Every gentleman has something to hide.
Meeting Heath Blackwood, a gorgeous English farmer, is probably the most exciting thing to ever happen to small-town landscaper Theo Brody, who has lived in quiet Maplehurst, New Hampshire, all his life. The sexy and secretive Brit shakes the foundations of his orderly world as they are swept up in a springtime romance neither can resist.
But Heath's secrets run deeper than Theo ever imagined. He's actually Heathcliff Pierrepont Blackwood, Duke of Kingston, in hiding from recent death threats. Suddenly there's more separating them than the Atlantic Ocean, and Theo doubts he'll ever fit in with English nobility. Though Heath and Theo are opposites in almost every way, their love might bridge the gap - if they're willing to take the risk.
©2016 M.J. O'Shea (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
Theo is the town’s beloved orphan. He’s a bartender in the winter and a landscaper in the summer. He’s had one bad boyfriend and is focused on making his business work to the exclusion of a love life.
When the grumpy Brit – Heath – walks into his bar, at first Theo thinks he’s a jerk – and he kinda is – but as time moves on – the two fairly quickly find they have more in common than just being the only gay guys in town.
Unfortunately, Heath is hiding something pretty big and when Theo finds out their lives – which are already complicated by living across the ocean from one another – become almost completely incompatible.
These Dreamspun Desire books are just plain fun! I love seeing all these old tropes changed to fit a more modern and gay storyline!
In this case – the secret nobility! – we get to watch little orphan Theo get all his dreams answered but really we get to see two really lonely guys find their soulmates.
I think MJ O’Shea is a fantastic writer and she managed to beautifully blend the easy, sweet and predictable trope into a more complex and really well thought-out and well-developed story about real people – not just caricatures.
I really enjoyed this and though the ending was a little less satisfying than I wanted, I appreciated that it left us in a very plausible place that was still very, very happy.
Rusty Topsfield tries very hard to have a good English accent and for the most part it’s passable. It’s enough that it gives the narration a little extra sense of “being there”. I really like his dialog but find his non-dialog parts sometimes a little “lilty”. In any case I don’t think it detracts from the experience and I was never bothered by any of the above niggling complaints. I think this is a great way to experience this story and highly recommend it.
For both the story and the narration 4.5 of 5 stars
"Duke in Hiding" is a sweet tale of romance between Heath, the British Duke of Kingston hiding in a small New Hampshire town due to a death threat and Theo, orphaned hometown boy who is a part-time bartender and full-time landscaper. The story is low on drama and angst, with lots of hometown flavor - friends around town, secondary characters Gilly and George, dinner dates, movies, more meals together, etc. There isn't a lot of sex in the book, but there's plenty of romance and you can really feel the sizzle and chemistry between Theo and Heath. However, after a pastoral slow-paced romance, however, the ending felt rushed and somewhat haphazard.
Probably another of the Dreamspun series books - similar style of books with guaranteed HEA.
No. My rating for the book itself is 3.5 stars, but I gave the narrator 2 stars. Usually there comes a point in any audio book where you forget about the narrator and the story unfolds. Unfortunately, I never reached that moment with Rusty Topsfield's narration. Topsfield places an odd emPHAsis on some words ... and there are ... pauses that ... disrupt the flow ... of the ... story as well as a "lilt" at the end of the sentence. Gilly's character has a very irritating "vocal fry" and I found the British accents very inconsistent. For me personally, the narrator did not enhance the story but rather distracted from it.
The story was enjoyable but I would not listen to it again due to my problems with the narration.
Story Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
This story was cute. At first I thought it was going to be “Pride and Prejudice”-eque with the big bad Duke finally showing his softer side to the local, lovable orphan, but that turned out not to be the case. The banter and tension from the beginning quickly morphed into this innocent, sweet crush turned sexual that sometimes bordered on a bit too cheesy for me.
But in the end. I enjoyed my reading experience. I liked Heath and Theo and even though they were often sickeningly sweet, I liked how they fit together. I enjoyed the way they brought out the best in the other and their romance was just what I needed to feel ooey, gooey, and oh so satisfied.
This narration wasn’t bad. It was awkward at times and the accents were a bit off, but the overall product didn’t take away from the story.
.... but didn't really like how the narrator performed the English accents. He didn't get it right and that detracted from the performance (for me). Ended up abandoning the audiobook reading the rest of the book.
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