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Audiobook Review – The Marriage Games – C.D. Reiss

The Marriage Games
Author: C.D. Reiss
Series: #1 in the The Games Duet
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Narrators: Elena Wolfe, Sebastian York
Run Time: 9hrs, 15min
Audiobook Producer: Flip City Media Inc.
Narration Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Description:
THIRTY DAYS
That’s all Adam Steinbeck demands of his wife.
Thirty days in a remote cottage, doing everything he demands. After that, he’ll sign her divorce papers and give her complete ownership of their company.
THIRTY DAYS
That’s how long he has to rediscover the man he once was. The Dominant Master he hid when he fell in love with her five years ago.
THIRTY DAYS
She wants the business they built badly enough to go to the cottage for a month. Cut off ties to the world and do his bidding. She can submit to him with her body, but her heart will never yield.
She thinks this is his pathetic attempt to repair their marriage.
She’s wrong.

Review:
The Marriage Games is the second of the two books in my Armchair Audies listens that I had previously read prior to the nominees being announced. I discovered C.D. Reiss last year when her Coda series was nominated for another Audie – so I was excited to see her with another nomination this year. But I will its hard to describe the initial disappointment I felt when I read The Marriage Games earlier in the year – reading it, I just didn’t feel the emotion that I felt like I should have – I just felt really detached from the whole storyline – which is a complete opposite experience to how I felt when I listened to it more recently.

Anyways, since I had already read The Marriage Games, I was able to invest myself more fully into my enjoyment of the audiobook – since I knew what was going to happen (although as normal, I did discover that there were things I had missed in my initial reading of it – which considering how long it took me to read it initially, is surprising). Since I was able to focus more on the audio than the story – let me tell you how much I LOVED the narration by Elena Wolfe and Sebastian York! I know like knees going weak, making me want to drool in sexiness type narration! (and I don’t say that often).

I love how audiobooks with dual narrators has developed over time – I have listened to all different combinations – predominantly one narrator with highlights of an other, narrators that alternate POV’s, but still narrate opposite gender if they appear in that specific POV and then there is a true duet, like the Marriage Games, where Elena and Sebastian were fully integrated so that Elena did all the female narration and Sebastian all the male – it was like listening to an actual conversation where there were multiple men and women speaking in a holistic way. I actually enjoyed my listen of the Marriage Games so much, that I went ahead and bought the second book in the duet (Separation Games) to listen to as soon as I was done – which I hadn’t felt inclined to do after I finished reading it a few months previously.

The Marriage Games was definitely a case where 2 brilliant narrators took a slightly less than impressive book (at least to me) and elevated it to knee-weakening level. While my rating for the Marriage Games stayed at 3.5 stars, the audiobook narration was easily 4.5 stars. Elena Wolfe and Sebastian York is a narrator duet that I would love to see more of.

 

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Armchair Audies Overview – Erotica

Armchair Audies

This is the second in a three post series for the Armchair Audies, where I’m doing an overview of the categories that I am reviewing with my initial thoughts on the books and narrators nominated. Erotica is a category that I picked up last year after realizing I wouldn’t be reviewing the romance category and what is probably the closest to romance to listen to. I will admit that I kind of feel like i’m cheating by listening to this category, because of the 5 nominees, I’ve already listened to 2 of them – 1 to continue a series, Beta by Jasinda Wilder, which is the sequal to Alpha that won last year; and Curing Doctor Vincent by Renea Mason which I was offered as a review copy. (you can see my review HERE

The EROTICA Nominees are…

beg tease submitBeg Tease Submit – CD Reiss
Narrator: Jo Raylan
Audio Publisher: Flip City Media

Description:
Jonathan Drazen is a known womanizer; a gorgeous piece of man I’m not letting into my heart.

Yeah, he’s rich, beautiful, charming as hell, and he has a wit as sharp as a double-edged razor… but he’s made it perfectly clear that this is a short-term fuck. Three nights, tops, then we part like sexually satisfied grown-ups.

I believe him when he says he can’t love me. I’m not trying to fall in love, either.

We get in. Get it on. Get the hell out. Done.

Right?

Right.

Initial Thoughts: I’ve heard a lot about CD Reiss over the last year, both from friends who have read her stuff to talking to Jo, the narrator via goodreads. So i’m excited to finally have an excuse (if you want to call it that) to dive into this series. Since they were originally short stories – i’m intrigued to see how the books flow.

betaBeta – Jasinda Wilder
Narrators: Summer Roberts and Tyler Donne
Audio Publisher: ACX/Seth Clarke

Description:
Roth and I are on an open-ended tour of the world. Roth being Roth, this means missionary in Morocco, reverse cowgirl in Calcutta, bent over the bow of a houseboat in Hanoi, slow and sleepy on St. John. Anywhere and everywhere, in every conceivable position, and some I didn’t know were possible.

