★★★★★ Whoa. I’d heard this book was very good, but it surpassed even my expectations. There is so much more here than meets the eye. The characters ar...more
★★★★★ Whoa. I’d heard this book was very good, but it surpassed even my expectations. There is so much more here than meets the eye. The characters are nothing out of the ordinary – at first. But as I turned the pages they developed a depth and uniqueness that is not often found in this type of publication. Yes, I’ve heard the set-up before; nevertheless, Ms. Dolan managed to make these characters have their own distinct personalities and experience individual growth after spending time with one another. Truly a story of the power of unconditional love. I cried in two places and gobbled the book down whole last night in one sitting.
Definitely a book for my keeper shelf. I’ll be looking for more by this “new-2-me” author.(less)
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Susan Duerden has quickly become one of my favorite narrators. In Ransom, o...moreCastle on the cliffs of Scotland
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Susan Duerden has quickly become one of my favorite narrators. In Ransom, one of my favorite Garwood books, she manages to elevate it even more! Awe-mazing.
I’ve read Ransom several times, but it was fun to hear it read to me. Ms. Duerden does a wonderful job on the Scottish accents and inflecting just the right tone for the characters and the situation. I don’t know how she got some of the deep voices for the men. Her pacing and voice level are consistent. It was a real joy to listen to this on audiobook. I’m so glad I didn’t resist getting this newly released version, as I know I’ll listen to it again and again.
What can I say about a classic Garwood Highland Medieval and – at 546 pages, or 16 hours on audio – a “chunkster” to boot? I feel like I’m repeating myself about Ms. Garwood; but, while there were a few LOL moments, what I really found was that I was smiling throughout this book. I like smiling while I listen to a story; it gives me a warm feeling; makes me want to hunker down under my covers and stay there, indulging in a bit of escapism to Garwood’s Medieval Scotland. This writer can get away with a subtle brand of humor that others cannot. The prologue in this one is excellent, and instantly transported me there. Even in the urgency and danger of the situation JG still managed to capture the character and innocence of a young Gillian and make me… well, smile. ☺
Here we get two love stories in one, which some people don’t like, but I found one complimented the other and made the developing friendship between the two women, Gillian and Bridgid, a more realistic relationship. It gave them something to talk about. (Not that there wasn’t enough action, intrigue, and betrayal going on in the story.) This was true for the corresponding relationship between the two long-time comrades and heroes, Brodick and Ramsey. They all got to know each other on a different level, and it is easy for me to see the four of them remaining friends for life.
That said, I felt the resolution of secondary love story was a bit too quick; greedy romance reader that I am, I would have liked a smidgen more. Maybe a wedding? One not on horseback? LOL!(less)
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Man-oh-man! Susan Duerden does a wonderful job of narrating this one. Her voices are spot-on, especially her despicable Aunt Patricia. Her pacing is good, her male voices are more than acceptable, I liked her accents and inflections, and she sounds interested in the story. (Always a plus!)
Surprisingly, my least favorite voice was Christina’s, the heroine’s, making her sound – I thought at first – a bit too young. While I loved her toddler-Christina declaring, “My Eagle!,” I had to step-back and think about how she does her as a young lady. I didn't realize how much Christina switched dispositions, flying off the handle at Lyon, the hero, or starts crying. However, Christina - at 18 - is young; alas, honestly, Ms. Duerden delivered her multiple moods and tones suitably, too.
Being a big Julie Garwood fan, I just have to re-read one of her Historical Romances every once in a while. I say “re-read” because she has gone on to Contemporary and Romantic Suspense. Luckily, some of her older Historical Romances are coming out on audio now.
The Lion's Lady spans from an Indian encampment in the early American West to the ballrooms of Regency England where Princess Christina finds Lyon, the Marquis of Lyonwood, her destiny and her warrior. There is a lot of humor and fun in this novel à la Garwood, as Christina is a charming fish-out-of-water.
Nevertheless, it is equally a good mystery, with the right amount of suspense for a Historical Romance novel. Each chapter starts with another snippet from Christina’s mother’s journal, which reveals more of why she fled her country while pregnant with Christina.
This is a novel filled with memorable secondary characters. Of course, there is the malicious, machinating Aunt Patrica – a woman I love to hate. Other brilliant secondary characters are Lyon’s best-friend, Rhone, who comes with his own little mystery, and Lyon’s naive – and oblivious – younger sister, Diana, who gushes awkwardly over the newly arrived Princess, and worries over what she’ll do with her grief-stricken mother. I also enjoyed the unsavory cutthroats in Bleak Bryan’s tavern, who become bespelled with the fiercely independent Princess.
