The truth has many shades.
Lucy Danaher was born into a life of privilege and has always enjoyed the view from the top. She spends her days running Global NewsWire, a Fortune 500 company, and her nights at all the trendy San Diego hot spots. When the Union-Tribune decides to run a feature story on her company, Lucy's thrilled to oblige with an interview. But when the reporter arrives, it turns out the story she's writing is anything but flattering. The fact that she's irritatingly gorgeous only adds salt to the wound.
Kristin James loves her job, and as a committed journalist will go out of her way to tell the most balanced story possible - even if it means going up against Lucy Danaher, that striking and stubborn-as-hell CEO. She just has one problem. No matter what she does, she can't seem to get Lucy off her mind.
©2015 Melissa Brayden (P)2016 Bold Strokes Books Inc
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Ms. Brayden did it again. for such a short story it had plenty of humor, Romance, and in a bit of nostalgia bringing back the characters from "Heart Blocked. " It was like going to a coffee shop and running into some old friends. can't wait till her next novel.
"Really Well Done Novella"
Sometimes, our -- the readers', experience with shorts and novellas is fairly tepid. Too often, these shorter stories have the feel of being part of something longer, with pieces missing. These pieces might be a broader story arc where the short or novella are really chapters or an experimental partial story line. -- I'm sure I could have said that more succinctly, but wasn't feelin' it.... ANYWAY, this was a complete storyline. It had good pacing. It had good time-differentiation. It even had one or more well-placed, sizzling scenes. Well done.
Evidently there were a few scenes featuring Lucy Danaher that got cut from "Heart Block" so with nothing on the board the author decided that it would be a good idea to add a few dating/ make out scenes along with an obvious breakup problem and a touching reunion scene and call it a book. Damn that was one long sentence. The last 30 minutes or so spend a lot of time on the high ethical standards of of Lucy's love interest San Diego Union Tribune Kristin James. The old 'only women of high moral fiber can ever find true love' standard that all romance stories must have to adhere to. "Well now, 'bout that," as Andy Griffith would say you might want to wait awhile before you decide that the intrepid reporter Miss James is a woman of high integrity. First of all, a for hire wire service is not the same as a newspaper and is under no obligation to fulfill those obligations that newspapers are expected to. Doing a front page page article that implies otherwise isn't exactly journalism. Then there is the really egregious fact that said reporter with those lofty ethical standards starts banging the CEO of the company she points a print finger at; then spends a couple of months having a sexual relationship with that CEO before writing an article that while it may be true, is also extremely misleading. All of this would have been difficult for any book to overcome; this particular book being more of a loosely connected string of dates, make out scenes and generic sex scenes can't even get it moving in the right direction. I'm a real fan of the author and her other 6 books that are Audible standards in the lesbian romance genre are among my personal favorites; the author should been embarrassed to put out this weak excuse for a book.
"Great dialogue bad narration"
The story was formulaic of course. It is to be expected given the HEA genre. But it was sweet. What made it truly enjoyable however was the dialogue, particularly that between Lucy and Kristen. Which makes it doubly disappointing that the narration was so stilted and unemotional. I don't know if it is miserliness on the part of the producers or simply a case of limited labor markets but it is frustrating to the point of infuriating that these folks can't see the impact of bad narration on a good story.
Or maybe they just don't give a damn.
I really like Melissa Brayden' stories. This short revisited characters from Heart Block. It was nice to see Emory and Sara again. I only have one criticism about all her books. She uses the word prior too much. It may not bother anyone else but it does me. But don't let that stop you from listening.
"Great audio book"
Great story! Narrated by the authors sister, was amazing. I have heard the author Melissa Brayden do readings before and her sister has the same inflections in her voice. I felt like Melissa was reading the book to me! Of course the voice wasn't quite the same, but the tone and cadence were exactly the same. Fun!! Was also great to hear from Emory and Sarah again!
"I Didn't Love It"
Brayden is one of my favorite authors, but the narrator (which I know is someone that actually knows the author, settle down this isn't personal) was not fantastic. I know that Brayden has fans that are willing to overlook the fact the novella wasn't up to par with her novels, and the narrator's tone was flat. I forced myself to finish. For me it just wasn't great. The voice was very quiet and no difference between character voices.
Read it, I am sure it would have been better had I read the book instead of listening to it.
Maybe... I am not sure.. I wasn't super impressed, but I am usually willing to give authors and narrators a second shot.
unlikely. Pick any other of Brayden's works and I would love to see a movie or series. She is a fantastic writer, but novellas are difficult. Not enough time to make me feel connected.
Melissa Brayden is in my top 5 authors, so I could never think her novels/novellas/short story/or even an email was 2 stars or less.
"Brayden and Barnes are a great team"
I would and I have. It's really beautifully narrated. It's wonderfully nuanced. It's very pleasing to listen to. The story is engaging.
There were far too many to choose just one. What makes them so memorable, however, is the fantastic way that Brayden writes dialogue and the way Barnes performed that dialogue.
I have not listened to others, but it is truly my hope that she will do more performances...particularly for Brayden's novels.
I would leave that to the author.
A very nice story. A lovely romance with just the right balance of drama, humor, conflict, and passion. Excellently done.
Awful narrator. Sounded like a little girl the way way she read and couldn't get tone right. I won't get another book by this narrator even if I like the author. Narration can ruin a story.
"A companion novella (that sizzles) from Brayden"
I've been working my way through audiobook after audiobook given the whole "hey, turns out your foot is fractured, lol!" thing, and today I had my feet up while I finished Firework.
Firework is a novella-length book that takes a supporting cast member from Heart Block, Lucy, and gives her her own romantic narrative in the form of a reporter who shows up to do a piece on Lucy's company, Global NewsWire, and it turns out the piece isn't so great.
That the two end up tangled with each other is textbook Brayden: attraction, a dash of circumstance, and some zany wit. That they're both work-focused is one of the few things they have in common, and finding their middle grounds read realistically. Anyone who has ever dated someone with a very different idea of what's fun will likely find one of their perspectives or the other something to nod over.
The collision course, however, isn't without bumps, and that story might undo all the ground that they've covered.
It goes without saying I really enjoyed this (I always enjoy Melissa Brayden), and for a light, shorter-length audio experience, this one is great for down-time listening.
The audiobook performer was much softer in tone than the reader for Heart Block, and I think that was actually a positive. Lucy is a softer person than Emory was, though no less driven, and Kristin is just finding her feet career-wise and has a hesitancy to her in most things that aren't journalistic. The voice acting mirrored that, and it was a positive.
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