Audiobook Review: 4/5 The Lover’s Portrait by Jennifer S. Alderson

 

Introduction:

I must be on a cozy mystery kick. Ended up with like 3 in a row. That’s cool.

The Lover’s Portrait by Jennifer S. Alderson 4/5 Slow start but Great End

Summary:

A split story (part in the past, part in the present). (In the past) A Dutch art dealer struggles to keep his friend’s priceless collections out of the clutches of greedy Nazi hands. (In the present) An art history student, Zelda Richardson, tries to impress the project managers for a museum exhibit of lost art (stuff that went unclaimed since WWII).

 

Additional Comments:

– Zelda’s a believable amateur sleuth. She’s kinda just nosy and stubborn and ends up finding trouble.

– The beginning requires a lot of setup. Even as an audiobook, that got taxing, but the payoff in the end is worth it.

– Characters are pretty well developed in here. Zelda’s friend is a nice guy. The bad guy is dedicated to his role.

– Even though this is book 2 in the series, it’s easy enough to know who’s who and what’s what.

 

Conclusion:

Enjoyable cozy mystery. I enjoyed it.

 

<h2>Associate links to follow…</h2>

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Amazon Prime

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Free Kindle Reading App

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Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)

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3 Free Clean Romance Stories

I like the new cover.

Introduction:

I’ve been throwing weird at you. And murders. Here’s a collection of sweet looking romance stories.

Most Akin to a Hallmark Movie

Her Best Match by Tamie Dearen.

A billionaire, a matchmaker, and a meddlesome grandmother, what could go wrong?

Friends or more than friends?

Far from Falling by K.D. Garcia

Heads wrestle with many questions when hearts are on the line.

Enough Contemporary … Let’s head back in time…

Gabriella by Brenda Hiatt (Regency Romance)

A common girl and a handsome duke each get more than they bargained for.

Conclusion:

If romance is your thing, there’s bound to be one of these that appeals to you.

 

(Fair warning: There be associate links below.)

But just in case … here are yet more options


Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible

 

 

Fantastic Fall Freebies and Fun Stuff

First up – Paperbacks

Don’t miss this grand opportunity to grab some awesome books. Ebooks are lovely things, but let’s be old fashioned and pick up the real thing. Join over twenty indie authors and enter for your chance at one of 10 prize packs full of swag and paperback books. (Full details available at this site. Also, go there to check out the goods.)

8 Scifi, YA, and Fantasy Books

Official giveaway ended a couple of days ago, but I was told the offers should still be good so grab ’em while they’re hot.

7 Free Romance, Mystery, and Dystopian Books

Oh, look, preview. Technically, this one isn’t running yet, but I twisted some arms and gotcha a sneak peek. Seriously, people, if you can’t find something to love within this oddball (I mean awesome!) collection, dunno what to tell you. Pretty sure 90% of the genres are covered by at least one of these giveaways.

 

The usual litany of Amazon affiliate links.

 

Prime Student – Basically, Prime is awesome but super expensive, so if you’re a student, take advantage of the lovely opportunity to save big.

Kindle Unlimited – Never tried it, but then my personal reading time is severely limited by that the need to work for a living. Why can’t anybody just pay me millions for being cute?

Amazon Prime – Okay, so all those of use who are official adultified, here’s the real deal.

Free Kindle Reading App – Got nothing to lose on this one. Just a way to READ MORE BOOKS.

Audible – And for those of us addicted to stories who don’t have reading time, there’s always Audible.

Audiobook Reviews: 3.5/5 The Journey of the Bell by Spencer Hawke

I pulled the picture from Audible.

Summary:

A very short novella about two men and a secret society.

Additional Comments:

  • I heard the audiobook. The author has a very nice reading voice.
  • The book’s mostly a setup for the rest of the series, so in that sense, this is a prequel. However, I personally didn’t like that twenty minutes of this book are actually an excerpt from a different book.
  • Historical fiction always takes liberties with facts and public figures. The Eyes of Athena are probably supposed to be the Masons. I probably missed something but I sort of wish I knew more about how the fictional counterpart got its name.
  • It’s all right, but I think it would be more enjoyable as a prequel, meaning as something to fill in gaps and give greater depth to things for current fans of the regular series. It’s really about the setup of the secret society and two random early members, not about Ari.
  • The skipping around in the timeline threw me a bit.

Conclusion:

A story geared more toward fans of the Ari Cohen series. It’s also light historical fiction. If you’re looking for a quick read, it’s a decent fit.

*I received a copy of the audio free. I chose to review it.*

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Prime Student – Oh, how I wish I was still a student.

Kindle Unlimited

Free Kindle Reading App

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 stars Mail Order Mishap by Barbara Goss

 

Summary:

The American Civil War leaves behind a shortage of men in the South. Wanting a husband and children, Amber Wakefield travels to Hunter’s Grove, Kansas in answer to a mail order bride ad. There, she finds not everything is as it seems.

 

Additional Comments:

  • The narrator handled the Southern accent very well.
  • Romance typically isn’t my genre, but I found this enjoyable.
  • It’s totally predictable from the cover right down to the conclusion, yet that does not detract from the fun factor.
  • Parts made me laugh out loud. That’s always a plus.
  • It’s short enough that it didn’t frustrate me. (A story like this where the two main characters dance around each other being miserable has the potential to get old real quick. But the length of this story was perfect to let the characters get flustered to a point then bring everything to a satisfying conclusion.)
  • Adult themes are handled tastefully. I’d consider this a “clean” book.

Conclusion:

A nice, light, inspirational romance story.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Awesome Audiobook Reviews: 4.5/5 Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls Revealed by Spencer Hawke

Introduction:

I don’t read or experience historical fiction much these days, but this book provided a nice change of pace from the dragons, fairies, and Gifted teenagers. I love all those other things, but change can be good too.

Summary:

Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls Revealed is not really a mystery or a history, but it is decent historical fiction. This is the story of a Bedouin boy who grows up to be a scribe then a priest and guardian of Israel’s greatest treasures. It doesn’t present the Roman soldiers in the best light, but I think history in general agrees they could be brutal.

Additional Comments:

– The author narrated the story. The music in the beginning kind of threw me for a little, but I enjoyed the added touch.

– I love the camel. She gets the best side character award.

– The hero and his uncle are fleshed out quite well but most of the other characters weren’t. I’m not sure why Lazarus was in the story.

– I really enjoyed the set up with the boy, Hilal (sorry if I misspelled that, I heard the audio), but then it pulled one of those “thirty years later” things that make me cringe a little. I guess that’s a pacing issue. Same thing near the end, you get wrapped up in the thrill of the hunt then boom it’s late 1940’s. I understand why it’s done that way, but the transition was … abrupt.

– Content warning: There are descriptions of Roman atrocities and torture.

– The book was a refreshing change from the book fare I’ve been taking in lately.

Conclusion:

Interesting take on the battle to preserve history.

 

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

 

Audiobook Reviews: 4/5 Whirlpool by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts

Introduction:

Whirlpool contains a romance book wrapped up in a woman vs nature plot. It features interesting side characters and some of the turmoil and unrest that led to the women’s movement in the 1920’s. I’m not a huge fan of flashbacks, but the ones here are handled very well. Thus, they add layers to the story without detracting from what’s going on in the “present.”

Full Summary:

It’s the first half of the 1920’s and the women’s movement pins its hopes and dreams on a silly woman named Evangeline Murray who wants to be rich and famous. Her plan: go over Niagra Falls in a barrel. She’s not in it alone. She’s helped by two of the movers and shakers of the women’s movement along with a Canadian woman and the lady’s grumpy brother.

Additional Comments:

  • The characters are realistic, but sometimes irksome. (They’re not perfect.) Many attributes get represented here: selfishness, greed, lack of scruples, shallowness, bravery, and heroism.
  • I found several of the plot-points very satisfying, but I can’t elaborate without spoilers.
  • The romance thread comes across as intriguing and sometimes annoying due to cryptic messages. Everything works out in the end, but it’s a longer journey than it needs to be. It was almost a comedy of errors, which I think will make some people like it more.
  • I especially enjoyed Maddie’s flashback to the war. The flashbacks in general were very well handled and seamlessly woven into the narrative.
  • My favorite character was Danny most of the time, but there one a moment or two even he needed a good smack. I think it reminded me of the silly antics some of my students pull. Therefore, I don’t think that moment will bother anybody else.
  • I wish I liked Evangeline’s sons more. In the beginning, they’re cads, and there’s not much change by the end.
  • The narrator did a nice job.
  • There’s a decent story here. Tags would make following the narration easier.
  • The river scene at the end was well done, and the descriptions of the Niagara River’s raw power are wonderful.
  • Content Warnings: occasional curse word and off screen sex

Conclusion:

Whirlpool is a surprisingly simple story (a woman wants to ride the Falls in a barrel) made complex by the multitude of human interactions and stored up emotions (Josh vs river, Evangeline vs her benefactors, her benefactors vs those who would stop her, etc). If you enjoy historical romance, this is a work you’ll want to check out.

 

 

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.