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Publisher's Summary

When Hope Prescott's parents disappeared, her carefree teenage life vanished forever. She and her three siblings were separated and sent to different foster homes around the country. Now, seven years later, Hope is still searching for them. To support herself, she works for an answering service, and cares for her clients as if they were family.

When wealthy businessman Zachariah Givens hires Hope's service, Hope initially mistakes Zack for his butler. Tired of being coddled and flattered because of his money, Zack is charmed by Hope's candor, not to mention her sexy voice, and keeps up the charade. As their friendship turns into passion, Zack is determined to have her, even if that means the unthinkable - marriage. But when Hope discovers his deception, Zack knows he must solve the mystery that haunts Hope's past in order to convince her that their futures lie together....

©2006 Christina Dodd (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    105
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

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    106
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    61
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    6
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    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    39
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    10
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 12-14-15

5 stars for the beginning.

1 star for the crisis. 2 and 3 stars for other parts.

I really enjoyed the beginning. Hope works for a phone answering service. When rich guy Zach calls for his messages, she thinks he is the butler. They develop a neat relationship over the phone. When she meets him he continues to pretend he’s the butler. They fall in love. It was a fun story.

Then in the middle it dragged. It was repetitive thinking about each other and dragging out some pre-sex scenes. The con man part of the book was incomplete and not finished. See Spoiler below. I think the author should have spent time on that instead of doing the romantic filler in the middle.

Then the crisis: I hated it! I was furious. It ruined the book. Zach jumps to a wrong conclusion without even asking what was happening. And then he was mean. It was STUPID on his part. The author should have thought of something better.

The end was ok. I liked all the groveling Zach did. But I did not like the slapstick scene with a crime lord. It did not fit the tone of the book.

This felt like a regency/historical romance. Zach the rich aristocrat. Hope the feisty beautiful virgin orphan. It is set in contemporary Boston with limos. But change the limo to a carriage and you’ve got a regency.

CAUTION SPOILER:
A con man hired Hope to do some secretarial things for him. He embezzled money and the police arrested Hope. She got out on bail. That story was not finished. Did the con man admit she was innocent? What kind of evidence was brought up and used? How did she get proven innocent?
END SPOILER.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Natalie Ross is one of the best I have ever heard. I couldn’t believe how good her voice was for Zach - a man. She also did great for the rest of the story and characters. I’m trying to find other books that she narrates, but too many are by authors I don’t care for or books that I’ve already read. Darn, I want more of her.

Narrative mode: 3rd person.
Genre: contemporary romance.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

This is a hoot of a listen.....

The story line is interesting and funnier as the story goes on. Simple and ridiculous, but worth the credit. I like this narrator, and she puts enough personality into each character voice to make them distinctive.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Another great story from Christina Dodd

I discovered this book by accident and gave it a listen. I found it to be very interesting and highly entertaining. I was intrigued by the story of a family split up and the lengths one sister would go to in trying to find her siblings. The mystery of what happened to her parents. It is also a story about survival and triumph. The real lesson that I got from the story is that family is what you make it.

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

Audio Porno

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Less detail on the pornographic love making. The story is very weak and predictable.

What could Christina Dodd have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Again, less porno.

Any additional comments?

I will not be listening to any more of Christina Dodd's book. It is practically a duplicate of her story titled Thigh High.

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

Good story plot

Only item is the continual detailed sex parts that seemed unrealistic most of the time & I found myself skipping over a lot of it wanting to know about her missing siblings & the mystery behind it all

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Indydog
  • McKinney, TexasUnited States
  • 06-23-17

A good story

I liked this story. It was fast moving and the characters were unique. Some of the reviewers didn't like the unrealistic parts of the story. I didn't mind it. In some ways it added comic relief. This is the first book in a series and really needs to be listened (or read) first.

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

an old favorite

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes, a fun series

Have you listened to any of Natalie Ross’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Natalie is pretty good at differentiating between the characters. She speaks almost too slowly and a bit too breathily for me. I don't search out her reads, but I don't avoid her either. Part of my hestitation in giving her an unqualified "yeah" is probably the book itself...

Any additional comments?

…which I really liked, but that isn't to say I didn't have any problems with it. I'm reminded it was written about a decade ago - do all her heroines have to be fearful virgins? Which leads to too drawn out sex scenes. I like a little heat in a book - Ms. Dodd does it better in her later books. I do like the plot. A little far-fetched, also what i like in a book! The hero comes off as a surprisingly sympathetic jerk and the heroine is strong and quirky. All in all a fun read/listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Trish R.
  • JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States
  • 10-29-13

Excellent...

Any additional comments?

I think it's kind of crappy that the second book, Almost Like Being In Love, is on Audible but not on Kindle. If I'd known that I would have never bought the first book. This did remind me a lot of the old movie Bells are Ringing with Dean Martin and Judy Holiday (I think that was her), It was still good since I so enjoyed that movie, as I did this book. I loved Zack and Hope, Madam Nainci, Aunt Cecily and the rest of the secondary characters. AND the sex was great too.
I want to know what happened in Hobart, Texas but I like to read along as the narrator tells the story so I've gone ahead and bought the third book and audio in the series.
LOL..I can READ a book but I can't just LISTEN to one, too boring.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • Sandia, TX, United States
  • 07-24-13

Enjoyable, and Charming

I enjoyed "Just the Way You Are: Lost Texas Hearts, Book 1 by Christina Dodd. The story line was charming. Natalie Ross did a good job with the narration as well.

The environment created and partially centered around the answering service, where Hope works is creative, and very useful as a method of developing Hope's character and personality. This is where she meets Zack (via the phone line), and from there, the relationship begins.

I know that this sounds picky, but one habit this author seems to have is to use the word "for" as a literary conjunction to the point that I found it somewhat annoying. She uses it instead of "because" or "since", as in, "He felt guilty, FOR he knew better than to commit the crime."

Knowing this, however, I purchased the next book in the series in hopes that this habit will not be carried on throughout book II.

Yes, the story is basically unrealistic...But, sometimes, who cares...It's entertainment!

In my opinion, it is Credit Worthy!

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

Boring

What disappointed you about Just the Way You Are?

The story was boring. I commute 1 to 1.5 hours and need an audible that will bring me in the story and keep me interested. I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours the other day and books on tape tend to keep me unstressed and I tend to enjoy sitting in traffic as long as I have something good to listen too. This was just so tedious to listen too. I just couldn't do it.

What was most disappointing about Christina Dodd’s story?

The characters were awful. Just down right boring.

What does Natalie Ross bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Natalie Ross is a good narrator. I would buy another audible if she narrated it. The downfall was not the narration but the story.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Just the Way You Are?

I had to stop listening to this because I was so bored. So I don't know what scene except to say it shouldn't have been published at all.