★★★½☆ I have mixed feelings about this one. I received it from a GRs friend who tossed it into the package with something else she was mail...moreWillow Tree
★★★½☆ I have mixed feelings about this one. I received it from a GRs friend who tossed it into the package with something else she was mailing me. I love stories of small town lovin’ and upon cracking the book, couldn’t put it down… until later. Then I could, as it became a bit repetitive. The main characters, which I liked at the beginning, kept harping on the same issues. This is what we all do with the people we love, but still. And Amy and Logan have certainly loved each other since the sand-box, if love in a different manifestation. If I thought the set-up was for the protagonists to get closer, they took two steps back; if I thought the set-up was for them to pull apart, they took a giant step forward. Sometimes this was not so much a surprise as a little strange.
Also, not to give any spoilers away for those of you who are reading this series, but a character that will be the focus of the next installment of Destiny, is a bit of a b!tch; I don’t care to get to know her any better.
Still, the author could certainly hold my attention, for the most part; the love scenes are sweet and sexy. I’m going to have to try the other books in this series.(less)
★★★★★ (Review of audiobook.) Good Gravy Beans, I LOVE this book. I’ve read it over a dozen times; so, of course, when the opportunity...moreLuke [image error]
★★★★★ (Review of audiobook.) Good Gravy Beans, I LOVE this book. I’ve read it over a dozen times; so, of course, when the opportunity arose, I just had to do the “buddy read” of it with Jill (BTW, expect spoilers in that thread!). Since I had the brilliant idea of listening to the audiobooks of this series this time ‘round, I’ve been worried that one (or all) would let me down. No need for doubts here; I’m really happy I chose to “re-read” it with my ears.
Emily Durante is the narrator for this third installment of Ms. Kleypas’ Travises series. I had to get used to her reading, but that didn’t take long. I must admit I found subtle, unrealized things in the book when it was read to me. There is one spot where Ella apologizes to Jack; I always thought she should have done a better job of it. However, on the audio, Ms. Durante makes her sound quite contrite. Very nice.
Who am I to argue with Lady Jayne? She said, Auntee’s GoodReads review is the best, and I agree (though, I think I liked Ella better from the start than most people do). Auntee also has the best picture of Jack. **sigh** I always saw this picture as Joe, but since Ms. Kleypas tells us Joe is a younger version of Jack, I’ll happily go with it. (BTW, Auntee’s review has a larger picture. In case you want a close up. ☺)
Auntee wrote: “Just add some chest hair, and this could be Jack…”
Edited March 4, 2012 to include my review of the audiobook, narrated by Tanya Eby. See below the ❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿. I also wanted to add our RLfoCI “buddy...moreEdited March 4, 2012 to include my review of the audiobook, narrated by Tanya Eby. See below the ❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿. I also wanted to add our RLfoCI “buddy read” tee-shirt montage worn by Sam and Lucy, The Scream, and a picture of the Afterglow Mausoleum (all below).
Friday Harbor, Washington Lime Kiln Lighthouse (Credit: Laura Boulton)Ferry leaving Friday Harbor
★★★★★ I have a friend who received an ARE of the amazing Ms. Kleypas’ second in the Friday Harbor series, and was kind enough to lend it to me. I loved it! Gobbled it down in hours, to the detriment of my sleep. It has some sad parts, though. Ms. Kleypas can make you feel her protagonists’ ache of love – whether it is the beginning, the end, or the disillusionment in between.
Ms. Kleypas is branching into “magical realism” – and I love it. It doesn't overwhelm the book, but makes a few appearances at critical times. And it all takes place in the lovely, enchanting setting of Friday Harbor, Washington. Can't wait for the next in the series!
Update March 4, 2012 on audiobook.
I recently did a “buddy read” of this book; as it was my second “reading” of it, I decided to listen to the audiobook, and I’m glad I did. It is well narrated by Tanya Eby (though she does **gasp** lisp the author’s name!). Still, I thought she elevated Lucy, the heroine, from what Megan, in her insightful review, wonderfully described it as having a “palpable sorrow, and quiet dignity.” In the audio, Ms. Eby made Lucy sound lighter and brighter, especially in the second half of the book, than I felt about her my first read-through.
★★✰✰✰ This one just wasn’t my cuppa tea. I’m not even sure it could be called ‘erotica’ except that the hero, Drake Stoneham, sleeps around – on purpose and by accident. The main problem with this story is that it was all too disjointed; it is in need of a good – and patient – editor.
