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Bette

  • 65
  • reviews
  • 376
  • helpful votes
  • 425
  • ratings
  • Fight or Flight

  • By: Samantha Young
  • Narrated by: Angelica Lee
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn't hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava's ever had. And that's all it was - until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fight or Flight

  • By Listening is Reading on 10-10-18

Holy Macaroni!

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

I am SOOOO proud of myself: I fought an upward battle to the end of 'Fight or Flight' so that I could give you a completely informed review....

It was TERRIBLE!
Imagine every trope of every romance ever written cobbled together into a single book and you can only begin to conceive the mess that is this story. The last third of the story consists of cliche piled on top of cliche until the weight of the cliches on top made those on the bottom squish and ooze out the sides.

The prose itself was a roller coaster ride; generally passable with a few passages seemingly written by a seventh grade fangirl while the whole thing is lightly peppered with head scratchingly brilliant turns of phrase and observations. The writing was so uneven, I triple checked to make certain there was only one author.

My ability to make it to the end rests entirely on the strength of a most valiant effort made by reader Angelica Lee who, despite the facts that her Scots accent is decidedly jobby and she can't pronounce the word 'forward', deserves a medal for making Fight or Flight bearable enough to finish.

Okay, Fine. I understand that books have become consumables like french fries or smoothies but honestly, shouldn't we expect more? More not only from writers and publishers, but more from ourselves? What has happened to our fiction? This book has a 4.5 rating from my fellow readers and the last third of the book didn't even make sense. I'm baffled by this- I don't enjoy saying that a book is terrible, particularly not one that makes me think the author can do much better (if she were paid more? if she had more time? if our reviews provided honest guidance?). I don't want Proust or Nabokov while I'm driving or scrubbing floors, but this highly rated novel crossed a line for me.





  • The Neighbors

  • By: Hannah Mary McKinnon
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells, Alex Wyndham, Billie Fulford-Brown, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

After a night of fun back in 1992, Abby is responsible for a car crash that kills her beloved brother. It's a mistake she can never forgive, so she pushes away Liam, the man she loves most, knowing that he would eventually hate her for what she's done, the same way she hates herself. Twenty years later, Abby's husband, Nate, is also living with a deep sense of guilt. He was the driver who first came upon the scene of Abby's accident, the man who could not save her brother in time. It's this guilt, this regret, that binds them together. Then, Liam moves into the neighborhood....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 💖😭😭😭

  • By Taylor on 03-21-18

Oh, That ENDING!!!

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

Reviewed: 04-16-18

This is a tricky audio book to review- part steamy 80's soap opera, part Greek morality play, The Neighbors is a mostly enjoyable ride with occasional boggy patches. It's the story of two couples whose paths seem destined to cross, read in alternating chapters by four different narrators. The four characters (six, if you count their bratty teenagers) are a relatively unsympathetic bunch. Each has a unique POV and voice but they all come off as childish rather than childlike and selfish rather than quirky. McKinnon's storytelling is solid; a little TOO solid with only one surprising twist in an ending that should have had many (like 6?) had McKinnon not over-laid the groundwork and given a little too much away.

It's a bit of a strange brew considering the production is one of the best audio productions out there. The director & readers chose to push the steamy soap aspects to the level of vocal Kabuki. While far from my usual cup of tea, the style is kind of brilliant, particularly at the ending. I'll say it again: oh, that ending!

About three-quarters of the way through the Neighbors, I believed I knew everything that would happen and rather wanted the author to get on with it, but once the denoument started- well- author McKinnon used a literary device I have always despised. I found myself laughing with glee at the audacity and inevitability of it's use. It made sense of the story and of the near theatrical emotion of the production."Bravo!", I laughed.

While it was sometimes difficult to engage with the characters and the novel could have used a bit more editing, it's a very well crafted tale. I found much to admire and enjoy in this production of The Neighbors.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Isabel's Bed

  • By: Elinor Lipman
  • Narrated by: Grace Conlin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

When Harriet Mahoney first saw it, Isabel Krug's bed was covered in sheared sheep and littered with celebrity biographies. The unpublished, fortyish, and recently jilted Harriet had fled wintry Manhattan in response to a mysterious ad in The New York Review of Books: "Book in progress? Why not share my Cape Cod retreat? Roomy and peaceful, your life will be your own."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a Gem

  • By Bette on 03-24-18

a Gem

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

Reviewed: 03-24-18

Isabel's Bed has no great revalations, no action, little mystery; it's just a lovely story read in a suitably brash and wonderful voice .Author Lipman's story and reader Conlin make one of those rare gems of a production; perfect for the small, sweet story that it is.

  • The Time in Between

  • The Magdalene Series, Book 3
  • By: Kristen Ashley
  • Narrated by: Erin Mallon
  • Length: 19 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,165
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,091
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,094

After a painful loss, Cady Moreland is coming to Magdalene to start the next chapter of her life. A chapter that began 18 years ago but had a heartbreaking ending. The time in between was full of family and friendship, but Cady could never get the man she fell in love with all those years ago out of her heart. Coert Yeager has learned to live without the girl who entered his life right when she shouldn't and exited delivering a crippling blow he never would have suspected. The time in between was full of failing to find what he was missing...and life-altering betrayal.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Definitely NOT Going on My KA Favorites Shelf!!

  • By Dorsey on 11-09-17

Pretty Sappy

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

Reviewed: 09-29-17

I enjoyed the other 2 books in the Magdalene series, but this verged on insufferable.The story was far less meaty than most of the Ashley brand; The time in between has a lot of backstory but rather than filling it out and answering many unanswered questions, it concentrated too much on the 'now', which is a rather lackluster, 'does he or doesn't he?' then 'of course he does!' story in which the heroine seems emotionally arrested at the mooney-eyed age of 16.

This is re enforced by reader Erin Mallon, whose general performance is excellent, but the childlike inflection and breathy choices for protagonist Cady that work when the character is 23 years old make her sound just too childlike and needy for the 41 year old woman of the 'now'.

I finished it, but I think this is the first time I've considered returning a Kristen Ashley brand book.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • They Call Me Crazy

  • A Cass Adams Novel, Book 1
  • By: Kelly Stone Gamble
  • Narrated by: Talmadge Ragan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

Cass Adams is crazy, and everyone in Deacon, Kansas, knows it. But when her good-for-nothing husband, Roland, goes missing, no one suspects that Cass buried him in their unfinished koi pond. Too bad he doesn't stay there for long. Cass gets arrested on the banks of the Spring River for dumping his corpse after heavy rain partially unearths it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly enjoyable

  • By Daisy on 02-09-17

Charming, Quirky and Oddly Noir

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

Reviewed: 08-19-17

What a refreshing domestic thriller in this era of humorless, tropey, cranked-out 'Gone Girl' wanna be's! Gamble has written an engaging, charming and dark story peopled with fully fleshed characters in a clean, thoughtful prose.

This would have been 5 stars, but for some production issues. I loved reader Talmadge Ragan's work, but no one reader can carry off the five different voices needed for five different narrators. I was often confused as to which character was telling the story; in fact, I'm not certain it was 5.


A note to Audible; please consider rerecording this with five readers under your 'Originals' brand, retaining Ragan as Cass.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Breakdown

  • By: B. A. Paris
  • Narrated by: Georgia Maguire
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,060
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,589
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,586

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside - the woman who was killed. She's been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It's a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she'd broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she'd stopped.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I tore through it within a few days

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 10-02-17

A Dull Parade of Tropes

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

Reviewed: 07-19-17

Oh, wait; did I write dull? This story is downright boring. If BA Paris had constructed
believable- or even vaguely interesting- characters, I'd wait until I finish the last few hours of this insufferably cliched story before reviewing, but I'm pretty certain I won't make it to the end.

