Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Yes, I am nearly quoting Mike Rowe.  What can I say?  It’s a good line and he is an entertaining storyteller.

Speaking of storytellers, there are several audiobooks that I listened to in 2019 that I want to feature over a few posts.  Each has that one-two (sometimes one-two-three) combination of author and narrator(s) that makes them such great stories.  I’ve got a series of three (short) review posts planned:

  1. Freebie’s – Audiobooks that I won from an author, or were given away for the asking. For some reason (a reason that I will not question), authors are happy to give away Audible codes for their books. I tend to snatch them up.
  2. Gotta Listen (I Love These Authors and Narrators) – Audiobooks from series I read in 2019 that must be experienced to be appreciated.
  3. Everything Else – Other recommended audiobooks, whether they are parts of series or standalones.

You will note that I use the word “short” to describe these reviews. With audiobooks, I do not take notes, highlight text or underline passages that I want to be sure to include in a review. I just listen. So, these reviews will be short and to the point. The book blurb will be longer!

In “short”, I liked all of these audiobooks and would recommend every one of them!

*******************

Today’s Reviews – The Freebies.  If any of these sound good, click on the cover to find the book or audiobook on Amazon.

My honest opinion goes into all of my reviews.

A Dangerous Madness (Regency London, #3)
by Michelle Diener
read by Shiromi Arserio

The Duke of Wittaker has been living a lie…

He’s been spying on the dissolute, discontented noblemen of the ton, pretending to share their views. Now he’s ready to step out of the shadows and start living a real life…but when the prime minister of England is assassinated, he’s asked to go back to being the rake-hell duke everyone still believes he is to find out more.

Miss Phoebe Hillier has been living a lie, too…

All her life she’s played the game, hiding her fierce intelligence and love of life behind a docile and decorous mask. All it’s gotten her is jilted by her betrothed, a man she thought a fool, but a harmless one. But when she discovers her former fiancé was involved in the plot against the prime minister, and that he’s been murdered, she realizes he wasn’t so harmless after all.

And now the killers have set their sights on her…

The only man who can help her is the Duke of Wittaker–a man she knows she shouldn’t trust. And she soon realizes he’s hiding behind a mask as careful as her own. As the assassin steadfastly vows he acted alone, and as the clock ticks down to his trial, the pair scramble to uncover the real conspiracy. And as the pressure and the danger mounts, Phoebe and Wittaker shed their disguises, layer by layer, to discover something more precious than either imagined–something that could last forever. Unless the conspirators desperate to hide their tracks get to them first.

Note: A Dangerous Madness is connected to the other novels in the Regency London series through an overlap of characters, but each novel is complete on its own, and you do not have to read them in order.

Review of A Dangerous Madness
Story 5 stars
Narration 5 stars
Won from from author.

I am very familiar with Michelle Diener’s scifi romances, which I love. But I also love historical romances, so I was very happy to win the opportunity to listen to A Dangerous Madness. Historical fiction readers will appreciate that this book is based on an actual historical event, with Ms. Diener’s theories deftly mixed into the telling of it.

This book has a perfect combination of intrigue, danger and romance. An overall theme might be secrets, secrets, secrets. And of course romance. Phoebe and Wittaker are smart characters who absolutely belong together, even if it takes a whole book for them to get there.

*******************

Hound’s Bite (Ivy Granger, #5)
by E.J. Stevens
read by Melanie A. Mason and Anthony A. Bowlin

Ivy Granger thought she left the worst of Mab’s creations behind when she escaped Faerie. She thought wrong.

In a cruel twist of fate, Ivy has unleashed a powerful horde of Unseelie beasts upon her city, turning her homecoming into a potential slaughter of innocents. Now Ivy must gather her allies to fight a reputedly unstoppable force–The Wild Hunt.

Will the training Ivy received in her father’s court be enough to save her city, or will Harborsmouth be forced to kneel before the Lord of the Hunt? She is willing to risk her own life, but some sacrifices come at a cost worse than death. When an ally is bitten by one of The Wild Hunt’s hounds, Ivy must face the possibility that winning this battle may mean killing the one person she has come to love most.