One minute the heroine, Cleome Parker, is walking with a basket of flowers, when her grandfather almost drowns himself in a watering trough from overindulging in drink. There are little asterisks to indicate a break; however, as the heroine is again carrying flowers in the next paragraph, is it a break in time or perspective? Alas, it is the next morning and her grandfather is suffering a hangover. It took me bit, and a double check of my reading, to figure that out. Actually, there were several sentences I had to re-read to see if they made sense, let alone maintained continuity.
Drake sets out to keep a deathbed promise to a fellow soldier. He is searching for his comrade’s wife, as he has the marriage certificate that shows Cleome is not illegitimate, but of ‘noble birth’. (Regardless of who her grandmother was, how can this be when her father was a tinsmith?) Cleome’s mother, Ramona, isn’t ‘right in the head’ and since Cleome’s birth, has been suffering from the loss of her true love. Ramona also talks like a country lass, though Cleome doesn’t because she was taught by her grandmother (though none of it rubbed off on Ramona). Of course, once Drake realizes that the little hamlet he has stumbled upon holds the very people he is looking for, does he tell them right away? Nope. Don’t want to rush things; it has only been 18 years. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me.
Then there is the whole question of which class everyone falls into? Is Young Samuel, the stable boy who lusts after the heroine, above Cleome’s station or below it? And this is not counting the question of Cleome’s illegitimate birth. Same with the hero, Drake. Though he is up from the streets, he is invited to spend the night with the local gentry, Lord and Lady Easton, mainly because they are aware he is building an elegant gaming establishment in London. (Gentry who do NOT offer him a bath, by the way. So, he is in desperate need of one by the time he makes it to Cleome’s grandfather’s Eagle’s Head Inn. Of course, this doesn’t deter the lady wife from wanting to sleep with him, though. Ugh.) The gentry’s son, Garnett Easton, lusts after Cleome also, and dialogues and private thoughts between these two switch back and forth between acceptable and unacceptable with regards to social standing. Is it appropriate he invite her to the Easton’s Harvest Ball or not? The author doesn’t seem to want to commit as to where her characters sit in the hierarchy of class distention, so she shuffles them around willy-nilly to suit her purposes. Granted, Cleome’s illegitimacy accounts for some of it, but certainly not all.
Then Drake wins Eagle’s Head Inn in a card game, though he really wants Cleome’s horse. WTH? Sure the grandfather was in his cups, but he is going to risk his livelihood and his family’s home instead of breaking his granddaughter’s heart over a horse? And she lets him? Ridiculous. She also has a propensity to feel faint – or outright pass out – at the most plot contrived times (i.e. when there is a bed and the hero nearby).
There are a lot of characters in this book, like the unattractive but wanton serving wench, Fanny, who takes advantage of Drake by giving him a blow job when he is intoxicated. She continues to pursue him, but only pops up now and then, if merely to be the fly in the ointment. There’s the lovely, talented pianist Edwina, the niece of the barrister that changes Cleome’s life. Edwina has a crush on Garnett. And I must not forget Paulo, who is known as a rake because of all the women he satisfies with his talented tongue. He marries Edwina, lusts after her, but can’t consummate the marriage because of a midwife’s careless handling of the knife used to cut the umbilical cord upon his birth. Paulo must meet the requirements of his twisted father’s will and produce an heir by his thirtieth birthday. So, guess who he approaches?
I won't even go into all the political intrigue that happens in Italy along with tons more characters. Oh, and the advent of the railroad. But, there is also another plot line of Drake trying to find his little sister, Mignon, left in a brothel, and the duke who mistreated her abominably. She escapes his clutches, when overdosed by him for his nefarious orgies, and ends up a nun – for a time... (view spoiler)[before, she too, finds true love (hide spoiler)]. Needless to say, Cleome misinterprets Drake and Mignon’s relationship. (view spoiler)[ In desperation, Drake kidnaps Cleome and takes her – literally – on a ship bound for America. Still, she won’t agree to marry him, but her giggles imply that she’ll soon cave. (hide spoiler)]
You know, it was all just too much. It is as if the author was trying to cram too many things into one book, at the expense of in pacing and continuity. There is some real potential here for a better story next time from this author. But for this one, sorry, I’d have to say pass on it.
Special Note:I was given this e-Book free of charge in exchange for a fair and truthful review.
*artwork available at www.capuletart.com["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I can't really call this a western b/c it takes place mostly in Alaska. While not everyone's cuppa tea, I enjoyed this sto...more4 1/2 stars! A great book!
