Speaking of Audiobooks: It’s Review Time

s MountainAs much as I like to include Mini Reviews in each column, it’s not always possible especially when our columns feature highly entertaining interviews with personalities such as Phil Gigante and Anne Stuart.  We want all the attention focused on our guests.  Since both of those interviews occurred in 2011, we decided to do something a little special this time around at Speaking of Audiobooks and fill a column with nothing but reviews.    We know our listeners love to read them and we love to write them.  Thanks to Brenda, Melinda, Kaetrin, and LinnieGayl for contributing today.

Mackenzie’s Mountain – Linda Howard

Review by Lea AAR

Narrated by Christina Traister

A favorite Howard from 1989 for many a romance fan, Mackenzie’s Mountain certainly has what I would call an “old school” feel to it.  I’m afraid the romance elements filling this book, while popular in 1989, may seem clichéd today to the first time reader.  But for me, Mackenzie’s Mountain represents my first days of reading romance and I remember it with great fondness.

The big solitary half-breed by the name of Wolf who lives on his mountain and is rejected by the local community finds himself captivated by the new-to-town dowdy (yet very “good”) school teacher, Mary, and fights his attraction in an effort to protect her.  Although I’ve read this the book a few times over the years, I saw Mary’s character in a new light with the audio version.  This Mary has an extreme Southern accent (I just never thought that one through) and Traister’s interpretation of her character is one of a pert and feisty Mary rather than the calm and controlled one in my mind.  The rather gravelly narrative swings from a monotone to a bit of a sing-song but lines are delivered with good timing and understanding of the romance within.  Although the male voices are difficult to distinguish at times, Wolf’s deep voice and Mary’s southern drawl were easy to follow.  Wolf sounded like the voice that has played in my head for many years now and Mackenzie’s Mountain definitely falls into my relisten category.  A word of warning for those who shy away from love scenes – there are a good number here.

This unabridged audio version is not available in digital format.

Archangel’s Consort – Nalini Singh

Review by Brenda

Narrated by Justine Eyre

(Spoiler warning if you have not read/listened to the first two books in the series.)

Archangels Consort, the third book in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series, continues in the interesting world where Archangels rule the vampires they make, other angels, and humans in general. Raphael and Elena are back in New York, facing painful family dynamics on both sides and escalating threats with the help of Raphael’s Seven and Elena’s Guild Hunter friends.

Justine Eyre narrates and I like the accents she uses for Dmitri, Illium, and Aodhan based on their backgrounds. Her voices for Elena, and the rest of the peripheral cast, continues to work well but I don’t hear the slight thawing in Raphael that has begun. I enjoy her narration but it could be even better if more of the emotion written into the stories (I read and listen) was fully expressed.

Singh has a beautiful way with word pictures.  That being said, I could do with a lot less of them. One example – after a search on Kindle, I counted 20 different ways used to describe the blue of Raphael’s eyes. I get it, they’re blue! Now give me more background on the Seven and more dialogue in general with the word count that could be saved by deleting all the repetitive flashbacks and descriptions.  I only need Dmitri’s sex on a stick scent and its effects described one time per installment.

Despite my criticism I really enjoyed this addition to the series. Raphael is learning that love may weaken him physically, but the benefits are life affirming. Elena is gaining in strength as an angel while slowly earning the respect of Raphael’s loyal Seven. The storylines developing underneath all the pretty words are cleverly done and continue to be intriguing.

Call Me IrresistibleCall Me Irresistible – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Review by Lea AAR

Narrated by Shannon Cochran

When I hear of an audiobook by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, I immediately think Anna Fields, the extremely talented narrator of sixteen SEP books.  Sadly, Ms. Fields is no longer with us and her shoes have certainly been quite difficult to fill.  With subsequent audiobooks, Glitter Baby and What I Did for Love (books produced after Ms. Fields’ death), it was obvious listeners wanted more in their narrator and Phillips became active in the choice of her future narrator.  And the result is one dynamite narrator by the name of Shannon Cochran.

Dare I say that Ms. Cochran actually sounds like Anna Fields in many ways?  Well, that’s okay by me.  I felt an immediate comfort with her narration.  Her pitch, rhythm, timing, and ability to deliver humor when needed and drama when required are exceptional.  Occasionally her male and female voices blended together a bit but I never found myself at a loss wondering what character was actually speaking.  Overall, I’m quite enthusiastic about future Cochran-narrated books.

