He was her bitterest enemy….
Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family—and now the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all. But instead he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance….
And her dearest love
Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who’s stolen her fortune and her father’s legacy—the man she’s been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties—and the tantalizing promise of passion.
©2011 Courtney Milan (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
The story in this audiobook brings a breath of fresh air to the genre. What might appear at first glance to be a "been there done that" storyline for a historical romance (an upper-class woman who is unappreciated by her family but whose loyalty to them comes before her own happiness and a hero who is determined to have revenge upon that family but finds himself conflicted when he falls for the heroine) is turned into something unexpected by above average writing and atypical characterizations. Although I found the hero to be a bit idealized (he has surprisingly modern-seeming sensibilities) that was offset by the fact that he certainly had flaws and was a very well-developed character. The interactions between the protagonists was fun to read and the external forces at play in keeping them apart were unique.
The narration was above average and I was surprised (and vastly disappointed) to find only two other audiobooks narrated by Rebecca De Leeuw on Audible. Her character differentiation was excellent, her voice is very pleasant, and her ability to traverse the entire emotional spectrum in both male and female character voices without over-dramatizing was stellar.
Loving my life and hanging out with my four grandchildren!
Just how many times can one person be betrayed and misused by one's own family until they just stop trusting in them? For me a lot fewer times than this lady. Again we have strong women being stupid because of trust and daddy issues. This lady goes from watching her mother die from a broken heart, being misused by her brothers over and over again, to having a father who tells her to her face that he,"Thinks you are worthless". This even though you are the only one caring for him while he is sick! Enough! I don't know if I've become a little jaded in my life, but I'm beginning to feel let down by all my favorite writers. Oh, and I forgot that she gave up her virginity to a man that told her he would, "Do the right thing", after taking what he wanted. On top of that...he didn't do it very well at all, lol.
All that said, along comes the hero and he's the man responsible for the ruin your family is facing. He's doing this out of revenge, but he's really not a cold hearted man in his core. He tells you over, and over, with deed and words that you mean the world to him, and you turn your back on him for the father and brothers that have made your world hell? Come On!
Courtney Milan is one of the best writers I know when it comes to historical romance, so this book left me feeling down. I listen to forget my own troubles for a little while and expect to feel happiness at the end of the book. Just didn't get me there with this one. The narrator did a fair job with expressing emotion, but I just never really connected with her. I gave two stars because the listen was not a bad one, it was just not a good one for me either. I'm on the fence about saying it was worth a credit.
I love being swept away by a new romance and thankfully Audible's ever growing Library means I get to indulge myself over and over again
Excellent Victorian family saga of revenge vs. love with brilliant characters, a few twists to a great storyline and touching verbal interactions between the two lovers Ash and Margaret.
This is 'technically' book 1, followed by Unlocked - Margaret's friend Elaine's story, Unclaimed - Ash's brother Mark's story and Unraveled - Ash's brother Smite's story but they could each be a stand alone book.
Worth a credit? C.M.'s books never disappoint me so it's a big YUMMY YES.
Goodreads reviewer and blogger... also dentist and wife/mom when I get the time!
Bless you, Courtney Milan, master of historical romance, for giving me this gift of a book. Holy crap, you are one talented lady.
I'm obsessed with everything Courtney Milan, and I'm beyond excited to have a new-to-me series from her to explore. I've loved every book by this author that I've ever read, and this book was no different. It was clever, sexy, smart, and impeccably written. Courtney Milan needs to teach a class so she can SCHOOL all the historical romance authors who try, and fail, to measure up.
The story isn't complicated, but the characters are. Ash Turner is a man who is determined. Determined to do right by his brothers, determined to win a dukedom, and determined to get revenge on those who have wronged him. Ash Turner is also a man who knows what he wants, and from the minute he laid eyes on Margaret, he knew he had to have her.
Margaret is trying to survive. Everything has been stripped from her but she remains loyal, strong, and unflinching. She hates Ash Turner on sight for what he has taken from her, but slowly, as they get to know one another, their relationship evolves and Margaret can't ignore him any longer.
I was absolutely obsessed with this romance. Just obsessed. This is a slow-burn romance, despite the insta-attraction, and I could not get enough of Ash and Margaret together. Their relationship was the stuff that makes me inspired to read romance. They had an epic, hard-fought romance that worked despite everything that had transpired between them.
I loved Ash in particular. He was a man who stood by his word and the ones that he loved, and I just adored everything about him. He wasn't without flaws, but he was crafted so well as a character that I loved every last imperfection about him. I think Margaret was a great character too, but I grew a tiny bit frustrated with her in the last portion of the book, which actually just narrowly bumped this book from making my all-time favorites list... but it was close. This book is honestly perfection.
The sex scenes... gah! Courtney Milan always gives her stories the exactly correct level of heat. This book was a celebration of all the sex could be. Perfection.
I'll mention a little about the narration, which was very good. Rebecca De Leeuw did a great job narrating this story, especially with her range of vocal differentiation and her nicely done male voices. Very, very easy to listen to, and Rebecca De Leeuw made me just want to listen more and more. Lovely.
Courtney Milan, I don't know how you do it, but you are just in the zone for me. I loved the length of this story, the content, and the plot line. I literally cannot wait to start the next in the series. In fact, I'm off to buy it now.
First the narration was really good, wish this narrator had more books recorded. Enjoyed the story but got frustrated with Margaret, and what she tolerated from her family. I suppose for that time period it would have been difficult to do anything else. Still it was harder for me to like her than Ash. I did get tired of hearing 'Ash, Ash, Ash' over and over again either in her thoughts or in dialog! There were some interesting twists in this. Not a 'deep' book by any means. But that is not what I wanted. I've only listened to one other book by this author, enjoyed that one more. I will look for others by her. This was worth a credit.
I have not read the print, but the narrator was OUTSTANDING...added so much to the experience. I was surprised to see other narrators used by Milan.
Margaret's realization that Ash deserved her loyalty.
Excellent characterisations, passion, emotion, thoughtful pauses and intonations.
Absolutely fantastic character development. I couldn't wait to listen!
Sweet and firm love.
Both Heroine and Hero, the support described by the Author that the Heroe gives the Heroine is a work of art.
As the Heroine belives in herself.
I did listen to it in one sitting, and cant wait for Unraveled and Unlocked.
ACX we are waiting for some more of Courtney Milan's books.
Audio-fiction ADDICT !
I loved the story ! Coutney's style in writing is most artistic in describing the setting, environment, feelings and emotions. I really admire her writing style , an intriguing combination of elegance, sensuality, and humor.
The main hero character
It's first book for this narration. She was really good. She needs to work more on making the characters more alive. But not ad at all. She performed Ash Turner best
Interesting question !!!!!! Hmmmm ... It has to be the title !!! I love the titles of the who,e series
I love books. My work is serious so I am looking for fun! Audible has changed my morning commute.
I do not usually get so invested in the books I listen to that I laugh and cry out loud. The characters and the story touched me so deeply. I loved this book. I love a brave hero and heroine. This had both.
Ash and Margaret both for different reasons.
She is wonderful. You can just get lost in the story with her reading.
I cried and laughed. The best of both worlds.
I cannot wait to listen to the next books in this series.
Audible addicted love mystery,lately stuck on love story. Mother of 1 Labrador and 1 perfect man. Work way too hard, and so ready to be retired
I did so love this story and Ash's commitment and loyalty to Margarent Ann. Absolutely perfectly done away from the Norm, I would like to here a second book about the other too handsome brothers Mark and the other one who name fails me with his extremely cool self. I loved the ending and must admit I was in favor of Ash just giving up on Margarent.
Write another soon.
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