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KatieV

NC, United States
  • 35
  • reviews
  • 44
  • helpful votes
  • 59
  • ratings
  • Iron and Magic

  • Iron Covenant, Book 1
  • By: Ilona Andrews
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,888
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,760
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,759

Hugh d'Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hugh recreating his life

  • By IreneMBBT on 07-27-18

Fantastic Kate Daniels' Spinoff

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

The narrator made Hugh sound soooooo sexy and the story (like most of Ilona Andrews' work) kept me riveted. I didn't know how Hugh could be redeemed, but it's being done and without taking him out of character. Highly recommend for fans of the Kate Daniels' series, although I believe someone unfamiliar with that world would find this difficult to follow. I am tempted to say I may end up enjoying this series more and that is saying something.

  • Now You See Her

  • By: Linda Howard
  • Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 567
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 495
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 498

A talented painter in her early thirties, Samille Sweeney has achieved enviable success. Her work sells at an exclusive New York City gallery and her popularity is at an all-time high when she begins to experience lush, vivid dreams drenched in vibrant hues that influence her artwork. When Sweeney paints a graphic murder scene that mirrors a recent real-life murder, she is thrust into suspicious light.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So glad the Unabridged version has been released!!

  • By M. Davis on 03-21-12

Enjoyable summer read

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

An older Linda Howard romantic suspense offering with paranormal elements. The mystery was not especially mysterious, but the romance, psychic angle, and Ms. Howard's writing kept it interesting.

The narrator did a good job. Nothing annoying or jarring to pull me out of the story.

  • Slave to Sensation

  • Psy-Changeling Series, Book 1
  • By: Nalini Singh
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,732
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,749

Nalini Singh dives into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind - and none of the heart. Born a Psy, Sascha Duncan must hide the emotions that mark her as flawed. But a passionate Changeling will tempt her to reveal everything - and risk her very soul.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better than I remember.

  • By Diana on 05-30-11

Didn't grab me

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

Reviewed: 01-09-17

I love a good paranormal romance, but this one didn't grab me. I think it may have to do with the fact that I am more a fan of fantasy than sci-fi and this veered more into sci-fi territory. The heroine's mind was connected to a net along with all the others of her kind (sort of a Matrix like thing). The hero was a shapeshifter, but his origins weren't discussed. Not sure if he was also a product of science or more of a mythological type of creature. Not a bad book, just didn't capture my imagination, YMMV.

The performance was ok. The heroine was supposed to be emotionless, so that accounts for much of the narrator's deadpan delivery, but there didn't seem to be a lot of emotion conveyed from other characters either.

  • Claimed by the Highlander

  • Highlander Series #2
  • By: Julianne MacLean
  • Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 418
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 379
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382

With his tawny mane, battle-hewn brawn, and ferocious roar, Angus “The Lion” MacDonald is the most fearsome warrior Lady Gwendolen has ever seen - and she is his most glorious conquest. Captured in a surprise attack on her father's castle, Gwendolen is now forced to share her bed with the man who defeated her clan. But, in spite of Angus's overpowering charms, she refuses to surrender her innocence without a fight. With her stunning beauty, bold defiance, and brazen smile, Gwendolen is the most infuriating woman Angus has ever known - and the most intoxicating.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love this series!

  • By Colleen on 04-25-12

My Last in the Series

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

Reviewed: 10-24-14

2.5 stars really

The author did do a good job with making the hero a ruthless bad ass with redeeming qualities and I liked the heroine much better in this installment. But something about MacLean's choice of words frequently takes me out of the story. For example when I hear someone talking about being 'kicked in the nuggets', it reminds me more of a 12-year-old American middle school kid than a historical Highland warrior. Maybe I'm wrong and that was an olden time saying of yore... but it didn't feel right. And that's just one example.

Also, I personally do not like to be spoon fed what I should feel or told what conclusions to draw. The hero was someone who had betrayed someone close to him. He therefore had trust issues and self esteem issues. I think the average reader is certainly smart enough to put two and two together and realize that a lot of his trust issues comes from the fact that he feels guilty about his mistakes and thinks basically that he can't trust anyone since he can't even trust himself. Yet, there is constant unnecessary navel gazing and self-analysis going on. That threw me out of the time period and made me feel more like I was reading a 'costume drama' rather than being transported to another time/place.

