Originally published in 1983, Royal Seduction is an authentic bodice ripper. Until I read one of these old school historical romances, I mistakenly believed the term bodice ripper was just a derogatory term for any romance. Bodice Rippers are typically historical romances published during the 70's 80's or early 90's and almost always include themes like rape, kidnap, abuse and/or forced seduction.
Having said all that, let me now reiterate Royal Seduction is an authentic Bodice Ripper. The hero, at least at first, is not at all nice to the heroine. The heroine is raped and suffers appalling treatment throughout the book. Personally, I find the whole 'days of our lives' atmosphere in these books hilarious. They're so over the top, so packed with eye rolling cliches and corny euphemisms, it becomes really hard to take even the more disturbing scenes seriously. To judge this book badly because of its themes of rape and violence is a little like judging an erotic novel poorly because of its explicit sex scenes. If you enjoy a good bodice ripper, you'll love this book. However, if your unfamiliar with old school historical romances you might not enjoy this one.
The plot was fast paced, the characters were engaging and the narration was good. Considering it only cost $1.99, it was definitely a bargain.
I really really don't understand all the wonderful reviews for this book! First of all I've never read a worse case of insta love and to make matters worse it occurs after the h/h have like a five minute conversation while the heroine is still a child. The first two chapters are basically spent listening to the hero express his disenchantment at the entire human race except for this one child (the heroine), whom he reminisces about with nauseating sentimentality even though he has only spent one fairly unremarkable hour with her three years ago. The third chapter sees our love birds reunited which means we now not only get to hear the hero's vomit inducing contemplations of the heroines attractiveness but we also get to hear the heroine rhapsodise about her deep emotional connection to the hero every two sentences. Chapter three finally concludes with the heroine declaring to herself that she is in love with the hero... whom she has spoken approximately ten sentences to over the entire hour and a half of their acquaintance. I didn't bother torturing myself any further with this one.
I'll admit to being a fairly pragmatic person and, because of this, I expect to have to suspend reality quite a lot when reading romance. However, I usually anticipate the fairy tale sort of unreality that leaves you with that tiny glimmer of possibility. So I found myself pretty switched off to this particular romance as it pushed the boundary into ridiculously unlikely. In particular I found it very hard to swallow a heroine who is in one breath portrayed as an enlightened intellectual and in the next shown to be too ignorant to know the difference between someone who is visually impaired and someone who is drunk. The whole idea that Bea would not discern the heroes' visual impairment was just way too far fetched for me.
First of all, I have to say hats off to Diana Pearlman. I tend to be overly picky about narrators but even I was impressed when this naturally American accented narrator managed to pull off impersonating someone with an Italian accent doing a bad impression of an American accent... That takes some skill. It's clear by all the negative reviews this narrator receives that everyone has their own pet peeves but personally I was impressed with the narration of this book.
The story was a little slow for my tastes but I did really enjoy it. All in all, I thought it was well worth the $1.99 I payed for the book with professional narration.
Maybe I went in to this book with too high expectations but I couldn't help but feel it kinda mostly just sucked.
In my mind the story can be summed up as hiking, fighting, "omg Jessica can do what now?", hiking while pining annoyingly over kidnapped mate whom Jessica has only known for like five seconds, more fighting, Jessica shoots rainbows out her rear and then hikes some more. It felt like the whole plot was taken up in clarifying the extent of Jessica's powers and it just didn't work for me at all.
Having said all that, I did manage to finish the book and it did have just enough plot development to keep me listening. I do kind of feel like the proverbial horse chasing after a carrot on a string and I'm not entirely convinced the author is actually going to deliver said carrot but I'm willing to read the third book to find out.
Generally speaking I don't have any issues with explicit sex scenes in my reading and given the title, I was expecting this book to include sex at some level. However, I do think erotica walks a fine line between good erotic fiction and trashy porn and this book unfortunately falls into the latter catergory. I would have said the same if this had been set as a contemporary romance but the fact that its set in Victorian england made it seem even more ridiculous. I'm glad I only paid 1.99 for this because really it was just bad.
Oh my goodness, I can't even begin to express how irritating this narrator was. I felt like stuffing forks in my ears after about the first 10 minutes.Spare yourself the agony and stick to the ebook.
The story was great but the narrators inflections and pauses are almost unbearable. For example "Damn it! Get down everyone" is read like "Damn it get down (pause) everyone". As much as I enjoyed the story, the narrator really ruined it. Not worth the credit, buy the $1.99 kindle instead.
I love this series. I love this series in audio. I only have one request, American narrators PLEASE DO NOT attempt to do an Australian accent!! As a native Aussie, I can say 99% of attempted Australian accents by non Australian narrators sound TERRIBLE! Luckily this audiobook only contains about a minute of this painful performance and was otherwise brilliant.
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