March Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Drawing of a Post-Regency gentleman - only just below the shoulders and on down is shown, on a white background. He's holding a top hat and under the titles (on the right) is a purple flowerFlowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale, narrated by Nicholas Boulton – A I was inspired to listen to this one again after reading this post over at Close Reading Romance. I’ve listened before (I reviewed it here for the old Speaking of Audiobooks column when it first came out) and I’ve read it in print as well but it’s a book that reveals something more on each encounter. There is something especially about Boulton’s portrayal of the characters (most especially Maddy) that makes them more complicated and sympathetic and nuanced than even they were on the page.

The things that struck me most about this listen apart from, again that I felt more in sync with Maddy on audio than I did in print, was that the deception Jervaulx practiced on Maddy was not ever addressed. The first part was, kind of but the main one? Not at all. Maddy didn’t confront him about it and therefore Jervaulx never specifically apologised for it.  Ordinarily that would be a thing that would bother me but in this case, by the end it was superfluous. My take was that Maddy never raised it because it didn’t really matter. She understood why Jervaulx did what he did. She loved him for all of his sins and, ultimately she wanted to be with him. It’s not that it didn’t matter exactly – but also it kind of didn’t matter. What the deception did was provide her with a way out and that led to her revelation that she didn’t want one after all. If not for that, she may have felt trapped forever and would never have been able to embrace her HEA. Not that Jervaulx’s actions were justified – just that it’s a neat bit of plotting to bring that silver lining out.

November Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

black and white image of a man walking away from the viewer into the fog - he's walking alongside a barbed wire fenceThe Tyack & Frayne series by Harper Fox  Well… less of a review and more of a series recommendation really.  As you might know, I attempted to cut off the top of one of my fingers a few weeks ago and the recovery period has left me struggling with typing. As a result I took a break from review books while I recovered (well, mostly recovered) and read/listened to things already on my TBR/TBL. As much as it is a privilege and pleasure to read review books and have early access to them, it is also a delight to read or listen just for fun. 

One of the fantastic things I did over the past few weeks was listen to all of the Tyack & Frayne mysteries by Harper Fox. The entire series is not available on audio yet (alas), but the first 7 book are and – joy of joys, they’re all available in the Audible Plus catalogue. (Also at the time of writing this, book 1 is available to buy for only $3.99.) The series is built around Cornish local police officer, Gideon Frayne and Lee Tyack, a clairvoyant who is called in by the Truro police to consult on the disappearance of a young girl from Gideon’s village. There are mysterious and spooky goings on and along the way, Gideon and Lee fall deeply in love. Each of the available audiobooks is self-contained – no cliffhangers – but they do need to be consumed in order as they build one upon the other.

I love the connection Gideon and Lee have and I also enjoy the Cornish setting and the use of local myth and legend which adds to the atmosphere.

Favourites of 2016

I’ll be posted my favourites out of the DA-reviewed books over there and my favourite audiobooks reviewed at AudioGals will be going up over there – but this is where I mention the books I read and loved and reviewed here. Most of my favourites this year were reviewed at Dear Author or AudioGals as it happens but there were two books which I reviewed only here and which stood out to me so much that they deserved to get a special mention.

hot pink cover with author's name and title appearing as cutouts showing a girl's face laughing (I think - she could be screaming but I think she's laughing).

red/orange/yellow space explosions, with "excerpts" from files for title, author names and blurb by Marie Lu

Completely different books but both brilliant – and also: Australian for extra bonus points. You can read my review of Summer Skin here and of Illuminae here.

I wish you all the joy of the festive season. However you celebrate, if you celebrate, stay safe and stay strong. Catch you in 2017.

~ Kaetrin ~

 

Favourite audiobooks from 2015

I mentioned in this post that the audiobooks listed at AudioGals were my favourite listens where my reviews were posted there and I planned to do a post here to make up my top ten. My sense of fairness was pricked by leaving out the excellent romance audios I listened to from my own library or provided direct to me by publishers/authors. In no particular order, the other top five are:

Noble Satyr audio

Noble Satyr by Lucinda Brant, narrated by Alex Wyndham. My list could not have been complete without at least one Brant title. Alex Wyndham was my “find” of 2015 in terms of excellent new narrators. His work here is stellar and the story is excellent too. Georgian romances featuring rakish and mysteriously enigmatic heroes are my catnip.

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