MacLean obviously has a legion of fans and I can understand it, but I suppose I look for something a bit different in my historicals. I won't be finishing the trilogy.

  • Fires of Innocence

  • By: Jane Bonander
  • Narrated by: Coleen Marlo
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

When Scotty MacDowell rescues a wounded stranger from a fierce blizzard, she is thinking only of saving a lost traveler. She never expects to find a passionate lover in Alex Golovin through nursing him back to health. Seven months later, Alex returns to Scotty's tiny cabin in the wilderness, but not to take her back into his arms. Instead of the man she loved, Alex returns as an angry lawyer, determined to run Scotty off of her beloved land.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable if cheesy at times

  • By KatieV on 10-24-14

Enjoyable if cheesy at times

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

Reviewed: 10-24-14

3.5 stars actually, but rounding up since I did enjoy this even though it was far from perfect.

I tend to be a fan of angst and this was much more fluffy than my usual fair. The heroine had a pet raccoon and a Indian friend who spoke like Tonto (cringe). However, it was engaging. The beginning drags a bit with the two being stuck inside her isolated cabin, but after that it definitely picked up. What I liked was that my predictions were either dead wrong or not exactly what I'd expected and that kept me interested.

Basic storyline: the heroine is living alone in her isolated cabin located on what is now Yosemite Nat'l Park. Her father had recently died and that left her and her assortment of animals alone. She knew the government was trying to evict all settlers in the area to make it a national park, but she thought she had the winter since the passes close due to snow.

The hero makes it through just before the big freeze, however. He shows up at her door bleeding from a gunshot wound inflicted by an angry evictee and she nurses him back to health. She is very young, naive, and sheltered. She has no idea how a young lady is supposed to act so she just says and does whatever she feels like. The hero, who's in his 30's is obviously attracted to her but feels he should leave her alone due to her age, inexperience, and the basic situation. However, it doesn't happen that way. And that's about all I'm going to say. I won't spoil the rest. However, I will say that the h was a virgin and there were no multiple partners. I know those are a biggie for some.

A few weird things: There was one sex scene that was lol worthy. If you read it, you'll know exactly which one I was speaking of. Another odd thing was the story takes place shortly after the end of the Civil War and the hero was in the war. He mentions at one point being 'with Jackson'. I really didn't get that, since I automatically think of the Confederate General 'Stonewall' Jackson and don't see why the hero (a native Californian with no ties to the South) would have been in the Confederate army to begin with. If he was, why/how was he being employed by the U.S. government to be their legal representative in evicting the settlers so soon after the war? It just doesn't make sense on several different levels. Possibly I heard wrong, but I could have sworn he mentioned 'Jackson'. *shrugs* Also, the heroine had all these cutesy little folksy sayings and it was WAY overdone. I think she should have just spoken plainly in many places to avoid overkill.

On a side note: the cover is a gigantic fail. The heroine is quite definitely described as someone with very dark hair, not a a blond. Also, she is only 18 and that figures heavily into her personality, actions, etc. The lady on the cover is lovely, but too mature and too blonde. Seriously, couldn't the publishers at least look at the old covers and take a clue from that before picking the characters from their revolving stash of stock photos used these days? Is that too much to ask?

Re: the audio: The narrator should not try to do accents. Enuf said.

  • The Secrets She Carried

  • By: Lynne Graham
  • Narrated by: Antonia Beamish
  • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

Erin Turner and Cristophe Donakis set the bed sheets alight during their scorching affair. But Erin's hopes of a diamond ring turned to ash when he unceremoniously kicked her out of his bed and onto the cold London streets. Years later, Erin's world is rocked again when she meets her newest business client. She knows it's him the moment his designer aftershave hits her senses....

Cristophe is going to make Erin pay back what he believes she stole - in whatever way he demands.... But little does he know that Erin's about to drop two very important bombshells!

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Anticlimactic and forgettable.

  • By KatieV on 10-24-14

Anticlimactic and forgettable.

