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Publisher's Summary

Shelby County is home to some of the finset horseflesh and bluest blood in Kentucky. With its rural beauty and tranquil lifestyle, it is easy to see why the locals call it Paradise County. But beneath the serene exterior lies a dark underside, and an evil that threatens everyone who touches it.

Alexandra Haywood and her sister Neely have always loved Whistledown, the family's Shelby County horse farm. After their billionaire father's sudden and tragic death, Alex returns to find the family fortune in shambles, and Whistledown has to go. But Joe Welch, the sexy farm manager, refuses to cooperate.

Sparks of rage give way to a fiery attraction when Joe and Alex meet head-on. But just as a volatile passion flares between them, the discovery of a shocking murder with ties to the past rocks the county - and cuts frighteningly close to home when Joe's son Eli and Neely disappear.

Alex and Joe have only each other to rely on as they search frantically for their loved ones. What they don't know is that they are racing against time, too. Because the evil that lurks beneath the bucolic surface of Paradise County has once again raised its gruesome head - and now Alex is targeted as the next victim....

©2001 Karen Robards (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"A racy read." (Cosmopolitan)

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    78
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    33
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Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    33
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    7
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    4
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  • Patricia
  • Las Vegas, NV, United States
  • 04-03-12

a real page turner

a good read, a little scary and gruesome, not my favorite thing to listen too, had to turn off the volume at the part with the dog, can't abide cruelty to an animal of any kind. Enjoyed the book but at times the narration got a bit irritating especially Neely's voice, and the Southern drawl got a bit annoying but other than that the narrator did a good job.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Maria
  • Citrus Heights, CA, United States
  • 10-02-12

WOW!! Fantastic Story!

This story had my heart pounding, the bad guy in this story was truly evil, and had gotten away with murdering people for years. Alexa has to liquidate her father’s assets, and goes to the horse farm to give the bad news to the farm manager, Joe Welch. Well Joe isn’t about to give up his dream and hard work, while he tries to explain to her why he can’t liquidate as quickly as the month she has given him, produces a contract that gives him another year at the farm. Meanwhile Alexa is hit with more bad news, and the arrival of her half-sister who has been expelled from school, another complication Alexa doesn’t need. Then strange things begin to happen. Forced to stay at the farm for a while longer, things heat up between Joe and Alexa, and the murderer steps up his plans that include Alexa.
I really want to give a lot of credit to the narrator of this story, she was wonderful. I have added her to my lists of narrators to look for, for future books. Her myriad of voices, and dramatic reading had my heart pounding, her male voices were very, very good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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She is one of my favorites

I really liked the story, intense. However, the narrator almost ruined it for me. I am from Louisville, ky which is central Kentucky. In the towns talked about in this book, they do not talk like a bunch of uneducated backwoods hillbillies. I hate the idea that everyone thinks so and this is one way to confirm this idea. So sad.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • Adams, MA, United States
  • 08-11-12

Suspence and Romance

What did you love best about Paradise County?

The story put me there! The scenes are so vivid, I could not put the book down! I was sorry it ended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 05-01-14

Paradise County Review

Paradise County is a very good book because it has a variety of themes in it. It keeps the reader interested and because there is a mystery the reader will want to keep reading until the end of the book.
The story takes place in Shelby County, Kentucky. The beautiful scenery and finest horses make people call it "Paradise County". Charles Haywood is a very rich man who owns a horse farm called Whistledown, located in Shelby County. He is there visiting his horse farm when he unexpectedly dies. His death is ruled a suicide. Joe Welch, who manages Whistledown and has lived on the farm since he was younger, is the one that found Mr. Haywood. Joe has three children and raises them by himself. Their mother and his wife left them many years before. Alexandra Haywood is Charles Haywood's daughter. She and her younger sister Neely, come to visit Whistledown to oversee the selling of the horse farm. When Mr. Haywood died, Alex and Neely were left in debt. The horse farm and the horses had to be sold. While making arrangements for Whistledown, Alex also wants desperately to find answers to her father's so-called suicide. She can't believe her father would have killed himself. Joe and Alex's first meeting with each other is very unpleasant. The meeting turns out very bad, they hate one another. After a few days at Whistledown, Neely, who is a teenage wild child, starts hanging around with Joe's son Eli. Eli is Joe's oldest son and is sixteen years old. Alex and Joe also start to develop a better relationship. It seems that their hatred for each other turns into passion. While Neely and Eli get into a few mischievous situations, Alex and Joe start a romantic relationship. All of a sudden Neely and Eli disappear. Alex and Joe start uncovering a mystery while trying to find them. Soon they all become in danger. It turns out a murderer has been living in Paradise County. Throughout the book, the story goes from the characters at Whistledown to the unknown murderer. The murderer is killing his victims and keeping some prisoner. It goes into detail about his victims at different times in the book.
I enjoyed this book because it made me want to keep listening until I uncovered the mystery. I wanted to find out who the murderer was. I also enjoyed the developing love stories. Paradise County also talks about a ghost, which might appeal to some readers. This book had passion, murders, and comedy all mixed into it. Readers will want to see if eventually the murderer is caught. Most of the story is believable. It is likely that a rich man could have been murdered. It is also likely that he could have committed suicide. People who might despise each other could fall in love with each other. There are murderers around, even in what seems like a "paradise" type of place. Some might question the fact that the girls see a ghost of their father, while others might not think twice about that idea. The author does not use extremely difficult words, they are easy to understand and follow. As far as character development goes I think Alex and Joe's characters developed a lot as the story went on. I feel that they both were judgmental at the beginning. It is interesting to see the hatred they have for each other quickly turn into love. They seem to need each other very much.
I would recommend this book to anyone but especially to people that enjoy a good mystery. If someone enjoys all types of books, this would be one to listen to because the listener gets a mixture of different themes.
Vida Vasaitis was really good with the delivery of the story

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Great story, great listen!

Keeps you guessing until the very end! A nice blend of fright and romance. Loved it!

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Good story except

I liked the story and the way it was told. The voices of Alex and Neely were extremely annoying though. It was hard to listen to at times.

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Good Book

Loved the story line and it was a very good book. Only thing that ruined it in some parts was the terrible excuse for a southern accent that the Narrator completely butchered. Ugh. Love Kentucky horse country!

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Bad narration

Book was great did not like the narration at all. Story had twists and turns though out. Very good

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great story

Enjoyed it from beginning to end. Kept me guessing and still surprised. Great characters as always.

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  • Gail
  • 09-29-15

Awful from start to finish

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Better storyline and better narration

What was most disappointing about Karen Robards’s story?

It was like a very poor famous five story with contrived sex passages, If you like a overly simplistic story that includes appearance of dead father, cat saving the day (think lassie storyline) and the most annoying voices of the characters as caricutures this is for you

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Very odd way of pausing every five words and quite monotone and an inexplicable voice for the sister - was there no one around when it was recorded to tell her how bad it sounded?

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment that I chose the book and wasted a credit

Any additional comments?

Dont waste your money

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 05-22-12

Is anybody there?

Alex arrives at her father's estate to settle his debts after his apparent suicide. The foreman, previously stand-offish due to her closing the stables, comes to her aid when she is attacked by an intruder; but who is the intruder and how did he get into the house?

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