new recipe on my blog: Brynn's Dips and Balls. But my friends aren't having it. Get out there again, they say. It will be fun, they say. I'm still taking a hard pass. Free designer cocktails, they say. And that's a game-changer. Too bad my ex shows up with his new arm candy. That's when I lose my mind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Romantic Comedy Gold!

  • By bookbruin on 03-15-18

A Funny Accidental Love Story

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

Part of the appeal of this book is that its female protagonist is pretty normal, and therefore more relatable, although she's got some quirks that make her more endearing without crossing over into complete-weirdo territory. The writing is often witty and funny, which I enjoyed. It was never laugh-out-loud funny for me, but I smiled several times, and that still says something. The authors seemed to have it just right in that the comedy was there without it feeling like they were trying too hard. The story wasn't too bad either and kept me interested and entertained throughout the whole book.

The narrators were great. I've liked other performances by both before, but they seemed to interpret and convey exactly what they were supposed to for this one.

I recommend this to fans of comedic romances.

  • The Baby Maker

  • By: Lili Valente
  • Narrated by: Sebastian York, Andi Arndt
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,049
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956

For six generations, the women of wine country have had a saying: don’t bang a Hunter man unless you want a bun in your oven. Yeah, well. I’ve got a saying too: no thanks. The last thing I need is baby makes three. My business is expanding, and the only thing I’m interested in getting knocked up is my bottom line. But then one night, Emma Haverford makes me an offer I can’t refuse - she backs away from the land I have my eye on in exchange for a favor...a big, fat, baby-making favor....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beware of Dylan!

  • By Theresa Martin on 02-16-18

Not a Whole Lot to This One

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

Reviewed: 09-15-18

This is a just-to-pass-the-time-without-paying-much-attention romance pure and simple. There's isn't much to the story at all, and everything comes together between the protagonists within weeks, which I often find affects a book's believability. When the story is about two people falling in love and having a life together, especially with children involved, I need more than a menstrual cycle to be on board. The conflict isn't really conflict, and I wasn't particularly drawn to the characters, their problems, or their relationship. I remained mostly apathetic to all these elements as I progressed through this book.

I'm a fan of both of the narrators, but this wasn't their best. I thought it was an average performance, hence, the three stars.

I only recommend this to fans of easy romances who can get it on sale. Otherwise, there's just way too much better stuff out there to get instead if you're going to spend your money on something.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord

  • By: Sarah MacLean
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 388
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 387

The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though she is used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father's recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother's birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks. But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless and foolish…like falling madly, passionately in love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!

  • By MM on 05-17-14

A Descent Follow up with a Little Less Flair

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

Reviewed: 08-07-18

This is a descent series with characters that are related to or from other books/series by this author. I thought this was an acceptable follow-up to the first installment, and I enjoyed it as an easy listen of a regency romance. It wasn't at the same level as its predecessor in that Isabel wasn't as likable as the female protagonist (but good enough), and she really had a hard time making up her mind. I felt like I kept getting whiplash from all her mood states and decision-making process. I liked Nicholas as the male protagonist, but his backstory needed more detail because it really sets the stage for why he is the way he is. I enjoyed the secondary characters in this book, and I found myself wishing a little bit more time had been spent on what transpired with them.

I'm a fan of Mary Jane Wells and enjoy when she's the narrator, although some elements of her narration were a little off this time. She pronounced a couple things differently than many other narrators of the genre, and that threw me at times.

I recommend this to people who enjoy regency romance, works by this author, and/or this series. Not absolutely necessary, but probably best to start with the first book of this series.