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Happy Reader

  • 28
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
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Christmas at the Beach Café cover art
  • Christmas at the Beach Café

  • By: Lucy Diamond
  • Narrated by: Melody Grove
  • Length: 2 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

After a hectic summer running her beach café in Cornwall, Evie Flynn is looking forward to her first Christmas with new boyfriend Ed. But when Ed’s ex suddenly gets in touch again, and some unexpected guests arrive: Ed’s surly brother Jake and Evie’s heartbroken best friend Amber, Evie’s Christmas starts to look as if it’ll be a total turkey. Will any of her festive wishes come true?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Too short-not value for money

  • By Miss on 16-10-16

nice enough short story, narrator could be better

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-08-19

This is more like a long epilogue to the original Beach Cafe novel, I enjoyed it but primarily because I liked the characters and wanted to see what became of them.
But I wish they'd used the original narrator. This one made it heavy and depressing.

Making Up cover art
  • Making Up

  • By: Lucy Parker
  • Narrated by: Billie Fulford-Brown
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars 1

Once upon a time, circus artist Trix Lane was the best around. Her spark vanished with her confidence, though, and reclaiming either has proved...difficult. So when the star of The Festival of Masks is nixed and Trix is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight, it’s exactly the push she needs. But the joy over her sudden elevation in status is cut short by a new hire on the makeup team. Leo Magasiva: disgraced wizard of special effects. He of the beautiful voice and impressive beard. Complete dickhead and - in an unexpected twist - an enragingly good kisser.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Started funny, soon became boring

  • By Happy Reader on 22-07-19

Started funny, soon became boring

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-07-19

This started well. An accident on stage forces the company to promote the understudy up to the staring role bringing her into the path of her enemy, the make up artist. A classic enemies to lovers trope which should work well but runs out of steam really fast. They end up in bed early and you feel like putting the book down and not picking it up again. Because this was an audiobook, and I was cleaning my kitchen, i went on listening for a little longer but the rest wasn't very good and felt manufactured. The over the top humour became grating after a while.
The performance was fine but I struggled to keep listening
Note to the author. a stage manager is not a producer or director or casting director. Please find out the difference

The One You Really Want cover art
  • The One You Really Want

  • By: Jill Mansell
  • Narrated by: Sarah Barron
  • Length: 14 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185

When Nancy spies her Christmas present from her husband sitting on the lawn, she realises the jewellery she thought was for her must be on someone else. Her best friend, Carmen, isn't surprised (she never liked Jonathan) and persuades Nancy to leave Edinburgh and come and stay in her luxury London flat - far too vast for Carmen since her husband, millionaire rock star Spike Todd, died. Soon Nancy's met gorgeous Connor O'Shea, who lives next door, and his daughter, Mia, is matchmaking.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lovely

  • By Gem on 01-09-16

OK Story, Irritating Narrator

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-07-19

I really wanted to like this audiobook. The Story was OK but not great. Its a gentle chick-lit with multiple story lines and they all end happily even if predictably. Honestly I may have alikes a lot better if it weren't for the performance. Sarah Barron is another one of those actors who mistake an audiobook for a radio play or even a pantomime. There was very little emotion in the reading, I couldn't get a sense of the personality of anyone, all I got was: accents. A bewildering array of accents and voices, all of them too distracting to be able to focus on the story.
I will avoid anything read by her in future

The Cottage at Hope Cove: A Wonderfully Uplifting Holiday Romance cover art
  • The Cottage at Hope Cove: A Wonderfully Uplifting Holiday Romance

  • By: Hannah Ellis
  • Narrated by: Katie Villa
  • Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

Lizzie Beaumont has it all: a great career, a wealthy fiancé, and the wedding of her dreams just months away. But when her fiancé puts work before her again, she sets off for a week in the picturesque town of Hope Cove. She’s hoping for time away from the chaos to find herself. When the gorgeous guy next door asks her for decorating help, Lizzie finds herself all too eager to please. The week she expected to drag suddenly flies by, and before she knows it, she has to return to her other life.  

