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Aretè

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 28
  • ratings
  • The Flirt

  • The Regency Intrigue Series, Book 1
  • By: M. C. Beaton writing as Marion Chesney
  • Narrated by: Charlotte Anne Dore
  • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

Tongues were set wagging when Elizabeth Markham's glamorous young parents were killed, sinking their only child to the unspeakable class of poor relation. Forced to live with her cruel, miserly uncle Julius, Elizabeth is forbidden to partake in the season's festivities. Marriage is her only escape, and she enacts a daring plan to trick her way into the duke of Dunster's exclusive house party, to snare one of the eligible dandies sure to dance attendance on her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Acceptable story incompetent reader

  • By Aretè on 03-03-18

Acceptable story incompetent reader

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-03-18

The story would be acceptable, what makes it unbearable is the reader, who has no idea how to respect the correct punctuation and the natural flow of the narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • How to Marry Your Wife

  • By: Stella Marie Alden
  • Narrated by: Amy Soakes
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

What foul devilry is this? They told her he was dead. After six long years without a word, her knight falls onto his knees and sings poetry. Then he denies their son? Heed this well. She's no longer an innocent who'll giggle and tarry on his every word. The sharp edge of her tongue and knife is the only welcome he'll get. She'll not marry him. Besides, the pain would be too much to bear should he ever leave again.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The story would be ok, even charming, in bits...

  • By Aretè on 27-02-18

The story would be ok, even charming, in bits...

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

Reviewed: 27-02-18

I enjoyed the silly rhymes if nothing else; The story would be ok, even charming in bits, if the squeaky voice and lilt of Mary Alden narration were not so off-putting; the story needed at least to be read with a male voice for the male parts.

  • Captivated by You

  • Crossfire Series, Book 4
  • By: Sylvia Day
  • Narrated by: Jill Redfield, Jeremy York
  • Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 322

Gideon calls me his angel, but he’s the miracle in my life. My gorgeous, wounded warrior, so determined to slay my demons while refusing to face his own. The vows we'd exchanged should have bound us tighter than blood and flesh. Instead they opened old wounds, exposed pain and insecurities, and lured bitter enemies out of the shadows. I felt him slipping from my grasp, my greatest fears becoming my reality, my love tested in ways I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to bear.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing!

  • By Reginald pelle on 02-04-16

A serious theme treated like trashy pulp ficton

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

Reviewed: 15-09-15

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I have no idea, I'm sure it would be attractive to a numerous audience.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have shifted the stress on the characters' dynamics with the environment more than the interminably detailed an graphic descriptions of their copulating prowess. Has the author never heard of the fact that suggestion is more effective a technique for engaging the audience's imagination than spelling everything out in boring detail?
The other issue I have with this 4th volume of the series is its gratuitous length and the endless reiteration in the two narrators' voices of their feelings and perceptions of each other and the excessive number of lengthy graphic descriptions: it leads one to suspect that the author is withholding the final resolution of the plot and wants to delay it into a 5th or maybe a 6th volume.I have lost patience, like I usually do with artificially dragged out narratives.

What didn’t you like about Jill Redfield and Jeremy York ’s performance?

I rather liked the dark and husky and, to me, rather ironic tones of Jeremy York's voice, but I was rather put off by Jill Redfield's nasal and rather stridulous voice, though probably well suited to the character of the poor rich girl of the story.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Captivated by You?

At least half of the copulating scenes.

Any additional comments?

As I said, the story, and its development throughout the four volumes has merits, and to a certain extent so does the treatment of the character's development towards maturity. It could have been a great novel. Pity the author does not seem to know the meaning of subtlety and measure: Quantity is not sinonymous to quality; but then, This is probably true of most if not all pulp fiction and I am probably not the typical audience she meant to address.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Light Behind the Window

  • By: Lucinda Riley
  • Narrated by: Gerri Halligan
  • Length: 15 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 394
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352

THE PRESENT - After her mother’s death, Emilie de la Martiniéres finds herself the sole inheritor of a chateau in the south of France. There she discovers an old notebook which leads her along a journey to unravel the tragic love story of the mysterious Sophia. THE PAST (1943). Constance Carruthers, arrives in occupied Paris at the height of conflict. There she stumbles into the heart of a wealthy family and is drawn into a web of deception, the repercussions of which will affect generations to come.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very compelling listen

  • By L on 19-07-13

Beautiful! Poetic, Moving

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

Reviewed: 11-03-15

A beautiful story, within a story,
Played between the dramatic setting of the wuthering Yorkshire moors, the rent and tortured Paris of the Vichy Republic, and the idyllic, sunny landscape of the French Bourgogne.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The English Witch

  • Trevelyan Family, Book 2
  • By: Loretta Chase
  • Narrated by: Stevie Zimmerman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10

Her father’s prodigal ways have forced the extremely lovely Alexandra Ashmore into an engagement with a strange man in a strange land: A man blind to the effect her unearthly beauty has on other men, and which has earned her the title "the English Witch"! So when she’s kidnapped by another love-struck suitor, Alexandra assumes she’s truly doomed to a loveless marriage with her captor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A delightful, witty, humorous story

  • By Aretè on 27-02-15

A delightful, witty, humorous story

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

Reviewed: 27-02-15

Very enjoyable, sympathetic, humorous, in the best tradition of the picaresque novel; it winks to many of the English classics of the eighteen and nineteen century.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Place to Stand

  • By: Ann Bridge
  • Narrated by: Loretta Rawlins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Set in Budapest in the spring of 1941, Hope - a spoilt but attractive society girl and daughter of a leading American business man - finds herself playing the lead in a dangerous and most unexpected affair of underground intrigue, through the machinations of her journalist fiancé. During the course of her activities she falls in love with a Polish refugee, and at the moment when Germany invades Hungary, she is already deeply involved - both emotionally and politically.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Moving Story with strong autobiographical element

  • By Aretè on 22-02-15

Moving Story with strong autobiographical element

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

Reviewed: 22-02-15

A moving story, superbly written, with such vivid portrayal of Hungary and of Budapest in 1940-41, under the German preventive invasion of Hungary, already visited in Bridge's previous story. A labour of love, her drawing "a tutto tondo"of the main characters and her still quite good impressionistic sketches of the support characters.
I admire her exceptional understanding of the social and political setting, and her ability to turn what in realistic terms must have been a tragedy into a drama with a relatively happy ending, and a softening of the atrocious reality of perquisitions and interrogations by the Gestapo police.
The only insupportable thing is the horrible diction of the reader.
She cannot even follow punctuation correctly, pausing at random, interrupting the flow of narration; it puts one in mind of a tap under excessive pressure, spurting violent jets of fluid, rather than a continuous flow of water, and to top it all, she cannot pronounce even foreign words which have been long accepted in the English Language, let alone French or Italian or German ones, (I don't know about Hungarian ones), nor well known foreign personal names. It's surprising, withe the linguistic tools available to anyone today, that any reader, would not take the care to get information about the proper pronounciation of words in any language, and there is nothing more distracting and detracting from the pleasure of listening to a story, than hearing familiar names mispronounced
and distorted.
If you have an opportunity, I suggest you redo the audio book with someone else.

  • The Portuguse Escape

  • By: Ann Bridge
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Jasicki
  • Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Miss Bridge takes us to Portugal; not only the well-known world of Estoril and the Embassies, but behind the scenes, into the life lived on country estates by the Portuguese themselves. Both aspects are seen through the fresh eyes of a young Hungarian girl just released from behind the Iron Curtain, who also gives vivid and horrifying glimpses of life in Soviet-dominated Hungary from 1945 to 1955.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, witty, insightful, well informed

  • By Aretè on 15-02-15

Brilliant, witty, insightful, well informed

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

Reviewed: 15-02-15

Well written, good character portrayal,
Good plot, and superb depiction of a Portugal, that has almost if not completely disappeared,
A very enjoyable story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Captives of the Night

  • By: Loretta Chase
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

Leila Beaumont is a gorgeous and talented portrait painter trapped in a loveless marriage with her profligate husband, Francis. Though long ago, Francis very much played the hero, rescuing and wedding the orphaned 17-year-old Leila - Francis' more recent hedonistic lifestyle of drinking, drugging and womanizing has not only earned him quite a few enemies in London, but lost him the love of his wife.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ah a love story....what a joy!

