Audiobook catch up

a hundred summers

  • Title:  A Hundred Summers 
  • Author:  Beatriz Williams
  • Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction; Romance
  • Published:  May 2013 – Penguin Audio
  • Length:  11 hours 35 minutes
  • Source:  Purchased

Synopsis:  Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak.

That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview.

Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancee, now recently married – an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations. Budgie’s arrival to restore her family’s old house puts her once more in the center of the community’s social scene, and she insinuates herself back into Lily’s friendship with an overpowering talent for seduction… and an alluring acquaintance from their college days, Yankees pitcher Graham Pendleton. But the ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations.

Under the scorching summer sun, the unexpected truth of Budgie and Nick’s marriage bubbles to the surface, and as a cataclysmic hurricane barrels unseen up the Atlantic and into New England, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional cyclone of their own, which will change their worlds forever.  (publisher)

My brief take:  Beatriz Williams’ story of wealthy people and soap-like drama was a good beach read. I love the era. It was  post-1929 crash and pre-WWII which encompassed financial difficulties, prejudice, and people ignoring much of what was happening in the rest of the world. Add in the personal issues of failed friendships, betrayal, a broken engagement and an uncomfortable summer season that brings Budgie, Nick and Lily back together and you’ve got a juicy story. I enjoyed listening to A Hundred Summers. Kathleen McInerney’s narration was top notch.

*  *  *

the firebird

  • Title:  The Firebird
  • Author:  Susanna Kearsley
  • Narrator:  Katherine Kellgren
  • Genre:  Historical Fiction; Paranormal; Time Travel
  • Published:  January 2013 – Audible, Inc.
  • Length:  14 hours 39 minutes
  • Source:  Purchased

Synopsis:  Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When a woman arrives with a small wooden carving at the gallery Nicola works at, she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird – the mythical creature from an old Russian fable.
Compelled to know more, Nicola follows a young girl named Anna who leads her into the past on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.  (publisher)

My brief take:  I enjoyed this follow up (continuation) to The Winter Sea. I’m a fan of these adventures Susanna Kearsley takes us on. I rate it 4.5 stars and the fantastic narration by Katherine Kellgren moves it up to 5 stars.

I also followed the Kindle edition from time to time. An added bonus of the print book are the author’s notes at the end. Kearsley answered questions I’d had in mind while reading such as what is historically accurate and what is filled in to connect dots. I always wonder about those things while reading historical fiction. I don’t care what the answers are if the story grabs me – something that is never a problem with Kearsley’s novel. Like I mentioned, I’m a fan!

This book is part of the Slains series and I realized too late that I was reading them out of order. No matter, I have The Shadowy Horses on my shelf and look forward to reading it. Can’t wait to meet the sigh-worthy Rob from the beginning 🙂

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Title:  Her Royal Spyness (Audiobook)

Her Royal Spyness Mysteries #1

Author:  Rhys Bowen

Narrator:  Katherine Kellgren

Genre:  Mystery

Published:  June 2007, Berkley

About:  The setting is England, 1932. Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie (Georgie to her friends) is 34th in line to the throne and her family money is gone. She needs a job – something unheard of in her circle. She heads to London to look for a job. During this time she stays at her family’s house. One day a man arrives with a note that says her family’s ancestral home in Scotland is his – the result of a gambling loss by Georgie’s father. A few days later that man turns up dead – in the overflowing bathtub of Georgie’s London house. The prime suspect: Georgie’s brother, the duke. Knowing it can’t be Binky (her brother), Georgie makes it her responsibility to find the real murderer.

My take:  I was asked to read and review the latest in the Her Royal Spyness series so, not being familiar with it, I decided to read the first book. Even better, I decided to use my September credit to listen to the first book. I’m so glad I did because Katherine Kellgren’s performance is delightful.

Rhys Bowen’s mystery of who killed the man in Georgie’s brother’s house is filled with amusing characters such as Georgie’s mother and her old school pal Belinda. There’s a flirtation between Georgie and Darcy O’Mara (an Irishman with a knack for showing up when she needs him) that I just know will be present throughout the series.

I enjoyed Her Royal Spyness and look forward to reading more of this series. Recommended to fans of cozy mysteries. If you like audiobooks I suggest you try listening to this book.

Source:  I bought it.