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Melanie Preston Lewis

London
  • 250
  • reviews
  • 124
  • helpful votes
  • 292
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  • Harriet’s Big Fat Wedding Blunder

  • A Romantic Comedy
  • By: Lynda Renham
  • Narrated by: Rosie Akerman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

On arriving home after a friend’s posh wedding, launderette worker Harriet finds her flat has been ransacked and her boyfriend is missing. Shortly afterward, she is harassed by East End gangsters and upper-crust aristocrats. Accepting an offer she can’t refuse, Harriet, against her better judgement, becomes the fiancée of the wealthy Hamilton Lancaster, with dire consequences. What she had not bargained on was meeting Doctor Brice Edmunds.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Chuckle-icious!

  • By Melanie Preston Lewis on 16-01-19

Chuckle-icious!

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

Reviewed: 16-01-19

Let's get my complaint out of the way first! My face hurts, (I know, I know, my face has been making people hurt for years), from smiling! This was like opening the window on a crisp, spring morning and letting the fresh air rush in. It was a warm embrace when you're feeling blue, an open-log fire on a snowy, winter's day. OK, enough with the metaphorical musings and onto some facts. Lynda Renham has cracked it with this book; it's funny, endearing, absorbing and a real British farce! All the characters are suitably bonkers, even the normal ones, and when they interact with each other, chaos, misunderstandings and madness ensues. Bravo to Rosie Akerman for her performance, there were a lot of characters, many voices and accents and this was a real challenge to narrate. Ms AKerman did a superb job, how she did it without losing her mind is beyond me, but you can only stand back and admire her work. Of course, a narrator can only be as good as the words allow, and Ms Renham gave Ms Akerman some of the choicest cuts to work with. Harriet's Big Fat Wedding Blunder is British humour at its best. Making fun of ourselves, our class system and the characters and caricatures within. A 5 star hit and over 9 hours of smiles, chuckles, laughs and joy. Tremendous!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bloodlines: Of Noble Blood

  • By: William B. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Emily Emerson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

Newlyweds Alex and Maggie travel to England and uncover a DNA match involving one of England's great noble families. At stake is a noble title and a vast family fortune...a fortune that the family will not hand over without a fight, to the death if necessary! Along the way, Alex and Maggie get some unexpected help...in the form of a long-dead little girl.  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Lighthearted inheritance caper with a supernatural touch

  • By Sweetpea on 17-01-19

Easy listening caper

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

Reviewed: 15-01-19

Let's start with the positives, of which there are many. The story is good and moves along at a gentle pace, you know who the goodies and the baddies are and whilst there are no huge shocks or surprises, it's a pleasant journey listening to the tale spin out. Emily Emerson on the whole does a great job with the narration, and at the beginning I had no idea whether she was English or American until....and for this I wholeheartedly blame the producer, not the narrator, who works with the script she is given, place names are pronounced. Once I heard Pall Mall rhyme with 'ball', Leicester square as Lester-shire, Edinburg - with a hard 'g' and Viscount without the silent 's', I knew Ms Emerson must be American. Knowing how ridiculously we Brits spell and pronounce our place names, could the author or producer not have ensured she was aware of this issue? What infuriates me is that Ms Emerson will now be remembered for the mispronunciation, when in reality she should be remembered for the fact she did a stand up British accent, (no Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins here!). She was excellent and didn't let the accent slip once, not even when voicing a drunk, aristocratic tirade - that's an achievement. So credit where it's due, well done Emily Emerson for rising to a difficult job. I also felt, and this might just be me, that if you're writing a book set in England and using a narrator with an English accent that you should go the whole way and use English language. Here we don't use cellphones, we use mobiles; we don't work in the yard, we garden, pavements not sidewalks and so on. I felt it would have made the story more complete somehow, but, I reiterate, that's just my personal opinion. On the whole though, this is a light listen that's well narrated, what's not to like?

  • Free Country

  • A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain
  • By: George Mahood
  • Narrated by: Kris Dyer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

The plan is simple. George and Ben have three weeks to cycle 1000 miles from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland. There's just one small problem - they have no bikes, no clothes, no food, and no money. Setting off in just a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts, they attempt to rely on the generosity of the British public for everything from food to accommodation, clothes to shoes, and bikes to beer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • awesome

  • By JohnJenner on 18-02-17

Should be available on the NHS!

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

Reviewed: 10-01-19

Got the January blues? Feeling a bit fed up? Down hearted? Glum? Then this is the book for you. George and Ben are absolutely archetypal British eccentrics. As if cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats isn't a mad enough idea in its own right, they decide to take it not one, not two, but about another 637 steps further into mad territory by cycling the length of the country without clothes, food, bicycles and the additional limitation of no use of money. I'm not going to spoil it for you, but this is a very funny book that does reaffirm your faith in the innate goodness of the people of Britain. I can't imagine for one second how well this book will sell in any other country, it's so quintessentially British. But it is without doubt an uplifting, heart warming, chucklicious tale that I would highly recommend and doubtless will listen to again when I feel an attack of the doldrums coming on. Witty in a way that will appeal to every British citizen. Congratulations fellas, you've made us proud!

  • The Summer of Impossible Things

  • By: Rowan Coleman
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 387
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 365
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 369

Thirty years ago something terrible happened to Luna's mother. Something she's prepared to reveal only after her death. In settling her mother's affairs, Luna finds more questions than answers until something impossible and magical happens.... Luna meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977. If she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in order to save her mother's life, will she have to sacrifice her own?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So lovely

  • By Emma on 02-09-17

Exquisite

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

Reviewed: 04-01-19

I defy anyone to listen to this book without having a weep. The relationship between Luna and Pia was divine. The love encapsulated in that family was inspiring. Although within the story there were recollections of some terrible things, the whole tale was wonderful. I loved Luna in 1977, I loved the support she got from her sister and I thought the way in which Ms Coleman captured the depth of emotion of a daughter for her mother was masterful. Beautifully written with the most elegant turn of phrase, delicate and nuanced. The Summer of Impossible Things will capture your heart and hold it tenderly, leaving you feeling uplifted and full of hope for a better tomorrow. The narration by Imogen Church gives the world-class words wings, enhancing and engaging the listener even more. A book that will live on in the goodness of your soul forever more.

  • Grey Magic

  • Realm of Smoke & Ashes, Book 1
  • By: JT Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Roshina Ratnam
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Did real-life witch Raven Kane murder one of her clients? No one appreciates the irony of her situation more than Raven Kane: She’s a burnt-out witch...and that's the least of her problems. Accused of murder, this eccentric hexing-and-texting witch must explore her past lives in order to keep her freedom and find her way back to magic.    

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely GLORIOUS!

  • By Melanie Preston Lewis on 03-01-19

Absolutely GLORIOUS!

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

I learned something about myself listening to this book. A few minutes into the story I thought it seemed somewhat familiar. I trawled my way through my files and found that Grey Magic was one of the first books I read after a hiatus in my reading mojo. I started it on 7th November 2016 and, on 14th November I gave it a gushing 5 star review! So now I know my taste in books hasn't changed and I loved and adored JT Lawrence's work before I had a clue what a funny and amazing author she is across so many genres! Grey Magic was exactly what I needed, an overworked, overwhelmed and underfunded witch trying to get through life the best way she knew how. Raven also suffers the emotional pull of family, work and the challenges we all face today in trying to be a good citizen. It is a tale built on a firm foundation of feelings; fury, frustration, love, laughter, paradoxes, puzzles and pleasure, plenty of pleasure. Ms Lawrence's characters are so real, you'll find yourself racking your brains trying to remember where you met Raven; was she behind you in the queue at the bank? Or was it Raven who asked to share your table at the coffee house last month? Combined with dialogue so witty and sharp that you end up cutting yourself with laughter. Grey Magic turned my black mood into pink candy floss. If this is the calibre of book I'm going to be listening to this year, then 2019 is going to be full of rainbows, unicorns and fluffy puppies. I am using all my strength to STRONGLY recommend you treat yourself to this on Kindle, Audible and, (I'm praying to all my gods), at the cinema - soon!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Third Wave

  • Nick Sullivan Thrillers, Book 2
  • By: Karla Forbes
  • Narrated by: Craig Bowles
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

Charles Morgan is small operator in the vast computer technology industry, but he has big ambitions. He borrows heavily from the Mafia to finance his dreams of becoming a big player, but when he fails to make the expected profit, they are quick to demand their money back. Desperate to save his own skin, he hatches a plan that will cripple the competition and propel his new product into the ranks of market leader. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great read

  • By Jim H. on 17-01-19

Great follow on

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

Reviewed: 31-12-18

Loved the first Nick Sullivan book, Fallout. It really captured the imagination. The Third Wave was a captivating listen as well, but because I'm a Luddite, I struggled more with the subject matter. I missed AnnaLise and am thrilled she's back and I hope we'll hear a lot more from her in Book 3, (is there a Book 3? I certainly hope so). I felt ever so sad for Bryony; what a horrible life she'd had. Ms Forbes laid out her heartache in a compassionate and careful way and it never once even edged close to mawkish sentimentality. Craig Bowles once again does an excellent job of narrating and listening to him felt like I was catching up with a friend. This is shaping up into a great series and I'm very hopeful and excited for a third book. Fingers crossed!

  • The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

  • The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Book 1
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Hilary Neville
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134

Wayward daughters. Missing Husbands. Philandering partners. Curious conmen. If you've got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only - and finest - female private detective. Her methods may not be conventional, and her manner not exactly Miss Marple, but she's got warmth, wit and canny intuition on her side, not to mention Mr J.L.B. Maketoni, the charming proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better than on television!

