LISTENER

pewter

California
  • 26
  • reviews
  • 630
  • helpful votes
  • 276
  • ratings
  • Swept Away

  • By: Robyn Carr
  • Narrated by: Therese Plummer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,762
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,616
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,613

Jennifer Chaise is proud of her life. Coming from nothing, she's used her beauty to her advantage and is swept up in a glamorous world of wealth and privilege as the mistress of a high-flying businessman. But when she walks in on a violent scene in their Las Vegas hotel room, Jennifer knows she can no longer ignore the truth about her boyfriend, and she flees. Desperate to escape the men searching for her, she invents a whole new persona - with a new look and a new name - as she hides out in a small Nevada town.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • LOVED THE STORY!

  • By Artkeep on 07-29-16

Rerelease of printed book does not hurt audiobook

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

Reviewed: 07-30-16

I was reluctant to start Swept Away because of the overall low review scores, but on reading the comments I found that most criticism is because it is a rerelease of an earlier work, Runaway Mistress. As a rule I avoid books that are renamed to generate new sales, but since I had not read it under the previous name and this was the first offering of the story as an audiobook, I decided to spend a credit.

I did enjoy this story. First, I have to give credit to Therese Plummer. I have come to enjoy her as the voice of Virgin River and Thunder Point, so her narration truly sets the stage for a good story. I listen to every Robyn Carr audiobook released and this one did not disappoint. The main character, Jennifer, is a strong woman who undergoes growth and development through her struggles. She discovers kindness in a caring community, and the character traits and themes I love so much in Virgin River and Thunder Point are also found in this Nevada town. The male lead, Alex, is a strong, responsible man with a solid moral compass. The supporting characters are well developed and interesting. Although I thought Jennifer's underlying story and motivational premise are a bit weak, these books usually require some suspension of disbelief. Overall, this is a solid Robyn Carr romance and worth the credit.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Weekenders

  • By: Mary Kay Andrews
  • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
  • Length: 15 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,854
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,671
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,659

Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Some people come only for the weekends - and it's something they look forward to all week long. When Riley Griggs is waiting for her husband to arrive at the ferry one Friday afternoon, she is instead served with papers informing her that her island home is being foreclosed. To make matters worse, her husband is nowhere to be found.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Don't waste your weekend

  • By jbee on 07-04-16

Not MKA's best. Not even her 20th best....

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

Reviewed: 05-18-16

MILD SPOILERS AHEAD (relationship only, not the murder): The book takes all the fun out of dysfunctional. The narration is very good, but the story is depressing, and not in any redeemable way. There is a murder mystery, which is not the worst ever written but is nothing remarkable. There is the trademark dose of MKA snark with some clever putdown quips. There is a romance, but the story provides no reason for a happy relationship ending other than a couple of evenings in bed. Riley, our heroine, seems to have few admirable qualities. She supposedly had a highly successful career at one point, but when we meet her she is a bullied doormat, subservient to her 12-year-old daughter, overbearing mother, drunken brother, and even her murdered husband. I never understood how she could forgive and accept the most heinous offenses of her family members but still hold a grudge against her college ball date, Nate, for getting drunk and throwing up. She kept revisiting his youthful offense in spite of overwhelming evidence of his currently excellent character and his unwavering mature devotion. The only reason for the eventual happy ending was Nate's long-standing obsession with the girl he loved years ago and her eventual grudging acceptance of him. This story has such a hastily concluded and unresolved happy ending that I can only see a bad future for Nate. He ends up with a spoiled and bratty step-daughter, an alcoholic brother-in-law, a snobby mother-in-law, and a wife who sides with her dysfunctional family over the one truly good person in her life.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Dead Ice

  • By: Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Alexis
  • Length: 20 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,678
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,516
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,508

Anita Blake has the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. She's a US marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since she and master vampire Jean-Claude went public with their engagement, all she is to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Blake us loosing steam

