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S. Smalley

  • 16
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 116
  • ratings
  • Tamed by the Beast

  • Interstellar Brides, Volume 7
  • By: Grace Goodwin
  • Narrated by: BJ Pottsworth, Audrey Conway
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93

When Tiffani is mated to an Atlan warrior believed lost to mating fever, she will stop at nothing to save him, including sneaking into an Atlan prison to seduce his beast.... Sick and tired of the dead-end path her life is taking, Tiffani Wilson heads to the nearest interstellar bride processing center to start over. She's promised an amazing mate, an Atlan warlord who will not only relish her plus-sized body, but heal her lonely heart.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Or, more correctly - Taming the Beast

  • By IreneMBBT on 09-06-18

It would be so much better with different narrator

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

Reviewed: 12-12-17

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Different narrators. This is one of my favourite fantasy escapism books, because it is formulaic and an easy, comfortable, distracting read. But without a truly passionate, sincere sounding narrator, who can use the fantasy names and terms with a measure of confidence and sincerity, I bought the audio-book because of the story, but I consider the narration cringe-worthy for this genre. If they do the Cyborg series with these narrators, then I will be truly disappointed and may not even bother to get the audiobook at all, even though the Cyborg series is my favourite of her works.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked both Tiffany and Deek because they both showed courage and honour in reaching out for what they needed. Maybe a hair more Tiffany, but I liked Deek’s self honesty in his soliloquy. It allowed for us to really feel for him as a person.

Did Audrey Conway and BJ Pottsworth do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

No.

What character would you cut from Tamed by the Beast?

Engle Steen. He was irritating, whiny, underdeveloped and static. A dime store novel villain.

Any additional comments?

I suggest a team like Wen Ross and Kai Kennicott, but not them, because I feel that they are overused. Try to find a strong, overly testosterone driven manly man, and a woman who has I.e. in this case hated her body her whole life but has become reconciled (and therefore humorous when speaking about it). I think, for the Cyborg series, a woman who has felt like a stranger, isolated, from most of those around her, for most of her life.

  • A Mate for York

  • The Program, Book 1
  • By: Charlene Hartnady
  • Narrated by: Lance Greenfield, Amber Black
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 457
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 452

Since most vampire females are not able to birth young, a program is started to ensure the continuation of the vampire species. The vampire elite must fight, fist and fang, for a much sought after place in the program and a chance to date human women. There are a multitude of beautiful human females in attendance. They have been handpicked to ensure that they are irresistible to vampire males. Why is it then that York wants the one female he can't have?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Shaking My Head

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-04-17

Limited Story, growl-worthy male narrator

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

Reviewed: 09-09-17

Have you ever heard the expression, "the greatest aphrodisiac is your partner's enthusiasm"? The female narrator, while quirky and expressive, doesn't have the softening necessary (yet,) in her voice for a drool-worthy romance. The male, however, sounds testosterone-driven and unapologetically enthusiastic, exactly what a static, alpha-male main character should be. I read the book, couldn't finish it, but the male narrator made this piece come alive. I will try another listen to one of these books because of him. The female narrator has good projection, modulation, and sense-stress, now he needs to soften her to be believable and she needs to teach him her excellent technique. Also, sorry, but the lisp limits her range.

I am sorry to be mean, but, I believe that this female narrator has great potential.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • After the Storm

  • By: Claudy Conn
  • Narrated by: Stevie Zimmerman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 92

No matter what her family and friends say, Jenny knows she will never fall in love again. How can she, when her childhood sweetheart was one of the countless killed at Waterloo? So when the Earl of Danfield proposes a marriage of convenience, it seems the perfect solution. He will secure his inheritance, and she will be spared the necessity of being paraded in society, forced to dance and flirt and do all the things her broken heart cannot do. His proposal will give her what she wants most. Peace

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly Good!

  • By Lady M on 12-13-14

Oh What Fun!

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

Reviewed: 05-25-17

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this as an overly dramatic fluff piece. It is not accurate, not appropriate, but still lots of fun. Calling loyal household servants "lackeys" and having a girl of this period be as self-aware as our heroine is is unrealistic, in my opinion.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I liked it. I thought that this was a sweet, thoughtful, first attempt by a new author and I would like to see her try to do better. The other 2 novels of hers that I have read are merely annoying, whereas, this one has some interesting details that, when listened to, make you want to give it a chance.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Stevie Zimmerman?

