He's a duke. He's a mathematical genius. He can't talk and he's locked in a lunatic asylum. Only a modest Quaker girl can reach him, but when she helps him to escape, she's swept into his glittering aristocratic world, her life torn apart by his desperate attempt to save himself.
Laura Kinsale personally chose the exceptional talent of Nicholas Boulton to narrate her classic romance Flowers from the Storm - cited by readers of The Washington Post and Glamour magazine as "one of the greatest love stories of all time" - creating a fresh and unique work that brings all the power and intensity of the original to audio.
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Amazon had a sample of the audio book on the same page they were selling the book. It was at an amazingly reduced rate because I had purchased the book for my Kindle. The audio book price was a temptation and I had loved the book so much. After hearing the audio sample I made the purchase. Nicholas Boulton, the narrator, must be an incredible character actor. His interpretation of the book and the characters was remarkable.
The story is not a typical romance novel. Not a bodice ripper even though there is a Duke. Oh it is sensual, but the story....it is so very good. Unlikely lovers, lots of tension, lovely use of words by Laura Kinsale. Not insipid like 99% of romance novels tend to be.
His performance is incredible. He gives voice to all of the characters and each one is unique. Especially as Christian, who is suffering from the effects of a stroke, Boulton's intensity and passion is flawless. His timing is perfect. He is not simply reading a book, he is making me fall in love with a story and the characters that live in it.
I read the book in 24 hours. Then I started over the next day. I am a voracious reader and this is the first time that after finishing, I was compelled to start again...slowing down to relish every word. In Flowers from the Storm, Kinsale elegant use of language was striking, vivid and sensual. With the audio book and Boulton's performance, the story reached a new level. Amazing! Finished in two days, but have re-listened to it or parts of it repeatedly. Currently it is my go-to guilty pleasure.
If you appreciate a good book or if you enjoy a smart love story or romance novel, please read this book and pay price to hear Boulton. I promise you will not be disappointed. Candy for your ears. I also love when a story makes me cry. I criy every time I read or listen to this one. Sweet, painful tears. No other book, story, or audio book compares.
Flawed hero redeemed!
There are so MANY with this book that it is hard to pick just one.
Incredible job--he makes it so easy to lose yourself in the story.
I have this book in print form and read it all in one sitting. The audio book I savored over several days--listening to in while traveling to and from work.
I have been waiting for Kinsale's book to come out in audio for years! I have everything she's written in print-form and intend on getting them all in audio as well.
As an avid reader (and listener), I consume about 3 books a week between listening while traveling, and reading actual paper. So, when I say this is the BEST BOOK EVER, I am not giving light praise! The story line was unique, well researched, and absolutely riveting--I couldn't wait to get in my car again to hear more. The narrator was one of the best I've heard--you could easily tell what character was speaking; he did an amazing job of differentiating accents and genders.
I expected an historical romance when I chose this book, but I would be hard-pressed to categorize this book as such . . . it was historical, yes, and a romance, BUT it was also dramatic, a bit of a mystery, a cliff-hanger, and most definitely thought provoking (what WOULD it have been like to be confined to an asylum in the 1800s, and how much of what we currently know about medicine today will ultimately be antiquated a hundred years from now, making us think of our current practices as monstrous?!)
I have been on a mission since finishing this book of finding all of Kinsale's works. If all are as good as this one, she has a new lifetime fan!
The Duke, Christian . . . normally, it would have been the heroine of the story, Maddie, but his character was so very compelling. One was literally inside his head!
One of the best narrators I've ever had the pleasure of listening to . . . did a fantastic job of differentiating between characters, accents, genders--unless I was actively trying to remember that it was just one narrator, I could easily have believed I was listening to a number of actors.
Wow, I would LOVE to see this made into a movie! OK, here's my stab at a tag line:
"A Duke, a Quaker girl, and an insane asylum . . . any questions?"
I'm telling everyone I know about this book and author. I can't believe I've never read her before! Best Kept Secret!
It's official - this is my favorite story, ever!
I first read Flowers from the Storm in 2010 and fell in love with Christian and his Maddygirl from their very first words on the page, but it's such an emotional story that I couldn't bring myself to read it again, though I thought of it often. That said, when my sweet friend, Lady Wesley, raved about the amazing narration given this story by Nicholas Boulton, I just had to give it a listen.
And I am so, so glad that I did!
Honestly, I can't even begin to express all the ways in which this audio edition of the story is wonderful. Truly, I'm unable to find the words that will do it justice. Mr. Boulton brought a level of poignancy and sensuality and eroticism to the story that wasn't as evident in my reading of it. As amazing as the story was when I read it, it was even more incredible listening to it, because Mr. Boulton gives the characters such beautiful, passionate, tragic, and inspiring voices that you don’t just hear the story, you experience it.
