This book does a very good job of capturing life at the court of the Sun King. It not only focuses on the brilliance of the court and the king but also his disappointments, his failures and his losses. And he lost a great deal, especially in his later years.
An incredibly important historical figure, the Sun King was so much larger than life it would be easy to create a caricature of him. Ms. Fraser avoids the easy road and makes us realize that someone, who in his time was revered and reviled on the same level as God and the Devil, was also a human and his life was shaped by very human tragedies.
Sometimes the authors biographies read almost like fiction. She can glamorize and idolize a person to the point that you know it cannot be accurate. She doesn't do that in this book. Perhaps because it would be hard to conceive of Louis being portrayed as more glamorous and more idolized than he actually was in real life.
I enjoyed the first book in this series, On Dublin Street, a great deal. I was impressed with the depth of the characters, the layers of problems that made the main character a complex, difficult yet compelling, woman to love. I bought Down London Road as soon as it came out, but for some reason I put off reading it. I think I put it off because the main character in Down London Road was a secondary character in On Dublin Street, and not a particularly interesting or sympathetic character at that.
When I finally did read this book, I was very glad I did. Like On Dublin Street, it is at its core a contemporary romance. But again the depth of the character makes it much more than that. The aspects of Jo I found unsympathetic and uninteresting in On Dublin Street were explained and she suddenly became a very strong, brave and sympathetic person. I think the open animosity against her expressed by her eventual love interest made the reader defensive and protective of Jo and suddenly she was a character worth knowing. The character of her younger brother matured throughout the book and the closeness between the two main characters was portrayed realistically but felt very genuine.
I thought the narrator did a very good job with the book.
I highly recommend this.
If I read this book on my e-reader I likely would have finished it but it would not have made an impression on me. There was nothing that truly set it apart from many of the fluffy period romance novels written by far less high-brow authors. The story was OK, not quite good and certainly not great. I must admit I expected more. The characters didn't seem fully developed and were presented inconsistently. The silly plot (which isn't a criticism, it was supposed to be somewhat silly and exceeded at that quite well) was wrapped up abruptly and in a way that seemed unplanned.
Katherine Kellgren breathed life into this book. She is one of the few narrators that I either love (Her Royal Spyness Series) or she sets my teeth on edge (Blackout). I loved her narration in this book. Like the Spyness series, the characters in this book were made just for Katherine Kellgren's voices.
As long as she is narrating, I will eventually read the other two books in this series. If it was not for the narration, I would have stopped at this one.
This book was so much harder to listen to than the first book in this series, Dark Secret Love. Tyler states at the beginning of each book that while they are fiction they are highly autobiographical. So I approached them both from with a level of seriousness. While the narrator on Dark Secret Love wasn't one of my favorites, she did a credible job. Her narration gave the book weight. She took the content seriously.
The narrator of The Delicious Torment sounded like she was reading letters to Penthouse. She had the whole "I'm trying really hard to sound sexy, but I just sound incredibly silly" thing going. And she sounded silly all the time, whether the text warranted it or not. I assume since Ms. Tyler goes to great lengths to tell her readers that much of the plot reflects her own life, she would like the book to be taken somewhat seriously. But with this narrator, that won't happen. Rather than hearing an author's honest exploration of her somewhat unique sexual lifestyle, we got someone auditioning for Girls Gone Wild or to be a phone-sex worker.
Putting aside what I thought was a totally inappropriate approach to narrating the main character, Ms. Falcon also does a terrible job with the male voices.
I did not enjoy this book as much as I did the first book in this series. I think I would have, with a different narrator. As it stands now, if you want to read this - get it on your Kindle and avoid the audiobook.
A very powerful book. I stumbled upon the first book in this short series, Code Name Verity. I was terribly impressed. It seemed well researched, extremely detailed and highly engrossing. Even though it was dealing with a time in history and events that are well known, it still managed to surprise me.
Rose Under Fire was a more difficult read and at first I did not think I would like it. The heroine was a little to perfect and perky to be believable. Then it seemed to settle down and I became immersed in the story. The perfection and perkiness soon slipped away. While the first book definitely had dark segments, much of Rose Under Fire was downright bleak. So bleak that it was sometimes difficult to continue. No matter how many times you read of the atrocities of the second World War, they can still hit you hard. Especially when told as compellingly as this book.
I loved the periodic insertion of both Millay's and "Rose's" poetry. If you are not a poetry fan, that might make the book a little more difficult to push through, but I thought it only added to the context of the story and she used the alliterative aspect of poetry to further the plot line.
I thought the narration was extremely well done. The voice of Rosa, a Polish prisoner was a little grating, but I think it fit the characters age, experience, personality and situation.
I heartily recommend this book.