Yes. She isn't period or accent accurate, but she has a pleasant enough voice to listen to.

Do you think After the Storm needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. I don't think that there is enough story to make it into a follow-up. If you were to write about the hero and heroine's children, maybe.

Any additional comments?

No, as it doesn't seem like most Audible readers find my reviews to be helpful. I don't mind being singular.

  • Bride of Falcon

  • A Waltz with a Rogue Novella, Book 2
  • By: Collette Cameron
  • Narrated by: Stevie Zimmerman
  • Length: 3 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

After five Seasons, Ivonne Wimpleton has accepted she's a haute ton undesirable. Always a bit ungraceful, her suitors are men desperate to get their hands on her marriage settlement. Guarded and aloof, she's resigned herself to spinsterhood. She doesn't mind her fate, since Chancy Faulkenhurst, the man who once held her heart, left for India years ago without an explanation. When Ivonne's father, Viscount Wimpleton, refuses Chance's request for her hand in marriage, he transfers to the East India Troops.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Adorable Proposal

  • By berlinerin on 03-27-18

Very predictable, but very pleasant...

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

Reviewed: 05-25-17

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If you enjoy stereotypical, clean, regency pieces with dependable, reliable story arcs and story content, then this is what you get. It is a wonderful piece to laugh and fall asleep to. It is a feel good fairy story.

If you’ve listened to books by Collette Cameron before, how does this one compare?

This one follows the same predictable story arc.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

More feeling, but you can only do so much with such a story.

Was Bride of Falcon worth the listening time?

Yes, because I knew what I was getting into and I wanted it to be a feel good, lighthearted, soft romp.

Any additional comments?

I liked it.

  • Hooked: By the Broken Billionaire

  • WET, Book 1
  • By: K.C. Falls
  • Narrated by: Wen Ross, Kai Kennicott
  • Length: 4 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 54

Fed up with the Hell's Kitchen pace of her life, Lara takes on a job as a private chef in the hope that she can see some of the world solo and free from restaurant life. She doesn't expect the job to come with a South Florida player who is everything she's trying to flee. He's spoiled rotten, with a swollen ego massaged by every babe who crosses his red-carpet path. She's not so sure about the pet monkey, either.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm Hooked

  • By KindleBabe on 02-14-16

Broken rich kid meets girl who makes him want to be a better man...

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

Reviewed: 04-27-17

This book has unnecessary hedonism, and is short on details, but take it and clean its rough edges, and you can see the potential psychological real world parallels. Just saying.

  • Storm Redemption

  • Storm Damages, Book 3
  • By: Magda Alexander
  • Narrated by: Anthony LeRoy Lovato
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51

Elizabeth's rocky marriage to the volatile Gabriel Storm suffers a mortal blow when she walks out on him. But her love for her son and her husband draws her back. While fighting for a marriage on the rocks, she struggles to make him understand her need for a career. But it's her unruly heart she fears most of all, for it craves his every touch, his intoxicating taste, his hard, pounding body. Will she stay and give up on her dream or walk away one last time?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic yet again!!

  • By Sarah on 10-02-15

All I could ask for in an audiobook...

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

Reviewed: 10-24-16

What did you love best about Storm Redemption?

Despite being a caricature-sounding novel, this audiobook is an honest effort, beautifully done. The novel is well-written, a book about two broken people who don't know how to love each other but do so anyway. Using free United Kingdom based sound effects, this novel is skillfully added to and made into a novel with a little bit of romance, a little bit of suspense, with all of the wonderful qualities that I could ask for in a modern Maltese Falcon-esque interpretation story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favourite character for someone that I would want to be would be Elizabeth, because I can best understand her point of view. My favourite character as a fallible love-interest is Gabriel, because I truly understand why he is how he is. My favourite character overall is Tilly, because she knows all of the principles and loves them anyway.

Which character – as performed by Anthony LeRoy Lovato – was your favorite?

I loved his passion and genuine effort of getting into each character's point of view. I laughed because, in truth, he doesn't do a very believable woman's voice, but still, his woman were full of honest feelings. Even though his accents are very imperfect, they are a piece of honest artwork, and I loved them. I feel that this narrator made every effort that I could ask for to read these novels well.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Team Gabriel or Team Elizabeth?

Any additional comments?