I can't really call this a western b/c it takes place mostly in Alaska. While not everyone's cuppa tea, I enjoyed this story of three very different women who find they are all married to the same man. It is a story of love and friendship and I found myself laughing out loud repeatedly. Man-oh-man! I was on that Chilkoot Pass with them. I read it through the night and couldn't put it down. (less)
A GoodReads friend, Amanda, just asked me if Kleypas’ Gamblers series was as good as the Wallflowers series. All I could...moreStill today, a full ★★★★★!!!
A GoodReads friend, Amanda, just asked me if Kleypas’ Gamblers series was as good as the Wallflowers series. All I could do was answer with a rhetorical question: Is any series as good as the Wallflowers? However, this book is the best in this series, IMHO, though some people will surely disagree. And they are almost right, as the first in the series, Then Came You, is a close second. Dreaming of You’s Derek Craven has his own fan club in W♥LK group’s Hero Threads: Craving Craven , and I voted for this book on listopia’s“Favorite Dukeless Historical Romances”; while I placed it forth on the list, it ranks as number one overall by voters.
This was a re-read for me and I was perplexed as to why it took me over fifteen years to do so when GoodReads reviewer, Bekah, came to it in her “Bekah’s 2011 I Love Lisa Kleypas Journey”. After a frantic search, I realized I must have loaned out my copy. Never again!
It says a lot that, though it is available at my library or on various second-hand bookstore sites, I purchased a brand-spanking-new copy. (Ahhhh…the relief of smelling a new book in my hand.) For this story still holds up after all these years. However, I must point out that I do wish I had re-read Then Came You first as there is a lot of background on Craven there. Plus, the H/H in that one, Lord Alex Raiford and the now Lady Lily Lawson Raiford, have more than walk-on parts in this one.
Kleypas writes such great characters. The heroine, Sara Fielding is not just your average spectacle-wearing country mouse. Sara is a famous novelist; the fact that hardly anyone believes that her infamous heroine Mathilda doesn’t exist is pretty tongue-in-cheek for me as I have a difficult time believing Kleypas’ heroes, too, are imaginary! **cough, cough - Jack Travis**
Our hero, Derek Craven, is darkly delicious as written; a self-made-man, or “Flash Gentry” – as he is referred by both rich and poor – he is splendidly swoon-worthy. He owns an opulent gambling club and he slips into his cockney slang when he is brutally injured or stressed. And he is maliciously disfigured by page four, when Sara steps forward to save him. She is soon constantly around his club doing “research” for her next book and creeping into his heart. He resists the attraction; though it is not apparent to him, it is a dead-giveaway to me when he secretly palms her extra pair of spectacles to keep (view spoiler)[on his person! **sigh** And she finds them on him later in the story. (hide spoiler)].
The secondary characters, from Monsieur Labarge, the French chef, to Tabitha, a whore at Craven’s club, are well written; I especially liked Derek’s arch-nemesis, Ivo Jenner. Oh the arch-villain is obvious from the start…but I didn’t care as Kleypas added a twisted emotional depth that made them scarily believable.
Best scene/quote (IMHO), page 163:
She felt him tremble with the force of his need. He spoke just beneath her ear, his voice thick with tormented pleasure. "You have to leave, Sara ... because I want to hold you like this until your skin melts into mine. I want you in my bed, the smell of you on my sheets, your hair spread across my pillow. I want to take your innocence. God! I want to ruin you for anyone else."
All in all, a GoodRead!
**Photo taken from blog site: Regency Ramble ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
★★★★½ This book is a delight! Ms. Quinn has managed to take an amusing inside joke from her Bridgertons series, change it into a charming anecdote, th...more★★★★½ This book is a delight! Ms. Quinn has managed to take an amusing inside joke from her Bridgertons series, change it into a charming anecdote, then transform it into an enchanting love story, plus make it the start of a developing series. Wow!
After eighteen years, no one attended a Smythe-Smith musical without some inkling of the horrors that lay ahead.
