Category: Rated R

PROVOKED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 5. Available now from Audible.com From the Publisher: “A Time for War….A casualty of the war between the demons and the vampires, Jase Kayrs has been missing for six long years. His older brothers want answers – but they’re going to have to get them from an unlikely source. For when Kane Kayrs tracks down Amber Freebird, what he finds is a blonde, vegan pacifist who has no intention of using her skills in his war…. A Time for Love….Amber enjoys her life of chaotic freedom and has no intention of falling in line just because a sexy-as-sin vampire insists on order. Unfortunately he discovers she may be the only hope they have of finding his brother, and there’s no way he’s going to let her go – even if it means mating her to gain her cooperation. The two are as different as can be, yet when the dominant Kane and the untamed Amber finally unite to rescue Jase, they just may find that opposites really do attract….” From the review at I Am, Indeed: “Narration in the entire series is provided by Karen White, and I don’t think I have anything new to say…her work is terrific.  Characters from earlier books that pop in here are instantly recognizable with distinct voices, delivery patterns and tiny quirks.  Amber and Kane have clearly been imbued with overriding personality traits (Kane’s struggle for a logical explanation with a touch of puzzlement is wonderfully done) and emotional moments made clearer and more impactful with pauses, hesitations and tone variations.  The moments that build tension are vocally presented with rushed or hushed moments, forcing the listener to sit up and pay attention – something big is happening.  The dictionary would take on new meaning if White were to narrate it – she adds greatly to the don’t miss this series statement.” My recording experience: In some of these middle books, I feel like Zanetti started to feel more comfortable bringing humor to the genre.  There’s a lot of fun here with Amber (and the other humans she lives with) resisting the reality of vampires.  Zanetti’s also skillful with her female characters’ inner monologues, and I had a great time finding the humor in those, including the sex scenes! Listen to a sample here:

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CONSUMED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 4. Available now at Audible.com From the Publisher: “Sometimes You Mate for Life:  Katie Smith is the best of her class, part of an elite hunting force trained to eliminate werewolves from the hills of Western Virginia. She’s good at it because she has the kind of focus and drive that won’t back down no matter how steep the odds. Call it Southern sass. Whatever it is, there’s no denying her willingness to risk everything for the only man she’s ever cared about – a man on the verge of losing his very humanity…. Sometimes You Mate to Stay Alive:  For the past 10 years, Jordan Pride has dedicated his life to protecting his people from a deadly shifter virus. But in a rare moment of distraction, Jordan’s guard drops just long enough for his fate to take an irreversible twist. Unless the woman he loves surrenders everything to him again and again, under a full moon rising….” From the review at I Am, Indeed: “Karen White has again surpassed expectation in narrating this story: characters are instantly recognizable, connecting voice to person before their identity is presented. New characters (there are a few) come forward with their own presentation and emotional connotations that instantly place them as good or bad, and Janey, who has aged 10 years still has those qualities that keep her newer more mature voice familiar and known to readers. I can honestly say that this series has firmly planted her in the “grab anything she has narrated’ pile for me, and the combination of story and performance are in perfect harmony.  Unsure about audiobooks but are a fan of epic vampire / shifter stories ?– this series in audio should be on your list to buy.” From the review at Hot Listens: “Karen White did a great job with the narration of this book. While there was nothing in this book that stood out, like in the previous book with a ton of the Irish brogue, I can’t downplay how much I enjoy listening to her narration of this series. I will mention that I did notice a difference in Janie’s voice. She did take into account the 10 year difference in the girl’s voice. She still had a sweetness to it, but not that of a toddler, but that of teenager that has that really sweet girly voice. I thought it fit the description that was given to the ultra petite Janie.” My recording experience: The cool thing about this book (especially since I recorded all of them so close together) is that it jumped forward ten years.  This allowed the frantic pace of the first three to slow just a . . .

