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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 – Don’t Cry for Me – Sharon Sala

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don't cry for meDon’t Cry For Me
Author: Sharon Sala
Series: #2 in the Rebel Ridge series

Narrator: Kathe Mazur
Run Time: 11hrs and 17 minutes
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises

Description:
Mariah Conrad has come home. Badly wounded on active duty in Afghanistan and finally released stateside, she has no family to call on and nowhere to go—until Quinn Walker arrives at her bedside. Quinn, …her brother-in-arms, ex-lover and now maybe her future.

Quinn brings Mariah to his log cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky to rest and recuperate, both physically and emotionally. While she’s incredibly grateful, Mariah is also confused and frustrated. She’s always stood on her own two feet, but now even that can literally be torture. She’s having flashbacks and blackouts, hearing helicopter noises in the night. She wants to push Quinn away—and hold him closer than ever.

But will she get the chance? Those helicopters are more than just post-traumatic stress; they’re real—and dangerous. Bad things are happening on the mountain. Suddenly there’s a battle to be fought on the home front, and no guarantee of survival.

Review:
Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin on this review…while Kathe Mazur is normally a narrator that I really enjoy, even her performance couldn’t improve on the mess that was this book. This is going to be a spoilerific, rant-tastic review – so you have been warned in advance.

If this had been the first book that I listened to for my audie experience, I might have been wondering what crack the judges were smoking because it was bad. There were just so many things with the plot that irked the ever-loving bejeebers out of me – from the what could have easily been a mis-identification of Conrad (I honestly thought that it was going to be a case of mistaken identity), to the overbearingness that is Quinn Walker (how dare he make decisions about taking her out of the hospital without even talking to her and how dare the hospital even let that happen – I mean seriously, WTF!!!). To the use of PTSD – I know that it is real and valid, but how it was handled here just pissed me off – both of them are isolated, getting no help and the author doesn’t even touch on the work that stuff like the Wounded Warrior Project does to help veterans…to her being able to shoot a bear that is charging at 75 yards (ok, so maybe she could have, but it just didn’t mesh)…and all of this happened in the first 5 chapters…I didn’t think that it could go downhill from there, but it did…we even got to the TSTL heroine who decided even though she is recovering from a major injury to go searching for her partner/boyfriend in an area that she doesn’t know, going up against drug dealers…it was like she wanted to be killed (but of course, it all worked out)…

But on to the narration – like I said in my first sentence – even Kathe Mazur’s narration which I typically enjoy wasn’t enough to overcome the other issues that I had with this book. I was too distracted by yelling at them as they did one dumb/idiotic thing after another, to truely be able to enjoy it. Which is kind of fustrating. I don’t know if I have had a book that drove me this nuts while listening to it in a long time…but from what I can remember (as I tried to block parts of it out of memory), I liked her range of voices – especially Mariah and Quinn – you could tell that they were the most well-developed obviously. I also think, while I am not from Kentucky, that she did a good job of trying to capture the regional dialect (but then, I don’t really know what it is supposed to sound like, so maybe I am completely off base). Since I have enjoyed narrations by her in the past, I will be seeking out more by her, but I don’t foresee myself reading/listening to anything by the author again (I gave her 2 tries as is my rule – books 1 and 2 in this series and neither of them worked for me). Overall, I gave the story 1 star and the narration 3 stars, which gives it an average of 2.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 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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