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Tag Archives: Nora Roberts

TBR Tuesday – 6 Oct 2015

TBR Tuesday While I’ve been horrible about actually posting reviews for my TBR Tuesday books, I have slowly but surely been chugging away at them. Many people know that I moderate a few groups on Goodreads and in one of them, the other mods and I came up with the idea of a challenge called Pillaging the Pile – where we would each set a goal for a three month period and see how many books from our TBR we could read in that time. There were two options that people could choose, books that had been on their shelves for more than 6 months, or those that had been there for more than 12 months. I had typically been picking the more than 12 month option, just because I have so many.

Anyways, the most recent iteration of the PtP challenge ended on September 30th, and I thought I would post a quick list of the books that I read during the preceding three month period and my initial thoughts on a few of the books, although you may see a few of them pop up as full reviews later on down the road.

1) Behind Closed Doors – Shannon McKenna – Bought Dec 2009Finished – 7/3/15
2) Crux – Moira Rodgers – Bought Oct 2010Finished 7/3/15
3) Remember When – Nora Roberts/JD Robb – Bought Apr 2012Finished 7/5/15
4) Silver Lining – Maggie Osbourne – Bought Sep 2009Finished 7/13/15
5) Haunted in Death – JD Robb – Bought May 20127/19/15
6) Three to Ride – Sophie Oak – bought Jan 2011Finished 7/18/15
7) Mouth To Mouth – Erin McCarthy – bought July 2009Finished 7/31/15
8) The Wallflower – Dana Marie Bell – Bought December 2009Finished 8/18/15
9) Hands on Research – Pam Champagne – bought February 2010Finished 8/28/15
10) Holiday Bound – Beth Kery – bought November 2010Finished 8/29/15
11) Kiss Me Again – Dee Tenorio – bought June 20098/30/15
12) Nice and Naughty – Jayne Rylon – Bought December 2009Finished 9/1/15 (i think this was a reread)
13) The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho – Bought August 2011Finished 9/3/15
14) Dark Harvest – Anitra Lynn McLeod – bought December 2011Finished 9/7/15
15) Deep in the Woods – Annabel Joseph – Bought November 2010Finished 9/7/15
16) Felicity Stripped Bare – Vanessa Jaye – bought August 2009Finished 9/11/15
17) Kink – Saskia Walker/Sasha White – bought April 2010Finished 9/13/15
18) Homecoming – Lacey Baker – bought October 2013Finished 9/16/15
19) Sacred Revelations – Roxy Harte – bought April 2010Finished 9/28/15

so I managed to cull my TBR pile down 19 books in that time period (of course, I probably added equally as many new books…lol). Hopefully, this next three month period will be as productive – I started with a goal of 10 books (which has been my base for the previous sessions, and i typically up it if needed).

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2015 in TBR Tuesday

 

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TBR Tuesday – 7 April 2015

TBR TuesdayDance Upon the Air
Author: Nora Roberts
Series: #1 in Three Sisters Island series

Date Purchased: November 11, 2010

Review: As long as I’ve been reading romance, Nora Roberts has been a staple in my library – she is one of the few authors I can normally just grab and go – but there are a lot of her backlist that I haven’t ventured in to, although I own many of them. Dance Upon the Air, first published in 2001, is one of them. I think I grabbed the audiobook at a sale on Audible a few years ago. Unfortunately for me, while it is one of her older works, I also felt too much like her other paranormal trilogies/quartets – even now they start blending together. While the audiobook itself wasn’t long (in the 11 hour range), the book itself just felt like it dragged and I spent a good chunk of the time wanting to slap the main characters. This was a 2 star listen for me. Dance Upon the Air was a 2 star listen for me, the narrator was slightly better (3 stars for it)

What book did you discover on Mt TBR this week?

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2015 in TBR Tuesday

 

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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

Audies2013_Banner
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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Review – Blood Brothers – Nora Roberts

Blood Brothers
Author: Nora Roberts
Series: Book 1 in the Sign of Seven Trilogy

Narrator: Phil Gigante
Run Time: 10hrs 4min

Book Description:
In the town of Hawkins Hollow, it’s called The Seven. Every seven years, on the seventh day of the seventh month, strange things happen. It began when three young boys-Caleb, Fox, and Gage-went on a camping trip to The Pagan Stone. And twenty-one years later, it will end in a showdown between evil and the boys who have become men-and the women who love them.

Review:
Nora Roberts has become a comfort read for me over the years, and with the 200+ books that she currently has available, I will have plenty of reading for a while yet. But recently, I have been going back to some of her older books and listening to them – they are a great way to kill the commute to work and Blood Brothers being no different. As with most of her other books, especially those in a trilogy, you can see who is going to be paired up with who early on in the books, so there really isn’t the surprise factor – but in return, you get to see more character development, the relationships develop over a longer period of time and the kind of conflict that you would expect to see in a long-term relationship show up.

One of the main complaints that I have with this book and the second one in the series (I haven’t listened to the 3rd was yet), is that Quinn, the main female character seems to be wayyy to focused on her weight and eating healthy and from the way she is described, it seems like she isn’t overweight…maybe it is part and parcel in the time period that the book was written – but it drove me nuts. In fact, it made me want to go out and eat a pint of ice cream just to counter-act her worrying about her weight.

When it comes to narration, no one tops Phil Gigante when it comes the narration. He is easily probably one of my top 5 narrators out there and I will definately opt to listen to a book narrated by him, than most other narrators. While at first, most listeners aren’t a fan of his female voices, I know I wasn’t, he definately grew on me. It is unfortunate that the other 2 books in the trilogy are narrated by other people. Phil is definately what I called a weak-knee’d narrator – in that when I listen to his narration, I get weak-knee’d in places because his voice just does it for me. But I think that is enough squee’ing over Phil 😉

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2012 in Book Review

 

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