Sure, it is a light, fast, fun read. However, the illness Marcus Holroyd, Earl of Chatteris, contracts is no laughing matter. Honoria Smythe-Smith dithers a bit too much for me before she discovers his problem. Not fair? True. Due to my experience as an ICU nurse who has dealt with patients who don’t survive this, I knew what was developing and time is of the essence; for despite today’s technology, intravenous fluids resuscitation, and antibiotics, this is one of the hardest things to cure. (Did you notice JQ’s dedication to Paul – it is always Paul, BTW – where he told her, “He has to die.”) The following spoiler contains IMHO medical ramblings: (view spoiler)[Not that I didn’t believe Marcus could survive; he could. It is just would have been a miracle rarity in that day and age. But, how Honoria and her mother go about saving him would work. So that met with my approval; though, if I had time-traveled to back then to help (**sigh**), I would have put a bandage on his leg and irrigated the wound a few more times. (hide spoiler)]
stolen treacle tart
But, back to the 1820’s and stolen treacle tarts. I loved Marcus.
He’d spent his life being a perfect gentleman. He’d never been a flirt. He’d never been a rogue. He hated being the center of attention, but by God, he wanted to be the center of her attention. He wanted to do the wrong thing, the bad thing. He wanted to pull her into his arms and carry her to her bed.
And I loved Marcus and Honoria’s sweet love story of childhood friends turned to lovers. It is a book that just keeps getting better and better with each turn of the page. I found myself laughing over delicious dialogue, and sighing over the discovery of tender feelings.
A good read. I can't wait for the next in the series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Washington State Pacific Coastline ★★★★½ Wonderful book and just what I needed right now after reading about the murder of -- not one -- but two belov...moreWashington State Pacific Coastline ★★★★½ Wonderful book and just what I needed right now after reading about the murder of -- not one -- but two beloved characters in another series. Ms. Shalvis has long been a favorite author, and she knocks it out of the ball park with this one, a story of three sisters who inherit an inn. With plenty of humor and hilarity; frustration, fights, fears, and tears; secrets and sizzling sex.
But, it is not all that chick-lit-ish. It’s a romance! Both Maggie and Jax are trying not to get too serious – well, actually, Maggie has given up men. JS does a great job of letting us into a hot, sigh-worthy hero’s thoughts too; if Jax’s are yummy, Maggie’s are funny. Jax's superpower is reading Maggie's mind:
She should have chosen sex. Note to self: always choose sex over physical labor!
"It's not too late," he said very softly.
I'll save the scene about her thoughts while she's checking out Jax's tush in the attic for you to discover for yourself.
Plus, if I haven’t missed the boat, I think his “brothers” feature in the rest of the series, to match up with her sisters. Speaking of which, if the first in the Lucky Harbor series is this good, I can only hope the rest can follow suit. (less)
Angel Falls, Canaima National Park, Venezuela ★★★★✩ I dithered over the rating of this book, bouncing from a 3 to a 4 to a 4½ and back again. The pre...moreAngel Falls, Canaima National Park, Venezuela ★★★★✩ I dithered over the rating of this book, bouncing from a 3 to a 4 to a 4½ and back again. The premise was so good; I wanted to like it more than I did. Maybe I will, if I re-read it in the future. Ms. Adair’s story opens with hero, Zak Stark, realizing he has a morning erection. Lucky for him, he still has the one-night stand he picked up in a Venezuelan bar last night securely wrapped in his strong arms; unlucky for him, he has a gun pressed tight against his temple and a room full of kidnappers. Some things worked well for me, others didn’t. I didn’t particularly believe the initial reactions of the heroine, Acadia Gray, but she definitely worked for me as the book went on. Her name was too similar to a city near where I grew up, but missing one letter, making the concentration it took on the correct pronunciation take me out of the flow of the read. Nonetheless, unlike some other readers, I got a kick out all the things she pulled out of her SCOTTeVEST along their trek through the jungles of Canaima National Park. Maybe I’ve watched too many I Shouldn’t Be Alive episodes, but I got a real since of time, place, circumstance, and urgency. Possibly why I didn't like Zak and Acadia's bickering, but it didn't last long. I think most people would bond, and thus cooperate, under these conditions.
Zak’s deceased wife, a CNN freelance reporter, is mentioned a lot; therefore, it took me a while to figure out that he wasn’t with her when she died. This only made me wonder why he felt so strongly about being unable to “rescue” someone ever again. Sure, I could understand his guilt at the failure of his marriage and not being there for her. But his “failure” wasn’t in his survival instincts, so I didn’t get how it related to their current dire circumstances.
After a wild, uninhibited bout of sex with someone you only planned on one night with, what do you do when you’re stuck in a dangerous, life-threating situation? Zak certainly underestimates Acadia and vice versa. Speaking of sex, some (but not all) of the foreplay scenes were inappropriately situated (IMHO) and didn’t ring true; nevertheless, the sex, when it finally happened, was h-o-t!
