At the advanced age of 26, the independent, wealthy and imminently practical Isabella Latham has no expectation of marriage. But, good-hearted and dutiful, Isabella accompanies her two young country cousins to oversee their London debut...only to find that it's she who is attracting suitors...all of whom do seem to have quite an excess of creditors!
There's the sinfully sexy Basil Trevelyan, a rake through and through, but so charming that even sensible Isabella is almost tempted. But then there's his maddeningly handsome - and maddeningly arrogant! - cousin, Edward Trevelyan, seventh Earl of Hartleigh, who has no need of Isabella's dowry; but whose adorable orphaned ward needs a mama. Could he love Isabella for herself? Isabella is too busy trying to decide whether to kiss him - or kill him!
Poor, poor Isabella. What's a girl to do? But more importantly...who's a girl to choose?
©1987 Loretta Chekani (P)2014 Loretta Chekani
Loretta Chase is historical romance royalty, in my opinion, and her many fans have waited patiently for her books to finally appear in audio. Her magnum opus, Lord of Scoundrels, appeared earlier this year, as well as the three volumes of the Dressmakers series.
Those titles had first-class production values, but Isabella, sadly, does not. The narrator is good, but the sound quality is very poor. Blackstone Audio produced LOS and the Dressmakers, whereas Isabella and Knave's Wager (which also suffers from poor sound) are self-published. These are among Chase's earliest titles, so perhaps no publisher was interested in producing them in audio.
I've been hoping that the Carsington series would appear in audio, but I certainly hope that Ms. Chase either does not self-publish those titles or finds a better producer for them.
The story was fine as was the narrator, but the production quality of the recording was so weak that I gave up listening. It sounds as if it were recorded in a bathroom.
Thoroughly enjoyable for its delightfully witty dialogue, it's sensitively drawn, complex characters, it's suspenseful, entertaining story and its ability to allow the reader to truly exist, if only for a few hours, in the century it inhabits. An accomplished and deft literary hand at work here.
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