REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; FEB 22, 2014 Narrator: Margaret Ball
I love these oldies. Even when I know it'll be like a train wreck approaching and I still can'REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; FEB 22, 2014 Narrator: Margaret Ball
I love these oldies. Even when I know it'll be like a train wreck approaching and I still can't look the other way.
And so it was with DS, written in 1986. The good thing about it, when I am brave enough to tackle a romance written in the bad ol '80s is that I can't complain about any nasty surprises. I am prepared for the nasty and all that I judge the book on is whether the story's compelling and whether I find the male lead attractive (or can forgive him by the end of the book).
Double Standards is quintessential 80s contemporary romance and I loved it. Lauren isn't just a virgin, she's smart, with a great sense of humor and able to hold her own against the successful, wealthy Nick Sinclair.
It's been thirty years since I first read this and, as is to be expected, had forgotten the details. I did still remember, though, that it had to do with the heroine infiltrating the hero's company and the train wreck that follows when they fall in love. I'd normally stay away from these nowadays but nothing in my audiobook shelves interested me, I was already bored with J D Robb (stopped at Vengeance, book 6) and decided on this old McNaught when a friend offered. I borrowed two from her - the other one is Someone to Watch Over Her whereas DB was originally from my friend's cassette tapes she made in CDs first, them mp3. I'm hoping this and Perfect will be re-released. There are so many good romances and romantic suspenses out there from yesteryear that I want to see in downloadable mp3 with new narrators. ...more
REVIEW OF AUDIO & KINDLE: MARCH 28, 2014 Narrator: Tom Stechschulte
Probably my favorite Nora Roberts, for now. NR, like Linda Howard, is a hit-or-mREVIEW OF AUDIO & KINDLE: MARCH 28, 2014 Narrator: Tom Stechschulte
Probably my favorite Nora Roberts, for now. NR, like Linda Howard, is a hit-or-miss with me, unlike Sandra Brown, whose books I usually do well with.
The Narrator: Stechschulte, or Tom (easier to spell!) is every bit the seasoned and excellent narrator he is. I'd heard him once on a Christine Feehan Ghostwalkers series which he also narrates but Carnal Innocence shows off his skills a lot more. Tom's Tucker Longstreet brings across the man's Southern charm very effectively and while the rest of the male cast are also southern-accented, I had no difficulty differentiating him from Dwayne, his brother, or Burke, the sheriff.
Tom's female voices were especially good - sounding like husky, warm-voiced women, lending a sexiness that I might not even, otherwise, feel about the heroine. I enjoyed Tom's performance here so much that I just might start listening to the rest of the Ghostwalkers even though I'm not a super-soldier-paranormal fan.
The Story: I did not realize I'd read this book (would have been in the early 90s when NR was an auto-buy) until I reached the part where Billy T and friends were about to lynch Toby March, and then I remembered who the murderer was. It still didn't diminish my enjoyment and when I finished, I was wondering if there are anymore old, classic Roberts like this one. I've read quite a few but I don't recall liking any as much as CI. And I'm talking about her books written in the early to mid 90s. She was still an auto-buy, despite being in my 'B' list, because there were only a handful of contemporary romantic suspense writers at the time - Howard, Krentz, Brown, and Lowell, who dropped off my radar a long time ago, as did Krentz.
Tucker is easily the star of this book and while I never did warm up to Caroline, I thought she gave Tucker back as good as he dished out. I like them enough as a couple to wish there was a second book where I could revisit them and see how they're doing a few years down the line. I can so easily picture Tucker's enjoyment of the various places he'd visit as he accompanies Caroline on her world tour. I know Tucker would make a hilarious tourist whose audio blog (if there was such a thing) I would follow!
Overall, I found this NR a very satisfying balance of romance and murder mystery suspense, even if I am currently surfeit with serial killers....more
This is now one audio series I will be re-listening. I absolutely loved it but I was listening to the DSP audioREVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK; JUNE 2013: 5 STARS
This is now one audio series I will be re-listening. I absolutely loved it but I was listening to the DSP audiobook and partly following with ebook version by ClubHouse Publishing. There are some differences.
I now have the two volumes by DSP so when I run out of MM audiobooks - I only have a handful left:( - I will redo this series....more
Having read seven of these installments, I think I enjoyed Touch & Geaux most. It took about 20% into the story before I was hooked because I wasnHaving read seven of these installments, I think I enjoyed Touch & Geaux most. It took about 20% into the story before I was hooked because I wasn't interested in Nick and the Sidewinder guys. I was fresh out of Stars & Stripes and still coming out of my Ty & Zane sugarland haze so when the Sidewinders made their appearance, I couldn't have cared less.
I'm glad I stuck with this because it soon morphed into my type of romantic suspense - action and some 'real' sex, not just HJs and and BJs.
I loved the tie-in of details I've actually forgotten about - which means I get to reread the entire series again and this time, I'm looking forward to it. Every other time, I am annoyed at having to reread the previous book because by the time the new book came out, I'd forgotten the story. In T&Z's case, they have burrowed under my skin so deep, they are an itch I love, and need, to scratch.
I can't relate to the criticisms some readers, fans or not alike, have leveled at the series/characters/author because my arriving at this place (where I'm a diehard fan) has been so erratic. All I can say is that if I were to read Divide and Conquer again, for example, I would still have the same complaints about the plot holes...but, I would now love T&Z so much I wouldn't care.
I plan to re-listen and reread the entire series once I finish Ball & Chain and am fairly sure my rating for Divide & Conquer will change. I had given it 1 star for being a DNF back in July last year and that was already my 2nd attempt to read it.
As I mentioned earlier, there were a lot of the tie-ups in Touch & Geaux that I was not expecting, but encountering them was what made this installment such a pleasure to read. Again, as I said, I've forgotten a lot of the details in the earlier books, all of which are being connected here so I need (and want to!) to go back and reacquaint myself with those dots.
I don't know about other fans and ex-fans but I am very much in my T&Z happy place right now; I am so glad I didn't give up on the series or allow the negative comments to deter me even though I agree with them.
I know that by the time I'm done with Ball & Chain I will close T&Z's journey with a satisfied sigh. I know because I peeked at the ending, of course....more
I thought this was going to be a 5-star read when I got into it. Then several things started to bug me (read Linda's review to know what they all are)I thought this was going to be a 5-star read when I got into it. Then several things started to bug me (read Linda's review to know what they all are) but I didn't dislike B&C that much to give it 2 stars.
Since I can never be bothered to list everything I like or dislike, and Linda's already done an exceptional job (why aren't people like her editors? Maybe coz no books would get published?) I will just give a concise review:
What I liked: A murder mystery ala Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None; secret passages ala Enid Blyton's Famous Five children's books; Ty & Zane still very much in love and Ty's proposing throughout the book. Of course, I would have hated that if Zane hadn't accepted at the end of the story because, after a proposal like the one Ty came up with, if Zane still said no, there's something seriously wrong with both the series and the author!
What I didn't like:
I still don't "get" Nick and Kelly as a couple, but that could be because I didn't read Shock & Awe (I didn't know it covered Nick & Kelly's getting together until after I started B&C).
I didn't get all the puns, which was annoying as it made have to reread dialogue a few times to figure out what I was missing and getting even more annoyed because I usually do get puns, good and bad ones.
While I didn't mind the presence of the Sidewinder guys, I didn't like that this, being a T&Z book, did not address the problem Zane so obviously still had with Ty - you know, the one that stops him from saying 'yes' every time Ty proposed? This is the 8th book and I've been dragged through the barbwire fence of their relationship. I don't think I'm asking too much for this book, which ends with Zane accepting Ty's proposal, to address those issues still clouding the two men's relationship. At this point, just saying those Three Little Words is no way enough.
The entire premise of T&Z's final book (this should be the final book) being set on an isolated Scottish island but not using that to resolve their doubts is such a waste of an opportunity to me.
I don't understand why this last (or second last, whatever) T&Z book is more about Nick and Kelly. Shouldn't all that stuff about Nick's liver and abusive past belong in a Sidewinder book?
And why the hell is Liam Bell and the Vega cartel popping up at the last minute? Okay, so Bell is there as a sort of pilot scene to the Sidewinders spinoff but that spinoff has already begun so why do we need Bell here? And the Vega cartel - I was never that convinced about Vega's desire for revenge against Zane. It was just dropped in somewhere in the last book (I think) then suddenly resurrected here. Nope. Not convincing at all.
Three stars because I finished it despite the number of flaws and because I was curious about whodunit.
...so who's the mole and who killed Burns? That's a serious question because I got lost in the secret passages of this story and all I got was that Zane finally said 'yes'....more
I decided to switch to the DSP ebook version so it wouldn't be so confusing as I listened to the audiobook.REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK & REREAD; MAY 2013
I decided to switch to the DSP ebook version so it wouldn't be so confusing as I listened to the audiobook. I would have done that for the first two books but I only had the Club Lighthouse version uploaded on my ereader. (I follow my listening with the ebook open because I get interrupted frequently so I pause the audio then go back and read what I missed before I resume listening).
Lasha's review says exactly what I want to say so go read hers. However, I don't feel as negative about Jory as she does. I still like him but get very exasperated with how he allows himself to be taken advantage of. He's everybody's Mr Fixit and doesn't know when or how to say No.
If Lasha was confused by the gap between where we left off in the previous book and the start of this book, I was totally lost because the audiobook by Dreamspinner is different from the original Club Lighthouse ebook version. In some parts, the separation between the books are different - I would have another chapter starting in the ebook but the audio is telling me I've come to the end of Volume One, Book 2!
So when I suddenly found myself at Dane's wedding, I'm going wtf, did I miss an entire book? Did I upload the audiobook in the wrong sequence? But no, it is as Lasha says. Dane, whose love life took up a lot of time in the first two books, is suddenly getting married and I didn't know to whom, why, how.
What I found very tiresome by now is also the repetitiveness of the conversations between Jory and whoever. I lost count of the number of times I read/heard "Let me feed you...", "I just want to feed you..." by Sam and some other guy who can't live if he doesn't feed or fuck Jory.
Then with Sam, the guy is constantly pleading with Jory and Jory, without fail, will be balking at whatever it is Sam wants. It was as if Ms Calmes just copied and pasted that portion of dialogue on every Sam-Jory encounter.
Despite these huge problems in the story, I still like it (so far in my reread and listening). Yet it is precisely because I like it that I strongly feel DSP ought to have done a better job with the editing. They should have tightened the story, done some major revisions so that we aren't dumped into Dane's wedding without any background info and cut the repetitive dialogues.
I'm hoping Book 5 and 6 will read better and they should since they were written for DSP. IMO, DSP ought to have asked for a complete rewrite of the story and published it under a new title. ...more
REVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK & 2ND READING, MAY 2013: 5 STARS Narrator: Paul Morey
I'm glad I decided to try this series in audio when my attempt to reread tREVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK & 2ND READING, MAY 2013: 5 STARS Narrator: Paul Morey
I'm glad I decided to try this series in audio when my attempt to reread the ebook last year ended in failure.
This time, listening to the book, I came away deciding that Jory isn't as Peter Pannish as the first time I encountered him. I also find myself feeling less frustrated and annoyed with Sam and thinking that Jory is being unreasonable for doubting Sam's feelings so much when he himself is making future dates with Dr Nick after having promised Sam he wouldn't see/date Nick anymore. He gives Nick mixed signals, plays hot and cold with him then throws his doubts about his relationship with Sam in the detective's face.
...did I say Jory was less Peter Pannish on the reread? Disregard what I said:0
But I still like him and that accusation would be an exaggeration. I love his interactions with Dane and I still think it's a pity Dane is really straight.
As for the audio version itself, Paul Morey gave Sam Kage a raspy, gravelly voice which was wonderfully done. This isn't just in keeping with Sam's characterization, it helped tremendously in enabling me to differentiate between the male characters. Morey doesn't limit this to just Sam and Jory but I was able to distinguish between Nick and Jory, too.
While Morey doesn't go falsetto for the female characters, he does soften and it was sufficient. What I found throwing me off several times, though, was that a word would be changed to another, though of similar meaning. Or, the gun would be changed from a thirty-eight to a Glock. These changes (and there were several) did not alter the story at all but it did make me pause as I was listening and following with my ebook. I'm guessing that the audiobook is based on the Dreamspinner version whereas my ebook was purchased from Club Lighthouse Pub.
I hadn't read the ebook when I started on the audiobook yesterday - don't know why - but I think alternate 1st Person PREVIEW OF AUDIOBOOK - 3.8 STARS
I hadn't read the ebook when I started on the audiobook yesterday - don't know why - but I think alternate 1st Person POV doesn't work well in audiobooks. Several times while listening, I lost track of whose POV it was - Zach's or Angelo's.
Zach & Ange's (it's spelt "Ang" in the book) story wasn't as riveting as Matt & Jared's (Book 1) and I'm not sure how long after Book 1 ends before Book 2 begins but Matt & Jared are already a couple and living together.
A to Z is about Zach who, if he hadn't ended up owning a video store, would have ended up a sweet homeless bum and Angelo, a 27 year-old guy who'd been abandoned by his parents and shunted from one foster home to another until he ran away at 16.
I found Ange's insecurity, while perfectly understandable, tiresome to listen to. I followed part of the story in ebook and found reading it slightly less annoying but not by much. Like Ange himself says, I couldn't understand why Zach put up with him...but we do those we love, don't we?
There's nothing in the story I'd complain about. It was what I expected a romance like this to be - well-written, engaging for most parts and after it ended, I was even prepared to go on to Book 3 which I had purposed NOT to read when I bought it not realizing Ange has sex with Cole even though he and Zach are already a couple.