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Audiobook Review – Winter – Marissa Meyer


Winter
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: #4 in the Lunar Chronicles
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

Narrator: Rebecca Solar
Run Time: 23hrs and 30min
Narration Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Review:
Winter is one of the two books out of the audiobooks on my Armchair Audies list that I had previously read – going back and looking at the notes I left to myself on Goodreads last year – my summary of the book could be summed up as follows – “thank god its over, it felt like it lasted forever.” It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the series because I did – its just that I felt this last book really dragged on because there were so many loose ends that needed to be tied up – almost like it needed a 5th book that was more of pulling all the bits and pieces together, while letting the 4th book be more about Winter – because honestly, I felt like her story was subsumed by what was going on with Cinder and Cress as they tried to free Lunar and its people from Levana.

This final installation in the series was full of action and adventure – but at the same time – it just got tiring both reading and listening to what was going on – there was no break, no recovery for the main characters. And yet, they managed to pull out success after success. Yes, I know that its fiction and suspension of disbelief is a thing but I was physically tried from listening to it – which is something that doesn’t often happen with audiobooks.

Rebecca Solar is a new audiobook narrator to me but I felt like she captured the young adult voice of the characters in Winter well. Her narration of Winter’s sweet innocent voice was about as I pictured it while reading the book. She managed to bubbly personality of Iko, as well as the more down-to-earth narration of Cress and Scarlet’s French accent. On the male aspect of the narration – her voices were solid – nothing that blew me away, but I didn’t hate them either. For a 23 hour audiobook, it was a pleasant listening experience, even if, as mentioned above, I was physically tired from listening when it was finally done. I’m sad to see this series end and yet – at the same time, I was happy to see it end (if that makes any sense…).

While my rating of the book stayed at 3 stars, I rated Solar’s narration as 4 solid stars – I have to wonder how my impression of the book would have changed, if I had only listened to it and not read it previously?

 

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Audiobook Review – Sweet Dreams – Sunny Leone

Sweet Dreams
Author: Sunny Leone
Rating: ☆ ☆ ½

Narrator: Simone Lewis , Vikas Adam
Run Time: 3hrs 41min
Audiobook Publisher: Audiobooks.com Publishing
Audiobook Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
In this thrilling erotic story collection from India’s most Googled person, listeners finally get inside the mind of actress and entrepreneur Sunny Leone with 12 short stories that range from sweet to seductive to scandalous.

Review:
According to the cover of Sweet Dreams – it is a combination of Mills and Boon, and Fifty Shades with a touch of India – I can’t really say if that is completely true – since I never read Fifty Shades, but honestly this was probably the most lackluster Mills and Boon, I’ve read or listened to. For me, it barely met my level of romance – let alone erotica – some of the stories were mildly hot, but mostly, I was left scratching my head. Looking back the ones I enjoyed the most were those set in India – but the few that were supposedly set in the US – you could tell that they were based off a fantasy of how things were – a young new engineering spending several hundred thousand dollars for an escort…

Both Simone Lewis and Vikas Adam are new to me narrators and while I can’t say I loved their narration – it was solid and enjoyable. However, since the book was only 3hours long (although at times, it felt longer than that) – I wasn’t truly able to explore their narration abilities – with the short stories – and them alternating back and forth – I would just start enjoying one narration and it would end and I’d have to switch to another one.

Personally, I found Sweet Dreams to be kind of disappointing and it just didn’t work for me – I gave it 2.5 stars, but the narration did get 3 stars from me.

 

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Audiobook Review – The Baller – Vi Keeland

audie-nominee-erotica

the-baller The Baller
Author: Vi Keeland
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Narrators: Mackenzie Cartwright, Sean Crisden
Audiobook Publisher: Tantor Audio
Run Time: 8hrs 49min
Audiobook Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Description:
The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room. It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster. The famed quarterback decided to bare all. And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets. No. The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel just as I asked the first question. On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby: screwing with me. When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me to wanting to screw me. But I don’t date players. And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football. I’d date an athlete. It’s the other kind of player I don’t date. You know the type. Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.
Brody Easton was the ultimate player. Every woman wanted to be the one to change him. But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for. Turned out I was that girl. Simple, right? Let’s face it. It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after…and this one is ours.