  • By daniel cranmore on 06-15-15

An Embarrassing Addiction

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

Reviewed: 07-26-15

I am ashamed to admit I am a NITA-HOLIC

I didn't fully realize the depth of this addiction until I swore to myself after Jason (yes, it took 23 books!) to never ever again listen to or read an Anita Blake novel. I made this solemn oath to myself long after realizing they were no longer entertaining or well-written. I can only suppose it was like any other addiction formed from early doses of pure pleasure. I kept listening to Anita Blake long after the rewards were overwhelmed by shame and disgust -- in this case, of bad writing, poor plots, and endless boring sex. Jason was absolutely positively my last straw (book).

And then the curiosity set in. I saw some good reviews mixed in with confirmations of my prejudged bad. I then convinced myself I should not judge a book I had not read. After all, what's a credit and a few hours possibly wasted (see how my earlier disgust and shame started to fall away?). So here I was, despite my formerly iron-clad determination, listening to 20+ hours of audiobook that I firmly believed would mercilessly destroy brain cells. Apparently I have no willpower and yes, I now openly admit my irresistible Anita Blake addiction.

OK, it was actually much better than I expected. LKH still has that annoying tendency to stop in the middle of important action to contemplate leather holsters, curly hair, and lift bras. And, yes, Anita continues to marvel that she's the manliest, studliest woman who ever strapped on a gun and all other women simper and whine their way through life. And, of course, the action story doesn't just take a back seat to Anita's personal life -- the story actually rides in a trailer behind the back seat and is only rarely seen at rest stops. All of that is known and accepted by those who love this series. But there actually was a story! Maybe even a couple of stories! And LKH's boring sex scenes did not completely overwhelm the plot! Yes, high praise, indeed!

Some may credit the editing in this book, and I always credit Kimberly Alexis for saving Anita from sounding like the ADHD idiot she so often is. Personally, I believe LKH is cunningly playing "the long game" with her readers. (If she is, she should push for Kimberly Alexis to read the unabridged Narcissus in Chains for us.)

But whatever the reason, I liked this book and I will (probably) listen to the next. I have come a long way from my solemn vow of abstinence and yes, I am truly embarrassed.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Last One Home

  • A Novel
  • By: Debbie Macomber
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman, Debbie Macomber
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,033
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 902
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 894

Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close - until one fateful event drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship and breaking her parents' hearts. To make matters worse, Cassie had always been their father's favorite - a sentiment that weighed heavily on her sisters and made Cassie's actions even harder to bear.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I fear the narrator distracted me

  • By Donna Gilleece-Smith on 04-04-17

Enjoyable Story, Debbie Macomber Style

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

Reviewed: 03-12-15

Debbie Macomber delves into family, especially the relationships among three sisters, in Last One Home. This novel has extremely compelling true-life situations of domestic abuse, poverty, suicidal depression, teen pregnancy, infidelity, and family guilt. While this storyline could have been the basis for a darkly depressing tome, Debbie Macomber's style is to find hope in any human situation. To that end, the most depressing details are told either as hearsay or past remembrances, allowing the overall story to remain hopeful. Macomber uses romance and family relationships, if not to overcome all the problems, at least to keep difficulties in proper perspective.

Habitat for Humanity plays an important role in the story and reminds me of the wonderful work they do. Rebecca Lowman does a good job with the narration. Overall, without being overly graphic or deep, this is an enjoyable story.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • The Decoy Princess

  • Princess, Book 1
  • By: Dawn Cook (as Kim Harrison)
  • Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 259
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 238
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 236

The Princess Contessa of Constenopolie has just learned of her true identity - that of an orphan adopted and raised as a decoy to protect the real princess. But that doesn't make Contessa less of a royal target.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Misleading cover - excellent story!

  • By Lela on 03-13-15

Enjoyable -- Will Listen to Next Book in Series

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

Reviewed: 02-19-15

I admit I selected this audio book because I was experiencing Hollows (written as Kim Harrison) withdrawal. I did not have high expectations since this series predates the Hollows, and really, what could be as good? I was pleasantly surprised.

