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tina

  • 52
  • reviews
  • 144
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  • 610
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  • Man Hands

  • By: Tanya Eby, Sarina Bowen
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels, Erin Mallon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 773
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 724
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 722

At 34, I'm reeling from a divorce. I don't want to party or try to move on. I just want to stay home and post a new recipe on my blog: Brynn's Dips and Balls. But my friends aren't having it. Get out there again, they say. It will be fun, they say. I'm still taking a hard pass. Free designer cocktails, they say. And that's a game-changer. Too bad my ex shows up with his new arm candy. That's when I lose my mind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Romantic Comedy Gold!

  • By bookbruin on 03-15-18

Ten- star rollicking fun good time!

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

I haven't had this much fun in a romance audiobook EVER.
The story is well laid out, superbly edited, and the narration will really raise the bar for other such productions. Both narrators did really great job...actually...their PERFORMANCE was one of the best in over 1000 audiobooks of any genre. Its difficult to pull off good comic narration, but they did it so well i felt like the characters were right in front of me and i knew them.

But the best part was the witty, ribald inner dialogue that was right out of reality...get ready for realistic expletives. i bought the sequel with my last credit halfway thru!
no cliffhanger. all loose ends tied up.
Ten stars to this talented duo!

  • Protecting Dakota

  • Sleeper SEALs, Book 1
  • By: Susan Stoker, Suspense Sisters
  • Narrated by: Stella Bloom
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 255
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228

Dakota James's life has become the stuff of nightmares. The leader of the Ansar al-Shari'a terrorist group has become obsessed with her, determined to take her as his wife. On the run, she'll have to pin her hopes on the retired SEAL charged with finding and stopping Aziz Fourati before he can carry out plans to bomb more US airports. Recently recruited to join a sleeper SEAL team tasked with fighting terrorism on US soil, Slade "Cutter" Cutsinger, with the help of some Special Forces friends, has located the one woman who can identify the deadly leader.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • silver fox... I mean, SEAL <3

  • By seelk on 09-12-17

A Plot with too many holes

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

Reviewed: 08-25-18

Romances with hot older dudes are few and far between, especially in military romance. I couldn't wait to dig into this one. While the plot sounded intriguing, you had to decide early on whether to continue in view of the sheer implausibility (such as she sneaks out after bombing and no one notices except some unknown gov agency that taps a retired SEAL but NOT the FBI?). I stuck it out. It is unique to have older protagonists.

It was disappointing when it became a "love at first sight" thing for him falling for her pic and her falling for first sight and confessing it all immediately and then this serial bachelor is suddenly all in, and beginning and ending each sentence calling her "luv".

The writer may not have any experience with these kind of guys, which would explain how she portrays some of them. The mens' dialogue is what a woman would WANT a man to sound like. But in reality they Don't sound like that. Especially these kind of guys. There are the usual problems with strategy, tactics and practices that plague this genre sometimes, but they were minor compared to the overarching weakness in the story and the romance.

The one thing Stoker has going for her is she can tell a story, has a good sense of place, and the pacing kept it moving briskly. More research or draft readers who get the spec ops community would be beneficial.

  • Some Kind of Hero

  • By: Suzanne Brockmann
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin, Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 340
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302

Navy men don't come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can't he handle one 15-year-old girl? His ex's death left him a single dad overnight and very unprepared. Though he can't relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe - until the day she disappears. Though Pete's lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie's in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Old Brockmann still not back yet

