The quality of this book depends on what you are seeking. If you just want a mushy, predictable story with some romantic moments and steamy scenes, with honestly likeable characters, it hits the spot. If you are a little deeper, it will feel childish to you, like it was written by a high schooler with a good vocabulary. It is not remarkably memorable to me; nothing like Georgette Heyer, Amanda Quick, early Kathleen Woodiwiss, or the infalable Loretta Chase. But with few worthwhile choices on audio, you could certainly spend your free credits more regretfully. I was actually rather into it at one point (somewhere in the middle, I think) but my energy fizzled out before the epilogue when the romance got sappy and drawn out. I, for one, did NOT like the narrator. The heroine's voice is always important to me and this gentleman pretty much ruined it and even put the wrong intonation on phrases which might have worked if said flatly or less dramatically. My guess is that it is better to read this book than to listen.
Outlander is the top pick for every romance reader whose put together a list of their own. This was the first Diana Gabaldon novel I have ever read, and I did so purely because it is so widely loved by all.
Naturally, given the hype, it could not possibly have lived up to my expectations. It was long, painfully so, and though the plot was creative and the writing fair (a little overdone with the attempts at artistry, I fear), I could not like this story. She is married already- doesn't that bother anyone else? And Jamie beats her. On purpose. And likes it. What was Gabaldon thinking? After 800 (or so) chapters, I STILL couldn't forgive him and hated the heroine for so quickly and lamely getting over it without even making him earn her forgiveness.
I suppose the character development is noteworthy, and the dialogue is better than average. There is a lot of unbelievable monologuing, however, which begins to resemble the narration after a sentence or two. There are also so inconsistencies with ages and timelines, but with a book this long, you're bound to forget what happened in your first week of reading by the time you get to the end. All in all, I'm glad I gave in and finally read this one, but only so that I know not to believe every review I read about romance novels.
I have grown to enjoy Amanda Quick's regency romance/suspense novels, although I've noticed they all have the same characters and virtually the same plot so that I often confuse them. I think she may have been trying to break out of that mold, by haphazardly moving the same characters and plot to a different era, but it doesn't work here. The romance in this one is like an afterthought to an overworked mystery that becomes very predictable once all of the characters have been introduced. My favorite Amanda Quick novel, The Paid Companion, blows out of the water everything they offer on audio here.
This isn't steamy, if that's what you are hoping for, but what do you expect from Georgette Heyer? It is romantic, though, and remarkably so for her. Vidal is a perfect leading man: slightly villainous, but good at heart and respectful of respectable women. And the characters are so well written, you'll laugh out loud.
Very well-written, as are all Georgette heyer books, and not at all steamy naturally, but this one is drier than usual even for her. If you are hoping for something to make you wistful about romance, this is one to pass by. If you just like good writing, it delivers, but even the climactic end where the obstacles throughout the plot have been overcome is rather anticlimactic, so don't get your hopes up.
I love historical romances, don't get me wrong, but I am not a stupid woman and don't like being treated like one by the author. Weak plot, flimsy unlikeable characters, and drab writing that drags the most boring moments on and on without hitting on even a single exciting moment are not even the worst part. The narrator takes herself so seriously that she speaks as if dictating a eulogoy for a king, drawing every phrase out slowly so that it actually causes physical pain to listen to the story. Just keep browsing; anything is better than this one.
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