Indianapolis, IN, United States | Member Since 2008
My younger sister, who won't read anything that has "horseless carriages", recommended this author. I, who used to never read any romance of a historical nature, being a non-fiction snob in that area, decided to give her a try. At my older sister's insistance I have read and/or listened to Amanda Quick, Lisa Kleypas, Eloisa James, Jennifer Ashley and others. My favorite sort of book has to have at least some things to make me laugh, and A Night Like This met that desire The story was excellent, with the mysterious past of the female protagonist, and the inappropriate attraction between her, as the governess, and the Earl who is the uncle of her charges. It highlights the nebulous position a governess has in a household, and how this contributes to the conflict. The dialog between the characters, including secondary one, is where you get the giggles. There are tears as well and some excitement. The narration is excellent, which is always a huge plus for me (some narrators can get on my nerves). Give this one a listen and see if you don't agree with me! :)
First off, this is like a play with an act missing. Everything is too compressed. The premise isn't too bad, but the characters need to have some redeeming qualities, and the plot needs development. This was more like an outline for a book.
The narration doesn't give life to the characters, and the very WORST thing about this waste of time is the production values. It sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom through a tin can. Ugh! Audible must have been paid to take this on, but didn't give it a listen before putting it out there for us.
Narrative was first person singular, flip-flopping between the two main female characters, Lottie & Fliss. The male characters are expressed through their actions and what the female characters think of what they are told versus what they observe. There are some laugh out loud moments of the slapstick variety, as well as some witty dialogue. Only problems I had were the slow beginning and how flaky the character of Lottie came across.
I love the Cynster family novels. Strong characters who try, but ultimately fail, to avoid the ONE fate has in store for them. It is Henrietta Cynster who seems to have successfully avoided fate. She is 29, firmly and determinedly on the shelf. But you can't really outrun fate if you're a Cynster, even if it takes a while to catch you. The crux of this story is that there is a time constraint there hasn't been on others, and Henrietta is actually trying to find a wife for James, a man whose marriage plans she had upset. Although, as in every romance, there is a happily ever after, the suspense lies in whether James will have to choose between his apparently fated bride or give up on his honorable goal. Will he? Won't he? The narration was good, though when I listened to the first Cynster novel, hearing a male reader (even though Simon Prebble is one of my faves) for a romance was a shocker. But with the first several, the main protagonist was male, so I got used to male readers for all the Cynster novels I have (13 at this point) and Matthew Brenher did not disappoint with this one. Production values are good, as usual.
This is a pretty typical Amanda Quick novel, which I appreciate very much. I like the strength of her female characters and the clash/chemistry with her male protagonists. But AQ was the author who tempted me back into this genre a couple of years ago, after I refused to read historical romance for 35 years because of the rape plot device so many used back when I first started reading adult novels (which was in my early teens so, really, I'm not that old.) In Crystal Gardens: A Ladies of Lantern Street Novel, Evangeline is a woman with a paranormal power had which lead to an attack after a case,so the agency which employs her sends her to rusticate and recuperate. Of course, there are a couple of different mysteries to solve and personal issues with Lucas, the owner of the Crystal Gardens, a vortex of paranormal power. I have avoided most books described as "paranormal" recently because they usually involve characters I just can't accept, such as vampires, werewolves, demons, and the like, being featured as romantic heroes. I guess I am too old for some things. I read a lot of fantasy in my teens from authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffry, and Mercedes Lackey, so magic and psychic powers are more in my comfort zone as paranormal, and this novel is more in that realm. As for the narrator, it takes me a while to be comfortable with Justine Eyre, but I wouldn't avoid listening to a book because she narrated. She isn't my one of my favorites, but they can't do everything I want to hear. The editing and production values are good as well.
In this novel, a belief based on a lie left uncorrected leads to the misunderstanding that is the impetus of the plot. I like it that the hero has to work for the survival of the relationship, and the heroine gains strength and a belief in her own self-worth. There is growth in both characters. But I do have a problem, though it is not unique to this book. The girl saw him from the top of the stairs and decided she was in love with him. Her roommate's brother introduced them, they shared perhaps 10 words before a crisis interrupted the conversation, then she pined away for him for the entire Season. I hate the "love at first sight" plot device. Why can't it be a tingle at first sight, or just outright lust? Well, I guess girls didn't know sexual interest from love back then, but wouldn't they have the sense to want to know the guy before committing to him with their whole hearts and/or other body parts? At any rate, this was a fun listen.