  • By tina on 07-11-17

Old Brockmann still not back yet

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

Reviewed: 07-11-17

Brockmann's two Navy Seal series were the gold standard in romantic suspense for a long time. They still remain my favorite books in a vast audio library. But not this one which I will be returning.
Brockmann took a few years off to pursue other projects including helping her daughter's writing career in YA. She turned out a few aborted series starters in the interim--the futuristic Born to Darkness and the Troubleshooters offshoot Do or Die. Both these seemed still born and weren't continued as they fell a little flat with fans, altho I did like Born to Darkness somewhat and was waiting in vain for book 2. Having re-listened to the two SEAL series several times in the intervening years, I have been waiting for this book for a long time. Several years in fact.
But 3.5 hours in, I was done.
The action starts out fairly solid--a lukewarm chase with a lot of casual chitchat when things should have been a little more intense and not in character with a supposed SEAL. But its distracted by self-consciousness of a writer whose only frame of reference remaining creatively is her author-side. So the heroine, who is a romantic suspense author is talking with her characters in her head and this oddity continues.
This book doesn't have the focused impact of her previous suspense works altho it really had potential with the daughters framing for a theft by what appears a sociopathic high school peer. But unfortunately the deliver is choppy and disjointed. We are suddenly in his house full of old characters from the previous books in a scene that seemed suddenly there without preamble. If you haven't read the previous books its awash in a dozen new characters with idle banter and a lot of "family" stuff. I say that because it just becomes all about kids, the inner lives of tertiary character kids not involved in the plot, but kids of previous characters.
The oddest part was happening upon a scene where the old troubleshooters gang of mostly spouses are casually talking about romantic tropes of "mystery baby" that romance writers use--you know the one: girl has fling, disappears pregnant, guy finds out 1-20 years later, has to save baby/grown child... Most romance authors use it at some point. And here these characters are apropos of nothing discussing it while waiting for Peter to come home from looking for daughter. It was weird.
I love and am grateful for Suzanne Brockmann and hope she gets her mojo back. This wasn't it.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Just My Luck

  • Escape to New Zealand, Book 5
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Claire Bocking
  • Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 452
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 411
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 409

Nate Torrance has a job to do, and the biggest rugby boots in the world to fill. He can't afford to lose his focus, especially not to a brown-eyed Canadian who pushes all his buttons and looks much too good in a climbing harness. Allison Villiers may not know what she wants to do with her life, but she's clear about one thing. She's not impressed by the new captain of the All Blacks, however big a deal he is to the rest of New Zealand.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Man Code Explained

  • By PenName on 01-18-15

Stories about real-life hot men in NewZealand

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

Reviewed: 09-25-15

This is shortest review I've ever written for two incredibly difficult, detailed romances for the price of one. A lot of sadness that James injects with great realism, fortitude, old fashioned "winning" the girl, but modern courtships and pain that lead to Very Teary Happy-Ever-Afters. Nate and Liam really work hard to win their burned ladies in very different and concurrent courtships. Hardcore romantics are gonna love this.

NO Need to have read previous books in series to love this book. This is my first in series, and I'm gonna buy them all. My gratitude to Rosalind James is huge.
For younger readers who "haven't been around the block", pay very close attention to the insight into male behavior which is completely on par.
CAUTION: I actually looked up the team mentioned in the book--New Zealand's All Blacks and not only do they exist, but everything the author says about the bodies in the book bear out online and will cause old-fashioned fainting spells. Hyperventilation, hot sweats and other adverse reacations may occur. Be forewarned.
-teary, but hot n' bothered
Buy this book.
tina

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Archangel's Enigma

  • Guild Hunter Series #8
  • By: Nalini Singh
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,108
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,037
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,036

Naasir is the most feral of the powerful group of vampires and angels known as the Seven, his loyalty pledged to the Archangel Raphael. When rumors surface of a plot to murder the former archangel of Persia, now lost in the Sleep of the Ancients, Naasir is dispatched to find him. For only he possesses the tracking skills required - those more common to predatory animals than to man. Enlisted to accompany Naasir, Andromeda, a young angelic scholar with dangerous secrets, is fascinated by his nature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Most unforgetable couple of the year

  • By tina on 09-04-15

Most unforgetable couple of the year

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

Reviewed: 09-04-15

To be honest?
I wasn't looking forward to this one. I couldn't see how Nalini Singh was going to make a delicious hero out of Nasser, the strangely animalistic one of The Seven. Was he intriguing in lead up books? Oh sure. There is no end to Ms. Singh's imagination. But I wasn't seeing it--him as leading romantic male.

But then I didn't see how she was going to make the callous manipulative Dmitri a leading hero, and now he perches at the top of my best-hero-of-all-time of 700 books. And now? Nasser is up there too.
So Ms. Singh has done it again. Its really a great story, fascinating character development that builds over the course of the book, and what I really enjoyed was the determined courtship and the receptive female--none of the usual weird contrived reasons she couldn't go for him. Yet--you have to really wait for Nasser to go back in time to find the missing key to unlock his mate, so you get the delicious slow build they've both been dying for. Its really a wonderful tale.

AND amidst this fabulous romance, we get more intense plot development about the awakening archangels, and yet another white knuckle battle with the incalculably evil Li Juan. I really thought that plot line was on an ending arc, but turns out Ms. Singh's got lots in store for us, a couple new magnificent characters and some shocking new developments with Aiden and "Bluebell" Ilyum (sp?). I've been most curious to see how The Legion and the Primary would develop out, but she's keeping us dangling.

This is not a book to jump into if you are new to the series. In this fantasy/romance genre this is one of the best series out there. You will not regret starting at the beginning.

A++ for both Nalini Singh and Justine Eyre.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Fatal Pursuit

  • By: Elisabeth Naughton
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181

Five years ago, Aegis Security op manager Marley Addison's lover died in a South American raid gone horribly wrong...or so she thought. When she receives a phone call telling her that he is still very much alive and in danger, she vows to bring him home safely, even if Aegis CEO and former Navy SEAL Jake Ryder has kept her out of the field for the last few years. Then Jake shows up in Colombia to help her, leaving Marley annoyed...and more than a little distracted by her alarmingly handsome boss.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Delicious Fun & Satisfying Girl Power Moments!

  • By tina on 08-01-15

Delicious Fun & Satisfying Girl Power Moments!

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

Reviewed: 08-01-15

There were quite a few points in the first half of the book that I was really cheering Marley on and enjoyed quite a bit of satisfaction at Jake's shock at Marley's sheer competance in the field. I enjoyed that Naughton had a bit of fun at Jake's expense--a former Navy SEAL who's squeamish in the jungle, and whose own survival skills are more akin to an office mgr than a former operative ;) Oh, don't get me wrong; you never the get the feeling he's any less a hot He-Man (or "alpha" if you prefer). Its just that more often than not, old stereotypes prevail in this type of novel and its nice that Naughton had some fun and gave us some satisfying surprises. Such as when, early in the book, Marley does the Walk, announcing to Jake She's Done. She doesn't get all drama on him. She just does the walk and how often do we wish we could be as poised in our resignation or disgust with a pompous thoughtless boss?

It turns out that despite Jake's relegating Marley to office/operational support, she's quite expert in the field and doesn't make any fanfare about establishing a base camp, catching and prepping dinner with MaGyver-like aptitude in the jungle. Meanwhile our hero shows up with a palm frond after being gone for hours. His mouth agape response at sleeping and food accomodations by Ms Daniel Boone was hilarious.

The story is a another fun, seat of your pants adventure, but it really relies on too many autorial conveniences, making turns in action kind of predictable, which is why I've only offered 4 stars for overall and for the story. The chemistry and the banter between the two is top notch and very enjoyable. Very often during the middle of the book I would stop what I was doing to really concentrate on listening to the dialogue. For that reason, I'm not going to forget this book in the next couple weeks.

But I object that our saavy, sharp Marley is painted as blind to the machinations of rescued ex boyfriend. And that maybe she is purposely being blind, maybe even being so out of spite to Jake's hostility. There's a necessity in writing romance that there's got to be conflict and Jake's particular commitment and esteem issues I think would've been enough to meet the requirement without some of the ridiculousness of the character never finding her tongue to reject a marriage proposal and just weakly going along with it in the lack of so many other things.

We don't really resolve Jakes esteem issues which would have been more realistic than all the shenanigans that ensued. Those shortcomings aside, I still enjoyed the listen in spite of a tad bit of eye rolling and would recommend this to those who like the action romance genre, and especially to those frustrated girl warriors out there.

It looks like Ronan, Marley's half-brother, will get his own tale soon which will be an auto-download for me!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Do or Die

  • Reluctant Heroes, Book 1
  • By: Suzanne Brockmann
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor, Melanie Ewbank
  • Length: 19 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 893
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 790
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 793

Navy SEAL Ian Dunn went rogue in a big way when he turned his talents to a lawless life of jewel heists and con jobs - or so the world has been led to believe. In reality, the former Special Ops warrior is still fighting for good, leading a small band of freelance covert operatives who take care of high-stakes business in highly unofficial ways. That makes Ian the hands-down choice when the US government must breach a heavily guarded embassy and rescue a pair of children kidnapped by their own father, a sinister foreign national willing to turn his kids into casualties.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Suzanne Brockmann hits another out of ballpark!

  • By Red Apple Reader on 03-07-14

Skip this one.

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

Reviewed: 06-20-15

I would doubt anyone is a bigger fan of Ms Brockmann, and it was with eager anticipation that I got this in Audio and paperback. Three attempts to continue on with reading/listening were aborted in the first third of the book. I never got into either of the leads at all, had zero interest in either of them, and it seemed too elaborate a premise, too cluttered.

Lawlor and Ewbank have narrated other of Brockmann's books and really added to them, but they couldn't save this.

I can't wait for the next of brockmann's books, but I'll tuck this one away under false starts and hope she continues instead with the futuristic series she began a few years ago.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Cat's Lair

  • By: Christine Feehan
  • Narrated by: Karen White
  • Length: 15 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 421
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 391
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 392

Cat Benoit has finally escaped the past - and the man who was the source of her nightmares. She's off the grid, underground but watchful, and creating a new life for herself in Texas, far from the torrid dangers of her native New Orleans. She's safe. He'll never find her this time. Cat has to believe that. It's the only thing keeping her sane.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Been a fan for years, BUT.....

  • By Therese M. Staller on 05-15-15

Repetitive, Dark Disturbing turn for Feehan

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

Reviewed: 05-09-15

This latest in Feehan's Leopard series takes a dark turn into an area I'd rather pass on. What should be a romance, is more the submission of a young abused girl to a domineering control freak that was an uncomfortable and at times distasteful read from a distinguished and talented author.
Until the past few years, I've been an ardent fan of Feehan. Illness and other issues seem to have affected her writing in the past 3 or so years in 3 different series. Leopards Prey and Savage Nature, the two previous books in the present series were wonderful romantic thrillers with rich plots and great characters that I've reread a couple times.

Feehan's males tend to be over-the-top, but especially in the previous Savage Nature, the hero Drake was sensitive and well-balanced as well. In this latest offering we see a radical, and to me, disturbing twist to a manipulative almost borderline sadistic male lead and I'm not talking about the bad guy. I'll give two examples and will try to be as delicate as possible. When the new couple is living together he tells her that in the morning before she leaves their bed her mouth is to be on one of two places, kissing him, or on his...(I'll let your imagination fill in the blanks). He's not kidding, and this actually becomes an issue between them. His reasoning is not redeeming. Another example is the appalling comment toward the end that since she had given him her virginity, he could shape her learning to what he liked in a lover.

You know, a guy may think this, but it is reminiscent to me of what Warren Jeffs and guys who like to date little girls may be thinking. As an author, I'd have edited that portion out to at least make Ely more likeable.

These two examples illustrate a male lead who is hard to like, especially after he used her as bait when they met to draw out a mass murderer while (unknown to her) he was undercover and trying to get to know her.

There is a difference between the very popular so-called "alpha male" that is so popular in romantic fiction, and a domineering manipulative, control freak as Ely turns out to be. In Burning Wild, Feehan walked a very fine line with the character Jake Bannaconi, a story and character I very much enjoyed despite Jake's harsh and extreme nature. But Ely in Cat's Lair took it too far and left me with no sympathy towards Ely and hoping the couple would not get together--a first for me.

As other reviewers pointed out, this book had more sex in it than was tolerable. It is much more gratuitous "erotica" than it is romance and at least 2 hours could have been cut out. And its neverending, with several hours of back to back scenes that had me skipping entire sections. Imagine skipping a section and someone's mouth is still on another's body part, and skipping a section to the same thing? In all, I think I skipped about 2.5-3 hours of sex scenes and tolerated the last half hour only to feel disgust in the end.

I find little to redeem this book except a brief cameo by Jake and Emma from Burning Wild.

I think this signals the end of my loyalty to Feehan as an author and I cannot recommend this book unless you like extreme male characters of this nature.
If you like the shifter books, try the other two I mention above from Feehan which are well done and suspenseful, especially Savage Nature.
-t

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • The Edge of Courage

  • Red Team, Book 1
  • By: Elaine Levine
  • Narrated by: Eric G. Dove
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 217
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 199

Rocco Silas has come home to Wyoming after long years as a Red Team operative in Afghanistan. It isn't easy returning to civilian life, especially burdened as he is with a staggering case of PTSD or hunted as he is by an enemy determined to seek an eye-for-eye - neither of which can he battle until he confronts the truth of what happened one fateful day in the high mountain ranges of the Hindu Kush.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Imperfect Military Hero

  • By Audio Audits on 06-25-14

Finally! A fresh story that is gripping!

