This was a great story as a standalone book or as the next in the series. I really enjoy Elizabeth Hoyt's ability to create sexual tension - it's so deliciously drawn out and then spoon fed throughout the story. I also enjoy the weaving in of subsequent story lines. I know some people find them annoying but I enjoy a robust cast of developed characters. That is real life after all. Ashford MacNab does a wonderful job with her voices and her delivery. I wasn't crazy about one of her male voices - she made the hero's brother sound like a sniffling bore when he was really just a normal guy with all the flaws we love about all our romance novel men. Overall though, a very good story with very good narration.
For over 30 years I've heard nothing but wonderful things about the Grand Dame of novels, Georgette Heyer (My mother has EVERY book.) I was cautious going in to this as I've heard her novels are a bit wordy and that they adhere strictly to social conventions of the times. Well, call me pleasantly surprised when I found myself giggling at scenes and even wordy dialogue (I guess I've matured!!) And although it was difficult to distinguish some characters with Nicholas Rowe's narration overall I found he really brought life to the dialogue and it was specifically his reading of many of the characters that made me giggle. Will be trying another Georgette Heyer soon.
I really enjoyed this story. And truly no one writes a love scene as beautifully as Gaelen Foley. As in the first book, I found myself disappointed with narrator's male voices and accents - very distracting -- but her reading/acting is done well and not a reason to pass this by. The story line was full of highs and lows for this star-crossed pair and Darius' love for Serafina was heart-breaking.
This story is intense and not for readers who are easily offended (or for young readers.) There truly are mature themes but they are handled so expertly by the brilliant Gaelen Foley. She can write a scene in a way that makes you feel as if you're experiencing the emotions right along with the hero/heroine. Elizabeth Wiley does a good job with the narration EXCEPT for the strong male leads. It was a real negative for me. Hard to get into the scene when the hero sounds like a caricature or more accurately an old peasant woman. Sometimes I wasn't sure if the accent was italian or russian. But, that being said, this is definitely a credit-worthy story and I'm excited for my 5-hour drive tomorrow so I can start on the next book in the series.
Ignoring the poor production quality is a must. I really wanted Jack to stop being so proper in Viscount Vagabond and felt bad for him when he lost the girl. So I really enjoyed that he gets his own story and all his moments of "losing his cool" in The Devil's Delilah. I found it quite comical that Delilah could really get under his skin and shake up his composure. It was a fun story and as always the dialogue really draws you in.
I'm very upset that the production quality was so poor. I ADORE Loretta Chase and her sublime story telling. The sound quality was very bad and the recordings of the main hero made him sound like he was shouting. I was half way through the story before I was able to "get into it" and not be so distracted by the sound quality. And of course, once a Loretta Chase story grabs you it's wonderful. Probably could've been a 5 star story if I hadn't been so distracted. I immediately listened to book #2 while I was still accustomed to the production quality. But bottom line is I'd rather have poor production quality than no new Loretta Chase audiobook so I'll take whatever Audible's offering. She's too great a story teller to ignore.
As always the pairing of Laura Kinsale and the brilliant Nicholas Boulton has resulted in a 5 star experience. They say this book is supposed to be "lighter" than Laura's other books and contain more humor but don't for one minute think that you'll be robbed of the heart wrenching ride that we've come to expect from Ms. Kinsale. Watching the two main characters try to reconcile their current life and perceptions with their past love was a delight. And quite frankly I always feel as if I'm listening to a movie when Nicholas Boulton narrates - he doesn't read the book - he becomes the characters. To hear the catch in their throat or the uncertainty in their voices - he makes you feel as if you're listening to real people.
I really disliked the first Laura Landon book I listened to but thought perhaps it was the narration. Thought I'd give her another try with the great Rosalyn Landor and while it was palatable I wouldn't get another one by this author. She tends to use superlatives too often ("he NEVER felt like that" or "no other woman EVER made him feel like this") and focuses on stating the obvious over and over again. I find the author to be very formulaic in her story telling and while this is not uncommon in the genre, this author fails to add witty and engaging dialogue and/or characters that I can really like. This just isn't for me.
This is certainly a different kind of story line and not a bad one however I felt as if some parts of the story could have been developed a bit more and perhaps it would have drawn me in more. By all means, if you're an Elizabeth Hoyt fan, do take a listen. It's worth a credit. I just personally found the heroine and her mother-in-law a tad too unbelievable. (I'm probably just being cynical.) I was also a little bothered by the short story of The Raven Prince -- it's basically the Greek Myth of Eros & Psyche (great story by the way!) Maybe I missed her crediting that story as the basis of her Raven Prince but if she didn't than it's kind of lame to use it and not credit it.
Loving these Noirot Sisters! And Kate Reading's performance is PERFECT! I love that Loretta Chase makes the heroes a little bit dopey and not "all powerful" - there are plenty of stories with perfect heroes and sometimes it gets boring. The Earl of Longmore is big and strong but not the sharpest tool in the shed. Sophy is sharp as a tack and very strategic in her thinking. Listening to these two banter -- and of course with the brilliance of Kate Reading's delivery - is absolutely entertaining. If you enjoy clever dialogue and witty banter, Lorretta Chase is your author and Kate Reading is your performer. Love the two together.
This was definitely the weakest of the narrators in the series . . . too bad because the storyline is very good. I completely agree with the reviews that state the narrator sounds angry all the time. She practically barks every line the Duke utters. Certainly some situations called for it but mostly the narrator's attempts to make him stern just came across as inappropriately angry. The love story itself was heartfelt and I'm sure in the hands of Ashford McNab I would have enjoyed it more. Still, if you've listened to the series, you definitely don't want to miss this story.
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