Category

Audiobook

Mean Streak – Sandra Brown

Mean Streak – Sandra Brown

Mean Streak

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Oh Sandra Brown! Good ol’ trusty reliable Sandra Brown. Always a good read! No exceptions for this gripping romantic thriller with its twists and turns and steamy love scenes. I really enjoyed it.

While training for a marathon in the freezing conditions of the North American wilderness, Dr Emery Charbonneau loses consciousness and wakes in a cabin with a head injury, being nursed back to health by a rugged and extremely mysterious man. However, mystery man isnt giving even giving her his name, and is refusing to take her back to civilisation. What does he want from her? Was it him that knocked her out? Who is after him? Why is he hiding? And why can’t she stop thinking naughty thoughts about him?

I really enjoyed the story and the twists and turns. But I have to say it. I HATED mystery man’s twist. His reasons for hiding out were just such an anti-climax that I had to deduct a whole star.

Otherwise I enjoyed the character development. The romance was entirely unbelievable, but that was the fun of it! There were some steamy scenes, and I absolutely loved the other twists that took me by surprise.

The medical information that was in the book was well researched which I appreciated. The nurse in me approved which is always good! It had quite a lot of violence and action scenes which were also well done. If it weren’t for that awful twist involving mystery man, I would have rated it higher.

The audio version was fantastic, I really enjoyed the narration.

Would I recommend Mean Streak?

Yes it was a great romantic suspense. A solid 4 stars! Typical reliable Sandra Brown! One day I will read all of her books!

Mean Streak was purchased by myself, at my own expense at audible.com


If you enjoy Mean Streak you may also enjoy:

White Hot      To die for

HOME

One for the Money – Janet Evanovich

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) – Janet Evanovich (1994)

One for the Money

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

One for the money is one of those popular books that it seems everyone has read except me. So when I was going through a reading slump and couldn’t get into any book that I started reading, I thought I would try this one. Its been on my to read pile for SO LONG. I decided to go the audio version. And I made it through!

Stephanie Plum gets sacked from her job and being desperate, approaches her cousin for a job at his bounty hunter business. Originally intending to go for a filing job she takes up bounty hunting when she sees that she can get a cool 10k for bringing in a particular suspect who has jumped bail. However, the subject is ex cop Joe Morelli who had a fling with once when they were teenagers. So with a trusty gun and the help of a few friends to navigate through the biz, she is on her way to catching the suspect. However she gets herself into a bit of trouble with a psychotic stalker first, and ends up relying on the very person she is meant to bring in. And of course, sparks.

I get it. I really do. Back in 1995 this would have been a great book. Amazing even. But now, in the 2010’s, it is full of inappropriate sexism, sexual harassment masked as “sexual tension”, annoying characters, and bad fashion that belongs back in the 90’s.

Having said that, I can look past all of that and put myself back in the 1990’s and appreciate this book for what it is, an entertaining read that you can just enjoy without getting too much into it.

Sure, Stephanie Plum may be a touch on the annoying side, but for the 90’s, she is kick ass.

I loved the fact that there are no mobile phones, and technology feels like it belongs back in the stone ages. And hey, it may be interesting to see what Stephanie got herself up to in the next 20 years, with the 24th instalment of the series having just been released last year.

The audio version was pretty good. There are two different ones apparently and I chose the more recent. Although reviews for the latter one seem to be better from what I have seen.

Would I recommend One for the Money?

Yes, I think so. Although you may need to ask me after a few more books.

I purchased One for the Money at my own expense at audible.com


If you enjoy One for the Money, you may enjoy:

To die for   Orphan X

HOME

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) – Pierce Brown

Red Rising

3 Stars (3 / 5)

I love a good bandwagon. Nothing I love more than getting all swept up in the hype for a popular book, and get excited along with others about how fantastic it is and how much better my life is because I read it! This is what was made pretty clear would happen when I read Red Rising – with its 4.26 average on goodreads which is AMAZING! But. Alas. I was not so swept up. Not quite so excited.

Without giving too much away, because the plot is such an important thing, and there are so many big twists and turns that I don’t want to ruin for anyone… But the central character Darrow, is a ‘Red’. Reds are pretty much the lowest of the low class, and the colours increase in class until we reach the ‘golds’ who are the top of the food chain. So Darrow and his wife are living a pretty miserable existence underneath in the mines of Mars. Darrow is a “helldiver” or miner of Helium 3 which is being collected so that one day Mars will be able to be terra-formed and people will be able to live on the surface. So we get to know a little bit about Darrow and his life and then some bad things happen and suddenly he is plummeted into a matrix-take-the-red-pill type of situation where he finds out the horrible truth of the actual real world. So eventually Darrow is taken in by a group who want to bring down the class system, so they make him a gold. Thus begins an epic hunger games type of situation, where ‘gold’ Darrow has to fight for his life in order to rise up the social system, to bring the whole thing crashing down.

