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Castles: Crown's Spies, Book 4 | [Julie Garwood]

Castles: Crown's Spies, Book 4

Orphaned and besieged, Princess Alesandra knew that only hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Colin, younger brother of the Marquess of Cainewood, the bold raven-haired beauty instantly captivated London society. But when Alesandra was nearly abducted by her unscrupulous countrymen, the fighting instincts that won Colin a knighthood for valor were kindled. Deceiving himself that he wanted only to protect her, Colin swept her into a union meant to be a marriage in name alone...yet Alesandra's tender first kiss and hesitant caress ignited a wildfire in his soul.
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Publisher's Summary

Orphaned and besieged, Princess Alesandra knew that only hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Colin, younger brother of the Marquess of Cainewood, the bold raven-haired beauty instantly captivated London society. But when Alesandra was nearly abducted by her unscrupulous countrymen, the fighting instincts that won Colin a knighthood for valor were kindled.

Deceiving himself that he wanted only to protect her, Colin swept her into a union meant to be a marriage in name alone...yet Alesandra's tender first kiss and hesitant caress ignited a wildfire in his soul. As the lovely princess dashed headlong into unforeseen dangers, Colin would follow, knowing he must claim her as his own forever. Now he would risk life itself before he would lose this sweet, tempestuous angel....

©1993 Julie Garwood (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (233 )
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  •  
    Elizabeth Sandia, TX, United States 09-27-13
    Elizabeth Sandia, TX, United States 09-27-13 Member Since 2012

    I just Love the Allure of a Great Romance...a Pair of Rose Colored Glasses...some Fine Wine, and a Subscription to Audible...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing Ending to a Fun Series"

    Ugh…I usually love Julie Garwood, and while I hate to be negative, Castles, the 4th installment of the “Crown’s Spies” series, was a real disappoint. The story of Colin, and Princess Alesandra just did not measure up to the quality of storytelling that readers have been conditioned to expect.

    In the first three books, Colin was a very appealing character, and I was looking forward to his story, but in Castles, he was selfish, bitter, angry, and basically unappealing. As per formula, he comes around in the end to “save the day”, but it was too little-too late for me.

    I actually hated the narration. Heather Wilds’ attempt to change character voices and accents was almost too painful to finish the listen. Unfortunately, the enjoyment of an audible experience is largely dependent on the quality of the narration.
    Skip this one. You won’t miss much.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth United States 05-01-14
    Elizabeth United States 05-01-14 Member Since 2012

    I love Epic Fantasy....have become a Historical Romance fan because I am a sucker for a good Happily Ever After. Good characters are a must

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not best of the series...but ended GREAT."

    Anytime a series of books has the same narrator for three books and then finishes the last one with a different narrator its always troubling to the listeners.
    I love Heather Wilds narration in every book I've heard her in. She is different from the last narrator and that makes it strange going into the fourth book. But I think she might be getting a raw deal simply because she has a different sound from the last narrator. She is a good narrator and I really enjoy her voice. The "Colin" "Colon" thing was a bit troubling at first...but you can get past it.

    This book wasn't nearly as exciting as the 3 in the series....but it was still a good romance.

    There seemed to be a little inconsistency in the way Garwood wrote Colin in the last two books to this one..he seemed happier and nicer in the last 2 books. He's kinda mean in this one.

    The book got much better near the end. The story surrounding the romance got more interesting and Colin did become more like he was in the last 2 in the series.

    I wish the mysterious plot was more prevalent in the first part of the book because that would have made the book over all better IMHO.

    It ended brilliantly and I think it was a nice end to a excellent series!

    I thoroughly enjoyed it and feel it is credit worthy for sure.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan California 03-06-14
    Susan California 03-06-14 Member Since 2013

    Skipper

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sweet, funny, smexy, scary, but slow at times"

    A historical romantic thriller with psycho murder scenes. I have read this book in the past, and enjoyed it because I could skim the slower parts. Now, I have listened to the audio, narrated by Heather Wilds. She did a fine job most of the time, giving the princess a pleasant Germanic accent, which seemed suitable. Her voice is easy on the ears, not grating. Her portrayal of Colin was also good. She didn't try to force her voice to sound deep and gruff, like a man's, which often grates on my ears. However, she showed little or no emotion when portraying the love scenes, and her portrayal of the butler, Flannaghan, was a bit disappointing.

    The story itself is not my favorite historical by Garwood, but it's decent. The pacing is a bit slow and the plot a bit weak. Some parts are great, though.

    I liked Colin's devoted butler, Flannaghan, who fell over himself for "his" princess, Alesandra. I liked Alesandra's cleverness, surreptitiously handling Colin's ledgers and finding a way to ease his wounded leg. Colin is often grouchy, but I liked him, too. He made me laugh a little (but I didn't laugh during this book as much as during some of Garwood's other historicals).