Review:
Sometimes I feel like i’m uber far behind in current hot authors that friends are reading – and Vi Keeland is just one of those authors who I had heard a lot about and never read – so when one of her books was nominated for an Audiobook Audie in the Erotica category, I figured it was time that I checked her out. Although asking several of my goodreads friends told me that The Baller possible wasn’t the best of her books to be my first one – but I have to say it honestly wasn’t horrible – I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. the romance between Brody and Delilah was hawt – but I could have done without the addition of Brody’s ex – I honestly just felt like that didn’t add anything other than un-needed angst to the story that was actually pretty solid in the romance department (although I will debate whether its actually erotica, but that is a story for another day).

This was my first time listening to Mackenzie Cartwright but not my first time listening to Sean Crisden. I will say that I really enjoyed Mackenzie’s narration – I found her range of voices to be solid and even the portions where she narrated as a male was enjoyable. The pacing of her narration felt natural (meaning I didn’t feel like I needed to speed up or slow down the narration to enjoy it). Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Sean Crisden (although I have listened to other stuff by him before). While I enjoyed the portions where he was narrating as Brody (or other male characters) – I wasn’t a fan of his female voices – in fact they actually made me cringe at times. His female narration was one of the reasons for my 3.5 stars for this audiobook – I just personally, I couldn’t get past them.

I’ve been a fan of Tantor Media’s audiobooks for years and enjoy their continued high quality audiobook productions. I know when I listen to a book done by them, that it will be solid with no issues. Overall, I gave The Baller – 3.5 stars for the book and the narration and 4 stars for the audiobook production.

 

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Armchair Audies – 2017 edition

armchair-audiesWelcome to the 2017 edition of the Armchair Audies. I’m actually ahead of schedule this year and getting my introductory posts up within a week of the nominees being announced rather than getting distracted like years past. So sit down, put your feet up and here is my brief take on the three categories that I’ll be reviewing this year.

When I was looking back through my blog archives, I realized that this is my fifth year of participating in the Armchair Audies. I started off with the romance category in 2013 (and managed to successfully pick the winner) and since then, I have explored a variety of different categories – depending mostly on what caught my eye out of the nominees. And this year was no different – I know from previous experience based on my commute I can probably listen to all the books in 3 categories (about 18 books, assuming 6 nominees per category). So after some serious thought and a look at all the nominees – I decided that this year I’m going to listen and review books in the following categories:

Erotica
I’ve listened to this category for the last couple of years (although fundamentally, I disagree with some of the nominees being erotica) and have found some interesting new authors – including CD Reiss (who was nominated last year) and Jasinda Wilder (who won 2 years ago). I have already read one of the books nominated but i’m ok with listening to it again for the purposes of reviewing (since I didn’t do that when I read it).

Paranormal
Similar to Erotica – I’ve listened to this category for the last couple of years. I like how the nominees in this category tend to do a good job of falling into not only the paranormal romance category (which is normally where most paranormal books I come across seem to fall into. This category in previous years introduced me to Seth Skorkowsky and Craig DiLouie.

Young Adult
This is my first year of reviewing the Young Adult category for the Armchair Audies – but its not my first experience with the genre. It was a toss-up between this category and romance, but there were a few new authors in this category that I’ve heard good things about – so I’m looking forward to them.

Back-Up – Romance
so I figure 3 categories will be enough for me to listen to – however, in the likelihood that I manage to listen to all the books nominated for them – then my back-up category is going to be romance. I typically listen to lots of romance – and I have read one of the books nominated in this category. Either way – if I listen to it during the Audies or not – i’ll likely be listening to many of these nominees in the future.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2017 in Armchair Audies, Listening Events

 

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2017 Audie Awards – Overview

audie-award-2016-logo-260x200Oh its the most wonderful time of year…fourth(ish) only behind Christmas, my birthday and i’m sure some other day that I’m totally forgetting, is the day that the nominees for the Audie Awards are announced. Unlike last year, I actually remembered that they were being announced today, unfortunately, my bosses failed to understand the significance of this day and scheduled me for meetings pretty much all day (HOW DARE THEY??). So after I finally got some down time to take a look at the nominees (on the Audible website) – I had a slight freak out when I saw that there was a memoir listed in the romance category and knowing me I went high and right on my freak out. Thankfully, historical romance author extradoinaire, Laura Kinsale, talked me off the proverbial cliff and pointed out that the wrong audiobook was linked…(in my defense, it wouldn’t be the first time that a totally random listen had ended up nominated for a romance audie. So anyways – taking a look at this years nominees – it was hard to pick which categories I was going to review for Armchair Audies. Honestly, I don’t normally wish for a longer commute – but maybe I should, so I could fit in 4 categories of listening…haha!