Review of Hounds Bite
Story 5 stars
Narration 5 stars
Free from the author.

I haven’t read the entire Ivy Granger series. Just enough to know I should jump at the opportunity for a free audiobook. I skipped book 4, but did not find I was at a disadvantage. Feel free to jump into the series at which ever book appeals to you.

I loved the narration of this book, complete with sound effects and two talented narrators. This is a non-stop, thrill-a-minute adventure. Ivy Granger has more weird troubles than a paranormal psychic should be allowed to have. The atmosphere is dark and tense, but with occasional relief from cute characters and a touch of romance.

*******************

Only a Duke Will Do (To Marry a Rogue, #2)
by Tamara Gill
read by Stevie Zimmerman

Without a Season, Lady Isolde Worthingham captured the Duke of Moore’s heart at a country dance. But on the eve of her wedding, a scandal that rocked the ton and sent her fleeing to Scotland alone and unwed, leaves her perfectly planned future in a tangle of disgrace and heartbreak.

Merrick Mountshaw, the Duke of Moore loathes the pitiful existence he hides from the ton. With a scandalous wife he never wanted, who flaunts her many indiscretions, life is a never-ending parade of hell. When the one woman he loved and lost returns to London, he knows he can no longer live without her.

But vows and past hurts are not easily forgotten. Love may not win against the ton when a too proper Lord and Lady play by the rules.

Review of Only a Duke Will Do
Story 4 stars
Narration 5 stars
Free from the author.

Isolde and Merrick are meant to be. That is evident in chapter 1. But it will take the greater part of a book to get them together. Why?

Contrary to popular belief, women of the early 19th century did have power if they used lies and blackmail to get what they wanted. I had a hard time with this concept. How does a woman of no standing get her way over a duke? Make that two dukes. Really, who is the ton going to believe?

Nevertheless, it happens, and the ensuing tragedy will lead to heartbreak. Emotion, passion, desperation and hope. A reader may even shed a few tears.

*******************

Song for a Lost Kingdom (prequel)
by Steve Moretti
read by Bethany Mason and Tom McLean

Katharine’s passion is her music, but she is lost for words to complete it in 1745 Scotland.

In this prequel to the best-selling Song for a Lost Kingdom series, the origins of the story unfold as the Scottish parliament votes itself out of existence on January 7, 1707. The Drummond and Carnegie clans vow to stand united against it, even though it means they will lose everything they hold most dear.

Review for Song for a Lost Kingdom (prequel)
Story 4 stars
Narration 5 stars
Won from the author.

This book is billed as a prequel, but the story just stops…  I would call it more of a prologue, introducing a story.  Just enough to give you a taste.  The narration is nicely done and the recording includes lovely music. Song for a Lost Kingdom is about music as much as it is about history. My ear is ready for the audiobook of the whole story!

The Case of the Abandoned Warehouse (Mystery House, #2)
by Eva Pohler
read by Debbie Andreen

When Ellen and her two best friends travel to Tulsa for Sue’s daughter’s wedding, they get the crazy idea of flipping another historical home–only this time, it’s an abandoned warehouse. When they hear from the locals that the place is haunted, Ellen and Sue convince Tanya to investigate, and what they uncover is one of Tulsa’s and the nation’s most horrifying secrets.

Review of The Case of the Abandoned Warehouse
Story 5 stars
Narration 3 stars
Free from the author.

The Case of the Abandoned Warehouse takes place in Tulsa. The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 is a big part of the plot. I appreciated the author’s research. The relating of the events of those historical days was purposeful and poignant. In the story, Ellen, Sue and Tanya were determined to do what they could to uncover the truth about what happened and put Tulsa on the road to healing for all. Their quest gets them into lots of trouble, but they have a few friends and ghosts to help them out.

I did not care for the narration of this book. When the story got intense due to eminent danger, I just did not feel it because Ms. Andreen sounds a bit like a 1st grade teacher reading to her class. As I continue with the series, I will switch to the e-book.

I really like this Mystery House series. Probably because it features women of an age with me. But also because these three friends have an appetite for truth, adventure and friendship.