Speaking of Audiobooks: July 2010 Releases

SoullessChallenging myself earlier this year to listen to a number of those romance audiobooks I tend to avoid due to their category, I’m scoring very well with my Unofficial Personal Listening Challenge for 2010.  Results to date:

Series

Thoughts: Can’t get enough

Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris

Although I’ve heard the Sookie Stackhouse series praised for years, I was reluctant to dive in.  I didn’t think I’d be interested in an open ended series with the possibility of more than one romantic hero.  I want to read romance with just a side dish of adventure and I relish those solidly wrapped up endings.  Finally heeding the words of many, I chose it as my Series challenge and boy, has it paid off!

The audio version is so entertaining that I can’t envision preferring the printed word.  Johanna Parker excels in her narration, the pace is tight, the story delightful, and I didn’t find a single boring moment.  I immediately purchased the second in the series, Living Dead in Dallas and experienced all the above once again.  I will continue with this series.

Fantasy Romance

Thoughts:  A Total Success

The Sharing Knife, Volume 1: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold.  A solid A for Volume 1 as well as Volume 2, Legacy, and Volume 3, Passage.  I’m saving Volume 4, Horizon, for a special occasion.

Abridged

Thoughts: I’m now willing to try more

Sylvester – Georgette Heyer

A typical audio listening day for me doesn’t contain a single abridged book.  Challenging myself to listen to Sylvester was cheating a bit since Richard Armitage narrates.  I praised this one in the last column profusely.  There are now two more abridged romances in my audio library but I must admit that I’m pretty darn picky when choosing them.

Challenges Remaining for 2010

Romantic Suspense – Envy by Sandra Brown

Urban FantasyDarkfever by Karen Marie Moning

In the Name of Mature Audio ListeningA Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer

By far the most enjoyable aspect of my reading challenge to date is the increase in the number of highly anticipated books in my audio library.  The first three audiobooks in my challenge spurred me to purchase seven more!  No lack of choices here.

Leftovers from June

(All are unabridged format unless stated otherwise.)

Here are just a few of those surprise audiobooks that failed to make last month’s New Releases column.

Beverley, Jo – The Dragon’s Bride Narrated by Simon Prebble

Beverley, Jo – Hazard Narrated by Anne Flosnik

Carriger, Gail – Soulless Narrated by Emily Gray

Feehan, Christine – Safe Harbor Narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan

Graham, Heather – Captive Narrated by George Guidall

Griggs, Vanessa Davis – Practicing What You Preach Narrated by Shari Peele

Marshall, Catherine – Christy Narrated by Kellie Martin

Sala, Sharon – Blown Away Narrated by Gayle Hendrix

Sands, Lynsay – Taming the Highland Bride Narrated by Marianna Palk

Slade, Jessa – Forged of Shadows Narrated by Renee Raudman

Small Beatrice – Until You Narrated by Virginia Leishman

Thomas, Jodi – Texas Princess Narrated by Linda Stephens

Audiobook Romances on Sale in July

Abridged

Graham, Heather – Ghost Night Narrated by Angela Dawe

Howard, Linda – Burn Narrated by Joyce Bean

Michaels, Fern – Celebration Narrated by Laural Merlington

Rice, Luann – Cloud Nine Narrated by Sandra Burr

Roberts, Nora – Homeport Narrated by Erika Leigh

Roberts, Nora – Honest Illusions Narrated by Sandra Burr

Roberts, Nora – Nora Roberts CD Collection 6: High Noon, Tribute Various Narrators

Roberts, Nora – The Search Narrated by Tanya Eby

Honest IllusionsUnabridged

Brockmann, Suzanne – Infamous Narrated by Angela Dawe & Patrick Lawlor

Graham, Heather – Ghost Night Narrated by Angela Dawe

Hannah, Kristin – Home Again Narrated by Tanya Eby

Jeffries, Sabrina – Beware a Scot’s Revenge Narrated by Justine Eyre

Macomber, Debbie – Lone Star Lovin’: A Selection from Orchard Valley Brides Narrated by Tanya Eby

Macomber, Debbie – Norah: A Selection from Orchard Valley Brides Narrated by Tanya Eby

