Madeline is my favourite Bastion club heroine. She actually IS a strong, independent woman and a lot of authors could learn how to write one from Stephanie Laurens!
Madeline runs the Gascoigne estate in lieu of her much younger brothers. She spends her days out riding, gives advice to local farmers and gentry alike, keeps up on their mining and investments, is a mother to her younger borthers and still finds time to be seduced by the hero Earl on the neighbouring estate when he returns from war. She comes off as intelligent and capable without being arrogant - a really likable leading lady.
Their love story is slow but passionate, and it was incredibly enjoyable to listen to Gervase decide Madeline was going to be his Countess then pursue her until she agreed.
The story is well-woven and the surrounding cast make the story even more enjoyable, the only let down is the characterisation of the female voices. The women all sound as though the narrator is mocking them, which I don't think he is.
That's not insurmountable - the story is so good I went back for a second listen.
Ever had Audible suggest something for you, where you stop, blink, and wonder if there's a glitch? The computer must have a virus or something? Because that suggestion is *nothing* like what you normally listen to? Well that's what I thought when "Chasin' Eight" came up as something I would like. I mean - cowboys? Bullriders? I like Earls and Dukes and sometimes Demons or Vampires. Not Cowboys.
It turns out Audible was very very right. After half an hour I was not only hooked but utterly converted - full on Western lover. "Hoooooo yeah. Bullriders!" Chase McKay is one HOT professional bullrider who is used to getting everything he wants. The story opens with him in an explicit threesome that doesn't exactly go his way. Suddenly he doesn't get sex all day everyday with the always willing "buckle bunnies" on the rodeo circuit, now he has to lie low and keep scandal free.
Ava Cooper is an LA actress whose series has been dropped, who is being stalked by the paparazzi, and who lost her confidence the moment she discovered her boyfriend came out to the world before he did to her.
Chase organises to hide out in his ranching cousin's old trailer to avoid the temptation of sex. Ava escapes to her lawyer friend's cabin hoping she can have a holiday fling with a cowboy, any cowboy, to get some of her mojo back.
It's at that trailer where they meet. In the middle of the night. Naked.
The story goes from strength to strength from there on out. The pair form a tentative friendship, change up their looks and go on the road, hoping to rebuild Chase's bullriding career and Ava's filmmaking eye. On the way there's some serious UST, then lust, then genuine love.
The characters are hyper-real and hyper-hot. Chase and Ava both grow as people as they fall in love but they're still sparky firecrackers the pair of them and it's engrossing. Not to mention erotic! I couldn't bring myself to even pause this story.
Props to the narrator - I thought she did a terrific job with both Chase and Ava. Some of those steamy scenes in the middle were almost melting my earbuds!
If you haven't met the Rough Riders series yet, then know that Chase is just one among a slew of hunky McKay brothers and cousins, each and every one of them ready to be fallen in love with. Don't let the fact that this is book 8 put you off. This is a self-contained story and a great place to start. It does a great job of introducing you to a Wyoming family filled with plenty more rough and ready characters to capture your heart.
I usually listen to regency romances but picked this on a whim (the cover was pretty - that's my entire rationale).
It was surprisingly enjoyable! Both the main characters are down to earth and lovable, the plots are easy to follow, and the narration was terrific. The surrounding characters of their friends and family provide a nice backdrop as Kayla and Sean become friends and then fall in love on the set of their daytime soap. Sounds corny but it's really well done.
I definitely recommend this one as a highly enjoyable holiday read!
Great story, made utterly confusing in this abridged version. Characters are cut out and the plot gets hard to follow. I love Janet Evanovich but get an unabridged version if you can, this one really let me down after previously listening to C. J. Critt's fantastic unabridged reading of "One for the Money".
The summary drew me in and the plot sounded good in theory but the first forty-five minutes were consumed with explaining unengaging back-story.
Aside from that, the narration was such a hurdle that I had to give up before the end. In fact the awful performance is all that sticks with me - reminded me of listening to the class all take turns reading aloud in high school.
This book was a real let down as I otherwise enjoy having a narrator of each sex do the performance. When we met the Scottish love interest who sounded just the same as the English one, it grated so much I had to turn it off. Unfortunately the American accents just didn't gel with the English Regency setting of the novel.
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