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  • What Angels Fear

  • Sebastian St. Cyr, Book 1
  • By: C. S. Harris
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,937
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,803
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,800

It's 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III's England. Then a beautiful young woman is found savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol found at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man - Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Addictive Series

  • By Bibliophile1963 on 10-17-16

Okay book. Wonderful performance.

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

Reviewed: 07-04-18

I got this book because I love Davina Porter’s narration. She never disappoints. The story was okay. I had to restart the book three or four times because I’d be several chapters in & realize I had no idea what what was going on. So it starts slow. And I had trouble keeping the male characters straight. I guess it just wasn’t very engaging for me. Wonderful narration, though.

  • Brooklyn

  • A Novel
  • By: Colm Toibin
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 639
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 579
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 581

Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind. Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street and, when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • ended too soon

  • By Tina Pasadena on 05-02-17

It's Okay, No Real Conclusion

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

Reviewed: 06-15-18

Listening to this, it seemed like a big wind-up with no follow-through. It was like a story was building, but never happened. I thought at first that I was missing a part of the download when the story ended so abruptly with not much really happening.

  • The Olive Branch

  • By: Jo Thomas
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 235
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 216
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 221

It's amazing what you can buy online these days: memorabilia, fashion accessories, a crumbling Italian farmhouse.... After a Prosecco-fuelled girls' night in gets out of hand, Ruthie Collins awakes to discover that she has bid for her dream Italian home online - and won. Recently out of a relationship, a new start is just what Ruthie needs. Anything is better than sleeping on her mum's settee.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • For fans of house flipping AND cooking shows!

  • By Connie on 09-14-15

Nothing Special, Somewhat Annoying

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

Reviewed: 06-15-18

I have two main issues with this book. First, the narrator's performance doesn't seem to fit the writing. She reads with a hurried, breathless, oh-so-seriously-dramatic, sometimes inappropriately sad/tearful voice. It does not fit the portions of the story that (I think) were supposed to be humorous. I kept thinking that Zara Ramm would have been a perfect narrator, as some portions of the book seem to have the kind of self-deprecating humor of Jodi Taylor's Chronicles of St. Mary's. But the way the book is read, it comes off as someone seeming annoyingly, immaturely, taking herself and her situations way too seriously. The narrator makes the main character sound like she's about to burst into tears over the stupidest things. My second issue is that the story is really predictable. It has the irritating characters-mind-reading-each-other "misunderstandings" that too many writers use in writing romance elements of a story. The main character comes off kind of not so bright, too. There's a scene at a market where she wants to buy one container of strawberries, but worries that the vendor will pretend not to understand and will "make" her buy more than she needs (again). Seriously? What person, even with no knowledge of a vendor's language, couldn't hold up a single finger to signal "one," and shake one's head if offered more than one item? It was not the huge problem that the writing and performance made it out to be. By the last few chapters I just wanted to get through it. Great premise. Execution poor. The writing may have come off a bit better with a more lighthearted, humorous performance.

  • The Forever Summer

  • By: Jamie Brenner
  • Narrated by: Amy McFadden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260

Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it's paid off: On the cusp of 30, she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and her father's hard-won admiration. But with one careless mistake at work, Marin suddenly finds herself unemployed and alone. Before she can summon the courage to tell her parents, a young woman appears, claiming to be Marin's half sister. Seeking answers, Marin agrees to join her on a soul-searching journey to Cape Cod, to meet the family she didn't even know she had.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Summer chick lit beach read at its finest!

  • By Sandy Toes on 08-02-17

Didn't Live Up to Its Potential

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

Reviewed: 04-10-18

I didn't hate this book. But didn't love it, either. On the one hand, the resolutions were overly easy/simple, pretty formulaic romance novel stuff. On the other hand, getting to those overly sugary endings meant going through some pretty depressing stuff. I liked the setting for the story. And the narrator did a really good job. The characters were okay - I didn't hate them, but it's hard to be sympathetic to so many cheaters. There was an over-reliance on characters mind-reading, jumping to incorrect conclusions about each others' motivations. With the setting, the premise, and the narrator, this could have been a much more enjoyable book had it not been this odd combination of darkness & saccharin.

  • Fuzzy Nation

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi - introduction
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,727
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,870
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,877

In John Scalzi's re-imagining of H. Beam Piper's 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy, written with the full cooperation of the Piper Estate, Jack Holloway works alone for reasons he doesnt care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorps headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporations headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, thats not up for discussion.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Short, sweet, and satisfying storytelling.

  • By Samuel Montgomery-Blinn on 05-11-11

He Said, She Said

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

Reviewed: 06-10-17

Loved the story and Wheaton's performance. As usual, the one, major, painfully annoying aspect of ANY Scalzi book is his insistence on writing dialogue thusly:
"Blah blah," he said.
"Blah blah blah," she said.
"Blah?" he said.
"Blah blah," she said.

Geeze! Love his stories. But it will probably be a year before I can tolerate another book full of "he said, she said."

  • The Laundry Hag's Christmas Rental

  • By: Jennifer L. Hart
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Cerreta
  • Length: 5 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

Miami is a hotbed of criminal activity, but no one expects to be robbed by Santa himself! With the big jolly man in the bright red suit doing a few B&Es in the neighborhood, Maggie's vacation is soon swapped out for a criminal investigation. And she's teaming up with a new neurotic partner. Holiday hilarity ensues when Damaged Goods and the Laundry Hag join forces for a takedown you won't want to miss!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another in a great series by J Hart!