I hope you listen to this book. The main characters have lives that are sort of similar in experiences, but from different eras. However, the author does not hit you in the face with it, but rather lets it float into your consciousness through the narrative. I mention main characters, but one seems to stand out more. Both are females with disconnected pasts, but the narrative of the older creates growth in the younger, while that growth helps the older character find more connection. I really would have liked more background on the younger woman, but I think Ms Kline wanted to focus on historic events rather than contemporary ones. I usually tolerate interruptions in my listening experiences, but I got downright cranky during this book. It's definitely going on my over and over list!
The story was somewhat interesting. Well, at least the blurb made it sound interesting. It was very difficult to know because the "performance" wasn't one, and the woman who read the story didn't do it well. The British accent on most words was okay, but others were just not right ( in either British or American). It sounded like she had never been exposed to some of the words at all. As for French words in common use in that era? Modiste is not pronounced like modest, the final consonant not followed by an E is not pronounced (for instance, "on dit" is pronounced "on dee") and the final E in a French word is not given a long A pronunciation. Oh, but one mispronunciation had me laughing out loud; there's wanton and wonton. The former, in most romances, means (sexually) unrestrained, while the latter is a Chinese soup. They are spelled and pronounced differently, and I don't care if the print version she was reading had wonton, she should have gotten it right just by the context. The story was less than fair, but better than outright horrible. I did like the heroine enough that I wouldn't slap her, but not enough to stop and chat. Neither the heroine nor the hero was fleshed out - I'm talking character, not body, but that wasn't described well enough for me, nor were secondary characters. We do know that Leah has red hair and freckles and thinks she's ugly, and that she thinks Hal looks like a Viking. There were a couple of things I did like about the book. One of the mysteries had a surprise ending, and the author used some references to Fanny Hill to parallel the sexual growth between the heroine and her hero. The editing of both the story(it was too long and somewhat confusing) and the audio could have been massively improved. Production values were okay. Don't bother with this unless it is free and you have a few hours to kill.
I tend to get irritated with problems that could have been ameliorated by communication. Of course had Jack continued to carry on knowing what he was doing wrong,vcvk, it may have been worse, and it really wouldn't ha changed the plot. But at least he would have known why Elizabeth was angry. Then there's the timing. The War of 1812 ended in February, 1815, and the soldiers who had been stationed in Canada prior to the war would have been unlikely to have been sent home immediately. But let's say he did get on the first ship out, he spent time in London before traveling home. Then he had to romance the angry wife and all of a sudden they're off to Belgium in March or April to wait for Napoleon to march out of Paris to Waterloo, the battle of which occurred in June, 1815. This timeline just doesn't work for me. Cognitive dissonance. I think, if I decide to give it a re-listen, I'll do some research of the British wars of the early 1800s first. Okay, all that aside, I wanted to slap the stuffing out of Elizabeth because she got angry over something she read he said right after their unconsummated marriage of convenience he said to his last English bedmate. The narration was okay - I wouldn't avoid a book because of her narration. Overall though, I won't likely listen again.
I loved the characters in this story. I like it when the female protagonist is strong, yet able to be tender. And the villain is so very hateful that you want to choke him. Jane is brave and Tresham romantic and unwilling to fall in love. Of course there is always the HEA in a romance novel, but getting there was quite entertaining. And having Rosalyn Landor for narration made it even more enjoyable.
The reason I say that this is an odd title is that it really doesn't have that much to do with the story. Sure, the hero was a rake before going to the Crimean War, but it really doesn't enter into the plot. The meat of the story is how he deals with his injuries and the effect they have on the plot line. It was kind of gut-wrenching for me because I knew I was going to cry at some point. The setting was nice in that it was in the 1850s and I have been reading or listening to many Regency romances ( reviews soonish), so the change was good. There was character growth, especially in the male protagonist. There really was no antagonist except for the situations in which the characters find themselves. Okay, as for the narration, I have to say that I didn't find Anne Flosnik to be as irritating as I have in the past.
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