If you've had this on your shelf waiting for the right time, stop waiting. Whether you choose to read the book or listen to the audio, stop thinking about it and just do it. But have tissues handy. You'll need them. But whatever you decide, know this - without hesitation I can tell you that this is one of, if not the best, most profound, thought provoking stories ever told, and the most beautiful happily ever after, ever!
When it comes to books, I don't think fiction always as to be fiction, especially in the grip of a gifted writer.
Laura Kinsale deals in tough, real life challenges, and this book is so beautifully crafted that you experience the characters emotions along with them. It almost forces you to bring out your own compassion, you feel the struggle as if it were through you eyes. I'm in awe of how well written it is. Flowers from the Storm is now on my top five list of great books, and I'm a romance worm. Though I though volume control poor in spots, Nicholas Boulton did a fabulous job on the performance. I rarely think it, but this one is a multi-listen purchase. Gold stars err... orange stars all around.
it's the best way to spend a working day, and i'm thankful my job is one where i can listen to books all day long.
normally i don't like waiting on a sequel because lately, it seems that's all we're doing -- waiting on the second or third book to arrive and in the meantime we often forget the important details. thus, having to listen to the first book again so it's fresh in our minds and we're ready for the new installment.
well. this book is a stand-alone, and as the minutes were coming to a close, i knew i would be listening to it again. back-to-back. and i did.
and what a joy it was, too.
from beginning to end i was captured, swept away into this story, and i honestly could not get enough. we were traveling on vacation and the entire way i listened to it, and some places was so upset that my family asked if i was okay. this is one of those rare books that stays with you, and my vacation ended over a week ago and i am still thinking about it. so even though there's no sequel to Flowers from the Storm, you can still go back and listen again and find yourself feeling the same emotions. if you're like me, you'll find something you missed the first or second time around.
from early on we find out that christian suffers a stroke, and is sent away to recover. in the hospital maddy comes, because her cousin is the doctor at this hospital and unbeknownst to maddy, christian is there. it's an amazing journey these two are put on and laura kinsale delivers. she gives you whit, joy, laughter, heartache, cunning, pain, comfort but most of all, she gives you the HEA you're needing for these two lost souls.
the narration from nicholas is so unbelievably outstanding, that i rushed to get laura's next book. he's fantastic!
Flower from the Storm is definitely worth a credit, and really? it's worth two.
I read the book two weeks prior to listening to the Audio,
and yes the audio was even better!
I laughed, tears came to my ears ... a great narration!
The story had it all - humor, romance, a happy ending!
I admit I'm a Smut Glutton, I prefer Male Narrators, Sexy Book Covers get me and I'm 32 years Happily Married.
Author writing books that should be deemed classics. This is the kind of audio that, even after listening for 15 hours, you look at your device and feel disappointed that you only have 3 hours left. You don't want it to end because you want to listen to an embracing emotional love story, narrated by the brilliant Nicholas Boulton, all wake hours!! While many aren't, I am partial to male narrators and this guy joined my "must listen to" list. What are you waiting for? Download now!
I'm completely in awe of Boulton's characterization of a fairly large cast: everyone sounds different, and just right for their character.
The superb reading of Christian's character and his aphasic dialogue is heartwrenching and lovely.
I absolutely L.O.V.E. this book. I was very hesitant to purchase this book but I believe had it not been for the reviewers’ feedback, I would have never discovered Nicolas Boulton or Laura Kinsale. He is one of the most talented narrators I have ever had the pleasuring of listening to. If I could have given him a 10 out of 5 I would have. He adds so much to the book.
So the story is about a Friend who finds herself wanting to help an ailing duke she knows through her elderly blind father. His family who is trying to take advantage of his circumstances commits the duke to a lunatic asylum after he suffers a stroke which renders him with an unclear mind and an altered speech. The entire rest of the book is about how he tries to overcome obstacles and by doing so overcome his greedy family’s wishes to keep him locked up.
I think the story line is engaging and there were moments throughout the book where I held my breath uncertain of what was to come. Of course the book has a couple of more predictable scenes as well but then again which historical romance novel does not. This was my first book about Quakers and so I was not prepared for all the religious undertones in the book. I found Maddy's character strong at points but overall a bit weak and constantly doubting her situation. For someone who had dealt with the duke from the start after his stroke and knowing his altered brain abilities, I found it hard to believe she actually believed him to have been behind the deceit she planed for her.
I found the love scenes very charged and erotic though very mild in comparison to some romance novel steamy scenes. However I feel one does not have to have hard core sex in a book to truly feel the romance enraptured in it.
I admit I had never thought about what people go through after a traumatic episode as a stroke. This book gave me such a clear picture of the day to day struggles one could go through in the process of healing which may never be complete. Nicolas did such an amazing job of truly relaying the struggles of the duke with speech that it left ME speechless.
Overall I had one of my most enjoyable moments listening to this book of substance and highly recommend it to all readers.
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