And now to the nominees…

tenth-doctor-adventuresAUDIO DRAMA
Alien: Out of the Shadows: An Audible Original Drama by Tim Lebbon and Dirk Maggs
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Death and the Queen by James Goss
Doctor Who: The War Doctor: Only The Monstrous by Nicholas Briggs
In the Embers by Brian Price and Jerry Stearns
The Mountaintop by Katori Hall

AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
Around the Way Girl written and narrated by Taraji P. Henson
Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart
The Greatest: My Own Story by Muhammad Ali with Richard Durham
The Rainbow Comes and Goes written and narrated by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

another-brooklynBEST FEMALE NARRATOR
Another Brooklyn: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson, narrated by Robin Miles
Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson, narrated by Tavia Gilbert
The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien, narrated by Juliet Stevenson
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, narrated by Emma Thompson
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, narrated by Bahni Turpin

BEST MALE NARRATOR
Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff by Pappy Pariah, narrated by Sean Penn
End of Watch by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton
Jerusalem by Alan Moore, narrated by Simon Vance
The Last Tribe by Brad Manuel, narrated by Scott Brick
The Purloined Poodle by Kevin Hearne, narrated by Luke Daniels
Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters, narrated by William DeMeritt

storytellers-secretBUSINESS/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Capital Offenses: Business Crime and Punishment in America’s Corporate Age by Samuel W. Buell
Humans Need Not Apply by Jerry Kaplan
Shrill written and narrated by Lindy West
The Storyteller’s Secret written and narrated by Carmine Gallo
Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek by Manu Saadia

EROTICA
The Baller by Vi Keeland
The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter
Eighteen (18): Based on a True Story by J.A. Huss
January: Calendar Girl, Book 1 by Audrey Carlan
Marriage Games by CD Reiss
Sweet Dreams by Sunny Leone

everything-box FANTASY
The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey
The Hike by Drew Magary
League of Dragons by Naomi Novik

FICTION
America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Darktown by Thomas Mullen
End of Watch by Stephen King
Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia by Julian Fellowes
Sister of Mine by Sabra Waldfogel

valiant-ambitionHISTORY/BIOGRAPHY
In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors by Doug Stanton
Paul McCartney: The Life by Philip Norman
A Time to Die by Robert Moore
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick,
The Year of Lear by James Shapiro

HUMOR
The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy written and narrated by Rainn Wilson
Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years by D.L. Hughley
I’m Judging You written and narrated by Luvvie Ajayi
Life and Other Near Death Experiences by Camille Pagán
You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
You’ll Grow out of It written and narrated by Jessi Klein

the-girl-from-the-trainINSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED FICTION
Beric the Briton by G.A. Henty
The Christmas Town written and narrated by Donna VanLiere
The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert
Journey’s End by Renee Ryan
Risen: The Novelization of the Major Motion Picture by Angela Hunt

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED NON-FICTION
The Awakening of HK Derryberry by Jim Bradford and Andy Hardin
Divine Collision by Jim Gash
Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer by Kate Grosmaire and Nancy French
The Great Good Thing written and narrated by Andrew Klavan
Space at the Table written and narrated by Brad Harper and Drew Harper

homegoingLITERARY FICTION & CLASSICS
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Another Brooklyn: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
LaRose written and narrated by Louise Erdrich,
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

