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review 2015-12-03 03:05
Review: Out of Sync by Bronwyn Green
Out of Sync (Bound Book 5) - Bronwyn Green

Morgan Weaver isn’t happy. He’s in a job he hates, working for the family business. He spends little time outside the office, and he hasn’t composed or played music in years. Once a promising musician, Morgan walked away from what he loved to fulfill his father’s expectations.

 

On the other hand, James (Jamie) Shepherd continued making the music that he and Morgan loved and is now a famous musician. Once roommates, James and Morgan haven’t seen each other in over ten years. However, James remained friends with Morgan’s sister, Tristan, so when he finds out that Morgan is refusing to play at her wedding, he decides to confront the man who used to be his best friend.

 

Right from the start, Out of Sync captured my mind and heart. I found myself engrossed in Jamie and Morgan’s story, uncovering what happened that drove a wedge between them, and watching them rediscover their passion and love for both music and each other. With the time that has passed, both men have matured and hardened, providing a hurdle to overcome, yet allowing each to be more comfortable with himself and the sparks between them. 

 

This story gave me all the feels. The author does an amazing job capturing the longing and heartache both men have felt over the years. When they finally come together, it is amazingly sexy and passionate. I ached for the pair as they navigated the bumpy road to happiness. And their journey is filled with detours and potholes, causing this reader to cry out in heartbreak. I love the emotion the author packs into the story, crashing into me from all sides.

 

Additionally, Ms. Greene creates fabulous settings with amazing details and clarity. One of my favorite examples is a scene early on, when James makes breakfast for Morgan. The descriptions were so spot on that I could see and smell the eggs cooking. It's these kind of touches that make the story come alive and more memorable.

 

In the end, I really loved reading Out of Sync. Jamie and Morgan’s story is touching, hot, sexy, and sweet, but at its core, it is a wonderful romance that swept me off my feet. Out of Sync hit all the right notes and left me satisfied.

 

My Rating:  A, Loved It

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

Review copy provided by author

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review 2015-11-10 18:33
Another Audio DNF
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You - Ally Carter,Renée Raudman

Was a free audiobook download via SYNC .

 

I tried but I am just not in the mood to listen to this narrator. Her "teen" voice sounds childish and forced and more like a tween and it is grating on every single one of my frayed nerves.

 

I may get back to this some day when I'm less grouchy. But probably not.

 

The book may be fab, nothing against the book, but I just can't do it right now. 

 

 

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review 2015-02-19 18:27
The Murder at the Vicarage: A Miss Marple Mystery by Agatha Christie (audio)
The Murder at the Vicarage: A Miss Marple Mystery - Agatha Christie,Richard E. Grant

I'm giving it a 3 because I didn't hate it and I didn't love it and because I can.

 

I’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel.

 

There, it has been said.


I received this audio free from the SYNC summer reading program last year. Apparently it’s the first book in a series. Yay SYNC. I usually pick up series books mid-series and only manage to aggravate myself and anyone unfortunate enough to be reading my reviews.

 

In the beginning, I very much enjoyed it despite the male narrator and his often grating/cringe-worthy performance of the women characters. It was witty and slyly sarcastic and surprisingly approachable. I was expecting it to be stuffy and a little boring considering it is told from an elderly vicar’s POV but I was wrong. His thoughts about the ladies who surround him are pretty darn hilarious. He’s also married to a very young lady who is quite comical herself as well as charming. She never thinks badly of anyone. Even when they probably deserve it!

 

So, as will happen in these sorts of tales, someone is murdered and the rest of the book is spent tracking down the culprit. The particular victim in this case was a highly unpleasant man, thus there are loads of potential murderers running about. Loads of them.

 

Unfortunately, once the sleuthing kicked in it started to lose me and I got a little bored. Cozy mysteries just aren’t for me and I won’t be reading any more of these even if you tell me I’m missing some life altering experience.

 

 

Life is too short to read books that aren’t your thing. And this isn’t my thing. 

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review 2014-06-07 23:38
W.A.R.P. Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin (audio book) by Eoin Colfer, narrated by Maxwell Caulfield
The Reluctant Assassin - Eoin Colfer

I got this audio book for free via SYNC. I had no clue what it was about, but because I had enjoyed several of Eoin Colfer's books in the past, I figured “why not?”

The two main characters are 17-year-old Chevron (Chevie) Savano and 14-year-old Riley. Chevie was originally part of an FBI program to investigate possible terrorists in schools by recruiting orphans as junior FBI agents. Chevie was one of those orphans and the reason why the program was scrapped – she defended her target from an attacker, and her behavior, although technically heroic, was caught on camera and brought the FBI under embarrassing scrutiny. Riley, also an orphan, is an assassin's apprentice in Victorian England.

Chevie and Riley are brought together by a time machine, part of the FBI's secret Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (W.A.R.P.). WARP involves hiding important witnesses in the past. Unfortunately, Riley accidentally ends up transported to the present, and his master, Garrick, follows him and gains deadly powers.

