REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; SEPT 26, 2015 Narrator: James Daniels
First off, I'm not a fan of the Elvis Cole series though that could change if I manage to finREVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; SEPT 26, 2015 Narrator: James Daniels
First off, I'm not a fan of the Elvis Cole series though that could change if I manage to finish one of them. I've tried 3 or 4 times but each time have ditched it because I found the tone too light and couldn't take to Cole's personality. They were told from a 1st Person POV and, to me, sounded like a male version of chicklit (which I hate, along with its spawn, the NA subgenre). I want my crime/thrillers to be serious and edgy - which is why I tend towards police procedurals rather than PI series (the PI, for some reason, is almost always a wise-cracking smartass with pretensions of being the world-weary cynic).
When I decided, for reasons unknown, to give the Joe Pike books a try, I was shocked. No exaggeration. I was expecting the Pike books to be similar to the Elvis Cole ones, but hoping I'd like Pike better than Cole.
It took less than 5 minutes for me to LOVE the book. AND Joe Pike! I'm still giving TW only 4 stars, not 5, despite loving the whole Joe Pike doing the Jethro-Gibbs-Functioning-Mute thing, because the plot was, as Ami said, ordinary. It was just another bodyguard story and one romance-lovers have read a zillion times - the only diff being the romance version would have hot, explicit, wild monkey sex and an HEA for Pike and Larkin.
The romance-lover in me was sad for Pike but the crime/thriller fan in me heaved a sigh of relief when both went their separate ways. I finished the book and moved straight on to the next Joe Pike installment, The First Rule. Seven minutes in and I'm hooked!
The bad news is that there are only 4 Joe Pike books, with The Promise coming out only in November this year (Audible audio). The Could-Be-Good-News for me is that loving Pike has given me the motivation to give the Elvis Cole series another try. If for no other reason than to catch some Joe Pike sightings.
I love the serious, gritty tone of this first Joe Pike book and hope the rest of the series will be the same. I also wish there were more crime series like this one though Pike is more of a Jack Reacher type of warrior than a PI to me. Why, oh why, can't the male crime authors offer sexy protagonists like Joe Pike - ie, healthy, sexy, non-alcoholics, unattached and financially stable? I don't want to have to read Romance to have one of these as my protags....more
REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; MAY 8 2015 Narrator: JP Handler
Desperately in need of a fluffly MM romance, I bought this even though I can't take JP Handler's naREVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; MAY 8 2015 Narrator: JP Handler
Desperately in need of a fluffly MM romance, I bought this even though I can't take JP Handler's narration. The Audible sample didn't sound too bad so I decided to chance it.
Even though I am convinced Handler is not a real flesh-and-blood person but a software program, he was slightly better in this book and I was able to finish it.
The book itself is a straightforward romance. Don't let the mention of a stalker fool you into thinking it's a romantic suspense. Like 99% of the MM romances out there, stalkers, serial killers and other villains are merely excuses to have a bodyguard, cop, Fed, or covert ops guy hanging around the MC for hot, gay sex to ensue. That said, this book was good enough to hold my attention to the end but is still just an average romance with not much character development....more
REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; MARCH 5, 2015 Story: 3.5 stars Narrator: P J Ochlan: 5 stars
The second half the story was eventful, with some good tense moments buREVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; MARCH 5, 2015 Story: 3.5 stars Narrator: P J Ochlan: 5 stars
The second half the story was eventful, with some good tense moments but the author used some lame, trite devices - a bodyguard fumbling with his weapon's trigger mechanism, giving Leland the opportunity to shoot him. Better to say his weapon jammed than to have Max's personal bodyguard "fumble" with the trigger; using a TV drama serial trope where the cavalry arrives only after the bad guys are killed by the hero.
I didn't buy into the romance at all. In fact, for a romantic suspense, the romance didn't fit. Anna was, justifiably so, too distraught over her son's abduction, too anxious and fearful having to cross over to Mexico with $750,000 cash, to be thinking of sex or romance. But she does. As for Leland, he's been wanting in her pants from the starting line so despite his own protests, the two go for it.
