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Lie Back & Listen

  • 43
  • reviews
  • 75
  • helpful votes
  • 181
  • ratings
  • Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay

  • By: Bella Osborne
  • Narrated by: Jaimi Barbakoff
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance - an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for 12 whole months.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story

  • By Happy Shopper on 25-11-18

Running time too long...

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

The narration is okay but the storyline is not particularly engaging and does not really make a lot of sense. The running time is too long as much of what is being said seems to be just space filling. There seems to be a lot going on and there are several characters who get more or less the same amount of dialogue as the main protagonist which is a bit confusing as the story could go off in a different direction but never does, yet I did not feel that the plot flows particularly well and at times the situations being depicted/narrated are confusing as to why/how it is actually relevant to the plot. I did not enjoy the first Audible offering from Bella Osborne ‘Escape To Willow Cottage’ and this title did not rank very highly in enjoyment factor either. All in all disappointing as an Audible offering and I am going to return it for an exchange.

  • The Time of Their Lives

  • By: Maeve Haran
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 15 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4

Each month best friends Claudia, Sal, Ella and Laura meet for drinks, celebrating 45 years of friendship. Sal had spent a lifetime building her career, but she hadn't banked on the one thing over which she had no control. Claudia loved her urban existence. But, as many women will know, other people's needs always seem to come first. Ella is ready to try something different. But she hadn't bargained on quite such a radical change. And Laura succumbed to the oldest cliché in the book.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good characters and good narration

  • By Lie Back & Listen on 25-05-18

Good characters and good narration

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

Reviewed: 25-05-18

Well written story with good characters. I was not sure about this book from the audio bio but I took a punt and am glad that I did. Good narration by Jilly Bond and the plot line flows nicely. A group of close friends who met at university forty years before are now having to deal with the process of ageing (which comes to us all in the end!) and the twists and turns life unexpectedly takes just when you think you’ve done all the hard work and can sit back and enjoy life…you just never know what fate has in store for you and this book certainly gives a good insight into ‘middle age’ and what that may mean to some people.

  • The Woman Who Knew Everything

  • By: Debbie Viggiano
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

‘She couldn’t remember the last time they’d stared at each other with dewy eyes over the cornflakes, or when they’d last tumbled into bed and bonked like spring bunnies, but they loved each other. Didn’t they?’ Chrissie, Dee and Amber each feel a marriage proposal is overdue from their respective boyfriends. When the women are invited to a birthday soirée – complete with fortune teller – the girls know there is only one question they’ll be asking Madam Rosa: will their men be popping the question? But opting to see a clairvoyant is a bit like opening Pandora’s box. Some revelations are a joy, whereas others are most definitely not. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for…. Best-selling romance author Debbie Viggiano’s delightful, satirical take on life and relationships. This audiobook will particularly appeal to fans of Adele Parks and Mhairi Mcfarlane.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Probably best if read as hard copy or kindle….

  • By Lie Back & Listen on 25-05-18

Probably best if read as hard copy or kindle….

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

Reviewed: 25-05-18

Firstly I have to say I am really very surprised at the good reviews this title got on Amazon however having said that as the narration was dismal this is probably a book best read as hard copy in order to be able to put your own pace to it as it may make it marginally better. The story started of okay but after a couple of chapters it became really quite boring and predictable. The characters were not especially believable and not in the least endearing. As for ‘The Woman Who Knew Everything’ she did not feature very much at all and the sparse cameo appearances she does make she does not really say anything that the reader cannot already guess by the way the male characters are portrayed. I have seen this author popping up on Twitter and never been very interested in investigating the books she ‘promotes’ due to the hashtags attached because the descriptions of plots always seem a bit seedy and I only gave this book a try as I was expecting something ‘mystical & magical’…no such luck. I am certainly not a ‘woman who knows everything’ but I do know this was not worth a credit.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Dragon's Green

  • Worldquake, Book 1
  • By: Scarlett Thomas
  • Narrated by: Roger Allam
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

Effie Truelove has made a promise to keep her grandfather's magical books safe from danger. Whatever it takes. But it's not always easy when you're a pupil at the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange. Together with her new school friends, Maximilian, Wolf, Lexy and Raven, Effie must travel to the mysterious Otherworld and brave the terrifying Diberi, a secret organisation with plans that could destroy the entire universe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scarlett Thomas on top form

  • By Cameron on 31-10-17

Hmm a few somewhat familiar scenarios…

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

This title was purchased due to it being on a couple of book lists recommended as books for “What To Read After... Harry Potter”.

