Review: The Obsession by Nora Roberts

The Obsession

Shannon McManus (Narrator)   –   Audible Audio, Unabridged  – 14 hrs and 19 mins

Published April 12th 2016 by Brilliance Audio    –   ASIN:  B01DDXXPNE

Rating 5*

Nora Roberts does it again with this brilliant piece of work – THE OBSESSION !    What a story, plotting and absolutely fabulous characters!

From the moment Naomi Bowes followed her father into the wood, and seeming him enter a root cellar in the woods Naomi  knew she had to see what he was hiding in there thinking that it just might be the bicycle she had wished for her birthday coming in two days.   What she found was a naked young girl who had been chained to the wall on a bed of rags.   Freeing the girl Naomi half dragged her out of prison and walked through the forest before finding a neighbor who drove them to the police station where she revealed her father’s infamous crimes.

Years later Naomi is a successful photographer living under her new name of Naomi Carson who has come a long way from the hills of West Virginia.  On the other side of the states, Naomi has found solitude in the old house on a hill in Washington state.  She wants to live in solitude but the friendly folks in Sunrise Cove have been forcing her to open up and become part of the tight knit community – especially the very determined auto mechanic Xander Keaton.

Unfortunately, just as she is feeling comfortable within the community, bad things are happening to some of the young women in the area – bad things Naomi’s seen before.  All of a sudden Naomi’s past seems to be catching up to her – with horrific nightmares.

Wow – in a word – wow! Once again Ms. Roberts has created a storyline that has all the grit and suspense that I really love.   I do confess, I did have a niggling feeling as to the despicable madman who had come back into Naomi’s life to terrorize her again.   But even though I did figure out who the villain was, the rest of the story was simply marvelous with characters you have to love and a wonderful dog whom I fell in love with.      Final word – absolutely brilliant writing and an expert narration by Shannon McManus!

Marilyn Rondeau

 

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Review: Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose

Closer ThanYouThink

Series:  Cincinnati #1

Characters:  Special Agent Deacon Novak, Faith Corcoran, Detective Scarlett Bishop, Marcus O’Bannion

•Narrated by: Hillary Huber    •Length: 28 hrs and 36 mins   •Release Date:02-03-15

•Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.    RATED   5* – Fabulous!!!

This is not my first nor will it be my last book by Karen Rose who, for me, epitomizes fabulous writing, terrific suspense and thrilling action – guaranteed!  In other words, I have not read a Karen Rose novel yet that I wasn’t absolutely crazy about!

Psychologist Faith Corcoran has been stalked for years, survived a brutal knife attack and has escaped several attempts on her life.  Unfortunately, some of the people she was with ended up being the victims of failed attempts to kill her and were killed themselves.  She is now desperate enough to change her identity and run to the one place that has been her nightmare far longer.  Both a boon and bane she has inherited her grandmother’s house in Cincinnati where she hopes to find a new start, but even here, far away from her stalker in Florida, someone wants her dead!

On her way home, Faith swerved to avoid hitting a young woman in the road causing her to careen down a long embankment.  Climbing up and out of her car she found a young woman half dead lying in the road completely naked.  The young woman just happened to be a kidnap victim the FBI had been looking for and Special Agent Deacon Novak had been called in to investigate.  When his investigation led him to question Faith he couldn’t help but be attracted to the very brave and resourceful woman he found impossible to ignore.

I could not help but be enthralled with this book right from the start.  The plot and the vivid descriptions of a madman serial killer had me completely ensnared right from the beginning and Ms. Huber’s narration was absolutely the best.   Her voice overs from male to female were remarkable and this was one book I had to listen to completely – night and day!  At over 28 hours of playing time, I have to say it flew by.