Listening to the sample Harper audio provided late last year, I recall being puzzled over Ted’s super perfection – this was the hero?  It was a long two months while I waited for the answer to my question but after listening to Call Me Irresistible for half an hour, I was filled with enthusiasm for Ted’s character and thought him great hero material.  Meg plays his imperfect opposite perfectly.  While the inclusion of the former leads from four of SEP’s previous books, Fancy Pants, First Lady, Lady Be Good, and Glitter Baby didn’t work for me, the romance between Ted and Meg was a hit.  Call Me Irresistible is not my favorite SEP but it certainly rates as one I will listen to again.

A Secret Affair – Mary Balogh

Review by Melinda

Narrated by Anne Flosnik

I am a fan of Mary Balogh’s writing.  I downloaded the first four in the Huxtable Series before receiving A Secret Affair, the fifth and final book, for review because I prefer to read a series in order.  Generally I really enjoy series – I like reading about the characters’ families and friends and getting to know them better in each successive book.

In this case, however, I endured 43 hours of one of my least favorite narrators before even getting to this book.  At least I was prepared.

The first half of the book was dreadful.  It’s surely a matter of personal taste, but to me, Flosnik’s cold, dry, clipped reading made listening incredibly tedious. It took me about three weeks to slog through the entire book.  The first love scene must be the coldest, most clinical seduction and foreplay I’ve ever heard. Flosnik’s reading of the duchess made me despise this frigid, calculating bitch.  By the second half, when the secrets began to unfold, I started to thaw towards the characters probably more because of the prose than the narration.  By the end, I wanted a HEA for Con and Hannah and even want to know how they fared but please don’t make me listen to Flosnik anymore!

Then Came You – Lisa Kleypas

Review by Kaetrin

Narrated by Rosalyn Landor

Then Came You is the story of single mother Lily Lawson (the child is not only a secret but has been abducted by her evil cad father – boo hiss), who, in trying to stop the marriage of her sister to Lord Alex Raiford, Earl of Wolverton, finds herself the object of his attentions instead.  Lily has an outrageous reputation.  She rides to hounds (astride no less), gambles at Cravens, and is always up for adventure.  Much to Alex’s initial dismay, he finds Lily fascinating and lovely.

My first Kleypas historical in audio, Then Came You is also my second audio narrated by Rosalyn Landor.  In fact, it is my pick for the “give a less than favoured narrator another try” category for the Speaking of Audiobooks Listening Challenge.

Good news:  I liked it!  I doubt Landor will ever be a favourite narrator but this book suited her better than my previous try, Julia Quinn’s farcical What Happens in London.  Landor’s slowish and kind of toffy style is a better fit for a more angsty book such as Then Came You as she doesn’t do humour well. Although her voice isn’t super pleasing to my ear, her male voices are easily discernable and I didn’t struggle to identify who was talking. I quite liked her female voices.

Derek Craven (Dreaming of You) is a secondary character and while I didn’t like his voice much, I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be – cockney with many “h’s” dropped.  It is clear that he isn’t well spoken and I can’t fault Landor for her performance of Derek.  He doesn’t sound sexy or hero-ish to me so I don’t think I’ll be listening to Dreaming of You (I may read it though).

I found the story quite engaging and although Landor isn’t my favourite narrator, she did a good job with this one.

Charlie All NightCharlie All Night – Jennifer Crusie

Review by LinnieGayl

Narrated by Aimee Jolson

A new release of Ms. Crusie’s much loved 1995 category romance, the print version is a particular favorite of mine.

A successful producer at a radio station, Allie has been reassigned from the star DJ’s show to Charlie’s – the station’s newest DJ.  Allie is determined to make Charlie a star, while Charlie is determined to stay in town for just a few weeks.

I’ll have to admit that I approached the audio version with some trepidation. Readers are split on the audio versions of Ms. Crusie’s recent releases finding her frequent use of “he said” and “she said” jarring in audio. While this book didn’t suffer from that problem, I did have some problems with the narrator. She has a very pleasant, deep, almost throaty voice but, unfortunately, I had a difficult time distinguishing between characters.  That’s not a problem when the action is solely in Allie or Charlie’s head and, thanks to verbal clues, I was able to distinguish Allie and Charlie characters’ voices.  But there were a number of scenes featuring three or four characters, and I found myself lost, having no idea which character was saying what.

I still love this book but if you haven’t read Charlie All Night, I recommend that you pick it up in print rather than audio. That being said, I’m willing to give Ms. Jolson another try because I really did like her voice.

Lord of the Desert by Diana Palmer

Review by Brenda

Narrated by Amy Kaechel

Once I recovered from my shock at finding out this storyline had been written in this decade, I focused on narrator Amy Kaechel’s abilities. Overall I was impressed – she imbued the narration with the pacing and emotion required to bring a romance to life. The naiveté written into Gretchen Brannon’s character came out vividly as did her Texan roots.  Philippe Sabon’s light toned French accent was okay, I’d prefer deeper though. The Sheikh and wide eyed innocent theme didn’t appeal to me, but I’d easily give the narrator another listen.

Time for Your Thoughts

Have you listened to any of these audiobooks?  What are your thoughts?

Do you have an update on your 2011 Listening Challenge?  If you have posted an update elsewhere, will you please share your update here as well?

And, as always, do you have any recent audiobook successes, failures, or general romance audio news to share with us?

Ending Notes

Coming in June – our first ever Favorite Audiobooks Poll!

If you’re considering joining our 2011 Listening Challenge, we have a quick start up guide for you.  It’s not too late.

I’m announcing new romance audiobook releases and other audio tidbits on Twitter – look for LeaAAR.

Enjoy your listening!

- Lea Hensley

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35 Responses to “Speaking of Audiobooks: It’s Review Time”

  1. TSTBren says:

    I agree with your overall take on Mackenzie’s Mountain Lea, I really liked the pluck that Mary was given. Although that southern accent was a little over the top and had me cringing a few times.

    I’m really looking forward to trying Shannon Cochran in the latest SEP. Melinda your a real martyr to endure 43 hours of narration you disliked so that you could listen to the series in order, yikes! Kaetrin, glad you enjoyed your second try at R. Landor. I really enjoyed Charlie All Night in audio but it’s been awhile since I listened to it, so I may be forgetting any quibbles I had at the time.

    Listening Challenge Check In

    Done – 1. Pick an audiobook that received a DIK grade at AAR in print format …. Treachery In Death – JD Robb
    Absolute success – authors endeavoring to write continuing series need to take note from JD Robb’s success – minimum references to past books, brief character histories and descriptions.
    It’s a series, if you want to “get” all the nuances you need to have listened to the other books because your not going to get beat over the head with all the previous background, thank goodness!

    Done – 2. Tempt yourself to find a series that grabs hold and won’t let go by listening to the first in a series … Molly Harper – Dead Girls Don’t
    Definite success, light, witty fun. Listened to all three in the series and then moved on to the authors next series. Narrator Amanda Ronconi contributes highly to this success.

    3. Listen to another listener’s romance favorite… Choice to be – Sandra Brown – Envy, per Lea and Diana

    4. Listen to a book recommended in a previous Speaking of Audiobooks column (and following discussion). Lots of possibilities, not settled.

    5. Listen to a new-to-you author… Again, lots of possibilities, not settled.

    6. Listen to a romance sub-genre you usually avoid… Choice to be – Regency – Georgette Heyer – Sylvester

    7. Listen to an abridged audiobook… Choice to be – Open Season by Linda Howard

    Done – 8. Listen to an audiobook that has been languishing in your to-be-listened (TBL) pile … Nora Roberts – Blood Brothers / Phil Gigante
    Another success, thoroughly enjoyed the story, the laughs and the narration.

    Done – 9. Give a less-than-favorite narrator a second chance… Rosalyn Landor w/ Lisa Kleypas’s Dreaming of You
    Fail in the Hero department – just recalling Derek Craven’s voice makes me shudder, it wasn’t the Cockney – it was the old man age to it.

    10. Share in your listening – listen to a book someone else chooses for you. ??

    11. Borrow a book from a friend or your library – ??

    12. Listen to a new-to-you narrator Amy Kaechel
    New narrator was a success, she has the chops to do some really good work – unfortunately the story she was given was sadly lacking for me.

  2. Iris says:

    The only book I’ve listened to which has been mentioned in the reviews is “Mackenzie’s Mountain”. Well, listened would be a bit too much as I only got to the first ten minutes. I haven’t given up on it yet, especially as I bought the mp3 CD, and might now give it another chance.

    On another topic, I’ve just learned that the Psy/Changeling books will be published by Tantor (StS should be out on 4/11). Unfortunately, the reader is a total unknown to me. Has anyone ever listened to Angela Dawe? How are her male voices? Does she read or perform? While her voice seems to be pleasant, the samples I listened to on Audiobookstand were inconclusive so I’d be thankful for any opinions.

    • Kelli says:

      Iris…Unfortunately, the reader is a total unknown to me. Has anyone ever listened to Angela Dawe? How are her male voices? Does she read or perform? While her voice seems to be pleasant, the samples I listened to on Audiobookstand were inconclusive so I’d be thankful for any opinions.

      Hi Iris,

      I’ve listened to Angela Dawe narrate Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson series as well as Chevy Stevens’ Still Missing, Jennifer Crusie’s Maybe This Time and Lynsay Sands’ Love Bites and really liked her performances. She does accents well (Australian, Irish, and Quebecois in addition to American so far) and differentiates well between characters. Her male/female differentiation can sometimes be more a matter of a tone variation rather than, say, a full baritone vs. soprano difference that few narrators can manage but it works very well. (I’m not musical of knowledgeable about musical/vocal terms so I hope that makes sense.)

      In Still Missing she did a character with a very blunted affect (as defined by the story) and still kept her interesting which gives me hope for her characterization of the Psy.

      When I listen to her I hear the characters and not the narrator so I would say she is successful at performing rather than narrating without the “over-acting” that performing can sometime mean.

      I’m pretty picky about narrators (of course, my picky may not match yours) and she is one of the few narrators I would search for books by instead of looking for a specific author when looking for a new audiobook to listen to so I am hoping for good things.

  3. Lea AAR says:

    Iris – I don’t think Angela Dawe will disappoint. She narrates the Riley Jenson series (Keri Arthur) so she has experience with paranormal. She also narrates some Jennifer Crusie and Nora Roberts books. Although I’ve heard good things about her, I have never actually listened to one of her books therefore I don’t know how to answer your question about reading or performing but I’m sure hoping someone will give us an opinion on that.

    Have you read Mackenzie’s Mountain?

    Brenda – I was so disappointed in the SEP narrator for both What I Did for Love and Glitter Baby. Therefore, I was greatly relieved to hear Cochran’s voice.

    I’m just about finished listening to Archangel’s Consort and I’m not too enthusiastic about it (it sounds like you weren’t either). This is my take on the Guild Hunters Series so far:
    Angel’s Blood – Loved, loved, loved
    Archangel’s Kiss – Really liked
    Archangel’s Consort – It’s okay.
    I’ll keep listening to the series but this one doesn’t inspire me much so I don’t think I’ll be waiting as anxiously as I did this one.

    • Iris says:

      Lea AAR: Iris – I don’t think Angela Dawe will disappoint.She narrates the Riley Jenson series (Keri Arthur) so she has experience with paranormal.She also narrates some Jennifer Crusie and Nora Roberts books.Although I’ve heard good things about her, I have never actually listened to one of her books therefore I don’t know how to answer your question about reading or performing but I’m sure hoping someone will give us an opinion on that.Have you read Mackenzie’s Mountain?

      Lea AAR – thank you for your quick answer. If Angela Dawe narrated the Riley Jenson books that certainly gives me hope for her actually getting the paranormal angle. Still, if you look at Flosnik who has quite a bit of experience in Regency novel-performances it makes you wonder. I hope there’ll be some more replies to my question, besides your’s and Brenda’s. Though in the end it’s really a matter of taste and I have to wait and keep my fingers crossed for my first CD listening session. I will buy it but would like to be a bit less wary.

      Yes, I’ve read Mackenzie’s Mountain. I loved it and still do which made it such a letdown when I tried to listen to it. The book was actually one of my first romances after I discovered internet buying – German bookstores weren’t all that great for anything beyond Quick/Krentz (good but a bit onesided after a while) if you were looking for English originals at the time.

  4. TSTBren says:

    Iris here is a post from our Goodreads group (one of Tantor’s people dropped in on us!) with a scheduling for Nalini’s Psy/Changeling series.

    (work hat on: I work for Tantor)
    We hope to have: Slave to Sensation (4/25), Visions of Heat (5/9), and Caressed by Ice (5/23) all out before the simultaneous release of Kiss of Snow.

    As for Angela Dawe, I’m a big fan and am very excited to have had her chosen for the Psy/Changeling series.

    She first impressed me with Suzanne Brockmann’s Infamous, it was a duel POV narration but I wished Angela Dawe would have done it all, I enjoyed her voices both male and female so much more than the male narrators.

    Also a recent re-release of a Nora Roberts book narrated by Angela Dawe. While I wasn’t wild about the story itself she was dead on perfect with each characters attitude and motivation, it was a great narration.

    • Iris says:

      TSTBren: Iris here is a post from our Goodreads group (one of Tantor’s people dropped in on us!) with a scheduling for Nalini’s Psy/Changeling series.(work hat on: I work for Tantor)
      We hope to have: Slave to Sensation (4/25), Visions of Heat (5/9), and Caressed by Ice (5/23) all out before the simultaneous release of Kiss of Snow.As for Angela Dawe, I’m a big fan and am very excited to have had her chosen for the Psy/Changeling series.
      She first impressed me with Suzanne Brockmann’s Infamous, it was a duel POV narration but I wished Angela Dawe would have done it all, I enjoyed her voices both male and female so much more than the male narrators.Also a recent re-release of a Nora Roberts book narrated by Angela Dawe. While I wasn’t wild about the story itself she was dead on perfect with each characters attitude and motivation, it was a great narration.

      Brenda – that certainly sounds good (not that I’d expect anything less from someone working for Tantor ;-) and I’m looking towards the experience in a more positive light already. While I try not to hype it too much in my mind, I’m really looking forward to the audio versions. The German audio books seem to be quite well received but I don’t do translations if I can help it. Now, that Tantor finally picked them up, I just have to hope for the best. After all, the other Singh as well as all the Ilona Andrews books very winners for me.

  5. Brenda says:

    I see my computer brought up my old user name for my first two posts.

    We were typing and posting at the same time Lea, glad I didn’t double up on your comments too much. :)

    My comment about JD Robb’s series writing ability, above in my reading challenge update, was definitely brought to the front of my mind after listening to Archangel’s Consort.

    When I read Consort I enjoyed it very much, but when listening I realized how much doubling up and more! of information there was that I had just skipped over when reading. My score card reads exactly like yours for the series.

    I don’t remember this being the case at all with the Psy/Changeling series, probably because each book focuses on a different couple, so I still have high hopes for it. Sure, I like some books more than others, but as a series it’s still a winner for me so the audio’s are highly anticipated.

  6. kathy says:

    I’m listening to “Spy Master’s Lady”. It’s really really good! Refreshing to have a different story line for a change. Narrator is good too.

  7. Lea AAR says:

    My Listening Challenge Update:

    Pick an audiobook that received a DIK grade at AAR in print format.
    DONE – Ravished by Amanda Quick – sorta successful

    Listen to a new-to-you narrator.
    DONE – Shannon Cochran for Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. A HIT

    Listen to a book recommended in a previous Speaking of Audiobooks column (and following discussion).
    DONE – Tough Customer by Sandra Brown – a definite personal hit

    Listen to an abridged audiobook.
    DONE – Hear of the West by Penelope Williamson – pretty much a failure

    Listen to an audiobook that has been languishing in your to-be-listened (TBL) pile.
    DONE – Open Season by Linda Howard – a success

    Tempt yourself to find a series that grabs hold and won’t let go by listening to the first in a series.
    I’m planning on the Kate Daniels series (Ilona Andrews) – I’ve heard sooo much praise for this one.

    Listen to a new-to-you author.
    Planning on Lauren Willig’s The Secret History of the Pink Carnation for this one.

