Some thing by Lisa Kleypas.
She does different voices well.
The dialogue was corny. Not enough passionate scenes or attraction between the main characters. So much narration and not enough action. Wordy, wordy, wordy!
The first half was great. Romance, humor, personalities that were alive and quirky. Then the main characins marry and it's one misunderstanding on top of each other. I began to roll my eyes and say "wow, really?" Then everything was talked out and resolved (and there were a lot of misunderstandings) in the last scene of the book!
There were 2 villains but nothing ever happened with them in the story. We didn't get to live out their capture and humiliation. The hero explains to his wife (in the last scene) what the villain's plot was and that they were caught. That's it. It's over. Usually the villains actually have a part in the story. They kidnap someone close to the hero or almost kill them, etc. But in this story they're whole plot to start a war and use the hero to do it is literally wrapped up in a couple sentences in the last scene. So.....
I LOVE Eloisa James' writing, but this one story seemed like the first half was her but the last half just got emotionally dramatic for no good reason. Yikes! I feel kind of guilty writing my first bad review for this author. I listened to the end though.
Corrie James is a pretty good narrator. A few times she makes the male hero, Magnus, sound like a corny, sensitive, school boy. That may have just been the lines she had to read but her inflection was not right for the character. A lot of the dialogue was ridiculous.
Arabella (English) is saved by Magnus (Scotish) during a battle. He decides he has to marry her to keep her safe (makes no sense) instead of sending word to her father that she is well and protected and returning her. She refuses to consummate the marriage so it can be annulled. She holds out 2 days. The short period of time is unbelievable. She wanted to keep everyone safe. 48 hour later that no longer matters. No good explanation. His clan welcomes her english self with open arms. No hostility even though they are basically at war with England and hate each other.
If the situations happened for better reasons or were thought out by the characters instead of just happening this book would have had some depth to it. Example: Arabella runs away. She decides to go but takes no provisions, doesn't know how to get where she's going and travels alone in a country (Scotland) where she doesn't know anyone...while the English are known to be going around burning villages and the hostility towards her kind is high. She can't get the stable hand to let her ride without a guard so she walks. To England. No clothes, no food, no water, no money, no directions. It's ridiculous.
Sorry. I really wanted to like this book but it's just not gonna happen.
She does a great job of expressing each character's lines and putting personality into each one.
It was a little annoying the way book 1 overlapped into book 2. You heard the same scenes reread from Book 1 because the 2 stories overlapped time wise. I found it a little hard to really like the hero in this book because his character was severely flawed by his actions 5 years earlier with his brother's wife. (she wasn't his wife at the time, but she was a 16 year old girl he thought was a virgin. Really, what kind of man seduces a 16 year old virgin with no thoughts toward a serious relationship and no remorse or misgivings about his actions. A very gross kind of man in my opinion. Even WITH thoughts toward a serious relationship, it's creepy. I wasn't sure I would be able to root for him. In the end, he realizes his lack of character and changes. That's what saved it for me.
She does a great job expressing the characters emotions
Lots of stuff going on in this book. The premise was interesting. You need to read the books in the series in order because otherwise you'll be overwhelmed by characters and plots that were detailed in the previous books. This is the first in the series. There were wonderful love scenes, which, in my opinion, are so important in a romance. They have to be written in a believable way with heart and lots of hot seduction.
A different Narrator
I loved Cynthia's book "In The Garden of Temptation". Great story, good narrator. So I know that this book is probably really a good read, but the narrator makes it impossible to enjoy. Sometimes I just have to get used to the quirkiness of the narrator and then I'm good with it and its enjoyable, but there's no chance of that with this book. A shame good writing is made to be so unenjoyable.
She hesitates like she isn't sure of the next word. She isn't fluid in her reading. Her inflections are all wrong sometimes like she didn't realize where the sentence was going. She's super slow. I've listened to a ton of audio and this is one of the worst.
Frustration from listening to the narrator.
Like I said, this review is no reflection on the story or writing style. It's a shame they let this go all the way to the finished product with this narrator.
When Hyacinth's (Heroine) brother teasing her about marrying Gareth and says the whole relationship will be inundated with lisping. It was hilarious.
First let me say that Simon Prebble, narrator, is simply amazing! Wow! OK, that said, this book kept me intrigued, chuckling and happy to the very end. I loved it. Ms. Danbury, the old coot, was a such a great character. Hyacinth is so endearing and quirky. And the hero is very sexy! Very witty dialogue all around. The love scenes are steamy and detailed and beautiful! I loved everything about this book.
I liked this book although the characters emotions seemed a little juvenile sometimes. The narrator was pretty good, not amazing but good. I liked the ending and the secondary characters. Overall, it wasn't Victoria Dahl's best efforts in my opinion. I enjoyed her other books much more; "Real Men Will', "Bad Boys Do", and "Good Girls Don't".
The narrator was wonderful. The heroine lacked some spark that I can't put my finger on. Like she was just going through motions and not really invested in the romance. I still enjoyed the story and I think that was largely due to the wonderful narrator.
I'm not sure if the story could have rated a 5 star. I'm not sure if the story was juvenile or if the narrator just made it feel that way. Parts of the story made me smile and I thought maybe the lines would sound better in my head if the narrator wasn't delivering them.
Obviously the narrator.
I really liked the butler.
I would recommend this book. It was sweet and passionate. For such a short read the characters were well developed and the love scenes were very passionate and seductive.
I loved that the hero was vulnerable yet dominate and strong. I really liked the reader as well. She made the story come alive.
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