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

Reviewed: 03-25-15

This genre--the hardened war veteran band of brothers series--has been so done in the past decade. It has been very very hard for authors to replicate the success of Suzanne Brockmann's two series on the now overdone Navy SEALS. And I confess, I'm pretty burned out on a lot of mediocre listens and reads lately.

But in the Red Team series by Elaine Levine, we finally have a new contender and I was wary last nite as I watched the clock count down in the story, dreading the close of the story. This book opens on a new series of a different kind of special operator, one that seems to be a cross between "Alias" and "Green Berets". Sure, we have some of the common ingredients--horrible tragedy, PTSD, emotionally distant males, females who want to help, imminent danger from a bad bad evil requiring saving said female and more.

Levine does a lot here that will excite hardcore readers who have wearied of the genre or of romance. Where romance writing has been heading into S & M and dominance for a couple years (if I hear "alpha male" one more time, I'm gonna puke), this book is going to turn you over in a different direction. I'm torn between needing to tell other readers what a cool book this is, and not wanting to provide spoilers.

Rocco is all guy, all male, all warrior. But he's also brilliant and gifted and has sides to him that are going to make many of you fall in love all over again. Levine unfolds the personal tale with the larger suspense tale in a way that keeps you engaged and in suspense all the way thru. The pacing is great. The growing cast of characters is introduced gradually--and left me relieved--indicating we have enough characters to fill many books to come. But you'll never get overwhelmed.

There are some very unique emotional sides to this books. First, I haven't read another author who has done such good research on PTSD before. Our war vet has a most extreme form of it, and while Levine never gets clinical, how she unfolds the cause is pure craft. And it will wrench you out of whatever you might be doing when you are listening to this.

Second, his character is one of the most unique I've read in a long time. You'll see why when you read the book. Levine challenges us to rethink how we view men and grief.

The narration by Eric Dove was really well-done. His ability to impart the different male and female voices and then the different characters within a genre were noteworthy. His ability to portray passion was well-done too. Few narrators get 5 stars from me, but I really enjoyed him.

Levine leaves us with several surprises at the end, and a great set-up into the next book with a true cliff hanger that you will get a peak at at the end of this book. It is with bated breath that I hope Audible will be releasing the rest of the series (book 2 just came out).

Get this book and settle in.


0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Always on My Mind

  • San Francisco Sullivans, Book 8
  • By: Bella Andre
  • Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 550
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 501
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 506

Grayson Tyler's convinced himself that all he'll ever need again is the blue sky, a thousand acres of pasture, and the crashing waves of the ocean. Until one day, Lori Sullivan barges into his life and promptly blows his emotionless and solitary world to shreds, driving him crazy as only a woman nicknamed "Naughty" can. But will Lori be able to convince him that it's safe to love her...and that forever isn't actually out of reach?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sweet Love Story

  • By Jordy ♡♡♡♡ on 07-13-13

Lovely romance turns trite and treacly sweet

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

Reviewed: 11-09-14

I was enjoying this romance for a while until towards the last quarter when it got sickly sweet and silly. And a little embarrassing.
The couple has clinched the romance all over the farm and the inevitable death of the old barn cat dying of leukemia dies offering the heroine the opportunity to be ridulous about the cat she's known for less than 2 weeks (I'm a lifelong multiple pet household so I get the pain). But Andre has to create a situation (why? to bring them even closer together?) and it feels forced-the whole scene as they bury the cat and he's preparing for her histrionics while she waxes philosophical instead. So, everything is going great w/ Grayson, no clouds on horizon, and Lori thinks to herself "nothing is forever, Sweet Pea (the cat) taught her that". I love romance to death, but I wanted to choke on a chain saw. Its like the author took a vacation and came back and had to finish it quick.
Then it followed with silliness with her brothers (including the "lethal" pitcher--sorry, I had to giggle at that). Its all manufactured obstacles and no flow, no logic.
I can't recommend this book unless you are addicted to the series and need to finish it. I'm not at all compelled to read the others in the series. I've enjoyed several Bella Andre books. This isn't one of them.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful