Warning 1: If you haven't read books from this series, this is NOT the one to start with. Go back, way back, pre-Acheron and start the series.
Warning 2: If you have read the series, as I have, be prepared. Do you remember how Acheron's book came with a warning? Kenyon prefaced it with a message along the lines of, "This is not my usual book. The first half is hard to read..." Well, THIS book should have had a warning as well. If reading/listening to the first half of Acheron was hard for you to handle, take the awful, painful, desperate sense you remember from it and multiply it by ten. Then experience it for the first THREE-FOURTHS of this book.
This is a LONG listen. Four parts, over 8 hours each, which I will round to approximately 32 hours of listening time. Do the math...that means that for over 24 hours of your life, a FULL DAY, you will be listening to the horror that Styxx lived growing up. Then, when you get to part four, you will hope the happily ever after part of the story will begin. It doesn't. It moves to present time period, but the payoff for all the suffering you have endured won't really begin until the last five hours left in the book.
Sigh. That is a long time of suffering for little payoff. Don't get me wrong. It isn't bad writing or bad narration that you are enduring. They are both so vivid that you feel like you are actually experiencing some part of the awful life Styxx had. If this had been a book, I would have skimmed it. But you can't really do that on audio.
I can't stress it enough in my warning. It is as if Kenyon sat down, wrote a list of every awful thing that could happen to a person, and sat about weaving it into a grief- and pain-filled story. I can never say that I liked this book. I liked the last five hours, and I'm glad I know what happened. But I would have much rather been able to skim the awful parts. There's only so much rape, treachery, abuse and neglect I can read about...
Here's hoping the next book is a little lighter on pain and a little heavier on action and romance.
Phil Gigante does a great job as always. The story was interesting and creative. The idea of the highland targe is a novel one. I like Scottish romances that have a bit of intrigue. There were a few slow parts, but overall I found the audiobook enjoyable. I will likely buy the next in the series.
I bought this because I like romances and Phil Gigante as a narrator. He does a great job as always. The story, however, leaves something to be desired. The characters are likable enough, but the premise is doubtful...a sheltered heiress (albeit to a Texas ranch) goes to work anonymously as a cowgirl on a ranch. Also, several times I rolled my eyes. Why would a Wyoming rancher hire a PI from Houston? And of all the PIs in the world, the same guy gets hired by her Texas family? Why didn't the characters see what was coming? Also, as satisfying as some of the scenes were near the end, they were predictable. I won't buy more of this series, even if my favorite narrator is on board.
This is a magical story, weaving present and past, romance and mystery. The characters and sense of place are exceptional. Any fan of the Outlander series will like this book. I highly recommend it, even if you general avoid "paranormal" romances. It isn't truly paranormal; it simply weaves present and past together in a moving romance with a bit of suspense thrown in as well.
I highly enjoyed the narrator and recommend the audio version over the print version.
You will love this story!
The two readers bring to life characters that I know and love. The thought of Mac being "read" by a male, or God forbid, Barrons being read by a female (!!) would have kept me from listening. Natalie Ross and Phil Gigante do an amazing job.
I had read the series twice before downloading the audible version. It did NOT disappoint!
Barrons, of course! Mysterious, dark, sexy, overprotective & stubborn. He may drive you crazy, but you love him!
Barrons! Though Phil reading as any of Barrons men is entertaining: Ryodan, Fade, Lor.
I also think Natalie did a great job as Dani, which she continues in ICED, the spin off series.
Barrons & Mac...so many moments!
Read the whole series! This is the fifth book, and it may not make much sense if you start here. This is a great series, with lots of complex characters. Shadowfever is AMAZING, but should be read in context.
Original Scottish Romance
This series (4 books about 4 brothers) brings to mind Maya Banks Scottish Romances. But Ian can't really be compared to other heroes. He is different than the stereotypical male lead. My guess is that he has something akin to Aspergers, though the author never names the condition. He doesn't read social cues, and has an eidetic memory. He isn't sure how to relate to others, especially women. The story of he and Beth, and her love for him bringing him out of his shell is refreshing.
I like the scenes where Beth is figuring him out. His brothers have long understood that Ian is different. They love and protect him, but don't really understand how his mind works. Beth loves him too, and they find their way as the book goes on. I like to hear about them in the subsequent books as well!
Yes! But it is long. I used it to make household tasks more entertaining!
Angela Dawe brings life to the characters, somehow even managing to distinguish voices of the 4 Mackenzie brothers and other minor characters. How she can come up with 7 or more different male Scottish voices, I will never know!
Please listen to the series in order, and you will enjoy it more. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie and The Scandalous Marriage of Lady Isabella come first. Angela Dawe reads those too!
Maya Banks Scottish Romances. Hot men, headstrong women, great setting.
Her read brings to mind the era, the various classes of people that were so prevalent in that time period in England. You can hear the dialogue brought to life.
I haven't read the print book, but I can't imagine reading it without hearing Angela Dawe's voices in my head. In fact, I just downloaded the print version of A MacKenzie Family Christmas, now that I've finished listening to the four main books about the brothers. I hear Angela's voices in my head as I read it. I am relatively new to audible.com, but after hearing the four books, I have been searching for other books she reads. I'm ready to pack my bags and head to Scotland after listening!
This is the Fourth book in the series; I recommend starting with The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. The second book is Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage and the third is The Many Sins of Lord Cameron. All main characters from the first three appear in this fourth book, and you will enjoy it more in chronological order.
Similar to Maya Banks Scotland books. Strong, stubborn hot men, headstrong women, wonderful Scot accents. What else could you want in a romance?
The family photograph scene towards the end.
Yes, but instead I listened while I did chores around the house. Made folding laundry much more enjoyable!
I would recommend the book, but suggest starting with the first book in the series. Alaric and Quinn's story builds through the first seven books, and this final book brings them together. The read/listen will be much more satisfying if you have read the full series.
Quinn and Alaric finally figure things out!
This was the first time I have heard her performance. I thought she did a good job with the male and female voices.
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