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Mariya

Rockaway, NJ, United States
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 264
  • helpful votes
  • 190
  • ratings
  • Off the Menu

  • By: Stacey Ballis
  • Narrated by: Arielle DeLisle
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 43

As the executive culinary assistant to celebrity Chicago chef Patrick Conlon, Alana Ostermann works behind the scenes - and that's just the way she likes it. But with developing recipes for Patrick's cookbooks, training his sous chefs, picking out the perfect birthday gifts for his ex-mother-in-law, and dealing with the fallout from his romantic escapades, she barely has a personal life, much less time to spend with her combo platter of a mutt, Dumpling.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Light and charming story......

  • By Barbara on 01-27-13

It is a diary.

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

Reviewed: 02-23-18

Interesting but no centralized conflict or theme. just disjointed moments. Stopped reading at sixth chapter.

  • One True Mate 1

  • Shifter's Sacrifice
  • By: Lisa Ladew
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 928
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 836
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 824

An all wolf-shifter police force has been the only thing between humans and an unknown evil for centuries, but the pack is in danger of dying if they don't find their promised mates soon. It's a race against time to find the angel/human hybrid "One True Mates" that the pack's spiritual leaders say truly exist. Steamy. Light swearing. High heat. You've never experienced a shifter romance like this before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Story

  • By Kindle Customer on 11-25-16

Just no.

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

Reviewed: 12-23-16

This is the longest I've listened into a book before I had to abandon it, and I went all the way up to chapter 46. It paces terribly. The two main characters meet for the first time at Chapter 14. And while the listener knows all about werewolves a minute into it, the heroine thinks she's losing her mind all the way up to Chapter 28 (half way). The book is so preoccupied with making you understand the deep agonies and sorrows of each character that it just doesn't get on with it. And the villain is the worst. Speaking of the villain, this book is about as much about werewolves as the Black Dagger Brotherhood is about vampires. Not really at all. As far as comparisons with BDB, the sex scenes are great, but few. And frankly, its just not nearly as enjoyable. This audiobook has its own convoluted theology with everything explained in painful detail and nothing shown. I listened to 6 hours give or take, and it was the longest 10 hours of my life.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Ruby

  • Daughters of the Dagger Series, Book 1
  • By: Elizabeth Rose
  • Narrated by: Stan Chandler
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 66

Lord Nyle of Sheffield needs a wife so he can carry on his secret mission for the king. However, after losing three wives in a matter of months, he is sure their deaths were not accidents as it seemed, but rather they were murdered. Now to catch the murderer that he believes to be inside his castle walls, he chooses a wife as bait who he knows can wield a sword and hold her own against any attacker.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story. Spunky & fun leading lady.

  • By Starlet M. on 03-19-16

Painful

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

Reviewed: 01-07-16

Let's start with the narrator. He is excellent, having this very Camelot voice. Great at speaking in different voices, women included. The problem is that he's a terrible fit for a romance and a much better fit for something more…epic.

As for the story, it's a good plot, but it has a major mystery at the heart of it, and the way it unfolds is just painful. Instead being peppered with clues, this book pounds the obvious at the listener while the players are moronically oblivious. It's like the story describes a room full of main characters and an elephant hiding behind an office plant. And the people in the room keep looking around, talking about how something is off, and how they wish they knew what it was, and how weird that office plant looks, and maybe they should go investigate, but hell, let's go do this other thing for now. That's 90% of the book. To the listener, the secret is obvious and the protagonists are acting irrationally. It's deeply frustrating. I waded through the book certain that the elephant wasn't it. That maybe there was another elephant, and this was all distraction to the mystery, but no. At the end, the elephant introduces himself, the main characters gasp in shock and awe, slapping their foreheads over how they didn't notice it, and I am equally shocked as them that I listed to the whole thing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Debt Paid

  • By: Joslyn Black
  • Narrated by: Pat Toussaint
  • Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 15

Senator Richards is a dirty senator; he's borrowed money from the Italian mob and is unable to pay them back. Calix has wanted the Senator's daughter, Anya, since he first saw her when she was 18. He tried ignoring his attraction to her and the unusual pull she had, with her being so young. But here he was four years later and still wanting her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 'Dark Romance' is Misleading

  • By Smash on 02-12-16

Holy Rape Porn, Batman!

