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review 2015-03-11 02:47
[AUDIO/re-read] “The Raven Prince” by Elizabeth Hoyt
The Raven Prince (Audio) - Elizabeth Hoyt


I hadn’t had much luck w/ audiobooks in recent years so was thrilled to discover Moira Quirk, narrator for the Darkest London series by Kristen Callihan. Then a kind soul in a certain HR group mentioned that Ms. Quirk also narrated Elizabeth Hoyt’s Prince Trilogy.  It had been a while since I read that series so figured to kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone by doing a re-read via audio.


I remember liking ‘The Raven Prince’ well enough (after all, I continued to read the subsequent books) so the story itself would probably fall around 3-3.5. IMO, it's still one of the better Beauty & Beast storylines, with sympathetic main characters & a varied cast of likeable secondary characters. Altho certain things didn't ring true for the Georgian period, I tried to overlook most by repeating the mantra 'country life is more informal'. And last but certainly not least, the sexual content of this book was much franker/more explicit than I remembered. *grins*


However, I ended up *loving* ‘The Raven Prince’ due to Ms. Quirk’s narration. Granted, I don’t have as many ABs ‘under my belt’ as some of my friends but IMHO, the term ‘voice actor’ truly does apply to Ms. Quirk. She is simply fantastic at breathing life into both general narrative and dialogue, as well as maintaining sufficient tonal differences to make dialogue easily discernible, especially amongst several characters. IDK why but her diction & cadence/inflection suit my ears perfectly.


To the ever-lasting bafflement/frustration of TPB in publishing, I suppose that opinions & preferences re: AB narrators are probably just as personal & quirky as those for books in general.  Having made serious efforts in recent months to incorporate ABs into my reads, I’ve come to realise that I prefer narrators w/ natural inflection and somewhat normal talking speed.  (Frex, Davina Porter is another fabulous narrator but Good Lord, it would’ve taken me months to re-read the Outlander series via audio.  The books are long enough but tack on audio format + her narration speed? Alas, ’twas the unfortunate kiss of death for me.)  And yes, I may have a minor bias towards UK-accented English. :)


Have never read Hoyt’s Prince Trilogy or it’s been a while since you read it? If you haven't listened to any of Ms. Quirk's voice works, I strongly recommend that you give ‘The Raven Prince’ a go via audio.

Source: karmabites.booklikes.com/post/1124284/audio-re-read-the-raven-prince-by-elizabeth-hoyt
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review 2015-03-11 01:23
MINI-REVIEW: “Evernight” by Kristen Callihan
Evernight - Kristen Callihan


GENRE:  PNR; Steampunk

LENGTH:  432 (MMP pgs)

HEAT LEVEL (content):  sexy-hot (m/f vanilla; frank but not overly explicit/extended)

PUBLISHER/pub date:  Forever (GCP/Hachette); August 2014

SERIES INFO (timeline):  Darkest London #5 (@ 1yr after end of #4)

FORMAT (source):  MMP (own); Audio (borrow)



Once the night comes...

Will Thorne is living a nightmare, his sanity slowly being drained away by a force he can’t control. His talents have made him the perfect assassin for hire. But as he loses his grip on reality, there is no calming him—until he finds his next target: the mysterious Holly Evernight.


Love must cast aside the shadows...

Holly cannot fathom who would put a contract on her life, yet the moment she touches Will, the connection between them is elemental, undeniable—and she’s the only one who can tame his bouts of madness. But other assassins are coming for Holly. Will must transform from killer to protector and find the man who wants Holly dead...or his only chance for redemption will be lost.

(spoiler show)




Still captivated by the narrating skills of Moira Quirk, I barely touched my DTB copy & continued with this series via audio.  Thus, 4-star rating is influenced by my listening experience.  If I were to rate the story on its own, it would be more 3-3.5 stars.


Overall, I did enjoy this installment of the Darkest London series but it fell a bit flat, especially after a 5-star reading (listening) of the previous book, Shadowdance.  Unlike in earlier books, I found some diversions from the main storyline to be more disruptive than necessary.  And plot-wise, there were more than a few weak and/or unaddressed points (some due to minor instances of deus ex machina).  This resulted in a vague feeling of dissatisfaction with the dénouement of both the action/mystery and the romance. And the final (tiny) nail in coffin was a personal pet peeve: even with certain open items, the epilogue dealt with the next book/couple, as opposed to wrapping up things re: Will and Holly. :/


Nonetheless, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book (and entire series) to PNR/steampunk fans.  And despite loss of some momentum re: series, I already got & listened to the next book, Soulbound, which was released on 24-Feb-2015.