Monroe, Mary Alice – The Beach House Narrated by Mary Alice Monroe

Phillips, Carly – Kiss Me if You Can Narrated by Sherri Slater

Rice, Luann – Cloud Nine Narrated by Sandra Burr

Roberts, Nora – Honest Illusions Narrated by Sandra Burr

Roberts, Nora – Loving Jack Narrated by Angela Dawe

Roberts, Nora – The Search Narrated by Tanya Eby

Roberts, Nora – Summer Desserts Narrated by Nellie Chalfant

Woods, Sherryl – Feels Like Family Narrated by Janet Metzger

Woods, Sherryl – A Slice of Heaven Narrated by Janet Metzger

Recent Additions to my Audio Library

Soulless – Gail Carriger

Narrated by Emily Gray

Sometimes Audible totally takes you by surprise as you discover the release of a favorite book you had absolutely no idea was coming.  Such was the case with Soulless.  I read the book this year and found it quite delightful.  I just had to have in audio.

Every Breath You Take – Judith McNaught

Narrated by Laura Dean

As a McNaught fan, I long for a few audio versions of her work.  They’re out there but often very abridged and less than three hours in length.  Every Breath You Take comes in right under six hours and, in an attempt to increase my exposure to abridged audiobooks, this seemed to fit the bill.  However, as I explored Amazon, I located a few used copies of an unabridged version (can that be true?) and may go for the unabridged version as well before all is said and done.

Notorious – Katherine Sutcliffe

Narrated by Josephine Bailey

A fan of Sutcliffe’s historicals, I hadn’t thought to look for Notorious in audio format until Libby Emond highly recommended it a few months ago in one of our Speaking of Audiobooks discussions.  Discovering further that the absolutely fantastic Josephine Bailey narrates made this one a must-buy.  I remember Ms. Bailey fondly from her narration of Josie Litton’s Dream of Me (one of my all time favorite audiobooks).

Lessons of Desire – Madeline Hunter

Narrated by Jill Tanner

I’ve read the book and graded it a B+.  With Jill Tanner’s narration, it may come in at an A in the audiobook version.  My regard for Tanner is that high.

Separate Beds2Recent Listens

Separate Beds – LaVyrle Spencer

Narrated by Liz Dykhouse

Upfront, there is one thing you must know about Separate Beds and that is the fact that as a contemporary romance it is dated – very dated.  I’m not just talking cassette players or the color of the walls or the style of the clothes (all described in detail).  Rather it is society’s view of a pregnancy outside of marriage and the choices therein.  Comfortable with Spencer’s ability to tell a good story, I decided to go with it and immerse myself in the early 1980s (reads more like the 70s).  The audio presentation was more than adequate although voice characterization didn’t differ greatly in modulation.  However, Liz Dykhouse effectively distinguishes characters through attitude and method of delivery.  This isn’t likely to be on my re-listen list but I found it absorbing – especially as I contemplated the changes in viewpoints over the past 30-40 years.

Manhunting – Jennifer Crusie

Narrated by Renee Raudman

Another purely fun audiobook, I find Crusie a reliable source for entertaining light-hearted romance.  Renee Raudman does a grand job of differentiating the leads’ voices by rightfully (and successfully) giving the hero a very southern accent.

Time for Your Thoughts

Do you have a challenge success or failure to share?

What new releases are you looking forward to?

Do you know of any July releases that failed to make this list?

What are the latest additions to your audio library?

And, as always, what are your latest audio successes or failures?

Ending Notes

I’m announcing new audiobook releases as they occur each weekday on Twitter.  I don’t cover every new release but attempt to include the more significant titles.  To follow me on Twitter, look for LeaAAR.

Currently there is no monthly list of upcoming audiobook releases on AAR’s main site.  We’ll continue to publish those lists here at Speaking of Audiobooks and will notify you once the main site is carrying the lists again.

For those new to our Speaking of Audiobooks column, be sure to check out our audio archives for further recommendations and discussions.

See you again mid-July.

- Lea Hensley

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35 Responses to “Speaking of Audiobooks: July 2010 Releases”

  1. Gamatst says:

    Lea your reading challenges have really worked out well for you! It’s so exciting to branch out and find more audiobooks to love and anticipate!

    Crusie’s Manhunting has the only hero Raudman has truly succeeded with for me. Loved it. Her heroine’s are always great though.

    I’m finishing up Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Kiss, I’m loving getting to revisit the characters and seeing the relationship’s grow!

    The first book in the series, Angel’s Blood, is still my favorite with all the action and the great surprise HEA ending. Anyone interested should check out “Melindeeloo’s” review of Angel’s Blood on Amazon for a really good overview, don’t let the PNR/UF label scare you away from a really great book.

    Next up is Soulless, can’t wait!! Loved the book and the sample narration sounded perfect.

    For July I’m really looking forward to Robert’s The Search. I liked Tanya Eby as a narrator with LH’s Heart of Fire so it should be a great listen.

    Brockmann’s new stand alone intrigues me as I enjoyed both Body Guard and Heart Throb way back when.

    I saw something in the new Costco magazine that I thought might be of interest to any who would like to turn their audio books on cassette into MP3′s for use on their iPods. Here’s a link to the Amazon description:

    http://www.amazon.com/EXPRESS-PORTABLE-CONVERTER-PLAYER-HEADPHONES/dp/B003MAX8T0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1277906654&sr=8-2

    It’s only 49.95 at Costco, man where was this when I was struggling the hard way to convert all my audio books on cassette to MP3?? :)

  2. Mary Frances Graham says:

    Just finished listening to Broken by Karin Slaughter and loved it. I, too, prefer unabridged, but Sylvester narrated by Richard Armitage was a hoot! Also listened to The Lion by Nelson DeMille and Storm Prey by John Sandford. Wish I had more money (for audiobooks) and more time (for listening). Thanks for all your recommendations.

  3. MarissaB says:

    Recent Successes:

    Lady Be Good by SEP, narrated by Anna Fields. This is one of SEP/Fields best, IMO. Lots of LOL moments. The first half hour was so entertaining that I was hooked and spent every waking moment listening, even at work! There is never a dull moment in this book. It is my favorite of the SEP/Fields collaborations, and I’ve listened to 11 of them.

    Bloody Jack by L A Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren. I got this one from Audible because it was on sale and was so highly rated. I kept it on my iPod for 3 months before listening to it. There were 2 reasons why I kept passing on it.

    (1) It won the 2008 Audie Award for Children’s Titles (12+). CHILDREN’S TITLES! It was not even YA.

    (2) The plot sounded implausible. A 13-yr-old girl, orphaned for 5 years, struggling to survive in 18th century London by begging and stealing, is hired as a ship’s boy on the HMS Dolphin. Hmmm. I didn’t think the deception could be carried out for long and what could possibly interest me in Jacky Faber’s ‘adventures’?

    Then I remembered you challenging yourself to new listens, Lea, and thought, “Fine. Just get it over with.”

    WOW! Awesome story with a STUPENDOUS performance from Kellgren. I was transported onto the deck of the HMS Dolphin and enjoyed myself tremendously, so much that I am DEFINITELY following this series. I just love Jacky Faber’s character.

    I enjoyed watching shipboard life in the movie Captain and Commander: Far Side of the World with Russel Crowe. What really piqued my curiosity were the young boys on the ship, and I couldn’t help but wonder where they came from and how they got on the ship in the first place, since the youngest looked to be about 10 years old, or less even. Jacky Faber answered a lot of my questions.

    A word of warning: There is an attempted rape scene in this book. I don’t know how this ever got categorized as a Children’s Title.

  4. MaryK says:

    The audio excerpt for Soulless sounds really good. I put it on My Next Listen queue.

    Speaking of old cassette audio books, I’ve scored some great finds for $1 at my local library’s sale table. I got LH’s Now You See Her, a Sara Donati I’ve been wanting to try, and an old title by M.M. Kaye. Now I just need to get around to converting them to MP3.

    I’m getting so behind on my listening; I really need to step it up some.

  5. Lea AAR says:

    I started listening to Soulless last night. Excellent narration. I’m glad I read in print first however – I can now listen easily without having to pay attention to every word as we are introduced to this world. I do believe I will enjoy the audio even more than print. And the print version was a DIK for me.

    Question about Singh’s Angel’s Blood. What is the percentage of romance compared to action, etc.? I read one of her books and thought it terrific but action definitely took first place. (Possibly this is another challenge category for me)

    Mary Frances – have you checked with your library? They often have a good selection of audiobooks. Our May 17th, 2010 Speaking of Audiobooks column talked about the options of buying, renting, borrowing. For more info (if you need it) on borrowing from the library, go to audio books under Categories on the right side of the blog and you will find all past columns.

  6. Gamatst says:

    @MarrissaB, Lady Be Good is my favorite SEP too! I have had Bloody Jack on my wishlist for quite sometime now. I read several rave reviews on an Amazon audio book thread about the fabulous narration and great story. But like you I keep holding back at the “Children’s” label. Looks like I’m going to have to give in and try it.

    @Lea, for me Angel’s Blood is no different in action versus romance than BDB. There’s a lot going on, but it IS a romance.

    I’m going to give one hint here because I found it so confusing my first time through Angel’s Blood …

    OK a space to let anyone who doesn’t like to know even the tiniest thing about a book beforehand to stop reading here….

    When you hear (or read) the words “come here little hunter” or “drip drip drip” in a scene Elena is having flashbacks to a childhood/family tragedy. Took me forever to realize that’s what was happening during those short sections. I know I would have gotten a lot more from the story my first time through if I’d known that little fact.

  7. Lea AAR says:

    Okay – Angel’s Blood is in my shopping cart. I read a few of its reviews as well as those of Archangel’s Kiss. They sound too good to pass up. But I do have a question. Do you think I need to have a print copy on hand to understand the setup? Has anyone listened to Angel’s Blood without first reading it and, if so, was it a smooth entry/listen as you learned of their world and the multiple characters?

    MarissaB – read reviews on Bloody Jack as well. It’s on my Wish List. Thanks!

  8. Claire says:

    Lea…. I’m listening to Sylvester with RA right now and really enjoying it. It is so strange to listen to a man doing a woman’s voice but I’m getting used to it. Thank you for your thoughts last column on that.

    I found a couple of old books on tape from our library sale… one was Outlander which I had thought was a good deal but after going through the archives here I found out it is abridged and not the narrator everyone raves about. I wonder if you or anyone here has heard the abridged and if its worth listening to.

  9. Gamatst says:

    @Lea, even with the hard copy of the book I had to make a cheat sheet to keep up with who was who, in Angel’s Blood. Probably more my OCD than anything but I’d be happy to share it here or e-mail it to you. I made sure I took any spoilers out of it, it just gives a basic run down of the characters involved.

    With the cheat sheet and the first review found here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Angels-Blood-Guild-Hunter-Nalini/dp/1400167159/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277956914&sr=8-3

    which is specifically about the audio version of Angel’s Blood I think you’ll be good to go with just listening.

    But feel free to Tweet any questions that arise while your listening. I should be ashamed to admit I know the story that well, but it is what it is! :)

  10. Kaetrin says:

    I’m listening to Naked in Death at the moment. I picked up up for $4.95 at an Audible sale recently and I’ve read the book twice already. I’ve listened to a couple of the in Death books and have enjoyed Susan Ericksen’s narration. I did start an in Death re-read last year and I think I made it up to about book 7 before I got distracted by something and never quite got back to it. I must say, I’m getting tempted to do my “re-read” on audio now – if only I had more money!! :)

    I’ll have to check out the new Suzanne Brockmann book – I hadn’t heard about it – I must have been living in a cave.

    I haven’t read Soulless – it’s Steampunk isn’t it? Does it have a lot of romance? I’m wondering if I should give it a try…

    I will probably put Angel’s Blood on my wishlist for one of these days. I haven’t read the book but I keep hearing raves about the audio so I might have to cave in an pick it up one of these days.

    RA has a new Heyer coming out in a little while and I’m looking forward to that – Sylvester and Venetia were awesome. I’ve been inspired to put the book version of Venetia on my reader so that I can work out what I missed in the abridged reading – now that I have his voice in my head, I think I will enjoy the book a lot more!

    Does anyone know when The Fiery Cross might be coming out on the unabridged version? It’s still showing at Audible as only the Geraldine James version. I thought it was out of contract in about a year, about a year ago so I was hoping I could pick it (and eventually A Breath of Snow & Ashes) up for my collection…

  11. Lea AAR says:

    Gamatst – Yes, I’d love a copy of that cheat sheet. Since others may be interested as well, share it here – please! I’ll also Twitter you this a.m. about this (cheat sheets are great tools IMHO – it’s that OCD thing you mentioned). And be sure I’ll be twittering with questions as well.