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Hmmmmm

  • By Alicat10 on 05-08-19

The perfect seaside romance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-07-19

This was my first introduction to Hannah Ellis, and I was very pleasantly surprised. Obviously all these books follow a kind of formula, but Ms Ellis does it so so well, that you hardly notice. The characters were original and real the setting so 'alive' I wanted to go and live with them. The guy isn't really an alpha male, but you don't mind when he's so easy to love. And the woman was relatable. Her emotional awakening although invisible to her, really powerful. And she was smart, none of these silly women who keep getting themselves into ridiculous situations and just don't 'get' the romantic undercurrent.
All in all, the perfect seaside romance. I am going to buy all of Hannah Ellis's other books. Sorry they're not on audible, but when they are, i hope they use the sam narrator who was excellent

Constantine's Defiant Mistress cover art
  • Constantine's Defiant Mistress

  • By: Sharon Kendrick
  • Narrated by: Maggie Mash
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

When Constantine Karantinos learns he has an heir he will do anything to claim him. Even if he finds it hard to remember the child's mother - Laura was nothing more than a waitress. Now Constantine's summoned Laura to Greece, but she's more wilful than he remembers: determined to pay her way as housekeeper, by day she insists on cooking and cleaning. However, by night Constantine still insists she fulfils her bedroom duties...

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Did Sharon Kendrick really write this?

  • By Happy Reader on 25-06-19

Did Sharon Kendrick really write this?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-06-19

Long ago in the 1970s, romance novels used to be like this. With an arrogant, cruel obnoxious hero who berrates and insults the doormat heroine but 3 seconds later he starts to kiss her, not because he likes her, but because he wants to prove to her that he's master. And she, instead of telling him where to go, gives up the fight as soon as he touches her and her 'traitorous body' melts.
One difference, in the 1970s, there was no explicit sexual content. But in this book, the arrogant Greek tycoon starts to grope her very intimately indeed, in the street, outside a tourist hotel in a seaside town. Really????
I couldn't read any more, it was making me angry and sick in equal measures.

Coming Home to Wishington Bay cover art
  • Coming Home to Wishington Bay

  • By: Maxine Morrey
  • Narrated by: Gloria Sanders
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

Holly doesn’t have time for a holiday this year. But when her job threatens to send her over the brink, her boss insists she take a sabbatical. So she packs her bags and escapes to her beloved grandmother Gigi’s house on Wishington Bay, which has sat empty since Gigi passed away. But Holly’s dreams of a coastal escape take an unexpected turn. Holly didn’t expect to spend time with any man this summer - let alone an Aussie Adonis....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A novel about nothing

  • By Happy Reader on 19-06-19

A novel about nothing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-06-19

I normally like romantic comedy, but there needs to be a story. This was very thin indeed. Holly inherits her aunt's cottage by the sea, she plans to sell it before going back to her bad and stressful job that's giving her anxiety attacks. She meets next door neighbour, a gorgeous Aussie doctor who surfs.
Everyone wants her to end up with gorgeous Aussie doctor who surfs including, his family, her family and even her dead aunt.
Problem: Holly apparently cant see that quitting her awful job that's giving her panic attacks in favour of staying in the seaside village she's always loved in the house she's always loved with gorgeous Aussie doctor who surfs and buys her chocolates and flowers might be the way to go.
This could have been done in two chapters, instead the author pads it out with pages and pages and pages of nothing.
Boring conversations about nothing that go nowhere. It was hard work to stop my mind wandering, you could literally skip 4 chapters at a tie and not miss anything.
What made it worse - and this may be a personal preference - is the performance. the reader relied far too much on Australian accent to convey personality. Where she could have made him sound romantic, or amused or caring, she just made him Australian. it got very annoying towards the end

Christmas at Butterfly Cove cover art
  • Christmas at Butterfly Cove

  • Butterfly Cove, Book 3
  • By: Sarah Bennett
  • Narrated by: Rachel Bavidge
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