After an adventurous thrill-ride, I wasn’t overjoyed with the ending (and immediately checked cherryadair.com – a wonderfully designed website – to see if there was another book to make this into a series). However, overall, I have to say I had trouble putting this book down; I wanted to find out what happened! To me, that is a sign of a GoodRead and secured it as a four star rating.
To see a five minute slideshow of author’s eye photos for this book, click on this: Adair’s Link. (less)
★★★★★ Man-oh-man-oh-man-man! Elizabeth Hoyt knows how to tell a story! I loved every enchanting word of this one. In a genre chocked with redundancy,...more ★★★★★ Man-oh-man-oh-man-man! Elizabeth Hoyt knows how to tell a story! I loved every enchanting word of this one. In a genre chocked with redundancy, Ms. Hoyt has written a RomanceLandia fairy tale and distinguished it with strong, compelling characters; the fascinating main protagonists, a devoted hound, an insightful mother-in-law, the average villagers, the lowest servants, the devoted friends, and last, but not least, the disgust-worthy villains – they all leap off the page. She has peppered her first in the Princes Trilogy with witty banter and a moving, well-paced storyline. The sensual scenes? They are a combination of sizzling, combustible heat and aching, heartfelt emotions. Don’t pick this one up unless you can afford to neglect your Real Life and fall under EH’s spell.(less)
★★★★½ I read this, the second in the Highlands’ Lairds series, years ago and thought I’d give it another go to see if it still held up. (It does!) The...more★★★★½ I read this, the second in the Highlands’ Lairds series, years ago and thought I’d give it another go to see if it still held up. (It does!) There was also going to be a “buddy read” – something I find hard to resist, since I love a good discussion about a great book.
My image of green eyed, brown-haired Gillian. Picture by artist, Cris Ortega.
Thank you, Pamela(AllHoney), one of my “buddy read” group, for introducing me to this talented artist.
What can I say about a classic Garwood Highland Medieval and –at 546 pages – 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 read; 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?
My image of Bridgid on her wedding day; I guess, Ramsey is the frog, LOL! Picture by artist, Cris Ortega.
And I felt JG missed a golden opportunity with Alec, the child that was kidnapped, when he spit after each utterance of King John’s name. To an appalled Gillian, he explained that Brodick did this too (or cursed); yet, when Brodick does mention King John later – there’s no spitting, cursing or any attempt to refrain from either. Granted, a very small flaw, but I was looking forward to the imagined scene.
Still, an almost flawless delivery of a sweet and spicy romance. I’ll have to read it again in another couple years to see if it still holds up then.
★★★★★ J.D. Robb (AKA Nora Roberts) should get some kind of award for creating a married couple whose relationship remains H.O.T. Yup. Roarke and Eve...more★★★★★ J.D. Robb (AKA Nora Roberts) should get some kind of award for creating a married couple whose relationship remains H.O.T. Yup. Roarke and Eve still have it. Loved the suspense in this futuristic police procedural, too. I’ve said it before, but Susan Ericksen was born to narrate this series; she outdoes herself again and just keeps getting better.
In Vengeance in Death, the sixth in the In Death series, we get to see into Roarke’s past. And the Irish billionaire has one, filled with painful memories. For those of you looking for books that take place in Ireland, Eve and Roarke zip over there in an effort to solve this interesting murder mystery. JDR paints a fascinating picture of a futuristic Emerald Isle and downtown Dublin, with interesting characters.
This one also introduces pretty-boy, Ian McNab, who has a flare (or at least love) for fashion and colorful clothes. He arrives to help trace the location on jammed communications NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas is getting. Is something happening between him and the dependable Detective Delia Peabody?
★★★★½ Short, sweet, with a touch of spice, and just the right fit for my brooding-moody self after another disappointing read. I'm not a big fan of "s...more★★★★½ Short, sweet, with a touch of spice, and just the right fit for my brooding-moody self after another disappointing read. I'm not a big fan of "second chance at love" - with the same person. I figure, when it is over, it's over. In fact, I chose this one to fullfill a "National Pet Peeve Week" requirement in an October Challenge. But, this was well done and the Kowlaski family is down-to-earth fun.(less)
Artist: Ni Anluain. Inspired by Nalini Singh's character Archangel Raphael ★★★★✩ I read Angels' Pawn first, thinking it a prequel, when really it is j...moreArtist: Ni Anluain. Inspired by Nalini Singh's character Archangel Raphael ★★★★✩ I read Angels' Pawn first, thinking it a prequel, when really it is just a companion novella to Angels' Blood. For me, this was a disadvantage; while I loved Elena in this story, Raphael was not a very likeable character in that one, IMHO, and I wondered not how, but if Ms. Singh was going to be able to covert me to a Raphael fan. She did, but the going was rough.
