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The Armchair Audies – Romance – Summary

the audies

Armchair Audies

Last week, I finished listening to the last book that was nominated for the Romance category for the Audie Awards. As a quick recap, the nominees were:

Don’t Cry for Me, written by Sharon Sala, Narrated by Kathe Mazur, Produced by Audible,Inc.
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, written by Jennifer Ashley, Narrated by Angela Dawe, Produced by Tantor Media
Never Seduce a Scot, written by Maya Banks, Narrated by Kirsten Potter, Produced by Tantor Media
Scandalous Desires, written by Elizabeth Hoyt, Narrated by Ashford MacNab, Produced by Hachette Audio
The Witness, written by Nora Roberts, Narrated by Julia Whelan, Produced by Brilliance Audio

Overall, I found the nominees to be a good representation of the genre as it currently stands. Quite a bit of historical romance, but with a good romantic suspense, and a serial romance to round out the category. I’ve written reviews of each of the books nominated, but my general thoughts were:

The Witness – really liked Whedon’s narration of Robert’s book and it was one of my favorites by her recently. Definately a strong contender to be the winner.
Don’t Cry For Me – Unfortunately, Kathe Mazur’s (a narrator that I normally enjoy) couldn’t quite make up for a weak plot. This was probably the weakest book out of all the nominations for me.
Scandalous Desires – I have to admit that I was expecting a male narrator with a name like Ashford McNab – but enjoyed her narration. I found her Irish accent very strong and intriguing.
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie – this was a re-read/listen for me – but I don’t remember that much about my initial read, so I found it enjoyable. I liked Dawe’s narration and her scottish burr was pleasantly surprising, sometimes they are hit or miss with narrators.
Never Seduce a Scot – I really enjoyed this narration, although I think that Potter’s weakness is her male voices – I found that they just started to blend together and there wasn’t anything really distinctive. While not the weakest narration, I wouldn’t place it as a forerunner.

When I sit down and consider my listening experience with each of the books, the narration, the story in general and my overall enjoyment – I would rating them in the following order/prediction for winning:

1. The Witness
2/3. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie/Scandalous Desires
4. Never Seduce A Scot
5. Don’t Cry For Me

But I look forward to seeing what the official committee thinks when the awards are announced.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Audiobook Review

 

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Audiobook Review – Scandalous Desires – Elizabeth Hoyt

the audies
scandalous desiresScandalous Desires
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: #3 in the Maiden Lane series

Narrator: Ashford McNab
Run Time: 11hrs and 29 minutes
Producer: Hachette Audio

Description:
Can a pirate learn that the only true treasure lies in a woman’s heart?

Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind—and nine months ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back . . . and he’s asking for her help.

“Charming” Mickey O’Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London’s criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he’s never been able to forget the naive captain’s wife who came to him for help—and spent one memorable night in his bed . . . talking.

When his bastard baby girl was dumped in his lap—her mother having died—Mickey couldn’t resist the Machiavellian urge to leave the baby on Silence’s doorstep. The baby would be hidden from his enemies and he’d also bind Silence to him by her love for his daughter

Review:
I’ve read many romances in the last decade and a bit, but for the life of me, I can’t remember if I have ever read anything by Elizabeth Hoyt. I think that I probably have, but I am blanking on what book and when…lol. So I was intrigued to read/listen to this book when I saw that it had been nominated for an audio award. And I love bad boys in my romance novels, especially pirates and the good/pious women. It also felt nice to go back to a more traditional historical romance, since it has been a while since I have read one that I truly enjoyed – most of the ones I have read recently were just ehhh. Overall, I liked the general plot and story-telling of the book. Even though it was book 3 in a series and I haven’t read the previous 2, I didn’t feel like I was too lost – although I am intrigued enough to want to go back and read/listen to the earlier books.

One of my favorite parts was the baby (Mary Darling) in the story. So often in romances in general, there are kids in the story, but they aren’t key to the storyline – they kind of get relegated to the background. Kind of like, oh, let’s add a kid because it will make the characters seem more likeable. But in this instance, Mary Darling was pivotal to the story. Without her, there wouldn’t have been a story and I wouldn’t have come to love Mickey and Silence like I did. She was the true heart of the story.

However, I did feel that the mystery about the Vicar of White-Chapel (the bad guy) felt forced – until the final reveal about who he was happened. I think I would have preferred to have his identity revealed earlier on and allowed for some more character development. As it was, it seemed a bit lacking.

I was pleasantly surprised by Ashford McNab’s narration – although I will have to admit that at first, I was expecting a male narrator (and I was kind of excited because there are few male narrators in the romance genre). So when this young sounding female voice came across my speakers, I was a bit taken aback. But I was soon sucked into her narration. I found her cadence as she was speaking nicely flowing – not too fast, nor too slow. I liked her Irish lilt that she was able to give Mickey O’Rourke and how I was able to distinguish between all the various characters in the book. I know that I’ll be looking for more books narrated by her in the future. I’d give the book a 3 and the narration a 4, so 3.5 overall.

In the ranking scheme of the other romance books nominated for the Audies – I would put this 2nd out of the 3 I have listened to – with The Witness (Nora Roberts) leading right now.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Audiobook Review

 

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2013 Armchair Audies – Romance

Armchair Audies

What are the Armchair Audies?
The Armchair Audies are run by Jennifer over at the The Literate Housewife where all of us audiobook listeners can have an opportunity to listen to and review the audiobooks that have been nominated for the Audies. The Audies (for those who haven’t heard of them) are the annual awards for the audiobook community – similar to the Oscars, but on a much smaller scale.

The nominations were announced for the various categories this past week and I am excited to listen and review the ones that were nominated for the Romance category.

The nominees for Romance Novels in Audiobook form were:
Don’t Cry for Me, written by Sharon Sala, Narrated by Kathe Mazur, Produced by Audible,Inc.
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, written by Jennifer Ashley, Narrated by Angela Dawe, Produced by Tantor Media
Never Seduce a Scot, written by Maya Banks, Narrated by Kirsten Potter, Produced by Tantor Media
Scandalous Desires, written by Elizabeth Hoyt, Narrated by Ashford MacNab, Produced by Hachette Audio
The Witness, written by Nora Roberts, Narrated by Julia Whelan, Produced by Brilliance Audio

Of these nominations, I have only read one before (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie) and 3 of the 5 narrators are new to me (Kathe Mazur and Julia Whelan have been on my previous listens list – Kathe for her narration of a couple books in Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series and Julia Whelan for her narration of Amy in Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)).

Over the next couple of months, until the announcement of the winners on May 30, I will be listening and reviewing these audiobooks. So stay tuned and look for the Armchair Audie logo at the top of the review.

audie nominees romance

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Armchair Audies

 

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