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

Reviewed: 09-12-15

I thought the "dark romance meant for mature listeners due to sexual content" warning meant there was serious erotica going on. I did not expect that the first time the main character and the love interest are in a room alone he would rape her of her virginity against a desk as she scream no, but it's cool because she's clearly getting wet. Perhaps it's unfair of me to judge the book by something that simply doesn't turn me on, but the love story in which a woman meekly falls for a man after such an encounter, or in which the man is desperately in love with a woman but would start of a romance in such a way just rings very false to me.

I will say that hearing the narrator read the orgasms was almost worth the lost credit. From whinnying like a horse to shrieking Calix's name, like Captain Kirk screaming "KAAAAHHHHN!!," much like Anya, my mind said "no," but my body said "hahahahaha!"

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Third Grave Dead Ahead

  • By: Darynda Jones
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,914
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,599
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,597

Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back in Darynda Jones' Third Grave Dead Ahead! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the parthuman, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love Charley Davidson!!!

  • By Tabitha on 07-21-12

The Best of Three Worlds

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

Reviewed: 04-18-12

Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

Charley Davidson is one funny, witty, pain-in-the-butt Albuquerque PI. She used to be a consultant to her police detective dad, and is now a consultant to her police detective uncle. But there’s more the Charley than “Danger” and “Will Robinson” – her tits. She’s also a grim reaper. Not the DeadLike Me type either, but the kind chosen from birth, can speak every language known to man, see the dead and let them pass through her, and remember everything from birth kind. That’s a hard burden for a girl who’s just trying to make rent and avoid getting killed while doing it.

Just like in First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left, this third book in the series blends great comedic style, scorching, blistering sex, and serious drama. At the end of the last book, Charley bound Reyes to his corporeal form. He is mad and he is taking his anger out on Charley by intruding into her life day and night. In the meantime, Charley is hired by a man to find his wife, except she’s sure that he killed his wife, or at least believes he killed her. This book has more twists than a Chubby Checker song. It also has a painful development in Charley’s relationship with her father, and a promising new friendship between Charley and a local biker gang.

I’m not going to lie. The only two reasons I purchased the Charley Davidson series were because: (1) it fit the paranormal/urban fantasy mystery genre; and (2) Lorelei King narrated it. As usual, she doesn’t disappoint. If you’re familiar with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, you know how well Ms. King pulls of snarky, and there’s plenty of snark in these books. She gives great cop voice, and there are a ton of cops in this book. Lorelei King even does a good biker gang…wait, that sounded wrong. You know what I mean. In one of the books, she even clucks like a chicken. The things a narrator does for her art.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Second Grave on the Left

  • Charley Davidson, Book 2
  • By: Darynda Jones
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,356
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,952
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,935

When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What happens if you get scared half to death twice

  • By Judy on 09-23-11

Taking the Grim out of Grim Reaper

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

Reviewed: 04-18-12

Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

Charley Davidson is one funny, witty, pain-in-the-butt Albuquerque PI. She used to be a consultant to her police detective dad, and is now a consultant to her police detective uncle. But there’s more the Charley than “Danger” and “Will Robinson” – her tits. She’s also a grim reaper. Not the DeadLike Me type either, but the kind chosen from birth, can speak every language known to man, see the dead and let them pass through her, and remember everything from birth kind. That’s a hard burden for a girl who’s just trying to make rent and avoid getting killed while doing it.

Like First Grave on the Right, this second book in the series is a stellar read, and again, Ms. Jones dresses up a serious theme in humor to make it more palatable. Here, Charley has to find a missing wife and solve the cold case of a teenage who disappeared without a trace over a decade ago. Ms. Jones pulls no punches there. And then there’s Reyes. Charley needs to find him to keep him alive, but he doesn’t want to be found. He’d rather let his body die, even if that brings about the end of the world. What’s a Grim Reaper to do? I loved this audiobook, but then again, I’m a sucker for bad boys. Son of Satan – how much more bad can a boy get?