I liked the story and was glad I finished it. In all honesty, I kind of lost interest there at about 75% of the way through and might not have finished it – or maybe just skimmed it – had this not been a “buddy read”. There was a bit of rehashing and the frustration of knowing my questions were not going to be answered this go round. (view spoiler)[Planning for the next book in the series in our “buddy read” schedule, I had looked at it and saw Elena was an angle – kind of hard to miss, when she’s on the cover with a pair of black wings!), (hide spoiler)] so I was interested to see how that happened and at the same time dreading a “cliffhanger” ending.
Sometimes I felt I was being led in one direction in the story, only to have it turn in another. And, in an unfair way, not in a neat, surprising-turn-of-events sort of way. (view spoiler)[Like with Lejuan, for example. She was coming across as this all-wise, ever-evolving archangel and instead – poof! – she’s suddenly making zombies? Then there is the unrevealed mystery of the deaths of Elena’s mother and sisters – and the resultant issues and effects this has had on Elena. Huh? (hide spoiler)]
There could have been fewer characters and more development of those pertinent to the story. Loved Illium, the angel with blue wings. I actually enjoyed the companion novella, Angels' Pawn much, much more. I thought Angels' Blood was 4 stars for a little over half way, then it dropped to 3 ½ stars there for a while; however, it redeemed itself in the end, so I’ll stick with the original rating and hesitantly give it ★★★★✩.
★★★★✩ Another 4 star read from this series, IMHO. Yes, the first one is the best (mainly b/c Phillip is a bit of an asshat toward Sybill in a few sce...more★★★★✩ Another 4 star read from this series, IMHO. Yes, the first one is the best (mainly b/c Phillip is a bit of an asshat toward Sybill in a few scenes - one deserved and one crucial time, not deserved - with not enough groveling later); however, a five star rating system makes it difficult to differentiate the subtle difference in ranking. I continued to enjoy Guy Lemonier’s narration of this saga of the boat-building Quinn family living in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. And, finally, some answers about Seth. (less)
★★★✩✩ Note: This is a review of the audiobook. I wasn’t too thrilled with the one. Maybe it’s me, but - contrary to what other reviewers have written...more★★★✩✩ Note: This is a review of the audiobook. I wasn’t too thrilled with the one. Maybe it’s me, but - contrary to what other reviewers have written - Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is not very nice to his new recruit, Yvette Nichol, in my humble opinion. Granted, the young woman is Too Stupid To Live at times (advice and one-liners go right over her head), not to mention her arrogance; but, this supposedly “kind, caring and patient” man had a “tone” in his voice from his beginning discussions with this insecure underling that I didn’t find at all appealing.
Yes, she eventually lies and starts to throw her weight around with suspects, but by then she has already started to feel threatened. Plus, he fires her quite harshly. Maybe it was the reading by Ralph Cosham that made it come across that way. As the narrator, presumably he knew where the story was leading, and that “tone” came across in his voice. It’s possible I’m projecting and wish I had been more patient with the many co-workers I have trained in my past; I don’t know.
There are some well-written passages here; some charm in the quaint village they investigate; and a bit of humor I probably would have appreciated more if I hadn’t been disturbed by Gamache’s interaction with Yvette. However, I wonder if I’ll get around to the next book. Maybe it will be just your cup of tea. Or maybe you’ll read the book instead of listen to the audio version.
Second "reading" May, 2011 ★★★★★ Five whole stars! I listened to this audiobook and it is still as riveting as it was way back when. The narrator, Susa...more
Second "reading" May, 2011 ★★★★★ Five whole stars! I listened to this audiobook and it is still as riveting as it was way back when. The narrator, Susan Ericksen, does an excellent job in start of this futuristic New York cop murder mystery series featuring the infamous Eve Dallas, written by Nora Roberts AKA J.D. Robb. Check your library for the downloadable format - it is well worth it.
Update: March 23, 2012 ★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) So, I did the dumbest thing; I accidently erased from my iPod/Touch my downloaded copy from my public library of Loyalty in Death I had all set up to listen to in January (yeah, I know it’s March; I'm behind!). Usually not a problem, except these books are quite popular, and this put me back on the ‘waitlist’ into position #5. As I have set myself a personal challenge for 2012 of listening to two from the In Death series a month, this made for a bit of frustration.