But it's coitus interruptus so the first sex scene is unfinished, unsexy and unnecessary. The second sex scene gets finished but was totally unbelievable for me considering the circumstances (No spoilers. Go read for yourself). The romance - or the lack of it - is what lost the book a star. I thought the suspense/action thread was good and if the author had made this a non-romance thriller, it would likely be better. Instead, the opportunity to develop a romance was practically non-existent, considering the situation the MCs were in, so when the author puts it in, nonetheless, it ended up unromantic and ill-fitting.
I finished the book despite not being very satisfied with the execution, and still intend to listen to the second installment. Hopefully, the overall writing improves because it still has an amateurish feel to it. For the most part, the Mexicans Leland and Anna encounter in that remote town up in the mountains didn't sound Mexican but more like Americans imitating Speedy Gonzales.
P J Ochlan, the narrator, was good. He gave the narrative portion an accentless voice but gave Leland an accent "only heard in the land of magnolia blossoms and the blues" (Reminded me of LaSalle from NCIS New Orleans) Ochlan's voice for Anna and her son, Zach, were very good, too. Zach sounded like the 14 year-old he is and Anna was a husky but feminine-sounding female. Not all male narrators can pull this off and the smart ones, like Slezak, choose to merely soften their voices for the female characters.
Without doubt, it was Ochlan that enabled me to finish this audiobook and who makes me want to try the next installment....more
REVIEW OF AUDIO & EBOOK; AUG 11, 2014 Narrator: Deb Booth
The Narration: New narrator for me and I am impressed. Some may find her voice too old forREVIEW OF AUDIO & EBOOK; AUG 11, 2014 Narrator: Deb Booth
The Narration: New narrator for me and I am impressed. Some may find her voice too old for the heroine but I always like those sultry voices and if the heroine is too young for a voice like Booth's, I doubt I'd be interested in the book.
I hope Booth will be narrating more. I'd love to have narrating the Karen Rose books.
The Story: started out good but tumbled downhill soon after. I find it implausible that Brianna would not trust Reaper with what was happening and thought she could handle things herself. Is this woman TSTL? Reaper and his team of men are Delta Force, for God's sake! Brianna had spent time living among them when she was just 22 and writing a story on these covert ops guys. She got romantically involved with Reaper during that time, there's a separation, a reunion, then a 3-year disappearance when Brianna went into the WITSEC program (all in the book's blurb). When she suddenly reappears, she breaks into Reaper's house!
Why would this woman do what she did? It never entered her thick head that this team of ex-Delta men who ran black ops for a living, and who now run a highly-successful security (means their job is to keep their clients safe, Brianna) company, could be trusted with the facts of what had happened to her. Instead, she believed that Reaper could not take care of himself but she could? That keeping everything from him would keep him safe?
Well, I know why her thick head couldn't understand that - all she could think of was Reaper's six-pack and the physical attributes of the other men (who will, unfortunately, be getting their own books). I love me a bunch of well-built men and I'd be cheering for Brianna if she decided she wanted to do them all BUT, I can't stand it when the heroine thinks she can do better by keeping things from the hero when it's a no-brainer that it's a dumb route to take. If her lame-brain could have realized what a blessing it was that she had, at her disposal, a bunch of guys who are trained to keep her and the rest of her countrymen safe, this book would have been a great intro to a new series. Surely, the first thing Brianna needed to do was to bring Reaper into her confidence, warn him about Hollingsworth, etc, but no, that would have turned this book into a serious romantic suspense and we can't have that.
However, if you love sappy romances with hot men and stupid heroines, this is the right book for you.
I hate tropes like these.
I also hated the male whining and the over-emphasis on hurt feelings, the do-you-still-love-me, do-you-forgive-me dialogue. These supposedly alpha Delta men came across like a bunch of pussies. I don't like every Suzanne Brockmann book but if you want 'real' men who are covert ops guys and who act like men (because you want to kick their ass sometimes), read the Troubleshooters. Reaper and his Pussies, you feel like bitch-slapping them and telling them to man up and ditch the bitch....more