I’m not going to lie. The only two reasons I purchased the Charley Davidson series were because: (1) it fit the paranormal/urban fantasy mystery genre; and (2) Lorelei King narrated it. As usual, she doesn’t disappoint. If you’re familiar with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, you know how well Ms. King pulls of snarky, and there’s plenty of snark in these books. She gives great cop voice, and there are a ton of cops in this book. Lorelei King even does a good biker gang…wait, that sounded wrong. You know what I mean. In one of the books, she even clucks like a chicken. The things a narrator does for her art.

  • First Grave on the Right

  • Charley Davidson, Book 1
  • By: Darynda Jones
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,448
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,364
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,345

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great choice for Stephanie, Lorelai or Buffy fans!

  • By Austin gal on 03-07-12

Not your mom’s chick lit

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

Reviewed: 04-18-12

What did you love best about First Grave on the Right?

Charley Davidson is one funny, witty, pain-in-the-butt Albuquerque PI. She used to be a consultant to her police detective dad, and is now a consultant to her police detective uncle. But there’s more the Charley than “Danger” and “Will Robinson” – her tits. She’s also a grim reaper. Not the Dead Like Me type either, but the kind chosen from birth, can speak every language known to man, see the dead and let them pass through her, and remember everything from birth kind. That’s a hard burden for a girl who’s just trying to make rent and avoid getting killed while doing it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of First Grave on the Right?

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room – or rather on the cover. The cover art screams silly chick lit, but as the old adage goes, don’t judge this audiobook by the paint on the model’s toes. This book is so much more. The beginning is quirky, fun, and entertaining, and because of that humor, the story builds on you without you realizing it. The listener’s sense of Charley’s complicated relationship with her family, especially her evil step-mother, starts out light and fluffy and ends with shocking depth. Her interest in Reyes starts out seeming superficial before becoming a desperate need. Somewhere between the laughs, the serious themes of child abuse, domestic violence, etc., sneak up on you. An overall great listen.

Which character – as performed by Lorelei King – was your favorite?

I’m not going to lie. The only two reasons I purchased the Charley Davidson series were because: (1) it fit the paranormal/urban fantasy mystery genre; and (2) Lorelei King narrated it. As usual, she doesn’t disappoint. If you’re familiar with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, you know how well Ms. King pulls of snarky, and there’s plenty of snark in these books. She gives great cop voice, and there are a ton of cops in this book. Lorelei King even does a good biker gang…wait, that sounded wrong. You know what I mean. In one of the books, she even clucks like a chicken. The things a narrator does for her art.

  • Audacious

  • Kris Longknife, Book 5
  • By: Mike Shepherd
  • Narrated by: Dina Pearlman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 787
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 608
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612

You can't keep a good woman down - Kris Longknife returns. Once again, Kris finds herself caught in the crosshairs of unknown enemies who want her dead. Factions, both legitimate and underground, vie for control of the planet New Eden. And someone is taking advantage of the chaos to unleash a personal vendetta against Kris.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging

  • By Jean on 01-18-15

Ode to the first two Amendments

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-05-11

Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

Audacious can be read as a cautionary tale for any society that considers itself evolved and safe simply because it is technologically advanced. The major conflict of New Eden, without a doubt, is its lack of suffrage for all citizens, but the reason why living on New Eden is unsafe boils down to a lack of the first two amendments. There is a lack of free press, and the powerful pay dearly to keep the media ignorant of any crimes. The second is the right to firearms. New Eden is a “safe” society, where no one, not even the military, should have deadly weapons. The problem is that in New Eden, like in most of our cities, those who operate outside the law already have weapons, leaving the law abiding vulnerable.

Audacious goes back to the wonderful military feel of the original Mutineer. There is an inspiring scene where Kris is invited by the marines to jog with them in the morning, but after she is detained by local authorities, a bunch of marines, including one who is injured, join to stand by her. Kris realizes at that moment that, even though she’s Navy, she has been adopted by Corps. Kris’s spine straightens when she realizes that they’re willing to die for her and, in return, she’s willing to die for them. I also enjoyed the scene toward the end of the audiobook when after rendering honors to fallen Marines, Kris and her men leave New Eden to a futuristic rendition of the Marine Corps Hymn.

This audiobook also gives us a lot more on Abby. We meet her mother, sister, and niece, and get to see the neighborhood on New Eden where she grew up. It explains a lot about her motivation and character, and she even gets a possible love interest in this audiobook.