Source: karmabites.booklikes.com/post/1124229/mini-review-evernight-by-kristen-callihan
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review 2015-02-19 06:47
[Mini-Review] “Shadowdance” by Kristen Callihan
Shadowdance - Kristen Callihan

GENRE:   PNR/HR/steampunk


LENGTH:   427 (MMP pgs)


HEAT LEVEL (content):  sexy-hot (m/f vanilla; frank but not overly explicit/graphic)


PUBLISHER (pub date):  Forever/GCP/Hachette (Dec 2013)


SERIES INFO (timeline):  Darkest London #4 (almost 2yrs after #3)







Once a heart is lost in shadow...
Life has been anything but kind to Mary Chase. But the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals has given her purpose. Now she's been tasked with catching a vicious murderer dubbed the Bishop of Charing Cross. But someone is already on the case—and the last thing he relishes is a partner.


Only someone who lives in darkness can find it.
Jack Talent has been alone with his demons for many years. He never expected to have the willful Mary Chase assist him on the Bishop case. Their age-old rivalry reaches new heights—even as their desire for one another reaches a fever pitch. Though he aches to bring her close, Jack's dark secrets are a chasm between them. With dangerous enemies closing in, Jack must find the strength to face the past...or risk losing Mary forever.


(spoiler show)






Best in series thus far!

Very quick thoughts b/c I’ve got several books to read before I can return to this series and read “Evernight” (book #5) prior to the Feb 24th release of “Soulbound” (book #6).


In a nutshell, I’m thoroughly loving this series.  So *really* fortunate that I managed to get over hump re: “Firelight” (book #1), due to fantastic narration (IMHO, ‘voice acting’ truly applies here) by Moira Quirk.  [More specifics re: that to be in forthcoming recap of books #1-3, probably by this weekend.]  I’m so impressed by Ms. Quirk that I’ve stayed w/ audio for all books―which is *very* unusual for me b/c ABs usually take me 3-4x longer.


The MCs in “Shadowdance” were introduced in the previous books



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review 2014-05-01 16:05
Dead Sexy Dragon - Lolita Lopez

This was a wicked short & quick book. There's not a ton of character development or a huge storyline. Although with a short read like this I guess that'll be hard to do. I felt like there's this whole storyline that the author wanted to tell but just wasn't able to get it all out. This is a series so I'm pretty sure more of this storyline will be in future books. My question is, Where this is an ongoing series why not just make the books longer instead of these quick shorts? That way you'll have more character & plot development so the readers will be able gain more of an attachment to the book. That's just what I think though.

This is a dragon shifter book. I've read shifter books before but, never a dragon shifter book. To be honest I wasn't that impressed with it. I didn't hate it but, I wasn't all hot & bothered over it either. Stig, our dragon shifter had his hot moments but, mostly he was sorta boring. He fell for Cora who happens to be his Marine buddy (& best friend who died) little sister. After the death of her brother Cora runs to Stig for help because she got into some trouble with some thugs. What Cora doesn't know though is that Stig is a dragon shifter who's going through his mating. So, I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. 

Don't get me wrong this wasn't a terrible story. I've read a whole lot worse. It was cute but also predictable. If you're looking for something really quick to read that's fun, I'd say read this. If you're looking for something with more substance than this isn't for you.

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review 2014-03-06 17:20
Review: Dead Sexy Dragon by Lolita Lopez
Dead Sexy Dragon - Lolita Lopez

Dead Sexy Dragon by Lolita Lopez 
Series: Dragon Heat, book #1 
Genres: DragonParanormal Romance 
Published by Forever 
Published on August 6, 2013 
Pages: 128 
Format: eBook 
Amazon | B&N | ARe | Goodreads 
Rating: four-stars 

Dead Sexy Dragon by Lolita Lopez is a new series with more books coming out this summer. But until then, we have the first two books in the series to look forward to if you are a dragon shifting fan. Each installment is novella length, but they get you heart racing in a very short amount of time.


Stig Wyvern is a very old dragon who has vowed to never get involved with a human woman. Joined to the Green Back Brotherhood, he protects the dragon race, while restraining himself in his basement during this mating period. All prepared to go below, a knock comes on the door and his dead best friend’s sister is right there. Cora Cardenas has no where else to turn when she is caught moving illegal items to settle her brothers debts. Then her bakery burns down as warning to her to keep her mouth shut. Stig told her she could count on him, so she does.


The story takes place over about 3 nights. The first night they separate with Stig explaining he has a migraine, but instead restrains himself. They share erotic dreams that push them to realize their long distance love really might be a fated match. The reality of it all hits Cora after the second night and she runs. This where it turns from just a sexy book into some action, which was way to brief.


For a short story, it packs a punch of erotic thrills and keeps you on your toes with a battle in the end. You meet up with some more dragons, which is my hope to see them in their own books. Now I just can’t wait to start on the second book, Red Hot Dragon.


What draws you to dragon shifters? The heat? The scales? The alpha male? Do Tell!

Source: delightedreader.com/review-dead-sexy-dragon-lolita-lopez
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