Still, if you want to read my favorite scene in the book, look at my review of the paperback edition here. Ms. Duerden does a delicious Elbert, too, which elevates this hilarious scene between perplexed master, Christina’s ancient servant, and Lyon’s young butler, Brown. LOL!
I highly recommend this audiobook. All in all a GoodRead – or listen!
*Crazy Horse was NOT depicted in this novel; however, he was from the Dakota area, which is where Christina was raised. I thought her knife, which played such a major role in the story, could have looked like this one.
From Wiki: Crazy Horse, literally “His-Horse-Is-Crazy” or “His-Horse-Is-Spirited,” was a Native American war leader of the Oglala Lakota. He took up arms against the U.S. Federal government to fight against encroachments on the territories and way of life of the Lakota people, including leading a war party to victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876.(less)
[image error] ★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) How is it possible that Robert Petkoff keeps getting better and better with each one of the re...more[image error] ★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) How is it possible that Robert Petkoff keeps getting better and better with each one of the releases of Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series? I mean, Good Gravy Beans, I already had him as my Top Ten Narrators for two years running. I've pre-ordered every book in this series when it becomes available, stalked Ms. Cole’s and audible.com’s websites waiting for word of the next release so I can mark my calendar, and I’ve sought out books in other genres just to listen to him. So, what more does he want me to do?
Here he does to perfection the voice of one of my favorite heroes in this delightful series: Cadeon Woede, a rage demon, in love with a human named Holly. One of the things I love about Cade is his sense of humor – and Mr. Petkoff infuses that readiness to laughter into his delivery of this Lore hunk’s voice. He does a wonderful job with the female vocalizations of Holly, Nïx, and Regin, too, rarely relying on a falsetto. And his voice for Groot? Delicious! Having the right narrator is imperative to an audiobook and Mr. Petkoff has nailed it every time, impressing me with his versatility with accents, pacing, and inflection. Plus, I swear, I swooned every time he said Holly’s name. **sigh**
To say the least, Cadeon is a big disappointment to his older brother, Rydstrom, deposed ruler of Rothkalina. Cade wants to prove himself by restoring his sibling to his rightful throne. How? By obtaining a mystickal sword from a metallurgist named Groot, which will kill the usurper of Castle Tornin, the sorcerer Osmort. What does he need? Well, that would be a huge spoiler, and I would NOT want to ruin for you.
Cade is a primal male hero from Medieval times; known as a brutal mercenary, he’d prefer to live in the moment, but feels bound by his Princely duties to his brother. Holly is a new millennium spectacle-wearing geek, on the verge of completing her PhD in Mathematics, with bad case of Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder. This installment puts them on a “road trip” together, another favorite setting of mine, with check-points along the way. I’m not big on bickering couples; nevertheless, I love bantering ones, and there is a difference. These two fun opposites pull off the later, while maintaining the chemistry and sexual tension between them.
I can’t recommend this one enough.
P.S. If you need a “zombie-like” character for a challenge, I think the cannibalistic Wendigos qualify: “corpse-eaters insatiable for flesh” and “ravenous for blood.”
Out So Far on Audio (Note: Only the last five are narrated by Mr. Petkoff.)
*The picture was found on Pinterest and is from the Dark Castle game, by Vimark.(less)
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audio book.) What can I say about hearing one of my favorite installments of Kresley Cole’s wonderful Immo...more[image error]
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audio book.) What can I say about hearing one of my favorite installments of Kresley Cole’s wonderful Immortals After Dark series brought to life on audio book? Terrific? Wonderful? Awesome?
They all seem woefully inadequate.
I’ve read this book several times, and I loved listening to it. Robert Petkoff continues he breathtaking narration, kicking it up a notch this time to tell us of Neomi Laress and Conrad Wroth’s love story. His voice is dreamy and he does the international cast of characters wonderfully, maintaining differentiation. His French Quarter accent for Neomi and Estonian accent for Conrad are great...nevertheless, I loved his Nïx the best! She, the “Ever-Knowing” soothsayer, is perplexed in this one and Mr. Petkoff has her inflection – with just the right touch of arrogant attitude thrown in – down perfect.
At the beginning one is inclined to wonder how Ms. Cole will ever get these two together. Naeomi is not just a former femme fatale and burlesque dancer who rose above her roots to become a prima ballerina of the jazz era, she is a ghost! Worse yet, Conrad is not just a vampire, but one of the “Fallen vampires” and a master assassin. …Oh…and his is just on the edge of insane.
