Charming rascal Tristan Northwood seems to have it all: an ancient name, a noble inheritance, a lovely wife, and a son he adores. Women love him, men admire him, and it seems there is nothing he can’t do, whether it’s seducing a society wife or winning a carriage race. Little does society suspect that the name means nothing to him, the fortune is in his father’s controlling hands, and he has no interest in his wife except a very distant friendship. Society bores him, and he takes dares because he only feels alive when he’s dancing on the edge...until his wife’s brother comes home from the wars.
Decorated war hero Major Charles Mountjoy jerks Tris out of his despair by inspiring feelings of passion Tris had never suspected himself capable of. Almost as terrifying as those feelings for Charles are the signs Charles might return his affection - or, even worse, that Charles sees the man Tristan has been trying so valiantly to hide from the world.
©2011 Rowan Speedwell (P)2012 Rowan Speedwell
In genre it reminds me a lot of the late Barbara Cartland books, though that should not be set as a guideline for the story.
Gibson, I loved his accent. In general Paul Morey was excellent at performing voices, as they only changed slightly in tone, instead dialect and accent were used to describe the individual characters.
The story had a great diversity among the characters, Charlotte and Tristan were probably those with the best descriptions. The initial description of Tristan's life, not only as a child but also leading up to his marriage quickly stirred my sympathy. The changes that transpire for him through his life are well described and I love the initially slow moving romance.
Charlotte was a delight to listen to, though I often disagreed with her decisions she has a calm way of looking at things. During the first quarter of the book I often found myself smiling at her odd inputs. I might have continued to do that through the rest of the book, but when you do it all the time you stop noticing.
All the main characters had pretty well-developed backgrounds as you moved on through the story.
The stigma of sodomy at the time is handled very well in the book, both how society views it and how the protagonist deals with it.
The language is also generally kept in the right language, very few times is new slang used instead of the more proper form of speaking. It does not make the book hard to understand in any way, but it creates the atmosphere of that time. Only slips I noticed was during the sex scenes, which there weren't too many of. There was more focus on the romance and what it meant to their lives than the sexual part, which I found very refreshing from a lot of gay romance audiobooks.
I only have the audio version to go by, which was fantastic!
The accuracy of the history, and the details of the time.
Tristan. He's very insecure and immature at the start, but he grows so much throughout the story.
Tristan Northwood is a deviant by the standards of his time. He drinks like a fish, parties like a rock star, takes any dare that is thrown his way and sleeps with any woman that blinks in his direction. It’s all just a façade that he presents as his public persona. He lost his mother and baby sister when he was just a boy, and he’s felt his father’s disdain for him every day since. Now a grown man, his father continues to control him as he is the one that holds the purse strings.
An arranged marriage is set as the Baron no longer wants his son and only heir ramshackling his way across the countryside. Charlotte Mountjoy and Tristan are married and being their otherwise unconventional marriage as mere strangers. Over the next several years though they develop a bond that is unwavering, becoming best friends and parents to a little boy with another child on the way. But Tris is even more restless all these years later. Until Lottie’s twin brother Charles comes for a visit.
Tris is attracted to Charles from the start, which only adds to his uncertainty as of late. He’s always had an odd attraction to the same sex, but never acted on it due to the negative and damning effects of homosexuality at the time. Charles as well hides his attraction to Tris, until he learns that the attraction is mutual. But Tristan’s self loathing and dangerous plans threaten to destroy any chance these two would have at happiness.
I loved the history that was woven into the story. From the costumes of the period down to Napoleon and the war. The book was set in the late 1800’s, a time in which homosexuality was considered sodomy and punishable by incarceration, possibly death. It was interesting how Speedwell painted this aspect of the storyline without weighing down the overall story. I was fascinated as I listened to Tristan’s exploits and followed him as he went from insecure and immature to a strong, fierce and loyal doctor. Charles and Lottie play a huge role in his growth throughout the story. They both love him unconditionally, but it’s Charles that is IN love with him, and it’s that love that gives Tris the strength to become the man he is at the end.
This book was narrated by Paul Morey, and Morey is a fantastic story teller. You can hear the emotions in his voice from changes in octave to slight nuances within the different characters. He expertly nails the sensuality and passion of the more intimate scenes between Charles and Tris as well. I know they say an audio book is a different experience from reading the story, but I would recommend this book regardless of the final delivery.
I really enjoyed this story. Tristan and Charles are a great couple. The story is mostly about Tristan's journey as a man from "self hatred" to a "man of worth". He credits Charles with his transformation, but it was mostly him. The backdrop for this England during the war with Napoleon. The historical aspects are woven in beautifully. Paul Morey does a great job as usually and he really drew me into this romance. The female minor character is delightful, but probably a little unrealistic. She is married to Tristan and encourages his relationship with Charles. Great for the story, but . . . Overall, definitely worth a credit.
First of all let me say I loved Rowan Speedwell's other audiobook Finding Zach it was such a refreshing change from most of the other male/male fiction out there. So it was with high hopes I started Kindred Harts. the good thing is Speedwell still manages to draw a complex main person who is dealing with real issues. the bad news is I just could not find myself sympathizing or even empathizing with anyone in this book. I mean don't we all wish we had Tristan's issues he is smart good looking seems to have a matural ability in almost every field he enters and oh yes he is rich too. The idea that the love of his life just falls into his lap was just too much. By all accounts Tristan is a likeable guy who is just very lonely. I found myself asking if he is liked by almost everyone why is Charles the first person to show him kindness. it was this theme along with a contrived plot that made me almost stop listening several times.
I will give Speedwell's work another try because of her first triuph but this book was a great let down for me.
Let me begin my review by saying that I had actually read this book when it first came out on my kindle and had given it 4 stars so I thought it would actually be fun to listen to it since I was waiting for the next installment in a couple different series and just needed a filler. To say that I was disappointed was an understatement. First of all, the narrator REALLY got under my skin. The characters in this book were mostly English but not one of them had an English accent although a very poor Scottish brogue was thrown in there every once in a while. Second, there were a few times that as the narrator changed characters he never changed voices or if he went from a male character to a female, his voice actually became deeper. Also, I'm not really sure if I just didn't remember the story as being so trite or if it was just hearing it instead of reading it and kind of narrating in my head but I really just wanted to tell Tristan to stop being such a whiner and grow up. Not to mention Charlotte was the most out of touch person on the planet. So I am sorry to say that I actually had to force myself to finish this book and was really sorry to have wasted a credit on it especially since it went on sale for $6 after I purchased it.
Perhaps-- depends on whether I'm interested in the topic or not.
god awful pronunciation
While in general, I like Paul Morey's voice & pacing, the pronunciation mistakes were so bad as to become ridiculous and distracting. Goethe, for instance, is not pronounced "go-eth." And having not one, but two characters supposedly fluent in German, actually making that fluency a part of the plot, means, probably, that they'd get that name correct.
That said, the story was interesting, in a regency m/m romance sort of way. Predictable as anything, but nice brain candy.
The performance, aside from the pronunciation errors, was enjoyable as well. Morey has a nice voice, calm and soothing. His character voices keep the story entertaining, and the characters are clearly distinguishable from one another and the narrative voice. Seriously, a little research could've made this performance much, much better. However, the place names, historical and literary names, French & German pronunciations.... all suck. If you don't mind that, go for it. It bugs the snot outta me, personally.
War, History, Aristocracy, Victorian moral values AND a gay love story? What more can you ask for? If I would have had time, I would have listened to it all in one sitting. All of the characters are relatable, well written and interesting in their own ways. The story line is easy to follow and entertaining and the narration couldn't be better.
I have no idea what would have made it better. It just didn't hit me.
not something that kept me listening.
I don't really know
No. Just rated
"Great story wrong reader?"
Firstly I must state strongly that I love Paul Morey's readings of other books I've got and I wish he'd been used for the 3rd volume of "Matter of Time" but that's another review!
I loved the story line of this book but oh how I wish they'd used an english reader or at least taken some time to check pronunciations - there are a large number of "odd" pronunciations - some of which come up time and again.
Leicestershire is pronounced Lester-sher
Spittlefields - Spit-el-fields
Tripos - Try-pos
Lieutenant - Lef-tenant
There were a couple of one-offs that had me laughing out loud.
For a booked based mostly in England to an English listener these become rather intrusive and detract from the overall enjoyment of what is an endearing story.
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