Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Reading Adventures - making wishes, hunting evil and danger, and a good ol' listen

Welcome to this month's Reading Adventures.

Carla Caruso

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty

How have I only just properly discovered Aussie author Liane Moriarty? I loved this book, and can't believe it's her first novel (she now has many more under her belt) - it's so richly written.

I kept seeing Liane's name about the place, then was drawn to reading her debut tome as it's about triplet sisters and I'm preggers with twins. Well, I will definitely be searching out more of her titles.

The Kettle sisters depicted and their various partners, exes and rellies all seem so real and will 'live on' in your mind - no joke. I particularly loved the quirky, dreamy triplet Gemma - the other two, Cat and Lyn, were a bit harder around the edges, but very realistically painted.

The book touched on some heavy issues, from miscarriage to domestic abuse, without losing its overall light, cheery tone.

My only tiny niggle was that there were often flashbacks or time-jumps right when something big and dramatic happened and you wanted to see what would unfold next. But, in saying that, it was likely a clever tactic by Liane to keep you turning the pages. A must, MUST read!

Sandra O'Grady

Huntress Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

This story was an utterly riveting read. The increasing tension made my heart beat faster quite a few times. The police procedural details were excellent and the characters flawed, but with aspects I could sympathise with. The connection between Rouke and Cara was otherworldly and Alexandra cleverly wove tender moments and sickening evil together, and it finished with a tear in my eye. I had to open book 2 right away!

Rough Diamond by Kathryn Ledson

This was a fast-paced, amusing and totally engaging story set in Australia. I was hooked immediately by the intriguing start and easily identified with the well-developed characters. Erica's comedic attitude was all about self-preservation and when Jack came into her life in an unexpected way, it threw her best laid plans in the air. Suddenly she was involved in a secret society, fighting for a greater cause, but it put her in danger. The attraction between Jack and Erica becomes hotter and more complicated with every chapter, with both of them having good reasons to stay away from the other. They work together to foil a terrorist attack which leads to explosions, danger, car chases and running for their lives. An interfering mother and oddball family add comedic relief and more complications for the couple. But even Jack couldn't guarantee her safety and Erica became more deeply involved than anyone had planned. Dangerously so... I'll be eagerly awaiting the next book by this great Aussie author!

Eleni Konstantine

This year, I've taken up an Audio Challenge - mainly because I've started listening to books ever since I started studying and driving to Tafe last year. I only get unabridged versions as I want to hear the whole story an not part of one. As with my regular reading, I tend to vary the types of books I listen to.  This is what I've listened to so far this year. 

Charlie All Night by Jennifer Crusie
5 stars

Wickedly funny.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was a great book to listen to while driving causing me to laugh out loud and many moments. There were a couple of hot love scenes which were blush worthy if anyone could have heard the story.

The narrator did a great job of distinguishing the comments. Near the beginning when Allie is making a fool of herself trying to 'pick' up Charlie by pretending to be perky, Charlie turns to her and says 'What are you doing?' It absolutely cracked me up.

The romance between Charlie and Allie starts of all heated but there is something more from the get go. It's wonderful seeing them go from lovers to friends and fall deeper and deeper for the other.

An Angel at Christmas by Heather Graham
4 stars

Christmas on a snowed in mountain top with an accused criminal makes the MacDougal family think about their relationships. 

I enjoyed the aspect of the relationships in the book including the one of the two strangers. They seem to have an undertone that is deeper than two people who don't know each other.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
4 stars

A story written in the 1950s which I finally had a chance to listen to. The language is from another time and at the same time can be of a future era. I think this jerked me a few times  out of the story but there's lots to ponder on from this book. It's about censorship and society. Definitely not a light read from one of the masters of Science Fiction.

Covet by Tara Moss
4 stars

I just realised this is book 3 in the series and not book 2, but I didn't feel I had missed anything. I enjoyed this more than the first book - everything seemed to mesh more - dialogue, introspection, action.

Poor Makedde having to deal again with the serial killer that has changed her life.

I'd be interested to see where the series goes. But before I do that, I need to go scout for book 2.

The Truth About Magic by Dave Luckett
4 stars

A fun listen. I enjoyed this book though for some reason I was jerked out of the story about 3/4 through and then was fine by the end again.

It had things I wasn't used to - omniscient POV, jumping from character to character, a bit more telling but it worked for this book. 

A Weekend With Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly
4 stars

The title initially made me pick up this book and the blurb about a modern day Jane Austen conference made me borrow this.

I enjoyed listening to the story of two relationships unfolding - Katherine's and Robyn's. Both different women but both with a love of Jane Austen. In the course of a weekend we see their relationships with the men in their lives changing.

I also enjoyed the conference parts and the characters and their passion for the Jane Austen books. Including that one conference goer that sets everyone's teeth on edge because she is 'right' all the time and hates to be corrected.

A lovely listen and a wonderful job on the accents.

I know see here that this is the first book fo Austen Addicts. I'm must get more.

Tangled Reins by Stephanie Laurens
4 stars

I have only read one book of Stephanie Laurens and that was a long time ago. Granted this is also written a long time ago but it has only been an audio book recently.

Despite the fact that nothing other than social get togethers and dinners and balls happen in the first 2/3 of book, I actually enjoyed it. It's been some time since I've read a historical romance and it was nice to immerse into a world where things were explained. In a way the happenings in the first part, prepare you for why things happen later (which I won't reveal). You need to see it rather than always be told by it.

There were many things that were tongue-in-cheek and characters who were more enlightened. While Hezelmeir keeps getting his way, I think Dorothea is a good match for him as she would make him at least pause. He definitely doesn't want a ninny as his wife and that for the time is really refreshing.

So does anyone else like to listen to books?

That's us for this month. 

Don't forget to check out the SARA covers gallery on our website and select some great SARA reads. 


  1. I went through a phase of listening to audio books when I was driving to work every day. I found that I was happier listening to biographies than fiction, because the narrator's voice intruded too much on my vision of the fictional world.

    Considering that I read very few biographies normally it was a great way to enjoy a different type of book. Thoroughly enjoyed Georgette Heyer's biography by Joan Aiken Hodge as an audio book.

    1. I don't find that the narrator introduces on the world as much as if they are not quite right at narrating, it may colour the actual story.Biographies would be interesting, but at the moment I'm finding it hard to get to my fiction. :(

  2. I've just started listening to "Persuasion", narrated by Juliet Stevenson. It sure makes the car journeys go faster! And it's a wonderful way to soak up Jane Austen's incredible dialogue and description, without doing that reader thing of skimming.

    1. I agree, Victoria. I do love music but I was getting sick of the ads on the radio stations. I haven't found Jane Austen yet, but I think I would love to hear the language too.

    2. I found them both on iTunes Helen...

  3. Carla - I keep on thinking of Sherlock Holmes with the author's last name being Moriarty - LOL!

    Sandra - I have Huntress Moon already on my TBR shelf. I've read two of Alexandra's books and thought they were amazing.

    Thanks for sharing ladies.

  4. What a great spread!

    I love a good audio book, too. I was doing the In Deaths. Which was good, because by the third one, I was used to the narrator's voice and stopped getting tossed unceremoniously out of the story. ;)

    Great post, peeps!

    E x


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