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Shrew and Snail

  • 35
  • reviews
  • 91
  • helpful votes
  • 49
  • ratings
  • Bog Child

  • By: Siobhan Dowd
  • Narrated by: Sile Bermingham
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 22

Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks like she's been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him - his brother on hunger-strike in prison, his growing feelings for Cora, his parents arguing over the Troubles, and him in it up to the neck, blackmailed into acting as courier to God knows what - a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hidden gem

  • By Shrew and Snail on 12-21-18

Hidden gem

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

Read for 2018 Read Harder Challenge categories a book published posthumously and a book of colonial or postcolonial literature. Yes I consider Northern Ireland postcolonial. Fergus McCann is 18, living on the border of Northern Ireland in 1981, trying to pass A levels and cope with IRA pressure and a brother in prison. After finding a 2,000 year old body of a girl in a peat bog, he dreams of her life while muddling through his own. This book is very focused on Fergus and he is just a great character, I loved reading him. There is a lot going on in his life but this book is not one of those YA tragic dramas. It's subdued, you're just getting through the day to day with Fergus. It's also quite funny and sweet.

"Michael crossed one leg over the other and put his hand around the back of Fergus’s seat. ‘Me and the lads,’ he said casually. ‘We’ve been wondering. If we can count you in?’ He said it as if he was inviting Fergus on a fishing expedition. ‘Count me in?’ ‘You know.’ Michael’s hand circled the air, like a royal wave."

The only downside was that in the audiobook it's hard to tell when things are happening in Mel's voice-- those sections are italicized in the book but the reader doesn't differentiate them much. The reader has a beautiful lilting voice.

  • Pucked

  • By: Helena Hunting
  • Narrated by: Nathan Everett, Muffy Newtown
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,360
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,202
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,206

With a famous NHL player for a stepbrother, Violet Hall is well acquainted with the playboy reputation of many a hockey star. So of course she isn't interested in legendary team captain Alex Waters or his pretty, beat-up face and rock-hard six-pack abs. But when Alex inadvertently obliterates Violet's misapprehension regarding the inferior intellect of hockey players, he becomes much more than just a hot body with the face to match.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narration

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-25-16

Not a fave but dang she writes consent well

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

Strongly reminiscent of Lauren Blakely but with better character development. Kind of Adam Sandler-ish humor, with some repetitive and not-so-funny jokes that got annoying, mostly from the heroine. I listened to the audio, it was ok. I'm giving this book an extra star just for Hunting's writing of consent. There is a lot of sex in this book and A LOT of consent talk that is very well done. The women are also very modern, smart ladies which is always good.

  • The Kraken King

  • Iron Seas, Book 4
  • By: Meljean Brook
  • Narrated by: Alison Larkin
  • Length: 20 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq--better known as the Kraken King--doesn't know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she's a spy or a pawn in someone else's game, Ariq isn't about to let her out of his sight until he finds out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Write yourself out of this one Zenobia Fox.

  • By Teresa on 02-23-15

Loved the first 3, this one I couldn't finish

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

I loved the first 3 books in this series including one I read on audio, but getting through this audiobook was torture. I DNF'ed at 60%. The plot is confusing and so much hinges on Zenobia's attachment to these letters from her brother, it's just hard to believe. Also I am not investing 20 hours into the audiobook. Why so long? And lord save me from more deflowering scenes, I just can't.

  • Cinder

  • Book One of the Lunar Chronicles
  • By: Marissa Meyer
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,943
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,009
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,033

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surpised by how much I enjoyed it

  • By Staaj on 01-17-12

Great sci-fi and worldbuilding

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

3.5 stars. Firstly, props to Meyer for writing the Cinderella story with a sci fi twist without making it twee. It's a brilliant story idea and her worldbuilding is very cool. Cyborgs, plague, people living on the moon who are capable of something like magic, New Beijing. I love it. I also love that romance is an element but not really the focus of the story, and that Cinder is no Katniss Everdeen. She's definitely no Mary Sue, there's no epic scene where she realizes her powers and blasts everyone oppressing her, but she is a strong character. I thought the pacing was inconsistent and the story could have used an editor, there were several words misused (e.g. "belabored breathing"). I don't think I'll continue this series but I want to read more of Meyer's work.
The audio reader was good.

  • Trade Me

  • Cyclone, Book 1
  • By: Courtney Milan
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands, Sean Crisden
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 320
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 294
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 294

Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Systems. But when he makes an offhand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn't last a month living her life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Heart-warming.

  • By ReadingMad100 on 08-17-18

Telenovela

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

** spoiler alert ** This went from cute trading places construct to telenovela style drama, it was kind of hilariously over-the-top crazy at the end. "LIVE, YOU BASTARD, LIVE!" and cocaine overdose and doing 130 in a Tesla in the hills. Ha. It was kind of too much. But hey it was on Audible Romance Package so no regrets. The audio version had extremely dramatic readers, also, especially the voice for Tina was always on-edge emotionally. As always, I love that Milan integrated a lot of non-white characters and a trans character who is the heroine of the next book. I'm not sure if I will read more of her contemporary novels.

  • Never Seduce a Scot

  • Montgomerys and Armstrongs, Book 1
  • By: Maya Banks
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,445
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,087
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,091

Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her "touched." Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn't speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty -unprepared for the delights to come.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • OMG - NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL A GREAT LISTEN

  • By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 09-30-12

Nary a mention of kilts

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

*Spoilers ahead* Read for January 2019 Romance Book Club. I read the audiobook because it was available on the Audible Romance Package, and the reader did a good job with accents. Her narration voice is American accented, and the Scottish accents were good. That said, I think reading this in text form would have been more enjoyable. I felt like this book was so. LONG. The author kept reiterating things over and over and I felt like it was too much. I thought the plot line where Eveline has pretended to be daft to escape her abusive fiance was a pretty genius starting point, but I didn't love where it went. I don't mind when heroines end up bruised from fighting, but this girl got run ragged by the asshole keep staff because she was from another clan, then got thrown off a horse trying to alert the clan of Graeme's injury, then ends up beaten by Ian McCue. And all after going deaf from falling off a horse. I just felt awful for her. And at the end it is literally said that she taught Graeme how to love. Like, jeez, that took a lot. And on top of all that, nary a mention of kilts. I don't know, this book wasn't terrible but it just didn't work for me.

  • Murder in G Major

  • By: Alexia Gordon
  • Narrated by: Jessica Carroll
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 27

With few other options, African American classical musician Gethsemane Brown accepts a less-than-ideal position turning a group of rowdy schoolboys into an award-winning orchestra. Stranded without luggage or money in the Irish countryside, she figures any job is better than none. The perk? Housesitting a lovely cliffside cottage. The catch? The ghost of the cottage's murdered owner haunts the place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Five Stars

  • By Beatrice on 12-24-16

Fun read

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

Read for the 2018 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, for the category "A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author."

This cozy mystery is a solid debut novel. I thought the small-town Irish characters were well done, and the suspense was very good. I liked the ghost! This would be a great TV series, I would totally watch it. There's not a wide range of emotion here, mostly Gethsemane is being headstrong. I think a wider range of emotion would make her feel more real, instead of relying on banter. BUT the banter is good. I also wish she could find a female friend, there are way too many dudes in the picture...and all the women in town are NUTS. 3.5 stars.

I listened to the audiobook and WOW that's how you pronounce Gethsemane, huh? Good to know. The reader did the loveliest voice and accent for Eamon. Her American accent was decent except for the word orchestra, which Gethsemane pronounces "awkestra".... that word is in this book a lot, so it's kind of funny. It didn't really bother me.

  • Propositioned by the Billionaire Moose

  • Howls Romance
  • By: Eve Langlais
  • Narrated by: Logan McAllister
  • Length: 3 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 87

"Get married or you're out of the will." Blackmail pure and simple, but Bryce doesn't have much of a choice if he wants to remain Grandfather's heir. With the old man on his deathbed, the clock is ticking, so he'd better get cracking because a supposed cousin has just shown up looking for a pint of the maple syrup business. "I'll gore him with my rack first!" Lucky for Bryce, he sniffs out the perfect woman and makes her a deal. What he doesn't expect is to lose his heart in the process.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Short, silly fun

  • By Shrew and Snail on 09-17-18

Short, silly fun

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

Reviewed: 09-17-18

I only read this book because a) the title is so outrageous, b) it was on Audible Romance package and therefore free/ paid for, and c) it was short. I haven't previously read any shifter romance (which I know is a THING) so I may have missed references to known shifter tropes or elements that Langlais may have satirized. It was an ok read, pretty funny and light. There were some cringey parts, like a comment about how women don't call the police on handsome stalkers (ergh) and some weirdness about virginity. The narrator was spot-on, he sounded like he was playing a part in a John Hughes film. I felt like the author could have taken it further in the direction of satire and it would have been more fun, there isn't much to the humor beyond the fact that characters are moose shifters. Overall a fun, short read.

  • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

  • Highland Pleasures, Book 1
  • By: Jennifer Ashley
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,799
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,508
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,512

It was whispered all through London society that he was a murderer, that he'd spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted - especially with a lady. Any woman caught in his presence was immediately ruined. Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Way above my expectations!

  • By bluebelle on 05-05-12

Well-written dudes, not sure about the heroine.

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

Reviewed: 06-14-18

I really enjoyed the hero and the Mackenzie clan. I did not like the heroine, but I can't tell if it was the actual heroine or her portrayal in the audiobook, where the narrator made her sound like a prudish nilla wafer. Thinking on her characterization-- growing up in the East End, marrying a vicar, being widowed after a year, withstanding 9 years with the often-mentioned Mrs B, and then ending up in this whole situation-- I feel like I should like her. I really wish she had had a moment with all the Mackenzie brothers and Inspector Fellows where she stood in front of them and was like, "Screw all y'all. Did you dudes even TRY to figure out what happened in this whorehouse murder situation??" But she just kind of soldiered through unemotionally. Anyway, the narrator's overly wholesome voice for the heroine may have made me hate her, I can't tell. This book also had some really icky vocabulary that made me think it was being written by someone's aunt circa 1985. I don't even want to repeat it. And that kind of vibe made the "bawdy talk" kind of gross.

  • Melt for You

  • Slow Burn, Book 2
  • By: J. T. Geissinger
  • Narrated by: Pippa Jayne
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 726
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 654
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 649

Socially awkward Joellen Bixby has a date every Saturday - with her cat, a pint of ice cream, and fantasies of the way-too-handsome Michael Maddox. She’d give anything to win over the unattainable CEO of her firm, but how can she when she blends in so well with her cubicle? The answer may be closer than she thinks. Cameron McGregor is a cocky, tattooed Scottish rugby captain who just moved in next door. He’s not Jo’s type - at all - but the notorious playboy is offering to teach the wallflower everything he knows about inspiring desire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Took me by surprise

  • By GSKM in sc on 05-17-18

Good story, great narration

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

Reviewed: 05-25-18

The first half was so good! The ending skidded off the tracks a bit for me. Loved the hero! Let's hear it for big tough guys who aren't alpha-holes. The narration was amazing, I felt like she captured some of the humor and made the heroine more likable. And her voice for the hero was fantastic. Thumbs up!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful