Dear listener, have ever been immersed in a novel where the female character runs into a major scandal and you wonder, "How is she ever going to get out of this one?" To a novice listener the answer is always, marry the handsome yet controlling love interest right? However, Then Came You, by Lisa Kleypas will have you asking that questing over and over again throughout this compelling listen and believe me, marrying your Prince Charming or Irritating Nemesis won't solve all of the reputation ruining moments of Lilly Lawson.
Lilly Lawson, an independent woman who has earned her nickname "Lawless Lilly", does not avoid scandal. Instead she embraces it with enthusiasm to which her scandal allows her to be both admired and wanted by men. When Lilly hears of her younger sister's betrothal to the steel-hearted Lord Raiford she sets herself on mission to derail the betrothal so her sister may wed for love instead of obedience.
Alex Raiford is a complicated man with a past of love and lost, who does not take kindly to the infamous "Lilly Lawson" meddling in his affairs, and vows to punish her beyond what even her already tarnished reputation can recover, even if it means drowning in scandals by her side.
Then Came You is a creative listen with enough twists and turns to keep you engaged. Don't worry the love triangle is not the one you expect and you will eagerly log into your audible account use you next credit for the next installment- Dreaming of You. Happy Listening.
Have you ever heard the tale of the serpent and the frog? I' m sure you have and if you haven't, well...
Elizabeth Hoyt finally gives listeners the story of the mysterious Viscount Iddesleigh and I must say he remains a mystery even after the last syllable has been uttered. Which isn't the dissappointment you would expect. Viscount Iddesleigh appears in several of Hoyt's previous novels, The Raven Prince and The Leopard Prince and finds a way to endear himself to listeners as the shallow rouge whose only concerns are his roses, his flamboyant wardrobe and his own comfort. None the less, without fail this self-centered viscount seems to appear in the nick of time to render his services as an expert swordsman just when all seems lost.
Well, now it's the viscount's turn to be rescued and only the angelic Lucy Craddock-Hayes can chisel away the dark layers of his past and ongoing secrets to look upon the real man behind the title. Without a doubt Hoyt gives the viscount a list of inner demons to battle and his need for Lucy seems to be the salvation he desperately needs and truly believes he does not deserve. Yet the humility he shows to win her endears him to listeners. Lucy proves to be just the woman he needs but when his true nature and dark secrets are revealed can she accept him as he is or demand he change his nature to keep her by his side? Enjoy the listen as you journey with Simon and Lucy through torment, trails, and redemption in The Serpent Prince.
If you are looking forward to the usual fairy tale told by the narrator or as in the last installment, one of the characters, I'm afraid you may be a bit put out by the tale of the Serpent Prince. However, like the story itself the fairy tale may remain a mystery.
If you’ve ever read Pride and Prejudice imagine for a moment instead of Mr. Darcy you have the 4th Duke of Morland, Spencer Dumarque, who graces the ton with his presence only at the stroke of midnight to dance one set, with one young lady of his choosing, before disappearing into the night. Instead of Elizabeth Bennett, there is Lady Amelia d’Orsay who could care less about the Duke of Morland; however, decides not to dislike him- not for his careless disdain for others- but for refusing to forgive a gambling debt he now holds over her brother Jack, which in turn requires her family to rent out their cottage for the summer, and thus not allowing her to recreate the summer memories of her past at her beloved Brierbank Cottage. The two are not what they appear to be to society or to one another. In fact, Spencer only appears in society for brief periods of time because he suffers from Ochlophopia, an exaggerated or irrational fear of crowds, and Amelia is attempting a last ditch effort to save her brother Jack who seems to be in a steady decline to ruination after the death of their older brother. Despite the pair being thrust together into holy matrimony they seem content with the contractual arrangement for fear of being taken advantage of, or do they? Add to the plot the fact the Spencer is accused of murder, and Amelia will not consummate the marriage until he can prove his innocence. Honor, Pride, Prejudice or Self-Preservation, call it what you want. Sometimes it’s best to just say what’s on your mind and get it over with already. Spence and Amelia hurt each other a great deal by what they don’t say and clarify early on, although Amelia is the one who continues this lack of communication chain, and this is truly frustrating. This was a good listen and definitely kept me engaged. I have read the next books in the series unable to find them on audio and they are wonderful. I would definitely listen or read the first in the series before moving on to the others. Happy Listening.
Imagine if you will a masked vigilante who roams the night to safe-guard the innocent from evil is blackmailed into marriage to a unwed woman from a good family, and even though this action on the part of the vigilante secures the reputation of the young woman, she suspects the masked man is the murderer of the father of her unborn child and has sworn to take vengeance in her own hands after she loses the love of her life and her unborn child. Unfortunately, she is unaware of one small fact…the same vigilante she has sworn to kill, is her husband whom she wants desperately to agree to consummate their hasty marriage after many years of living apart in hopes of having the baby she has craved for years. This is the premise of Lord of Darkness, with the magic of Elizabeth Hoyt sprinkled in for romantic measure. Godric St. James first appeared in the Maiden Lane series, Wicked Intentions, as a wizened, gray haired romantic, hopelessly in love with his deceased wife Clara. Although a mist of mystery surrounded the reliable character, I never thought he would warrent his own book. However, through this listen we see a change in Godric from a man determined to walk in the deathly shadow of his wife, to a man yearning to step back into the world of the living. Lady Margaret, “Megs” is just the woman to do it. Sister of the notorious Griffin Reading, Megs is a strong willed-young woman unafraid to pick-up a pistol or two to avenge her lost lover, even if that means going after the infamous Ghost of St. Giles. This was a wonderful listen with two complex characters thinking neither of them deserve or is good enough to simply ask for or take what they want from life in order to be happy. Godric shows a side of himself that listeners would not have expected from previous novels and even made me wonder, “Was he this type of husband with his beloved Clara?” My guess would be no. Only Megs could bring out that side of desire in a man who seems so much in control in every situation. The narration… well I can’t say it was the best, and it did take me a while to get use to since the last narrator did made the novel come to like so well, but the storyline was wonderful and I got past the narration once I got into the story. . Not to mention Hoyt gives the listener a tantalizing peek at the next installment of the series and for one I am saving a credit for the next one.
What a tangled family tree Elizabeth Hoyt has grown. While one branch yields the ripest most delicious fruit, the other branch yields, the most sour and rotten. The Leopard Prince is an enjoyable listen with enough of the twists and turns fans have come to expect from Elizabeth Hoyt. Harry Pye is a servant, and Lady Georgina Maitland is a lady. These two don’t stand a change unless…well, it’s definitely not what you would expect. Harry Pye is the strong silent type, while Lady Maitland is the curiously chatty lady of the manner. Lady Georgina is filled with eccentric ideals and she holds tightly to her independence, while Harry is haunted by his past and determined to stay in his place despite Lady Georgina insistence to lure him to her way of thinking and her bed. To add to the intensity, Harry Pye is enemy number one to the town’s people as the resent killing of sheep cattle increase and a possible murder to two causes an 18 year-old vendetta to reawaken old fires. With the emergence of a few illegitimate children, the trunk on the family tree hardens. Hoyt fans that are used to the wonderfully cryptic fairy tale told by the narrator will need to adapt to the tale being told by Lady Georgina herself. Although I missed the narrator’s version of the tale, I soon looked forward to Georgina’s quirky telling of the tale of the Leopard Prince which allows the listener to better connect with the personality of Lady Georgina and how she becomes so endearing to Harry. Well worth the credit. Happy Listening.
What happens when you combine the story of a bad tempered earl, who cares nothing for what others think about him, loves agriculture and doesn’t mind getting dirty, with a beautiful young widow whose philandering late husband caused her to distrust any man who claims any warm feelings towards her in any way? Well… throw in a meddling mother-in law, a pair of courtesans, the late husband’s mistress a few blackmailers and you have The Raven Prince. Anna Wren may seem docile on the outside but to the Earl of Swartingham she is the perfect secretary. Efficient, direct, and with a mouth he cannot stop dreaming about. The Earl may be a brut but Anna who has been without a man’s touch for seven years (and her husband has been deceased for six) longs to be with him and when the opportunity arrives she grabs on with both hands in order to embark on the ride of her life with the earl in tow, even if he doesn’t know it is her he is making love to. And let me tell you dear listener he does it well indeed. The intense chemistry between Edward and Anna will have you staring into space with your mouth agape and will require that you give your head a brisk shake to bring your mind back to the reality of your own life. In addition, Hoyt also treats you to another enchanting fairy tale throughout the listen. Definitely worth the time and the credit.
