Tag: 4 stars

Short Story Sunday: Audiobook Review: The Heart of a Mother by Julie Clark

The Heart of a Mother
Series: Obsession Collection #4
Author: Julie Clark
Narrator: Susan Dalian
Published: July 25, 2023
Audiobook: 1 hour 16 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: April 27, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Short Story Description:

A fateful decision from the past haunts a wealthy Californian. Desperate to make things right, she risks everything in this tense short story from New York Times bestselling author Julie Clark. Hillary Jean leads an enviable life. She has a loving husband, a beautiful home, caring friends, and meaningful work planning fundraisers. Yet she’s always felt incomplete. After a DNA website emails her a match, Hillary sets out to find the daughter she gave up twenty-five years ago. But her hunger to reconnect threatens to destroy the very thing she hopes to gain.

The Heart of a Mother is part of Obsession , a collection of compulsively readable short stories about people pushed to their extremes. So addictive you won’t be able to put them down—read or listen to each story in a single sitting.

Jessica’s Review:

Whoa!  I’m not a mother but this short story gives you an idea of what a mother goes through when she puts a baby up for adoption. And how much it can affect her many years later.

You definitely experience a mother’s turmoil where she questions herself on what she should do. It shows a mother’s love above all else.

I knew the direction the story was going, but that did not stop me from ‘enjoying’ it. I would be interested in seeing what else Julie Clark writes. The narrator Susan Dalian did a great job with her portrayal. And do listen or read this in one sitting, I did!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

Audiobook Review: Annie Bot by Sierra Greer

Annie Bot
Author: Sierra Greer

Narrator: Jennifer Jill Araya
Published: March 19, 2024
Audiobook: 9 hours 31 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: April 22-26, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

A powerful, provocative novel about the relationship between a female robot and her human owner, exploring questions of intimacy, power, autonomy, and control.

Annie Bot was created to be the perfect girlfriend for her human owner Doug. Designed to satisfy his emotional and physical needs, she has dinner ready for him every night, wears the pert outfits he orders for her, and adjusts her libido to suit his moods. True, she’s not the greatest at keeping Doug’s place spotless, but she’s trying to please him. She’s trying hard.

She’s learning, too.

Doug says he loves that Annie’s AI makes her seem more like a real woman, so Annie explores human traits such as curiosity, secrecy, and longing. But becoming more human also means becoming less perfect, and as Annie’s relationship with Doug grows more intricate and difficult, she starts to wonder: Does Doug really desire what he says he wants? And in such an impossible paradox, what does Annie owe herself?

Jessica’s Review:

Wow,  Annnie Bot is a book that will make you think… A lot!  It is Science Fiction that will one day become fact. It shows how AI can develop (I mean AI is getting a lot of attention now.  James Cameron tried to warn us about AI: Skynet IS real and coming for us all!  Beware of the Terminators!)

But seriously, this was a very good read.  It was hard at times to remember that Annie is a robot, she seems so real: And the emotion she has!  I kept reminding myself that this is a robot as the story progressed.  Robots apparently can have ‘real’ feelings. She’s a ‘cuddle bunny’ robot (AKA robot sex toy and we do get a lot of human/ robot sex in this novel).

We see how their ‘relationship’ goes and what happens when Annie has to go in for ‘check ups’.  This is an intriguing world Annie and her owner Doug live in. We get to go inside Annie’s ‘mind’ and ‘thoughts’ with the narration. We see her learn and gain more knowledge and, in some ways, become more human over the course of the novel.

This could definitely be a Dark Mirror episode! Except the ending would have to be darker. In some ways the ending was disappointing, give me more dark drama!!  Give me some more thrills. There was nothing wrong with the ending, that’s just me and what I like: Give me all the thrills and suspense!

I also enjoyed the Jennifer Jill Araya’s narration. She did a very good job ‘bringing Annie to life’ for the reader.

This is a very feminist story, but not overly preachy. As previously stated, once you are done reading Annie Bot, you will be thinking about it afterwards.

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy to listen to and review. I give it for solid stars! This is Sierra Greer’s debut novel and I look forward to see what she has coming in the future!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK 

[Top]

Advanced Audiobook Review: Summers at the Saint by Mary Kay Andrews

Summers at the Saint
Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
To Be Published: May 7, 2024
Audiobook: 14 hours 34 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: April 12-21, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Audiobook Description:

Welcome to the St. Cecelia, a landmark hotel on the coast of Georgia, where traditions run deep and scandals run even deeper. . . .

Everyone refers to the St. Cecelia as “the Saint.” If you grew up coming here, you were “a Saint.” If you came from the wrong side of the river, you were “an Ain’t.” Traci Eddings was one of those outsiders whose family wasn’t rich enough or connected enough to vacation here. But she could work here. One fateful summer she did, and married the boss’s son. Now, she’s the widowed owner of the hotel, determined to see it return to its glory days, even as staff shortages and financial troubles threaten to ruin it. Plus, her greedy and unscrupulous brother-in-law wants to make sure she fails. Enlisting a motley crew of recently hired summer help—including the daughter of her estranged best friend—Traci has one summer season to turn it around. But new information about a long-ago drowning at the hotel threatens to come to light, and the tragic death of one of their own brings Traci to the brink of despair.

Traci Eddings has her back against the pink-painted wall of this beloved institution. And it will take all the wits and guts she has to see wrongs put to right, to see guilty parties put in their place, and maybe even to find a new romance along the way. Told with Mary Kay Andrew’s warmth, humor, knack for twists, and eye for delicious detail about human nature, Summers at the Saint is a beach read with depth and heart.

Jessica’s Review:

Here we go! It is time for MKA’s new beach read that is out just in time for the start of summer!  MKA always has a lot going on in her books and there is a little bit of everything for a reader to enjoy here.

We have suspense, mystery intrigue and even a little romance thrown in. There are family secrets, betrayals, danger, and murders!  If you have followed my reviews for some time you know MKA is an auto-read author for me. And she’s also from Georgia, so that automatically gives her bonus points. She’s wonderful to meet as well.

The narrator is Kathleen McInerney again and these two are just perfection together. MKA’s story telling her McInerney’s narration just bring it.

Do me a favor, if you have yet to read a book by MKA, please pick one up and read it. If audiobooks are your thing, listen to it and experience both wonderful ladies!

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

[Top]