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Audiobook Review: Overheard by Maya Banks

Title: Overheard
Author: Maya Banks
Narrated by Chandra Skyye
Publisher: AudioGO
Length: 2 hrs and 43 mins
Release Date: 8/1/2013

A copy of this audiobook was provided to me by Audiobook Jukebox for an honest review.

Overheard is the second entry in Maya Banks’ Unbroken series, telling the story of a woman who is tired of settling for men that can’t give her what she wants in bed, but gets exactly what she’s missing when one of her male friends overhears her sharing her sexual fantasies with a trusted girlfriend.

Gracie has finally had enough with her latest crappy boyfriend and has kicked him to the curb. She’s lucky to have a set of lifelong friends to lean on while she tries to figure out how to get a good man in her bed. One of those friends is Luke, a man who has always seen Gracie as an attractive woman but never figured he’d get the opportunity to turn their friendship into something more personal. Then he overhears Gracie telling their mutual friend Shelly all the things she wants to do with the right man, and he knows that he’s just the guy to make it all come true. What happens next between Gracie and Luke shows them that sometimes overhearing what wasn’t meant for you can be both the best and worst thing ever.

I’ve found that Maya Banks’ writing usually lends itself well to an audio version, and Overheard is no exception. The story is short and intense, but we are given everything we need to know about what motivates Gracie and Luke, and how their previously platonic friendship was able to morph almost seamlessly into a sexual relationship (at least at first) and how their love growing into something deeper was a natural and realistic progression. Chandra Skyye does a good job of differentiating voices between the various male and female characters. I did find her deliberately Southern-style accent a bit grating at times, but that’s a matter of personal preference.

Overheard is another scorching but sweet tale of sex and love in the Maya Banks tradition and it was an enjoyable listen I won’t soon forget.

Audiobook Review: Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves


Title: Covet
Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves
Narrated by Kathleen McInerney, Scott Aiello
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
Release Date: 9/17/2013

A copy of this audiobook was provided to me by Audiobook Jukebox for an honest review.

COVET is the story of a woman trying to hang onto the life she has and a man who wishes he could have that life — and her — for his own. Claire Canton’s husband Chris was out of work for over a year, and for a man who defined himself by the ability to provide for his family, the results to him and their marriage were devastating. It was only when Claire insisted he get treatment for his depression and he finally found a new job that things started to turn around, however slowly. But when the new job takes Chris away from home for days on end, the loneliness threatens to overwhelm Claire completely.

Officer Daniel Rush once had a version of the life Claire is fighting to keep, complete with a woman who looked very much like her. When he pulls Claire over for a burned out taillight, it begins a chain of events leading to a dangerous friendship, one that could sever the last threads binding Claire to her husband and family forever.

When I read COVET earlier this year, it affected me so strongly that I started crying at about the halfway point and continued crying all the way to the end. The story is so perfectly described and beautifully written that I felt everything Claire was experiencing as though it was my own life. I wanted her to find the happiness she’d thought she’d once had, but I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for Chris and I was rooting for Daniel the whole way, as shocking as that may sound.

But the great thing about this audiobook presentation is that there are both male and female narrators, and Scott Aiello’s voicing of both Chris and Daniel’s points of view provided the extra nuance I needed to understand both men much better than I had before. I appreciated how he was able to clearly delineate between the two men so that I never had a problem knowing who was speaking, even when the chapters went directly from one to another in the story. As Claire, Kathleen McInerney provides the majority of the narration for COVET and does a wonderful job of conveying just how lonely and sad Claire has been in her marriage and how her relationship with Daniel was both the best and worst thing that could have happened to her. Ms. McInerney is also skilled at voicing the various female friends in Claire’s life, as well as the children, which can often sound forced with a less talented narrator.

The talents of both narrators in COVET not only made the story even more enjoyable for me, they gave me new insight to all three of the main characters and made the best book I’ve read this year even better. I can’t recommend it highly enough.