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Candace

Amarillo, TX, United States
  • 32
  • reviews
  • 374
  • helpful votes
  • 141
  • ratings
  • The Secret of Pembrooke Park

  • By: Julie Klassen
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Jasicki
  • Length: 18 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 782
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 726
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 723

Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her - a longtime friend - has fallen for her younger, prettier sister. When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for 18 years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A movie playing in my mind

  • By Briana on 03-09-15

Longest secret ever!

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

Reviewed: 09-20-15

I liked the overall story enough, but to be honest, I almost switched to another book about 5 times. The narrator was good, but she read so SLOWLY! It didn't bother me most of the time, and her voice was pleasant enough that I could deal with it, but it just made the book drag on even more.

I enjoyed the overall story, but it seemed like it could have been told in 6-8 hours instead of over 18! I almost cried when I realized there was a part 2 and had to continue on.

It was very romantic, and I enjoyed that part, though the heroine had a LITTLE too much trouble making up her mind. It was an easy listen and I enjoyed the mystery and the family. I felt that the Christian aspect was a bit forced, though. Like the author had the story all mapped out and then remembered she was a Christian author and threw in some Christianity.

I'm being extra harsh, but it's just how I felt while listening. Some parts moved along faster than others, and I found myself really intrigued at times, which is why I gave it 3 stars. I just think there was a lot of filler, a lot of extra description, and a lot of deviation from the plot that left me wondering why it was even in the book. Left me guessing for the most part, and left me wanting more and much less at the same time.

I expect a LOT from my Christian fiction. I don't make allowances for bad writing just because it's "Christian literature." Check out Tamara Leigh, or Francine Rivers. Much more intrigue, and I always wish the books were longer.... not shorter, as in this case.

That being said, this isn't my first book by this author. I enjoyed her other book, "The Silent Governess" so I will probably check out more by her.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Etiquette & Espionage

  • Finishing School, Book 1
  • By: Gail Carriger
  • Narrated by: Moira Quirk
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,998
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,734
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,743

Fourteen-year old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea - and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy - Mrs. Temminnick is desperate her daughter become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right - but it's a different kind of finishing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Light, Fun YA Steampunk Novel

  • By Rebecca on 02-11-13

A YA with CLASS!

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

Reviewed: 04-03-15

After the first few chapters of Etiquette and Espionage, I bought the next 2 books in the series.(Both are great, and I've pre-ordered book 4) It's simply a brilliant portrayal of a fantastical steampunk universe, set in Victorian England.

You are completely immersed in a world with robots, hot air balloon ships, schools for evil geniuses and finishing schools for young ladies of (deadly) quality. Oh... AND Werewolves and Vampires.

Being set in the Victorian era, etiquette and decorum reign, which is hilarious along side the espionage part. The names are perfect, as some are completely ridiculous. (Lord Dingleproops? Mrs. Barnacle-Goose?) But you completely believe everything. The writing makes you love the characters, but also moves enough in the plot to make it thrilling! Sophoronia is one of my favorite literary characters now, but there are so many in the books to love! Soap, Dimity, Vieve! It's such a colorful and exciting world that I can't believe it's not more mainstream! It's excellently written, and surprisingly relevant. Very "Harry Potter-esque" I would say. The whole idea of the characters going to a secret school and taking strange classes in eye-lash fluttering, deception training, dancing and poisons.

Also addressed are the issues of race and class in an era where the divide for both was enormous. Done tastefully, historically accurate, yet very open to multiple things.

If you are tired of the Dystopian YA, switch it up from being a kick butt rebel heroine, to a young lady of quality! (Who honestly, is a kick butt rebel heroine.) :)

  • Attachments

  • A Novel
  • By: Rainbow Rowell
  • Narrated by: Laura Hamilton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,516
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,250
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,255

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder, coworkers at The Courier, know the newspaper monitors their office e-mail. But they still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers, and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill still can’t believe that it’s his job to monitor other people’s e-mail.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just what I'd hoped for

  • By J-L-UU on 05-30-11

Hurray for Daily Deals!

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

Reviewed: 08-20-14

This is a book I wouldn't have purchased had I not seen it for sale on the Daily Deal. For $2, I thought I'd take a chance and boy did it pay out.

I was on a road trip so I was able to listen to it in it's entirety in one day. I laughed, I cried, I longed for the ending I wanted but couldn't see how in the world it would ever happen. It was an incredible LIFE story... Love, life, family, friends, coming of age...if it can be called that being about a guy in his late 20s. It was so enjoyable and definitely had it's twists and turns. There were predictable moments too, but not in a bad way at all. I loved the humor, the silliness, and the overall "realness" the story had. It felt like these were actually people that could exist, and they were people I wanted to know and hang out with. Well, all except for his Lincoln's friend Justin.

I liked that it was CLEAN. No graphic sex or anything of that nature. Justin had an obsession with the F-word though. But it was his character. I feel like we all know "THAT guy" and we all kind of despise that guy... but he had his moments. Just be prepared for a ton of cussing whenever he's involved in a chapter. I share my books with my parents, and this is one I WISH I could share, but I know they don't like swearing and would not appreciate listening to it, despite how good the rest of the book was.

SO. READ it. It was an easy listen, but with humor, romance, friendship, heartache, tragedy and gumption. Definitely a repeat listen, and a high recommendation from me. Enjoy!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Full Steam Ahead

  • By: Karen Witemeyer
  • Narrated by: Carine Montbertrand
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185

When Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston from an eastern finishing school, she's stunned to find her father in ill health. Though she loves him, he's only ever focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run their family business, Renard Shipping. Vowing to secure a suitable marriage partner, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure: a dagger personally gifted to Nicole's father by the pirate Jean Lafitte.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Expected More

  • By Candace on 08-07-14

Expected More

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

Reviewed: 08-07-14

I've been a HUGE Karen Witemeyer fan since I first read "A Tailor Made Bride." "Full Steam Ahead" didn't feel like the author I fell for in that first novel. While parts of the story were very good, I didn't connect with the characters as I had in her previous novels. It's something that I can't pinpoint, or put my finger on, but it was frustrating. I loved the historical aspect of the story, and the science behind the steam engines, but it seemed like so much was repeated, plot lines were emphasized and re-emphasized again, and I wanted more than that. Frankly, I expected more than that.

A big issue was probably the narration. Yet again, 2nd book in a row, an old sounding narrator for a book about young people. I honestly feel like had the book had a better narrator, one that didn't speak so slowly, or emphasize certain words the same way every time like, "Lafitte Dagger," it would have been smoother, and I could have connected more to the characters. Now, Carine Montbertrand was definitely not as bad as the narrator for "Stealing the Preacher." That's a book I had to return and buy in print. Looking back, I might buy this one as well and re-read it.

I felt like giving the overall rating of this book a 3 out of 5, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt by making it a 4. I enjoyed the story, I liked how the characters met and interacted, but there was a disconnect somewhere.

Definitely worth the credit if you're a fan of Karen Witemeyer, or enjoy a nice easy listening Christian romance. It's just not up to the level I expected based on her previous works.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Bridge to Haven

  • By: Francine Rivers
  • Narrated by: Kate Forbes
  • Length: 17 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,898
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,695
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,690

To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she' s paid to finally feel like she' s somebody. To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Francine Rivers is the best for a reason.

  • By Candace on 05-06-14

Francine Rivers is the best for a reason.

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

Reviewed: 05-06-14

As a HUGE Francine Rivers fan, I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed in her two latest books (The Marta's Legacy Series). While good books, I felt they lacked the connection to the characters that I'd come to love about her other books. Whether it was the narration or the writing, I felt disconnected and disappointed.

Bridge to Haven is back to the Francine Rivers I adore. Redeeming Love and the Mark of the Lion series are my favorites by her, and Bridge to Haven is in their caliber. I laughed out loud, I cried, and I sang along with the Hymns that I recognized. The setting is fantastic, 40s-50s California, with references to all the old stars. Aubra will connect to so many girls/women of today, who feel they need to change themselves in order to be loved, that they have to be perfect or be discarded. It's a wonderful, touching, at times tragic, and at times lusty (did I just say lusty in reference to a Christian romance!?).

Francine finds a way to describe what Aubra goes through in regards to her search for love (ie: what normally are referred to as sex scenes but really aren't in this book). You experiences what she does, and are in the situation, without the graphic-ness that a secular book would have. If that's an issue, please don't let it deter you from the book. It's integral to the story, and is very tastefully written.

It's the best book I've read in a very long time. Francine Rivers books are always a cut above the rest and have a realness to them, and a way of the workings of God that a lot of other Christian fiction books tend to ignore in place of their own agendas. Francine's books are there to show us God's love for us, and Bridge to Haven does just that in a well written, hauntingly beautiful tale of a young girl searching for love and her place in the world.

HIGHLY recommended. Well worth your time.

55 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Once Upon a Prince

  • The Royal Wedding Series, Book 1
  • By: Rachel Hauck
  • Narrated by: Eleni Pappageorge
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 506
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 450
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449

A royal prince. An ordinary girl. An extraordinary royal wedding. Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by bestselling author Rachel Hauck, treats you to a modern-day fairy tale. Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess - just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn't going according to plan. When her high-school sweetheart breaks up with her instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Exactly what it seems, but so unexpected!

  • By Candace on 03-18-14

Exactly what it seems, but so unexpected!

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

Reviewed: 03-18-14

I hesitated buying it because it seemed cliche and just plain silly for a concept. But I found myself falling for the characters. And oddly enough, I was sold on the story. It became believable and sweet, romantic and real. The author created the world of Brighton and incorporated it into our world in such a way as to make the reader accept it without question.

Of course it's still a bit cliche, and silly, and a bit sappy, but while I don't usually like those things, I did in this story. I loved the characters and felt for them. It was a book that should have been just ok, but that I felt myself really enjoying.

Also, I thought she incorporated Christianity into it in such a way that made it part of the story. My pet peeve with Christian literature is when the author throws Christianity in as an afterthought. I like all kinds of literature, but if a Christian novel isn't centered on Christ, then what's the point?

Good writing, great characters, a sweet, romantic easy listen.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Hunt

  • By: Andrew Fukuda
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 298
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 265
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 269

Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them. Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • This had me on my toes from start to finish.

  • By Michelle on 07-09-12

A Teen vampire story... but a FANTASTIC one!

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

Reviewed: 03-17-14

I really enjoyed this book, FAR more than I expected. The story had me on the edge of my seat almost the whole time. INCREDIBLY action packed. I finished it in 3 days... and I haven't been on a road trip or anything! It took the place of television, especially the last day when I started and finished part 2. I was on the edge of my seat the last 5 hours. It was insane!

It's a great take on the vampire genre, bringing in the weird and intense differences between vampires and humans. It's got all of the elements of a great dystopian survivor story. It's very hard to explain or go on about this book without giving things away. LOTS of twists and turns! As I said, I couldn't stop listening and am planning on purchasing The Prey (book 2) when I finish writing this review.

WORD OF WARNING!
This book does have it's gross moments. The vampires salivate at the thought of humans (heepers) but they talk about how the drool runs down their chins and pools on the desks and floor. Thick blood dripping down their chins as they eat bloody raw meat drips into a bowl that fills up and they drink it at the end of the meal. There's also a couple VERY vivid descriptions about what happens to certain vampires in sunlight. I DID gag a couple times.

But all of that creates such an amazing picture of the world of the book, and I felt it added to the fear and intensity, although it grossed me out a bit.

Scary, exciting, mysterious and action packed, I don't understand why The Hunt doesn't have more of a following!

Splitting Harriet audiobook cover art
  • Splitting Harriet

  • By: Tamara Leigh
  • Narrated by: Angela Goethals
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

In this ACFW 2008 Book of the Year by CBA best-selling author Tamara Leigh, a Tennessee woman finds herself torn between the traditional faith of her father and the hip new ways of an infuriating charmer. Harriet becomes concerned when a brash consultant brings newfangled changes to her church. But if this former bad boy thinks he's going to take her for a ride on his motorcycle, he's crazy!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Warning! Christian Literature!

  • By Candace on 01-25-14

Warning! Christian Literature!

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

Reviewed: 01-25-14

There, you were warned. And that being said, this is an incredibly well written Christian book. After the prologue, my eyes were watery and I was just... "woah." More so than her other novel on here, "Perfecting Kate" (also fantastic, I highly recommend), this book has a LOT to do with God and the inner workings of the church, the fear of a split, the enormous pressure put on the family's of pastors and how, even though God forgives, people remember. Not a book to recommend to non-Christians. But Christians should definitely read this book.

Not only does it tackle the difficult business of modernizing a church, not alienating the older generation, but finding a way to bring everyone together, it's strong message on forgiveness is one that we all need a reminder on sometimes. And really, there is so much more. She completely captured church life, and the fear of "growing" a church.

I didn't find the book to be too slow. If it was paced faster, or abridged, you would miss the growth of the characters, why they change and why things happen, and the understanding of the characters' personalities. I like my books and movies to be about the characters, to know them, to feel their pain and their joy, and this book most certainly did that.

I was incredibly surprised by a pleasant find when I purchased "Perfecting Kate" on a whim. I have no idea what took me so long to get Splitting Harriet... Probably the idea of being disappointed after having my hopes up so high, expecting another great book. I needn't have worried. In all honesty, after just 2 books, Tamara Leigh has become my second favorite Christian author after Francine Rivers. Not only are her books fun and comedic, they are intense and deal with real issues. The integration of God into the lives of the characters and not just being an afterthought is what REAL Christian fiction is about. The characters aren't perfect, they struggle, and they overcome. I HIGHLY recommend this book to any Christian.

ps. There are many more books by Tamara Leigh, but they aren't in audio-form yet. I hope that this changes soon. I will definitely be purchasing the paperbacks of those and hope they become available soon.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

The Wedding Dress audiobook cover art
  • The Wedding Dress

  • By: Rachel Hauck
  • Narrated by: Eleni Pappageorge
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,673
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,461
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,472

Charlotte owns a Birmingham bridal boutique. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress - or feel certain she should marry Tim? Then Charlotte purchases a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new, shimmering with pearls and satin, hand stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Charlotte’s search for the gown’s history begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pleasantly Surprised

  • By Candace on 01-05-14

Pleasantly Surprised

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

Reviewed: 01-05-14

I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. I downloaded this book for a road trip I was taking and wanted something easy-listen. I've had a lot of thinking/action books lately and wanted something more simple. I enjoyed the back and forth between the past and the present. I could see where they were going with it a bit early on, but one part near the end did surprise me. It was a fun listen, worth your credit if you like Christian Romance. I'm very picky about my Christian literature because I like good writing, likable characters, and a plot that makes sense and makes me feel for the people involved. This book did those things and it was an enjoyable listen. The narration was also easy to listen to and pleasant. Best book ever!?!? No. Would I highly recommend it? Eh... I'd recommend it, but not highly. It was nice. Not an amazing work of literature, but I'm willing to check out more by this author based on this book.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • A Lady of High Regard

  • By: Tracie Peterson
  • Narrated by: Barbara Caruso
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

Born into affluence, Mia Stanley is a winsome socialite with a knack for matchmaking. She's also a writer for Godey's Lady's Book magazine, much to the dismay of her family - and their society friends. A proper young lady of her social standing isn't meant to labor in such a way, but Mia has always had a way with words.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I liked it!

  • By Susan on 01-23-12

Simple easy listen

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

Reviewed: 11-02-13

Would you consider the audio edition of A Lady of High Regard to be better than the print version?

I think that the reader/listener would get the same impact of the story in either format.

What did you like best about this story?

That it was a simple easy listen. It's what I pretty much expected when I bought it. I just wanted something that I didn't have to put too much into while listening to it, and it did just the job. Cute sweet story with a bit of a mystery and intrigue to it.

Which scene was your favorite?

I can't really say that one scene was my favorite.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really.

Any additional comments?

The character seemed to repeat a LOT of the information over and over again. I don't think it was necessary to repeat the plight of the seamen's wives over and over again with each person that the main character talked to. It was at LEAST 5 people she relays the info to and each time it's the exact same description. As a reader, I found it a bit annoying and was like, "ok, let's just get on with the story already!" The same happened with other information and conversations throughout the book, which is why I gave the story 3 stars instead of 4.

The main character was a bit immature and slightly annoying. As smart as she seemed to be, she made some really dumb choices. Also, I expect a lot in my Christian romance stories, and as good as this one, it seemed a bit labored in the religious area. Like the author had the story and was like, "oh, I'm a Christian author... better put in some Christianity." It felt out of place instead of being an integral part of the story. It would have been the perfect opportunity for the main character to share the Lord with the seamen's wives who had been taken advantage of, and to have them all pray together or something, and for it to be spread in that way. But I feel this was a completely missed opportunity on the author's part.

Simple easy listen to a cute story. Some annoyances, but overall cute. I'll most likely get the rest of the series for the heck of it.