Read in paper 2009. Rereading for audio review 2013.
3.5* I’ve read all Gibson’s books and was excited about listening to It Must Be Love on audio. I’m...moreRead in paper 2009. Rereading for audio review 2013.
3.5* I’ve read all Gibson’s books and was excited about listening to It Must Be Love on audio. I’m pleased to say the narrator is a win, but certain aspects of the plot make the book less enjoyable than I remembered.
Gabrielle, our heroine, mixes herbal remedies and essential oils and talks about auras and karma. She meditates and chants and attempts to find her peaceful center. The street festival in our local university town would be an ideal place to find Gabrielle, and perhaps that’s also true for Boise, Idaho where the book is set. While many of the beliefs Gabrielle espouses are still quite popular, the New Age phenomenon was much more prominent in pop culture when the book was published in 2000. That, along with no inclusion of cell phones or computers, makes the book feel a little dated now.
Our hero, Joe, is unlikeable for much of the book. The way Joe and his boss bully Gabrielle into being a confidential informant and Joe’s patronizing attitude afterwards is unpleasant. He thinks she’s a kook, but this doesn’t stop Joe from coming-on to Gabrielle. His advances show a lack of professionalism, especially since he says he doesn’t even like her. That Gabriella keeps “melting” when he kisses her disappoints me. Although she does stand up to him more than the average romance heroine, she is still too vulnerable to his charm.
Thankfully, Rebecca Tripp’s narration helped me enjoy the book even when I felt unhappy about the characters. Her characters are distinct and she’s pleasing to listen to. Tripp doesn’t change her voice a great deal for most characters, but the characters are easy to tell apart, even in conversation. The only voice that gives the narrator any trouble is the parrot, but I won’t hold that against her! It’s not easy to mimic. My only recommendations to Ms. Tripp is that she speed up her reading just a bit and add a little more animation to her performance.
Throughout the book, Gabrielle is stressed about being disloyal to her friend, about lying, and about being forced to be a confidential informant for the police. She is anxious and conflicted, and both the writing and the narration help the listener share those emotions.
Joe has to do some major groveling to redeem himself, but Gabrielle makes him work for it at the end. It’s obvious he feels the weight of what he stupidly let go, and he has doubt about his ability to make it right. It Must Be Love isn’t so much a light romantic comedy for me. It’s the story of a vulnerable openhearted woman and a fairly shallow man finding each other. That’s a recipe for pain, and poor Gabrielle goes through pain. But I did like it because the ending is realistic. Even though the reader expects the happy ending, Joe doesn’t, and I like that his confidence was finally shaken.
SOA Listening Challenge 2011- Give a narrator a second chance. Susan Ericksen. I didn't care for her narration of High Noon, but she gets great review...moreSOA Listening Challenge 2011- Give a narrator a second chance. Susan Ericksen. I didn't care for her narration of High Noon, but she gets great reviews for the In Death series.
SFR Reading Challenge 2011
I can now understand all the excitement over Susan Erisksen's narration of JD Robb's In Death series. For as much as Ericksen's reading of High Noon frustrated me, her reading of Naked in Death pleased me. In High Noon Ericksen tended to pitch her voice up at the end of sentences in dialogs, making all the characters sound like teenagers. (High Noon is one of my favorite Nora Roberts' books.) Not only didn't she do that here, but she also has great accents for several of the primary ad secondary characters.
This book has a great plot, wonderful characters, and solid writing by Robb, aka Nora Roberts. Ericksen's excellent narration rounds this out to a guaranteed winner in audio, as well as print. I already have book 2 of the In Death series on audio, and plan to listen soon.
I'm continuing to enjoy the In Death books on audio. I figured out the murderer early on in this story but I still enjoyed...moreTBR Challenge 2011- General.
I'm continuing to enjoy the In Death books on audio. I figured out the murderer early on in this story but I still enjoyed the ride. The backstory on Eve was tough to read, but made for some great interactions between her and Roark. We also learn more about Roark and Somerset, and get introduced to Peabody, who's a great character.
With so many more books in the series, I won't have any problems spending my audible.com credits for a long time.(less)
Rated 4 stars in print in 2009 and 2011. Bought unabridged audiobook 3/2012.
Listening on audio was as much fun as reading the book. Decent narrator ma...moreRated 4 stars in print in 2009 and 2011. Bought unabridged audiobook 3/2012.
Listening on audio was as much fun as reading the book. Decent narrator made it an enjoyable reread. Good characters, witty dialogue, creepy villain, great balance of humor and angst. Great book, even if it is a little dated!(less)
I originally read this book over three years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I recently...moreOriginally read Nov 2008.
A-/B+ Narration by Deborah Hazlett 4.5*
I originally read this book over three years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I recently bought the unabridged audiobook from audible. The narration bu Deborah Hazlett is excellent. She does the Alabama accents well, and really gets Daisy's personality. Her voice sounds just like a smart but somewhat shelters southern woman should. Daisy is a great character, somehow blending prim-and-proper with backbone and humor. After deciding to change her life with a make-over and new clothes, our inexperienced librarian vacillates between outrage and curiosity over the advances of police Chief Jack Russo. Russo is a big-city Yankee outsider who is trying to get used to living and working in a small southern town. At first he is mildly intrigued by Daisy, then decides if she's looking for a man, he's the one for the job.
I like the suspense story that's woven into the story, although the serious subject of human trafficking doesn't always fit well into an otherwise lighthearted story of a woman on the verge of spinsterhood breaking free and and learning to live. But overall the plotting of the suspense plot is well done and interesting.(less)
As a professional butler, Sarah Stevens is trained to manage large household down to the smallest details. She’s...moreGrade A-/B+
Narrated by Susan Ericksen
As a professional butler, Sarah Stevens is trained to manage large household down to the smallest details. She’s also skilled as a bodyguard, which comes in handy in her present position as butler to a retired Federal judge. When an obsessed admirer sets out to secure Sarah’s services by any means possible, Detective Thomas Cahill is brought in to lead the investigation. As the mystery deepens, Sarah finds herself drawn into the investigation. Complicating matters is the attraction that draws Cahill and Sarah to each other.
Susan Ericksen, best known for her outstanding narration of J.D. Robb’s In Death series, handles Dying to Please with the same skill. The pacing and dynamics of her performance are excellent. Ericksen’s reading feels natural and there is never any confusion about who is speaking during conversations. She proves her versatility by making Sarah and Cahill sound unique rather than copies of Eve and Roarke.
Sarah isn't a typical heroine. She’s capable and tough but not the sassy, bad-ass kind of heroine authors often employ when they want strong female leads. Sarah, in keeping with her butler training, is reserved and professional instead of snarky. Ericksen gives Sarah a cool, understated voice, one that conveys strength and humor.
Cahill is a great hero, although flawed and not always likeable. At one point in the story Cahill makes a huge error in judgment. Given Cahill’s job and his past relationship history, the error feels in character. Howard does a great job making us feel his pain when he realizes the damage he's done. It was refreshing to see Cahill take full responsibility for his actions, and I admired his determination to make it right. Ericksen aptly portrays Cahill’s wide range of feelings and emotions, always managing to make him sound completely male.
The dynamics between the Sarah and Cahill is especially well done. Their relationship takes some time to develop, and the conflict in the relationship wasn't a misunderstanding that can be cleared up with a five-minute conversation. Instead, it packs an emotional punch.
I recommend the audio version of Dying to Please for any romantic suspense fan. It’s a good introduction to Linda Howard, as well as a good introduction to the excellent narrative abilities of Susan Ericksen. In addition, there is this extremely hot wrestling scene, which is not to be missed.
This book is a different kind of romantic suspense. While there is definitely a mystery/suspense plot going on in the background, and that plot has im...moreThis book is a different kind of romantic suspense. While there is definitely a mystery/suspense plot going on in the background, and that plot has important impact on the characters, the main plot takes place away from the action. Nevertheless, the story unfolding of recovering and discovery is well-paced and well-written. I was compelled to keep reading and figure out what the truth was, and I was moved by the developing relationship between the characters.
This is a short book, but above average and worth the time.(less)
Enjoyable older book from Linda Howard. I've enjoyed the entire Kell Sabin series. They are short and a little dated, but worth losing yourself in for...moreEnjoyable older book from Linda Howard. I've enjoyed the entire Kell Sabin series. They are short and a little dated, but worth losing yourself in for a few hours. Sexy, dangerous men and strong women. What more do you need from an "escapist" read?(less)
Stolen Fury and Stolen Heat by this author were both four star reads for me. Even though I enjoyed Stolen Seduction, it wasn't anything out of the ord...moreStolen Fury and Stolen Heat by this author were both four star reads for me. Even though I enjoyed Stolen Seduction, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. My biases will be showing here because I don't enjoy reading characters who constantly snipe at each other, and this book was chocked full of antagonistic relationships. No one seemed to be able to get along, including the H/h for much of the book. I admit that made me put the book down for two days before picking it back up to finish it. I finally got caught up in the suspense plot, but felt strangely unsatisfied by the solution to the mystery. Overall a fine read by an above average romantic suspense author, but not her best.(less)
TBR Challenge 2011 - I'm using the TBR Challenge to make myself clear out some books that have been on my to-read shelf for a long while. Hidden Riche...moreTBR Challenge 2011 - I'm using the TBR Challenge to make myself clear out some books that have been on my to-read shelf for a long while. Hidden Riches has been on my list since January 2010.
Dora's quick wit makes this book. Nora Roberts does a great job writing her, and writing the interactions between Dora and Jed. Jed is a complex character, but even though he acts like a jerk on several occasions, he isn't an unlikable person. In fact, his struggles are some of the most realistic I've seen in romance novels. I'm glad Jed admits his feelings for Dora, at least to himself, before the crisis at the end. That added believability to the HEA.
The plot has suspense but it's not a mystery. The readers know all along what's going on, and the suspense comes from how it's all going to play out. The suspense was a success for me. I enjoyed how the details were unraveled for the readers. Dora's emotions and reactions after scary events seemed believable. In newer novels the norm is a superwoman who is fearless and often reckless. Dora was no doormat, but she had realistic reactions to being in danger.(less)
3* for story (B-/C+) 4.5* for narration by Natalie Ross (A)
The story was somewhat weak to me. It was too confusing and took too long to get off the gro...more3* for story (B-/C+) 4.5* for narration by Natalie Ross (A)
The story was somewhat weak to me. It was too confusing and took too long to get off the ground. Thankfully, the second half of the book was faster-paced and more interesting than the first part.
I liked several of the secondary characters as much or more than the main characters. Marc and Karen were way too caught up in what happened before and spent too much time in their own heads, especially in the first part of the book. Overall it was a good story, but not unique or especially memorable. In fact, I read the book in print 3 years ago and while listening to it, I couldn't remember one thing about the plot. ;-)
The narration is quite good, and brings the enjoyment level of the audio up a notch. Natalie Ross does male voices quite well, not growling or making the voice gruff. Her characters voices are distinct and keeping the speakers straight is never a problem. Ross uses subtle changes in her voice to let the listener know when a character is thinking the words or speaking them aloud. This is an important skill for a narrator and much appreciated, especially in stories like this where characters spend time in their own thoughts.