Life was pretty incredible.

Until I woke up in his chateau in France, alone. On the bed next to me was a note. There were only four words:

He belongs to me.

Initial Thoughts:
When I was listening to the erotica category last year, I picked Alpha as the winner, fairly early on (in fact, it might have been in my initial predictions)…unfortunately for me, Beta was a disappointment on the erotica front – it had much more of an action adventure feel than Alpha did, which was so much more about Roth and Kyrie – Beta honestly just irked me – i wasn’t able to suspense my disbelief through everything that Kyrie did, it was so far beyond the bounds of pluasibility. The narration from Summer Roberts and Tyler Donne was solid (and I liked hearing from Tyler in this one than the last one), but yeah…

control burn resistControl Burn Resist – CD Reiss
Narrators: Jo Raylan and Christian Fox
Audio Publisher: Flip City Media Inc.

Description:
I want to just clarify a couple of things. Submission is not abdication. Submission is not resignation. It’s not weak or fragile. It doesn’t mean I break at the first sign of trouble.

Well, I broke for a few weeks. When I realized I was falling in love with Jonathan and that I’d never be the same if I allowed it to continue, I broke into a million sharp little pieces. I think I damaged him in the process.

But what could I do? Stay with him and untangle the mess of his life? Commit to his rules, his secrets, his troubles? No. Just, no. If we’re doing this, we’re doing it. If I’m committing, it’s to a man, not a lie. I’ll strip away everything between us, even if it ends us.

Initial Thoughts:
I have a feeling that I will likely end up listening to both this book and the first one (discussed above) pretty close to together – if the storyline plays out how I think its going to. Its intriguing to see that the first one was narrated solely by Jo, but in this one, the author opted to also have Christian Fox narrate, so i’ll be interested to see if he adds to or distracts from my listening experience.

curing doctor vincentCuring Doctor Vincent – Renea Mason
Narrators: Noah Michael Levine and Erin deWard,
Audio Publisher: Renea Mason

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.

“Make no mistake, Elaine, I am a king. Kings command and conquer. They are brutal and uncompromising. You don’t want a king. Face it, you came here expecting a saint.” – Dr. Xavier Vincent

Initial Thoughts:
When the author initially approached me about reviewing Curing Doctor Vincent, she compared the narration of Noah Michael Levine and Erin DeWard to that of Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross (from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series). I can safely say, IMHO, they are better! I added both of them to my narrator buy lists for future listens and can’t wait to see where they go and as for Renea – well, I’ve already bought the second book in the series, although haven’t listened to it yet, as well as listened to the prequel in her fantasy-ish series.

trustTrust – Ella Frank
Narrator: Shannon Gunn
Audio Publisher: Audible Studios
Description:
TRUST – verb: to believe in the reliability, truth, or strength of another.

Up until now, Logan Mitchell has never had much of a reason to trust anyone.
Having struggled with a self-identity crisis throughout college, he’s spent the years since then creating a sophisticated facade to present to the world. It’s an armor he thought was impenetrable—until he met Tate Morrison. The gorgeous, headstrong bartender he’d sat across from only months ago has taken a tight hold of his heart, and Logan is discovering that it’s time to let go. It’s time to let someone inside.

After years of placing his dreams on hold for his family, Tate has finally chosen to do what makes him happy and follow his heart. The one thing he never would’ve imagined was that it would lead him into the arms of a man—and not just any man—the striking, never-takes-no-for-an-answer Logan Mitchell. Tate has fallen hard, and as his world is turned on its axis and they move forward together, he finds his life becoming more entwined with the confident, successful lawyer.

Even though neither man expected the other, it’s time to trust in their relationship—but not everything comes so easily…

Initial Thoughts:
I’ll admit that I was excited to see a m/m romance make it to the finals. I’ve been reading on and off in this genre for several years and audiobooks have started to become more popular. This author is new to me, although the nominee is the third in a series that I have to read the previous 2, so I am currently doing that. The narrator is also completely new to me, but as with other Armchair Audie books, I’m looking to discover new voices.

Initial Prediction of Final Rankings
1. Curing Doctor Vincent – Renea Mason
2. Control Burn Resist – CD Reiss
3. Beg Tease Submit – CD Reiss
4. Beta – Jasinda Wilder
5. Trust – Ella Frank

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2016 in Armchair Audies, Listening Events

 

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