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Kimberly

Indianapolis, IN, United States
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  • Talk to the Paw

  • By: Melinda Metz
  • Narrated by: Elise Arsenault
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

Jamie Snyder is 34 and single but not ready to mingle. After suffering through the Year of the Non-Committal Man, the Year of the Self-Absorbed Man, and the Year of the Forgot-to-Mention-I'm-Married Man, Jamie's ready to celebrate the Year of Me - and MacGyver, of course. MacGyver is an adorable tabby with a not-so-adorable habit of sneaking out at night and stealing things from the neighbors. That's right, MacGyver is a cat burglar. MacGyver knows his human is lonely. He can smell it. It's the same smell he's noticed on their neighbor David....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book

  • By Jess on 02-03-18

Cute

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

Reviewed: 09-01-18

Setting: Los Angeles, CA Contemporary
Genre: light romance
MacGyver is a wily cat who has moved with his human to LA where they live in a small enclave called Sorybook Court (where all the dwellings resemble places out of fairytales, and even the street names match the theme. Jamie, a high school teacher, is using the inheritance she received from her mother’s passing to spend a year looking for something that will make her happy. Throughout the book she takes pictures and interviews people who are happy in their jobs, from a guy at the pier who gives bad advice for a dollar, to a character impersonator working the street near Graumann’s Chinese Theater.
MacGyver perceives that his human is not happy. The man next door also “smells sad” so he decides to help these two lonely people form a pack (something he knows people need). David is a baker who has been widowed for 3 years and his friends are pressuring him to get back out there and start dating. He is reluctant. He knows he’s lonely, but he’s doing fine with his
mutt Deogee.
Mac decides that the best way to get these two together is to bring items of clothing from one to the other. Surely they will be able to smell the lonliness too. Surely they will be able to find one another. Unfortunately he finds they are a little slow on the uptake. But while he’s out and about, he decides to help others.
Eventually Jamie and David meet. They become friends and decide to “fake” date. This will keep David’s friends off his back about dating, and Jamie can deflect her nosy landlady and her friend from trying to set her up. As the friendship develops, both have personal issues to deal with to clear the way to deeper feelings.
This is a cute story. It alternates points of view among characters, mostly MacGyver, Jamie, and David. The plots on which the romance hangs - Jamie’s search for a meaningful occupation and David’s working through his grief and guilt - are well developed and interesting. The characters are nicely fleshed out, and even the secondaries are realistic and essential to the plot. I did find one character - a washed up actor still wearing the persona of his one big role - irritating enough that the book came close to being a DNF. He was just too over the top, and not once did anyone tell him to get a grip when he decided he would decide who was stealing stuff in Storybook Court. He is sure Jamie is the guilty party.
The narration was nice. Ms Arsenault does a good job differentiating characters.
Overall, this is a fun listen.

  • A Curious Beginning

  • By: Deanna Raybourn
  • Narrated by: Angele Masters
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,297
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,946
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,936

As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry - and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • For fans of Elizabeth Peters and Gail Carriger