I listened to the audio version by Tim Gerald Reynolds, which I thought would be weird considering I had just finished the fabulous Riyria Rising trilogy also narrated by Reynolds. But he puts on a bit of an irish-like accent in this one which made his voice almost unrecognisable. So it was no problem. His singing was a bit of a problem though… I am sure it is more the song than the voice.

I would class it is a cross between the wool series, the hunger games and divergent series, with a bit of other dystopian YA books thrown in there too. Although I’m not sure why this is classed as YA. There is NOTHING YA about it.

So, its quite an intricate plot, and I went into it knowing absolutely NOTHING about the book, except for how great it is supposed to be. So was pretty surprised with the epic hunger games situation which I was not totally expecting.
Its a enriched world that Mr Brown creates, and he does a good job about it. The whole book is well written, filled with extensive character development and vivid scenery. It has lots of blood and gore, action, betrayal, twists and turns, ups and downs. So why then? Why was I not so caught up in this one?

Without the haters getting all “BUT THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BOOK! F*** YOU MEL!”, I would like to disclaim that this is just MY opinion. And we can’t all like the same book! No hate mail please!

Darrow. I had major issues with Darrow. The first being, how on earth he could have been 16 years old. Just like one of my favourite fantasy novels Six of Crows, I had to willingly and purposely PRETEND that he was older so I could enjoy reading about him at all. I get that he kind of had to be that young in order for the story to progress, it just didn’t work. I couldn’t take it seriously, and it was an issue for me whenever I thought about it – so I pretended he was 25 year old Darrow, and even then it was a bit of a stretch, but it worked better for me.

The whinging. Yes, I get it. You’re all angst-y. “I’m really a red, bloody damn it!”. Yes. I get it. I don’t want to hear about it anymore. OH MY GOD HERE HE GOES WHINGING AGAIN! I did listen to the audio version, so perhaps the narration didn’t help with the angst situation, but BLOODY DAMN I was annoyed with him constantly whinging. I actually started listening to the second book too and it is STILL going on! I actually had to stop.

The women. Women in this book are pretty much objects that the male characters get to rape. The reds, rape. The gold’s in the game, rape. Rape everywhere. Even though there were a couple of stronger female characters, they were still at risk of – yup you guessed it, rape. I found it really unnecessary and almost offensive. I understand that its a tough world that they live in, but enough with the raping and pillaging already! And if they weren’t being raped, they were being spoken to or about like trash. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

I was somewhat conflicted. There were some things I really did enjoy about the book. I loved some parts even! Some of the twists were really clever, others were quite predictable. I really enjoyed how he wrote the novel and as you were reading (or listening to in my case), it was like you were listening to a book about war. I appreciated that. I really did. I just didn’t enjoy the book as a whole as much as I was hoping to.

Anyway that’s enough I think. I didn’t find it a bad book. 3 is still a good rating. And perhaps I’m overly critical because I was expecting so much. I don’t know. I am glad I read it. And I will eventually get to the second one after a bit of a break with books that aren’t quite so full on for a while.

Would I recommend Red Rising?

I think its definitely one that you have to experience if you enjoy this kind of fantasy, survival, dystopian sci fi type thing. You might be just like the majority and think it is the best book ever!

I purchased Red Rising at my own expense on audible.com


Home

Heir of Novron – Michael J. Sullivan

Heir of Novron (Ryira Revelations #3&4) – Michael J. Sullivan

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Surprisingly it didn’t take me long to get through this huge conclusion to the adventures of Hadrian and Royce. And I must say it was my favourite of the trilogy.

What DOESN’T happen in this epic adventure! A captured princess, an enslaved empress, a magical horn and a dangerous adventure to a lost magical city. Twists and turns, romance, ups and downs… a fantastic read! How could I NOT give it 5 stars!?

I must admit, I did see a fair few of the twists coming, especially the BIG ones! But it didn’t stop the goosebumps from happening.

Loved the romance in this one. It was a slow burn, but ultimately very satisfying.

The main plot and subplots are so well done. Really well written and extremely enjoyable. There is so much humour from the majority of the characters and there was numerous occasions where I burst out laughing.

Again Arista is my favourite character. I just think she is amazing. And yet again, the boys Royce and Hadrian make the most entertaining duo.

