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Paula

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  • Ever After

  • A Gay Fairy Tale
  • By: Christina Lee, Riley Hart
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75

As next in line for the Evergreen crown, Prince Merrick Davendall’s future involves ruling, marriage, and producing an heir of his own. But he’s long been tormented by desires that are far from princely. Especially when the beautiful Cassius is promoted to be his new valet, and Merrick is struck by a longing like never before - a longing to know him far beyond royal and servant.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ever After: Adorable and Infuriating

  • By Paula on 09-21-18

Ever After: Adorable and Infuriating

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

Reviewed: 09-21-18

EVER AFTER is a story about a prince and heir to a throne who falls in love with a commoner. That's a story that's been told in fiction and in real life many a time. The added difficulty here, of course, is that the commoner is a man, which makes the romance doubly potentially treacherous for both characters.
Cassius, the commoner, and Merrick, the prince, are lovely, kind, good-hearted guys; there's no doubt you'll love them and root for their happiness, and, as performed by the ever-fabulous Joel Leslie, the story is almost an unmitigated delight.
The infuriation came for me about 1/3 into the tale, after the two become romantically involved, and... then there was one chapter after another of torturous angst, thwarted longing, and fatalistic sighs of "this could never be" and "they would have to content themselves with this one perfect night" and "only memories they would cherish forever", for the prince must do his duty and marry someone who can produce an heir. Meanwhile, I'm over here shouting, "Dude! Have you never heard of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson? Just abdicate already!"
If this story had been pared down to a shorter novel, or even a novella, lost several unnecessary secondary characters, and streamlined the plot, it would have been magical and perfect. As it is, it's mostly lovely, with some real tedium in the middle.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Final Admission

  • By: Sue Brown
  • Narrated by: Max Lehnen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

When Ethan Williams lands a job at Bingwell, Brock, and Bacon, he realizes his coworkers aren't exaggerating about James Trenchard. He really is a dick. But after Ethan is forced to work closely with James, he realizes there's more to the lawyer than meets the eye.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Ok story, horrible narration

  • By K.S. on 10-07-14

Pretty good story, dreadful narration

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

Reviewed: 02-02-17

Oh, what this audiobook could have been in the hands of a Gomez Pugh or a Greg Tremblay! But this narrator has completely ruined the listening experience for me. He has a highish tenor voice, which is itself not a dealbreaker, but this is a book with pretty heavy subject matter, and he reads the whole thing with such exaggerated inflections that it sounds like he's reading a children's story.
Consequently, the story itself, which is not bad at all, and, as I said, is pretty serious going, is completely trivialized. The vocal characterizations, particularly of the one prominent female character, are so cartoony, they make the whole thing feel comical, which is definitely NOT the tone of this story. It could have been a really above average listening experience with a different narrator.
As it is, I got about 25% into the audio, enough to know I want to continue with the book, but CANNOT GO ANY FURTHER with this awful narrator. I will make a point to avoid this voice in the future.
Book: 4.5 stars. Good, thought provoking story. Read it; don't listen to it.

  • The Downs

  • By: Kim Fielding
  • Narrated by: K.C. Kelly
  • Length: 3 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160

As the son of a wealthy man, Enitan Javed has spent his life frivolously - drinking, fighting, and making love. But after his father dies, Enitan is unjustly accused of murdering him and is given the harshest sentence possible. Judged irredeemable, he is banished to the Downs. As even young children know, nothing lives in the Downs except demons who delight in torturing the condemned. Brutalized by the men who transport him to his fate, Enitan has nothing left but his thirst for vengeance.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully narrated by K.C. Kelly!

