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Judy C

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 71
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings
  • A Cold Dark Place

  • Cold Justice, Book 1
  • By: Toni Anderson
  • Narrated by: Eric G. Dove
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370

Former CIA assassin Alex Parker works for The Gateway Project, a clandestine government organization hell-bent on taking out serial killers and pedophiles before they enter the justice system. Alex doesn't enjoy killing, but he's damn good at it. He's good at dodging the law, too--until a beautiful rookie agent has him wondering what it might be like to get caught.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Total thrilling Suspense that kept me on the edge

  • By Cyn on 02-07-15

No emotional connection with Mallory and Alex

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

Reviewed: 11-08-15

I was excited to get a chance to review this book. It looked like it would be something that I could really get into. After all, we are talking a strong female kicking butt and falling for a covert assassin/spy, while going after a serial killer. Shades of Criminal Minds crossed with Alias. Right up my alley.

The book started great with a male narrator who didn't butcher the female voice in a super high falsetto to make my ears bleed. Eric Dove was a new to be narrator, and I wasn't initially certain I would go for a male narrating a Romance based book, but it worked for me. He had good tone and emoting, all while not making me cringe during the female dialogue.

The story starts with a young woman being abducted from the side of the road. It was scary and full of anticipation and tension, as you figured out what was going on. The author does a fantastic job at setting a scene and the mood.

My problem was my ability to connect with our main characters. I tried, I really did. But Mallory just left me cold and Alex wasn't strong enough to keep my attention on his own. The only thing that kept me going was figuring out who the bad guy was. But as soon as I figured it out, I just couldn't gather the interest to go back to the book. I tried multiple times to get back into it, but without a solid connection between me and Mallory and Alex, I just felt "meh" about seeing the specifics of how the book ends... After all, I am sure they get together, living happily ever after, as soon as the bad guy gets taken down... I just don't care to hear the details.

I was very disappointed in not being able to stay connected to this book and at 60% (5hrs, 53min), am throwing in the towel with a DNF and a rating of 2 stars - 1 for the book and 1 for the narrator.

Thanks to the author for the opportunity to listen and review the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Murder Al Dente

  • Southern Pasta Shop Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Jennifer L. Hart
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Cerreta
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 958
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 880
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 881

Andy Buckland has always dreamed of being a chef. But after a live studio audience is stricken with food poisoning during her debut cooking show, she finds herself blacklisted in the culinary community. The only job open to her is working in her family's southern pasta shop, and, to make matters worse, her first assignment is serving baked ziti to her former lover and his spoiled bride-to-be at their engagement party!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb writing and a fantastic narrator

  • By Judy C on 06-07-15

Superb writing and a fantastic narrator

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

Reviewed: 06-07-15

I love a good cozy mystery, and am always on the look out for a new one. When I saw this over at Audiobook Jukebox and listened to the sample from Audible, I just knew it was for me.

Andy Buckland went from top of the world, rising star in the cooking community to pariah in just one short hour. While filming the introduction to her break out cooking show, the crowd got food poisoning from bad clams. Suddenly, her entire career was over and every thing she had worked and sacrificed for was over. So when her Grandfather and Aunt needed help with the family's Pasta Shop, Andy had no reason to say no. And it seems that her bad luck continues when on the drive into town, she gets into an accident and totals her classic mustang, Mustang Sally. Then, her first big job at the pasta shop involves catering the engagement party of her old high school boyfriend to her biggest adversary. On the plus side, she does meet the handsome and mysterious Malcolm Jones, who manages to sweet talker her cranky maiden Italian Aunt Cecelia.

The narrator, Suzanne Cerreta does a fantastic job on this. Andy has this sweet southern drawl, while Malcolm has a New Zealand accent. Throw in Aunt Cecelia's Italian accent and I was impressed at how quickly and easily she was able to switch from character to character.

The writing was superb for this book. Andy takes us through a wide range of emotions as she deals with being back in her home town after the sudden and very public death of her career and trying to save her family's pasta shop, The Bowtie Angel. I laughed out loud and giggled at some of the situations Andy ended up in. This was a great read and I can't wait for book 2. I am giving this 4 stars.

Thanks to Audiobook Jukebox and the author for the opportunity to listen and review the book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Housewife Assassin's Handbook

  • The Housewife Assassin, Book 1
  • By: Josie Brown
  • Narrated by: Melissa Moran
  • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,120
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,010
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,011

Every desperate housewife wants an alias. Donna Stone has one - and it happens to be government-sanctioned. But Donna earned it the hard way: Her husband was killed the day she delivered their third child. To avenge her husband's murder, Donna leads a secret life as an assassin. But espionage makes for strange bedfellows, and brings new meaning to that old adage, "Honey, I'm home...."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Quick Quips and Sarcastic Humor

  • By Judy C on 09-28-14

Quick Quips and Sarcastic Humor

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

Reviewed: 09-28-14

At some point in time, I remember seeing the cover of this book and it peaking my interest. I honestly don't remember where or when, but it's familiar. And the title struck a cord with me, The Housewife Assassin. It just sounds intriguing, no? That's why when I saw it on Audiobook Jukebox I just knew I had to give it a chance and at only about 6 hours long, it went by very quickly.

Donna Stone is a housewife and mother. She has three children, lives in a very exclusive gated community in southern California, manages the house and her kids very busy lives. Maybe not as well as some of the other Mommies in the carpool, but then again, they don't have to worry about clean up after torturing information out of an arms dealer and trying to make it on time to pick up the kids from after school. Yes, Donna is a covert agent for ACME, a government sanctioned agency that handles black ops. She became an agent after finding out that her husband was an agent and was killed while she was in the hospital giving birth to their third child. After a couple of months, his boss had to give her the bad news that his paychecks and benefits were going to stop. After she shot an attempted intruder, she was offered a job. That was 5 years earlier. Donna has now become quite the assassin with 40+ kills to her credit, each one a step in the direction of taking down the rogue group that killed her beloved husband and took away the father of her children.

Believe it or not, this was a light hearted, almost slapstick thriller. Were there tense moments and scintillating action? You bet. But it was told with quick quips and sarcastic humor and kept mostly PG-13. Think of movies like Killers, This Means War or even The Spy Next Door. There were some dark moments, especially towards the end, but overall I spent more time giggling than shocked or dismayed.

Melissa Moran did a great job bringing the characters to life. The tone and inflection were spot on. I especially loved the Stepford-esque quality she gave to the Perfect Housewife Advice at the beginning of most of the chapters. The had me snorting and cackling with the over the top tips and tricks to keeping your household running smoothly while eliminating your enemies.

Overall, this was quite an enjoyable read. There were enough twists to keep me interested, and some interesting 180's that I never saw coming. The story left me satisfied, but wanting more, so 4 stars.

56 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Unleashed

  • A Sydney Rye Series, Book 1
  • By: Emily Kimelman
  • Narrated by: Sonja Field
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 175

One of Joy Humbolt's dog walking clients turns up dead and she begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity and then out of anger. As she digs deep into the secrets of Manhattan's elite, Joy gets too close to the killer with disastrous consequences.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I hope the sties is as Interesting as Book 1.

  • By stephen on 08-16-16

Coming of Age intertwined with a detective mystery

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

Reviewed: 09-21-14

I am not sure exactly what I was kind of book this would be when I requested it from Audiobook Jukebox. I have seen the series around, downloaded the first book for free from Amazon, and even did a Choose the Narrator Tour for the series back in March. But I hadn't read it. One thing I can say: this is not a cozy mystery. It is very much a cross between a thriller and a detective mystery interwined with a coming of age story. Because that's what Joy Humbolt does in the book, she grows up the hard way.

The book opens on Joy Humbolt telling us she became Sydney Rye, how it all started. Joy is a young woman, who's biggest problem each day is how blitzed to get when she goes out with her brother and friends. As a pretentious barista in a non chain coffee shop, and recently breaking up with her loser boyfriend Marcus, she snaps and loses in the middle of her shift. The victim, a middle aged woman who comes in orders a drink, really wanting a Frappuccino® trademark item, but clueless about what she will really be getting. Needless to say the manager fires her, especially after she makes a comment about him masturbating in the beans. Yes, Joy is that young and stupid.

In a fit of pique, she heads off to the pound to get a dog. One that will give her the unconditional love and support that she hasn't been able to find from either a boyfriend or her mother. She ends up with Blue. Blue has one blue eye, one brown eye, has the head shape of a collie, with the body size of a great dane and the coloring of a siberian husky. He is a big, big dog, but she falls in love with him at first glance. It is Blue that leads her neighbor to tell Joy about a friend of a friend who knows someone who has a dog walking business she wants to sell. Which leads to her discovering a dead body and eventually becoming Sydney Rye.

This wasn't like anything I have read before. I tend to stick to cozy mysteries, though I am a fan of soft-boiled mysteries. This was darker, harder, grittier. Joy had to grow up fast and is left to deal with the consequences of her actions and how they affect other people. She ends up seeing the darker side of humanity, both in others and in herself.

Sonja Field had an interesting take on Joy. Sonja really nailed a lot of the voices, especially that New York Jewish motherly tone and the bored socialites. One voice in particular, I didn't agree with, at least not until after the book ended and I really thought about it. Now I think she was foreshadowing with her voice. Scary good job. The most interesting thing was the change in Joy's voice and tone. She starts as an annoying Young Adult and gradually progresses into something more mature and seasoned.

This reminded me very much of the Holly Barker series by Stuart Woods. It's definitely not for everyone, but I do think I will be going back for seconds. There are several books in the series out, and I am sure that more audiobooks will follow. This earned 3 stars from me.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Almost Perfect

  • By: Julie Ortolon
  • Narrated by: Jane Cramer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 175
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 154
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 160

Maddy, Christine, and Amy, friends since college, are thrilled to learn their old suitemate's self-help book, How to Have a Perfect Life, has become a smashing bestseller - until they realize she used them as negative examples of how women let fear mess up their lives. The worst part is…it's sort of true. So, the three friends make a pact: They each have one year to face down their fears - and prove Miss Perfect wrong!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfectly fluffy

  • By Bryony on 03-16-14

Enjoyed the interactions between the friends.

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

Reviewed: 09-07-14

Maddie had put her art career on hold while her husband had cancer. She stepped in to help run his accounting firm, and now since his passing, she hasn't done anything towards rekindling earlier desire of making a name for herself. Maddie is charged with getting her art in a gallery and an offer to work as an Art Coordinator for a summer camp near Santa Fe, seems the perfect opportunity. Just one big problem, her high school boyfriend Joe, is the Camp Director. She hopes to clear the air with him and maybe once again become friends. Only Joe hasn't forgotten, nor has he forgiven her.

Maddie and Joe had sparks right from the start. When Joe finds out his mother has hired Maddie behind his back, he tries to make her leave. They share a history, but have since grown and changed and become new people. I think second chance at love stories work best when both of the couple have not only changed since they were together last, but still have growth opportunities available. This was especially true for Maddie and Joe. I enjoyed the story and though this is part of a trilogy, the only cliffhanger is what happens to Christine in her story. I would listen to the next 2 books, as I really enjoyed the interactions between the women.

I think Jane Cramer did a good job on the narration. Though she didn't really change up the tone of the different voices, she did give each one it's own distinct rhythm and cadence that made it clear which character was speaking. I was pleased with the overall performance and would listen to her again. This was a solid 3 stars.