Category Archives: Audio books

Audiobook Review- Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan (Novella)

her every wish

Title: Her Every Wish (The Worth Saga 1.5)

Genre: Historical Romance, Novella

Author: Courtney Milan

Narrator: Rosalyn Landor

Publisher: Courtney Milan, May 2016

Source: Purchase

Length: 4 hours, 11 minutes

Rating: Story=5, Narration=5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Audible.com:

Crash has never let the circumstances of his birth, or his lack of a last name, bother him. His associations may be unsavory, but money, friends, and infamy open far more interesting doors than respect ever could. His sole regret? Once lovely, sweet Daisy Whitlaw learned the truth about how he made his fortune, she cut him off.
Daisy’s father is dead, her mother is in ill health, and her available funds have dwindled to a memory. When the local parish announces a charity bequest to help young people start a trade, it’s her last chance. So what if the grants are intended for men? If she’s good enough, she might bluff her way into a future.
When Crash offers to show her how to swagger with confidence, she knows he is up to no good. But with her life in the balance, she’s desperate enough to risk the one thing she hasn’t yet lost: her heart.
**
There is never a problem when Courtney Milan writes a novella. Characterization and plot development is spot on. This is a lovely story of one woman’s struggle with the male dominated society of Victorian England and her struggle for confidence in the face of overwhelming odds. The romance is subtle, with Crash wooing her and Daisy being reluctant. Can they both overcome their misunderstandings? Rosalyn Landor does a wonderful job with both male and female voices. She is not my most favorite of narrators but I must admit that here she shines.

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Filed under Audio books, Book review, Historical Romance, Novella

Audiobook Review- The Proposition by Judith Ivory

the proposition

Title: The Proposition

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Judith Ivory

Narrator: Steven Crossley

Publisher: Recorded Books, March 2009

Source: Purchase

Pages: Audiobook, 13 hours, 29 minutes

Rating: Story= 5, Narration= 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Lady Edwina Bollash is a woman of importance and distinction who has never been the object of any man’s affection. However, when she meets Mick Tremore, a tall, handsome young man from the bottommost rung of society, she instantly attracts his attention. As Mick wants desperately to become a gentleman, Edwina decides to transform him into a man with class. From the start, she notices the way he looks at her. But what she doesn’t yet realize is that as much as she is preparing him, he is preparing her for a place in his heart–and in his bed. Narrator Steven Crossley elevates the mounting passion of Ivory’s prose, building tension with every breath and every sensuous word.

***

I have been enjoying my recent subscription to Audible’s Romance Package. This is by a classic author in the Historical Romance genre, Judith Ivory. It is a reversal on the old story of Pygmalion also better known to many as MY FAIR LADY. We meet Mick, a rat catcher in London. Edwina, a linguist and teacher, is charged with turning Mick into a gentleman in time for a Ton ball. Emile and Jeremy Laponte are wagering againist each other as to if Mick can pull off the deception. Edwina has 6 weeks to accomplish the goal.

This is a delightful tale of a spinster who is being wooed by a man from the wrong side of the tracks and how they are so wrong for each other that they can’t envision a way to be together. Steven Crossley does a wonderful job of performing both male and female voices along with various accents. But Judith Ivory’s ability to tell the story and bring to a satisfying conclusion is superb. I can highly recommend this Audiobook.

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Some Thoughts and Some Suggestions: Audiobooks

I have been listening to Audiobooks lately. They are not new to me but during the last few weeks I’ve become quite addicted to them. I tend to like the male narrators much better than the females. That said, Julia Whelan is just astonishing, she is the author and narrator (performer) of the book My Oxford Year. It is truly a terrific book and performance. I have had discussions with audio-listener friends who really love the good female narrators like Rosalyn Landor and Kate Reading but for me they just can’t perform the male voices to my liking.

Now when it comes to the male narrators (performers), Alex Wyndham is the one who gets A+ for his narration of the Lucinda Brandt and Stella Riley books. I also give high marks to Tim Campbell narrating Christi Caldwell books and Nicholas Boulton narrating Laura Kinsale’s Flowers From the Storm. They all do justice to the female voices and can do different voices for all the book’s characters, it is like listening to a play or movie without the visual, of course.