  • By Belen on 10-12-16

A heart-melting and lovely adult fantasy

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

Reviewed: 10-13-16

I understand that Kim Fielding wrote "The Downs" a couple of years ago as part of a Goodreads event in which authors were challenged to write a story inspired by a photo of their choice. The picture which inspired "The Downs" is the photo you now see as cover photo, and it's astonishing to read the imaginative and beautiful story Fielding composed based on that single image.
In a fantasy world that isn't terribly detailed (which doesn't matter, really), Enitan is framed for murder, brutally tortured, then thrown off a cliff into a nether world called "The Downs". The Downs is this 'verse's hell; if he survives the fall Enitan will be tormented there for the rest of eternity.
The story begins as the sentence is being carried out, and that's where things start to really get interesting. This is a short listen- I polished it off in one afternoon- and worth every minute of your listening time.
Despite the dire nature of the setup, since this book falls into the category of M/M romance, it's probably no spoiler to say that, well, the ending isn't sad. The two MC's are nicely drawn and likeable, you are pulling for them right from the outset, and you'll come away with a great lesson in priorities. You'll also come away loving these two guys.
Narration beautifully done, clear vocal characterizations and a charming accent for a few of the characters.
Adult content: a few steamy intimate scenes. Not for kids. If M/M romance is your cup o' tea, you won't be disappointed. Even if you've never tried the M/M genre before, if you're a grownup who's up for something like a fable or fairy tale with a feel-good ending, give it a listen; I think you'll dig it.

  • Shattered Glass

  • By: Dani Alexander
  • Narrated by: Joseph Northton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 531
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 493
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 493

Austin Glass seems to have it all: a loving fiancée, a future with the FBI, and a healthy-sized trust fund. At least on the surface. He also has a grin and a wisecrack for every situation. But the smile he presents to the world hides a painful past he’s buried too deeply to remember, and his quips mask bitterness and insecurity. Austin has himself and most of the whole world fooled - until he meets a redhead in a pair of bunny slippers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • AWESOME!

  • By Candateshia Pafford on 04-09-14

Shattered Glass: Terrific MM thriller/romance

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

Reviewed: 10-11-16

After having plowed through Shattered Glass in about 4 days, listening to it every chance I got- in the car, while washing dishes, falling asleep to it at night- the main characters, Austin and Peter, have really stuck with me. I've found myself thinking about them. One exchange between Austin and Peter is so gorgeous and perfect; I'd reveal it if it wasn't a semi-big spoiler, but it'll stay with me for a long time.
The novel is well constructed and peels back layers on both the MC's, as well as several very appealing secondary characters too. Alongside the main mystery, we get quite a bit of food for thought around subjects like gay identity, coming out, friendship, love, belonging and alienation, and some really interesting riffs on issues around mental health.
I can think of some other narrators who could have done this story better justice, but this narrator wasn't awful. His vocal characterizations and dialects were pretty good, even though his inflections and vocal mannerisms got to be a little unvaried and tedious after a while. Still, small imperfections about a pretty good performance.
All in all, recommended. I understand this is a first novel from this writer, and the writer has a few more planned involving these characters. I'm really looking forward to them.

  • The Starving Years: MMM Dystopian Romance

  • By: Jordan Castillo Price
  • Narrated by: Gomez Pugh
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 192
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 185

In 1960, a superfood was invented that made starvation a thing of the past. Manna, the cheaply manufactured staple food, is now as ubiquitous as salt in the world's cupboards, pantries and larders. Nelson Oliver knows plenty about manna. He's a food scientist–according to his diploma, that is. Lately, he's been running the register at the local video rental dive to scrape together the cash for his outrageously priced migraine medication.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • JCP hits another home run!

  • By Paula on 08-09-16

JCP hits another home run!

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

Reviewed: 08-09-16

Wisconsin's own Jordan Castillo Price has said that she likes to write speculative fiction in which one aspect of modern life is changed, and then ravel the story to show the effects of that one change on the world and people in it. She's done that very successfully in her terrific PsyCop series, and has done it again in The Starving Years.
Price also creates flawed, quirky, even possibly irritating characters, and makes them completely three-dimensional and lovable. The three protagonists, Javier, Nelson, and Tim, are fully realized, interesting individuals, as are several supporting characters.
The plot in this almost-recognizeable alt-NYC is dystopian, and yet many qualities of this world are quite recognizable, and Price uses the opportunity, as do many good writers of sci-fi, to make a few comments about contemporary society. What she does is imaginative, suspenseful, and entertaining.
Price's narrator of choice is Gomez Pugh, who (again) does a wonderful job with both female and male voices, various dialects, and distinct sounds for a variety of characters.
The novel's end seems to leave an opening to continue as a series. Here's hoping.
Wholehearted recommend!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Hell & High Water