  • By L. Williams on 06-29-16

Wonderful new series

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

Setting: London June, 1887
Genre: Mystery
Miss Veronica Speedwell, spinster lepidopterist, having just buried her last remaining family, is set to go on her next butterfly-collecting adventure. However, when she returns to her aunt’s cottage to collect her bag and net, she is set upon by a housebreaker. She is saved from abduction by a stranger who introduces himself as Baron Maximilian von Stauffenbach. He persuades her to travel with him to London, as she is in danger. On the way, he intimates that he knows something of her parents, though she had been told by her aunts that she was a foundling and a bastard. However, the Baron won’t say more than that she looks just like her mother. “The truth is not mine to speak.” To keep her safe while he seeks permission to impart what he knows, the Baron leaves her in the care of Stoker, a rather impoverished naturalist whose studio/living quarters is an old warehouse filled with taxidermy and jarred specimens. The next day there is a story in the paper about the murder of the Baron, and they begin an adventure in search of answers, going from a traveling sideshow to a lord’s guest cottage.
My introduction to this author was her Lady Julia Grey mysteries, which are also set in the Victorian Era. I binged on those books and was disappointed to learn that there were no books forthcoming due to a possible contract for a TV series.
I put off reading this book because I feared that Veronica Speedwell would be a poor substitute for Lady Julia. I am happy to say that my trepidation was unfounded. Veronica is a thoroughly enjoyable protagonist. Lady Julia is strong, but she is constrained by class expectations. Veronica on the other hand, while still needing to be cognizant of her own reputation, is freer to move about the world unencumbered by heavy social strictures. She can travel, collect and preserve specimens and sell the resulting product, and write scholarly papers without fear of censure. She has the freedom to speak and act as she wishes, especially when out of England.
Stoker is also an unusual character. Although strong, he has more nuance than the typical Alpha of genre literature. He has tattoos and scars, and he wears a piratical looking eyepatch, yet he speaks with the accent and vocabulary of a gentleman. He has obviously suffered physical pain, but there is also evidence of emotional anguish. Another interesting facet of his personality is that he evinces a primness that seems at odds with the experiences of an otherwise worldly man. I found the contradictions in his character engaging, and the fact that his past remains largely a mystery makes me look forward to getting to know him better.
The plot is complex enough to keep one’s interest without being so convoluted as to need to keep notes. The main mystery is who murdered the Baron, but also why was he killed? But the answers only present a greater problem for Veronica. All in all, I found this book quite enjoyable.
As for the narration, Angela McMasters provides a better than average performance, though not to the level where I was totally drawn in. She is not my favorite reader, but she is far and away better than many I have heard.

  • Crazy

  • By: Eve Langlais
  • Narrated by: Summer Morton, Lee Samuels
  • Length: 4 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 79

Ella's always heard voices and because of them, she ends up institutionalized at a young age. Zane just wants to enjoy his usual blood buffet; instead he runs into a wisp of a woman who makes him feel emotions he thought long dead. Rescuing her from the insane asylum, he brings her home, determined to seduce and feed from her, a plan that is foiled by ghostly voices determined to keep Ella untouched. But not even poltergeists can stand in the way of a vampire in love.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I must have been Crazy...

  • By No Thanks on 02-06-18

Just couldn’t like it.

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

Reviewed: 07-30-18

I usually love Eve Langlais’ plots and characters. I find her prose literate and amusing. Usually.
I could not bring myself to like either plot or characters in this book. I got over halfway through, with many stops and starts. Finally, I just didn’t start again. Maybe some would like this book, but it just about turned me off Eve Langlais.

  • Do You Want to Start a Scandal

  • By: Tessa Dare
  • Narrated by: Carmen Rose
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 221
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 219

On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it. All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: It wasn't her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers' true identity, she'll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville - the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she's ever had the misfortune to embrace.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, awful awful narration

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-07-16

Could have been better

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

Reviewed: 05-16-18

Setting: England Regency Era
Genre: Romance
At a house party, Charlotte and Piers are caught hiding behind the library curtains where they had retreated separately in order to avoid interrupting an amorous couple. Upon discovery, Piers declares that he will marry her. But Charlotte has other plans, that don’t include marriage, so she sets out to discover who the people were so they can clear her and Piers. For his part, Piers actually does want to marry Charlotte. She’s as good as any other gentlewoman to marry and give him an heir. So, the book is a series of sometimes slapstick events punctuated by the couple getting to know one another on every level.

It took me foreeeever to get through this book. Seriously. Six weeks, maybe seven. I would listen for perhaps an hour, then leave it for days, then try again. Over and over. The problem is not the story. As with Dare’s other Spindle Cove novels, this one is well-written with an amusing plot, excellent dialogue, interesting characters, well done sex scenes, and humor. Charlotte didn’t have much by way of redeeming qualities - none of the usual talents of a gently bred lady such as needlework or painting - but that was one of the issues she recognized about herself. Overall, this is a good story. But I recommend getting it in print.