Talk about obstacles!
Not to mention, Conrad’s brothers have imprisoned him in Elancourt, Naeomi’s abandoned New Orleans manor, in order to rid him of his insanity and bloodlust. They can’t see Naeomi, so they believe he is not improving, but really losing it.
Still, despite the rage and madness, Conrad, the youngest of the Wroth brothers, manages to come across on the pages as… ** whew…fans self**…H.O.T.! I had forgotten how overpowering, demanding, possessive, and relentless he is in his desire for Naeomi. I'm not as much of an alpha-hero lover as some of my GoodReads friends, but this one definitely works for me. The love scenes are sizzling. Yet so much of it is – at least in the beginning – cerebral.
I don’t want to give the whole story away; however, there are parts of this account that are just plain poignant. Ms. Cole has taken traditional things that we know about and written a wonderful Paranormal-Romance that is truly original. All the while continuing to interweave other characters’ storyline without the reader getting frustrated by too little or too much information. Fabulous!
One last thing: Robert Petkoff is not recording these fast enough for me. ☺
★★★★½ I had to re-read this one because I love it so much. There are a couple minor issues that Ms. Thomas left unanswered or that I wished she had de...more★★★★½ I had to re-read this one because I love it so much. There are a couple minor issues that Ms. Thomas left unanswered or that I wished she had developed more; however, this is an earlier one of her earlier works, so I forgive her. For my original GoodReads review, see this link.(less)
The Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North Carolina. One can see why these mountains got their name.
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Khri...moreThe Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North Carolina. One can see why these mountains got their name.
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Khristine Hvam continues the narration of Amanda Stevens’s eerie mystery series. She does an excellent job reading this in first person POV as Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer. Her Southern accent is perfection, as well as her cadence, tone, inflection, enunciation, and her ability to different voices. There is a reason Ms. Hvam was on my Top Ten Audio List of 2012; so far she's on there for 2013, too!
This time Amelia has ventured outside her Charleston home when she goes to restore Thorngate Cemetery in the eerie and atmospheric Asher Falls. Or is that a dark enchantment in the air? Whatever, Amelia feels drawn to the mountain community, with it ghostly man-made Bell Lake.
Just who commissioned Amelia to do this job, anyway – and why? Was it really Luna Kemper, Real Estate Agent extraordinaire, with an unusually youthful sultriness? Or one of her cliquish friends? Could it be old man Pell Asher, bound to his wheelchair, but still wielding great power? His arrogant son Hugh, with his ‘unnervingly perfect’ features? Or Hugh’s young wallpaper wife, Maris? How about the creepy guy at the cemetery who slithers under and around? Certainly not the scarred Police Chief Wayne Van Zandt; he wants her gone. Though John Devlin is sorely missing, there is the seductive Thane Asher who is attentive to Amelia; does he have ghosts haunting him, too? And what could be his motives for wanting Amelia’s presence?
In addition to an underwater cemetery that casts a pall over Asher Falls, there is a reclusive neighbor, a history of several suspicious deaths, something evil in the woods, a really neat dog named Angus, plenty of ghosts, rebellious teenagers, romantic entanglements – with the resulting jealousies – and a ‘whole lot of mendacity going on’ in a dying community.
We get some answers in The Kingdom, which should make readers happy; however, it is a certainty that the tale isn't complete. I can’t wait for the next one!
Mountain Streams With its stunning view of the Blue Ridge and woods full of rhododendrons, mountain laurel and wildflowers, Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area is truly one of South Carolina’s pretty places.
mountain laurel in South Carolina [image error]
Natural Bridge at Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area, 12 mi. N.W. of Pickens, South Carolina. Photo by John Burns.
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Whoa. Babe. Khristine Hvam elevated this book – which started out very much a Young Adult Paranormal – to...more*
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Whoa. Babe. Khristine Hvam elevated this book – which started out very much a Young Adult Paranormal – to a sophisticated, thought-provoking Fantasy with mythological and religious overtones. Her narration is Exceptional, with a capital “E.” She delivers Ms. Taylor’s lyrical prose effortlessly while infusing the voices of human, seraphim, chimaera, and other magical creatures with distinct characteristics and a variety of multicultural accents. Each has a unique voice of their own, making them come vividly to life in the author’s, imaginative, whimsical and darkly parallel worlds. I see why this won an Audie Award.