  • THIRDS, Book 1
  • By: Charlie Cochet
  • Narrated by: Mark Westfield
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 965
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 911
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 908

When homicide detective Dexter J. Daley’s testimony helps send his partner away for murder, the consequences - and the media frenzy - aren’t far behind. He soon finds himself sans boyfriend, sans friends, and, after an unpleasant encounter in a parking garage after the trial, he’s lucky he doesn’t find himself sans teeth. Dex fears he’ll get transferred from the Human Police Force’s Sixth Precinct, or worse, get dismissed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good humor to Military/shifter book

  • By Ezinwanyi on 10-08-14

Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Dystopian AltHist/Hot Romance...

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

Reviewed: 06-12-16

...the THIRDS series might just have something for everyone.
The AltHist set-up is cool and imaginative, the action enjoyable, but it's the characters that will keep me coming back for more. The narration is what we learned in high school to be Third Person Omniscient, which jumps back and forth between Dex, the rookie THIRDS agent, and Sloane, his reluctant new partner. Dex is a little troubled, but cheerful, goofy, and charming. (My dream casting: Chris Pratt?) Sloane is also troubled, stern, but kind and good hearted.
The dual point of view is initially just a teeny bit confusing, but is by no means a deal breaker. As you settle into the story, the two points of view help to flesh out these two very intriguing characters and their complicated relationship, as well as several cool secondary characters. I look forward to getting to know all of them better. As another reviewer has said, the dynamic is a little like Agents of Shield, a bunch of quirky but extremely committed and competent people.
Narration is first rate. Good voice characterizations and just a very nice vocal sound. Easy to listen to.
Aside from a little bit of explicit adult content, I can wholeheartedly recommend this series to any fan of urban fantasy or sci-fi. I'm glad this is a long series; I look forward to spending the summer with the THIRDS.

  • Midnight Taxi Tango

  • Bone Street Rumba, Book 2
  • By: Daniel José Older
  • Narrated by: Daniel José Older
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102

The streets of New York are hungry tonight...Carlos Delacruz straddles the line between the living and the not-so alive. As an agent for the Council of the Dead, he eliminates New York's ghostlier problems. This time it's a string of gruesome paranormal accidents in Brooklyn's Von King Park that has already taken the lives of several locals - and is bound to take more. The incidents in the park have put Kia on edge. When she first met Carlos, he was the weird guy who came to Baba Eddie's botánica, where she worked.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific new voice(s) in urban fantasy

  • By Paula on 01-09-16

Terrific new voice(s) in urban fantasy

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

Reviewed: 01-09-16

I really dug Older's first book in the Bone Street Rumba series, Half Resurrection Blues, when it came out at the beginning of 2015, and am enjoying this second installment just as much.
The author is an interesting character himself, until 2014 an EMT by day, and a musician and author by night. His musical side comes out in a lot of his prose, which is very attuned to the sounds of NYC, where the Bone Street Rumba books take place.
These two books, along with Salsa Nocturna, his first collection of short stories, introduce many wonderful characters in Brooklyn, "civilian" and supernatural, primarily Carlos Delacruz, an agent for the Council of the Dead, and himself an in-betweener, half dead and half alive. The second character that comes to life in a great deal more detail in this book is Kia, a teenage girl who, against her will, is becoming all too deeply involved in Carlos' supernatural world.
Although Carlos was the narrator for the entirety of H-R Blues, Older has chosen to structure this second book by alternating the first person narration of each chapter; thus, Carlos narrates one chapter, Kia the next, and so on. It's a really interesting mode of storytelling, and Older is satisfyingly believable, in both his writing and his spoken narration, in both these voices.
Unlike the majority of books in the urban fantasy world, most of the characters in The Bone Street Rumba 'verse are men and women of color, a beautiful and rich layer to Older's already imaginative and cool storytelling. There are many beautifully drawn characters, wonderful comedic moments, great action, some creepy scary stuff, some lovely sweet moments, and a few awesome monologues of just plain philosophizing.
Bonus; the author himself reads his works and is a terrific narrator, giving each character a very specific sound. He's quite good and makes the listening experience super enjoyable.
There's some language, nothing terribly rough, a few f-words, but it is, nonetheless, a story with some sweetness at its heart. The hero and the people he is surrounded by are good, kind, and funny.
If you want to start at the very beginning, start with Salsa Nocturna, a nice introduction to the Bone Street Rumba 'verse, then dig right in. If you're a fan of urban fantasy, I know you'll enjoy it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Zero World