On Narration:
Dina Pearlman’s reading of Audacious reminded me of her reading of Deserter. She was back to a faster pace, the authoritative tone, and the solemnity necessary for war and battle. I miss her Tommy accent, but there were no Irish or Lorna Dune people.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,635
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,961
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,964

Generations of werewolves have been secretly residing in a secluded valley a stones throw from Grundy, Alaska. So when a snooping Outsider comes to Grundy to investigate rumors of lycanthropic shenanigans in the area, the valleys pack alpha, Maggie Graham, resolves to chase him away, even if doing so takes a quick bite on the butt. What a pity that researcher Nick Thatcher turns out to be so drool-worthy, and that his kisses make Maggie want to sit up and beg.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • MOLLY HARPER IS A HOOT!!!!!!

  • By d.e.matthews on 03-30-11

True Comedic Pack Mysteries

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-05-11

Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

Molly Harper’s writing is snarky, funny, witty, and a joy to sit back and listen to. I was a bit worried about the book being from Maggie’s point of view as Maggie comes off as a rather flat hard-ass character in How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf, but fifteen minutes into the audiobook, I knew I was not going to be disappointed. This book paces better than How to Flirt. We understand the main conflict immediately, and Nick enters Maggie's life almost from the first part of the audiobook. And then there’s Nick himself – a tall, sexy, educated, blond-haired, blue-eyed, bearded Viking look alike (mentally, I pictured Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy, but with glasses). A multimillionaire, self-hating Trekkie with family issues of his own, and a passion for werewolves.

Another thing this book had on How to Flirt is a few good mysteries, which is not something I expect from this author – she’s hilarious, so I read for the comedy (and there’s plenty) but not for the twists and turns. This audiobook contains at least two “Oh!” moments - when the audiobook presents enough suspects with enough motives that you don’t see it coming, but there is also enough foreshadowing specific to the perpetrator that you kind of should have. The result is that when the book lets the cat out of the bag, you actually, audibly, say “Oh!”

On Narration:
All of Molly Harper’s audiobooks, including this one, are narrated by Amanda Roncini. Her voice is perfect for the part. It’s bratty, snarky, and bit tom-boyish even. It’s not just that she reads the story with great snark. She knows how to read comedy, how to carry punch lines so they hit home.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Monster Hunter International

  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 24 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,333
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,903
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,872

Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • My second Monster Hunter book

  • By Randall on 06-29-18

Killin’s my business and business is fine

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-11

This audiobook has monsters of impossible, mind-bending proportions. The main villain, the “Cursed One,” is not just a mwahaha villain – we also get inside his head through his memories in Owen’s ghost-guided dream/nightmares that recall C.O.’s journey from a “mean son-of-a-bitch” conquistador to one very megalomaniacal, unearthly, tentacled, flesh-wriggling being who is intent of stopping time itself. I think I’m in love with Owen Z. Pitt, who’s inherently epic, but it’s hard to let the listener know how epic Owen is through first-person narration without it sounding over-the-top or silly. Like when a master vampire tells Owen he has the strongest will of any mortal she’s ever met, or when one guys says to the other that he shouldn’t mess with Owen because he has “one hundred pounds of muscle” on him. Or worse yet, when Julie reads his file and we find out Owen’s a marksman/genius. This book is cliché in the best way possible. It's like 1 part monsterish gore, 1 part comedy, and 1 part all sorts of artillery. It's like Hot Fuzz.

Oliver Wyman is great. This is the first time I heard him read, and his style is perfect for Monster Hunter International. He has a rather macho tone with just a bit of immaturity, and again, the term “epic” comes to mind to describe his style. His reading of female voices didn’t make me burst out laughing, which is what usually happens when I listen to male narrators read girls’ voices. The only thing that jarred me was how seriously Oliver Wyman took those vocal direction. I usually comment on whether narrators do a good or bad job at distinguishing internal monologue with external speak when audiobooks are in first-person, like this one. The listener has no problem with distinguishing the two in Monster Hunter International, because Oliver Wyman reads the directions in a rather calm soft voice, while reading the actual words with the proper emphasis, instead of splitting the two.

93 of 128 people found this review helpful