Then I got the bright idea of listening to the first in the series, Naked in Death, again while I zipped around town in my car running errands, especially when I saw that the first one was available at my library’s back-up database. Plus, this would certainly help me with some of the trivia facts [Roarke’s birthday: (view spoiler)[October 06, 2024 (hide spoiler)]. . . how Galahad, the cat, came into Eve’s life and got his name (view spoiler)[he was a victim’s pet, found at a crime scene; later he saves Eve’s life! (hide spoiler)]] and questions going around in the J. D. Robb GoodReads Group, such as the first appearance of The Candy Thief.
Imagine my surprise when someone else’s voice other than Susan Ericksen’s came across my car speakers. Yup, Cristine McMurdo-Wallis! (Yes, Cristine without the "h".) Now, I personally feel Ms. Ericksen was born to narrate J.D. Robb’s futuristic detective series set in 2058 New York City – and her Irish accent for Roarke, imbued with so much rakish charm you can hear the devilish twinkle - can’t be beat! However, Ms. Wallis does a nice job of it and sounds a bit like Kathleen Turner, the femme fatale with the deep voice from Body Heat. (For the younger generation, that would be the voice of Jessica Rabbit in action/animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) All in all, not a bad reading.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I listened to the Magic Bites via a downloadable audio file from my public library. It was narrated by Renée Raudman, who I thought gave an above aver...moreI listened to the Magic Bites via a downloadable audio file from my public library. It was narrated by Renée Raudman, who I thought gave an above average reading.
I would strongly suggest anyone interested in this series who, like myself, is not a frequent reader of urban-fantasy, have access to the internet when starting Magic Bites. Here is the link to the vital website: http://kate.ilona-andrews.com/ One can safely navigate the site without running across spoilers. There are many wonderful things on there that helped me understand the interesting world Ms. Andrews and her husband created. You can read more about the different factions: The Order of Merciful Aid (of which, our heroine, Kate Daniels, is an agent), The Pack, The Neo Cult, The Mercenary Guild (Kate is a member), The Covens, and The People.
In all honesty, I was a little confused at the beginning; however, I do not usually read this genre. I actually thought I had somehow jumped to the middle of the book. After two chapters, I started the book over again and I'm glad I did. I totally enjoyed Andrews’ post-apocalyptic Atlanta and, of course, Kate, who is imperfectly perfect as written.
Basically, our old world changed into this new world due to the overuse of technology and therefore Magic pushed back. The first thing I would have appreciated understanding is that vampires are essentially mindless zombies who are operated by necronavigators. The second thing is what exactly “flare” entails. The website posted this:
Flare is a magic tsunami, a wave of terrible magnitude. It starts as a series of shallow magic fluctuations. During those short waves, the magic never completely falls, coming back stronger and stronger until it finally drowns the world in an enormous surge. Weird things happen during the flare. The magic lasts for three days straight and some really nasty critters come out of the woodwork. The upside to this whole mess is that after the flare, the magic takes a while to return. Weeks if not months.
Ahhhh. So that explains why things are so strange. The world we, the reader, are experiencing is constantly in flux.
This book is fun, horrific, and violent. And a good read – or listen.
My favorite line is when Kate first meets Curran. She calls out: “Here kitty, kitty, kitty!”
P. S. Also at the website is a collection of scenes written by Gordon Andrews as a companion to our Kate Daniels series; they are from the POV of Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta, the ruler of the South-East Pack of shapeshifters. Pretty cool. Always nice, when a book is written in the first person female POV, to see what the male was thinking. (less)
4½ stars ★★★★✭ I loved, loved, loved this book! But then, I’m a big fan of a vintage western or a western-romance. My father, when he was eighty-thre...more4½ stars ★★★★✭ I loved, loved, loved this book! But then, I’m a big fan of a vintage western or a western-romance. My father, when he was eighty-three (and still sharp as a tack), taught me to appreciate them when I used to read to him the last three months of his life. I was amazed; he was so knowledgeable about this era of American history; I loved discussing the books with him. And he would have loved this one too (sans the sex scenes, of course) - and the hero, the taciturn Carter McKoy. Yup. My dad wasn’t much of a talker either. One of his favorite jokes was this one:
Some cowboys on a cattle drive were around a campfire, listening to the lowing of the livestock. Nobody spoke while they ate their meal. Finally one of the animals made a bleating call.
After a while, one cowboy voiced an opinion, “Heifer.”