I really enjoyed the audio version. Even though I could have read it in paper format at least 3x as quick, there is something wonderful about a good fantasy book done well in audio. It holds my attention slightly more than other genres. And I knew I would enjoy this one as I loved the first two with the same narrator.

Would I recommend Heir of Novron?

Absolutely! I think this would be a perfect series to begin with if you are not too familiar with fantasy, or just a lot of fun if you are!

I purchased Heir of Novron at my own expense through audible.com


HOME

Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky (2015)

Children of Time

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Don’t you love those years where you think that you have read the best books of the year already, and then one book comes along and BLOWS THEM ALL OUT OF THE WATER!!!! ?

Its difficult to condense this extraordinary tale that spans thousands of years, into a single paragraph. Also, I don’t want to give anything away because it will spoil it. So ill be as simple, and as vague as possible. Humans go out of the solar system to colonise other planets. Things don’t exactly go to plan. There is a lot of fighting, a lot of evolution, a lot of characterisation, and a whole lot of INTELLIGENT GIANT KILLER SPIDERS!!!

I am glad I listened to the audio version of this. Not because it would be any better than the written version, but because I am struggling to find the time to read at the moment with work and looking after two small children (one being a demanding teething baby). So audio books are about the only way I am able to read at the moment. I listen to them while doing housework and cooking, while driving to and from work, and during any other spare moment I have during the week. And although I miss reading written words, audio books – GOOD audio books, have a magic about them that words on a page do not have. A good narrator can turn a good story into a great one, just as a bad narrator can bring down a great story to an average one. Well this one, my folks, is a GREAT narrator.

In case you haven’t realised, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! It had absolutely everything I love in a good sci-fi, but the writing my friends… The writing was absolutely superb! I cannot put it into words how this book resonated with me and touched me. It made me think about my life, space, and our place as humans in the universe. It absolutely BLEW my mind!

Would I recommend Children Of Time?

ABSOLUTELY!! Any Sci-fi fans, sci-fi novices or anyone with an interest in space, evolution, or just bloody good writing should try this one! I am sure I am going to read and listen to this many MANY times in future.

I purchased Children of Time at my own expense through audible.com

 


If you enjoy Children of Time, you may enjoy:

The Threat Below   

HOME

Theft of Swords – Michael J. Sullivan

Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations Volume #1) – Michael J. Sullivan

Theft of Swords

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I really love big, epic fantasy books. I don’t read enough of them. But they are quite an investment. Especially on Audio book, as my reading time is SO much faster than my listening time. Going in, I knew that it wouldn’t be a light read, and that it was going to be a BIG listening time. In this case it was 22 hours and 37 minutes. I knew there was going to be a lot of pausing, replaying, and pushing “save clip” hundreds of time just in case I fell asleep or lost my place. But my gosh it was worth it!

We are quickly introduced to our two main characters Royce and Hadrian. They are thieves, but thieves with a conscience. In book one of this two book volume, Royce and Hadrian are framed for the murder of the king. Using their brains, humour and a bit of good luck, they have to unravel the mystery, save their own hides, find the real killer and unravel an intense and conspiracy.

In the second book of the volume, Rocye and Hadrian are employed by a young girl to come and kill a monster that has been slaughtering the people in her village. They are also reunited with some old friends.

This first volume consists of the first two books of the Riyria Revelations, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha. This series is 6 books condensed to 3 volumes. There is also the Riyria Chronicles which was written after these ones, but is set in the years before.

What a fun story! I was enthralled listening to both the books. They were moving, funny, action packed, violent, and just plain old entertaining. The narration of Tim Gerard Reynolds was fantastic. I have listened to him narrate a fantasy once before when I listened to Dawn of Wonder and he does an amazing job! The right narrator is so important, and can really make or break a good book in audio. A good narrator is like listening to a good movie!

I honestly don’t have anything negative to say about these books. It was great entertainment and I am really looking forward to the next volume. I do wish that there was a bit more romance, but it didn’t bother me much because I was too busy getting enthralled in the story!

Would I recommend Theft of Swords?

Absolutely! For any fantasy fan! It would also be a great place to start if you are a fantasy novice and want to give fantasy a try, as its a lot easier to read and follow than some other high fantasy series. And its a LOT of fun!

I purchased Theft of Swords from audible.com at my own expense.


If you enjoy Theft of Swords, you may enjoy:

Six of Crows   Dawn of Wonder   The Name of the Wind

HOME

Burn For Me – Ilona Andrews

Burn For Me (Hidden Legacy #1) – Ilona Andrews

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I had seen this book many times around and on goodreads, but there was one main reason I never read it. THE COVER! Oh my gosh how awful is it!!? It looks like some terrible corny romance book that my grandmother used to read. But it is also not a secret that I have become a BIG Ilona Andrews fan, and all of the fans of this husband and wife author duo were rating this book well, so I decided to listen to the audiobook. And HOLY SMOKES! Another HIT!

In an alternate world where some humans have developed magical powers and the strongest ones are known as “primes”, Nevada is a private investigator. She is forced by her boss to take on a case to find Adam, a fugitive prime who can control and manipulate fire. He is suspected of setting a bank on fire and killing a security guard. He is dangerous, and if she doesn’t find him, she will lose her business and her home that she shares with her family. But she is not the only one looking for Adam. “Mad” Rogan is one of the most powerful primes on earth, and he is also determined to find him. They will have to work together to save no only Nevada’s job, but the whole city.

I just feel like I am repeating myself over and over when I talk about these authors! This husband and wife team make magic I tell you!!! MAGIC!!!!! I LOVE the Kate Daniels series, and the Innkeeper Chronicles. I was thinking there would be NO WAY that they could come up with so many different story lines and so many different worlds, and consistently have AMAZING writing in each one! Well I was VERY VERY wrong…

In their other series, the subsequent books just kept getting better and better, and I am hoping that this one will be the same!

I LOVE how they do romance in their series. This one had a bit more heat in the first book than the first books in their other series, but it was still frustratingly spectacular. I still really appreciate how the relationships are built on much more than just lust, and they really go to town on the character development. It’s so refreshing!

Just when you thought they couldn’t come up with anything more exciting, there was action and violence, drama and humour. I was in bed listening to it and almost woke my husband up when I burst out laughing at a particular scene about a dream…

I think that they chose a horrible cover, but an AMAZING narrator. All Ilona Andrews books that I have listened to on audio book have been Renee Raudman and she is just the perfect narrator for all series.

Would I recommend Burn For Me?

YES!!!! It is a wonderful introduction to what I hope will be a stellar series. The third book is being released later this month and I have already pre ordered the audio version! Now, to book number 2 White Hot.

I purchased Burn for Me on audible at my own expense.


If you enjoy Burn for Me, you may enjoy:

Magic Bites   Clean Sweep

HOME

One Fell Sweep – Ilona Andrews

One Fell Sweep (Inkeeper Chronicles Book #3)

One Fell Sweep

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I’m going to take a minute to appreciate just how FREAKING good this husband and wife author duo are. Seriously, when these two sit in front of their computer or however they get the words down, MAGIC happens. One Fell Sweep is the third instalment of the Innkeeper Chronicles, and in my opinion, the best of the lot. I’m not sure how they manage to keep getting better and better, book after book… But somehow it just happens. After this series and the Kate Daniels series, which I recently re-read because I love it so darn much, I am going to make it a mission to read every word they have ever written.

Dina is the inn keeper in Gertrude Hunt, the magical inn in Texas that is a pit stop for some very interesting creatures from all sorts of planets. Dina’s job is to keep the guests of the inn safe at all costs, and her job is near impossible with the arrival of a malodorous guest who has an unusual bounty on his head. Many of our favourite characters are back from the first two books, including one frustrating but seriously hot werewolf. Will Dina be able to keep everyone safe?

OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS AUDIOBOOK! I loved everything about it. The writing, the story, and the narration! Renee Rauldman and her Southern accent is SO EASY to listen to! The audio version was magical. I’m sure I would have still adored the paper version, but I just loved this audiobook!

I have no idea where they come up with the ideas in their stories. World killers?? Nano ants?? Seriously!! Obviously in this case two writers are better than one. Its just one awesome idea after the other which leaves you thinking, “HOW THE HELL DO THEY COME UP WITH THIS!!??”

Like the Kate Daniels series, the romance is like lighting a big fireplace in a living room. You start out shivering a bit, warm up quite comfortably, and then suddenly get so hot you start sweating! I love the way that they build the romance up over numerous books. It may start off as attraction between two people, but then it grows into something much deeper, with an actual RELATIONSHIP where people DO THINGS other than swoon over each other. In this case they kill things together and talk together. They don’t just make it a quick attraction with a happy ending, and although the wait for the pinnacle of the romance is frustrating, its SOOOOOOO much better for it!

Would I recommend One Fell Swept??

YES YES YES!! Read the above! ALL THE ABOVE!! You will start with Clean Sweep and Sweep in Peace first, or some things might get a touch confusing.