The reason I could not stick with this book is that I found the narration to be excruciating. It is laconic, and there are little pauses where none should be, and I did not like her male voices. I do wish I had gotten this for my Kindle instead of wasting a credit.

  • The Highwayman

  • To Tempt a Highlander Series # 1
  • By: Kerrigan Byrne
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 757
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 708
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 707

Audie Award, Romance, 2016. Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of Victorian London's wealthiest, most influential men who will stop at nothing to wreak vengeance on those who've wronged him... and will fight to the death to seize what he wants. The lovely, still innocent widow Farah Leigh Mackenzie is no exception-and soon Dorian whisks the beautiful lass away to his sanctuary in the wild Highlands....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favourite yet

  • By Morticia on 09-08-15

Average

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

Reviewed: 05-08-18

Setting: England and Scotland 1872
Genre: Romance
Farrah MacKenzie is a clerk at Scotland Yard. One day the senior clerk sends her to the interrogation room where their boss is taking a statement from an arrestee. There she sees Dorian Blackwell AKA the Blackheart of Ben More. He is a famous, scarred up villain, and he looks at her in such a way that she feels a bit threatened. That night, after a date with her boss, she goes home to find Dorian Blackwell in her apartment along with 2 of his henchmen. He tells her that she is in danger and he takes her to his home in Scotland to keep her safe. All his men know her as “Dugan’s Fairy.” [Dugan MacKenzie was the boy she had “married” when she was a child at an orphanage (where the orphans of nobility or the bastards of nobles & Gentry were cared for) and has spent the past 10 years pretending to be his widow] Blackwell and most of his men had been in Newgate prison with Dugan until his death 7 years after his initial arrest (so a total of 17 years since Farrah lost her love). Dorian’s solution for keeping her safe is to marry her, though he said it would begin name only. But she wants a real marriage because she wants a family.
The H/h are all kinds of messed up, especially Blackwell. Not only does he have the prison background, he has spent the 10 years since his release building up his criminal enterprise. He is a ruthless, conscienceless murderer, and feels that Farrah is too pure to touch. For her part, she is naive and fearless in the face of such a horrible person, going so far as to fall in love with him, though at first she feels like she’s being disloyal to her childhood sweetheart about whose death she feels responsible.
Although the book is well-written, and the basic plot is good, I could not work up any sympathy for the protagonists. I could not like such a reprehensible male character, nor did I like Farrah that much.
This is part of the Victorian Rebels series. I read #3 first and although he is darker and bloodier than your standard dark, brooding hero, Liam MacKenzie is nowhere near as horrible as Dorian Blackwell. As comparison, Liam’s killing was done in war time as an officer in the Army rather than as an enhancement to criminal activity. The next book after this in the series is The Hunter, which focuses on Dorian’s friend and fellow ex-con Christopher Argent, who is an assassin. I’m thinking I wouldn’t like him either, so I’ll give it a miss. I reckon, despite my being an atheist, I am just too straight-laced to enjoy this type of character.

  • Radiance

  • Wraith Kings, Volume 1
  • By: Grace Draven
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle Baker
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,769
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,660
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,666

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An unexpected and awesome surprise!!!!

  • By Sharon on 06-17-15

I am so in love with these characters

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

Reviewed: 05-07-18

Genre: Fantasy
Ildiko, the niece of Sangur the Lame, the King of Gaur, is to be married to Brishen, the younger son of the Kai king. While neither had ever expected to be married for other than political gain, they certainly did not expect to be bound to someone of a different species. However, both accept their fate and form a rather refreshing friendship. This book is mainly character-driven, though there’s enough action to hold one’s interest.
I “met” Grace Draven for the first time with her novella In the Darkest Midnight found in the anthology Amid the Winter Snow. I was so impressed with that story that I immediately got this book, which is related to that novella. Then I binged every other novel and novella of hers I could find. I love her vocabulary, and her ability to evoke mood appropriate to the story. I am anxiously awaiting her next book, and I hope it will be on audio as well.