The story starts out with Karou, a seventeen-year-old multi-lingual art student who is not above a little petty revenge. She lives in the cobblestone setting of Prague, with a host of mythical creatures in a small shop. Only her little cubbyhole has portals to extra-dimensional places and a father figure raising her by the name of Brimstone!
This is a detail-rich book that has clues as to Karou’s destiny everywhere. I know I’ll be listening to this one again, if only to catch them all; however, next time I think it will be as a “buddy read.” There are too many provocative discussions that could arise from this novel. For one, you think Karou is just the typical “beautiful, kick-ass” heroine found in so many YA Paranormals. (view spoiler)[Oh, but she is so much more than that and her beauty is part of a larger plot element. (hide spoiler)] Of course, there is her blue hair, her hamsas** and, well…the whole issue of her true identity being more than an errand girl to a monstrous sorcerer who has a fetish for teeth!
Then there is Akiva, an angel with fiery wings, who believes pity and mercy have been extinguished in him. Nonetheless, his skin comes alive when Karou touches him, bringing him to his knees. She’s instantly smitten, too, though her palm tattoos burn and ache in warning. After all, his mission is to close the doors to Elsewhere, so these two are on opposite sides; nevertheless, this is more than a mire Romeo and Juliette star-crossed-lover formulaic relationship. Ms. Taylor has woven an enthralling love story into a magical tale with an underlying message of hope.
Is there a cliffhanger? Yes, to say the least. I gasped at the ending. Come on September!
*I’d like to thank Pamela (AllHoney) for finding the above picture and posting it on our community “Doors and Windows” Pinterest Board; perfect depiction for one of the portals to Elsewhere.
**hamsas: a palm-shaped tattoo with an eye in the center
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I just loved this one; an exceptional read! Rebecca Macauley does an excellent job of sounding like sixte...more
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I just loved this one; an exceptional read! Rebecca Macauley does an excellent job of sounding like sixteen year-old Francesca, as well as the other diverse characters in this wonderful coming of age story. Sure, there isn’t much of a stretch for her narrating an Australian accent, but she conveys Francesca’s teenage angst (something Francesca so doesn’t want to do!) and the interactions with other characters: teenagers – children – adults – males, all beautifully. I noticed she also reads some of Ms. Marchetta’s other books and that makes them even more of a draw. I’m so glad I found this author!
This is a wonderful, poignant, ultimately upbeat “coming-of-age” book that has Francesca stuck in what was previously an all-boys school; tossed in with people whom she wouldn’t normally be friends, she not only has to learn to adapt, but find herself. Plus, she has to deal with the unknown of why her energetic, over-achieving mother suddenly takes to her bed and won’t meet the day.
It is all presented with humor and tenderness and the lovely Australian lingo, such as ‘pashing’ for ‘kissing’. I happen to have the paperback by my side as I listened to this one (because I did it as a “buddy read” and I needed a reference for my discussion questions). I noticed in the paperback there were expressions like; “I'm chuffed” that were changed to “I’m pleased.” So glad I got to hear it on audiobook where it retained the “down-under” flavor.
Definitely a GoodRead – or GoodListen!
Leichhardt Town Hall, New South Wales, built 1846.
Piazza at Italian Forum in Leichhardt, where Francesca and her family - sans mum - go for some gelato.
Leichhardt Falls [image error]
Spoiler Pic:(view spoiler)[Francesca is supposed to look like the beautiful Sophia Loren. I think this is a picture of her when she was “discovered” at seventeen, an age Francesca turns in the book: (hide spoiler)]
Looking for pictures of the Woy Woy Train Station, I came across these pictures.
Barrenjoey Head & Lion Island from Umina Beach where Frankie the Brave met her wave? Photo Credit: ThisIsntSydney.blogspot.com ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
★★★★½ Loved this one! Such fun to finally have a story about the charming, lovable, bumbling, dimwitted (?) Reginald “Tu...moreChristmas Pudding [image error]
★★★★½ Loved this one! Such fun to finally have a story about the charming, lovable, bumbling, dimwitted (?) Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh. I knew it was going to be good when his sister suggested he throw the Christmas pudding he’d received and he hefted it from hand to hand to gauge its weight as a projectile. Like the picture, this one’s on fire! If you haven’t started this series yet, do so! Nevertheless, don’t spoil any of the wonderful surprises; you definitely need to start at the beginning.
In this, #4.2 of the charming Pink Carnation series, “Turnip” meets his perfect opposite in the shy Miss Arabella Dempsey. Maybe it was for the holidays, but this one is a little sweeter than the other books, and a little more innocent.