    I could not buy the reasons given for Alesandra's decision to move in with a bachelor. Nope. Would never happen, lady's maid or no maid.

    The abduction plot thread with the general who wanted to marry the throne was predictable and somewhat inconsistent. Plus, some threads were left unfinished.

    I did not care for the scenes with the psychotic lady-killer, but this is typical of Garwood, to include grisly murder along with the seething thoughts of the sociopath. Apparently, she likes to write psychos into her stories, or maybe she depends on this trope to allow the hero to rescue, and to build tension.

    It was good to see characters from the prequels. The scenes with Colin's brother Caine were entertaing -- the scenes when he called the princess "the plague" and when he watched Colin find something wrong with every potential husband.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonda Spanish Fort, AL, United States 10-06-13
    Rhonda Spanish Fort, AL, United States 10-06-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Could not get past this narrator!!"
    Would you try another book from Julie Garwood and/or Heather Wilds?

    Julie Garwood yes but not Heather Wilds!!


    What could Julie Garwood have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    She should have used the same narrator as she used in previous 3 books in this series.


    What didn’t you like about Heather Wilds’s performance?

    Nothing at all.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle Faribault, MN 01-13-14
    Gayle Faribault, MN 01-13-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Not my Favorite"

    I was excited to finish this series, but I must admit this book was my least favorite of the series. Once again, characters were great and there are always laughs, but Colin's story got to be a little over the top chauvinistic for me and that says a lot considering the times they are writing about. It was good to see continuing characters and I needed to finish the series; however, book 2 of the series remains my favorite.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonja Lubbock, TX, United States 11-07-13
    Sonja Lubbock, TX, United States 11-07-13 Member Since 2010
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    "COLON IS A BODY PART NOT THE LEADS NAME!"

    The narrator ruined this book. I just really wish they had kept the original narrator for the series. This narrator pronounced the male romantic character’s name as colon. Really, how can you listen to a book that makes you think of colonoscopies every single time she mentions his name. It just doesn’t work! HIS NAME IS COLIN!! IN not ON. I got through the book, but I just didn’t enjoy it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian BOZEMAN, MT, United States 09-03-13
    Marian BOZEMAN, MT, United States 09-03-13 Member Since 2007

    Oldies Lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Last In The Crown's Spies"

    I have long enjoyed all of Julie Garwood's books but this series was the first I read. My one complaint is that the 'reader' continues to pronounce the hero's name 'Colin' as 'Kurlin'. It drove me crazy!!

    Still, I really enjoyed being able to listen to much-read favorite.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay TX, USA 09-29-13
    Jay TX, USA 09-29-13 Member Since 2009

    I am quiet and love being comfortable. I love curling up in a corner either reading or listening to a nice romantic book.

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    "Great book, horrible narrator"

    OMG!!! Julie Garwood, one of my favorite authors did a splendid job with this story and the ending I believe to the Crown Spies series unless another pops up. The narrator however, I would think twice about listening to another book that she narrates. Her character voices were horrible and I nearly died with the pronunciation of "Colin". At first I had no idea what she was saying because she made it sound like "colon". I was so very disappointed!!!! Who does not know how to pronounce Colin? If I had a magic wand and could have zapped another narrator to read I would have done that.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina TN, USA 09-07-13
    Tina TN, USA 09-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Great listen."

    I am so happy with this new narrator. Now if she would just go back and redo The Secret by Julie Garwood I would be thrilled. For me narrators can make or break a good book. This narrator was good. I am not familiar with this narrator so it took me about 5 minutes to get use to her voice. But after that I was happy. I can't express how important a good narrator is to me. A bad one destroys a book while a good one can make an okay book better.

    Castles is 1 of many of my favorite books. It is fast paced. Something is always happening with no long and boring periods. I call these types of books page-turners. And this is definitely one. I get bored with books very easily so this is important to me. I never got bored with this one.

    The story has a lot of humor. Even after I have read the book so many times that I can read it in my head I still laugh at the funny spots and still look forward to my favorite scenes. I heartily recommend this book to one and all who enjoy a light and relaxing listen. It will bring a smile to your face. I find the characters very endearing. As you can see I don't give a description of the book. I let the publishers do that since I am not very good at writing. But I can give my opinion on what I think of the audio version of the book.

    I would suggest you click the buy button on this book. Sit back and enjoy the story. It is a keeper.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Moffet ALASKA, USA 12-05-13
    Amy Moffet ALASKA, USA 12-05-13 Member Since 2009
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    "THE NARRATOR IS AWFUL"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I liked the other 2 books in this series but could not get through this one because the narrator is terrible. she mispronounced names and the accents were all wrong.


    What other book might you compare Castles to and why?

    The Lion's Lady, Guardian Angel, and The Gift were all read by Susan Duerden and i enjoyed them.


    What didn’t you like about Heather Wilds’s performance?

    She drolled on and there is no life in this story.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    maybe


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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