Their marriage was arranged, but their desire was not...After two years, Grayson Bridlington, The Earl of Hawkeswell, has located his missing bride Verity Thompson. Coerced into marrying Hawkeswell by her duplicitous cousin, Verity fled London for the countryside. Now, the couple must make the most of an arranged marriage-even if it means surrendering to their shared desire.
©2010 Madeline Hunter (P)2010 Penguin
I have listened to hundreds and hundreds of audio books the majority being historical romance. In all that time I have NEVER had a extreme reaction to a specific character and I have NEVER been so disgusted that I HAD to turn it off. I am very tolerant actually, listening to awful narrators just to hear the story, or tolerating a story just for the sake of getting to the ending. I have more trouble finding faults with the experience overall then anything else, since I consider a book to be just a book, meaning one authors idea for a story and to be appreciated for what it is on it's own, not in comparison with any other. BUT my reaction to this was extreme! I don't doubt that to read this story it may be perfectly enjoyable. And I don't doubt that the narrator delivering any other book would be fantastic as she is quite good. But Polly Lee must have decided that Verity is even a more selfishly awful creature then she is in order for her portrayal of her to be so exactingly extreme. She may have hit the nail on the head since I don't like her, Verity that is. She is such a dislikeable bitch that I couldn't 'listen' a minute more!!! Her personality became offensive to me, which is how she is written and obviously meant to be I am sure, but she sounds like such a hatefully selfish bitch that I couldn't stand to HEAR her! So is my extreme hateful reaction due to how well she is written or how she is delivered? I enjoyed every other word that the narrator spoke... but my enjoyment of the book was totally driven to hatred by Verity. Perhaps it was both. Since she is the goal post of this book it's hard to differentiate. In other words... maybe the author did this one charactar so well and the narrator delivered her so exacting that it spoiled any hope the book had of being good.. and perhaps wading thru it would have lead to something enjoyable, but after hours of nothing but Verity I couldn't bear it any longer. Perhaps part of the tale is her transformation... which would make it a great book. But I had wasted enough time and run out of patience long before any hint of it.
Will I try another by this author? I don't dare!
Will I buy another with Polly Lee? I have heard her before and never had a bad thing to say, she is an exceptional narrator!
CREDIT worthy, not in my humble opinion. It felt like self inflicted punishment since I wanted to shut it off longggggg before I did.
HEAT factor... just my contempt for Verity. If things got steamy later I couldn't say.
Generally... leave this one alone, read it maybe.... but only listen if you are totally unaffected by a specific unlikeable character.
This was my first Madeline Hunter book, but it won't be my last (especially since I didn't realize when I downloaded it that it was the second book in a series!). Her characters are well-drawn, and I've always been a big fan of the marriage of convenience/forced marriage plot, which she uses with aplomb in this book.
Polly Lee is a great reader---though the high-pitched/squeaky/baby-talk voice she did for the character Daphne did get annoying quickly.
The one main problem I had with this recording is the lack of pauses at scene breaks, leading to confusion as scenes ran together with no sense that there's a change of time, setting, characters, etc., which is a problem with the production/editing of the audio, not the reader or author.
The story was very good, and held my interested. Good mix of mystery and romance. However, I felt the narrator was without any emotion. At times I thought the person reading was a teenager. I would have given a five star rating with a different narrator.
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