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Swamp Bones: A Novella
    
    
        Written by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Kathy Reichs
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Katherine Borowitz
    
    


    
    Length: 2 hrs and 54 mins
    1 rating
    Overall 3.0
  • Swamp Bones: A Novella

  • Written by: Kathy Reichs
  • Narrated by: Katherine Borowitz
  • Length: 2 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Although a trip to Florida is supposed to be about rest and relaxation, there’s no such thing as a day off for Dr. Temperance Brennan. She has come to visit her friend, a dedicated ornithologist who’s researching the threat that intrusive Burmese pythons pose to indigenous bird species in the Everglades. While sorting through the stomach of an eighteen-foot specimen, they make a disturbing discovery: bones that are unmistakably human.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not Bad

  • By Melissa on 2017-11-23

Not Bad

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

Reviewed: 2017-11-23

Welcome to installment 16.5 of the Tempe Brennan series and Reich's second novella.

In Swamp Bones, Forensic Anthropologist Tempe Brennan heads to the Florida Everglades where she meets up with her Ornithologist friend Dr. Lisa Robbins. Invariably work seems to follow Tempe so it is not surprising when human remains are recovered from the belly of a python.

Having read many of the Tempe books - including the Bones on Ice novella - I thought I would pick up a copy from Audible as it was inexpensive.

After listening to the book I can state that while this was a satisfactory story I felt that the writing wasn't up to Reich's usual snuff. I felt that the plot itself was set-up for a full-length book, yet it was condensed into a 98 page novella/3 hour audio book; it lost some finesse along the way.

Nevertheless, I still appreciated this novella. As usual I felt that I walked away from this story having learned a few new tidbits of information. In this case, readers learned a bit about Pythons and the Everglades. Ultimately, its purpose was served which was to whet the appetite for the next full-length novel.

Moreover, this short story was great in the sense that it provided a quick and entertaining read/listen for a 'one-afternoon' reading session. I would likely recommend this book to fans of the series. However, one must be aware that this is a novella; henceforth the quality is not the same as the novels.

  • Bones on Ice

  • Temperance Brennan, Book 17.5
  • Written by: Kathy Reichs
  • Narrated by: Katherine Borowitz
  • Length: 3 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

It is called the "death zone": the point on Everest, nearly five miles high, above which a climber cannot be rescued. More than 250 souls have lost their lives there. Most of the bodies remain, abandoned, frozen in place. When an earthquake leads to a miraculous recovery, Dr. Temperance Brennan is hired to identify a frozen, mummified human corpse. The victim is the daughter of a wealthy Charlotte couple who never got the chance to say goodbye. But far from offering solace and closure, Tempe's findings only provoke more questions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • narrator

  • By Linda on 2018-09-26

Another fantastic novella

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

Reviewed: 2017-11-23

I have come to love Kathy Reich’s novellas; each one is a brilliant appetizer between major releases. “Bones on Ice” was no exception.

When Tempe Brennan is called in during the weekend to assist on a body identification for the late daughter of a well to do family, she is unaware of the can of worms she is about to open. Tempe's boss is adamant that this case would be straight forward; yet it is turning out to be anything but.

Is this really a simple case of death by exposure on Mount Everest? Or is Brighton Hallis a victim of an ice cold murder?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In many cases I worry about authors bringing out novellas between books. A lot of times novellas lack an authors’ usual quality however in this case, this was not a problem. As with many of Reichs' books, I learned a lot during the course of the plot and I liked the fact that I came out of the book knowing a bit about the culture and terminology of mountain climbing as well as the detrimental biological effects of the extreme climate on the human body. All-in-all, it made for a gripping and informing read; or in the case of audio book, listen.

In regards to the audio version, I found the narrator pleasant enough to listen to; I do not have any complaints about the voice. It was a nice, short audio book that was perfect for a 'one evening sit' listen.

That being said, if I MUST state a complaint with this novella, it would be that I felt certain scenes were rushed. Some of the conclusions seemed a touch contrived but this was not a major issue; I just wish that 100 or so pages could have been added in order to fill out the story.

In conclusion, if you are a fan of the Tempe Brennan Series I would not hesitate in recommending you read this competent addition. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, "Speaking in Bones."