Cook/Harrison excels at strong female characters with personal integrity and she has an imaginative talent for creating magical worlds. She blends her creative talents with political intrigue, adventure, and various love stories to make quite an entertaining story.

The heroine, Tess, gets a great shock when she finds out she has lived someone else's life, having been raised as a princess decoy to protect the real princess from assassination. And that's just the beginning of many life-altering shocks Tess must absorb.

I was glad to find this story is narrated by Marguerite Gavin who also provides the wonderful voices of the Hollows. Gavin’s dramatic style is especially compatible with Cook’s/Harrison’s strong characters.

While the storyline and characters are not as complex as the Hollows, there is a familiar Rachel Morganesque theme of epic magical power through toxic overload coupled with a strong sense of personal responsibility and morality. Overall, this is an entertaining book and I will definitely listen to the next in the series.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Obsession in Death

  • In Death, Book 40
  • By: J. D. Robb
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,353
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,902
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,890

Eve Dallas has solved a lot of high-profile murders for the NYPSD and gotten a lot of media. She - and her billionaire husband - are getting accustomed to being objects of attention, of gossip, of speculation. But now Eve has become the object of one person's obsession. Someone who finds her extraordinary, and thinks about her every hour of every day. Who believes the two of them have a special relationship. Who would kill for her - again and again....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Expecting in Death?

  • By pewter on 02-13-15

Expecting in Death?

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

Reviewed: 02-13-15

The evolution of Eve Dallas has been amazing throughout the In Death series. The first book's reluctant friendship with Mavis started Eve down the road to relationships that she never could have imagined. This 40th installment puts people close to her at risk, forcing Eve to recognize the surprising number of people she cares about and who care about her. The villain is interesting but not central to this story -- the relationships are the focus.

J.D. Robb's stories standing alone make great books, but Susan Ericksen brings out the true excellence with her character voices and dramatic reading. I really enjoy what her voices add to the series. With only a couple of exceptions, I can listen to every book in this series over and over.

The entire series is built around a strong woman who has spent her life not just recognizing the difference between good and evil, but consciously battling evil and adopting the good that she finds in others. Her ability to adopt the good she finds can be painful and difficult for Eve, but it is just as often funny and endearing. This characteristic is the foundation for an excellent and long-lived series, and the murder, mystery and suspense only spice it up. Robb's vision of the future and the quirky humor really make this series stand out. And since the birth of Bella Eve, I can't help but see a hilarious pregnancy and baby in the future for Eve and Roarke, but likely no cows.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Jason

  • Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 23
  • By: Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Alexis
  • Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 725
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 669
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 674

Jason Schuyler is one of Anita Blake's best friends and favorite werewolves, with benefits. J.J. is his lady love, an old flame from childhood who dances at one of the top ballet companies in New York. She's accomplished, beautiful, and she's crazy about him, too. Neither of them wants to be monogamous, so what could go wrong? J.J. is enthusiastically bisexual, with an emphasis on the female side of things.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • How the mighty have fallen...

  • By Casandra on 01-14-15

Laurel K. Hamilton: High Priestess of Polyamorism

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

Reviewed: 12-03-14

"Jason" accounts for 4 hours and 44 minutes of my life that I'll never get back. I tried to think of something positive to say about this book and I have come up with nothing. LKH has quit writing adventure stories and completely moved to badly written therapy-porn. If you enjoy amateur sex therapy with clinical descriptions of mechanical sex with multiple partners and no emotional involvement or plot, dive on in. Even if you can stand pure plot-less porn, just be prepared for the sex to stop frequently for lengthy, boring rationalizations and lectures on the benefits of multiple partners. It's somewhat ironic that LKH explains ad nauseum the joys of polyamorism while simultaneously demonstrating how boring and empty it is.

