My print edition is dog-eared from frequent re-reading, so when I saw that this book had FINALLY been released in unabridged audio I couldn't wait to drop a credit. This story is well paced, with enough action that you won't be bored.
Dylan is a likable hero who is dominant without being domineering--sometimes Laurens' male protagonists are just a little too omnipotent and omniscient. Dylan, who we first met in "A Rogue's Proposal", is a character with a tainted past, and his own awareness of his previous mis-steps helps make his moral dilemma both easy to relate to and reasonably believable.
If you can excuse the somewhat hairbrained nature of her initial scheme to rescue her brother, you'll probably come to really enjoy Priscilla. she is a quick-witted woman who learns from her mistakes and spends the majority of the novel working to resolve her problems rather than bemoaning them.
The love scenes are some of the best in this series, in my opinion. One of the things I always enjoy about Laurens' books is that while she may re-use some phrases in her novels a bit too much--(if I read one more "whirling and twirling" ballroom scene I might throw something)--she almost always writes creative, steamy sex scenes that don't make you roll your eyes or press fast-forward. She also steers clear of bedroom cliches--you know the words and phrases I mean!
This novel has similar themes to "A Rogue's Proposal", and takes place some 10 or 12 years later in Newmarket, where that book was also set. Of course, it's a Cynster novel, so there are plenty of recurring characters including Barnaby Adaire. Priscilla is one of the more savvy heroines--more on a par with Alathia from "A Secret Love", than Felicity in terms of worldly experience, while Dylan is only a Cynster by marriage, so he's not quite as much of a loving tyrant as some of Laurens' other heroes.
You've just got to love that voice! Smooth and cultured and so well paced. Unfortunately, I got the sence at several points during his narration that Prebble wasn't really into the story all that much--which you can't really blame him for, after reading God knows how many romances. However, if I get even the flicker of a feeling that the narrator isn't really taking a book seriously, that somewhat lessons the listening pleasure for me.
If you're a fan of this series, definitely get this book! If you're new to the Cynsters, you can certainly read it as a stand-alone, but I think the story is made more rich by the context of the series and the readers' familiarity with the characters.
This entire series has been about Sookie's growth as a character. In the first book we met a social outcast, a recluse, crippled by her telepathy and terrified of herself. She was the perfect victim, because she had no self-confidence, and was semingly unable to take control of the events effecting her life. In the past few books, and especially in this one, we see a stronger, smarter, more resiliant Sookie, who has learned to value herself and her abilities and who has decided to take control of her own future--as much as anybody can.
While I, like most other readers, enjoyed the ins and outs of Sookie'sromantic life throughout this series, the underlying story was of her coming into her own.
"I also knew, that if he turned away from me at this moment, I would survive that, and I would find a way to flourish...I'm Sookie Stackhouse, and I belong here."
If you're a shipper with a particular adgenda, beware, you may be disappointed. If you've been reading between the lines, you can pretty much guess how this story ends. The curtain comes down on Bon Temps with only the faintest shaddow of vampires in the wings. And while Sookie's future is uncertain, it's not without the hope of love on the horizon.
Absolutely. I came very close to calling out from work so I could spend some quality couch time with this novel. I resisted the impulse, but I definitely spent my entire commute and my lunch break with Johanna Parker's excellent narration keeping me company.
If you've put time and emotional energy into reading this series for the past few years, read this one. Yes, there is a distinct air of "tying up loose ends" at various points throughout the book, but you'll be left with a sense of satisfaction for having seen Sookie through to the end of her journey.
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