I picked this up with a forlorn hope, but it seems that someone has gotten though to Stephanie that we enjoy her novels for the stories! I definitely don't object to a well done bodice ripping in support of the plot and character development but I'm not interested in gratuitous sex. I've seen a lot of complaints, and obviously agree with them all, that her recent books have completely neglected the story and characters for the sex scenes, which is disappointing and tiresome. HOWEVER, this book takes it back to the basics, I don't think there is a full on sex scene in the entire novel and it's wonderful. I didn't have to skip 3/4 of the book!! I love SL's stories and I hope this means that she's bringing them back!
Oh, and, the reader is abysmal. He's got a radio announcer voice which really would have been better as a straight read; too bad someone told him to try and voice characters. It takes an effort to ignore that he sounds like he'd be more comfortable announcing a horse race or game of golf. But the story is good if you can get around it.
The performance was excellent; without it this book would have been unfinishable. It reads like a chatty gossip column. I can only give the author points for maintaining a consistent voice. This book could have been condensed to at least half its length. It was like the author picked certain events: introduction of protagonist, introduction of love interest, introduction of crime, introduction of suspects, etc., identified the chapters they would happen within 1-6, 7-10, 11-15, etc and then if the topic didn't fit the length of chapters, simply more words were added. Nothing actually happens until chapter 15 though I kept waiting and hoping. The premise and protagonist had promise and I was so disappointed that it didn't deliver.
I didn't expect to get so engrossed and interested - and invested!! - in the outcome. I think she actually writes an anti-hero! GH mixes it up on us here, there is an entire supporting cast of well done characters aren't what you might expect.
Cornelius Garrett's performance is brilliant and the story is taunt through out (doesn't start slow or end slow like some of GH's stories do). She certainly has a genius for dogs and boys and this is another with some adorable characters. I completely agree with Anne (from Portland)'s review. Elinor is a little tiresome but she's still a sympathetic character. This is one of my favorites.
Daniel Philpott does a splendid job of portraying the characters! He pulls off the appropriate accents and voices beautifully.
The story takes a while to gain momentum but the final scene scene is entirely worth it. It's classic Georgette Heyer: epic and laugh out loud funny (beware if you are in public).
I kept waiting for the more mature characters to take center stage but the story revolved around this spoiled, stubborn, selfish, whining girl. It's not unusual for Georgette Heyer to have such a character in some form or another but usually they have some redeeming characteristic, like wit, or they are a minor character and a foil to the more likable characters. This story revolved around her and (obviously) I never liked the character and it spoiled the whole story for me. I will never listen to this one again.
Sian has a lovely voice and it was the only thing that got me to the end of the story.
Clifford Norgate is brilliant! The strength of Ms. Heyer's novels are her characters and dialogue and Mr. Norgate brings the characters to life in the most amazing way. Love this story, the performance makes it even better.
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