Oh dear reader I was one of many who waited with baited breath and saved a credit just to wait for the “pre-order” link to appear for this novel. Once it did, I eagerly pre-ordered the book, set my alarm and woke up with its chime to download my new present to myself only to find I was nervous about pressing play. “What if it’s horrible? What if it doesn’t live up to my expectations?” Let me assure you all of this anxiety was truly wasted. Lover at Last is absolutely brilliant! Given the main characters of the book are not your “typical” M/F roles, please do not let this deter you from this download. The love story of Quinn and Blaylock has been building for some time, and true fans of the BDB series would not dare skip over this book simply because of a matter of a gender shift in the main characters sexual preference.
Lover at Last takes you to places in your imagination you did not expect to go. One minute you may be vacuuming you living room while listening to your audio book and the next you will find yourself sitting down on the edge of your couch in tears pleading the Quinn to just tell him. From the listener’s point of view there are too many favorable and emotional scenes to pick a favorite and too many raw emotions from both Quinn and Blay to not want to step in be their therapist.
JR Ward also sets up ambitions side stories with Layla and Score, (such a tender moment when he disarms himself to approach her) the shadow brothers Trez and the laid back IAM and Assail with his possible love interest Marisol. The Lessening society even seems to have some new tricks up their powdery smelling sleeves. I know many readers are looking forward to a particular couple in the next book, but I am hoping to still hear about them all even if only one is the focal point.
WARNING: For those of you who want to jump into this series, Lover at Last is not the place to do so. I plead with you to go back and listen to the earlier audiobooks to get your background primed and ready. Stepping in at this point would be like attending a family reunion with so much drama unfolding and you have no idea what is going on until afterwards when someone has to explain everything to you.
If you have read the previous books in this series and wondered what would ever become of poor Evie, wonder no more. Who knew Evie had a spine of steel hidden behind all of that stuttering. Evangeline Jenner, daughter of a lady and a the notorious owner of a gamming establishment realizes after years of mistreatment by her mother’s family she simply needed to embrace the shadier side of her father's life to live on her own terms. When she seeks out a marriage of convenience she knows she has found the perfect rakehell in Viscount St. Vincent who in his own way is looking for a purpose in life as long as it does not interfere with a wicked reputation that he has spent years cultivating. Devil in Winter tells the wonder of how stuttering Evie shows she is more of a woman who can tame any rogue, no corset needed.
Of course none of the males of the Bar Cynster are alike and why should they be? In this story, the listener is treated to a clear characterization of Vane Cynster, Devil Cynster's second in command. This story takes you on a wonderful journey wrapped in a hint of mystery, passion, and love. Vane is a typical Cynster male, while his female counterpart, Miss Patience Debbington shows you don't have be born a Cynster to make others bend to your will.
No topic is safe, divorce, drug addiction, child abuse, to forgive or not to forgive... James manages to touch on all of these topics without leaving the listener feeling depressed. Piers Yelverton, The Earl of Merchant, is a gifted physician in the area of diagnosis and treatment with the added gift of making his bedside insults scathing. Linnet Thynne is the beautiful young woman who finds herself in the unfortunate position of needing a husband to avoid scandal. In between insults they seem to find a happy medium by agreeing they would never suit each other. In addition, the sub plot of Piers’ divorced parents is also captivating. As the listener you will find yourself switching sides throughout the novel as each character’s full story is revealed you will think them justified in their feelings. Set in a castle in Wales, a more realistic scene as compared to that of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the story moves along at a steady pace without all of the repetition usually found in historical romances and with enough twists and turns to leave you wanting to listen.
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