Anguished by death. Driven by revenge. Bryony Russell and her two sisters are left destitute by the disgrace and unexpected death of their father, a wealthy shipping magnate. He left a cryptic note, and Bryony is determined to find the real villain and clear her father’s name. In disguise as a servant, Bryony infiltrates the home her of father’s business partner to find proof of his guilt...or innocence. It’s not just clues that Bryony finds, but temptation too.... Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn, immediately suspects there is something not quite right about his new housekeeper. The brooding, irresistible rake plays along because he has his own guilty secrets, and his venal, scheming wife holds the key to them, trapping him in a hate-filled marriage. But against his will he’s fascinated by Bryony, seeing past the scars on her face to show her the beauty she never knew she had. Bryony must uncover the truth and attempt to preserve her father’s legacy before things go too far and she falls in love with a man who might very well be her worst enemy.
©2013 Anne Stuart (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
love audio books - Anglophile
The story was fine. Don't get me wrong, Xe Sands is a fine narrator. However, I much prefer to hear a British accent when listening to an English romance. The American accent sounded very annoying to me.
4.5 Xe Sands is outstanding. This is my first listen to one of her performances, and her soft, seductive delivery is mesmerizing. She handles male voices as well as female and is simply impressive. I am eagerly looking forward to the next Anne Stuart / Xe Sands combo due to be released in early Dec.
This is also my first Anne Stuart romance, and I chose well in my opinion. She has a lyrical, softly humorous turn of phrase that appeals to me. No talking down to the reader. I loved the hero and the heroine equally. I read somewhere that there is no bad boy hero like an Anne Stuart bad boy...which is why I decided to give this a try. And this bad boy was quite appealing.
I really enjoyed this book. The book is about three sisters who lose their father in a carriage accident after he supposedly runs away with money he had stolen from the investors in his company. His eldest is certain her father is framed and sets out to clear his name. Her first stop is at her father's partner house where she accepts a job as a housekeeper. He immediately shows interest in her and tries to pursue her. His marriage is based on hatred but she will not divorce him. She also feels the strong attraction but tries not to fall for his charm. However, she gets drunk one night and they have what I’d call the book’s hottest short intimacy scenes.
I liked the whole who-done-it mystery feel of the book, it kept me intrigued and interested for the first few chapters. What ruined it for me was the whole steamy sex crap. I'm sorry but if half the conflict of the book is the main two character's desire to bang each other, I lose interest pretty quickly. I should have known better than to listen to an 'adult fiction' book. But the story seemed interesting so I totally fell for it. This is why I stick to YA books, because the author can't rely on sex scenes and ridiculous wanton desires to keep the book interesting. In YA books you need a good story and great, compelling characters.
I never felt invested in any of the characters, I couldn't care less what happened to them, and eventually I stopped listening.
I had no issues with the performance.
Well, since I didn't really get to the end of the book, I have no idea. But even if there was, I wouldn't read it. I am sure there are plenty of listeners out there who love this stuff, but it's not my cup of tea.
More complex character development, plot twists, and believability. After reading the storyline, I thought this could be an interesting plot. It was not; not remotely. I kept thinking that surely this story was going to progress and deepen. It did not. It's what I call a straight line. Almost the entire book happens in a matter of days with little development of what brought us to this point, we are simply told of past events. No complexity at all.The performance was a little fast, but I rather appreciate that. I did have trouble understanding the male lead.
It was silly, protracted foreplay and little else. I felt like I was in the head of a 16 year old. The villain was so inconsequential and underdeveloped that he might have had 100 lines devoted to him. I kept asking "Why?" "Why would these characters be behaving in this manner?" The answers were not clear.
There is a violent murder in the house and no one hears it. The heroine cleans it up and never says a word, and everyone acts like it's life as usual. I found much of this story difficult to believe.
I had just read two intense, epic sy-fy books and thought I would read a quick, historical mystery, as I do periodically. I may never again.
I would, but it's a little edgy so I would keep that in mind. A young friend, I think.
The male lead was the best. The female lead was quite frustratingly naive. The male lead was a little disturbing!…but in a compelling way.
Voices are superb!…but I would like her slow down just a bit. Felt a little rushed.
The warehouse scene.
More XE please, just need her to slow down a bit. More from this author as well!
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
Never Kiss a Rake, is an engaging romantic suspense novel set within a historical backdrop. It starts with finding Bryony Russell and her sisters right after they were left destitute by their father's demise. The sisters weren't convinced he was an embezzler and that his death was accidental. To find proof, Bryony has set herself up as housekeeper in the Earl of Kilmartyn's home. Convinced the Earl was involved, Bryony instead finds herself falling for his rakish dark charms. Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn, knew that his housekeeper was a spy. Instead of firing her, he decided to let her stay.
The attraction was mutual and however much they fight it, they eventually give in to the forbidden. I loved this book. The tone was definitely dark, the writing deft and successfully kept the pace that built the tension so tight you didn't really know what to expect.
The characters were well developed. Both Adrian and Bryony were not perfect heroes which adds uniqueness to the novel. The dialogue between Bryony and Adrian were witty, rapier sharp and the sexual tension palpable within. Adrian was not your usual gentleman hero, in fact he lives up to the title of rake. He had no compunction about seducing Bryony and toying with her initially. He thinks himself not a good man, "a liar, a cheat, a shallow, conscienceless cad." Bryony's feelings were also a dichotomy, she hated him for his trifling and his seductive ways and his probable involvement in her father's death. And yet she also could not deny that she was so very much attracted to him.
The way the words were used puts emphasis on what feelings these two have for each other which is a testament to the author's talent. The ending, although somewhat happy for our couple , was still in a cliffhanger way with regards to the motives for the murder of Bryony's father. Overall this was still a great listen that fans of romantic suspense should not miss.
Xe Sands did a good job with the delivery of the story.
The narration of this book was horrible. I bought the Kindle book and the Audio one together and had already read the first few chapters before listening to the narration. I was enjoying the book when I read it but when I listened to it I had to stop and check it was the same novel as I couldn't stand another minute of it.
I've listened to this narrator before and enjoyed the experience, but every voice she used grated with this tale. And why give an English lord a American accent?
I hate to give bad reviews but felt I had to warn other readers of this accident. The book is great, but stick to the written word on this one.
I'm only a third or the way through thebook, but found it interesting.
No. The ten minute bus wait was torture with this in my ears. I won't listen to the rest of it. When I recover I might finish read the book, but not until I can get that narrator's voice out of my memory.
I love romantic historical novels.
When i read, it was a story between a unmarried lady and a married man, i was very keen to read the book.
You don't offen hear about this romantic historical books whit a unmarried woman and a married man. So i was excited to see, in what way the story would go.
I was not disappointed. Love the story.
Well written. Xe Sands makes the character alive in there one way.
Enjoyable, well written Romance by Anne Stuart, but the narration of Xe Sands hit it out of the park. This is a real treat !! I hope Audible will continue this series, and especially with Xe Sands. I have already started looking for other works by the same narrator.
I listen to alot of Great Romance books on Audible.........but this production is why I LOVE Audiobooks.
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