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HUNTED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 3. Available from Audible.com. From the Publisher: “Ready or Not:  Moira Dunne is a witch – the quantum physics kind. Time and space are her playthings. Which might explain why her one-night stand from a hundred years ago has turned up to “claim” her – and request her family’s assistance with the war he’s brewing. But the more she learns about Connlan Kayrs, the more she comes to think this is normal behavior for him…. There’s Nowhere to Hide:  When Conn and Moira tumbled on the moonlit grass, Conn hadn’t meant to mark her as his mate for all time. She was only 20! But it wasn’t easy to wait for her. It was even harder to forget her. So when he finally returns for his wicked-hot witch, he’s ready to let the sparks flying. Even if he burns up in flames…..” From the review at I Am, Indeed: “Karen White has gone above and beyond in this story: Moira’s Irish lilt and Conn’s decidedly alpha-warrior male, struggling to not appear smug in his “I Told You So”s are both spot on and never miss.  This series and her performance are what each listener should demand of their audio: clear, concise, decidedly unique to the characters AND their personalities, with subtle inflection changes, pauses and insets, including one that I can only describe as a ‘verbal eyeroll” (parents of teens will know this one) that enhance and present the emotional elements, add to tension and provide readers with an “I’m there” feeling. Hands down, one of the best combinations of action-packed engaging story and narrative performance that I have encountered, this is a series that is solidly setting itself into my favorites list.” From the review at Hot Listens: “Karen White nails it again. Moira has an Irish brogue and she did a great job with it. She does really well with the males and female voices. I love the voice that she does for Janie, the five year old. I can always tell who is talking based on the voice she is using. She is one of my favorite narrators and she continues to prove that she is fit for that title for me. I highly recommend her narration if you haven’t tried her yet.” My recording experience: There was something about Moira that I loved from the very first moment I got to voice her (which was in the previous book, actually).  She just came out of my mouth effortlessly.  And I so loved Zanetti’s logic about the witchcraft in this book – that its’ all quantum physics that we humans just don’t quite yet understand.  Though my ninth grader was studying plasma while I . . .

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SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Jill Shalvis plus GIVEAWAY

Cedar Ridge series, Book #1. Available now from Hachette Audio. From the Publisher: “Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .” From the review in AudioFile Magazine: “Narrator Karen White enlivens the Rocky Mountain town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. In the first of a new series, White portrays the heroine’s anxiety as she returns home to face a tragic past and the man she left years ago. The hero, Aidan Kincaid, is a search-and- rescue fireman, and the heroine is a disgraced hair stylist. White especially entertains the listener with the playful repartee between members of Aidan’s family. The listener can look forward to more adventures with the Kincaid family.” From the review at BookFan: “As always, Karen White’s narration is perfect for this genre and especially books by Jill Shalvis.” My recording experience: I was so excited and honored when Jill made the effort to ask for me as a narrator for this new series. I’ve loved recording her ANIMAL ATTRACTION series, but have also read her books for pleasure. Her brand of contemporary romance blends humor so well with real emotion, and I’ve been able to connect with every single heroine. Vulnerable but tough, quirky but shy, Lily was no exception in this book.  Then Aidan and his brothers, plus the adrenaline rushes of the rescue scenes, were a great balance to the romance.  I can’t wait for the next one! Listen to a sample here: And, the Giveaway: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  The randomly selected winners have been contacted and the cards will be mailed out to them as soon as I get addresses.  Thanks to all for entering! I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on . . .

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GIVEAWAY: DARK PROTECTORS by Rebecca Zanetti

Thanks to the folks at Audible.com, I have 5 audiobooks to give away to you Rebecca Zanetti fans! As you may have already read or listened to books in this series, five winners will get their choice of one of the audiobooks in Rebecca Zanetti’s Dark Protector series, including: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Candace, Rebecca, Terri, Ingela and Jonetta are the randomly selected winners and the coes will be emailed out to them ASAP.  Thanks to all for entering! I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.

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CLAIMED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 2. Available now from Audible.com. From the Publisher: “A Daring Rescue:  Emma Paulsen is a geneticist driven by science. But she’s also a psychic, so when a dark, good-hearted vampire frees her from the clutches of the evil Kurjans, she realizes he must be the man who’s been haunting her dreams. But with a virus threatening vampires’ mates, Emma may discover a whole new meaning of “lovesick”…. A Deadly Decision:  As King of the Realm, Dage Kayrs has learned to practice diplomacy. Still, it’s taken 300 years to find his mate, so he’ll stop at nothing to protect her – even if it means turning his back on his own kind….” From the review at I Am, Indeed: “Narration for this series is from Karen White, and she again brings a solid sense of the characters and the emotion to the forefront.  I’m honestly wondering just how she kept all of the different voices straight, as Talen, Cara, Emma, Dage, Janie and all the others have distinct tones in their voices and I knew who was who from the first book right off.  From a note left on the first review: I know these were all recorded in order, but my brain scrambles thinking about it.  Wonderful insets that allow the emotional impact of the words are used: pauses, hesitations, even sighs and smiles all add to this narration that is fast becoming my example of stellar work. I’m really enjoying this series: the characters, the world building and the narration that breathes life into every moment.  A perfect opportunity for fans of the series to start again, or to bring in new listeners who want a long-running story trajectory with characters that intrigue and amuse.” From the review at Hot Listens: “Once again, Karen White knocks this out of the park. I’ve come to always expect an exceptional narration when I see that she is the narrator. She brings great emotion and character voice to the books. Her pace and tone are always where I like to see them. For this book, I would like to call out the accent she uses for the Irish witch Moira. I really enjoyed that Irish/Gaelic accent. She also does a really good job with four-year-old Janie. I really feel her youth when she speaks.” My recording experience: I quickly warmed to Emma Paulsen because she has got such a great sense of humor, and it’s always great to be able to highlight that in romance in general, but in books with lots of action in particular.  I struggled a bit with finding the right balance for Dage – he’s got some real psychological weight and darkness to him and . . .

