I did not enjoy listening to this book. First of all, I didn't care for the narrator, Antony Ferguson, whose reading style was so slow, and so full of long pauses, that I listened to most of the book with the speed at 1.25. Second, the first 50%+ of the book seemed to be nothing but long, detailed sex scenes between Jonas and Sidonie. I like steamy, but Sidonie's journey from innocent virgin to hot mamma went by in a flash, and I can easily do without so much description of their every move. I actually liked the last third or so of the book, when things begin to happen, but by then those things felt a little rushed.
Jonas was a fascinating character, scarred both inside and out, and the story of his redemption was very interesting. Unfortunately, that story didn't save the book for me, especially since Sidonie did some pretty dumb stuff along the way. All in all, I understood the lust but never quite bought into the love.
I enjoyed reading this book (and its two sequels) and really liked listening to the audio book. Gildart Jackson is a new narrator to me, and I adore his voice. I could fall in love with Edward de Lacey just by listening to him. He does, however, need to tweak his heroine a bit; she sounds like a middle-aged spinster aunt rather than a passionate half-Italian young English woman. I think that male narrators should avoid using a falsetto for female voices and just strive for a softer tone. He sometimes talked . . . too . . . deliberately, especially when voicing a female character.
That said, I highly recommend this audio book, especially if you're looking for a steamy, but not crude, read. Edward is just the kind of lover most women desire and Jackson's rendition of Chapters 16, 17, and 18 is lady porn at its finest.
Oh, what a delightful book! Writing in 1990, the young Loretta Chase was not yet at the top of her game, but there are flashes of the brilliance to come. And as is so often the case, Chase creates a hero who is appalling and seductive at the same time and a heroine who is not the least bit cowed by him.
The narrator is very good, but I have to mention that the production quality of this book is simply not up to the standards expected of a first-class author like Loretta Chase. Unlike her more recent titles, this one, along with Isabella, is self-published and not produced by Tantor or Blackstone. I certainly hope that Ms. Chase or her agent sees the reviews and takes action on future audio books.
Loretta Chase is HR royalty and she deserves better. Don't let this complaint prevent you from listening, however. You'll have lots of fun!
Loretta Chase is historical romance royalty, in my opinion, and her many fans have waited patiently for her books to finally appear in audio. Her magnum opus, Lord of Scoundrels, appeared earlier this year, as well as the three volumes of the Dressmakers series.
Those titles had first-class production values, but Isabella, sadly, does not. The narrator is good, but the sound quality is very poor. Blackstone Audio produced LOS and the Dressmakers, whereas Isabella and Knave's Wager (which also suffers from poor sound) are self-published. These are among Chase's earliest titles, so perhaps no publisher was interested in producing them in audio.
I've been hoping that the Carsington series would appear in audio, but I certainly hope that Ms. Chase either does not self-publish those titles or finds a better producer for them.
British actress Phyllida Nash does a wonderful job voicing the many characters in this book -- one the the best of Heyer's catalogue. Highly recommended.
Not for nothing has Lord of Scoundrels been voted the No. 1 Romance at All About Romance for the past decade. The dissolute Lord Dain and the confident spinster Jessica Trent are an unlikely ideal couple, but the brilliant writing of Loretta Chase makes this story a joy from beginning to end. Kate Reading finds just the right voices for all the characters; her narration is excellent.
If you've never listened to historical romance, this is the book to start with.
This was my first Sabrina Jeffries book as well as my first time to hear narrator Corrie James, and the experience was most enjoyable. The heroine is feisty but not irrational, and the hero is appropriately "dukely." Part of the story is a road trip to France, traveling as a middle-class married couple, and it's fun. The mystery was well done and kept me guessing. The entire plot takes place over just a few days, however, and the duke's devotion to his lady happened way too quickly.
Corrie James did an excellent job handling male and female voices as well as British and French accents. For Lisette, born and raised in England to a French mother, she did just the right mix of accents. I will definitely be on the lookout for more books narrated by her, especially the next book in this series.
This is one of my favorite Georgette Heyer titles, and listening to the narration by Daniel Philpott makes it just perfect.
Hugo Darracott unexpectedly becomes the heir to his grandfather, Lord Darracott. They have never met, because Hugo's father married a "weaver's daughter" and was cut off by his snobbish, irascible sire. When Hugo arrives at the estate his grandfather shares with his widowed daughter-in-law and her two almost-grown children, he realizes that they are expecting to meet with an uneducated, uncouth common working man, so he decides to give them exactly what they expect.
In reality, Hugo is a (recently sold-out) major in the army, educated at Harrow, and vastly wealthier than anyone else in the family, so he has fun impersonating a hick (or whatever the British term would be for a hick). A major plot point involves the broad Yorkshire accent that Hugo affects as part of his spoof. I found it difficult to follow when reading the book, but the audiobook was so much better.
There are lots of characters, feuding valets, and skullduggery afoot, and Daniel Philpott finds the perfect voice for everyone. It's light on romance -- really more of a comedy of manners. This is one of Heyer's best comedies, though, so I highly recommend it to Heyer fans.
As I listened, I kept thinking what a wonderful play this story would make, something that never occurred to me when reading the book.
This is my second audible BOGO title -- an older Kleypas historical that I've never gotten around to reading.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, even though it is not up to the standards of Kleypas's later titles. The lovers fall into the sack rather quickly, and the dramatic plots twists are not so very dramatic and are resolved quickly and cleanly.
Susan Duerden is a new narrator to me, and I have mixed feelings. She did an outstanding job voicing the characters. Tasia's Russian accent was not laid on too thick, and her male voices were all excellent. She has a narration style, however, that annoys me, and I'm not sure that I can adequately describe it. When coming to the end of a sentence, she raises the pitch of her voice, whereas a more natural style is to lower it. (?)(help me out here, Caz, is 'pitch' the right word) This results in an almost sing-song style and adds a tone of, I dunno, urgency to every sentence. This is the same style that drove me nuts listening to Angela Dawe's presentation of Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzie stories, one of my favorite HR series.
There is a sequel that I haven't read, and I expect that I'll listen to it. The hero is Prince Nicholas, who is the villain in this story. It's always fun to watch how that happens.
Sebastian, Viscount St. Vincent -- what a hot mess. The total degenerate who, after marrying solely for money, discovers he has not only a heart but also a talent for running his bride's inherited business. I do believe that LK has created the hottest bad boy in all of Romancelandia (although Lord Dain is a close second).
Rosalyn Landor is a wonderful narrator, and although I thought at first that her St. Vincent voice was a little too pompous, it grew on me. All of her other voices were great. She is indeed one of the top audiobook performers out there.
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