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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 – Never Seduce A Scot – Maya Banks

the audies
never seduce a scotNever Seduce A Scot
Author: Maya Banks
Series: #1 in the The Montgomerys and Armstrongs series

Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Run Time: 10 hrs and 10 minutes
Producer: Tantor Audio

Description:
Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.

Review:
Its been a while since I have read/listened to any of Maya Banks stuff and the first time that I have tried her non-erotic romance (although I did enjoy her Sweet series). I had been hearing good things about this series from many of my friends, so I was glad to see the audiobook as one of the nominees for the romance category in the Audies. This was also my first time listening to not only Maya Banks, but also the narrator, Kirsten Potter, so it was an interesting experience all around.

I can’t say that the plot in general blew me away – it did feel the same as a lot of the highland romances that have been published in the past (authors like Julie Garwood) – where the King forces a marriage between two clans in order to strength blood ties, reduce the number of feuds. Which is exactly what happened in Never Seduce A Scot – the Montgomery’s and the Armstrong’s had been feuding for several generations – although, you never knew what actually started the feud (I think it might have been the death of a family member at the hands of the other clan – but I was kind of confused on that part) – which I guess goes to show, how the feuds are continued year after year, generation after generation and eventually people lose sight as to how or why they started.

I have to admit that I did have a soft spot for Eveline, the main character – there was something about her characterization that just sucked me in. Maybe it was how her issues/disability was written. My only gripe was that her change in character occurred really quickly after her marriage – and it seemed fake – like all of a sudden, there was a light-switch that was turned on. I would have liked to have seen it dragged out a little bit more – but at the same time, since the entire book took place in like a three week period (give or take), I guess there wasn’t a lot of time for self-discovery and other people discovery…

I would say that Potter’s narration was a solid middle range for me – it wasn’t some of the best narration, I have ever heard, nor was it the worst. She did a good job with the various female voices, including the pitch/tone/volume of Eveline’s at various stages in the story. But I felt like she struggled a bit with the male narration. Their voices did get better as the book went along, but initially I had a hard time distinguishing the various male voices from each other, they seemed to blur together. That being said, I will more than likely check out other books narrated by her in the future and I look forward to reading more books in this series. I gave both the book and the narration 3.5 stars.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 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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