During a minutes-long span three years ago, their lives were forever changed when Lady Morgan Cardiff nearly drowned.
Returning to the disastrous scene for the first time, Emma Hathaway is older, wiser and ready to move on. With her parents quickly aging, she needs a husband. Alas, she is an awkward, bookish girl with no dowry to recommend her, and she is far from being an Incomparable or an heiress who might rouse a gentleman's interest. Her hopes of changing the ton's view of her are dashed upon the arrival of the others involved in that life-altering moment. Aidan Cardiff's perpetual glares prove he blames Emma for Morgan's scarred, blind condition. His unfounded hatred alone leaves Emma shaken, but his unbidden advances threaten to thwart her husband-hunt.
Ever since his sister's failed attempts to take her own life, Aidan Cardiff has been a loathsome, brooding artist. He's spent three years creating artwork to depict the revenge he'd like to exact against anyone, save himself, who can be blamed for Morgan's pervasive melancholy. Yet, his art has been far from enough to assuage the rage he's built inside. Morgan is finally ready to live again, but Aidan fears letting her out of his sight - particularly with Emma Hathaway, the chit whose very existence sets his blood to boiling. But is the heat fueling his fire due solely to his anger, or is there something more?
©2012 Catherine Gayle (P)2013 Catherine Gayle
I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything
Setting: England, 1816 and 1819
Narration is fair. While Brad Wills lacks the vocal range to do female voices really well, once you get used to his falsetto delivery it's fine.
Even though much of this story was delivered in passive voice rather than through dialogue and action, it was engaging. The main characters were well done, though there may have been too many in the background.
At a house party hosted by her sister and brother-in-law, Emma Hathaway was sitting with Lady Morgan Cardiff. When she turned away for a few moments, Lady Morgan walked into the estuary. Emma went in after her and ended up needing to be saved as well. While trying to save them both, Aiden Cardiff was unable to keep his sister's head above water, and when they reach the shore, Morgan wasn't breathing. Aiden blamed it all on Emma. Three years later, Emma is at another house party hosted by her sister and brother-in-law because Emma needs to find a husband. Among those invited is Aiden Cardiff, who hates Emma with a passion.
I enjoyed the time I spent with these people, though the important secondary characters weren't as well described as they should have been. Once I got used to the delivery by Brad Wills, the book was quite engaging.
Bottom line: Though it may not be at the top of my re-listen list, it is on the list. I believe it was worth the credit.
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