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D. Fields

  • 29
  • reviews
  • 366
  • helpful votes
  • 90
  • ratings
  • Exceeding Expectations

  • The Charlie Series, Book 1
  • By: Lisa April Smith
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

Palm Beach, 1961. Socialite, irresistible rascal, and devoted father Jack Morgan stages his suicide to shield his beloved daughters from scandal and disgrace. His daughter, Charlotte (Charlie), is an overindulged 23-year-old girl struggling to cope with the loss of her beloved father, her sister's resulting mental breakdown, and the discovery that she's now penniless. Fortunately Raul, an admiring young attorney, offers assistance to the traumatized young woman.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Series You've Been Looking For!

  • By D. Fields on 01-30-19

The Series You've Been Looking For!

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

Reviewed: 01-30-19

This is the kind of story telling I enjoy....a multi-generational saga that spans decades and continents. Somehow all my favorite elements are incorporated: romance, mystery, a bit of history, travel, lovely descriptions of houses, adventure, and art. There is some sex, but not too much, and some social commentary, but not enough that it gets annoying. The characters are multi-dimensional and interesting.

The writing is very good and the narration is above par. Small criticisms are that the dialogue does not always sound natural, and the pacing of the narration in the first two books speeds up and slows down (this was not present in the 3rd book). Although both the narration and the writing improve greatly by book three, the first two books are my favorite. Hopefully there will be one more book to finish up the story.

This trilogy is an exceptional find (I would even say it is a "hidden gem"), and an even better deal if you have the romance package. It makes for a nice change from regency romances and is much better than most contemporary romances.

  • One Day in December

  • A Novel
  • By: Josie Silver
  • Narrated by: Eleanor Tomlinson, Charlie Anson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,751
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,250

Laurie is sure love at first sight doesn't exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away. Certain they're fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn't find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they "reunite" at a Christmas party, when her best friend, Sarah, giddily introduces her new boyfriend: the man from the bus.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • It's Not Romantic, Not Joyous, and Not for Me

  • By D. Fields on 12-01-18

It's Not Romantic, Not Joyous, and Not for Me

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

I realize that I am in the minority regarding this book. But I am compelled to let others know that the description of this book as joyous, romantic, and heartwarming is very inaccurate and misleading. (Warning: spoiler alert).

First, there are endless descriptions of binge drinking, of being drunk, or hangovers, of vomiting from too much alcohol. There is random casual sex. There are curse words galore. All of this strikes me as being immature both for the characters and for the writer. Second, the premise is not matched by the characters' actions. The idea is that the romantic leads feel such an instant and powerful connection and that this is supposed to be one of the great soulful loves of all time. But gee, the main hero keeps having sex with his girlfriend...oh, right, so she wouldn't be hurt. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but that seems neither joyous nor romantic.

There is so much pain that the characters have to go through...divorce, loss of friendship, depression, anxiety, and job loss...that I found the story quite depressing, actually. Ten hours honestly felt like twenty. A more accurate description would be that this is a growing up story. It is much more about young adults going through life changes as they graduate from university, start work, move away from home, get married, etc. than it is a romance. The book lacks charm.

Although the end was satisfying in a "Bridget Jones" kind of way, by that time I was heartily sick of the characters and their problems. The book definitely could have been better. But also, if it were not promoted as a romantic and heartwarming holiday love story, my expectations wouldn't have been so off, and I would not have chosen this book at all.

291 of 320 people found this review helpful

  • Every Breath

  • By: Nicholas Sparks
  • Narrated by: Sean Cameron Michael, Vanessa Johansson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,879
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,484
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,459

In the romantic tradition of The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe, number-one New York Times best-selling author Nicholas Sparks returns with a story about a chance encounter that becomes a touchstone for two vastly different individuals - transcending decades, continents, and the bittersweet workings of fate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book is riveting in that you can't stop listening. While it is listed under Fiction, the story is true.

  • By J&J on 12-17-18

Glad Audible Lets Members do Returns

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

Since I loved Sparks' The Longest Ride, I was really excited for this book. Perhaps the story was good, but I couldn't get past the female narrator. I lived in North Carolina for 20 years...that accent was just painful to listen to and not like anything you would actually hear from a true southerner. (The male narrator had a lovely voice, though, and I wish the audio book just used him). Also, I think the writing in this book is not up to Sparks' best works. This is what you are listening to: "He parked the car. He got out of the car. He walked up to the house. He knocked on the door. She opened the door." I was completely disappointed. If you have your heart set on this book, wait a while and get it on sale, or read the print version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Comanche Moon

  • By: Anita Mills
  • Narrated by: Eileen Stevens
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Can a rough Texas Ranger overcome a woman’s hardened heart? Amanda Ross returns from her Boston finishing school to claim the Texas ranch her parents died fighting to protect. Determined to protect the sprawling ranch that has been in her family for generations, Amanda hates the Comanche people for taking away her only family. Clay McAlester may be a Texas Ranger, but he identifies most strongly with the Comanche people that raised him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • They Don't Write them Like this Anymore...