  • By Mary on 11-07-17

Hart Disappoints

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

Reviewed: 04-28-17

I found Jennifer Hart through Devil in the Junior League, one of my favorite books. I enjoy her Pasta Shop series and, usually, her Laundry Hag series. But I hate this crossover book. When I realized that it was a crossover, I decided to listen to the Damaged Goods books before listening to Christmas Rental, so that I would know the characters from Miami. Big mistake. The 1st Damaged Goods book was okay, mildly annoying. I couldn't finish the 2nd one, and returned the 3rd one without ever downloading it. By the middle of the 2nd Damaged Goods book, I loathed the main character, Jackie, and her brother in law, Logan. Unfortunately, this Christmas Rental book seems to be more about Jackie and Logan than about the Laundry Hag. I won't even be able to finish listening to his book. I really don't understand the hard turn Jennifer Hart has taken with these Miami characters & story. I feel like I'm listening to a cheesy fan-fic writer casting herself as a character in her own romantic fantasy.

  • The Glass Kitchen

  • By: Linda Francis Lee
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 755
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 684
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 688

Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan... and never cook again. But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets 12-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I was pulled right in from the start!

  • By Karen on 12-08-15

My Least Favorite From This Author

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

Reviewed: 11-21-16

I loved, loved, loved The Devil in the Junior League. Enjoyed the Ex-Debutante. Emily & Einstein was different, but engaging & enjoyable. The Glass Kitchen? I'll finish it, but it's a disappointment in comparison. Way too much of a bodice-ripping romance novel, not at all like her previous works. I end up FFing through graphic love scenes. I wish the focus had been more on "the Knowing." I feel like the author didn't know how to develop that central part of the story, so the book got padded with a lot of cheesy romance novel stuff instead.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Wedding Dress

  • By: Rachel Hauck
  • Narrated by: Eleni Pappageorge
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,669
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,458
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,469

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

Okay. Not what I expected.

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

Reviewed: 10-17-16

Wish the description had made clear that this was Christian romance. I've read plenty of Christian works, but I like knowing what I'm getting into. The religious angle was very heavy in this book. And there was one loose end left hanging - unless I missed an explanation of a certain character.

  • The Wedding Gift

  • By: Marlen Suyapa Bodden
  • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia, January LaVoy
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 916
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 842
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 844

When Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa’s hand in marriage, he presents her with a wedding gift: the young slave she grew up with, Sarah. Sarah is also Allen’s daughter and Clarissa’s sister, a product of his longtime relationship with his house slave, Emmeline. When Clarissa’s husband suspects that their newborn son is illegitimate, Clarissa and Sarah are sent back to her parents, Cornelius and Theodora, in shame, setting in motion a series of events that will destroy this once-powerful family.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow! You must listen to this audio book!

  • By C. Crawford on 01-19-14

I Really Wanted to Like This Book. But -

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

Reviewed: 08-06-16

Having recently listened to The Invention of Wings, this book pales in comparison. That makes me sad, because I really wanted to like this book. The performances are fine. The writing, however, is somewhat painful.

Like The Invention of Wings, the story is told from the perspective of two women - one a black slave, the other a free white. But the writing is awkward. The two perspectives do not interweave well. The first three chapters were all from one woman's perspective. I almost gave up on the book before finally getting to Jenna Lamia's character.

The writing for January LaVoy's character is particularly annoying. In dialogue, the character (Sarah) can be so simple and slow-witted that I'd like to smack her. But in first person exposition, the character uses language that is ridiculously unrealistic for a slave of that era. For example: "...Mr. and Mrs. Allen misjudged my ability to anticipate and prevent Clarissa's impetuous disregard for the moral edicts to which she was bound..." Seriously? This is a slave telling her story?

The experience of the slaves seems rather gentle, and the interactions between slaves and owners seem overly familiar and friendly. It's a rather romanticized version of a slavery-era story, wherein the slave owner treats his slaves better than he does his own wife and daughter.

The dialogue is clunky throughout. Dialogue that turns into something more akin to alternating monologues is used to accomplish extensive exposition. Too much of the story is told through passive exposition rather than unfolding action. It just feels like the product of a very inexperienced author - like a first attempt by a college freshman in an introductory composition class.

I'd have returned the book unfinished, but I purchased it through a special (spend 4 credits in a month and get a $10 account credit). So, I forced myself through the book to hear the story, in spite of the writing (and in spite of seeing the twist coming from a mile away). Only the talent of the readers allowed me to continue to listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Murder á la Flambé

  • Southern Pasta Shop Mysteries Book 2
  • By: Jennifer L. Hart
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Cerreta
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231

Andy Buckland isn't thrilled when sexpot celebrity chef Lacy L'Amour decides to open a competing ethnic restaurant in small-town Beaverton - right across the street from Andy's pasta shop, the Bowtie Angel. And matters heat up when L'Amour sets her sights on both Andy's customers and her man, Malcolm Jones, who has been acting strange lately. But all of that pales in comparison when Andy's long-lost daughter is suspected of arson.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Liked this one too!

  • By Mary on 10-07-15

Fun Series

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

Reviewed: 06-05-16

I'm very much enjoying this series. The writing is fun and humorous. The mysteries are "light" - likely not the stuff for serious mystery lovers. But I enjoy them. The books are easy listens that make me smile, and I love the narration. The Audible version of a good "beach read."