    Listen to another listener’s romance favorite.
    Still haven’t decided

    Listen to a romance sub-genre you usually avoid.
    Don’t know yet

    Give a less-than-favorite narrator a second chance.
    No choice yet

    Share in your listening – listen to a book someone else chooses for you.
    No choice yet.

    Borrow a book from a friend or your library.
    No choice yet

  8. sula says:

    I don’t have the funds to purchase audiobooks but I love it when I can get them from my library or through paperbackswap.

    Recently, I re-listened to Judith Ivory’s “Beast” read by the incomparable Barbara Rosenblat. She not only captures accents and moods but also humor and subtlety. I don’t know if this book would be as good in paper form.

    My library has a few Balogh audiobooks all read by Flosnick. While the stories are good, her reading is very dry. I never get a really good sense of the feelings and emotions of the characters. And the love scenes feel clinical.

    Oddly enough, I actually like Landor’s interpretation of Lisa Kleypas’ stories. At least the ones I have listened to so far. I think she does a good job of differentiating between characters and does male voices without sounding odd. The only thing I dislike are her American accents. Her Harry Rutledge is not nearly as interesting as Cam Rohan or Kev Merripen.

  9. Delmartian says:

    I also enjoy Rosalyn Landor’s narration. I think she is very good overall. Likewise, I am not a big fan of anne Flosnik although she did a great job in Her Secret Guardian by Linda Needham. My other favorite narrators are Bianca Amato, Tavia Gilbert and Robert Petkoff.

    I am currently read Janet Chapman’s The Seduction of his Wife, which I am thoroughly enjoying thus far

  10. Iris says:

    Drat it! Have to switch on the lights while typing. I meant “the Ilona Andrews books were winners for me.”

  11. Vic says:

    @Iris – Re: Angela Dawe, I’ve only experienced her through the Riley Jensen audios and really enjoyed them. I enjoyed her accents and most of her voices. She seemed a bit uneven with Quinn’s voice from one book to another (not huge deviation though). I feel she performs when doing dialog rather than reading (aka JR Ward books) but that’s my feelings. I have her reading of book 2 of NR’s Bride Quartet (I had gotten books 1 & 2 and couldn’t get through 1 because of different narrator and haven’t read 1 yet). I’m spot listening to it now and really enjoy her performance and pacing. It’s a bit difference because it’s US contemporary romance where as the Keri Arthur’s take place in Australia. I was one of those pleased when I heard she got the gig.

    … not sure if this helps or not.

    Just got Suzanne Brockmann’s Breaking The Rules (Troubleshooters 16) and listening now. Enjoying so far!

    • Iris says:

      Vic: @Iris – Re: Angela Dawe, I’ve only experienced her through the Riley Jensen audios and really enjoyed them.I enjoyed her accents and most of her voices.She seemed a bit uneven with Quinn’s voice from one book to another (not huge deviation though).I feel she performs when doing dialog rather than reading (aka JR Ward books) but that’s my feelings.I have her reading of book 2 of NR’s Bride Quartet (I had gotten books 1 & 2 and couldn’t get through 1 because of different narrator and haven’t read 1 yet).I’m spot listening to it now and really enjoy her performance and pacing.It’s a bit difference because it’s US contemporary romance where as the Keri Arthur’s take place in Australia.I was one of those pleased when I heard she got the gig.… not sure if this helps or not.

      Thanks Vic, every opinion helps. I’m certainly starting to feel the giddiness of upcoming-book-fever or in this case upcoming-audio-version-fever.

  12. Iris says:

    Kelli – Thanks for chiming in and giving your opinion. As you’re another pro-Dawe voice the series might become a real winner in audio! Now, I’m really starting to look forward to the release.

  13. Nina says:

    Hi All! Here is my progress so far in the challenge.

    1.Pick an audiobook that received a DIK grade at AAR in print format. Done. Heaven, Texas! Spot on narration and as I’ve said in a previous column one of my top ten endings. (this doesn’t include the epilogue).

    2.Pick a Series That Grabs You – Done. Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress. I’ve now listened to all of the books in this series and enjoyed them very much even if the narrator took a long time for me to warm up to.

    3.Listen to another listener’s favorite. This is going to be Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews. This is a favorite of Vic’s and I’ve been waiting to start until I have all of the books in the series. I am almost to the top of the list at the library!

    4.Listen to a book recommended in a previous column. Done. Ruthless by Anne Stuart. I enjoyed this book and will listen to the next in the series. I worried before I listened to it that I’d be thinking of Eve Dallas but didn’t have that problem at all. Susan Erikson does a really good job.

    5.Listen to a new-to-you author. Done. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. I really have liked this series – which was recommended here a couple of months back. I have now listened to all of the books and the first in the companion series Alpha & Omega.

    6.Listen to a romance released in 2011. Done. Shadowfever by KMM. Loved it – for me, a satisfying end to the series.

    7.Listen to something that is in you TBL pile. Haven’t decided yet. In fact 4 of the books listed above are languishing in that pile…Call Me Irresistible, Then Came You, Charlie All Night, Archangel’s Consort.

    8.Relisten to a favorite. Haven’t decided yet but I’m leaning towards Sea Swept by Nora Roberts , Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard or Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

    9.Give a less than favorite narrator a second chance – Done. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas (narrator Rosalyn Landor). I still don’t like her interpretations of the heros.

    10.Listen to a new-to-you narrator. Maybe I’ll put Call Me Irresitible in this category.

    11.Listen to an abridged book. This will be hard for me since I really dislike abridged books – might change category to another.

    12.Borrow a book from a friend or library. Done. It Must Be Love by Rachel Gibson. Very cute with some excellent dialogue. It had me laughing out loud quite a bit. I sure wish that Sex, Lies and Online Dating were available in audio. I think that’s one of her best books.

    I’m SO excited that the Psy/Changeling books will be available on audio – yay!! Thanks for the info! I just bought Breaking the Rules by Brockmann and plan to start listening to that tonight.

  14. Kaetrin says:

    @ Melinda – I read the series rather than listened because I just don’t like Flosnick’s narration – I loved all the books in the Huxtable Quintet but I think Stephen’s story – Seducing An Angel – was my favourite of them all.

    I’m looking forward to listening to the new SEP now that I’ve heard such good things about the narrator – thx Lea! I’m on an UF kick at the moment having just started At Grave’s End (book 3 of the Night Huntress series) by Jeaniene Frost. I am really enjoying Tavia Gilbert’s narration also.

    I think there is something about a book in first person POV which really lends itself to audio interpretation and a lot of UF it seems is written that way.

    Lea – I think you’re going to really enjoy the Ilona Andrews series. I know I did!

    I’m another who can endorse Angela Dawe as a quality narrator – I listened to her do bk 2 of the Nora Robert’s Bride Quartet (Bed of Roses).

  15. melinda says:

    @Bren – Ok, I didn’t mean to be a martyr!! but I am seriously over Flosnik. Mind you – I LOVED Flosnik’s narration of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and gave her high praise for it. It’s 20th c., it’s not romance, the characters had Scots accents – she can read well, but why does she make Regency Romance so cold and dry and martyrdom-inducing?? I was this close to poking my ears out.

    @Kaetrin, you were wise to read the Huxtables in print. I don’t know that I’ll go back and do that now.

    @Iris – I really liked Angela Dawe in the recent Crusie release, Maybe This Time, as well as Trust Me On This, and the Nora Roberts Bride Quartet books 2 & 3. In fact, I think she’s becoming a favorite narrator for me – she has a youthful but not child-like voice as narrator, while she’s able to sound mature (and not elderly!!) if the character is older.

    @Vic – Oh, I am so glad you reminded me about Breaking the Rules!! I was saving a credit, and just hopped over and got it. It’ll be next in line after I finish this old Garwood suspense, Killjoy (Joyce Bean).

    @LeaAAR – well, I have to admit, I’ve been holding out posting my Challenge list for the new audiobook forum here.

  16. Brenda says:

    Iris, you have me wishing for editing capabilities too! I should have separated out the Tantor employee comments with some lines or italics or something … this was the only part of my post that was from the Tantor employee.
    —————————————————————————————
    (work hat on: I work for Tantor)
    We hope to have: Slave to Sensation (4/25), Visions of Heat (5/9), and Caressed by Ice (5/23) all out before the simultaneous release of Kiss of Snow.
    ————————————————————————————
    The rest, about the Brockmann and Roberts books, was my own opinion on Angela Dawe …. very talented = excited to hear her with the Psy/Changeling series!