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FATED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 1. Available now from Audible.com. From the Publisher: “Marry Me Cara Paulsen does not give up easily. A scientist and a single mother, she’s used to fighting for what she wants, keeping a cool head, and doing whatever it takes to protect her daughter Janie. But “whatever it takes” has never before included a shotgun wedding to a dangerous-looking stranger with an attitude problem…. Or Else. Sure, the mysterious Talen says that he’s there to protect Cara and Janie. He also says that he’s a 300-year-old vampire. Of course, the way he touches her, Cara might actually believe he’s had that long to practice….” From the review at I Am, Indeed: “Narration is provided by Karen White and after this listen, I would follow her anywhere. She deftly uses her voice to create characters, detail action and emotion, and present the story with cleverly inserted pauses and breathy insets that clearly indicate tension, hesitation, action and confusion. Never missing a beat, each character has their own tone, delivery and cadence that builds to become their character in conjunction with the development in the book.  A polished yet not overly ‘slick’ performance and production that kept me engaged and listening, loathe to put the book down.” From the review at The Book Nympho: “I’ve listened to the team of Rebecca Zanetti and Karen White with Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series. So I knew I would enjoy listening to White perform Fated. Karen delivers an enjoyable presentation with a full cast. I really enjoy Karen’s voice for the children, she really brought sassy Janie to life while still pulling off Talen and other male characters.” From the review at Hot Listens: “I love Karen White‘s narration of this book. I was so glad to see that when Audible decided to put this series on audio, that they kept this author/narrator pairing. Ms. White’s pacing and character voices for both men and women are tremendous. She is a narrator that I will always be excited to find narrating a book that I’m interested in.” My recording experience: I had such a blast recording Rebecca Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series over the past year, so I was super excited to be asked to record the Dark Protectors as well.  Rebecca and I had a great chat at RWA 2014 and I guess somehow our chat about kids and family made her think I’d do a good job with this series 😉  Since Audible acquired the entire series at once, I got to record the whole thing over just a few months – 7 full length books and 3 novellas!  It was a challenge in some ways and a joy in others.  It was tough to . . .

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TOTAL SURRENDER by Rebecca Zanetti

Sin Brothers #1 Available now from Hachette Audio. From the Publisher: “A fight he must win . . . Piper Oliver knows she can’t trust him. They warned her that the tall, dark, and sexy black-ops soldier Jory Dean would try to win her over with his steel-gray eyes and deadly charm, but she won’t be conned by this man they call a traitor. All she has to do is figure out the science necessary to save his life, and she’s done. Something isn’t adding up, though, and she won’t rest until she uncovers the truth-even if it’s buried in his deep, dangerous kiss. A passion she can’t resist . . . Jory will do anything to reunite with and save his brothers-even kidnap the gorgeous woman who’s working to deactivate the deadly chip in their spines. But the forces determined to destroy his family won’t let them go so easily. Keeping Piper alive is more than he bargained for-and so is his burning desire for her. But with every second bringing him closer to certain death, can he afford to lose himself in her hot and willing embrace?” From the review at Rabid Reads (which includes an interview of Rebecca & myself): “The blame for my newly found heart condition doesn’t rest solely on the author’s shoulders because even though she brought the grenade, it was Karen White who pulled the pin with her narration. There were so many voices in this audiobook because all of the characters were in it, and yet the reader conquered every single one of them as though it were child’s play.” From the review at Hot Listens: “Karen White nails the narration of this series. There are a bunch of characters in this final book of the series. Zanetti gives all the characters we’ve met at least a little page time, so White had to keep all the characters straight and clearly defined with each having their own voices. The emotion that is delivered throughout the series is great, but it is ratcheted up several notches in this final story.” From the joint review at The Book Nympho: “Jonetta: She made all the characters distinctive. I particularly liked her interpretation of Pippa and Mommie Dearest. Jennifer: Karen brought her A game again. She knows the right amount of sassy to bring to the heroines and roughness for the Dean boys.” My recording experience: Although I was very sad to have this series come to an end (I literally cried in the last scene) it was an amazing ride.  The push and pull between romance and a ticking clock kept the tension high, I was in and out of battle scenes constantly – it was exhausting! . . .