  • By: Jason M. Hough
  • Narrated by: Gideon Emery
  • Length: 15 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 676
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 626
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 626

Technologically enhanced superspy Peter Caswell has been dispatched on a top-secret assignment unlike any he's ever faced. A spaceship that vanished years ago has been found, along with the bodies of its murdered crew - save one. Peter's mission is to find the missing crew member, who fled through what appears to be a tear in the fabric of space. Beyond this mysterious doorway lies an even more confounding reality: a world that seems to be Earth's twin.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Conduit to SciFi Entertainment

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 02-25-17

Please, let this be the first of a series!

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

Reviewed: 11-05-15

Really dug this book a lot. The author has a talent for super-imaginative world building, and the main characters are interesting, sympathetic, and real. I cared about them.
The story goes places you'll never expect; there are not one, but several plot twists that left me gaping and going, WHAT?? (but in a good way)
Very nicely performed by Gideon Emery, who handles vocal characterization of both male and female characters quite well. Lots of cool action, some thought provoking ideas and moments, and an ending that both satisfies and leaves things wide open for "the further adventures of..."
Wholeheartedly recommended.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • I Hate Myself and Want to Die

  • By: Tom Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 7

Does the opening "pling pling plinggg" of Bette Midler's "The Rose" fill you with existential dread? Do you cringe at the mere whiff of what Phil Collins is spewing "In the Air Tonight"? Have you ever bolted from a restaurant because Celine Dion's cover of "All By Myself" was threatening to drive you over the edge? Well, turn around, bright eyes because Tom Reynolds is here with I Hate Myself and Want to Die, a laugh-out-loud-till-you're sobbing compendium of the world's most hideously depressing pop songs and a guide to what makes them so heartwrenchingly bad.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I Hate Myself and Want to Die........

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-29-16

I don't hate this book at all.

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

Reviewed: 10-18-15

Breezy, smart, smart alecky, and very funny. Come for the trip down many musical memory lanes, often recalling songs that will make you groan with despair at having been made to recall them, stay for the laughs, of which there are a lot. Thumbs up for a lot of thumbs down songs!

  • Moonshine

  • Cal Leandros, Book 2
  • By: Rob Thurman
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181

After saving the world from his fiendish father's side of the family, Cal Leandros and his stalwart half-brother Niko have settled down with new digs and a new gig - bodyguard and detective work. And in New York City, where preternatural beings stalk the streets just like normal folk, business is good. Their latest case has them going undercover for the Kin - the werewolf Mafia. A low-level Kin boss thinks a rival is setting him up for a fall, and wants proof.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A new narrator

  • By Kindle Customer on 12-28-14

Good, solid writing, and GREAT narration

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

Reviewed: 01-07-15

Dyed-in-the-wool urban fantasy fan here. I've chewed my way through Dresden, Sandman Slim, Bobby Dollar, the Iron Druid, and many more that aren't as good, before stumbling across the Leandros brothers. Their adventures compare quite favorably with those (perhaps) more well-known series, with nice doses of epic battles of good vs. evil, scary monsters and super freaks, imaginative takes on age-old supernatural legends, a little romance, a little comedy, and lots of witty banter and a great, nicely fleshed-out, very real-feeling relationship between the brothers, Cal and Niko.
Of course, it doesn't hurt to have the ever-fabulous MacLeod Andrews narrating. He gives perfect voice(s) to the Sandman Slim books and Sanderson's Steelheart series, among many others; I'm thrilled that Audible has gotten him to perform books 2-9 of the Leandros books. The narrator of book 1 wasn't dreadful, but not great either; Andrews is pitch-perfect in tone and has created voices for the many human and non-human characters that are always right on the money.
It's a happy prospect to be spending a good part of this winter with the Mac Leod Andrews and the Leandros boys. Wholehearted recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful