REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; DEC 19, 2014 Narrator: John Solo
3.5 stars. Sweet romance. I was in the mood for one and enjoyed this. I'd listened to the author'sREVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; DEC 19, 2014 Narrator: John Solo
3.5 stars. Sweet romance. I was in the mood for one and enjoyed this. I'd listened to the author'sBy Fire series, which I also enjoyed, and noticed and oddly pedantic style in Grey's writing in Inside Out that was not there in the By Fire books. The rest of the book flowed smoothly but Grey had these passages, here and there, where he'd cover every little inconsequential step..."he asked for the bill. It came. He opened it then paid it. Then he got up..." Maybe not in those exact words as I'm recalling from the audio and do not have the ebook loaded. There were a few passages like that, enough to pull me out of the story and wonder why the author would suddenly write like that. 'Sudden' because otherwise, everything flowed well and even the first Farm series book I listened to, can't recall the title, was not like this.
Inside Out is one of those forgettable MM romances that, if one of my fav narrators were on it, would be a comfort read when I want a romance but my brain wants to snooze....more
NOTE: THE ONE STAR IS BECAUSE I HATED THIS BOOK FOR THE CHEATING COUPLE!
Hard to carry on when the story begins with, and the romance started, with theNOTE: THE ONE STAR IS BECAUSE I HATED THIS BOOK FOR THE CHEATING COUPLE!
Hard to carry on when the story begins with, and the romance started, with the MC cheating! The hero has sex with his brother's girlfriend/fiancee while the cheating heroine's justification is that her fiance prefers sleeping separately even though they live together. The cuckolded guy's brother, at least, feels guilty for not being able too keep his hands and dick off the woman, but the heroine's lame excuse for her cheating ruined this book for me. If the heroine's relationship with the guy's brother was on the rocks and their sex life was crappy, it might be understandable but cheating heroine tells the brother she loves her fiance! So her cheating is excusable and he shouldn't judge her too harshly, is her attitude. If this were erotica and she and fiance had an open relationship, fine. But poor fiance just happens to like sleeping without someone taking up his personal space. Not everyone likes spooning through the night and these couples do NOT use that as an excuse to cheat.
I'm surprised none of the other reviewers mentioned this so I thought I must have misread the cheating portion which occurs in the Prologue and the story proper begin 8 years later after cheating heroine's first husband (the hero's cuckolded brother) and her second husband are both killed.
Perhaps the fault lies with me for going into this thinking it was a romantic suspense. Perhaps if I'd approached it as a police procedural/murder investigation involving a couple whose involvement began with cheating I might have felt better about this book....more
REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; DEC 12, 2014 Narrator: Violet Grey
This book got off on a bad start for me because the MCs, as far as romance were concerned, cameREVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; DEC 12, 2014 Narrator: Violet Grey
This book got off on a bad start for me because the MCs, as far as romance were concerned, came across like adolescents wading into the dating pool for the first time. Actually, it is like that for the heroine as it's the first time she's finding herself even thinking about a man in a romantic sense in 13 years. While that's fine with me, I'd rather not have my romantic suspense tilting towards the romance especially when most of it involves so much mental hand-wringing over a the guy. The romante didn't get much better so this book ended up disappointing as I was hoping/expecting more of a suspense/romance than so much annoying attention on the heroine's feelings and fear of romance and men.
The serial killer theme, which 9 out of 10 RS murder stories are based on, could have been very good but for me, I found the heroine's dithering over the hero distracting and wanted to tell the author to either get on with the romance, or drop it and focus on the suspense. Nervous, hand-wringing virgin-like heroines looking at the hero as if a date with him would result in a fate worse than death is not my cup of tea.
REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; DECEMBER 10, 2014: 4 and 1/2 stars Narrator: Julia Whelan
This is another book I'm so glad I decided to read, despite the negativeREVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; DECEMBER 10, 2014: 4 and 1/2 stars Narrator: Julia Whelan
This is another book I'm so glad I decided to read, despite the negative reviews and comments. The latter I found so contradictory to my experience of the book that this instance will serve as a very good reminder to me to not bypass a book based on other readers' negative remarks.
I had bought this audiobook when it came out but put it on my Low Priority shelf after being influenced by a professional audiobook review that gave it "meh" rating and review. Then yesterday, after I'd listened to a couple of chapters and was enjoying it, was very surprised to read the comments posted about the readers' view that Ash was, for example, insulting, overbearing, riding roughshod over the heroine, obnoxious, and hypocritical, to just mention a few!
Naturally, that got me curious because he was not at all like that in the first couple of chapters so I thought, okay, maybe he shows his true colors later on. Well, Ash did show his true colors - as an intelligent, caring, sensitive, considerate, protective, assertive and confident man. On top of this, he's artistic, rich enough to have his own Gulfstream 4, offers to take Lila all over the world on his jet because he can paint anywhere and he'd want to paint all those places he and Lila could go to. He does sweet little things like leaving a note on the kitchen counter to tell her breakfast is being served on the rooftop terrace. Except it's not just a handwritten note. No, not Ash the artist. He does a little sketch of the two of them eating on the terrace plus the little dog Lila is looking after.
Now, if that's being obnoxious and insulting...Oh, and I loved how he handled Lila because, well, she is from a different socio-economic background/circumstances so Ash introduces her to a different way of living, to be comfortable with this life being hers now, not just belonging to the owners of the luxury homes she house-sits. And Ash does it non-condescendingly, his casual treatment showing me that he's actually sensitive to any possible misgivings from Lila; they discuss life and dating and "them" and I loved how NR managed to keep me anticipating the next step of their romance, keep me totally involved with Ash as he draws Lila to him yet always ready to take one step forward to meet her so she doesn't take fright and bolt.
I loved, most of all, how NR kept a perfect balance of suspense - HAG (Hot Asian Girl) out to get the Fabergé egg and kill Lila; the MCs and the secondary couple flying off to Florence, Italy, on Ash's G4 to pursue the investigation of who is the HAG's boss who's pulling the string; of their working with the FBI to catch the HAG before she catches them. This, NR managed to balance with the development of Ash and Lila's romance, which, I will say again, was just delightful to follow.
I loved how Ash treated Lila as the intelligent, sexy woman she is but fully agreed with him when he went ballistic after "intelligent" Lila, follows the HAG into the side streets of Florence despite knowing HAG could kill her with one blow. (HAG actually does slit the throat of the person she went down the said side street to find). So when Lila calls Ash to tell him, excitedly, that she ran into HAG and is tailing her, of course Ash would be frantic and angry. Back in New York, the HAG had stuck a knife in Lila's side but was foiled by the Paris Hilton dog Lila was carrying in her bag. Here, in Italy, Lila, displaying the required TSTL trait no RS author can dispense with, just has to tail the assassin all by herself. To my relief, Ash appears but beyond calling Lila on her TSTL move, the story moves on and the suspense thread isn't derailed by a raging, nagging, annoyed hero and a sulky heroine determined to blather on about her feminist beliefs.
NR isn't an autobuy and I've not read many of her books, finding her style too plodding and the romance too low-key in many cases. I've had a lot of difficulty making headway with her JD Robb books, so The Collector is a lovely surprise for me. NR has given me a gorgeous hero in Ashton Archer, as perfect a man as I could want, even in real life.
I guess, like Lila, I'm attracted to strong men, not wimps. In Ash, I see a wonderful balance of strength and confidence yet romantic at heart and not afraid to tell, and show, how much he loves her; as opposed to wimps who are supposedly sensitive but in reality are whiny and self-centered.
I'm not so hot about the Fabergé eggs, though, as that has been done so often in movies (Octopussy, Ocean's 12, etc) it's become hackneyed. That's very minor, however, as I would have enjoyed this book even if they were about a carton of eggs from the grocery store.
The Narrator: Whelan did a wonderful job and IMO, deserves the top spot in the recent poll for Narrator of the Year. I was always able to distinguish between the different characters' voices, even between Lila's and her best friend, Julie. Ash's voice was very distinctive, though he sounded weary and sad much of the time. I listened to Whelan in NR's The Witness but I didn't notice anything outstanding in her narration there, plus the book itself wasn't a winner with me either....more
REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; NOVEMBER 28, 2014 Story: 3 stars Narrator K.C. Kelly: 5 stars
Rating averaged-out to 4 stars: 3 stars for the story because I foundREVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; NOVEMBER 28, 2014 Story: 3 stars Narrator K.C. Kelly: 5 stars
Rating averaged-out to 4 stars: 3 stars for the story because I found it way too short. I love these feel-good MM romances because so often, MM romance authors like to write far-too-angsty books, or focus on the sexual aspect, be it too much sex, or is BDSM-themed. It's always good for me to discover a sweet love story with minimal or no angst, as in this case. Romances like these are my comfort reads/listens, and I need a lot more of them!
So why only 3.5 and not more stars? Because it felt like a summary of a how a boy, Nicky, met Spencer, a nice, nerdy slob.
There's so much more to be told about these two men, so much more - or even just a little bit more - to give me so that I can see for myself, can savor for myself, the time it takes (not much, btw) for the two men to fall for each other.
3.5 stars because this ought to have been double the length from 23,000 words to 40k+.
Everyone is nice in this book, except Tom, Nicky's cheating ex, and even he isn't a nasty character - just not ready for monogamy and there only at the start of the story to give our MC a reason for being single, homeless, and jobless.
This short story also ends in a rush. Spencer and Nicky's romance is hardly touched on in that there's next-to-no attention or detail given. There's no on-page sex - Fielding merely tells you they had sex and Spencer was a wonderful lover. That was all. I wanted to know how Spencer and Nicky are as lovers, how Nicky gets over his insecurity and comes to believe his train stops here. I want to be there for the whole journey because I like both Spencer and Nicky and it's a refreshing change to have a relatively angst-free couple.
Nevertheless, I'm glad I decided to listen to Housekeeping as now I feel less uncertain about Brute even though every time I read Brute's blurb, I change my mind about reading/listening to it!
The Narrator: KC Kelly is very good. This is my second audiobook by him. He was as good in Rowan Speedwell's Love, Like Water....more
REVIEW OF AUDIO & KINDLE: NOVEMBER 28, 2014 STORY: 4.5 STARS NARRATOR: 3 STARS
This was my first Harlequin Intrigue, and what a lovely introductionREVIEW OF AUDIO & KINDLE: NOVEMBER 28, 2014 STORY: 4.5 STARS NARRATOR: 3 STARS
This was my first Harlequin Intrigue, and what a lovely introduction to these category books! I was hooked right from the start and despite one minor TSTL moment, and the bit at the end where the author got in the way and disrupted the flow of the climax, this turned out to be one of the best romantic suspense books I've read/listened to this year.
The plot is simple - Emma is trying to get her brother, found guilty of murder and sentenced to 25 years jail. He's served 18 months and during this time, Emma has worked tirelessly, and sacrificially to have his conviction overturned, believing him not guilty.
Throughout her quest, no law firm has responded to her calls to take on the case. Until Penny Hennings, a young defense attorney. Emma just happens to be the sister of the assistant state's attorney Zac Hennings, who has been handed this case by his boss. As Zac realizes the way the case was handled stinks to high heaven, he and Emma work to uncover what really happened, and who the killer is.
I loved that the story unfolded at a steady pace that made it a 'page-turner' and there were no annoying detours or lengthy sex scenes. The characters were nicely-developed with no exceptionally annoying traits. Zac, despite his confident, assertive air (as is befitting the hero) is, nonetheless, fallible and while I could roll my eyes over his error of judgment in sleeping with Emma, it felt like an acceptable, understandable progression of the story. His father and sister, Penny, do call him up on it yet I was inclined to close one eye. Perhaps because there were no long drawn-out sex scenes to disrupt the suspense, I could be magnanimous.
I liked that the story stayed focused on Zac's and Emma's investigation of this case and it wasn't just backdrop scenery for the romance but, being a category RS, I was not inundated by Karen Rose-like data (whew!). That said, the suspense thread was still so solid that at the end of the book I felt as if I'd just listened to a Sandra Brown thriller:) The two minor negatives: #1) when Emma went into the dark alley knowing, and telling herself, only stupid women did that. I could see why the author chose to let her heroine do this but I still wished she could have found another way for Emma to encounter the killer. (This is not a spoiler).
#2) Right at the end, when Emma and her mother have rushed to courthouse No. 400 where Zac is before the judge, having filed a joint emergency motion to vacate Brian’s conviction and sentence. The tension was so high and I was holding my breath even though I know the outcome. What does the author do? She throws in so much internal monologue from Emma and I was yelling silently for her to fucking get on with the scene! Zac is right there before the judge, the judge is asking the asst prosecutor for an explanation of his petition AND I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THIS, I DON'T want to listen to Emma's ramblings!
To be fair, those ramblings are only three paragraphs in-between the Zac-Judge conversation, but they felt interminably long!
The Narrator: Anthony Bowden is a new narrator to me. I liked his speed, inflections and he was able to inject the right emotion in the dialogue. I just hated his female voices because they sounded like aging drag queens. I don't get that with Tom Stetschulte or Victor Slezak, perhaps because they don't try to change their voices to sound female.