Madeline is my favourite Bastion club heroine. She actually IS a strong, independent woman and a lot of authors could learn how to write one from Stephanie Laurens!
Madeline runs the Gascoigne estate in lieu of her much younger brothers. She spends her days out riding, gives advice to local farmers and gentry alike, keeps up on their mining and investments, is a mother to her younger borthers and still finds time to be seduced by the hero Earl on the neighbouring estate when he returns from war. She comes off as intelligent and capable without being arrogant - a really likable leading lady.
Their love story is slow but passionate, and it was incredibly enjoyable to listen to Gervase decide Madeline was going to be his Countess then pursue her until she agreed.
The story is well-woven and the surrounding cast make the story even more enjoyable, the only let down is the characterisation of the female voices. The women all sound as though the narrator is mocking them, which I don't think he is.
That's not insurmountable - the story is so good I went back for a second listen.
The publisher should never have changed readers. I certainly would never have chosen this reader. Romance is not Crossley's
I would have deleted the Tin Mine scam, seeing that it never went anywhere anyway. I also would have had more of the Bastian Club involved and a much stronger story line dealing with them.
I like his reading of the Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery series, but I would not try another romance. Looking at his list of books, he normally doesn't read romances.
I have purchased all the books in this series before this one, and this one was just too dull and boring. Not worth the money.
I have been waiting for the last three books of the Bastian Club to come out in audio. There is no way, though that I would purchase them because of the reader. I will pick up these books at the local library. I will read them rather than listen to them.
While I admit to missing the voice of Simon Prebble, I thought the narrator was okay. I did not find that his voice detracted from the story significantly. The story was a bit slow getting started, and while this was not my favorite of the series, I did enjoy it. Worth it? Yes.