It’s Friday afternoon and I’m bored at the dayjob. Go figure.
Another fun fact: It’s so windy here on the open prairie (well, a barren cornfield north of the airport, but whatever) that the facilities guy put himself on call to HELP US OPEN THE DOORS. True story.
Current read: Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden
Narrated by Stina Nielsen
I’m retitling this Until the Yawn, because I’m clever like that. I’m about halfway in, and the pacing just ….keeps …..slowing …….down. I expect great things from Camden because I’ve unreservedly loved all her previous books; Against the Tide and Into the Whirlwind are both DIKS.
Sadly, Dawn has “meh” all over it, partly because the narrator is noticeably lackluster, but mostly because the main characters are both completely insufferable. He’s a Cranky Crankhole and she’s a Sunny Sunbeam and ALL RIGHT THEY’RE OPPOSITES WE GET IT MOVE ON ALREADY FOR CRIPES SAKE. The heroine is described as “nice” at least 1,486 times.
A bunch of scientists just showed up at the cursed mansion, so I’m hoping there’ll be some ghost action or a dog unearths buried treasure (I like dogs) or Mr. Crankhole breaks his other leg falling off a cliff or something to get this story moving.
Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist
Narrated by Rachel Botchan
Gist gave me a dud with her last book, which gave me Book Anxiety for this one. But I sucked it up and got sucked into her world-building once again. I stayed a while to wallow.
Gist can take a tiny thread from a historical newspaper article or, in this case, a Chicago World’s Fair brochure, and spin it into glorious layers of character and relationship building. And then she surrounds it with an almost touchable sense of place. Tiffany Girl has the same Grumpy vs. Perky pairing as Until the Dawn, but this time it works beautifully.
I don’t necessarily recommend the audiobook over other formats; the narration was serviceable but nothing outstanding. Just read it. Trust me.
The Bride by Julie Garwood
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
I wanted to like it. I really did. Garwood’s The Prize was my first audiobook ever, and I hated it so much I put the narrator (Anne Flosnick) on my Never Again list. Then I tried Ransom and loved it, so I figured what the hell.
Hell indeed. I hated The Bride. I thought it was irredeemably stupid. I know it’s a classic and it has a million copycats. I still hated it. I yelled “OH FOR GOD SAKE” approximately seven times per chapter. We won’t even discuss the eye-rolling.
Me and Garwood were just not meant to be.
The Parfit Knight by Stella Riley
Narrated by Alex Wyndham
Me and Stella Riley, on the other hand….
Nearly perfect in every way. A noble but insecure hero. A strong but vulnerable heroine. A bad guy I still want to punch in the face. If someone had punched him in the face, and then had him press-ganged, this would have been perfectly perfect instead of just nearly perfect.
The narration was perfectly perfect. Wyndham is brilliant.
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
Narrated by Angele Masters
So, some people loved this and other people didn’t. I — because it’s all about ME — loved it. LOVED IT. I struggled with the Book Anxiety again; Raybourn’s foray into more “upmarket” chick lit didn’t impress me, and I read the first three chapters of this three times over three months.
Then I tried the audiobook, and I was there. As Joanna Bourne said (yes, I’m name-dropping, shut up), Raybourn is brilliant at texture, and the world-building was stellar with this one. The heroine is, admittedly, very…odd, and the actual romance doesn’t show up until the last chapter, but the melding of action and suspense was everything I’ve wanted since my last (umpteenth) re-read of Lady Julia. I did not see the twisty bit coming at all, and I’ve read at least five books attempting that particular twist.
I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Ruined by a Rake by Erin Knightley
Narrated by Alastair Stephens
Knightley is a new auto-buy for me, and I grabbed her two novellas on Audible as soon as I saw them.
I…squeed. I think I honest-to-god squeed. A solid A grade – FIVE BIG FAT STARS – because this completely charmed me and I’m going to listen to it again and again. I’m…using a lot of italics.
The other novella, Scandalized by a Scoundrel, was more of a B-/C+ read; it really needed the same narrator as Ruined.
The King’s Man by Elizabeth Kingston
Narrated by Nicholas Boulton
Everyone else squeed, which usually scares me off. I should trust you guys more.
I got to the part where the disguised-as-a-boy heroine whips out her bow and shoots the smarmy hero in the foot to shut him up and then I was all OH HELLS YES.
And then the end killed me dead. Actually, just mostly dead, but I still haven’t fully recovered.
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Narrated by Faye Adele
Yes, I’m the only person in Romland who hadn’t read this yet. Steampunk intimidates me. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea. I had a Scribd credit to use so I girded my clockwork loins. Or would clockwork loins already be girded? I’m still a noob at this kind of stuff.
While I was listening, I was all “yeah, I see why everyone likes this, it’s pretty good.” And then after I was done, I kept thinking about it. And thinking about it. Random scenes pop into my head and they’re vivid. So I’m keeping my Scribd subscription for a few more months.
All the Loretta Chases
Narrated by Kate Reading
ALL THE CARSINGTONS ALL THE TIME.
I love Daphne and Rupert SO MUCH.
I also listened to the Scoundrels series and I still think Rupert would just ignore the blow-hard Marquess of Dain until he got fed up with the endless blustering and threw him out a window.
ALL THE TESSA DARES.
Who started me on audiobooks anyway??? I may have a problem. Damn you all.