On the eve of her wedding to the heir of Saiturn Manor, the stunningly beautiful Gytha is shocked to learn that her betrothed, a man she barely knew, is dead. Now she must marry the new heir, Thayer Saiturn, a battle-hardened knight, known as the Red Devil. With a face scarred in battle and a heart broken in love, Thayer has no interest in marriage. But not even the Red Devil can break the promise his foster-father made years ago, and he soon finds himself married to a woman whose exquisite beauty and sweet innocence intrigue him. But can his new bride look beyond his scars to find the hidden passion and undying love locked deep inside him?
©1992 Hannah Howell (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Gytha, a famously beautiful young woman, was betrothed at birth to the heir of Saitun Manor. The times being fraught with danger, her father deemed it safer to just betroth her to "the heir" whomever that might end up being, rather than a specific heir. For most of Gytha's life, that was decent, handsome William.
On the eve of her wedding, her father decided it was time to tell her that William was dead. He'd known for a while, but didn't think she needed to be told until now that she's to marry ROBERT. Gytha does not feel comfortable with Robert, even though he is nice looking, but she will do her duty.
Imagine Gytha's surprise when she arrives at the altar to find she's actually marrying…THAYER. Thayer, the heir second in line from William, was believed killed in France, until he showed up to attend the wedding of his cousin WILLIAM... or so he thought.
Thayer a renowned warrior known as the "Red Devil", scarred both in battle and of heart, does not want to marry the beautiful Gytha, fearing she could not be happy with a scarred, red haired husband and would not be faithful to him.
I liked the story, but the narration ruined it for me. Mary Jane Wells does not have the ability to change her voice enough for different characters to be easily identified. She reads quite fast, and without proper distinction between Gytha and Thayer (as well as others), it takes awhile to figure out who is talking.
I cannot recommend "Beauty and the Beast", because of the narrator.
A secretary by trade of good peasant stock, I listen and learn. Most of my experience is through books.
My favorite book by Hannah Howell, Highland Champion, sounds like an overdramatic constipated old man read it. That reader is excellent with Canadian/American style books, but is so fake in British/Scottish as to be a constant irritant. As that reader did many of my favourite Hannah Howell books, no, I would not buy those from Audible. Mary Jane Wells is excellent with conflict and cantankerous novels, but she has such a limited way of reading that I fear she would miss the mark for a novel requiring softer reading. She did a good job with this novel, but doesn't seem to have a large enough range to do many different styles of readings well.
This one is better than the ones I have heard, all by a certain reader.
I would have softened it, made it less shrill.
Yes. It was a reasonable second opinion for a historical romance reader, especially Scottish historical romance.
Mary Jane Wells did a good enough job, but still has much room to grow.
Finally a story without the perfectly perfect looking leading man. Or the perfect looking leading man that has scars. This is a realistic character with normal issues wrapped into a good strong, even if somewhat typical, HR. There is something special to be said for it too!!
Mary Jane Wells did a wonderful job as usual.
Yes credit worthy although I paid for it and will most likely buy the rest outright as well.
This was better than I expected. Awesome romance that inspired me to think of my own times of passion and grin foolishly. Maybe not a good book to listen to in public if your face is easy to read.
For sure.. this had me until the end. Surprising ending.
Hannah Howell has some very good stories. My favs are the highland romances. Her pick in narrators keeps me from fully reading the books. I actually returned them. This book I'll keep thanks to. Mary Jane Wells.
I have not read the print version. The narrator has received some bad reviews, but I think she is one of the best. She did a great job on all the voices and I have come to look for a Mary Jane WElls narration wehn choosing a book
When the hero found out his wife was pregnant. It was so funny, I could see it all in my mind. Most of the book included humour along with some very intelligent analysis on physical beauty. This was such an interesting book. It was very thought provoking.
Yes. I found this book when searching for her other narrations.
Absolutely. I could not stop and listened to it in one sitting. It had such great dialogue. Very little internal thoughts. The dialogue allowed me to understand what the characters were feeling and how they interacted with others. This made me care about them and become immersed in the story.
I was not expecting a lot from this book, but was so wrong. It turned out to be just great. I loved the two main characters and the wonderful supporting cast. It was funny and heart-felt. The hero's insecurity about how he looks is a change from the usual, where the female is the "ugly duckling". The H/H discussed issues with each other, especially after a love scene, so you got a sense that their relationship was growing stronger and that it was not just based on passion. There was a real sharing of two lives and how they have to blend together to form a marriage.
What can I say, I loved it!
"A good story, lifted by wonderful narration."
I feel compelled to write a review having just finished and thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. It currently only has very mixed reviews from audible.com that I do not think necessarily relate to a UK audience.
Canadian and American ears seem to be having trouble with the narration. Mary Jane Wells has read the entire book, not just the dialogue, in a gorgeously soft Yorkshire accent. I have to say this was an excellent decision and really enhanced the listening pleasure for me. I have abandoned many books due to poor narration, but this was the complete opposite. Rather, it kept me enjoying to the last word a book whose storyline may have seen me dip in and out, not finishing it as I did in two days. One reviewer called it "shrill" which I cannot for the life of me understand. Wells has a pleasingly low toned voice, and the care she has taken over this book is obvious. The narration is not perfect, there are a number of times when she changes character and it is difficult to tell which is speaking. But for all that it is the most enjoyable narration I have come across in quite a while (and I listen to at least 6 or 7 books per month).
As to the storyline, it is not earth shattering. I won't rehash the plot, but I will say that Thayer is a very trying man. He is deeply insecure, and spends almost the whole book waiting for Gytha to betray him. His insecurities cause him to fail to act when Gytha needs him to, and thereby letting her down (once very badly indeed). I spent almost the whole book wanting to smack him around the head, but I suppose this was good storytelling as we share in the frustration that poor Gytha is suffering!
Gytha is an exceptional heroine, she is witty, kind, protective, capable, endlessly patient, and her dialogue is fantastic. She is very straightforward, quick thinking and clear sighted. My only problem is that she is supposed to only be 17! In spite of this (and the fact that she is supposed to have had a sheltered, pampered upbringing) she can deal confidently with a huge unruly warrior of a husband, a cheeky stepson, two holdings and their people (one in complete disarray), the king's court, not to mention being attacked several times, kidnapped and nearly sexually assaulted twice! Her emotional intelligence and clever handling of situations makes her come across as much older than this. Other than this slight niggle, Gytha is a very likeable and memorable character, and this book will be a re-listen for me sometime soon.
This was my first experience of Hannah Howell or Mary Jane Wells, but I will be seeking out more books from both.
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