  • The Highlander

  • To Tempt a Highlander, Book 3
  • By: Kerrigan Byrne
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 461
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 424
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426

They call him the Demon Highlander. The fearsome Lieutenant Colonel Liam MacKenzie is known for his superhuman strength, towering presence, and fiery passion in the heat of battle. As laird to the MacKenzie clan, the undefeated marquess has vanquished his foes with all the rage and wrath of his barbaric Highland ancestors. But when an English governess arrives to care for his children, the master of war finds himself up against his greatest opponent...in the game of love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great series - hoping there is more to come!

  • By denise on 09-24-16

The Demon of the Highlands

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

Reviewed: 05-07-18

Setting: Wester Ross Scotland 1878
Genre: Romance
3 1/2 stars
Philomena St. Vincent, the Viscountess Benchley, was rescued from an involuntary commitment by people who owed her a debt of gratitude. Giving her a new name and background, these friends sent her to Scotland to be governess to the children of Lieutenant Colonel Liam MacKenzie. She is to remain out of England until her friends clear up the commitment issue. She has some serious anxiety after her stay at the asylum, and she lives in fear of being found out and sent back to the husband who had placed her at the asylum. Liam MacKenzie, the Marquis of Ravencroft, AKA The Demon Highlander, a widower, has recently sold his commission in the Army to return to his home to take up his position as Laird and to raise his children. He found his son and daughter in desperate need for some polish, which Mena is to provide. Me a and Liam find themselves attracted, despite the fact that each is hiding secrets.
Neither of these characters had much dimensionality. He was the brooding Laird all the way through, and she was the woman wrestling with her secrets. There was no humor to lighten the mood. On the other hand, the plot and dialogue kept my attention. I also thought the secondary characters were interesting. There are some sex scenes, making this a PG-16 sort of read, but while explicit, the descriptions are not raunchy.
Overall, this was a nice listen.

  • The Old Dragon of the Mountain’s Christmas

  • The Dragon Lords of Valdier, Book 9
  • By: S.E. Smith
  • Narrated by: David Brenin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 219
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 219

Born prematurely, Christoff wasn't as big or as strong as his older brother or the other younglings in the village. Unable to fit in, he does the best he can, helping his father and mother on their farm. His life changes when the mountain near their farm awakens. Believing he is the only one who can quiet it, he retreats to the mountain to watch over the village that shunned him. A hermit for centuries, he dreams of the day he can move on to his next life - a life that he hopes will give him a chance to find his true mate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The primary story is great, the second one has potential

  • By Alexis Ward on 01-26-17

baby talk

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

Reviewed: 04-06-18

Setting: Valdire and Earth
Genre: Sci-fi/fantasy romance

Two novellas involving the offspring of couples in previous novels in the series. The first novella, The Old Dragon of the Mountain’s Christmas, started out really well. However, as soon as the toddlers showed up, things went downhill. What the heck were children (too young to have learned to speak properly) doing in the mountains without an adult? And then Christoff’s dragon, despite its great age, also has the vocabulary of an intellectually challenged child. It was irritating.
I couldn’t finish the book. I couldn’t listen to 4 more hours of baby talk.