This is the first time in years of listening to audiobooks that my overriding thought was sympathy for the narrator. Not even Kimberly Alexis could save this story but I do hope she was paid well. Simply Awful.

62 of 70 people found this review helpful

  • Clean Sweep

  • By: Ilona Andrews
  • Narrated by: Renee Raudman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,002
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,674
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,670

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A MUST LISTEN. Promising start for a new series.

  • By Deree on 03-21-14

Another Winning Series from Ilona Andrews

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

Reviewed: 03-21-14

This is an excellent beginning to a new series. I love the concept of an extraterrestrial/supernatural innkeeper and this first book tells me the Gordons have many entertaining adventures in store for us. I had my husband listen to the antics of Beast, the über Shih Tzu, and we both laughed out loud. To me, Renee Raudman has the perfect voices for Ilona Andrews' characters and she does not disappoint here. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Concealed in Death

  • In Death Series, Book 38
  • By: J. D. Robb
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,966
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,562
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,566

In a decrepit and long-empty New York building, a man begins the demolition process by swinging a sledgehammer into a wall. When the dust clears, he finds two skeletons wrapped in plastic behind it. The man is Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s billionaire husband, Roarke, and he summons her immediately. His latest real estate project is going to be on hold for a while, because by the time Eve and her crew are finished searching the premises, there are 12 murders to be solved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't Read "In Death" LISTEN to it!

  • By amazonian on 02-23-14

Thank you , Susan Ericksen.

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

Reviewed: 02-21-14

The wonderful narration by Susan Ericksen was the salvation of this book. Without the familiar voices and inflections, I might not have recognized this as a J. D. Robb/Nora Roberts product. The parts were all there, but the story was slow and bloated. This was not an exciting or action packed murder investigation with an active suspect. Much as real-life investigations differ from crime dramas because they drag on and can be tedious, this book's plot was more real than dramatic.

The traditional In Death checklist was followed: Unresolved murder(s), check. Roarke's properties or acquaintances involved and/or Roarke assisting, double check. Peabody assistance and humor, check. Dr. Mira assistance and motherly support, check. Childhood abuses revisited and reconciled, check. Eve’s humorous attempts to figure out marriage rules, check. Summersett being a pain in the butt, check minus. Baxter, Truehart, Mavis, McNab, Morris, Nadine show up with varying degrees of humor, multi-check. Coffee, chocolate, pizza and Pepsi, quadruple check. The characters were familiar although many were missing this time around. It isn’t always necessary to see everyone Eve knows in every book, so I did not mind the missing characters.

The single notable exception to the formula, an active menacing protagonist, apparently makes a huge difference in the tone and pacing of the story. There was no suspense or danger, and the book suffered from the lack.

This was a fair book and an entertaining listen, but not great.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Calculated in Death

  • In Death Series, Book 36
  • By: J. D. Robb
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,416
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,022
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,010

On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a woman lies dead at the bottom of a brownstone’s basement steps, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better. A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn’t seem the type to be on anyone’s hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the brownstone, she knows Marta’s murder is the work of a killer who’s trained, yet not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love that Dallas!

  • By Elaine on 03-01-13

Eve and Roarke, Still a Great Couple

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

Reviewed: 02-27-13

I eagerly anticipate every new "In Death" book. First and foremost, the success of any audiobook rests on the narration, and Susan Ericksen gives a wonderful performance as usual.

Eve and Roarke are probably my favorite fictional couple, but fans will realize that they have overcome most of their past traumas and inner struggles that contribute the tension necessary for a truly great story. Robb will need to find other sources of inner turmoil and drama. However, this was an entertaining story with an interesting plot. Most of the characters are well known and long-time friends, and the story was true to their natures. There was a good blend of mystery, adventure, humor, and romance.

Robb is such a great author; this book was just average for her In Death series. Still, it was very entertaining and the series is one of my favorites. I consider this installment to be a stepping stone as I eagerly await the next book.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful