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Cheri Champagne

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  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 89
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Disappointing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-06-26

For a zombie apocalypse romance novel, this was surprisingly disappointing. I saw so many reviews praising how "scary" this book was, but it really failed to deliver. It wasn't scary. There were a few moments of suspense, but the majority of the book takes place in various hiding spots.

As for the relationship between our heroes... I found myself rolling my eyes or cringing when the romance started. I love a good "enemies to lovers" romance, but this was just so awkward. First of all, I don't know any men that would invade another's privacy by joining them in the shower. A public shower, yes, but nothing so intimate as a single shower. Then, when things finally turn sexy, permission is asked, but never received before the awkward touching begins. There isn't enough of a build-up, no tension to keep me interested...or to even give me a clue that it was going to happen.

The ending (the last 1/4 of the book) was very disjointed from the trajectory of the story. Andrews added new characters, new mysteries, new conflict, and new threats. Then, after their escape, everything was very rushed. It felt as though Andrews knew that she was reaching the end of the novel and couldn't wait to get there. Scenes were abbreviated/summed up, and then everything was ended without any real satisfaction.

The narration wasn't the best. My issues are numerous, but I don't think it's fair to the narrator to pick his performance apart.

Fantastic Narration, Great Story

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-05-17

I quite liked this story. I enjoyed the clear difference between the heroes, and how their romance bloomed. When I got to the latter half of the novel and realized that it connected to the Mixed Messages series, my mind was a bit blown.

The one thing that genuinely bothered me about this book was the fact that Oz's character spoke to the reader in both the prologue and epilogue. I despise it when the narrator talks to the reader; it takes me out of the story, putting distance between me and what's going on. Can't stand it.

Joel Leslie's narration was beyond amazing. He moves from accent to accent flawlessly.

Strangely Delightful

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-05-07

It's so weird, but I really liked this book. I was a bit scared to read it, not knowing what to expect, but I found Shaun so endearing.

Not My Favourite

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-05-07

I can see that I'm in the minority here, but I didn't like this book. I found the plot idea very interesting, which is why I'd bought the book to begin with, but to me, the writing just didn't deliver. Not only were their long stretches of non-essential information and side-tangents that made me want to skip ahead, but the choices that the characters made throughout really bothered me. Not only that, but there were so many inconsistencies and misused words. The inconsistencies made me irritated with both the characters and the writer; why would they come to the epiphany that they're in love multiple times? Also, why think "I'm in love with him" or "the words were on the tip of my tongue" one minute, and the next they're thinking that they're "starting to have feelings" or "starting to fall in love" with the person. If you're in love, you're in love and if you're starting to have feelings, you're starting to have feelings. You don't revert back to not having or starting to have feelings when you've already realized that you're fully in love with someone.

I have a few other issues, as well, but I'm just not going to delve into it. This book--and I believe that this author's works as a whole--are just not for me.

Not My Favourite Of The Series

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-05-05

Throughout reading this book, I wavered back-and-forth about whether or not I liked it. The subject matter (our heroes' history) was difficult and dark, but I could deal with that if it was done right. This was *almost* done right.

What bothered me the most, however, was the writing. There were long stretches of the narrative that abbreviated the plot, breezing past things that were happening as time passed. This would be fine if it happened once or twice, but it happened so many times that it felt as though the bulk of the novel was this abbreviated plot with short scenes where we see something close up, before we jump back into the passage of time again. When we were in-the-moment in a scene, I enjoyed the writing. But as I said, those moments were few and far between.

I'll read the next book, with the hopes that this doesn't happen again. 2.5* for this one.

Not My Thing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-05-05

I didn't find much of note that bothered me with the writing or the bulk of the plot. For me, the issue was with the romance. I'm not into D/s or BDSM, but as this book was part of the series, and the plot carries through the series, I felt like I needed to read it.

Greg Boudreaux did a great job with narration, as usual.

Great Listen

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-05-05

It could be because I'm in quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic, but this easy, happy read was exactly what I needed right now. There's suspense, there's some action, there's plenty of great sex, and the heroes are loveable. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I look forward to the next in the series.

Greg Boudreaux did a fantastic job with narration.

Emotionless

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-05-05

This book was a both frustrating and...well, frustrating. The case was exciting enough; I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen, even though I (partially) knew who the killer was. What I found so disappointing was the romance aspect of the novel. There didn't seem to be very much chemistry between the heroes, and the intimacy was sub-par. It's worthy of reading just for the mystery, though.

The narration was more emotionless than the writing. It sounded like he was announcing the news, to be honest. Not my favourite.

Not For Everyone

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-03-05

I had difficulty with this novel from the start. The author waited far too long to introduce the heroes to each other (I'd noted that this was more than a quarter of the book wasted), and most of the information added there had no real significance to the story, and could have been summed up later in a sentence or two (ie. the fact that Jay was recently fired from his job -- you never see his friends again, so their part in the story is pointless -- and the long, drawn out explanation of the reason that the ranch needed to hire someone was repeated enough throughout the book that it wasn't needed at the beginning).

The plot felt very thin, there wasn't enough romance between our heroes (the story felt almost like it wasn't about the two men, but instead about their two families, and I didn't pick this book up because I wanted to read an adult coming-of-age) and there was far too much telling, and not enough showing. It's as though this author is so used to writing short stories, that when they tried to write a novel, they just filled the extra word count in with unnecessary extras.

One main thing that irritated me was that Nate has sex on-page with someone else during the narrative. I am especially upset that it happens 1/3 of the way into the book, when the romance should have already begun. This infuriated me. I was tempted to put the book down right then and there.

The writing just didn't feel quite "there" for me. I felt like the sex was rushed and hardly any detail was given. There isn't enough emotion in the narrative, not enough use of the senses. I got scents here and there, but that's about it. Everything was glossed-over, as though the author was giving us a summary of the novel, rather than actually putting us into it.

This is definitely not for me. I don't think I'll pick up another novel from this author, but I'm sure that their way of writing will appeal to others, so give it a shot.

The narration by Sean Crisden was, of course, fantastic. I don't think he could ever do a bad job.

Not Very Thrilling

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-02-20

I didn't find this one as great as the first, but I still enjoyed it. The ending was disappointing (not just the cliffhanger); the "big reveal" was anticlimactic and there was no suspense. I found that it read more like a cozy, rather than something heart-pounding. Additionally, I could see the ending coming from the third chapter, which dulled the anticipation of the reveal quite a lot.

After listening to the first novel, there was too much repetition at the beginning of this one; I wish that there'd been more creativity in how the info was retold (perhaps in dialogue, for example).

I also found the relationship stuff for Lex to be a bit depressing. The excuse that she gave for not talking to her husband was awfully weak. Maybe if we'd seen her husband talk about the dangers of another job within her hearing, and his expressing being grateful that his wife doesn't do anything so dangerous? Not sure, but maybe that would have upped the tension a bit.

I'll listen to the next one if it's ever written, just because I want to find out what happens after the cliffhanger. This one, though, was not the greatest.