Ms. Willig is gifted at creating unique characters with witty dialogues and having them stay in character through-out her series. Yet her magic comes when you see them - and they are all far from perfect - from a different character’s perspective in another book...making it half the fun.
Jane Austen makes an appearance, too, and she’s done to perfection in an arena in which she would surely excel - a spy mystery. Still, Arabella steps in to do the honors.
I’ve been doing this series as a monthly “buddy read” and I highly recommend that avenue. Everyone guesses something right and has insights that the others didn’t consider.
Yes, I know I usually do the audiobook. However, I was still on the library “waitlist” (in June!) when my “buddy read” rolled around; so, I read the e-Book. The audio is read by the talented Kate Reading, who does the rest of the series; I’m definitely going to listen to this volume for the holidays come December. (less)
★★★★★ What a wonderful book! The only fault I found was in myself – because I didn’t pick up the next one in this charming series while I was at the l...more★★★★★ What a wonderful book! The only fault I found was in myself – because I didn’t pick up the next one in this charming series while I was at the library! I’ve already requested the audio CD’s. Hopefully, I’ll do a more in-depth review for that media format.
Glad I needed Wisconsin for my State Challenge. (less)
Regency Period & Ireland [image error][image error]
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Oh! This parallel time warp series just keeps getting...moreRegency Period & Ireland [image error][image error]
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Oh! This parallel time warp series just keeps getting better and better. Luckily, it looks like the fabulous, talented and versatile Kate Reading narrates the whole of this series. She does a wonderful job on the male and female voices – of all ages. (Eloise’s grandmother sounds a little like an elderly Katherine Hepburn.) She’s good at differentiating the voices within the same sex also. Regardless of whether the characters’ agendas are nefarious or benign – Ms. Reading gets the tone and inflection just right and gives nothing away – if their intent was part of the mystery. And **gasp** most of the book takes place in Ireland!
I am NOT a big admirer of the ‘hero-in-love-with-the-sister’ theme, yet this author pulled it off. Forced into a marriage-of-convenience with the younger, ‘less desirable’ sibling, would I believe the hero worthy of heroine? Would they have a ‘plausible’ HEA*? I guess my rating puts those questions to rest. And **gasp** most of the book takes place in Ireland! In addition, there are plenty of clever twists in the plotline; I was gobsmacked more than once.
I also want to say, that when referring to the hardcopy version to write my “buddy read” questions, I was captivated by Ms. Willig’s writing style. Not only is it well edited, she chooses just the right word and expression, causing the scenes and century switches to flow seamlessly, making it all a pure pleasure to read. I got caught up in the story all over again!
Special Note: I went looking for the paperback copies of this series as references for the “buddy reads” I am doing of the Pink Carnation series. It is no surprise that I didn’t find them in the “Romance” section but in the “Fiction”. Book stores are still a bit snobbish when it comes to tagging a book a “Romance”. Though, I agree that they are “sophisticated” romances – and at least in the upper echelon of the genre; nevertheless, that doesn’t make them any less deviously, deliciously FUN!
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) If you follow my reviews, you know I just adore this series. I was so disappointing t...moreBlooming Night Jasmine
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) If you follow my reviews, you know I just adore this series. I was so disappointing that the previous narrator wasn’t narrating this one; however, Justine Eyre does a fine job with the inflection, accents, tone, and male/female voices! I’ll definitely listen to her again.
I was also worried that I wouldn’t like a story surrounding the Hellfire Club, but this one was excellent. Lady Charlotte Lansdowne, wearing “rose-colored glasses” firmly upon her cute little nose, and Robert, the prodigal Duke of Dovedale, uncover a plot to kidnap ‘mad’ King George. Is it all connected the the bouquet of spies all bearing flower names? There are several twists and turns and a red herring or two thrown in the mix. A couple of returning characters from previous books make this even more fun.(less)
Steiff Black Teddy Bear, a Titanic commemorative keepsake, sold for $136,000/91,750 pounds in 2000 at Christie’s.
★★★★★ They say write what you know an...moreSteiff Black Teddy Bear, a Titanic commemorative keepsake, sold for $136,000/91,750 pounds in 2000 at Christie’s.
★★★★★ They say write what you know and that certainly holds true here for John J. Lamb. Loved this first in the Bear Collector’s Mystery series! Mr. Lamb, a retired San Francisco policeman, writes about a retired SF cop, Brad Lyon. (Lamb to Lyon? Cute.)
Instead of another dead groundhog, Brad’s Old English Sheepdog, Kitchener, finds a dead body down by the river. Knowing it is a homicide – not a suicide – he backs off when warned away by the sheriff. That is until the local law goes a step too far, then Brad’s in the thick of the investigation and presenting the reader with a compelling mystery.
Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
There was a lot happening in this picturesque little town, but all the storylines converge, after some interesting twists, to make a wonderful, interesting cozy that I couldn’t put down. Loved the relationship between the protagonist and his teddy bear-making wife, Ashleigh. Looking forward to more of this series.
Ariel shots of the Amazon River that could conceivably have been taken by Corey’s 35mm camera from the window of Ash’s rust-bucket of a plane. [image e...moreAriel shots of the Amazon River that could conceivably have been taken by Corey’s 35mm camera from the window of Ash’s rust-bucket of a plane. [image error]
★★★★★★ Loved, loved, LOVED this book! And it was a Kindle Freebie! Amazing. Originally published in 1988, I can see why this one won “Romantic Times Best New Adventure Writer Award.” I wish more authors, when offering a backlisted book for free*, had books of this caliber. Of course, Ms. Theresa Weir (a.k.a. Anne Frasier) is one smart lady, because I’m going to track down more of her suspenseful books.
The heroine, Corey McKinney, was just wonderful. I guess I would have to say she is very believable. “Real,” if you will. We don’t get many church-going heroines thrown into a hot, steamy romance novel in an exotic locale. Her bewilderment at her attraction to the rude, crude, and socially unacceptable hero is right on the mark. Nevertheless, she’s no shrieking, shrinking violet or virgin; but she does wonder what is happening to her hormones. She’s smart, too! Neat.
Speaking of the hero, Asher Adams (AKA a rough, disreputable, foul-mouthed, funny, hunky bush pilot) is just uncouth enough, without going over the line, to be her total opposite. His saving grace: he has a vulnerable streak as long – and as dangerously unpredictable – as the Amazon. That, and he can be very sweet.
Great pacing and well written. Definitely recommend!
Love the original artwork cover by Morgan Kane, too. Just campy enough to get a great mental image of Ash saving Corey – or “Lily,” as he calls her – from the Xingu Death Pit. This one is fun. And, there’s a dog named Bobbie in it. (♥ Dogs!)
*Currently it is free only for Amazon Prime Members, so you might want to wait until it rolls around again for the general population.
White sand beaches of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. I’m sure Anna and T.J. wished they’d had this hammock.
★★★★½ Oh, this is a good one. I have a bo...moreWhite sand beaches of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. I’m sure Anna and T.J. wished they’d had this hammock.
★★★★½ Oh, this is a good one. I have a bookshelf entitled “mrs-robinson” that this one is placed on; however, don’t let the age difference put you off about the relationship between Anna and T.J. Their story of survival and love is a wonderful read, which goes so fast and is so engrossing it was hard for me to maintain the slower pace of my “buddy read.”
Speaking of which, I loved reading this with other brave souls who, like me, were willing to risk this controversial story based on the recommendation of some trusted friends that assured us there wouldn’t be an “ick” factor. I can see why this was picked up as a movie.
atoll: a coral island that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.
Malhosmadulhu Atoll seen from space. "Fasdutere" and Southern Maalhosmadulhu Atoll can be seen in this picture.
An old live oak guarded the darkest corner of the garden, and a swing hung like a childhood memory from one of the gnarled branches.
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Oh, this one is excellent! The first thrilling mystery in the Graveyard Queen series is narrated by the wonderful Khristine Hvam, who is perfect for this first person POV telling of a Southern gothic. She doesn’t miss a beat in maintaining the eerie, ghostly ambience of Ms. Stevens’ story. Really, I’m such a wuss, I didn’t even try to listen to this one, except in the safety of broad daylight.
While I enjoyed this audiobook, I also had to refer to my Kindle copy occasionally; the words are beautiful, lyrical, haunting, making it very atmospheric. Sure, I loved hearing them, but I also wanted to feast my eyes upon them. Such a dilemma! Such a delight! This one will prickle your flesh to goose pimples – the slow rising kind! Nevertheless, you’ll enjoy the shiver all the more with the knowledge they are crawling up your arms and down your spine.