I believe in audiobooks as a performance art. It is more important to me that a novel's rendering is honest than that it is perfectly realistic. As a series, I would definitely choose to continue to read this set of books, and listen to the audiobooks, moving on to Jake and Brianna's story. This is a real complement, because, for me personally, I usually can't stand/don't have the attention span to listen to more than one set of character's stories per narrator. For example, I loved the novel, "Grim," and then the novel, "Ynyr" by author M. K. Eidem. I didn't enjoy the in-between novels (that were made into audiobooks, "Oryon" and "Wray",) as much because the same narrators that did "Grim" did them as well, and those novels' characters' point of views were too much of a stretch for that original set of narrators, in my opinion (as well, those novels didn't present new ideas, just regurgitated existing ones). The two novels that were done between "Ynyr" and "Grim" sounded like "Grim" repeated, to me. Thanks for the giving me the opportunity to say what I think!

Sincerely Yours;

Hija del Sol

  • Viking Warrior Rising

  • By: Asa Maria Bradley
  • Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 97

Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki. Under attack from Loki's minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif's warrior spirit goes berserk.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting

  • By GSKM in sc on 06-19-16

Exceptional narrator, decent story...

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

Reviewed: 09-24-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Because it travelled at a reasonable pace for an action/romance, had an exceptional narrator in making you feel the characters, see the details, experience the story from their point of view, and was just a very fun read.

Would you be willing to try another book from Asa Maria Bradley? Why or why not?

Yes, if the same or an equally talented narrator that could present the cultural aspects did the reading of the book. The interplay between the different characters was part of what made reading this so special to me.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the heroine turns back the raging Viking.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Vikings meet the apocalypse.

Any additional comments?

It is a sweet, enjoyable read, a nice HEA with a real touch of culture, making a Science Fiction into a really interesting peak into a bygone culture.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ynyr

  • Tornians, Volume 3
  • By: M.K. Eidem
  • Narrated by: Ian Gordon, Jennifer Gill
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 982
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 908
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 903

Ynyr was a third male, and while he was a fit and worthy warrior, he had always known that no female would ever join with him. Too many looked down on his family because of his mother's refusal to leave his manno. He knew Ull would be able to overcome this because he was a first male and would one day be a lord; maybe even Vali, since he was a second male, but neither Ynyr nor his younger brother, Zev, would ever be acceptable to a female. The most they could hope for was to serve their house with honor, but that all changed with the arrival of the females from Earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Still a 5 Star

  • By Darlene on 11-23-15

As a Standalone, this is a Fine Wine...

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

Reviewed: 09-24-16

What did you like best about Ynyr? What did you like least?

If I had never heard the other books in this series, never learned how the previous narrators chose to intone, pronounce, and portray their characters, I would say that the portrayal in this book of the softer spoken, kinder, quieter, more thought-driven Ynyr and Abby was totally appropriate and intrinsic to these characters. While Commodore James and his compatriot were excellent in the action-driven characters of Grim and Lisa, they didn't change the portrayal of the characters when they read Kim and Wray, or when reading Oryon.

I wouldn't have wanted the previous narrators to read this book, because they chose a formula and didn't stray, thereby doing a serious injustice to both the writer and the characters in this standalone story. If you listen to the stories, entitled, "Grim" and then "Wray", I felt that you would swear that they were the same story/same characters because of the portrayal of the main characters - with no difference in how they acted and reacted to each other. Abby and Ynyr are a whole different species of people, when you read the back-story of their lives, how they came to be who they are now, and they need to be lived that way in how the story is read out, and interpreted, for the sake of the listeners.

If you’ve listened to books by M.K. Eidem before, how does this one compare?

As far as I am concerned, Commodore James and his companion are a white wine, striking, sparkling, glaring, in your face and on your pallet. This reading is soulful, in your mind, in your heart, making you question previously held realities, a sweet, full-bodied flavour, like a companion red wine. Like a rich, red wine that has aged with time, this set of narrators makes you see the potential in the people and house that Bertos and Lady Reisa destroyed, and it is because of how Ynyr and Abby act and react that sets this book apart from the others.