So much detail and so many red-herrings tossed out it took quite a while before I figured out who the villain/psychopath was!    Absolutely brilliant writing and extremely well researched.   Truly, with this being the first book of Ms. Rose’s  Cincinnati series you can be sure I will be following the rest of the series as well and I suggest others get in on this new suspense series as well.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Spider Game by Christine Feehan

SpiderGame

• Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte

•Length: 16 hrs and 30 mins

◦Series: Ghostwalkers, Book 12

• Unabridged Audiobook

•Release Date:03-03-16

•Publisher: Recorded Books

When Trap Dawkins came to the Louisiana Bayou to help his teammate Wyatt to rescue his three infant daughters from the laboratory they were being experimented on, he never thought that there he would find the woman of his dreams.   Cayenne – another experiment of the madman Dr. Peter Whitney.  Only the very beautiful Cayenne was considered a failure and scheduled for extermination –  however, she had already been matched by pheromones to Trap and he wasn’t about to lose her now that he’d just found her.

As usual, Tom Stechschulte did a most admirable job of narrating this audio book, but and this is a big BUT – what has happened to the excitement and adventure I found so remarkable in this series.   I wondered many times – what am I reading?  Where as I have loved this series from the get-go and the adventures and action that encompasses all the other books in this series.   Who is now writing this?  Has Ms. Feehan foregone the adventure and creativeness of her characters for erotica and bondage?

I am really surprised I hung in there till the end, albeit I did fast-forward quite a bit through the eroticism and bondage type sex that took up a good 90% of this book.   If it weren’t for a couple of battles (which were far too short)  and wanting to discover what happened to Trap’s two evil uncles I would have tossed this away.   Even the meeting arranged with an old foe at the White House turned into a total letdown whereas I would have thought there would have been some kind of an altercation.

Bottom Line:   I can only wish that should Ms. Feehan, if she continues the Ghostwalker series, revert back to the excitement of telling a story with adventure and brilliant characterizations, rather than a very long episode ad nauseam of bondage and BDSM.   Trap could have been a wonderful lead – so very brilliant, handsome, etc – but so very controlling, abusive and such a complete bastard he rather turned me off.

Marilyn Rondeau

 

 

Review: If He’s Tempted by Hannah Howell

IfHe'sTempted

• Narrated by: Ashford MacNab

•Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins

◦Series: Wherlocke, Book 5

•Release Date:02-18-14

•Publisher: Audible Studios

Series  Wherlocke #5

The Wherlocke Series by Hannah Howell has been a big favorite of mine since I first discovered it and this particular book #5 featuring Olympia Wherlocke and  Lord Brant Mallam was absolutely thrilling.   And may I say that Lord Brant’s mother has got to be one of the vilest, witchy, and cruel villainess’ I have encountered since Cathy Ames in East of Eden. 

Lady Olympia Wherlocke was brought into play by the desperate request of Lady Agatha Mallam, young sister to Lord Brant, whom Agatha had been trying to contact for weeks.  Lord Brant had burnt many bridges and was persona-non-grata with the elite of the ton, after he discovered the perfidy of his mother who kidnapped his betrothed and sold her to a brothel where she then died.  So disgusted and bereaved, he had drunk himself into oblivion and became one of the worst rogues around.  Because Olympia had the gift of foresight she sensed she must step in to help save Lady Agatha from the plans her vile mother had to sell her to a diseased and obnoxious lord.

After tracking Brant down, and some humorous events and introductions to notable and secondary characters (like a step brother whom Brant never realized he was related to) Lady Olympia brought Brant out of his stupor and advised him what was going on in his home and the vile future his mother was planning to consign to his young sister.

What follows is a marvelously constructed storyline where Olympia helps Lord Brant regain his inheritance and the backbone to finally stand up to and defeat his mother’s nefarious plans for his sister as well as dismantling her sex slave ring.  The romance in this was subtle and sensual, adding just the right amount of sensitive emotion to a sinister plot  so vile in comparison to decent morality.

Bottom line:   IF HE’S TEMPTED is just another prime example of a totally enjoyable and excellent piece of writing using a bit of fantasy that has completely captured my imagination.

Marilyn Rondeau