MIDDLE GRADE
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
Demon Dentist by David Walliams
The Enchanted Files: Hatched by Bruce Coville
How to Train Your Dragon: How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell
The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz

magic-strings-of-frankie-prestoMULTI-VOICED PERFORMANCE
Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Read by the Cast of the Stage Play by Choderlos de Laclos, narrated by Dominic West, Janet McTeer, Una Stubbs, Elaine Cassidy, Adjoa Andoh, Edward Holcroft, and Morfydd Clark
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom, narrated by Mitch Albom, Roger McGuinn, Ingrid Michaelson, John Pizzarelli, Paul Stanley, George Guidall, and more
Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope: Stories of Surviving Wrongful Conviction by Courtney Lance and Nikki Pope, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Kurtis
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, narrated by Audra McDonald, Cassandra Campbell and Ari Fliakos
Thomas Jefferson-From Boy to Man by Jayne D’Alessandro-Cox, narrated by James Brinkley, published by James Brinkley/Jayne D’Alessandro-Cox
A Wild Swan by Michael Cunningham, narrated by Lili Taylor and Billy Hough, published by Macmillan Audio

MYSTERY
Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The Crossing by Michael Connelly
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens
IQ by Joe Ide

dear-mr-youNARRATION BY THE AUTHOR or AUTHORS
Dear Mr. You written and narrated by Mary-Louise Parker
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo written and narrated by Amy Schumer
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox written and narrated by Carol Burnett
LaRose written and narrated by Louise Erdrich
A Life in Parts written and narrated by Bryan Cranston
The View from the Cheap Seats written and narrated by Neil Gaiman

NON-FICTION
Adnan’s Story written and narrated by Rabia Chaudry
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Hillbilly Elegy written and narrated by J.D. Vance
A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner
Words on the Move: Why English Won’t – and Can’t – Sit Still (Like, Literally) written and narrated by John McWhorter

dispatcher-copyORIGINAL WORK
The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent by Larry Correia
Alien: Out of the Shadows: An Audible Original Drama by Tim Lebbon and Dirk Maggs
Car Talk Science: MIT Wants Its Diplomas Back written and narrated by Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi
The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
In the Embers by Brian Price and Jerry Stearns
Pete Seeger: The Storm King, Vol. 2 by Pete Seeger, ed. and Jeff Haynes

PARANORMAL
Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter
The Elementals by Michael McDowell
Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Staked by Kevin Hearne

glitterland-copyROMANCE
Dirty by Kylie Scott
Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Glitterland by Alexis Hall
The Obsession by Nora Roberts

SCIENCE FICTION
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Ellison
Crosstalk by Connie Willis
The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

coffee-at-lukesSHORT STORIES/COLLECTIONS
The Brink: Stories by Austin Bunn
Certain Dark Things by M.J. Pack
Coffee at Luke’s edited by Jennifer Crusie
The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke by Arthur C. Clarke
East, West by Salman Rushdie
Killer Women: Crime Club Anthology #1 by Louise Millar, Alex Marwood and Tammy Cohen

THRILLER/SUSPENSE
Cross Justice by James Patterson
The Fall of Moscow Station by Mark Henshaw
Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
Home by Harlan Coben
The Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmons

my-lady-janeYOUNG ADULT
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff,
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco and James Patterson
Winter by Marissa Meyer

YOUNG LISTENERS (up to age 8)
28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World by Charles R. Smith, Jr
Island Treasures: Growing up in Cuba by Alma Flor Ada
The Quentin Blake and John Yeoman Collection by Quentin Blake and John Yeoman
The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter
Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
The Wooden Prince: Out of Abaton by John Claude Bemis

Stay Tuned for my category blog posts for my 2017 Armchair Audies listening extravaganza!

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in Armchair Audies, Listening Events

 

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Armchair Audies…my category winners

Armchair Audies Alas, another season of Armchair Audies has come to an end (tear). Tomorrow (Wednesday) evening, members of the Audio Publishers Association, including many of the nominees, will gather at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, to find out who the this years winners are.

Over, the last 2 and a half months, I’ve had a great time (for the most part) listening to the nominees in my three chosen categories (Erotica, Paranormal and Romance). Between the 13 books that I listened to (either completely or partially), there were 8 new authors and 8 (or is it 9?) new narrators 😉 Overall, I listened to 10 books in their entirety and at least 2 hours of the other three books (and I’ll finishing up listening to at least 2 of them after the Audies are annouced).