  • By Dorothy on 19-07-09

Smashing

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

Reviewed: 13-12-18

There is no doubt that Alexander McCall Smith can write a book that is the most sublime experience to read. It's like a hot chocolate, in front of a warm fire, on a cold winter's day. There is nothing to dislike about The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. The stories are divine, they conjure the most wonderful imagery until the reader feels they are actually in Botswana. Mma Ramotse is a fabulous character and I love every single book in the series. However, as is my habit, I haven't listened to the stories in order, and further on the books are narrated by Adjoa Andoh. Hilary Neville did a perfectly good job narrating, but Adjoa Andoh really brings the book alive. If I hadn't heard her narration, I'd have not had any issue with Ms Neville's performance, but I have. I will be buying more of the series, but only books narrated by Ms Andoh, as she really brings something very special to the audio version. Well worth a listen, it's a real treat.

  • Seismic Crimes

  • Disaster Crimes, Book 2
  • By: Chrys Fey
  • Narrated by: Bill Nevitt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7

An Internal Affairs investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane - Beth Kennedy. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs. When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • crime and disaster

  • By K. L. Sturgess on 18-12-18

Very cute!

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

Full disclosure here; I do NOT like romance books and I never listen to them. However, Bill Nevitt is such a top notch voice actor that I'm thrilled to listen to anything he narrates, so I plunged in! It was actually quite pleasant. The love story aspect was sweet, without being too syrupy! It was realistic attraction between grown ups. The thriller part of the book was also enjoyable. I especially appreciated the fact that Beth was a kick-ass female who's perfectly capable of taking care of herself. She chose to allow Donovan to help her, but it was very clear she was able to function and fight off attackers independently. The ending of Seismic Crimes leaves you hankering after book 3, which I understand is called Tsunami Crimes, (Beth and Donovan have lots of things going for them, unfortunately 'luck' isn't one of them), and as book 2 kept my interest and the third book is also narrated by Bill Nevitt, I think I'll be treating myself to it. I haven't listened to book 1, and I don't feel it impacted on my enjoyment, it was a clear story line, and anyway, it's not narrated by Bill Nevitt so I probably won't bother with it. It was nearly 8 hours of pure escapism, which I'm happy to recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nine Perfect Strangers

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 662
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 619
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 614

The 10-day retreat at boutique health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises healing and transformation. Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage and absorb the blissful meditative ambiance while enjoying their hot stone massages. They are all on a path to a better way of living. Or at least a better waistline.... Watching over them is the resort's director, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate these bodies and minds. But to what lengths will she go to achieve her goal? These nine perfect strangers have no idea what's about to hit them.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Did not like this book at all

  • By sabine on 21-10-18

Gorgeous

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

Let's first of all discuss the narrator, Caroline Lee. She has narrated all of Liane Moriaty's books, and every time makes a superb job of it. She's a wonderful voice actor, and I know when she's narrating a book, I'm going to enjoy listening. Now the story, as usual, Ms Moriaty's characterisation is sublime. Her comments and observations on every day people living their every day lives are always spot on. Frances Welty's menopausal suffering had me nodding with agreement. Ben and Jessica made me sad, Tony and Lars made me hopeful and Carmel made me once again accept that men really are simple! But it was the Marconis' story that really captured my heart. Their pain over Zak's death was almost tangible. My heart broke over and over again with their individual stories. Ms Moriarty has an excellent sociological eye for detail and in decades to come, her books will be a fascinating anthropological study of today's society. This 19+ hour book was over far too quickly for me. This is a real treasure, so I recommend you treat yourself to a copy. You can always thank me later!

  • Guarded Prognosis

  • By: Richard L. Mabry MD
  • Narrated by: Bill Nevitt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9

When Dr. Caden Taggart saw the two men sitting in his waiting room, he didn’t think they were patients. He was right, and when they introduced themselves as agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency, things started to get bad. Then Caden felt as though someone had gut-punched him when his father, Dr. Henry Taggart, told him he probably had carcinoma of the pancreas. When he talked about his son assisting with his suicide, Caden wondered how he could talk him out of that.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining enough

  • By Timi on 02-01-19

Erm?

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

Reviewed: 30-11-18

Medical thrillers is one of my favourite genres, so I was very excited to get this audiobook. I don't want to be negative, as that helps no one, but I'm struggling here. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was living in the 1950s! After all, who, in 2018, gives up work when they get married? The story was so sexist that it made my hackles rise. "The only thing she could make for dinner was reservations"! Who says that? Why couldn't Caden make his own bloomin' dinner, and Beth's at the same time? It put my back up and irritated me. Then we were all leaving things to God, and getting lessons on the bible. What that's got to do with DEA investigations I have no idea, and detracted from the story, for me. The thriller aspect of the book wasn't so thrilling. I'd pretty much lost interest by then. I do have to applaud the wonderful performance turned in by narrator Bill Nevitt. With so many people to voice, both male and female, he had a mammoth task on his hands and he handled it brilliantly. In fact, it was Mr Nevitt's narration that kept me listening.