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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Definitely. But only because the narrator, NIcholas Boulton, did such an incredible job that I'd have to say it's oscar worthy. I can't imagine this book being at all easy to interpret and perform. But he was superb. It seemed so natural and so real that I was completely engulfed in the story as if I was a part of it.
Beautiful, captivating and emotional. This is one of those books that is incredibly hard to put down. Be prepared to lose sleep.
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.
Popular reviewer of more than 400 historical romance titles on Goodreads. Georgian/Regency/Victorian/Edwardian.
Can I give it a hundred stars? A thousand?
My Goodreads friend Caz opened her review of this audiobook by saying, “It’s absolutely fantastic, so go and buy it immediately!” I can only add that this is an understatement.
I read this book in 2011 and gave it four stars. Although I thought it was a wonderful story, the annoying Quaker heroine kept it from being a five star read for me. Caz's review, however, finally inspired me to take a chance on an audiobook, and I'm so glad that I did.
In the excellent hands of narrator Nicholas Boulton, Maddie-girl goes from annoying to inspiring, and the truly damaged hero, Jervalux, is unforgettable. Mr. Boulton does a brilliant job in capturing the thoughts and halting words of this man whose brain has been scrambled by what we recognize as a stroke but what his family thinks is insanity. And even Maddie-girl's "thees and thous" ceased to bother me. His range of voices is remarkable; each of the many characters is instantly recognizable -- from the dragon aunt to Jervaulx's buddies to Maddie's elderly father.
I simply do not have the vocabulary to convey how wonderful this audiobook is. So I'll stop here and repeat:
“It’s absolutely fantastic, so go and buy it immediately!”
This was my first Laura Kinsale book and I loved it. I read the print version and then listened to the Audible version. Both were excellent. The narration is wonderful. One of the best historical romances. I hope to see more of her books offered by Audible. Right now it appears only three are available?
Wow this was really good!, My first LK book and definitely not my last. The narrator was spot on, one of the best male narrators i have heard. This is a real romance book no light fair bodice ripper. I could't put it down. Get this book you can't go wrong...
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.
Say something about yourself!
I absolutely loved Laura Kinsale's 'My Sweet Folly'. It was the most fun I've had listening to an audiobook. Deciding I was ready for another, I researched Kinsale and found 'Flowers from the Storm' to be her most popular.
Yeah: in print.
Flowers is a rollicking love story of malady, madness and misadventure in regency England. Beautifully written with meaty characters and intriguing plot, the audiobook suffers from an insurmountable plot twist; in the first chapter, our hero suffers a stroke that severely impedes thought and speech. Narrator Nicholas Bolton gives a particularly fine vocal performance as the impaired Christian who slowly (almost achingly so) begins to regain his thought process and speech.
Kinsale's integration of Christian's struggle to recover through fragmented speech and thinking is extraordinarily masterful. It is also extraordinarily difficult to understand, commanding the listener's full attention. My listening experience was worn thinner by the necessarily repititous think/speech.
I read for engagement and enjoyment. I listen for distraction. I plan to return this and enjoy a print copy.
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!
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