  • By D. Fields on 10-31-18

They Don't Write them Like this Anymore...

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

...and I wish they did! The 1980s and 1990s were notable for the both the number of and quality of big, adventurous, romantic historic romance novels. Truth be told, I was starting to question the value of the romance package (even though I think it's better than ice cream), because all of the contemporary romance books are starting to sound the same. Worse, most of them have turned into nothing more than dressed up porn.

Now, I'm not a prude, and I don't mind love scenes, but some of these books are just getting too descriptive. Do we really need to know all the specifics? I mean, some of these modern romances sound like how to manuals. I might just as well read Cosmopolitan magazine. The plots go something like this: meet, have sex, go to a ball, have sex, get married, sex, sex, sex, have a misunderstanding, have sex, make up, more sex, epilogue. The romance genre has become boring, and when romance and sex are boring, that is a problem.

To the rescue comes an author I was unfamiliar with: Anita Mills. I was thrilled to know that Audible has 18 or so of her novels included in the romance package. The feeling you get when you discover a new to you great author with a large back catalog is like the excitement of Christmas morning.

Not knowing where to start, I purposely chose something far from my usual selection of English regency, and began with "Comanche Moon." This is a terrific read!!! Ms. Mills knows how to tell a story. The pacing is excellent. Mills keeps the plot moving steadily forward, all while developing the characters and fleshing out their back stories. The listener feels as if they accompany the characters on their journeys. Equally importantly, the romance is well constructed and believable. Both the hero and heroine grow and mature throughout the story, and that is most welcome. Love scenes are well placed and well written. Although the happy ending is predictable, getting there is interesting and satisfying. My only quibble (and it's minor) is that there are too many descriptions of bathing and eating. Also, if you are looking for a PC title, this is not it. The author approaches the treatment of Native Americans in a balanced way, so if that bothers you, look elsewhere.

The book was further enhanced by the excellent narration. Eileen Stevens has a pleasant voice. She did a great job, particularly with the Spanish words and the male voices.

Highly recommended! The only problem now is which of Anita Mills' books to choose next....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Love Letter

  • By: Lucinda Riley
  • Narrated by: Camilla Rockley
  • Length: 16 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 554
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 518
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 515

1995, London. When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of 95 he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, so devastating that it could rock the English establishment to its core. Joanna Haslam is an ambitious young journalist assigned to cover the legendary actor's funeral. The great and the good of the celebrity world are there. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind, the contents of which others have been desperate to conceal for over 70 years. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Throughly enjoyable read!

  • By LB on 09-03-18

Get this Book Right This Minute!

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

Reviewed: 10-23-18

What an entertaining listen! Everything I could hope for in a book: romance, suspense, royalty, great characterizations, detailed settings, excellent narration, and skilled writing. Lucinda Riley really knows how to develop a story and tie multiple threads together. AIthough I love all of Lucinda Riley's books, I think this is my favorite. This is a great long saga of a book, which I prefer, and it grabbed my attention from the very beginning and never let it go.

My only criticism is that there is always a cup of tea being made. Seriously, I know this is England, but there is A LOT of tea mentioned. Prepare to buy some PG Tips or Harney and Sons to accompany your listening experience.

  • An Arrangement of Sorts

  • Arrangements, Book 1
  • By: Rebecca Connolly
  • Narrated by: Jessica Elisa Boyd
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 683
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 632
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 626

He was intrigued...Nathaniel Hammond, Earl of Beverton, is working to restore his new estate and aid his tenants. But everything changes when he meets the beautiful and mysterious Moira Dennison, a bold young woman who offers to hire him, unaware of his title, to help her find her fiancé. Curious and unable to resist, Nathan accepts her offer, keeping his true identity a secret, never dreaming of what the future held for him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Intriguing and Hilarious Romantic Adventure

  • By Patiotoole on 07-03-17

Nothing Happens!