    Kaetrin – I didn’t read Soulless for the longest time (it seemed) because of that phrase “steampunk”. It may be steampunk (I don’t really know what that term encompasses) but it was a quirky (not silly) Victorian age historical with paranormal elements combined all in a definitely different world. I thought it very romantic.

    I haven’t heard anything recently about the release of an affordable unabridged version of The Fiery Cross. I just checked a few sources again and see nothing. But I’ve received most of my tidbits on Gabaldon’s books from comments during our discussions. Hopefully, someone else knows.

    Claire – so glad you are enjoying Richard Armitage and Sylvester!

    I found this (RobinB) comment from an earlier Speaking of Audiobooks discussion for you concerning the abridged version of Outlander:

    “I haven’t listened to the unabridged Outlander audiobooks, but when I was on a car trip years ago while I was reading the print version of the first three books, I listened to an abridged version narrated by the British actress Geraldine James (she was in “The Jewel in the Crown”). For an abridged audiobook, it was pretty good, and she nailed the various accents and voices very well. Obviously, an unabridged audiobook is preferable, but I did enjoy this particular abridgement!”

    You may want to check out 11/09/09′s column. It was dedicated to the Outlander series. The discussion lasted over 2 months and is all about the audio version.

  12. MarissaB says:

    @Gamatst, how about posting your cheat sheet for Angel’s Blood here. I don’t intend to read it and have it on my wishlist at Audible.

    Thanks.

  13. katyco says:

    My audio book challenge is trying audio books that aren’t Romance. Right now I’m listening to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, narrated by Simon Vance. I’m only about a third of the way through but so far I like it a lot.
    In the chick lit genre, I just finished Savannah Blues and Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews. They were a lot of fun.
    I’m looking forward to Souless. I read it in paperback and really liked it.
    My latest purchases are Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas and The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews.

  14. Gamatst says:

    OK, here’s the cheat sheet/short notes for Angel’s Blood:

    Elena P. Deaveraux is “hunter born”, she can “scent” vampires, no choice in vocation with that gift. It makes her the perfect vampire tracker, she is the best the Guild has.

    Sarah is Elena’s best friend. And Sarah is the Head of the Guild Hunters. The GH organization hires out “hunters” to track vampires that try and escape from their Angel. In the agreement a human makes with an angel for turning them into a vampire they promise 100 years of service to the Angel.
    Sarah is married to Deacon, both were Guild Hunters until Sarah agreed to become the Head of the Guild Hunters and Deacon agreed to back her up in the position. They feature in a short story called Angel’s Judgment from the anthology Must Love Hellhounds. They now have a baby, Zoe Elena.

    Ransom, a fellow Guild Hunter and Elena’s second best friend.

    Beth is Elena’s younger sister by 5 years. She is married to Harrison.

    Jeffery Parker Deaveraux, Elena’s father.
    ————————————————————————————
    Raphael believes in earning his peoples devotion, not randomly exercising his sheer power. Thus he has his loyal Seven, ones who would give their lives for him in a heartbeat.

    Raphael’s Seven:

    Dmitri – Vampire – Slavic by way of the Mediterranean. Bronzed skin, black hair and eyes, wet dream beautiful. Chocolate, Champagne and Sex scent. His scent is an aphrodisiac to any “hunter born” such as Elena. Leader of the Seven. Head of Raphael’s security.

    Venom – Vampire – Dark gold skin, chocolate brown hair, bright green snake eyes with slitted pupil. Very GQ. Youngest of the Seven

    Illium – Angel – Blue wings edged in silver. Black hair dipped in blue, gold eyes. Has a interest in and a fascination with humans.

    Jason – Angel – Sooty Charcoal Wings that absorb light making them nearly invisible in the dark or shadows. Jet black hair and eyes. Old Europe facial features mixed with Polynesia. Black dot’s and swirls tattoo covering left side of his face, took exactly ten years to get. Raphael’s Spymaster, very even tempered.

    ——————————————you don’t really meet these next members of Raphael’s Seven until Archangel’s Kiss

    Galen – Angel – Red hair, palest of green eyes. Wings Dark gray that show white striations when he spreads them to fly. Well over 6 ft tall and built like a bruiser, heavily muscled. Has a thin metal band around one bicep from which an amulet of ancient design swings. Looks very earthy and human.

    Nassir – Vampire – resembles a Tiger with skin of dark, dark brown with undertones of gold. It shimmers, even in the dark. Silver hair and eyes, also referred to as platinum. Eyes reflect like a cats at night. He’s feral and powerful.

    Aodhan – Angel – Wings are white with a diamond sheen, like his hair. Hair of mist, no real color but shimmers in the sun like diamonds. Skin same, alabaster touched with sun shine. Eyes – black pupils that shatter out to green and blue. Voice from Ireland.

    ————————————————————————————
    The Cadre of 10, “the” Archangels:

    Rapheal = Rules North America. Wings are white tipped in gold. Black hair, Prussian blue eyes. One of the youngest of the Archangel’s but still the most powerful for the job at hand.

    Astaad = rules Pacific Isles

    Elijah = rules South America. Golden hair that shines in the sun, eyes of golden brown.
    Hannah is Elijah’s mate for hundreds/thousands? of years. Skin of ebony.

    Michaela = Rules Big chunks of Europe. Coffee and cream skin, bronze wings, vivid green eyes.

    Neha = rules India. Called Queen of Snakes.

    Favashi = is Persian, rules Arabia. Youngest of the archangels.

    Titus = rules most of Africa?? as he shares borders with Charisemnon

    Charisemnon = Rules all of North Africa

    Lijuan = Rules all of China. The oldest of all the archangels, truly ancient.

    Uram = Rules parts of Eastern Europe and all of Russia. Has gray wings, that resemble a Gypsy moths??

  15. MarissaB says:

    @katyco – I’ve listened to all 3 of Stieg Larsson’s books (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest). They were all great listens. It’s the heroine’s character and her developing situation that caught me. After the first book, I pre-ordered the other 2 just to be sure to get them ASAP after they were released. Enjoy!

    @Gamatst – Thanks. That list should be very helpful.

  16. MaryK says:

    Audible just got 4 Linnea Sinclair books. I don’t recognize any of the narrators.

  17. Lea AAR says:

    katyco – you’ll have to let us know how your challenge worked for you once you are finished. Looks like from MarissaB’s comments that it’s going to be a winner.

    MaryK – thanks for letting us know about the Linnea Sinclair books. I had no idea they were released and now I will Twitter the release of all four tomorrow. I didn’t recognize any of the four narrators either. Is anyone thinking about listening to one or all of these books?

    And Gamatst – thank you for the cheat sheet! Angel’s Blood is now on my iPod ready to go once I finish Soulless.

  18. MarissaB says:

    @MaryK – I’ve listened to Christian Rummel, who narrates Linnea Sinclair’s Hope’s Folly. I thought he was very good for Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series which is composed of 5 books. He did male and female voices well and all the voices were easily recognizable. His reading of the battle scenes kept me on the edge of my seat. These books were strictly military sci-fi, with no sex scenes at all, so I don’t know if he would do those well.

    I don’t know any of the others.

    BTW, Katherine Kellgren was chosen as one of the new Golden Voices by Audiofile Magazine. Check out the article here:

    http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/gvpages/index.shtml

  19. [...] releases: Lily (m/m romance), AAR (July romance audiobooks), Renee (all sorts), and Literary Escapism (UF/PNR, with interviews, [...]

  20. Gamatst says:

    I haven’t heard any of the narrators for the Sinclair books either, Christian Rummel sounds good MarrissaB.

    I have had this series by Sinclair, Dock 5 it’s called, recommended to me by someone I think has very good taste in books. She’s a Charlaine Harris, Bujold, Patricia Briggs etc fan.

    As a series the books have an order, although I don’t know how necessary it is to read/listen in order. It’s a “must” for me personally though. :)

    #1 Gabriel’s Ghost
    #2 Shades of Dark
    #3 Hopes Folly
    #4 Rebel’s and Lovers

    I have an interest in the Stieg Larson books and have looked at them several times. Can I get an opinion on how detailed the violence is from the main characters past and the part it plays in the books in general? I’m a speed read / fast forward kind of person when it comes to too much detail in that arena. Thanks…

    • MaryK says:

      Gamatst: I have had this series by Sinclair, Dock 5 it’s called, recommended to me by someone I think has very good taste in books. She’s a Charlaine Harris, Bujold, Patricia Briggs etc fan.As a series the books have an order, although I don’t know how necessary it is to read/listen in order.