After about an hour, a second cowboy said, “Bull.”
In a bit, a third cowboy got up and started packing his gear and saddled up. The first man asked, “Going somewhere?”
“Leaving,” said the third cowboy.
“Too much arguing.”
If you’ve read the back-of-the-book-synopsis then you know that Bailee marries Carter to avoid jail or hanging. This part was just a little contrived, and kept it for being a perfect ★★★★★, as men in Texas hung other men for attempted rape and/or kidnapping; nevertheless, I bit the bullet, while shrugging my shoulders and went with the set-up.
To say Carter is not much of a talker would be an understatement. He’s downright silent at first which causes Bailee, conversely, to start to babble. I love what he thinks of the quixotic rules she makes up and changes on the spur of the moment after their kissing secretly flusters her. He has secrets too; secrets that are delicious and heart-touching to uncover in this tender, sweet, surprisingly action-packed story. Want just a hint?: (view spoiler)[(hide spoiler)]
There are also wonderful secondary characters in this story: the other Lottery wives, the lawmen, the soiled doves, the other train travelers. (Naturally there’s a train; this is a western!) (view spoiler)[I appreciate that Ms. Thomas didn’t kill off all of Piper’s family, causing the child to be taken in by Carter and Bailee, but let this relationship become a letter exchanging one by the end of the book. Letters were cherished back then.
A big “Thank You” to everyone who encouraged me to try a Jodi Thomas book, specifically this one. I will definitely be reading the next in the Wife Lottery series When a Texan Gambles; it is already sitting on my bedside table. Hot Damn! I wish my dad were here so I could read it to him. ["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)
The above map was taken from Debbie Macomber's web site and can be seen better at this hyperlink: Cedar Cove Map PDF. Warning: Don't study the red le...more
The above map was taken from Debbie Macomber's web site and can be seen better at this hyperlink: Cedar Cove Map PDF. Warning: Don't study the red legend too carefully, there are spoilers there. In fact, maybe I should just tell you a few locations critical to the story. ➀ is Olivia Lockhart’s house. ➁ is Grace Sherman’s house. ➂ is the home of Zack and Rosie Cox, and ➃ is the bed and breakfast/home of Peggy and Bob Beldon. If you just click on the pic instead of the hyperlink, it should take you to a larger pic where the legend is still too blurry to read.
This is a review of the audio version of this book. The narrator, Sandra Burr, again does a wonderful job of bringing Ms. Macomber’s characters of Cedar Cove to life in this second book of the series. Sometimes it is difficult for a female to do the male voices, but Ms. Burr is great, putting a different inflection on each voice in a nice way and adding a touch of subtle humorous tone in the appropriate scenes.
There are various storylines in the book and a few of them are unresolved at the end; it is a small-town-life-romance-chick-lit-soap series, after all! Nevertheless, the good news is that librarian Grace Sherman gets answers to her husband of thirty-five years, Dan’s, disappearance that had us wondering in 16 Lighthouse Road. Grace has her new golden-retriever, sweet little “Buttercup” (isn’t that a Gilbert and Sullivan song?), and interested Cliff Harding to help her through it all.
We are updated on Justine and Seth Gunderson’s marriage weeks after their elopement, as well as on her grandmother, Charlotte.
The skittish divorcée, Maryellen Sherman, an art gallery manager and Grace’s oldest daughter, has a love interest in Joe Bowman, a chef by vocation and photographer by avocation. Oh what a tangled web we weave…and that’s all I’m going to say on that.
Judge Olivia Lockhart and newspaper reporter, Jack Griffin, are discovering their feelings for one another and their relationship. Both are worrying over the same thing - about not being with each other enough; however, they both have so much on their crowded plates. And they are about to get even more crowded when Jack’s previously estranged son, Eric, stops by…for how long? And how about Olivia's ex, Stan?
Then there is Zack and Rosie Cox, accountant and stay-at-home-mom respectively; married seventeen years, they are stumbling toward a split. Their arguments and disagreements are doozies, as both parties have valid points. Ms. Macomber does a wonderful job of conveying how an argument can spiral out of control. I had to wonder if DM is going to be a bit cliché here and lead us down the "neglected man" path - comforted by the ever efficient office assistant. I do like the author’s comment on the fact that once couples become financially secure, they can drift apart – pulled by varying interest and demands - and lose that sense of being partners against the world.
There is plenty of life going on in this little town: babies, secrets, arguments and romance. Some of it will have to be resolved in 311 Pelican Court. I'm ready for a listen!