Amelia Gray, as a cemetery restorer and blogger catering to taphophiles*, also happens to see ghosts; and there are certainly plenty in the old Charleston graveyard where a young woman is found brutally murdered. Then there is the yummy John Devlin, police detective with the Charleston PD, who needs Amelia’s expertise with headstones, epitaphs, and graveyards. He’s oozing irresistible Southern gentlemanly charm and masculine protectiveness from every pore; however, as attractive as he is, he has two intriguing ghosts of his own shadowing him. That certainly counters her father’s third rule! But the killer is communicating through Amelia’s blog and the murders keep mounting, so Devlin’s not keeping his distance. Throw in Southern politics, manners, and cover-ups and you have an edge-of-your-seat thriller.
Is this a “Paranormal Romance”? Hmmm…good question. It certainly is a deceptively gritty thriller with romantic overtones. While Devlin and Amelia’s complex relationship is a slow burn, it is more of a hot, languid smoldering – that you just know is going to be incendiary – than a quick brush fire. I can only hope the series as a whole can be called a “romance” with a Happily Ever After, but that certainly isn’t divulged in the first book. Can’t wait for the next installment; I already have it in my audible.com “wishlist.”
*Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, with his trademark long black leather duster jacket, blasting rod and staff, and pentacle necklace. Those, alon...more*Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, with his trademark long black leather duster jacket, blasting rod and staff, and pentacle necklace. Those, along with his general disheveled appearance.
★★★★½ I’m in love with a wizard. One cynical, irascible Harry Dresden, resident ‘anti-hero’ of Chicago, Illinois. People tried to tell me how wonderful he was, but I didn’t listen. He story is like reading a fantasy for the new millennium set in 1940’s film noir – but with brilliant moments of lush Technicolor that you can glimpse when the lightning flashes. And lightning flashes often in Storm Front.
Of course, since Harry can be described as almost awkwardly bashful with women, all the sexual motivations that are inherent within film noir come from Bob, a talking ‘spirit of air’ taking up residence in a skull in Harry’s basement lab, and the next best thing to a computer. Which works out well, since electrical gadgetry doesn’t operate smoothly around Harry, him being full of magic and all.
Bob is just one of the many wonderful characters found in this first volume of The Dresden Files. I loved Lieutenant Karrin Murphy, Director of Special Investigations, with her blonde Shirley Temple curls and tough, no-nonsense demeanor, who relies on Harry to inform her about the magical world of the Nevernever.
There are more amazing secondary characters: Toot Toot, the pizza loving faery; Mister, Harry’s enormous grey cat whose father had to be a wildcat or lynx; Mac, the taciturn bartender of McAnally’s; Susan Rodriguez, beautiful reporter for the Chicago Arcane, who flirts with Harry to get a lead on the double murder he’s investigating – or maybe for other reasons; sword wielding Morgan, Warden of the White Council, looking for any sign of Harry’s guilt – past or future; Bianca, madam of the Velvet Room and a vampiress you'll never forget; Gentleman Johnny Marcone, a mob boss who wants to hire Harry not to investigate; and other assorted witnesses, missing-persons, clients, and client-wannabes – all well drawn and fascinating.
Every once in a while you stumble upon an author whose ‘voice’ you just love; the way they write and communicate their vision; where every word is a joy to read. This is the case with me and Mr. Butcher. Something clicked, and I found myself gobbling up the sentences to find out what happened next to Harry. Then I had to go back and read parts of it again, just for the entertainment value.
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I’ll be honest and say it took me several attempts at this one. After failing three times, I ju...moreAshmole 782?
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I’ll be honest and say it took me several attempts at this one. After failing three times, I just put the audiobook in the car; I figured there I would be a captive audience. I was really beginning to wonder how this book ever received GoodReads’ Romance of the Year Award. However, I ended up loving it and wanting to go out to do my errands just to listen to the story. Eventually, I had my iPod in my ears while I did my grocery shopping. It is wonderful. Yes, I borrowed the Kindle version from my library to reference certain sections; while there is just one plotline going on, it is complicated.
While the story is spellbinding, Jennifer Ikeda’s fabulous narration is something I didn’t appreciate until the book started introducing so many international characters. Ms. Ikeda does a great job on all the accents: American, English, Indian, Australian, Scottish, French, Italian . . . I lost count of them all in the 24 hours it took for her to read this novel. When there are multiple people from one dialect, she manages to differentiate their voices, which is no small task. Regardless of a character’s mood or tone, she doesn’t slip. She elevates the whole book, IMHO.
I loved Diana and Matthew’s love story! And I loved Diana’s gradual unearthing and acceptance of her heritage after her serendipitous discovery of a palimpsest known as Ashmole 782 among the eleven million rare manuscripts in the Bodleian Library of Oxford University.