Every year, when I write my initial blog post for my Audies categories, I try to predict what books I think will win, based off previous experience with the authors/narrators and general description of the books (no samples are listened to prior to starting my official listen). My initial predictions for winners in each category were:

Erotica:
Curing Doctor Vincent – Renea Mason, narrated by Erin DeWard and Noah Michael Levine

Paranormal:
Hounacier – Seth Skorkowsky, narrated by R.C. Bray

Romance:
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy – Julia Quinn, narrated by Rosalyn Landor

My thoughts after finishing the majority of my books was that, if only the decision making process was as easy as I anticipated. honestly, even now, as I’m writing this post, I’m debating and considering what books I think should be my “picks” – I gave my initial picks for our own Armchair Audies organizer, the Literate Housewife herself, and i’m still thinking to myself, did I pick the right ones…

Erotica
when I did my initial predictions, I was solidly in the Curing Doctor Vincent camp for winner – I had actually listened to it prior to it being nominated for an Audie and gave it a well-deserved awesome review. And I was totally in that camp, until I got to experience Jo Raylan narrating C.D. Reiss Song of Submission audiobooks (she solo narrated books 1 through 3) and then was joined by Christian Fox for books 4 through 6. I loved her narration so much that I deviated from finishing up at least one other Armchair Audie book because I HAD to listen to book 7 in the series to see how everything turned out. (what! don’t hate on me too much, there was a doozy of a cliffhanger at the end of book 6). While her narration was nominated twice, my pick for winner in the Erotica category is Jo Raylon narrating C.D. Reiss’s Beg Tease Submit.

Paranormal
My initial pick for winner in this category was R.C. Bray narrating Seth Skorkowsky’s Hounacier – the first book in the series (Damoren) had been nominated last year and I was excited to see Hounacier on the nominee list. And its hard for me to say that ultimately, while I enjoyed Hounacier, it isn’t getting my pick for the simple reason that while I enjoyed Bray’s narration (and I had all the other books narrated by him), I found my mind wandering with this one – I wasn’t an intrigued by the Voodoo storyline in this one, as I was the story in Damoren. Ultimately, for me, this pick came down to 2 books – The Dead House, by Dawn Kurtagich, narrated by Charlotte Parry and Christian Coulson (although this was one of the 3 books that I only partially listened to) and Lycan Fallout 2: Fall of Man by Mark Tufo, narrated by Sean Runnette. Out of these two, i only fully listened to one of the books (if only I had about 10 more hours to finish listening to The Dead House) and because of that, Runnette’s narration of Lycan Fallout 2: Fall of Man is getting my pick for audiobook performance in the Paranormal category.

Romance
For my third and final category, I finally got to go back to my first love, romance novels, after a few iffy years of nominations that didn’t fall into the traditionally accepted romance genre (don’t worry, I won’t soap box too much!). I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised to see that all 5 books had a historical flair (which surprises me since contemporary romance seems to be the current market dominator). As with my other 2 categories, I had a great time listening to the romance nominees (with the exception of 1, which is queued up next on my ipod). Anyways, back to the nominees, anyone who knows me, knows that i’m one of the few people in the romance audiobook world who isn’t a die hard fan of Rosalyn Landor (a lot of it has to do with listening to books i’d already read and having some cognitive dissonance between her narration and how I imagined the voices to sound). But I also knew that she is an established entity in the narration world which was why I picked her as my potential winner for the romance category. that being said, it was a close call (are you starting to notice a pattern) between her narration of Julia Quinn’s The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy and Sue Pitkin’s narration of Maggie Fenton’s, the Duke’s Holiday. Rosalyn Landor had a solid narration that suited the partial serious narture of Quinn’s romance, but Sue Pitkin had made me laugh so hard in a few places that I had to pull over the car and her interpretation of the drunken footrace won me over. So for romance, my nominee is Sue Pitkin’s narration of The Duke’s Holiday by Maggie Fenton.

So there you have it – my predictions for the winner’s in my 3 armchair audies categories…now to wait until tomorrow night and see how I did!