      It is important to read/listen to them in order, especially for books 1 and 2. There are important revelations in 1 and 2, and the series has an overall plot arc that progresses through each book. So starting with a later book would be confusing (plot progression) and spoil the first two (revelations). ;)

  21. katyco says:

    Gamatst – I just finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’m a big sissy when it comes to violence in books and I found the content in this book to be very tolerable. IMO, none of it was gratuitous. I can’t say that I was as impressed as some with this book, but I am interested in finding out what happens next with the main characters. I think I would grade it a B. The narrator, Simon Vance, was very good and I will continue with the series.

  22. MarissaB says:

    @Gamatst – About the Lasrsson books:

    Dragon Tattoo introduces us to Lisbeth Salander, although the book is not really about her. It focuses more on the hero , Mikael Blomkvist, and his mission. I don’t like the character of the hero – he comes across like a male slut. Salander, however, is a very intriguing character, and she is the main focus of the last 2 books.

    There is some violence in all the books, but what there is is quite graphic. There is a scene brutal rape also. I cringed in all those scenes when it was happening to the ‘good guys’. but was then totally satisfied when the villains got their comeuppance. I didn’t cheer, but I felt that justice was done.

    Lisbeth Salander’s character is fascinating. She’s a tiny woman, boy-like in build, misunderstood, suppressed and persecuted by the establishment. Does she surrender? Nope, she fights back and GETS EVEN, against all odds. It’s how that happens that kept me listening.

  23. Gamatst says:

    @MaryK Thanks for clarifying the need to read/listening to the Dock 5 books in order so one can get the most out of them.

    Katyco and Marissa thanks for the input on the Larson books.

    It is the female character that I’ve read the good things about. Isn’t it interesting how it’s so much easier to tolerate when it’s the bad guys getting their due?

    Sounds like books I’ll need the hard copy of, which is typical for me anyway.

    I am about a 1/3 of the way into Garwood’s Honor’s Splendour and so far Flosnick hasn’t managed to ruin Duncan for me like she did Royce in The Prize. She doesn’t capture any of Garwood’s humor but as long as she doesn’t ruin the hero I’ll be satisfied. I actually paid more (than on Audible) in order to order this on MP3 disc as I am going to send it back if Flosnick ruins another old favorite.. But so far so good!

  24. Moriah says:

    I don’t know if anyone else is an eloisa james fan, but the first book of her desperate duchess series is now available on audible’s website and it looks like the second book in the series might be released next week according to harper collins website.

  25. Lea AAR says:

    Moriah – Thanks for the Eloisa James alert! I saw Desperate Duchesses on Audible this morning and didn’t know about the Harper Collins upcoming releases list. Thanks!

  26. Kaetrin says:

    Audible has a special on the new Nora Roberts release, The Search – it’s $9.95. I just picked it up. I’m reading the book now and I know I’m gonna want to have a listen later. It’s a great book if you like NR.

  27. MichelleD says:

    Just finished The Search by Nora Roberts. It was fantastic!! I really enjoyed the main characters in this one – and the narrator did a great job as well. Don’t miss this one folks!

  28. Lea AAR says:

    Gamatst – I’m a few hours into Nalini Singh’s Angel’s Blood. Wow, oh wow, oh wow! It is fantastic.
    The cheat sheet has helped immensely. I was able to slide right into this world.
    Again, wow!

  29. Gamatst says:

    @Lea, Woo Hoo! Picture me doing the happy dance! So glad to hear I didn’t steer you wrong with Angel’s Blood! Yea!

    “Wow, oh wow, oh wow” about covers Raphael :) But then there’s still the equally fabulous Elena. And her friends, and oh, what about The Seven? Wicked Dmitri? Venom too. And beautiful Illium! Love, love, love Elena and Illium’s first meeting or rather the reasons behind that first meeting! Sigh….

    It is such an awesome book, one of those you’d give anything to read/hear again for the very first time! Although I think I liked it even better the second time as I didn’t have a cheat sheet my first time through! :) Then the third time was pure icing on the cake in preparation for Archangel’s Kiss!

    OK, OK, done gushing … LOL

    @Kaetrin and Lea, thanks for the heads up both here, and via Twitter, about the Nora Roberts The Search and it’s special price on Audible, it’s been such a crazy week for me I might have missed the bargain!

    Thanks for the great feedback on The Search MichelleD, now I’m more excited than ever to read and listen to it!

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