I purchased the audio version of One Fell Sweep on audible, at my own expense.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Ilona Andrews

 

 

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge (GoodReads).

 

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

 

 

Renée Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. She has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien, as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Joe Schreiber’s Chasing the Dead. She has also performed on film, TV, radio, and stage, including the recurring roles of Jordon on ABC’s One Life To Live, Phyllis on NBC’s Passions, and guest-starring roles on prime-time TV. She has been heard in cartoons (The Simpsons, Billy & Mandy), videogames, and on the E! channel. Her narration of Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009, and her reading of Marthe Jocelyn’s Would You was selected by the ALA as one of the best young adult audiobooks of 2009 (GoodReads).

 

 


If you enjoy One Fell Sweep, you may enjoy:

Clean Sweep   Sweep in Peace   Magic Bites

HOME

Ashes to Ashes – Tami Hoag

Ashes to Ashes (Kovac and Liska Book #1)

Ashes to Ashes

4 Stars (4 / 5)

FINALLY!! Back to reviewing following a long absence due to a difficult pregnancy and a huge bout of newborn sleep deprivation. I haven’t had much of a chance to do anything except rock a screaming baby lately, so its so nice to be able to read a book. Or I should say, listen to an audiobook. Finding time to sit and read is still a little bit beyond me at the moment. But hopefully soon!

I had listened to another book by Tami Hoag last year, and I always wanted to read another. So when I wanted something that would hold my interest in the endless hours of feeding my baby, I immediately thought of her and randomly picked and downloaded Ashes to Ashes.

Ashes to Ashes is the story of a serial killer, and the joint effort to find him. “The Cremator” is what the media have dubbed this killer, because of the people that he is setting alight. But he gets sloppy, and there is a witness to one of his crimes. Kate, the crime victim advocate, attempts to look after the witness, Angie. Kate’s past comes back to haunt her when an FBI agent Quinn is called in to investigate the case. In the meantime, more of Kate’s clients begin to disappear, she thinks that the killer may have a vendetta against her.

This was a great audiobook. I really enjoyed the narrator and the exciting story. One thing I really enjoy about Hoag’s books (so far) is that she introduces different complex characters, and any of them could be the killer. It isn’t blatantly obvious like so many other books, and that is really important to me. I love the surprise aspect, and because I read so many thrillers, I’m getting really good at figuring who the killer is!

Enjoyed the cute love lost, love found again romance aspect of this book. And I enjoyed how it was set amongst the murder mystery, but didn’t take anything away from it.

Would I recommend Ashes to Ashes?

Absolutely! To any thriller fan! Really liked the audio version, and I am looking forward to reading more by Tami Hoag!

I listened to this audiobook through Audible, at my own expense.

Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) – Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I originally rated this book 4.5, but then I was thinking about exactly what it was that deducted half a star and I honestly couldn’t come up with a single thing I didn’t like about it. It was even better than the first one, I just loved it!

So our friends have just finished with the Ice Court and have been betrayed. Inej has been taken, and they need to get her back. So begins an exciting tale of mystery, intrigue, romance, laughter and the classic twists and turns that have made this series so entertaining and unique.

So sad that this is the last one, and it is EXTREMELY RARE for me to say that about a series because I much prefer stand alone books usually! However, two is a very readable number, and I highly suggest you check this series out!

Again I listened to the audio version, and this time it got straight into it. I didn’t need to be introduced to the characters one by one like the first book, and it was WHAM BAM! The audio version was great, yet again. But this time it didn’t feel slow at all. The story was already set up, the characters already known and loved. So it was just my job to sit back and enjoy the ride.

It had more action, more intrigue, more betrayal, and more excitement than the first one. I actually couldn’t stop listening to this book. Ended up stayed up extremely late for a few nights even though I had things on in the morning! I was UPSET THAT AN 18HOUR AUDIOBOOK ENDED!!! UNHEARD OF!

Although I did pretend the characters were older like I did in the first book. It just made it much more enjoyable to me than imaging a bunch of 15 and 16 year olds doing all of that. Seriously!

Anyway, absolutely one of the best reads of the year!

Would I recommend Crooked Kingdom?

YES YES YES YES!!! If you enjoy fantasy and don’t mind YA (or can just be like me and pretend its not YA because it DOESN’T WORK) then you will LOVE this series. Its so unique, has a surprising depth to it and I will be absolutely checking out her other work set in this universe!

I purchased the audio version of Crooked Kingdom on audible.com at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AUDIBLE | Kindle US | Kindle AU


If you enjoy Crooked Kingdom, you may enjoy:

Six of Crows

HOME