A delightful entangled plot that Heyer easily unravels never letting the reader/listener feel the story is being overly contrived.
Unlike previous reviewers I was quite dismayed by Sian Phillips narration. I'm sure Sian Phillips does her best but her voice is quite hoarse. It is a great pity as Sian tries to ensure the various characters have individual voices for the listener but she is hampered by her damaged vocal folds. Serena is described as having a low pitched muscial voice but instead sounds like she should be auditioning for one of the witches in Macbeth!
I suggest that prospective buyers of this book listen very closely to the sample & decide for themselves.
This audiobook was just a delight. I listened in joyful anticipation as the plot developed and I broke out in smiles too many times to count. Sean Phillips narration is one of the best I have ever experienced and the chemistry between the two leads is quite wonderful. I found it completely charming and absorbing.
I LOVE GEORGETTE HEYER AND THIS IS ONE OF HER BETTER BOOKS. FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ GEORGETTE HEYER, I HIGHLY RECCOMEND HER HISTORICAL ROMANCES. SHE IS LIKE A "FUNNY" JANE AUSTEN. I AM SO TICKLED THAT AUDIBLE.COM IS INCLUDING HER BOOKS IN THEIR CATALOG. I HOPE THAT THEY WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. SIAN PHILLIPS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE NARATORS. HER VOICE CHARMING. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A GOOD BRITISH ACCENT.
classic film addict
In the book, Serena is described two or three times as having a "musical" voice, but Sian Phillips gave her a voice like Rosalind Russell. Yes, she is an outspoken tomboy, but is also described as graceful and I never got that impression of her from the narrator's reading.
It's very frustrating when the narrator doesn't read the parts as the author describes each character.
Great (feisty) heroine and very well read. The story and characters are well developed and believable. The narrator does a good job distinguishing characters and giving them strong personalities. Highly recommended!
I'm sorry to say that the lightness and humor of the story was somewhat crushed by the narrator's over-acting. A dry, understated tone would have better allowed the farcical nature of the story to shine.
Estate planning lawyer and mom to two boys. My older son liked audiobooks as an infant, and I've listened to a lot since then.
Not one of my favorite Heyers, though I enjoyed it on audio more than ever before. I just couldn’t warm to the heroine and I liked the B story couple better. The hero is a typical Heyer type and I liked him a lot, but he is offstage for much of the story.
One aspect I really liked is the closeness between the heroine and her younger stepmother. It upended the convention of the young gold-digger marrying the older man; here, the stepmother is the sweetest character in the story, and gets her own happy ending.
In listening to this audio, I liked the story much more than I had when I had read the print version in the past. The heroine (Serena) had been raised by her father to enjoy his pursuits and to be unconcerned about conventional behavior. There’s a touch of Orlando, in that she is depicted as the better heir to her father’s estate, but for being female. When her father dies unexpectedly, a cousin inherits and she is forced to remove with her stepmother to the dower house, and in essence to lose the position she had been groomed for and enjoyed. Her stepmother is happy to leave behind the world of grand parties, hunting and the like, but for Serena, it chafes terribly. While I never like Serena all that much, I could certainly sympathize with her situation.
Of course, complications ensue, when a couple of ill-advised engagements threaten to imperil the happiness of the 6 main characters. One things I liked best about the story is that is clear who does and doesn’t suit without making anyone a villain. The two central couples belong with their partners but are all characters worthy of a happy resolution. The only downside to me was in making that happen, Heyer emphasizes the class differences between the nobility and mere gentlemen, as a shorthand of lack of suitability. My guess is that’s more realistic than current novels in which everyone is a Duke, but it was a bit jarring to modern ears.
I love Georgette Heyer books. This story and the characters were so-so. It doesn't have as much of the usual humor of many of her books.