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

Reviewed: 10-24-14

Anticlimactic and forgettable. Not one of Grahams better works. I usually like her and this plot, but honestly I've already forgotten most of the content here. Nothing stood out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Take This Regret

  • By: A. L. Jackson
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 428
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 388
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 387

Christian Davison has a plan for his life. He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father's law firm. Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child. After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life. For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Manufactured melodrama overload/pathetic hero

  • By KatieV on 10-24-14

Manufactured melodrama overload/pathetic hero

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

Reviewed: 10-24-14

I am truly not one of those people who gets a kick out of not liking what everyone else likes. If it's something I enjoy, I don't care how popular it is. I'll jump on the bandwagon and wave my flag like the village idiot. Heck, I love the most crazy, wth-just-happened Harlequins I can find. Literary snob, I am not.

That being said. I hated this. And, oh the reasons why...

1) It was ALL about the kid. Not what I call a romance. Don't get me wrong, the kid was cute. The kid was the most likeable character in the book, in fact.

2) Manufactured melodrama overload and a hero that is pathetic.

3) Not only first person, but rotating first person. We'd see things through the h's eyes in first person and then see the exact same things through the H's eyes in first person. Double wammy! Obviously that's YMMV. I've seen first person done well, but it rarely works for me.

My take

Christian kicks Elizabeth out when he finds out she's pregnant and doesn't see her or the kid until the child is almost 5-years-old.

Wouldn't it have been just as dramatic and more forgivable to make the time period shorter. 2 years maybe? IMHO, the author wrote things to be as melodramatic as possible without having a way out that made sense for the characters (or anyone on this planet).

Why so long? Does that even make sense if he misses them so badly? Is that even forgivable? This lady needed to read more Harlequins. If you're going to go this far over the top, go all the way. Make it practically campy in it's OTT drama. Dude should have been a giant dick THEN just as he was going to find his love and newborn infant, he gets hit by a car and spends 5 years with amnesia all while having mysterious dreams of a blond woman and child that would cause him to wake in a sweat and make mysterious sketches. Meanwhile the blow to the head made him a finance genius and he becomes the most powerful tycoon on the planet. Then when he finds the heroine and his child, he goes all megalomaniac alpha and takes over with fake threats of taking the child, etc etc.

This hero was such a weenie. He had no good excuse. His dad was a pushy, arrogant bastard - cry me a friggin river.

Basically the H/h could have been together earlier (per the "H") if Elizabeth had made the first move. Because that makes sense after someone kicks you to the curb while pregnant. Just go chase him down, girl!

:-/ I feel like I need a gif here.

Apparently Christian was emo-boy sleep-with-anything-in-a-skirt-because-I-FEEL-so-much for almost six years while waiting for her to sue him for child support, or call, or something to open the lines of communication. He only finds them by a fluke.

I know some of the alpha heroes we read about would drive us INSANE in real life, but jeez this dude was so far down the Greek alphabet we may have to invent a new letter.

The author wrote herself into a hole then used Elizabeth's breakdown as a way out. A way for Christian to look like the better person (didn't work for me) and put them on more even footing I suppose, before the HEA. Because, no matter how nice Christian was to the little girl, it was damn impossible to explain those 5+ years, so she had to make Elizabeth look like a head case who made bad decisions too.

Puke. Need another gif here...

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Prince's Chambermaid

  • By: Sharon Kendrick
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 5 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

Acclaimed author Sharon Kendrick has penned more than 70 passionate romance tales that have topped best-seller lists on both sides of the Atlantic. In The Prince’s Chambermaid, Prince Xaviero engages in a steamy affair with chambermaid Cathy. And after he’s taught her everything he knows, their romance is to end. But when the King of Zaffirinthos falls ill, Xaviero is forced to step in and assume the role of Prince Regent. Now with thoughts of Cathy’s voluptuous form haunting his dreams, Xaviero makes a fateful decision to make her his princess.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I'll never get that time back.

  • By KatieV on 10-24-14

I'll never get that time back.

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

Reviewed: 10-24-14

Good merciful heavens this was stupid and I have no one to blame but myself. The title sounds like a cheesy porn and the content wasn't much more substantial. I am embarrassed for myself.

Quick synopsis: The hero thinks he's better than the heroine and spends the book saying the most snobbish offensive things ever. The heroine takes it. Inside she's angry, but she NEVER defends herself. He's a prince, that's just how he is...

PUKE.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Once a Ferrara Wife...