Becoming a member of Audible online is not cheap. It costs $14.95/month and for that you get one free? book and some shorter “Audible Originals”. I have been picking up books at reduced rates by watching for deals bundled with a Kindle book purchase. If you keep your eyes out you can score an audiobook for as little as $1.99, but more often $7.49. That is much less expensive than the $20-$25 cost of many audiobooks.

I recently took advantage of an Audible offer that gives me a 3 month membership for $6.95/month with the option to cancel any time. I’m taking advantage by getting some of my pricey-ist books during this member period.

Here are some of the Historical Romance (and one Contemporary) audiobooks that rate 5-stars with me:

 

 

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Filed under Audio books, Book review, Books Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Deet's Life, Favorites, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Kindle

Audio Book Review- To Tempt A Scoundrel by Christi Caldwell

To Tempt A Scoundrel

Title: To Tempt A Scoundrel (The Heart of A Duke, Book #15)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Christi Caldwell
Narrator: Tim Campbell
Source: Purchase Kindle/Audible
Publisher: Christi Caldwell
Pages: 211
Rating Book: 5
Rating Narration: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating:0
Description from Amazon:

Never trust a gentleman…
Once before, Lady Alice Winterbourne trusted her heart to an honorable, respectable man… only to be jilted in the scandal of the Season. Longing for an escape from all the whispers and humiliation, Alice eagerly accepts an invitation to her friend’s house party. In the country, she hopes to find some peace from the embarrassment left in London… Unfortunately, she finds her former betrothed and his new bride in attendance.

Never love a lady…
Lord Rhys Brookfield has no interest in marriage. Ever. He’s worked quite hard at building both his fortune and his reputation as a rogue—and intends to enjoy all that they can offer him. That is if his match-making mother will stop pairing him with prospective brides. When Rhys and Alice meet, sparks flare. But with every new encounter, their first impressions of one another are challenged and an unlikely friendship is forged.

Desperate, Rhys proposes a pretend courtship, one meant to spite Alice’s former betrothed and prevent any matchmaking attempts toward Rhys. What neither expects is that a pretense can become so much more. Or that a burning passion can heal… and hurt.

**

If you have never listened to romance on audio books then have I got a treat for you. All of Christi Caldwell’s books in this series are swoon worthy when read but when narrator/performer, Tim Campbell reads them in his molasses and honey baritone you are transported. Each book is a standalone in the series with some cameos from characters in previous books. These are also some of the most affordable audio books. (At this writing I bought the Kindle e-book for $2.99 and the audio book was offered for $7.49 .)

In this elegantly written and superbly sensual story, Rhys is being nagged to marry by his mother who has already picked out his bride. Rhys has no intention of marrying anyone, but especially his mother’s pick, Aria Cunning.  Alice was jilted by her betrothed just a year ago and finds herself at a Christmas house party surprised that her former betrothed is attending with his new wife. She and Rhys go from bickering to friends to trying to help each other through the party. Well on the way to an HEA.

I very highly recommend this book and audio book, and also this entire series.

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Audiobook Review- The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

The Matchmaker's Playbook

Title: The Matchmaker’s Playbook
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Narration: Jeremy York (rating-4)
Source: Audible purchase
Publisher: Skyscape, Apr. 2016
Pages: 306
Rating: 2
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.
After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.
From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule…

**
This book has over 750 reviews on Amazon and 63% of them are 5 stars. This disturbs me because I wonder where I missed the whole “wonderful” of this book. As I see it this is a book about a dirtbag (Ian) and his sidekick dirtbag (Lex) running a matchmaking service between quickies. Ah, but the quickies are only with “stupid” girls, the matchmaking service is for the “sad” girls. There is a girl who is a long time friend to the hero but cooks for him and his sidekick (Lex). She and Lex have a violent relationship with frequent verbal altercations. You gotta know that this will be the romance in the next book. Now as to Blake, the girl who Ian falls in love with, well she would have been better off running for the hills.