Why was this billed as "the Summer's most anticipated thriller"? Did MacMillan think readers wouldn't notice their own lack of engagement? The Breakdown has barely enough story for a short novella.

The bright spot in this production is the production team itself, fronted by reader Georgia Maguire; they manage to create the illusion of propulsion in this wash-rinse-repeat slog of repeating tropes.

I've awarded the actual story two stars because BA Paris' prose is very good. The writer just needed a knowledgeable editor- and perhaps a different house.

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

Breath of Scandal audiobook cover art
  • Breath of Scandal

  • By: Sandra Brown
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 15 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,787
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,224
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,218

On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman's worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers. Robbed of her youthful ideals and at the center of scandal and tragedy, Jade ran as far and as fast as she could. But she never forgot the sleepy "company town" where every man, woman, and child was dependent on one wealthy family.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lifted by Narration

  • By Margaret on 05-01-09

Lackluster Early Brown

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

Reviewed: 05-20-17

The blurb for 'breath of scandal' is far more exciting than the novel. It's a straightforward A happened then B happened then C happened story-line with a lot of cliched secondary characters. It's nothing like the richly tapestried stories we all love from Sandra Brown.

Unless you're a Brown scholar interested in her developing voice, give this one a miss.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Confess

  • By: Colleen Hoover
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Louise, Sebastian York
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,304
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,302

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight, and there's no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn't expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed

  • By meaghan3927 on 03-30-15

It's YA for starters

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

Reviewed: 05-15-17

I am experiencing difficulty believing that this book was written by the same author who wrote 'This Ends With Us", a very well crafted story in every way.

This book is populated by characters in their early 20's in adult situations whose thinking and emotions are that of 13 year old children 'trying to be good'. It's creepy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Torment of Rachel Ames

  • By: Jeff Gunhus
  • Narrated by: Lisa Stathoplos
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 266
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 234
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 235

Suffering from writer's block, novelist Rachel Ames escapes to a lake cabin to calm her mind and regain a sense of herself. The location is perfect. Isolated. Beautiful. Inspiring. It even comes with a good-looking landlord who shows an interest in her. But she can't shake the sense that something terrible has followed her to the lake, something just beyond her consciousness, something out on the edge where the sounds of a raging fire and sirens linger whenever she slows down to listen.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • You Are Now Entering.....

  • By Bette on 05-02-17

You Are Now Entering.....

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

Reviewed: 05-02-17

So yeah, this would have made a perfect Twilight Zone episode (well, double episode). I've always loved this kind of mindbending, 'just sit back and enjoy the ride' story, but it's been so long since I've read (well, listened to) one, that it took me a while to recognize it.

The Torment of Rachel Ames is an excellent production of a most excellent trip through psychosis, but if you need your t's crossed and i's dotted, don't bother. It is what it is.


Ummm, before I go, just let me say that the story is extremely unpleasant and harrowing. It's the kind of story I would normally have returned unfinished. I suppose it's a testament to author Jeff Gunhus' mastery of storytelling that I not only finished it, but stayed up into the morning hours to do so.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Apartment

  • By: S L Grey
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith, Fiona Hardingham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 98

Mark and Steph have a relatively happy family with their young daughter in sunny Cape Town until one day when armed men in balaclavas break in to their home. Left traumatized but physically unharmed, Mark and Steph are unable to return to normal and live in constant fear. When a friend suggests a restorative vacation abroad via a popular house swapping website, it sounds like the perfect plan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Creepy and Enjoyable

  • By Candice on 01-06-17

Ghost, Monster or Folie a Deux?

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

Reviewed: 05-02-17

Who cares? The Apartment is a creepy slow burn of a book and a superb production. It's the kind of book that really gets under the reader's skin - just read the other reviews- it's as though we listened to different books! No, the Apartment is not perfect, I wanted a bit more padding, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful