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Lie Back & Listen

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Disturbing plotline more suited to crime thriller

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

On her Amazon page it states “Trisha Ashley writes romantic comedies…” well maybe this did used to be the case as many of her earlier books including ‘Chocolate Wishes’ (2010) and ‘Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues’ (2012) are most certainly light hearted feel good tales with lovely character and interesting story arcs however over the last few years I noticed that Trisha Ashley books were becoming darker and including seedier more disturbing plotlines. I do not know what happened to her frame of mind but I certainly do not count domestic abuse that includes children and murder as ‘light hearted’ or ‘romantic comedy’! There is a time and place for these important subjects to be raised and it should be made clear by Audible and the publisher if a book includes these themes. Having been drawn in to the plot of ‘The House of Hopes and Dreams’ thinking she had finally returned to more innocent themes, I was totally sickened and disgusted by the ending chapters and the images conjured up have stayed with me. Trisha Ashley should switch to writing crime thrillers if she wants to work with such subject matter. I am retuning the title for a refund.

19 people found this helpful

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.

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.

1 person found this helpful

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 people found this helpful

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!

16 people found this helpful

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.

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.

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.

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 people found this helpful

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 people found this helpful