In our house we are a family of huge Harry Potter fans (maybe not quite Potterheads but close enough) so we know what we like when it comes to ‘magical fantasy’. My grown up daughter has been compiling a new book list for 2018 so I suggested ‘Dragons Green’.

I think it is important here to note that this book is aimed at the mid-schooler age 9-12 (or so it states on various bio’s) however my daughter is over 20yrs old and so not really easy to shock– therefore as I was looking forward to listening to the book myself I was surprised and disappointed to hear her view on Dragons Green that “well it has quite a few unsavory bits, I think it would give some kids nightmares especially the opening pages & what the teacher says!”.

So I gave it a listen and she is right, it is fairly graphic but not necessarily in a good way and I would not recommend this for bedtime reading.

I then played the opening to my husband and also a few other bits and he said “some children would not sleep after that!”.

The story itself is a fairly good premise but does not particularly flow that well and most certainly Harry Potter this book is not, however if you are familiar with this genre of books/ children’s books it soon becomes apparent that several of the scenarios within the plot line are very, very similar to other books in the same vein specifically ‘The Secret Country’ (Secret Country Trilogy) by Jane Johnson.

There are other well-loved books that I recognise ‘very similar’ plot descriptions from including: ‘The Lives Of Christopher Chant’ (The Chrestomanci Series) by Diana Wynne Jones, ‘Stardust’ by Neil Gaiman and even ‘Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief’ (*the Lotus Casino scene) when it comes to the arcade part with the children and adults that ‘have been playing the games for many years and not moved…’.

All in all I am surprised that the publisher did not pick up on much of this and it just seems a mish-mash of ‘borrowed’ ideas.

Not worth a credit and not worth the price of a hardback copy or kindle.

If you want true fantastical worlds and characters read Diana Wynne Jones, Jane Johnson, Neil Gaiman or even better re-read Harry Potter in all its Hogworts glory again!

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Million Love Songs

  • By: Carole Matthews
  • Narrated by: Emma Powell, Carole Matthews
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170

Million Love Songs sees Sunday Times Top Three best seller Carole Matthews at her most fabulous. Feel-good and full of emotion, Carole will make your heart sing with this glorious listen. After splitting up with her cheating ex, Ruby Brown is ready for a change. She's single again for the first time in years, and she's going to dive into this brave new world with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. The last thing she's looking for is a serious relationship.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect!!!

  • By michelle g on 07-02-18

Take That? Take This!

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

Reviewed: 30-03-18

Very pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable this book was after having been disappointed with the last 2 Carol Mathews books I purchased from Audible. The narration on 'Million Love Songs' is just right and you can easily identify each separate character. You don't even have to even be an avid Take That fan yourself to engage with the story and get all the little 'in' references, however as I have a good friend who is indeed an avid TTF (aka a Thatter) it helped and had me laughing along in places remembering some of her 'TT fandom' moments.

  • The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower

  • Little Paris Collection, Book 2
  • By: Rebecca Raisin
  • Narrated by: Sally Scott
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2

Escape to Paris this summer and prepare to be swept off your feet.... Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects? Until Tristan Black appears at an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible narration

  • By Lie Back & Listen on 23-03-18

Terrible narration

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

Reviewed: 23-03-18

Fairly good story with interesting characters but it is ruined by the terrible narration. The 'French' accents are the same bland tone for all the French characters whether old or younger and the American accent is not much better, this is inter-spliced with the main body of the story narrated in an English accent. The Audible sample section does not give a true idea of how the full story will run - I would recommend reading this title as a hard copy book or kindle. I am going to return this title to Audible to obtain a refund.

