Stolen Obsession

Annalisse Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Katina Kalin
Series: Annalisse Series, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
4 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

People die, but legends live on.

New York antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury recently lost her best friend to murder. The killer's identity may be linked to her friend's expensive missing bracelet, a 500-year-old artifact that carries an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family. 

Weeks later, Annalisse sees a matching necklace at a Manhattan gallery opening. She begs the owner to destroy the cursed piece, but her pleas fall on deaf ears, despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act. Desperate, Annalisse enlists the gallery owner's son to help, even though she's afraid he'll break her heart. 

Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse's concerns, until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.

Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. When the killer changes tactics and goes after Alec behind Annalisse's back, can her plan to rescue Alec's mother save them all?

©2018 Marlene M. Bell (P)2018 Marlene M. Bell

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What listeners say about Stolen Obsession

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

Adventure, Suspense, Mystery, and Romance!

A cursed jewel and murders.

What more could a person ask for in a story?

As an appraiser, Annalisse has seen it all…or so she thinks. So when cursed jewels come into her possession, she doesn’t know what to do. After suspecting they were behind the death of her friend, Annalisse embarks on a quest with her friend/romantic interest in a plan that will either stop the curse or kill them.

There is plenty of suspense and even some romance in this story. I love the blend of genres as well as the author’s ability to create both suspense and light-hearted moments.

The narration was distinctive and wonderfully done.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mystery and Adventure!

Annalisse is paired up with Alex early on in the book. They notice a similarity of 2 deaths with both in possession of antique jewelry that matched. They set of to find out if this is a curse or just plain murder. Along the way Alex and Annalisse grow on each other and soon can't deny their desires for one another. This audiobook kept me listening to see what happened in the end.

I must mention how amazing Latina Kalin is at narrorating this book. Very smooth and clear voice that I wish all my audible books had!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!!!

Marlene M Bell kept me entranced with this book Stolen Obsession. I have been drawn to "art collection" mysteries lately, and fully enjoyed this story. Annalisse Drury is a complex character, who is resourceful, driven, and compassionate. I loved the vivid imagery and exotic locations (not small town USA) described in this book. This book has action, adventure, history, mystery, and murder, my favorite topics in audiobooks. Katina Kalin was impressive performing this book. I could hear exactly who was speaking. She brought the characters to life with her distinguishable voices. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. I will most definitely listen to more books by this author and narrator. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. This book is a standalone listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good

A good romance and mystery surrounding a possible cursed stolen necklace , I really liked Annalise and hope to see more books surrounding her .

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Solidly Romance, not Mystery

I struggled with this book. I wanted to like it based on the description and the audio clip and also it’s in the Mystery/Thriller genre on Audible. However, this book is solidly Romance with a dash of mystery and thriller. Romance just isn’t my cup of tea. I felt a bit mislead by the description and Audible having this book in the Mystery genre.

While the story starts off with an unexpected & suspicious death, the focus is on high fashion and flirtations. It stays with those two things for most of the book and both are a bit boring for me. I wanted more intrigue, more hunting for answers, more action. A dash of romance would have been fine. However, that’s not this story.

I did like that the story had this mysterious cursed necklace (and it’s twin) as a key point in the plot. Also the traveling to either escape danger or to save others was good too. The story as a whole isn’t badly written, it’s just that it’s not the right genre for me.

Annalisse is supposed to be a strongly independent woman but she’s quite the opposite. Alec pays for everything and pampers her. He protects her most of the time and is in charge of security for the two of them (though he isn’t very good at it – like leaving doors unlocked and windows wide open). There are a few times where Annalisse is literally carried about like (sometimes unconscious) precious luggage. For those reasons, I never really connected with her.

Alec is OK. He’s got his shallowness and faults but since he gets to do the most in the action scenes, I like him a bit more than Annalisse. I do appreciate that he practices safe sex with condoms.

Over all, it was a bit of a snore for me, but could be awesome for those that enjoy Romance. 3/5 stars.

The Narration: Katina Kalin had the perfect voice for Annalisse. I also liked her foreign accents and her male character voices were masculine. Kalin also captured the various emotions of the characters. There were no technical issues with this recording. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Marlene M. Bell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Mystery and action. Narration well paced.

Story kept me engaged. Unique mystery which still has me trying to undersrand motives. I primarily listened to this. I did have ebook also. I found myself having to look up some characters to figure out who they were and when they were introduced. A number of characters are introduced and I am not sure how some of them were impotant to the story. I also was confused on MC family background and if I missed an explanation. I liked the two main characters. The story was well paced. I listened at 1.25 speed.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Suspenseful, Captivating, and Intriguing!