Yes, I did finish listening to this entire book. Why? It was like a car accident along the highway where you can’t help but look and rubberneck. I kept longing for some kind of redemption for these poor excuses for men.

Since I am an Amazon Prime member I got to borrow this book for my Kindle with an option to get the audiobook for $1.99. I listened and did not read. The narration, by Jeremy York was well done especially considering the material he was working with.

 

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Heads Up- Audible limited time sale

Deal Audible

Go to http://audible.com  for a year’s worth of audio books on sale now and ending on the 28th of January.

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Filed under Audio books, Book review, Contemporary Romance, General Fiction & Literature, Gothic, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Audio Book Review- A Bachelor Establishment by Isabella Barclay

A Bachelor Establishment

Title: A Bachelor Establishment
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Isabella Barclay (Jodi Taylor)
Narrator: Anna Bentinck
Source: Purchase, Audible.com
Publisher: Audible Studios, 2015
Pages: listening length 7 hours, 25 minutes
Rating: 5
Narration: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

Elinor Bascombe, widowed and tied to an impoverished estate, has learned to ask little of life. With no hope of leaving, the years have passed her by. Lord Ryde, exiled abroad after a scandal, has returned to strip his estate and make a new start in America. A chance encounter changes their plans, plunging Elinor and Lord Ryde into adventure and not a little peril until, finally, they are forced to confront the mystery of what happened on That Night, all those years ago. Are they both so entangled in the riddles of the past that they are about to miss this one last opportunity for future happiness?

**
This audio book was full of witty banter and comical incidents along with a mystery or two in need of solving. The romance was long time coming since Lord Ryde and Elinor were not the best of friends to begin with. The story moved along at a quick pace and all questions and mysteries are resolved in the end.

An entertaining audio book with an accomplished narrator in Anna Bentinck.

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Deet’s Favorite Reads of 2016

Once again I cannot stop at the magic “Ten”.  I always have more favorites than ten.  In fact there are even more favoites than what I have listed here.  But if you are stuck for an absolutely fabulous read then look no further.  If you want to read my review of any of these gems, just go to the search box and plug in either the title or the author and it will direct you to that review (and possibly others by that author). Many are part of a series but most are also standalone novels. In the case of a series you will find the others in that series just as good.

Favorite Reads of 2016

Paper and E-Books:

1.       How I Married A Marquess by Anna Harrington (The Secret Life of Scoundrels #3)

2.       The Redemption of Julian Price by Victoria Vane

3.       Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt (Maiden Lane Series #10)

4.       Mad About The Marquess by Elizabeth Essex

5.       Once Upon A Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt

6.       The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz

7.       The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman

8.       Lucifer (Vampires In America #12) by D.B. Reynolds

9.       The Dare and The Doctor by Kate Noble

10.   Campbell’s Redemption by Sharon Cullen

11.   Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane #11) by Elizabeth Hoyt

12.   Twas The Night Before Scandal by Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon (Two Novellas)

13.   A Match Made in Mistletoe by Anna Campbell

14.   The Cyn and Raphael Novellas (Vampires In America) by D.B. Reynolds(this series is a must read)

15.       The Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt (I might have read this last year, but I’m crazy for all of Hoyt’s books.)

16. The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne (Terrific new author, dark historical romance)

 

Audiobooks:

1.       The Parfit Knight (Rockliffe #1) by Stella Riley, audiobook, Alex Wyndham narrator

2.       The Mesalliance (Rockliffe #2) by Stella Riley, audiobook, Alex Wyndham narrator

3.       The Player By Stella Riley, audiobook, Alex Wyndham narrator

4.       The Rogue’s Wager(Sinful Brides #1) by Christi Caldwell, Tim Campbell narrator

5.       Flowers From The storm by Laura Kinsale, Nicholas Boulton

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Filed under Audio books, Authors, Books, Favorites, Historical Romance, Novella, Paranormal Romance

Recent Release Review- The Rogue’s Wager by Christi Caldwell

the-rogues-wager

Title: The Rogue’s Wager (Sinful Brides book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Publisher: Montlake Romance and Brilliance Audio, Oct. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 338

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

London, 1821

Lord Robert Dennington, the Marquess of Westfield, has long reveled in the freedom afforded him as the ducal heir. He knows he must someday do right by the Somerset line, but he’s in no hurry to give up his carefree existence.

