This was my very first Georgette Heyer book and first romance novel ever. I prefer historical books, usually ones closely based on factual people and events. I took a chance on this is and it paid off. Heyer is a master of the Regency period with well-developed characters and attention to detail on clothing, houses, furniture, carriages - EVERYTHING. No one can describe the intricacies of a gentleman's cravat better! Since the narrator can either make or break an audiobook, Clifford Norgate is excellent. I was so impressed by this book that, in less than 90 days, I BOUGHT EVERY GEORGETTE HEYER AUDIOBOOK AVAILABLE ON AUDIBLE.COM - ALL 23!!! Not all are as good as this one but all are better than any others in the genre, short of Jane Austin. My favorites are the mystery stories "Behold, Here's Poison" and "The Unfinished Clue", along with "Fredrica", "Beth Tangle", "Black Sheep", and "Royal Escape". "Infamous Army" had too much military minutiae which bogged the whole story down, while "The Nonesuch" is just weak overall compared to the other books.
How does Edward Rutherfurd do it? I can barely write a check to pay my mortgage while this author regales us again with his incredible story-telling. I'd read "London" and "Sarum" years ago, before audiobooks and just recently listened to "Princes of Ireland" and "The Rebels of Ireland" - unabridged. Just when I thought Rutherfurd had run out of typewriter ink, here comes this magnificent account of the greatest city in the world. He effortlessly weaves the stories of people who made up what would become "the melting pot" of this country, black, white, poor, rich, young, and old. If you slept through history class, this is the book which will get you caught up in an informative and entertaining way.
I've read a lot of books on the Borgias, both fact and fiction, and watched all the recent cable movies about them. This book is great point of view on the Borgias, told by Guilia Farnese, the teenaged married mistress of the Borgia patriarch, 60 year-old, Rodrigo, later Pope Alexander VI; a cunning intelligent dwarf who is portrayed as a very sexy little person like Emmy Award-winning actor Peter Dinklage in "Game of Thrones"; and a female chef who is on the run from a major crime in Venice. The cool thing is that each character is read by a different narrator. There's nothing more disconcerting than a male narrator trying to sound like a teenaged girl or a female narrator making "courtly love" in a quasi-bass voice. The dialogue is clever and interesting. Well worth the price of admission!