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Armchair Audies, Listening Events

 

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Audiobook Review (reblog) – Curing Doctor Vincent – Renea Mason

Erotica nominees banner

curing doctor vincentAuthor: Renea Mason
Series: #1 in the Good Doctor Trilogy
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Narrators: Noah Michael Levine, Erin Deward
Run Time: 6hrs, 10 min
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Audiobook Provided by Author

This is a reblog of my review that originally appeared on October 29, 2015; with a couple of initial thoughts about her Audie nomination

Description:
One kinky doctor + one indecent proposal = one life-changing week in Paris

Elaine Watkins, Public Relations Advisor, is surprised when she receives a summons from the very attractive and enigmatic Dr. Xavier Vincent. She worships the talented physician and company icon responsible for developing the cure that saved her sister’s life and isn’t immune to his charm. Even though puzzled by his request, she is excited and eager to get started on his latest project.

But Dr. Vincent has other ideas. Instead of discussing cures, drugs and marketing strategies, he asks Elaine to join him in Paris to indulge his unique sexual appetites.

Torn between gratitude for saving her sister, her attraction for the powerful man and compromising her pre-conceived notions of sexuality, she must decide if it’s easier to feed his desires or walk away. Until she devises a plan of her own.

Review:
In light of Renea’s nomination for an Audie in the Erotica category, I’m reblogging my review as part of the Armchair Audies. I was so excited to see Curing Doctor Vincent make the list of nominees because it is by far one of the best erotic romances that I have listened to (and read) in the recent past. The storyline was well development, there wasn’t an overabundance of sex without story (also known as porn without plot) and I don’t think she could have picked two better narrators to represent Xavier and Elaine. This is my strongest contender to date for the winner in the erotica category.

I’d never heard of Renea (which is pronounced Renee) Mason until I got an email from her a few months ago about reviewing the audiobook for her erotic romance, Curing Doctor Vincent. But she managed to catch my attention from the get-go when she compared the narrators of her audiobook (Noah Michael Levine and Erin DeWard) to one of my favorite pairings, Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross (who narrated Karen Marie Monings Fever series). I mean, my initial reaction was like, no one is better than Phil and Natalie – i mean, they totally rock all their narrations. But boy was I wrong – I sat in the car listening pretty much slack-jawed and Noah and Erin rocked this audio and they both earned a place in my top 5 narrators/pairings.

But back to the story itself…if you were offered one week in Paris on a trip of sexual exploration, would you take it? I know that I would probably have to stop and think about it and would probably wimp out, but Elaine did none of those things. Curing Doctor Vincent was a roller-coaster ride of emotions, I know that I experienced pretty much the whole spectrum from anger to sadness; from excitement to deep and abiding love. There is something about Renea’s writing that just made me feel like I was in Paris with Xavier and Elaine, and experiencing all the sexual satisfaction that Elaine was feeling.

the story itself didn’t unfold the way I expected it to when I began. I’ll be honest – my initial thoughts when I read the description would be that Elaine’s experiences with Xavier and his sexual appetites would be the majority of the story. In fact, I was kind of shocked when there was actually more story than sex – haha. I know that probably sounds weird, but its true – there was a lot more to Curing Doctor Vincent than just the trip to Paris and lots of sex – I was actually expected that that would somehow be the cure that was alluded to in the title. But boy, was I wrong! The ending of the story was sweetly satisfying (although there was definitely a scream of agony that resonated when I finished my road trip with 30min remaining on the book – the torture of having to wait until the next day to finish it up…has to fall under cruel and unusual punishment).

I will say holy hotness on the writing of those sexual experiences – so often in erotic romance, those scenes just feel like insert Tab A into slot B, very mechanical or on the other end of the spectrum, overly flowerly purple prose, but Renea managed that fine balance between the two. I will say that I found myself fanning my face several times during my car ride as I was listening. I could probably gush about the audiobook all day, but I will say, my favorite thing about the narration was that it was a true alternating POV narration – where Noah read all the male parts and Erin all the female – so often in dual narration audiobooks (at least in my experience), it ends up being male reads one chapter, including any female dialogue and vice versa – so this was a pleasant surprise.

I gave Curing Doctor Vincent 4 stars and the audio narration 5 stars. I’d recommend this to people who like erotic romance with a solid storyline and satisfactory conclusion (with no cliff-hanger). Unfortunately, now I have to wait for the next book in the trilogy to come out (or at least the audio version)…hopefully that will be relatively soon…

 

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