This was my first Marlene M. Bell's book, and won't be my last. This is the first book in the Annalisse Series. Annalisse and Alec's story is suspenseful, captivating, and intriguing. Annalisse is a wonderful character, smart, and resourceful. Alec is handsome, caring and supportive. The storyline is filled with adventure, danger, action, and romance. Katina Kalin did a great job with the narration. She has a beautiful voice, and the characters were easy to distinguish. I enjoyed it. Looking forward to listen to the next book in the Series, Spent Identity. I was given a free review copy of the audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. #audiobookworm

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Intrigue, mystery, action AND romance! Yay!

How could I not be drawn to this story? Cursed jewels, murder, European travel - you're talking my language. Not that I've murdered anyone ... yet! ;) but this struck me as super intriguing with all the elements of a great story: I was not disappointed.

For Annalisse, one tragic event after another seems to be occurring in her life. First, the death of her best friend, Sam, and now a murder at the gallery where she works. What do these deaths have in common? Annalisse is convinced the jewels are the connection, as both victims were around them at the time of their death. (As an aside, Sam's murder is mentioned in the book a lot, though it does not feature as an event itself, but is instead part of Annalisse's backstory. If I'm honest, I'd love to read more about that too!)

So, back to this story: Annalisse cannot ignore the connection of the jewels to both deaths and, to prevent yet more tragedy, she feels she has to get to the root of the problem and destroy the jewels for good. But someone is interested in them. Annalisse is in the way, and they do not take kindly to obstacles and will do whatever it takes to get the jewels.

Annalise has, unwittingly, placed herself in danger and even slipping away to the Greek Islands with the gallery owner's son (Alec) is no escape. Hunting her down, the jewel thieves think nothing of inflicting more pain on Annalisse and Alec, even when it involves another murder and kidnapping.

It becomes a race against time to prevent the murdering thieves from getting their hands on the jewels whilst also keeping everyone safe. Not everyone survives the ordeal, and the quest is fraught with tension and drama. It's a well-paced read, combining action with a slow-burgeoning romance as Annalisse and Alec grow closer during their quest. Tragedy has a way of bringing them together.

A fascinating mystery with the added intrigue of a curse, plus drama in the quest to keep the necklace safe, and evolving relationships that cover the spectrum of emotions ...all set against a stunning European backdrop of Greece and Turkey.

Annalisse is a determined woman, who is more than capable of holding her own. She is savvy, thoughtful, empathetic, and spirited. She does presume a lot and demand everyone trust her instincts not realising sometimes her instincts are a tad bizarre. Alec comes across as a playboy initially - maybe more to do with his perceived lifestyle than his behaviour - but he proves to be a kind, thoughtful and intelligent co-star for Annalisse.

The narration is clear to follow, natural and convincing. The story blends action, suspense and romance effortlessly and the narrator effectively conveyed the mood at all times.
I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow! I’m blown away...

I downloaded this book after seeing it on a website I visited. The story summary provided by Audible peaked my interest. I give this five stars across the board. Reason for that is the third chapter. That was what grabbed me emotionally than the first chapter. The narrator did a great job reading it slow. I highly recommend this book. It is a smooth listen and it keeps you guessing. The chapters go by fast when you listen on Audible. Will get the next book soon. I’m blown away, wow!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty good, but...

Spoilers alert:)

As mysteries go, this one is OK, but it isn't as fascinating as I thought it would be when I asked for it...

The premise was good - a murder or two, an ancient curse, a chase across two oceans and a hint of romance in between.... And it all is there, no doubt about it, but somehow all those elements don't add up to make a fascinating whole. Separately, they are great, but they seem to clash when put together - at least for me. An example of such a clash? After the traumatic experience on the yacht, with one parent killed and the other kidnapped, what do Annalisse and Alec do? They go to bed... And it would be fine and psychologically plausible if it had the feeling of rush, of "we've just escaped death, let's affirm life making love" - but no, there's no such feeling there... It rather feels like "We've had our dinner, been to the cinema, now let's do it"... OK, Alec feels a bit uneasy in the morning, but it seems as if it was added there as an afterthought, kind of "Oh, yeah, I forgot he had just lost his parents so he should be traumatized..." The whole thing just doesn't feel real... And there are a few more moments like this throughout the book, which is why I deducted stars from my rating...

But don't get me wrong, it's not a bad story at all. The plot is fast, the curse part quite interesting, there are also many very well done action scenes and moments of great tension that make you bite your nails. I just would like it to be a little bit more psychologically true...:)

Narration by Ms Kalin is very good. She reads quite slowly but does a good job when it comes to voices and conveying emotions. It's a nice interpretation of the book.

So overall, give the book a chance - it's not a bad story after all:)

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.