Enjoyable book. I liked that it was told from the man's perspective. Since the author was female I have no idea how accurately it reflects a man's perspective, but it was funny, engaging and an easy read. Sebastian York is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators, in fact I would have rated the book a little lower if not for the narration. It was spot on.
It reminded me quite a bit of the Christina Lauren series - especially the first, Beautiful Bastard. Tangled wasn't quite as funny or fast paced, but if you enjoy the Beautiful series you will enjoy this. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
This book far exceeded my expectations. My actual rating would be 4.5 stars and I am really only downgrading it from a 5 because it started out a little slowly. But that didn't last long. And once the plot got going, it moved at a pretty fast pace.
I found the perspective tools the author used worked well on this book. I realized who the first narrator was before she identified herself, but not immediately. The narration helped keep the mystery going a little while because they weren't using the accent I would have expected.
The climactic scene did surprise me. I had been holding out for a different result, but I never suspected this one.
I thought the characterization was very strong. I quickly empathized with the main characters and found them very relate-able, something that doesn't happen all the time in historical fiction.
I thought the book was fairly sophisticated for Young Adult fiction. I was fascinated and appalled by this era of history when I was a Young Adult, but I know several of my friends were squeamish at some of the topics explored. This book doesn't dwell on the torture and sadism, but it doesn't sugar-coat it either. I certainly didn't feel like the book was speaking down to me and I am a long way from being a young adult.
It was obvious that the author did a great deal of research. The events, technicalities, characterizations and environment all seemed true to the time period. Nothing stuck out as particularly inaccurate or out of place.
The two narrators both did a very good job. I would listen to audiobooks narrated by either of them again.
I am now reading the sequel to this book - Rose Under Fire and am about 1/2 of the way through. It contains several of the same characters, and is also a good book, but not as strong as Code Name Verity.
I strongly recommend this book.
... my favorite combination.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sometimes you just need a book that you don't have to take seriously. And there is no way to take this book seriously.
I love the Dempsy family. They are about as disreputable as it gets. And Temptation, as towns go, is pretty dysfunctional. When you add quick-witted dialog and a great narrator, it makes a very entertaining book.
I loved the chemistry between the two main characters as well as all the crazies orbiting around them.
Cruise can be inconsistent. Never bad, but not always good. She out does herself in this and especially in the sequel - Faking It. I wish she wrote more books about the Dempsy family. They are her best characters by far.
I really enjoy audiobooks. So if an audiobook is available, that is usually my first choice. Sometimes though, I regret my decision. And this is one of those times. The story is told by two narrators in alternating chapters. So the audiobook used two narrators as well. One was fine. The other was annoying as hell. I think that this was primarily because the character portrayed was annoying as hell. Intentionally. While they are never my favorite character type, I can usually handle annoying characters - in small doses. But the annoying Will Grayson took up half the book.
If I read this myself, I think I would have been able to tone down the annoyance level in my head and made that part of the book more palatable. In audio format, with this narrator, rather than the character being toned down, he was ratcheted up 10 notches. And that was about 15 notches too many for me.
As far as the plot itself, 1/2 was a familiar coming of age story about an insecure teenage boy named Will Grayson. 1/2 was somewhat insulting. The annoyingly obnoxious Will Grayson was a caricature. He was so out there it was somewhat beyond belief and his portrayal fed into the misconceptions, disinformation and prejudices that make teenagers, never the most forgiving and accepting group of people, ostracize, humiliate and generally make life miserable those they think are different than them. Fortunately, most of those that fall into this group would likely not read this book.
Technically the book was very well written. The two authors involved had obvious writing chemistry. It was often touching and emotional. It was also quite funny. Unfortunately the most humorous sections were slightly uncomfortable because I felt like I was laughing at someone one, not with them.
All in all, I recommend the book. But not in audio format.
To me, the plot of this book was not nearly as engaging as the first book in the series was. The mystery wasn't particularly mysterious and it did not capture and hold my attention. However, I appreciated the background information about Magdalena included in this installment. It made her character far more understandable. I also liked the additional information included about her co-workers.
These are not, edge of your seat nail-biting mysteries to me. Rather the author does a great job (I think) of capturing a time and place, giving the reader a better understanding of each, along with those that inhabit it ... then throws a bit of mystery into the mix.
I will continue with this series, at least through the next book. After that, the change in narrator means I will switch to the e-book.
So, if you enjoy a great deal of historical ambiance, with fascinating, well developed characters, and a little mystery on the side, I recommend this book.
What an interesting concept and unique plot. Most of the time it worked very well. But the book was almost too strange and too cold to say I actually enjoyed it. I thought the premise was fascinating. But I felt I should have more empathy or sympathy for Bessy and I couldn't seem to muster any.
I also found the ending abrupt and unnatural.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.