    Challenge update, I finished listening to the abridged version of Open Season and it was very good. They kept all the best parts and it flowed well. I know I have someone here to thank for the recommendation … was it Melinda? that said the abridgment was done very well with Open Season, if it was, thank you, great rec!

  17. Lea AAR says:

    Although it occurred out of order, all three books in Gail Carriger’s The Parasol Protectorate series are now available at Audible with the addition of the second in the series, Changeless, today!

  18. Lea AAR says:

    Kathy – I’m so glad you are enjoying The Spymaster’s Lady! That is one that didn’t work in print (it was a DNF) but discovered it worked wonderfully in audio (may have been my mood when reading too – who knows?).

    Nina – I have decided to try Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series (eventually) after much going back and forth. I can’t sell myself on the narration but so many have told me I will get over it and enjoy the narration greatly once I get Bones (?) voice established in my head. Thanks for another positive word on the series.

    And I enjoyed Reckless, the second in the Rohan series, even more than Ruthless. I’ll be interested to hear what others think.

    Melinda – I know well what you are talking about. Our Audio Message board is out there but navigation issues are proving to be quite the challenge. I think it’s been decided to hire help to fix the issue. Fingers crossed. I’m still keeping the faith!

    Sula, Delmartian, & Kaetrin – I’m truly happy to hear some solid support for Rosalyn Landor’s narrations! Proves we all hear a different way which makes recommending audiobooks all the trickier.

    Count me in as one excited to follow Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series!

    And one note on our inability to edit our responses. It’s aggravating and something I definitely need. So, I do the next best thing. I copy my response to a Word document, check it for misspellings, etc. and with a larger page in front of my, it is easier for me to detect errors in sentence structure, misquotes (and giving credit to the wrong author/narrator!), and the like.

    • Iris says:

      Lea AAR: I copy my response to a Word document, check it for misspellings, etc. and with a larger page in front of my, it is easier for me to detect errors in sentence structure, misquotes (and giving credit to the wrong author/narrator!), and the like.

      Lea AAR – Alright, so call me a teacher’s daughter but I can’t resist as this gave me my chuckle of the evening.

      “…with a larger page in front of my, it is easier…”

      I could probably do a spell-check with my rare posts but I only bother with that in emails. Hopefully, when the message borad is up there’ll be a review option.

      I’ve finally started KMM’s Fever series. I always liked Joyce Bean’s voice and the Natalie Ross / Phil Gigante combo is supposed to be a treat, right? Now, I just have to find the time to finish this before the Psy/Changeling books will be released … if there wasn’t that ebook and those two other books and the re-read I was planning on and the movies on my shelf….

  19. Lea AAR says:

    Iris – gag!! I’m a teacher’s daughter too – English no less! Argghhhh…

    See what a perfect example I made for the class? One can’t always rely on spell check! Now that I’m typing on my phone today, who knows what will turn up in the final message? I’m almost afraid to see.

  20. melinda says:

    when we finally get moved to the forum, we can go back and edit our posts. just sayin’

    [ducks and runs away knowing full well there's some tech issue...]

  21. Maryfranc says:

    I enjoyed listening to Call Me Irresistible by SEP; Spymaster’s Lady, A Secret Affair by Mary Balogh and also What Happens in London by Julia Quinn. Also loved Anne Stuart’s Ice series. Black Ice is still my favorite.

    Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann ROCKED.

    JD Robb’s In Death series keeps getting better IMHO. I can hardly wait for New York to Dallas. I’m looking forward to Quicksilver by Amanda Quick, Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts and Dangerous in Diamonds by Madeline Hunter.

    I want to listen to Water For Elephants before the movie comes out, but the sample on Audible.com shrank my eardrums.

    This is my favorite part of this entire website. Keep up the good work!

  22. Brenda says:

    I agree about JD Robb Maryfranc … very interested in the next book without In Death in the title, that’s an interesting departure after so many books.

    I didn’t realize Chasing Fire was coming up so quickly, thanks for the heads up. And this is the best part of AAR for me too. :)

  23. Lea AAR says:

    Maryfranc – so glad you enjoy Speaking of Audiobooks! It’s definitely a group dynamic you are feeling here.

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