  • Abducting Abby

  • The Dragon Lords of Valdier, Book 1
  • By: S. E. Smith
  • Narrated by: David Brenin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,426
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,312
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,317

Abby Tanner is content to live on her mountain while she creates beautiful works of art and enjoys the peace and quiet. All that changes when a strange golden spaceship crash lands on it. Now Abby has to deal with a golden ship, a tortured alien, and an insane local sheriff.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A NEW SEXY SCI-FI SPECIES HAS LANDED GIRLS

  • By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 05-06-15

Alien erotica

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

Reviewed: 04-04-18

Setting: Northern California and the planet Valdire
Genre: Sci-fi/erotica/romance
Abby is a glass artist who lives in the mountains in the home she inherited from her grandparents. Despite having no family (her mother died of an overdose and she never knew her dad) and only one elderly lady friend, she is content. One day, taking a walk on her mountain, she comes across a spaceship in her meadow and finds a handsome injured alien. She takes him home and nurses him back to health. Zoran is the high king of Valdire, a dragon shifter who also has a symbiont that lives on him and can change form and split into separate parts. While Zoran is unconscious, his symbiont takes a liking to Abby and part of it turns into bracelets. When he wakes, he recognizes that this woman on the primitive planet he landed on (yes, that would be Earth) is his True Mate. He basically claims her without really telling her it means she will have to go to his planet. She doesn’t want to go because she is content with her work and home.
The positive in this story is that the couple did not fall into bed immediately. Partly because he was unconscious at first, but also because she was reluctant to have a fling, being a virgin. The negative? He does, as the title indicates, abduct her. It gave me an unsettled feeling. How could she ever feel okay about being dragged away from home without some of her possessions, like photo albums and things inherited from her grandparents? This concern, along with whether she’ll be able to continue with her art, doesn’t even come up, though it could have added some dimension to the plot.
There is foreshadowing of the next book in the series, and there is already talk of ass beating. The sex scenes are relatively well-written — as in, not too raunchy. There are some (non-sexual) scenes involving interaction with villains that bring some tension to the story.
The narration was okay. David Brenin does pretty well with the main characters, even giving Abby a nice voice. However, differentiation gets a bit muddy as more characters are added into the story (Zoran’s brothers and some girls Abby invites over after an out-of-town trip).
I got this as part of the romance package. I don’t think I would have purchased this book, and definitely wouldn’t purchase others in the series. I’ve already queued up the next books (except for the ménage) that are available in the package, and I’ve actually finished the second book. I’ll likely return the others unread, especially if the heroes are as impatient and borderline abusive as the one in book 2, and if the heroines are as irritating.

  • Capturing Cara

  • The Dragon Lords of Valdier, Book 2
  • By: S. E. Smith
  • Narrated by: David Brenin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,019
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,025

Cara Truman is a pint-size pistol whose inquisitive nature has gotten her into trouble on more than one occasion. Her next adventure takes her further than she even expected when she ends up on a journey out of this world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pint-sized Spaz attracts a Dragon Alien. Fun!

  • By Bex on 05-13-15

Maybe I shouldn’t binge this series

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

Reviewed: 04-04-18

Setting: Valdire
Genre sci-fi/erotica/romance
Cara was captured along with Abby, from the previous book in the series (Abducting Abby) and 2 other women. She is a hyperactive mechanic who enjoys taking things apart. Trelon is the brother of the high king of Valdire, the hero of Abducting Abby. Trelon recognizes Cara as his true mate, but spends his time chasing after her and trying to lock her up, because she delights in enraging him. They finally get together and there is sex, there’s trouble and there is sex, there is more trouble and more sex.
Although the basic plot - abduction by sexy alien and subsequent relationship - is okay, I found the details in the story irritating at best and downright infuriating. Cara is immature and flippant, and Trelon is sexist and borders on abusive. “He should have beat her ass” or “He was going to beat her ass” came up more than once. I suppose there are people out there who think control freaks are sexy, but I found it disturbing. Speaking of sex, those scenes were pretty well done as far as erotica goes, and not really raunchy.
The narration by David Brenin is well paced, though the male characters didn’t have very distinctive voices (though this was exacerbated by the number of males, all with alien names). Cara’s voice was recognizable due to speed of delivery.
Overall, if you enjoy slightly misogynistic erotica, this isn’t bad. I got it through the romance package. It’s unlikely I would have purchased it.