  • Just Good Friends

  • Escape to New Zealand, Book 2
  • Written by: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Claire Bocking
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Kate Lamonica isn't Koti James' type. Too small. Too dark. And heaps too much work. So it's an easy bet that he can be her friend for six weeks without making a move on her, no matter what his mates would have said. Kate can't believe she's made the bet at all. New Zealand had seemed like the perfect escape from the stalker who'd threatened first her peace of mind and then her life. She certainly doesn't need any more trouble. Why on earth has she agreed to spend time with a Maori rugby player who's far too handsome and charming for his own good - and knows it?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun, Cultural Romance

  • By Melissa on 2017-11-23

Fun, Cultural Romance

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

Reviewed: 2017-11-23

Welcome back to the island country of New Zealand; home of the world renowned, mighty All Blacks.

In book two of the Escape to New Zealand Series. Readers are introduced to the two main characters: Kate Lamonica and Koti James. Kate has just fled the USA to live in En Zed in an attempt to escape an ex-boyfriend/stalker who is bent on taking Kate's life. Meanwhile, a world away, Koti is a local Maori rugby player; as well as being one of New Zealand's resident Casanovas.

Inevitably, there is clash when these two personalities meet and a bet is drawn. The bottom line is that Kate and Koti must participate in weekly friend 'dates.' If Koti makes a move on her he loses and if they can remain just friends for 2 months Kate loses.

The question is: Can Koti actually have a woman as just a friend? And even if he could, is that really what Kate wants?

In my opinion, this was another fun and swoon worthy installment by Rosalind James. I ate up this audio book - despite a couple of steamy scenes. What endeared me to this book ... and the series for that matter ... is that under the guise of romance; 'Just Good Friends' was packed full of cultural tidbits regarding Kiwi life. This book delved deeper into Maori life and culture; focusing on a native, Maori main-character. Points to the author for presenting readers with an interesting and ultimately likable (despite his shortcomings) culturally diverse character.

Furthermore, as a Canadian who is in love with New Zealand (adopt me?); I have fallen for this series ... although, I could take or leave the steamy scenes.

Regarding the audio version, I believe Claire Bocking did a spectacular job narrating; she also pulled off a very good Kiwi accent. I would absolutely listen to more books that were narrated by Bocking.

Morever, I would highly recommend giving this book a read or a listen if you are just looking for a fun and beachy read. Although, consider yourself warned, these books give you the urge to go to New Zealand to experience the culture for yourself.

  • Just This Once

  • Escape to New Zealand, Book 1
  • Written by: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Claire Bocking
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3

Everyone needs to be rescued sometimes. Everyone but Hannah Montgomery, that is. She just needs a vacation. Three weeks in New Zealand to sort out her life, figure out what she wants, seems just right. Oh, and to relax. She should definitely put that on the agenda. She certainly isn't looking for a fling with a professional rugby player, no matter how attractive he is. Hannah doesn't do casual. But maybe just this once.…

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent book for Summer

  • By Melissa on 2019-03-27

Fun and Airy Summer Read

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

Reviewed: 2017-11-23

With Summer rapidly approaching, and the temperatures starting to rise I decided to escape with a bit of light listening.

I am not a regular chick lit fan - however, I quite enjoyed this novel. I loved that it incorporated a sampling of New Zealand's rich and beautiful culture into the plot - from the Island nation's obsession with rugby all the way to the Maori culture, and its legends. In addition, it was nice to simply read a book where I didn't have to think too hard.

On one hand, I will admit that this plot followed somewhat of a predictable pattern. However, there is something charming in this story - the idea of falling in love and escaping to New Zealand is an idea that would appeal to many readers.

In terms of the setting, New Zealand was the major factor that directed me to this book. I believe the beautiful setting added something special to this story. In addition, I loved that this novel drew in some of New Zealand's extraordinary culture - Including their love of rugby [especially the unwavering loyalty to the All Blacks], and the Maori traditions. As someone who has never been to New Zealand, I felt I got a little bit of an insight into Kiwi culture and language

The major flaw I found in this book, was that Hannah's character got to be a bit grating - her emotional flaws were acceptable up to a point. However, there came a point when the "I can't rely on anyone" routine got old. Also, I felt that this novel could have had a few less sex scenes - however, that is just a minor preference.

Ultimately, "Just this Once" was a fun and airy summer read - which was also free might I add [at the time]. In future, I will be sure to check out the other books in the "Escape to New Zealand Series" by Rosalind James.

  • Just for Now

  • Escape to New Zealand, Book Three
  • Written by: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Claire Bocking
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

There's no place like home... For teacher Jenna McKnight, nothing spells "heartbreak" like finding her husband with somebody else--in her bed. It's clearly time to reinvent herself. A new body, a new city, and a new job later, she's done just that. The beautiful Auckland villa isn't really her home, though. Finn Douglas and his kids aren't really her family, however much she wishes they were. And playing house can be a dangerous game. Rugby star Finn Douglas is just looking for a temporary nanny and housekeeper. Not a girlfriend, and definitely not a wife. He can't resist Jenna's cooking, it's true. Who knew he'd have so much trouble resisting her? He wants to do what's right for his kids. But waiting is so hard... Note: This romance, like New Zealand, contains a bit of steam. If that isn't your cuppa, maybe visit some other country... er, audiobook.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Meh, not as good as other books in the series

  • By Melissa on 2017-11-23

Meh, not as good as other books in the series

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

Reviewed: 2017-11-23

The third installment of the Escape to New Zealand series centers around American expat (and primary school teacher) Jenna McKnight and senior All Blacks player, Finn Douglas.

First of all, this was the fourth Escape to New Zealand book I have read (including the prequel novella). After completion, I can officially say that this was my least favourite book in the series thus far. Admittedly the story started strong; however there was a noticeable lack of that NZ culture which had been in the prior novels. It is fair to say that I was disappointed as the cultural tidbits are what drew me into this series.

Furthermore, I felt a distinct indifference to the characters in this book; overall it was the kids that stole the show for me. I enjoyed the enthusiasm and innocence that was portrayed through them. That is not to say that I did not like Jenna and Finn; they just didn't do much for me as a reader.

That being said, this was not a bad book. It made for a nice audiobook to listen to in bed at night; not too deep or too complicated. Just a simple romance set in a beautiful and exotic location. It also helps that Claire Bocking was (once again) a fabulous narrator.

Unfortunately, there is not much else to say in this review that I have not stated about the other books in the series.

Bottom line: This installment is missing a lot of the culture that was included in the previous stories. Nonetheless, if you are a fan of the series I would still recommend this book to loyal fans of the series.

  • The Royal We

  • Written by: Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan
  • Narrated by: Christine Lakin
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fluffy Fairytale Romance

  • By Melissa on 2017-11-23

Fluffy Fairytale Romance

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

Reviewed: 2017-11-23

I have been in a reading dry spell lately. So, a fluffy romance was just what I needed.

The Royal We was a perfect choice; I had been eyeing the book on audible for awhile, and I finally decided to give it a try.

I found that the Royal We captured my attention at the beginning of the story and held on until the end. I had a difficult time putting the book down at night. The plot to this book a blatantly obvious parallel to Will and Kate.

The plot to this book is a blatantly obvious parallel to Will and Kate; which, as a Royal Family enthusiast, I found wonderfully charming to read.

The characters were quirky, and appealing to the reader. My only complaint with the characters is that I found Bex's twin to be irritating and narcissistic. However, it was not enough of an issue to ruin the book.

Additionally, I believe that Christine Lakin did an excellent job narrating the story. I would listen to more books narrated by her.

Overall, this was a cute story that didn't have a deep or complex plot; perfect for summer.

I would, without a doubt, recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fluffy, fairytale romance.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Summer at Rose Island: A Perfect Feel-Good Summer Romance

  • White Cliff Bay, Book 3
  • Written by: Holly Martin
  • Narrated by: Emma Newman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can't wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals. When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it's not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful

  • By Melissa on 2019-01-25

Delightful

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

Reviewed: 2017-11-23

Set in the sleepy, seaside town of White Cliff Bay, Summer at Rose Island introduces readers to Darcy Davenport; who has moved from London to escape her suffocating parents. No sooner has she arrived, she has a seemingly abrupt meeting with the mysterious American, Riley Eddison, who lives in the local lighthouse; which, is revealed to be marked for demolition. With her position in community development, can Darcy assist in uniting the citizens of Rose Island to help save the lighthouse? Or will she go back to London, once again a failure in her parents' eyes?

Despite being the third book in the White Cliff Bay series, Summer at Rose Island is my first introduction to Holly Martin’s writing, and I was pleasantly satisfied with the experience. I mean, this book was corny, but a good corny. I loved getting cosy in bed and visiting Darcy and Riley through the audio narration.

While the story has a relatively predictable plot, there was something incredibly sweet about each one of Holly Martin's characters; I fell in love with Rose Island immediately. However, there were a few points where I became frustrated with one, or both, of the main characters as I felt that they were digging their heels into a feud a little too much.

Overall, though, I truly enjoyed listening to this book; I felt that the author did an outstanding job of drawing the reader into Rose Island through her words. Now, it is time to go onto Audible and download the rest of the series; I need more fluffy listening as the weather gets progressively colder.