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STILL THE ONE by Jill Shalvis plus GIVEAWAY

Book 6 in the Animal Magnetism Series. Available April 7 from Tantor Audio. From the Publisher: “Darcy Stone is game for anything—except sexy Navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers. AJ admits it—Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?” From the review at AudioGals: “Karen White brought her usual smart and sassy narration to this book – she has wonderful comic timing as well as all the emotions necessary for voicing the wisecracks and witty banter that Shalvis gives her characters. Although she doesn’t have an extremely low register, she conveys male-ness well in dialogue with more than just pitch, and all her characters are easily differentiated by attitude, timbre, register, accent and other vocal attributes. That of course includes Peanut the Parrot, who livens up the scenes with salty and inappropriate phrases, as well as the occasional dog and cat contribution to the dialogue. I paid special attention to the way she reads intimate scenes this time, after a recent listen to a different narrator where I felt the narrator took it a little farther than my comfort zone. White passed the test of conveying the emotions without making me feel like a voyeur.” And you might also want to check out AudioGals’ Chat with Jill, Lea and myself! From the review at Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust: “I also listened to the audio narrated by Karen White with just the right delivery of emotion and great voices for the characters of both genders. The production value was also excellent!” From the review at The Geeky Blogger: “Karen nails this series! I have listened to all of these on audio and wouldn’t do it any other way. Karen has a way of bringing Jill Shalvis’ voice alive and her characters that extra Umph!” My recording experience: I was really looking forward to recording the next book in Jill’s Animal Magnetism series, for a variety of reasons.  One, it’d been a year since the last one (she usually does one every six months). Two, I got to meet Jill this summer when . . .

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BLIND FAITH by Rebecca Zanetti plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Hachette Audio. From the Publisher: “A betrayal he couldn’t forget . . . For Nate Dean, love is a four-letter word. As part of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be ruthless soldiers with an expiration date. They were loyal only to one another . . . until Nate laid eyes on the woman who stole his heart and blew his world apart. Now, years later, his family is still paying the price for his mistake. But as time runs out, there’s only one person who can save his family: the very woman Nate swore he’d never trust again. A love she couldn’t deny . . . The moment Audrey Madison spies Nate across a crowded ballroom, she can barely breathe. He’s just as undeniably sexy as she remembers, yet there’s an edge to him now that’s as irresistible as it is dangerous. When he asks for her help, Audrey can’t refuse. But she has secrets of her own–secrets that, if Nate ever discovers them, may cost them both their lives . . . “ From the review at Rabid Reads: “Karen White rocked the narration for a third time…I’m now unequivocally under Karen White’s spell after listening to BLIND FAITH. Her male voices are one of the best in the industry, and I had no trouble discerning which member of the Dean family was talking because her inflections promptly brought me back to books 1 and 2 when Shane and Matt were the dominant POVs. Her breakneck pacing transforms an already suspenseful audio into a Formula One worthy performance that’ll have you double checking to see if you pressed the playback speed option by accident.” From the review at Hot Listens: “This is the first series that I’ve listened to by Karen White. I’ve heard about her a lot, but she doesn’t do many, PNR or UF books, which is my main genre. I’ve seen her name come up a bunch on contemporary romances, but they are not high on my list, though I do some here and there. She did a great job with the Sin Brothers series. She did a great job with both male and female characters. I hope to find more books with Karen White as the narrator. I really enjoyed her portrayal of Blind Faith and the other Sin Brothers books.” You just have to go read the review at The Book Nympho.  Jennifer and Jonetta give it four stars and their dialogue about the book to too funny to miss! My recording experience: Although I’ve loved the adventure of recording all of Zanetti’s SIN BROTHERS series (and am now having . . .

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