Disgraced, destitute, and determined to find out the truth....
Madeleine Russell counted on making a splendid match. Instead, a devastating family scandal left her orphaned and penniless...and determined to uncover the villain who disgraced and killed her father. The beautiful, quick-witted Maddy disguises herself as a household servant, vowing to work in her prime suspect’s house and learn the truth. But the closer she gets to the man who may have ruined her family, the more she feels drawn in by his wicked reputation.
Captain Thomas Morgan rose from lowly beginnings on London’s streets to attain wealth, influence, and a highborn fiancée. Yet his gaze keeps returning to his feisty new housemaid, a stunning brunette who clearly harbors a secret agenda. A desire rooted in deception could lead Maddy and the captain to explosive passion . . . or shattered hearts.
©2013 Anne Kristine Stuart Ohlrogge (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Anne Stuart is such a wonderful writer. Like Stephanie Laurens, she writes characters that are three dimensional and have more than a bit of attitude. I'm a bit ambivalent about the earlier series Ice but really enjoyed the House of Rohan.
I was delighted when I saw that there would be a new series: "Scandal at the House of Russell". Basically three daughters are trying to find the person behind their father's death and public ruin. The first book in the series, Never Kiss a Rake, was excellent and I'm happy to say that the second in the series is too.
The Scandal series is a bit racier than the Rohan series but it's nicely balanced with some humor and really fine writing. As with the first book in the series, the male lead is nuanced -- not a completely nice guy but he comes around to the right behavior. The female progatonist, like her sister in the early book, takes a position in service for the person she's investigating. She has issues with her position as a maid -- working long days, backbreaking labor, and having to put up with difficult people is far outside her previous experience as a daughter of a rich man.
I enjoyed both books in the series and look forward to the third. The books should be read in order as there are themes that run across the series.
I would also like to highly recommend Xe Sands for the excellent job she's done on this series. I think of all of the female narrators, she consistently does an excellent job. With many female narrators, I find their male voices lacking. Xe Sands is able to comfortably carry different accents (Irish, ...) but also can convey a gravely nature to a male voice. I admit to a bias for books read by Jim Frangione and Simon Prebble -- but I am delighted when I see that Xe Sands will be providing the narration for a book.
Is this my all-time favorite series? No -- but it's definitely toward the top of the list.
And I'm _really_ looking forward to more books by Anne Stuart.
I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything
Setting: Devenport, England 1867
Genre: Romance, with a bit of intrigue
Narration: First time I've listened Xe Sands. She reads the non-speaking parts with an American accent, a practice that used to bother me with books set in England, but her accent for dialog is appropriate for the characters. She does a good job.
This is the 2nd book in The Scandal at the House of Russell trilogy. Overall, it is an enjoyable listen. The plot is sort of in first person singular, with sections from the POV of both main characters and some bits from the villain. It is mostly believable, and the characters are interesting.
The beauty and sexiness of these characters could make them seem sort of plastic, but they have flaws that humanize them. I like that Maddie is strong and intelligent and Luca (Captain Morgan's real name) has a bit of gentleness revealed over the course of the story. Neither of the main characters do really stupid things as a plot device. The villain is appropriately creepy, and probably because I didn't read the first book in the trilogy, I didn't recognize him until about half way through.
In my opinion, this is worth the time and credit.
Was surprised that this book followed such a similar plot line as the first, but never the less, I recommend it as an entertaining audible book. I absolutely love Xe Sands' narration. No, she doesn't have a British accent. But, what she does have is one of the sexiest voices I've heard, a great ability to do female AND male voices very well and smoothly shift back and forth. The characters are fun and sexy and there's adventures at sea. As before, there's mystery and romance (pretty steamy) and humor. Eagerly awaiting the next book! JB
The storyline is great and plot turns wonderful but few and far in between. Those who have read my reviews before know how I dislike the hero or heroin’s thoughts repeated over and over. There is also a great deal of time spent on them sorting through their thoughts where she should have had more character interactions. Had Anne Stuart spent more time actually having the story advance by adding scenes in as well as deleting all the time writing about thought processes, this book would have been wonderful and not just good.
Yes, this plot was the same as the first book, but it's still a pleasant read. No "damsel is distress" or idiotic logic that a lot of regency romances portray the main female character as. And this narrator, in my opinion, is one of the best.
NOT if they read the first book. It's a recycled plot!! Daughter poses as a maid, to find the "truth" about her father, Home is equipped with a (soon to be) laughably shallow Lady of the House…who hates the daughter/maid. Conflicted daughter seduced. Seduced daughter near-victim of murder. Everything is the same, except for the sodomy references, which I could have done without!!
I appreciated the demise of the villain NOT coming at the hands of the male lead…same as the first book.
Already did…when I listened to the first book.
XE is great, but I am annoyed at having, essentially, purchased the same book twice. Stuart is good….but it's time to come up with something fresh. One daughter to go. PLEASE make book 3 something refreshing. Please.
I am easily amused!
This is a fun little romance with excellent protagonists. While the story is a little predictable and cliche it was a pleasure to read. I am eagerly waiting for the next in the series.
DO NOT listen to the book because it was possibly some of the worst narration and horrific accents I have heard. It says something about the quality of book that I was still able to enjoy the story even when it was being butchered.
I'm not sure why I wasted my time and money on this one since I didn't care for the narration in the last one. But this one was just as much a disappointment. I usually LOVE Anne Stuart books. But this series, so far, has not worked for me in the least. I want to blame it solely on the narration, but with this story I am just not sure anymore. I'm thinking both the story and the narration is a failure this time.
It could have been better...IF there had been more dialog (the hero and heroine "think" what they want, don't want, plan to do, etc. more than converse with each other) -- IF an in-depth explanation had been given WHY the villain, Mr. Brown, wanted all the Russell sisters dead -- HOW he was involved with the murder of their father.
I liked the story-line, if it had been better executed, I felt important elements were missing. The theme of the story (who killed Mr. Russell, and did he swindle his investors) was too vague.
Maddie Russell, one of three sisters, takes it upon herself to find out who framed and killed their father, which left his daughters homeless and destitute. Her father's vague note stating "never trust a pirate" leads Maddie to Capt. Thomas Morgan's household posing as a maid, to search for evidence of the privateers guilt.
The romance was good--good chemistry between the hero & heroine.
The narration was okay, but Xe Sands had a sarcastic undertone in her manner of speaking throughout the story, which became irritating after awhile.
The book moved a little too slow for my taste, and because of this and the reasons above I cannot recommend it.
It was a fun story, and I like the setting. Quite steamy!
I am, because several friends are fans, and I've enjoyed some of her other books.
It was very irritating whenever the narrator pronounced a word incorrectly, Additionally, the rhythm was a bit off...sometimes she was narrating the character's thoughts, but that was unclear from the rhythm and tone. Finally, if I had read this, I would have loved the hero, but listening to the narrator's voice read him creeped me out.
This is far from the only Audible book that has mispronounced words, and that's just not okay.
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