I'll just say right up front that there were so many things wrong with the premise, and I was never quite able to get past that. Eoin Colfer's FBI has lots of stupid ideas. Yes, let's recruit minors for possibly dangerous jobs and train them as though they were adult agents. Let's use expensive technology to send, at most, a handful of witnesses back in time. Never mind that that technology has a chance of mutating them and giving them gorilla arms or dinosaur heads. They're safe from the criminals that might want to kill them and that's all that matters.

I don't know that I'd have made it through this book if I'd been reading it, rather than listening to it. It was kind of boring, for one thing. Garrick was ridiculously super-powered, with just enough convenient weaknesses not to be completely unbeatable. And Chevie kind of annoyed me, especially in the beginning. She was convinced that she was better than all adult FBI agents, and waiting until she could become an official, real FBI agent would mean wasting the prime years of her life. She reminded me of Holly Short, from Colfer's Artemis Fowl series, but Holly had more real-world experience. It was a relief when Garrick and the time travel stuff took Chevie down a few notches.

The time travel aspect had lots of holes. Garrick was the only character in the entire book who was ever affected by time travel in a useful way – anyone else who had the time machine go wrong on them ended up hideously mutated. Another issue: later in the book, it was revealed that one particular character had been profiting off his modern-day knowledge for years in Victorian England, with no apparent lasting effect on the timeline. That made me wonder if the “time machine” was actually transporting people to an alternate Victorian England. That would have made more sense than the actual explanation, which assumed that hugely popular songs, works of literature, and more could be completely wiped from history simply by someone ordering it so.

All in all, this was not as good as I had hoped it would be, and I have no plans to continue with the series. However, the humor was okay (popular song in Victorian England: "Another Brick in Yonder Wall"), and I did at least like the narrator well enough, although it was hard to remember that Chevie was supposed to be a 17-year-old girl and not a hard-boiled agent in her thirties. Riley also came across as older than he was, so it may have been the writing as much as the narration.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2014-02-14 19:20
Rotters by Daniel Kraus (audiobook)
Rotters - Daniel Kraus

Do yourself a favor and do not read the synopsis for this book. It’s hard to avoid. I accidentally did it myself when I added this book to my virtual shelf. For some reason, marketing decided to spoil the first part of the book in the very first words of their blurb. I can only guess at why they did it (to hook people in? to lure them in with the taboo?) but for me it spoiled much of the mystery surrounding the first few chapters of the book. I would’ve liked to have figured things out myself. I don’t usually whine about spoilers, I know I’ve given too much away in many a review, but this is one time I wish I could go back and unread something. It’s also likely that it’s the only time you’ll ever hear me admit to sympathizing with hit and run posters who call me a dumbass and yell at me for giving away too much.

 

 

Anyway, I read this unabridged version narrated by Kirby Heyborne who does a mighty fine job with the dark, seedy, crazed characters who inhabit this story. He also gets the teens down just right in all of their confused, upset, grief stricken, mean spirited and vulnerable moments. I always knew who was “speaking” and after reading many audiobooks I’ve realized this is a skill that only a small, talented few possess. Kirby’s narration added another dimension to the story and kept me listening even through some of the sloggier moments.

 

Without giving too much away, this book is about a 16 year old boy named Joey. Joey lives a sheltered life with his mom. He gets straight A’s, plays in the school band and has a best friend. He’s basically a normal, well-adjusted kid. But then tragedy strikes and he’s forced to leave everything familiar behind to live with a father he’s never met. Joey’s life pretty much goes all to hell from this moment on. There is a huge mystery surrounding his father (which all the blurbs spoil – DON’T’ READ THEM!). His father comes off as an uncaring, mentally unstable, very strange guy who neglects Joey and makes his life extremely difficult. As the story unfolds we realize there’s a lot more to him and all of the strange behavior begins to make sense.

 

This book was dark and dirty and quite mean and I could not tear myself away from it even when things got a little slow here and there. I had so many questions I needed answered (and I got them all too!). I found Joey to be a well-developed and sympathetic character. He evolves into a different person when he is forced to adapt to a situation that is disturbingly strange and he manages to hold it together better then I could’ve at his age. Many reviews seem to be bothered by the fact that Joey didn’t seek out any sort of outside help (regarding the bullying) but I understood his tendency to endure and deal with it all himself. It’s hard to read though and probably isn’t a book for everyone.

 

I thought the underlying storyline was unique. It blends the nightmare of high school with the real life horror that awaits Joey when he arrives at his dad’s shack and learns his secrets. It’s about humanity, impulse, wanting to belong and to be loved and accepted while being forced to hide in the shadows and shun society. There is an odd cast of characters inhabiting the pages; outsiders by choice, some mentally unstable, and some on the edge of insanity. It was fascinating reading about these people. The end goes a bit too over the top suspense-wise for my liking with a big storm of the century adding tension to an already tense confrontation. But that’s just me. I don’t care for action scenes overmuch. Despite those minor nitpicks, this is an audiobook worth picking up if you don’t mind reading about some things that might turn your stomach a bit.

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