Helena Banbury is a bookkeeper in a gentleman’s gambling club, adept at analyzing numbers and accounts but helpless for lack of influence. She’s never belonged among the nobility on the gaming hell floors, but neither does she feel completely herself among the men who run the Hell and Sin Club, despite the fact that they are family. The once-illiterate girl from the streets wants more than the gilded walls her protective cage can offer.

When Robert mistakenly enters her chambers one night, Helena is forced out of her predictable life and thrust into the glittering world of Society. Will the charms of the marquess prove more perilous than any danger she ever knew on the streets?

**

Helena and Robert fall in love while pretending, for the sake of Helena’s return to her bookkeeping, to be courting.  This is the predictable part of the novel.  What is especially refreshing is that during some of the action scenes the characters are actually acting like they have intelligence.  They are not doing foolish acts and even if there are some consequences they remain with their wits about them. This book has some very lush romantic scenes and equally nail-biting scary scenes.  There is a villain or two to ratchet up the angst.

I truly enjoyed this book. It is the first in the “Sinful Brides Series” and I look forward to the rest of the series featuring  Helena’s brothers in the gaming hell. It is a highly emotional read/listen.  I did listen to the audio version (it is also available on e-reader) and once again enjoyed Tim Campbell’s narration.  His ability to evoke both male and female character voices is top notch. He can pull you into a story to make you feel part of the environment.

 

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Review- Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale

                             Print (e-book)         &            Audio

Title: Flowers From The Storm

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Laura Kinsale

Narrator: Nicholas Boulton

Publisher: E-Book: Harper Collins, 2009

                    Audio: Hedgehog, 2013

Source: Purchase, $1.99 e-book & $3.99 Audio

Pages: 565 (listening hours 18+)

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

The Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the ′D of J′ in scandal sheets, where he and his various exploits featured with frequency. But sometimes the most womanizing rake can be irresistible, and even his most casual attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms, quiet daughter of a simple mathematician.

He’s the Duke of Jervaulx…powerful, rich, and intelligent and locked in a lunatic asylum.

**

Christian Langland, The Duke of Jervaulx, is a brilliant mathematician and so is the father of Maddy Timms.  Mr. Timms and Christian collaborate on a paper to be presented to an austere assemblage.  At first Maddy thinks him an egomaniac and rude human, as she sees his interactions with her father her opinion softens but she is totally shocked when she and her father go to stay with her uncle at his insane asylum and find the Duke a patient. The young Duke has had a stroke (Apoplexy) and appears to be wild.  Maddie makes it her mission to help him overcome his affliction. This is the story of her efforts and the Duke’s progress.

This book is revered by many as the quintessential Historical Romance and for good reason. Originally published in 1992, it is brilliantly realized by the author’s use of prose and her ability to evoke the emotions surrounding the duke’s affliction. The romance is slow to bloom and passionate.  There are terrible trials and much suspense about the outcome of both the duke’s life and the romance. Christian is certainly one of the most tortured heroes in romantic novels, perhaps he is at the top of the list.  That he may or may not recover is always a possibility throughout the book.

Currently this book is only $1.99 for Kindle and $3.99 on Audible when you buy the Kindle book.  I chose to listen to this book mainly as I was challenged to do so by a friend who said that Nicholas Boulton, the narrator, was one of the best. I shall forever defer to this friend’s judgement for Mr. Boulton’s narration was absolute perfection. That makes the book 5-stars and the narration 5-stars.

If you are hungering for a wonderful romance, here it is.

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Filed under Audio books, Award Winners, Book review, Books Historical Romance, Historical Fiction