I love this story by G. Heyer. I was disappointed by the reader. Actually, I have had indifferent readers before but this was just bad. Her voice for the mother in law grated so annoyingly I thought to fast forward past the parts but I was driving. Too bad, given the story is such a favorite of mine, I still have to recommend it. The story's charm trumps the readers performance.
Usually I listen to the whole book before writing a review but I only made 3 hours on this one. The heroine and the hero I did not like. If explicit sexually scene fits a developed story line then I find a well written scene suitable but gratuitously instead of characters and plot it is boorish. No more Eliza Knight for me. I have over 1000 audible books in multiple
genres this book is one of the few (less than 6) I have not finished. Really terrible. Despite the use of two narrators .
This is erotic fiction that is quite entertaining and funny though the historical/cultural parts are so far off I found it annoyingly unrealistic at times. I gave up trying to stay in time with the writing and imagined a time traveling hero and heroine with 20th century minds and morals. This is not in the same realm as Georgette Heyer writing in anyway and may be offensive to some who are expecting a softer romance in her style. I don't know what the other reviewer who compared this work to Ms. Heyer was thinking of in that regard except perhaps use of Myths which are used very specifically in this novel and the dialogue. Ms. Heyer embedded reference through story lines and with a much more subtle hand.
That said, this is a good story in its own right though I have to caution other potential listener/readers that this content being very, very racy. For example, can you imagine even in France that a lady would be able to wander into a store off a street in the fashionable part of Paris and find an erotic watch as a gift for her grandmother in the 1800's? If that does not make your head hurt or turn you off then this novel will be a treat to listen too because Kate Reading the narrator does amazing job.
The story jumps, its development is complex with lots of technical and cultural research obviously infused. The character development is thought out but it does not flow into the story line making this a less than easy listening book. There is nothing light weight about this myth laced into the story. The fantasy and reality are not as well transition as they could be with more technical writing skill than art - I think this is where it loses some readers/listeners.
Rosalyn Landor is one of my favorite narrators but she does not nail the American accents very well. Elizabeth the little girl is just not on mark. Neither are the other purely American character voices on point. I did like the book well enough I thought it more like one of those Modern Lit books on a reading list for college. I could see it was a good novel but generally did not consider it a fun read either as a thriller or a romance. I did not love it and it is not one of those I will listen to or read twice. This maybe for some worth a credit and for others maybe not. It depends what you are looking for in a book. It is not a feel good romance story and it is not a simple escapist type listen. It may be too cerebral for some taste. It very nearly is for mine.
This is a good book with interesting twists and turns about two preteens in an English orphanage that is very well run. It targets an audience along the lines of the Harry Potter or Hunger Games series. If you are expecting an Abby Cooper type character you will be disappointed. It is not written for an adult female audience. I did find it better written and the narrator a better narrator than the one used in the Abby Cooper books. The middle dragged a bit but overall worth a credit and charming in its own way.
Audible is redesigning their website and I see I have 599 books in my library. Sometimes I will pick a book simply because it is recommended in a genre I like, as this one was. I wanted to like it, expected to like it. I did listen to all of this book, it has a good narrator and is creative and sound in plot development. That's the positive.
My issue is, while listening to this book it occurred to me, Captain Delaney, the hero of the book is in the list of top ten of people I would not want to be stuck in an elevator with. He has a poor opinion of women, in general a good woman makes sandwiches for him and his partner. A 1950's TV marriage and view of women from a man's perspective. I can deal with that in small doses but through a whole book it wears me out and at the end I wanted to kick him hard in a special place. Not as funny as his views on women, I found Captain Delaney's attitude patronizing relative to his partner's struggle with alcoholism. I learned from this book I like my heroes with a little more vulnerability and a little less self-righteous.
I don't understand the negative reviews for this audible book. The heroine is cantankerous and that is her charm. I have met women like Maddie, she is the older working woman who LOVES her job and does not want to retire, just because she has reached retirement age. How refreshing to think there are women who love their work and their late in life new man. It is charmingly played by the reader who puts a lot of heart into the performances with distinct voices for each character. I have listened to hundreds of audible books (long commute) this is one of the best performances I have ever heard.
This is one of the classic G. Heyer stories. The performance was done well enough. The French phrases were charmingly performed, This is the only book were the main characters carry across another story line in another book by this author. The Devil's Cub is the second book to mention these characters. Worth a credit.
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