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review 2017-04-21 17:40
Home Tears by Tijan (Audiobook)
Home Tears - Tijan

This book was a messy stew of family secrets, sibling in-fighting, jilted lovers, epic storms and terrible tragedies and was filled to the very brim with flawed characters. I’m afraid there was just too much going on for my pea brain to handle because this book tired me out and not in that cathartic “cry your heart out” kind of way. Were it not an excellently narrated audio, I likely wouldn’t have finished it.

Dani left her hometown and all of its bad memories a decade ago, after her best friend and the love of her life decided to fall in love with her younger sister. Yeah, you read that right. She didn’t look back, even when she learned that the man-stealing sister had died, and I really didn’t blame her. Seriously, there are some things you just don’t do and stealing your sister’s man is one of them. Now, after a traumatizing event, she’s run away from a perfectly nice man and has decided to return to her hometown, for some bizarre reason that is never sufficiently explained, and is forced to face the people she ran away from and, while she’s at it, she also decides to ferret out all of the family secrets and find herself a new man. See what I mean about a lot of stuff being jammed in here?

This story just wasn’t meant for me. I was attracted to the blurb because it promised secrets. I’m nosy and I love secrets. But these secrets just weren’t juicy in their execution. There was such a waste of juicy potential and angst and I LOVE angst almost as much as I love secrets but these reveals left me feeling nothing. No shock, no thrill, just “meh, that’s it?” The main problem I had with this book, besides the unending subplots, was the fact that characters didn’t engage me emotionally. I never felt any anguish because they didn’t seem to.

Honestly, I think Dani would’ve been better off if she’d never returned to this town infested with liars and cheaters and secret keepers.

Narration Notes: Narrator Sarah Mollo-Christensen does a great job with all of the characters and there are a lot of them. She gives them each distinctive voices suited to their character traits. Even the guys sound real and I don’t think that’s an easy task for any woman to pull off (and vice versa). If you love the way this author writes (and many do) and aren’t as crabby as me, I’d highly recommend listening to this audio version.

I received a copy of this audiobook from Tantor Media.

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review 2017-04-19 18:21
The Woodsman by Belle Scarlett
The Woodsman - Belle Scarlett

This audio is like mixing up a big box of Kraft’s “cheesiest” macaroni when you are starving and too lazy to cook a real meal. You know it’s not good for you but it’s just so cheesy you can’t stop! Before you know it, you’ve downed the entire thing. Same goes for this audio.

 

Lily is on her way to meet her future husband who is some old coot with a lot of money who will keep her well. Never mind him though because she is way-laid (yep, I see what I did there) before that nightmare can happen. Her carriage has troubles and she meets a very large wolf/man who leads her back to a cottage where some sexy stuff happens but the lovefest is cut short due to a curse, or something, something that has to do with virginity. Lily was having fun and gets all sassy, even stomping her foot but Marrick (the wolf-man) stays strong. For a short while anyway and then things happen.

 

 

There is nothing unique about this story, it’s overly wordy and pretty corny. It’s not even super, sexy, hot. More like lukewarm and vanilla. Still, I found myself enjoying the audio production. It even has sound effects for ambiance! Usually these things bother me but it works well here because the levels are right. The crickets chirping in the background were especially soothing. There are two narrators and Honey Scarlett does such a fun job with Lily’s character that I couldn’t stop listening. Her accent was hilarious and spot on and I just loved listening to her. Leeroy Will’s delivery of Marrick suffers in comparison. His delivery wasn’t as good, the cadence was slightly off and at times his accent sounded a little like Shrek. Sorry, that’s my take.

 

Anyway, if you’re looking for an amusing, non-brain taxing way to spend two hours and 39 minutes you could do much worse than this!

 

I received a copy of this audiobook courtesy of the publisher and Audiobookboom. I hope they don't regret it!

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review 2017-04-13 20:07
The Wrong Girl by C.J. Archer
The Wrong Girl - C.J. Archer

The cover of this one got me. Just look at it and see if you aren’t lured in too. A creepy Victorian, a pale Gothic beauty and an alluring title that promises this is “book 1 of the 1st Freak House series”, how could I possibly resist? I was expecting great things along the lines of “We Have Always Lived In the Castle” or perhaps a “Flowers in the Attic” vibe mashed up with a little “Geek Love” but that’s not at all what I got. If you don’t expect those things, you might be okay.

Things start out promising, if you ignore the fact that heroine has orange hair and is not at all the temptress who appears on the cover. Two young ladies (18ish or so) have been locked away in an attic for most of their lives and are only let out for supervised walks. Hannah, an orphan, was taken in by an earl and grew up as a companion to his daughter Violet who suffers from an affliction that causes fires. Hannah suffers from narcolepsy so the two are kept squirreled away from society. They grow close and are the best of friends.

I can’t express to you how much I loved this setup. So intimate, so character based, so lovely. But then things had to go and change, as things do.