  • Christmas on Primrose Hill

  • By: Karen Swan
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 47

From the internationally best-selling author of Christmas in the Snow comes another spellbindingly beautiful story for winter. Christmas on Primrose Hill is a spellbinding, emotional and romantic tale from the best-selling author of Christmas at Tiffany's, Karen Swan. On Primrose Hill... Twinkling lights brighten London's Primrose Hill as Christmas nears - but for Nettie Watson, it's not parties and presents that she wants.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great booj

  • By Rosalyn on 21-12-15

Disappointing tale

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

Reviewed: 21-10-17

Extremely disappointing. The plot had the opportunity to be comedic but failed to deliver. A slow story with (as another reviewer below comments) plot holes. The characters were predictable as was the story line as I guessed the 'secret' before even halfway through the book. However the narration was excellent and Imogen Church did a great job so I would always consider other titles she has narrated now.

  • The Lemon Tree Café

  • By: Cathy Bramley
  • Narrated by: Colleen Prendergast
  • Length: 13 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 47

The Lemon Tree Café was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package. A deliciously cosy story of family, friendship and a little dolce vita, perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Trisha Ashley and Katie Fforde.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty pointless...

  • By Lie Back & Listen on 26-08-17

Pretty pointless...

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

Reviewed: 26-08-17

This book is yet another disappointment from Cathy Bramley. The story seems to have been written just for the sake of it and although it does seem to be a sequel to 'The Plumberry School of Comfort Food' as several of the same characters are featured, the plot-line just plods on & on & on...it took until part 2 to actually explain something that was prior just alluded to, however I was so very bored by them that I actually did not care what what was happening/ had happened to the characters. The narration is dreadful and although it is the same narrator as 'The Plumberry School of Comfort Food' the main character has a completely different voice and accent now in 'The Lemon Tree Cafe' so there is no continuity. I wish I had not wasted a credit on this book and I will be contacting customer service to make a complaint as I have not even been able to listen to the end as it is so awfully dreary and pointless.
Additionally some of the plot-line seems remarkably similar to Alexandra Brown's book 'The Great Village Show'.
This is my last attempt to listen to a Cathy Bramley title if Colleen Prendergast continues to narrate the books as she has done fo the past 7 audio titles.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • It's a Kind of Magic

  • By: Carole Matthews
  • Narrated by: Antonia Beamish
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 27

Emma and Leo have been together forever, but their relationship seems to have lost its sparkle. When Leo turns up to Emma's 30th birthday dinner unforgivably late and extremely drunk, she can't help wishing for someone to wave a magic wand and turn Leo into a reliable and considerate boyfriend. Then Leo's path crosses with a decidedly unusual girl called Isobel, and as he falls under her spell, Emma sees him change before her very eyes. Soon she regrets wishing for a new Leo at all.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Hmm...

  • By Lie Back & Listen on 12-04-17

Hmm...

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

Still a little undecided as to if this story is perfect easy listening or just plain odd although the premise of the story is quite sweet and unlike any other Carol Mathews book I have read or listened to. The main male protagonist Leo is likeable after a few chapters but I never did warm to Emma and in the end rather wished that the story ended a different way (I will not give a spoiler away though). It wasn’t particularly predicable however one of the characters (the most *magical*) could have been written better and at times I had to rewind the story as I wasn’t sure if I had missed hearing parts or the story had just skipped forward in general. The best I can say is that it is not a sleazy or salacious tale which makes a pleasant change these days!...although for stories with a ‘magical twist’ you would be better off purchasing one of Christina Jones ‘Mad Villages’ series as the ‘magic’ in those books translates much better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Wildflower Bay

  • By: Rachael Lucas
  • Narrated by: Angela Ness
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 27

Isla's got the designer clothes and dream job as head stylist at an exclusive salon. She's been so single-minded in this quest that she's forgotten to have a life outside of it. When her aunt is in desperate need at her own salon, Isla heads to the remote island of Auchenmor to help. Finn is 35, and reality has just hit him hard. Now his best friends are about to have a baby, and everything is changing. When into his life walks Isla...

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Lie Back & Listen on 05-04-17

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 05-04-17

After listening to 'Sealed With A Kiss' I was really looking forward to this book as I wanted to know how the characters story-lines had developed. It was not what I was expecting and it fell short of the first book which was engaging and had good character engagement. The narration was rather tedious.This is a 1 star rating and I will be returning this title. Very disappointing.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful