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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 – The Witness – Nora Roberts

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the witness
The Witness
Author: Nora Roberts

Narrator: Julia Whelan
Run Time: 16 hours and 18 minutes
Producer: Brilliance Audio

Description:
Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth Fitch finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive.

Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance security systems programmer, her own protection is supplemented by a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. Unfortunately, that seems to be the quickest way to get attention in a tiny southern town.

The mystery of Abigail Lowery and her sharp mind, secretive nature, and unromantic viewpoints intrigues local police chief Brooks Gleason, on both a personal and professional level. And while he suspects that Abigail needs protection from something, Gleason is accustomed to two-bit troublemakers, not the powerful and dangerous men who are about to have him in their sights.

And Abigail Lowery, who has built a life based on security and self-control, is at risk of losing both.

Review:
From the first paragraph in the audiobook which started with the line:
Elizabeth Fitch’s short-lived teenaged rebellion began with L’Oreal Pure Black, a pair of scissors and a fake ID. It ended in blood – I was intrigued – it was probably one of the more intriguing opening sentences in a book that I have read/listened to in a while. That being said, the book jacket copy (taken from the audiobook) pretty much dispels any mystery behind what was going to happen – which was kind of disappointing. I liked the story and all, don’t get me wrong, it is probably one of the better Nora Roberts books that I have read in the last few years – but there were no surprises…even the ending was kind of ehhh…I wanted more bang and all I got was fizzle – while this was marketed as a romantic suspense, the suspense angle was kind of lacking – I found myself listening as it got closer and closer to the end and wondering if there was going to be any kind of confrontation and how it was all going to play out (but don’t worry, I won’t tell…). That being said, it was still better than a good majority of romance books that have been released recently (or maybe that is because it has been a while since I have read any of her stuff – who knows…).

But that being said, the purpose of this review is more on the audiobook side than the book side because it was nominated (and well-deserved) IMHO for an Audie in the Romance category. At first I was skeptical, but when the nominees were announced – I think it will be interesting to ultimately see who comes out on top. I do know, that after listening to Julia Whelan’s narration, that is isn’t going to be the last time that I do. I loved her narration of Amy in Gone Girl (one of my top listens from 2012) and her narration of The Witness was easily on par with Gone Girl, with the added fact, that I could see more of her range of voices and narration, rather than listening from only one character’s perspective. There were so many nuances that she picked up on – the multiple languages that there were phrases in (including, but not limited to, French, Italian, Farsi, Spanish and Russian – although I think there might have been a couple more mentioned as well). The wide range of people, from the 2 main characters of Liz/Abigail and Brooks – through the various parents, townsfolk, Russian mafia etc…And yet each voice sounded unique and unduplicated -which I appreciated.

If the other books that were nominees are such a high standard, I am going to have a hard time picking which one i think should win. Overall, I would give the narration 5 stars, but the story itself only 3 – but I am going to round it up to 4 stars.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 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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