Eloisa James really has a handle on the personalities of her characters. They were an adorable couple and the performer had a wonderful way of changing her voice to suit all of the characters in the book.
The dialogue between the two central characters.
No, but I will again.
Their meeting with Dr. Withering.
The lovers in this story are very cute. Their marriage is arranged as children and when they finally meet as adults, their attraction to each other is undeniable. She is such a klutz, but so well intentioned that he forgives her every time she brings about one catastrophe after another. They are the embodiment of opposites attracting.
Of all the Kinsale's books that I have read (so far), this is my favorite. The story is exciting, the characters are memorable, and the narrator is terrific. The hero of the story, S. T., is a charming, good natured rogue with a physical affliction (deaf in one ear) that leaves him with balance issues. The heroine, Leigh, is a beautiful strong-willed woman bent on revenge against the evil man who ruined her life and destroyed her family. She is as intense as he is easy-going. Theirs is a case of opposites attracting, but the differences in their natures also threaten to tear them apart. Although I loved S. T. and wanted to slap Leigh up the side of the head and tell her to "wake up" at times, I liked both characters and wanted them to be together.
Of all of Laura Kinsale's books, this is so far my least favorite. Of course, Nicholas Boulton is a wonderful narrator and the author is a great writer, but sometimes her characters leave a lot to be desired. This is especially true in this book. She likes to flush her characters out with a lot of baggage and angst. However, the heroine in this story, Zenia, is so damaged from being raised by her harridan of a mother that she takes out her insecurity on everyone around her, especially those who love her the most - her lover and her daughter. Why Winter still loves her despite her treatment of him, defies logic. I just could not feel empathy for this woman and even at the end of the story, I did not like Zenia and doubted that if this were reality and not a story, there would be no happy ending. She would continue to create her own unhappiness unless she got a lot of therapy.
I love Eloisa James' books. She has a way of making her characters come to life as if the reader was glimpsing into people's windows and watching their lives unfold. The author does not follow a scripted type of character. Each book introduces people with different types of personalities and backgrounds. She also likes to throw together unlikely love matches. India and Thorn make a great couple. And . . Susan Duerden is one of my favorite narrators.
I've read three of Laura Kinsale's books and each one is a treasure. The story is wonderful and consistent with her damaged hero and naïve heroine, much like those of the Bronte sisters. However, the heroine "Maddy Girl" was really irritating at times. Her constant worry over how she would be perceived by her Quaker "friends" was at odds with her love and concern for her husband who needed her far more than those supposed "friends". The book was a little overlong, but well worth it. While this seems to be a favorite of most readers, it was not mine. So far, the Shadow and the Star is my favorite, but that may change as I read more of her books.
Laura Kinsale reminds me of the Bronte sisters and their tales of damaged men and the sweet naïve women who loved them. I loved the story of an unlikely romance between two very different people with a mystery of nefarious evil brewing in the background threatening to ruin their love and lives. Except for Robert's abrupt manner and terrible courtship skills, I felt his pain when he revisited his past. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the gothic romances of the 19th century women who brought their abundant skills to the printed page.
The story of these two orphans who were raised so differently was compelling. The English/French girl, Leda, raised by an elderly spinster, was awkwardly lovely in her prudish innocence. Samuel's early life, however, was brutish and horrific; but he was saved by a kindly British couple and watched over/trained by their Japanese butler/sensei. The attraction between Samuel and Leda was instant, like a moth to a flame, but their mating dance was filled with pitfalls. I loved the story of these two lovers, but the reader's mispronunciation of Hawaiian words was irritating. Having lived in Hawaii for most of my life, I knew he was phonetically reading the words and guessing at how they were pronounced. I wonder why the author did not coach him better. For example, Manu (the shark god) is not Mano and most of the place names were also incorrectly pronounced. While his pigeon English for the local Hawaiians was laughable, his Japanese accent for the sensei was spot on. If not for that one aspect, I would have given this book five stars.
Made the heroine stronger.
No question - Temple!!
At first I wanted to return the book because I thought the heroine was so weak and lacked a sense of responsibility. She redeemed herself eventually, but it was too long in coming.
St. Sebastian - a lovable rake who really really loved his wife.
Acting out the characters and their personalities
When St. Sebastian got shot and faced his true feelings of adoration for his wife.
1. A better reader who wouldn't make all the females sound like snobs or prostitutes.2. The story got bogged down right at the beginning with 5 chapters devoted to conversations between snobbish women at parties talking about how to seduce men or cheat on their husbands.3. A smaller age difference between the protagonists (23 years is way too much to take seriously let alone get invested in the outcome of the romance).
I still love Eloisa James' books and this is the first one which disappointed me. I bought it strictly going by the amount of people who thought it was a wonderful story.
Better reader who didn't exaggerate the accents.
Not that I could hear. In fact, I stopped listening after Chapter 6.
I learned a lesson - don't trust the reviews. Also, I will not get any more books narrated by Justine Eyre.
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