  • By Leycesteria, Surrey on 21-02-15

Overall, almost perfect

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

Reviewed: 21-01-15

I have so far found no fault with any of the enjoyable, exciting, and well written stories by Loretta Chase. Her endearing heroes and heroines with their mixture of warmth and clumsiness, with their wounds, their flaws and redeeming traits, are simply loveable and I love her ability to make even some of the villains in her story worthy of redemption and grace. I like the fact that she treats most of her passion and love scenes with tact and good taste, and uses them when they are really justified; without unduly cramming the narration with them.
The only flaw, overall is the lamentable tendency of the reader to raise the intonation at the end of sentences and sometimes even paragraphs where a descending tone would be more appropriate, marring the effect and distracting the reader from the flow of the story,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh

  • A Cynster Novel, Book 20
  • By: Stephanie Laurens
  • Narrated by: Matthew Brenher
  • Length: 14 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

The Honorable Miss Mary Cynster always gets what she wants. As the last unwed Cynster of her generation, she is determined to remain in charge of her life. At the very bottom of her list of potential husbands is Ryder Cavanaugh, the daring and devastating Marquess of Raventhorne, an overwhelming and utterly unmanageable lion of the ton. But destiny has a different plan.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Incredibly repetitive and boring.

  • By Aretè on 20-01-15

Incredibly repetitive and boring.

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

Reviewed: 20-01-15

I usually like romantic stories in a period setting, this one was too much in every sense, too much narrator commentary on philosophy of life and preaching on family values; too much description in sex episodes and too frequent episodes, whether justified by the plot.
No dense of humor.
Also, the author could well have spared us. The interminable last chapter with the families reunion. And overall, she could have cut the dross of unnecessary narrator commentary and inflated sex scenes by at least 3 hours worth of narration.
Sometimes one line of allusive phrasing, which sparks the reader/listener's imagination, is worth a thousand words of repetitive droning and graphic portrayal and moves the action to a faster, more exciting pace.

  • Uncertain Magic

  • By: Laura Kinsale
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Boulton
  • Length: 13 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

As a lovely heiress, Roderica Delamore should be a prize catch--except for her shameful secret. She has the ability to hear the thoughts of those around her. Even her family and close friends can't hide from her strange gift. Knowing that she can never marry, for no man could bear it, Roddy still longs hopelessly for a family of her own. Until she meets the man she's been waiting for--the Earl of Iveragh, a mysterious Irish aristocrat whose thoughts are entirely closed to her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another wonderful combination!

  • By Kristin on 13-02-15

Better than other Stories by Laura Kinsale

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

Reviewed: 16-01-15

I have enjoyed the story more than other stories of romance and mystery. The Story is more interesting, because it is not quite a fairy tale, although it makes reference to Irish lore and fairy tales.
It is more complex, and so is the historical background development; the magic element is kept to a minimum and intelligently treated so as not to disturb too much the necessary suspension of disbelief, but could be interpreted as a metaphor for immature conscience or self awareness and sensitivity. Another plus is for me the fact that the sex is less boring and is played through poetic metaphors, rather than through graphic descriptions as it it is in others of her novels, Repetition of full sex scenes is also less insistent, although some of it is structural to character development. The historical background, is also better researched and more integral to the story.
The ending is rather unsatisfactory, though, as it brings about a 'Deus ex Machina' intervention rather than a more 'natural' internal resolution due to the characters reaching a greater level of self awareness, and a better tidying up of loose ends, for instance who is/are the real author/s of the crimes imputed to the hero is left to the heroine and the fairies to 'tell' the audience, rather than the discovery ensuing from the action. Proper development of plot and subots, in this respect is sacrificed to repetition of lengthy sex scenes brooding over what in real life would be called lack of ability to communicate.