Can’t wait for July and the next book in the All Souls Trilogy!
I was trying to decide if I should listen to this one audio or not. Going to the Brick & Mortar Public Library is a pain, now that I've been spoiled by downloadable audiobooks. Plus, I would have to transfer all those CDs (twenty!) to my iPod/Touch. Then Xe sent me the link to this blog review: The Oddiophile. Some people are just so darn clever! LOL! Thanks Xe!
Vanessa Huxtable Dew in her green Regency dress, who is decidedly prettier when she smiles. Artist: Gilbert Stuart, circa 1802-1804*
★★★★½...moreVanessa Huxtable Dew in her green Regency dress, who is decidedly prettier when she smiles. Artist: Gilbert Stuart, circa 1802-1804*
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Again, Anne Flosnik does a nice job of narrating in this, the first of the Huxtable Quintet. She doesn’t sound as stilted as she sometimes did in The Prize, by Julia Garwood. Nevertheless, she isn’t great at differentiating the voices, but more than acceptable in her inflection, pacing, cadence, and enunciation. I love this series by the wonderful Ms. Balogh, the Queen of Regency “marriage-of-convenience”; however, I wouldn’t say that Ms. Flosnik elevates this book with her reading; so, ★★★½✩ for narration.
★★★★★ Wow! Adored this book! It grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I am actually reading it for the second time. I mean in a row! Amazing. IA has create...more ★★★★★ Wow! Adored this book! It grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I am actually reading it for the second time. I mean in a row! Amazing. IA has created a captivating world here – well three, actually: The Broken, The Weird, and The Edge – as well as characters that leap off the page and into a delicious plot and back-story. I’ll admit I was confused at first; Urban Fantasy is not my strong suit. However, I have never had this kind of dilemma before: since I wanted some clarification, did I start over at the beginning when I was on Chapter nine and re-read, just pick and choose sections to double check, or continue on because it was getting so delicious? I started completely over and loved every minute of it – picking up nuances about these parallel fantasy worlds and characters’ quirks I loved. Now I’m reading it all over again
White Light by Hengki Koentjoro [image error] (less)
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) It was pure pleasure to return to the first in Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaways series and the wonde...morePooka at Midnight
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) It was pure pleasure to return to the first in Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaways series and the wonderful Rosalyn Landor, the narrator, brought it to life all over again. She does an excellent job of discerning these unforgettable characters’ voices with their multiple accents and distinct personalities. She helped me remember why this quirky family tugged on my heart strings the first time around. You can hear Cam and Amelia discover a tender, lasting love. **sigh** In addition, Ms. Landor coveys the aching emotions of Leo’s grief for his lost first-love. (I had forgotten she was also Amelia & Win’s best friend!) All this happens while the loving Hathaway family tries to settle into their new home and elevated social standing. I delighted in Merripin, Win, Poppy, and Bea and experienced the family bonds with love, tears, upsets, and laughter as if they were my own.
★★★★★ This is a review of the audiobook that was well narrated by Renee Raudman. It took me a little longer than my usual to get used to Ms. Raudman’s...more★★★★★ This is a review of the audiobook that was well narrated by Renee Raudman. It took me a little longer than my usual to get used to Ms. Raudman’s voice and Texas accent, but once I did, I quite enjoyed it. I think what won me over completely was when (view spoiler)[she did Haven’s voice with an injured jaw, still managing to convey emotion (hide spoiler)]. This second book in the Travises series by the fabulous Ms. Kleypas is one that I’ve read before; however, I got even more out of it by listening to someone else tell me the story.(less)
★★★★★ This is a review of the audiobook. Jayne Entwistle does a perfect eleven-year-old Flavia in this audiobook – in tone, i...moreThree-speed BSA Keep Fit
★★★★★ This is a review of the audiobook. Jayne Entwistle does a perfect eleven-year-old Flavia in this audiobook – in tone, intellect, and mischievousness! I know I enjoyed it twice as much than if I’d only read Alan Bradley delightful book. What fun! This first in the Flavia de Luce Mystery series is a jewel.
I loved being transported back to the 1950s and joining Flavia as she took her bicycle*, Gladys, on her investigation round her charming English village of Bishop’s Lacey. She needs to prove her father (a philatelist and former amateur illusionist) innocent of murder, stopping only long enough to torture (or be tortured by) her older sisters. I really don’t know if it is for children; it is too deviously, deliciously witty by half. Can’t wait to hear the rest.