The roller coaster was too much for me. All the yelling and anger about clan feuds was something I couldn't relate to, as much as, I liked the character of Paton. I'm luke warm about Anne Flosnik as a narrator for this genre (not a sexy voice to me).
This novel takes place over a 2 year period, but I didn't get that sense of time passing - all of a sudden it was half a year later. Not really important, but at the same time the story was too long and sort of lost me by the end - there was no sense of 'climax' (no pun intended). Some of the supporting characters were never developed (including the dog!) yet they kept figuring into the plot line, so I guess it felt a bit empty. Now, keep in mind I'm comparing this to something like Outlander which may not be fair. It was a good story, unique character interactions - the whole dominatrix thing. Also, I've discovered I'm not into medieval tales because religion plays so much into their decisions that I just can't relate to i.e. main character's motivations for not marrying b/c he thought he would be taking her down to hell with him. I listened to it because I had listened to the first book in the series.
It may have been because I was home sick for days - a captive audience - listening to this book, but I really enjoyed the characters. Even though some were hard to love at the beginning, their motives were well backed up. It was refreshing to have kids play a substantial role in the development of the plot - the author must have had or been around young kids at the time to get them so spot on. The dialogue drew me in scene after scene and the 'landscape' was unique. I even didn't mind the religious undertones. As with any novel older than a decade, there is a disconnect with descriptions of the fashions, but I worked with it. The 'bonus' romance worked to lighten the mood when it was needed. I'm rating based on the other books in the series by this author ( I have rated Outlander which is in another league with 5 stars but don't attempt to compare apples to oranges).
This will appeal to you if you like to immerse yourself in the minds of two main characters as they try to figure out their attraction to each other. There were a few cringe-worthy sexual tension scenes, but if you're a 'leg man', this will appeal to you! Overall, neat twist on Pygmalion theme. Overall narrator has a good 'booming' voice and did his job because I didn't actually like the hero on account of his language at the beginning (not very romantic), but by the end I had forgotten how he started out.
I am reminded that I should write reviews immediately after reading a book, because the plots tend to all blur into one big novel, if I wait too long. So, all I can say is that I enjoyed being in the Lear world for one more book, but the British accent killed the male lead for me. I was able to overlook it after a while and she seemed to do well with the female Brit characters. But the male lead sounded at times like Irish, at times like Texan. Too distracting from the great dialogue. I personally can't imagine having to jump from southern American accent into British for a whole novel, so kudos for that at least.Try it if this doesn't get under your skin!
I liked the characters. I discovered however, I am not a fan of mixing abuse/sex crimes with romance in the storyline. I was a bit confused about who was who in the sub plot, but was able to ignore that and still get the most out of the main characters' interactions. I also dug the supporting Irish characters. The male Irish accents, however, all had me envisioning Leprechauns - especially the main male character - not so sexy. And something about the girl's voice also did not seem realistic to me. So, good plot but some distractions. Maybe with a different narrator, I will follow the series.
If I hear Simon declaring that she is his wife one more time...that's what was going on in my mind on several occasions in the story. Jessica does not feel loveable, but it takes a while until we hear the reality of her past and why she is so insecure. The storyline did have a unique twist to it, (which I obviously can't reveal) - wish the author would've delved a little deeper into how that affected their interactions as a couple. Also, I've discovered I'm not a fan of the figurative language in love scenes..."soaring to the heights...". I prefer a more literal description - you won't get that here. Nor, am I a fan of gruesome crimes mixing with flowery romance. I get that the villain has to be painted evil, but it is a turn off for me to read about sex crimes. Rosalyn Landor made it enjoyable for a listen despite all the little quirks I mentioned - she has a good range of accents/dialects and her voice is deep enough to pull off male voices well.
Using Outlander as my measuring stick means other series seem to come up short in the rating, but this novel/series is worth the listen. I listen to so many HR lately, they sometimes blur together to be honest. But this one stood out because just before this I listened to a highland novel where the language was too contemporary for the time period. The language in Wittig's writing seems authentic, though I'm not an expert. The build up to the main couple (there's always a couple at the centre) coming together was well timed with the story. I liked the supporting characters a great deal. The dialogue was witty and kept me interested. The narration was seamless. I will say at the beginning I thought I was hearing an Irish lilt, but that seemed to evolve until I didn't notice it anymore. I will try Laurin's other highland novels.
So, yes the narrator's voice is yummy on most characters. I just couldn't understand the little girl Lily's voice and thought Beatrice was overdone. Having said that, I think I prefer a narrator to 'act' the parts as Brad does - nothing monotone here. The storyline was good, but on a few occasions I felt the main characters came across a bit clueless for not being able to figure out who the 'bad guy' was - not believable on that level. There was also the quick ending/epilogue. I got the impression the author was tired of writing and just wrapped everything up quickly. From my p.o.v. and considering the other historical romances I've been listening to of late, if you spend that much time investing in the build up between two characters (vis a vis romance), you should let the reader linger in their coming-together. It just felt a bit anticlimactic in the end. With all that said, I am looking forward to another installment since anything 'Highlander' tickles my fancy, but I'll be sure to get my fill of other steamier romances in the meantime and maybe check out some of the narrator's other performances.
I really liked the characters and dialogue. I don't usually read the thriller/mystery genre. So, coming from the perspective of someone looking for a romance read and used to predictable plots with a decent plot, this was a little heavy on plot development for me. The love scenes were too few for me. When you invest so much in getting to know the main characters, you want to spend more time with them. The author was really trying to surprise the reader with a twisting plot, but I pretty much knew early on how it was going to flush out. For some (me) that can be comforting, for others - frustrating. The one surprise for me was **SPOILER** the treatment of Daniel's demise - he was just too savvy to let that happen to himself...I guess you could see it as self-sacrifice for his daughter. I kept expecting him to be the plot twist at the end.
The narrator was very good - a touch of Matthew McConaughey, however, he could have made more distinction between Parker and Mike's voices (Mike's supposed to be much older, but doesn't sound it).
I buy a series because I want and expect the romance formula...lovers in denial about being in love. This one was cute and I liked the concept of the 3 Lairds vying for GillyAnn's (sp?) hand/land. There were times I thought the main character a bit dense to not recognize the villain(s) and for not recognizing how important it is to declare your love for your wife...at least once. But that's the formula and I asked for it! Some fun sex scenes too. I'm continuing with the series. The narrator blends into the story well - no strong opinions on her either way.
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