All she wants for Christmas... When talented artist Nee Sutherland returns to Butterfly Cove for her sister's wedding, it's only a matter of time before she has to face her own bridegroom - Luke Spenser - the man she impulsively married then left in the middle of the night. Nee hasn't picked up her paintbrushes in months; a part of her is broken. She knows Luke might never forgive her and that leaving him was the biggest mistake of her life - but could coming home for Christmas be the best decision she's ever made?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sugar sweet and happy ending

  • By Dumetella on 20-04-18

Ruined by narrator

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-05-19

Could someone please tell Ms Rachel Bavidge that she could show different characters in other way than putting on cliche accents. We get it, you can do accents, well done. Now can we focus on the story and not your pantomime skills?
Giving a character a heavy regional accent might work for some genres but really ruins a romance.
The leading men in all this series ended up sounding like farmers and car mechanics, the kind that never left the back streets of whatever small town. Come on! That's not sexy.

The Plus One cover art
  • The Plus One

  • By: Sophia Money-Coutts
  • Narrated by: Sophia Money-Coutts
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 67

Polly Spencer is fine. She’s single, turning 30 and managed to have sex only twice last year (both times with a Swedish banker called Fred), but seriously, she’s fine. Even if she’s still stuck at Posh! magazine writing about royal babies and the chances of finding a plus one to her best friend’s summer wedding are looking worryingly slim. But it’s a New Year, a new leaf and all that. Polly’s determined that over the next 365 days she’ll remember to shave her legs, drink less wine and generally get her s--t together.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Felt like there was a deadline.

  • By Rosie on 09-04-19

Disappointing and a bit icky

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-05-19

I dont see the point of this story at all, modeled on the Bridget Jones blueprint but without the actual laughs. In place of funny, real life observations there was cliche pastiche and offensive prejudice from the man with thick glasses which according to the author translates to 'ugly not datable'. Why? Because he wears glasses? The there is the sheik with gold everything in his house including toilet seats. He's educated in America and is a billionaire with connections in the business world but apparently cannot say simply English words. Then we have a sorry cast of crazy eccentric aristocrats, snide drunken toffs, stupid ricj women and an old couple straight out of 1930s.
But what was really disappointing is the icky clumsy sex. It wasn't funny and it didn't move the story forward just left a nasty taste in my mouth (and the heroine's mouth. literally)

Let's Meet on Platform 8 cover art
  • Let's Meet on Platform 8

  • By: Carole Matthews
  • Narrated by: Julia Barrie
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 61

Teri has dated more men than she's had low-calorie, low-fat dinners, and she still hasn't found Mr Right. She's found other men, though: Mr Lazy, Mr Greedy, Mr Completely Selfish, Mr Looking-for-Mother-Substitute and Mr Pervert. But no Mr Right. That is until she's literally knocked off her feet by Jamie Duncan as they rush to catch the same train from Euston station: the 18.07 from platform eight. It's not long before love blossoms and commuting takes on a whole new meaning.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By kerry on 07-07-17

Nice narration awful story

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-04-19

What a miserable story
It started ok and got steadily worse
The ending was just the worst
Waste of time

Lukas cover art
  • Lukas

  • Ashes & Embers, Book 3
  • By: Carian Cole
  • Narrated by: Nelson Hobbs, Tatiana Sokolov
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

Storm's younger cousin. Vandal's little brother. You've met him in the background. The sweet one. The nice one. The one they can all rely on. In short, the good one. He's a tattoo artist. He plays metal and classical music - on the violin. He's got a body built for sin. And he's 24. In comes Ivy. She's a 36-year-old single mom who hasn't dated in 18 years. All she wanted was a tattoo. She got a whole lot more.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • carian cole does it again!

  • By hadziah on 16-03-17

Best book boyfriend, ever!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-03-19

It's not often I find romance novels with an older woman. She's 36 to his 24. But what a 24! more mature, more alpha more sensitive and understanding than most men.
Carian Cole writes well and the story was exciting with lots of interesting tiny details like the talking bird. She keeps the focus tight on the couple but with enough from others in the family to make me want to read the rest of the series.
But the best thing in this audiobook was the narrators. really, top notch. Great voices, great performance. This is the way to do it. I'll be looking for more by those two narrators