Did Ian Gordon and Jennifer Gill do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

I felt that Ian Gordon and Jennifer Gill did do an exceptional job in being these characters, but their sin was that they did it differently from the other reading-style, their predecessor, that of Commodore James and his compatriot. Ian Gordon and Jennifer made THIS story and portrayal of their own creation. If you listen to the character of Abby as portrayed at the end of the audiobook, "Grim", Abby sounds like a whiny, spoiled brat, with no strength or power or courage. In this version of Abby, as portrayed in "Ynyr," you understand that, because of all of the tough circumstances that Abby has had to endure in her young-ish life, she is more insecure than Lisa is, and therefore, more careful, more thoughtful, more aware of the cost of speaking out, the consequences of her actions, before she tries to make changes to existing social and economic structures and systems. This style is not necessarily good or bad, better or worse that the previous audio-reading, but, different. The different people/characters/lives with different styles need to be respected, and I felt that Ian Gordon and Jennifer Gill did an excellent job of giving Abby and Ynyr their own voices, apart from Lisa and Grim (which I felt fell flat in the readings in "Oryon" and "Wray").

What would have made this romance irresistible?

Less goddess and demon/lower god, more detail in the struggles of Ynyr and Abby.

Any additional comments?

I wish that Ynyr and Abby were strong enough to portray the story/carry the story without the demon/lower god Draco whispering in their heads to make them doubt themselves. I don't personally like that part. But I am a sucker and feel real succor in a proper HEA, especially in one without scary extras.

  • Scaling Her Dragon: BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance

  • Paranormal Dating Agency, Book 8
  • By: Milly Taiden
  • Narrated by: Lauren Sweet
  • Length: 3 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 527
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 490
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 492

Vikter Dragos is dying. His dragon couldn't find a mate, and he's at the end of his time. He's fighting the attraction for a sassy, curvy human, but it's near impossible to stay away from her. If only she'd been his mate, life would be so much easier. He's losing control of his dragon and his emotions. With Becca around, his life just got more complicated.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • That was a little different

  • By K. April Holgate on 10-26-15

Good potential missing substance...

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

Reviewed: 06-05-16

What disappointed you about Scaling Her Dragon: BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance?

When you write about marriage or bonding, you need accurate travails for the characters to go through and get closer. The author basically did, but, where there should have been effusive adjectives, she cheated by using coommon swear words. Delete the swears, challenge your imagination with a newer storyline idea, and you might have something. Use real life examples to fuel your creativity.

Would you ever listen to anything by Milly Taiden again?

Probably not, unless she can write without using so-called adult and abusive speech.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Soften the enthusiasm. It became cliche.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Diappointment at lost potential.

Any additional comments?

Such passion and caring but no boundary stretching.

  • Obsidian

  • By: Laurann Dohner
  • Narrated by: Vanessa Chambers
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,202

Dr. Allison Baker is obsessed with saving the comatose New Species male. She has tried everything and there’s only one option left. Alli will break every rule and put her life in danger by tempting 880 to wake, using only her feminine scent and touch. She just has to kidnap him and crawl into bed with him to make it work. 880 wakes in a different world with a small female who’s been sleeping beside him, caressing him, and wrapping her sweet body around his, teasing his senses. He lies silent and still, listening and evaluating each arousing touch, fighting his body’s reaction.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • So hard... on the fence!

  • By Candateshia Pafford on 11-13-13

My favourite because I love character development

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

Reviewed: 10-21-14

What did you like best about Obsidian? What did you like least?

I hated that in "Tiger", Dr. Allison Baker warns Zandy Gordon that Tiger can get her pregnant but then in the next book, "Obsidian," Dr. Allison Baker believes that Obsidian can'
t get her pregnant... DUMB!!! I loved that she was sweet and believable to those of us who are too romantic at heart, and that she was naïve and an idiot. I HATED the "Moon" voice. Rusty nails or nails down a blackboard is all I wish to say on that subject. I liked the development of the characters versus heavy action in this book, because that is what I love. Still my favourite of the NSO series (as of Oct. 2014, anyway,). Good, inexpensive, b-list novel.

What did you like best about this story?

Character development.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Inconsistency and poor vocal development of most characters. I understand that Vanessa Chambers wants to differentiate her characters and reading, but Fury was read with a believable HERO and most of the other readings in this series just AREN'T. They are often irritating, especially if you are aware that she could do much better.

Was Obsidian worth the listening time?

For what I wanted, a light sci-fi romance operetta out of my busy life, yes. It's no triumph but it's no bust, either.

Any additional comments?

Obsidian is my favourite story of the NSO, but FURY is my favourite reading of this series.