You may enjoy the changes, many appear to do so if the reviews are any indication, but I wasn’t thrilled with the direction the plot ran off in and I never recovered. Hannah is kidnapped and is apparently mistaken for Violet (who also has red, not raven hair – so the chick on the cover wasn’t her either). She is swept away to another creepy mansion where she is told she will be trained to control her powers of fire. She’s also told that she’s not really a prisoner but that she cannot leave. Hmmm, I’d be mighty suspicious were I Hannah . . . Hannah doesn’t reveal that she is not Violet because she supposedly loves Violet and wants to keep her safe. She starts to “train” with Jack, a handsome lad who is able to summon fire at will. She starts to crush on Jack and me, oh my, what’s he going do when he realizes she doesn’t have the power of flame in her fingertips? And worse yet, what’s the keeper of the castle going to do to her when he finds out they nabbed the wrong girl?

What follows is a lot of intrigue and espionage and secret meetings and vaguely nefarious characters and such. All of it terribly boring, if you’re asking me. The early character development is dropped like a hot potato and Violet is tossed to the wind never to be heard from again (at least in this installment of the series). None of it excited me, I’m sad to say. I guess I was expecting something more freakish to be going on in a house dubbed “Freak House”. For a short book this one seemed to drag on forever and I will not be seeking out the sequels which may or may not answer the many questions that I still have after finishing this installment.

Narration Notes Lucy Rayner does a fine job with Hannah’s POV, Sylvia’s is a bit too high-pitched for me but, oh my ears, does she ever butcher all of the manly voices. Jack is supposed to be a 20-something love interest but he and all the men sounded like ancient creepers/gruff old geezers and this is all I could picture whenever Jack or any of the men spoke.



It was disconcerting and that’s all I have to say.

I received a copy of this audio from Tantor Media. I hope they don't regret it!

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review 2017-04-04 18:53
Let Us Prey by Jamie Lee Scott (audio)
Let Us Prey: Gotcha Detective Agency Series, Book 1 - Jamie Lee Scott,Gabra Zackman,Tantor Audio

Mimi owns a private investigation/personal security firm and is asked to provide security for her favorite author. This is where her troubles begin. A murder happens and Mimi’s former lover turns out to be the officer leading in charge of the case. They bump heads because he’s as surly as he is gorgeous and Mimi’s all in a tangled mess of feelings.

Let Us Prey has an interesting little murder mystery going on here that involves vampiric role playing and plenty of quirky secondary characters. My #1 suspect turned out to be the murderer so I have to give the book some points for making me feel smart today!



Usually my most obvious picks don’t pan out.



I am a character driven reader. Most of the time. But this time I didn’t really care about the characters. It was the whodunit that kept me going. If I’m being honest, both of the main characters bugged me. Nick is a grouch. He may be pretty but his rudeness was off-putting. And Mimi? Well, Mimi judged every woman she met by their looks and her thoughts were usually unkind. This could be my missing sense of humor kicking in here but I didn’t find this amusing. She also did the same with men but lucky for Mimi most of the men in her circle were super-hot and she wanted to rub her boobs on them. She even did it a time or two, once at a crime scene. If you find that funny, maybe it’s just me who is wired wrong.

Narration Notes:

The version I read was narrated by Gabra Zackman. The male voices almost all sound the same and unfortunately they’re not at all easy on the ears. They sound stiff, unnatural and a little constipated and I admit to getting a little confused at times because of the similarities. Ah well. The ladies do have unique voices. Mimi’s is smooth and confident and suits her character except when she’s thinking about men and lamenting over the fact that they’re not returning her lusty looks. Then the cool, professional voice doesn’t really mesh because I picture a Stephanie Plum type lusting over Ranger and Joe.

I received a copy of this audiobook from Tantor Media. I hope they don’t regret it!

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review 2017-03-29 15:46
Little Dead Red by Mercedes Yardley (audio)
Little Dead Red - Mercedes M. Yardley
This is a not happy tale. Terrible things happen to innocent people.

Little Red Dead is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood which was never a sweet tale anyway, but author Mercedes Yardley takes the bones of that fable and gives it a very gritty, very modern treatment and turns it into a horrifying read.

Some women have all the luck. Marie is not one of them. I don’t want to spoil too much of the story and am honestly unsure how to even tackle this review. I’ll just say that Marie suffers from two huge losses that leave her devastated, emotionally drained and at her wits end. After a kind man and his wife intervene, instead of succumbing to depression she decides to plot revenge.

This is a well plotted, well executed, bleak and painfully emotional short story – all the things I look for in a story such as this but it is not an feel good read. You have been warned.

Narration Notes: As this story is told from Marie’s POV, I’m not going to lie, I do wish it had been narrated by a woman but that’s my own personal preference. That said, narrator Joe Hempel does a fine job with the darkness of the story and doesn’t ruin the female voices with painful falsetto. I cannot tell you how many times a guy has ruined a female character for me with a cringy performance and vice-versa. I found it hard to tear myself away from the audio and do things like go to work and listen to people who needed to ask me oh so important questions that could not wait (yeah, that’s sarcasm you hear there) because the storytelling was so involving.

I received a copy of this audiobook courtesy of Audiobook Boom.
 
 

 

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