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

I really want to sing this book's praises. It is COMPLETELY refreshing to encounter a romance novel where the characters get to know each other slowly. I am not interested in couples who immediately fall into bed. Give me romance. Give me charm. Give me witty dialogue. The problem is, even though this is written well enough, and even though the narrator is perfectly lovely, this book is boring. Nothing happens! It seems the whole book is conversations while they are riding their horses from inn to inn. I never felt a connection to the characters, nor an interest in what happens to them. Maybe I'll try again when I'm in a different mood.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Spring Bride

  • Chance Sisters Romance, Book 3
  • By: Anne Gracie
  • Narrated by: Alison Larkin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 259
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 244

On the eve of the London season, Jane Chance is about to make her entrance into high society. And after a childhood riddled with poverty and hardship, Jane intends to make a good, safe, and sensible marriage. All goes according to plan until a dark, dangerous vagabond helps her rescue a dog.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Pleasant but predictable

  • By Skipper on 06-07-15

Google is Your Friend....

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

Reviewed: 08-02-18

Look, just because we enjoy historical romance novels does not mean we are unintelligent. The story is set in 1817. At the end of the book, the bride is walking down the aisle to Mendelssohn's "Wedding March"....which was composed in 1842. OOPS.
This particular book is overly simplistic, cliched and tedious.

However, the other 3 books in the series are enjoyable.

  • A Laird for All Time: A Laird for All Time, Book 1

  • By: Angeline Fortin
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 938
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 862
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 858

After 10 long years of education and residency, Dr. Emmy MacKenzie decides it's time for a much-deserved vacation. But when she's traveling the British Isles, a twist of fate at the gates of the ancient castle of Duart hurls Emmy more than a hundred years into the past and into the arms of a magnificent Highlander who thinks she is his long-lost wife, Heather MacLean.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A story to listen to again and again

  • By SIMARA on 11-14-15

This Really Bugged the Heck out of Me....

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

Reviewed: 07-13-18

Spoilers...
This book was OK at first. Although it's no "Outlander", it had it's own kind of charm. (Until the heroine acted sarcastic; that was just annoying).
My main problem came towards the end. Much of the book discusses God and His plans and purposes for someone's life. (Great, I'm all for that, adds depth!) However, at the end, the hero and heroine have a conversation where the heroine refers to the "cliche" of "the truth shall set you free", and they then discuss how the heroine is/brings "the truth". Hit pause, smack head, and sigh. That is not a cliche! It is scripture!!! (John 8:32) They are the words of Christ, and He is referring to Himself...He is the truth that sets us free from sin.
For heaven's sake!

Needless to say, I am skipping the rest of the books in this series.

  • My Oxford Year

  • A Novel
  • By: Julia Whelan
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,567
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,425
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,408

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was 13: study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful

  • By Karen on 05-03-18

This Book is a Mess

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

Reviewed: 07-04-18

Rarely have I been so disappointed in a book. Julia Whelan is one of my favorite narrators, but her debut novel is a mess. It is as if she compiled different plot elements from books she has liked (England, check; literature, check; politics, check; dying boyfriend, check) and threw them together. The result book lacks cohesion and does not ring true. Furthermore, Ella is an unlikeable main character. We are to believe that she was hired on to a presidential campaign, but the only main things she seems to care about are getting drunk and having sex. She is horrible to her mother. She is horrible to her friends. The book is full of cliches and is entirely predictable.

Also, as a side note, if you are going to write about literature, then you should know what you are talking about. Robert Frost is not a "minor" little known poet. And when you read poetry, you don't automatically pause at the end of every line. You usually pause where the author inserted punctuation.

Avoid this one.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Sylvester

  • Or, the Wicked Uncle
  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Rowe
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,163
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,061
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,062

When Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, first meets Phoebe Marlow, he finds her dull and insipid. She thinks he is insufferably arrogant. But when a series of unforeseen events leads them to be stranded together in a lonely country inn, they are both forced to reassess their hastily formed opinions, and they begin to discover a new-found liking and respect for each other. But what Sylvester doesn’t know is that Phoebe is about to publish a novel - a novel in which all London will recognize him as the villainous ‘Count Ugolino’

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally!!!

  • By C. Mendez on 11-16-13

Can't Go Wrong with Georgette Heyer

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

Reviewed: 06-27-18

Although not my favorite Heyer book (that accolade is reserved for "Arabella"), this is still a very good read. It is enormously better than almost any Regency romance being written today. The strength of "Sylvester" is the dialogue...and the narrator is excellent. You really feel as if you are listening to people have a conversation. The weakness is the romance. This is arguably one of the least romantic of Heyer's Regencies. Still worth a listen.