As an artist busy with my hands and eyes I had to give up reading. Then audio books came into my life and I am back to over 200 books a yr.
From the moment I started this book I was addicted to it and truly didn't want to stop the story. The characters were fantastic and wonderfully portrayed by Susan Duerden. Looking forward to reading more of her narrated books. I am immediately going to go into book 2, Ransom and will proceed with the Lairds Brides books. This is also my first reading of a book by Julie Garwood. I am so looking forward to more of her works also. Wonderful story, wonderful characters (I have fallen in love with that whole clan), wonderful narration put this book in my top ten books that I know I will read over and over again.
I especially loved the ceremony scene. I laughed and then wound it back so I could listen to it again. I ended up calling a friend to share with her and she had read it and loved it as much as I do.
I also loved the historical part that gave a feel of what life was like way back when (even though I am sure the real facts were much harsher). But the birthing experiences, the need for more rights for the women, and so much more in this book made me appreciate how it must have been back then and appreciate that we mostly have better medicine now and women's rights are improving somewhat (albeit not as much as it should be yet).
Good romance, just the right amount of bedroom action and done very nicely...steamy but not overboard.
And that final scene...well, it was just awesome. Love it Loved it Loved it.
Though I was liking the story and characters, the overall listening experience wasn't an easy one. The narrator draws out the end of every sentence in such a way that once noticed, you can't stop hearing it. Drove me to distraction so I had to stop listening frequently. It turned into an exercise of endurance than anything else. It's a shame because the story good.
I love the book. It has been one of my favorite Julie Garwood books and one of my re-reads every few years. I bought it to listen to on a trip and could not make it through the first few chapters. story is great but did not care for the narrator
I love the relationship between Ian and Judith, but the personalities of the secondary characters is what has always sent this book to a 5-star status for me. Both the Secret and Ransom are my favorite J Garwood books.
The author has an English accent which is pleasant and she does character voices well, but I did not care for the speech pattern she uses. It seems that she "upspeaks" a lot of her sentences instead of making sure there is a lot of diversity in her narration. I know that seems trivial, but unfortunately it took away from the story and the composition as a whole.
I don't care for this narrator at all, was a struggle to get through the book because of the inflections in her voice at the end if every sentence.
Love Julie Garwood. Her stories of Scottish Lairds are always fantastic. This one is no exception. While it's not her best, it's pretty strong and entertaining. I did find some bits too much of a stretch on believability... ie the strong focus mid-wife practice as a backstory. Particularly the notion that a man would wake up his Laird to fetch a girl to go tend to his wife. But it's not so distracting that you can't enjoy the story.
Where I had trouble was with the narrator Susan Duerden. When she was straight narrating she sounded wonderful. Her voice is pleasant enough. But when she voiced the heroine and a few other female characters she made them sound like 8-year-old little girls. That was very distracting particularly for the heroine as it took away from her maturity as a woman. Ms. Duerden's voicing of the males was even worse. They all sounded quite raspy, so much so that they often sounded screechy.... every single one of them. It got very annoying and tiresome to listen to. I only hung with it because I really did like the story and wanted to know what was gonna happen next.
I recommend The Bride with the fabulous Rosalyn Landor who not only does various females but can masterfully do males as well and make them each distinguishable.
The narrator was okay, but the voices were horrible. I returned the purchase.
They are all my favorites, I have reread this book many times!!!
The narrator was so annoying that I was unable to finish the story.
I don't know about the story. Coulndn't finish the book.
I have always like Garwood's books. Very sorry that I couldn't finish this one.
A different narrator could have made it a 2-3 star
Not likely if her female characters are this weakly drawn and make characters such caricatures.
She needs to understand that male Scots do not all have emphysema and speak in a whispered falsetto. Oh, and she might want to study what a real brogue and burr sound like and use them consistently.
Julie Garwood writes cliches, and Susan Duerden butchers them.
Lighthearted, Fluffy, Romance
The wedding scene, was especially amusing. The dialogue was witty, charming, and laugh out loud funny.
I was especially fond of Frances Catherine, her light brogue and characterization were spot on and particularly sparking and bright. Duerden did an all around good job with all the characters.
When Judith confronts her father for the first time and realizes every assumption she had ever made about the man was incorrect and based on lies. Obviously this is a light fluffy romance, lacking any particularly serious or weighty subject matter, but the characters were well rounded out, believable, memorable, and rang true. The plot did cover interesting ideas and was thought provoking, but did not bludgeon the reader over the head with a moral.
Another listener commented on the narrator's ability to do male voices. While they were not spot on, they were not horrible either, nor did they unduly detract from the story. Whilst the heroine did sound somewhat like a little girl in certain parts, especially during whispered dialogue, didn't find it to be particularly annoying. Overall, I enjoyed the narration and would definitely listen again.