  • By: Sarah Morgan
  • Narrated by: Julia Franklin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

A sexy, fast-paced tale of modern romance set on the sultry island of Sicily. Laurel Ferrara wouldn't know a happy ending if she fell over it; of course her whirlwind wedding was always going to end in disaster. But she can't just walk away. From the moment she is summoned back to Sicily the shivers of unease set in. The command comes from legendary billionaire Cristiano Ferrara, the husband she can't forget - but it might as well have come from the devil himself....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not my favorite flavor of angst

  • By KatieV on 10-24-14

Not my favorite flavor of angst

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

Reviewed: 10-24-14

This was well written and angst ridden, but was only a "like" for me. I think it's simply a matter of taste. Just wasn't my favorite flavor of angst. The subject matter isn't what I typically seek in an HP. I prefer more crazy.

This was all about a marriage that fell apart due to faults on both sides and much of the angst is centered around miscarriage and fertility.

I felt the heroine contributed the most to the demise by refusing to communicate. Her past explained it, but I still found her frustrating and didn't identify with her. I admit I get a kick out of the Hero being the one with the most to answer for. In his one, he made mistakes, but she never gave him a chance to answer for them and I believe that if she had he would have stepped up.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Highland Warrior

  • Clan Campbell, Book 1
  • By: Monica McCarty
  • Narrated by: Roger Hampton
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 650
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 593
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 592

The ruthless enforcer of Scotland's most powerful clan, Jamie Campbell will use any means necessary to vanquish lawlessness and unrest among the feuding Highland clans. Seduction is a game as easily played as subterfuge, but when Jamie poses as a suitor to a rival clan's daughter in order to expose treason, the line between duty and pleasure is suddenly blurred.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I am so torn, I loved it, I hated it

  • By NEW NAME on 11-22-13

Liked it, but Book 2 was my favorite

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

Reviewed: 10-24-14

3.5 stars rounded up.

This is my first read by this author and I'll definitely give her another go.

I loved the hero. He was besotted from day one and not above rather ruthlessly manipulating events to force the heroine's hand in marriage, something I always fall for. Especially since he truly wanted her to be happy and was a very honorable man.

The heroine was sometimes difficult, but I didn't dislike her. I tried to put myself in her shoes. She'd been pampered and deliberately shielded from the world by her father and older brothers. This wasn't her fault and her personality and views were to be expected. Still she was someone who fiercely loved those close to her down to the average servant and was not a mean or heartless person.

I always found it ironic that men of those times liked to think of women as shallow and frivolous, but they deliberately kept them ignorant of the real world and encouraged them to remain nearly childlike. It was a self fulfilling prophecy when they behaved in such a way. I don't believe this heroine had ever been more than a few miles from her home in her life. This led to someone with a very limited world view who saw things as black or white, good or evil and no one aside from the hero ever challenged that view.

When she was disillusioned it came as a huge blow and adjusting to it was hard for her and painful for the reader as well. McCarty didn't flinch from the brutality of the times and I respect that. I hate whitewashing history to make everything sweet and fluffy.

When it comes to the heroine's sometimes stubborn and difficult behavior, I tried to remember how much clan loyalty and feuds meant to Scottish highlanders of the time. Her distrust for the hero was very understandable given the circumstances and the fact that all of her clansmen hated her new husband. She was in a difficult situation and obviously very torn and confused in this new world of complexity and split loyalties.

However, I think the author let it drag a bit toward the end with the heroine's constant flip-flopping between trusting and not trusting the hero. It's easy to sit back and judge after the fact, but IMHO McCarty pushed the h's distrust (no matter the justification) to a point that could have turned some readers against her and lost this book a 1/2 star on my part.

I do want to check out the rest of the series. There was one person in this novel (the H's brother) who deserved a serious comeuppance and that didn't happen here. I'm hoping he'll get it in book 2 or 3. Of course, historically, men did get away with such actions in those times and McCarty may choose to let that happen in his case. If so, I'll respect the decision because I'd rather have a villain go unpunished than have a brutal time in history turned into a fluffy-bunny dreamland.

ETA: Audio Review - Roger Hampton is one of the few male narrators in romance that I can tolerate. Most men make the heroine sound like a linebacker in drag (YMMV). I think he does an exceptionally good job of doing the female voices. It has to be be hard to voice another sex. Not sure of the accuracy of the accents, but sounds good to me. The heroes sound bone-meltingly sexy.