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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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Audiobook Review – The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie – Jennifer Ashley

the audiesthe madness of lord ianThe Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: #1 in the Highland Pleasures series

Narrator: Angela Dawe
Run Time: 9hrs and 53 minutes
Publisher: Tantor Media

Description:
The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family–rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn’t be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them–of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.

The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He’s also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.

Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama–an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.

And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.

Review:
I rarely re-read books because for me there is just such a wide variety of new stuff out there, that going back and re-reading just seems like a waste of time. However, when tMoLIM was nominated for an Audie award for its audiobook narration in the category that I was listening to, I knew that I was going to be re-reading (or rather re-listening) to it in the near future. I have to say that my memories of my original read through were vague – I remember it being the current IT book and everyone raving about it, but when I read it, I was ultimately disappointed. It didn’t live up to the hype, was my opinion. However, when I started listening to the audio, I was pleasantly surprised. I realized that I had forgotten a good amount of plot points that made it a more enjoyable listen. I have to wonder, if I had listened to it the first time (if it had been available), would I have enjoyed it more – I think the answer is likely yes. However, since I did remember the outcome of the mystery that did kind of take away the enjoyment of the listen. But re-living Ian and Beth’s relationship again made up for it. As I am still reading the series, I love seeing how it all started because they play such a role in the other books.

I will admit that at first, I wasn’t sure about Angela Dawe’s narration – I had heard/read some reviews that didn’t bode to well for it. So I was surprised how enjoyable it was. I wouldn’t go out there and say that it was the best narration ever, but it was solid. I thought that she did a good job mixing up between Beth’s english tone and Ian’s scottish burr – as well as making sure that the other MacKenzie brothers sounded similar, but not the same (if that makes sense). Her pacing was good and I felt like overall the narration flowed well.

In my first read, I think I gave this book 3 stars, but after my re-listen, I am upping it to 4 stars and looking forward to listening to more in the series, as well as other narrations by Ms Dawe in the future.

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Audiobook Review

 

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Review – Highland Guardian – Melissa Mayhue

Highland Guardian
Author: Melissa Mayhue
Series: #2 in the Daughters of the Glen series

Book Description:
Ian McCullough is neck-deep in his own trouble. A half-mortal descendant of Faeries, he’s been a Guardian for more than six hundred years, but he’s never encountered a woman like Sarah. Assigned to protect her, he finds the job tougher than he could have imagined. Oh, he can handle the stalker, and even the renegade Faeries trying to kidnap her. But falling in love means forsaking his role as Guardian — which is some-thing he could never do.

But there is no denying the passion that exists between two souls fated to be together.

Review:
Sometimes when you dig through your ancient purchases file you find a good read – I think I bought this book like 3 years ago not long after I got my kindle and I went crazy buying books. Then I promptly forgot about it until recently when I came across a recommendation for the first book in the series and I remembered that I had enjoyed the first book in the series, and had bought at least the next few to read. So I dug it out. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the read. Fae’s in general are a favorite paranormal creature of mine to show up in books and are often overlooked in the craze of vampires and werewolves that seems to dominate paranormal romance currently.

In terms of character development, I liked Sarah the main female character, but there was just something about Ian that irked me – its hard to describe – maybe it was because he was fae and had that immortality thing going on – but I’m not sure. The cast of secondary characters were also fun and I can’t wait to read later books in the series to see if they re-appear. I have a feeling (although its been a while since I read the first book) that the characters in that one did make an appearance in this one – but I can’t remember…(whoops)…

Overall, cute read if you like paranormal romance and are looking for something new to try out. If you like the Fae storyline, you could also check out Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series (Paranormal Romance) or Fever Series (Urban Fantasy) or the first book in Charlotte Featherstone’s Sins and Virtues series – Lust. I’d give Highland Guardian 3.5 stars.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Book Review

 

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