As mentioned in my review of Provocative in Pearls, I accidentally read the second book in this se..Show More »ries first and had a few issues with it. But since many of the reviewers there said they liked the first book in the series better, I decided to give it a try. Ravishing in Red was definitely better than Provocative in Pearls as the resolution of the plot happened on page rather than just being summarized later, as an afterthought.
However, I'm getting somewhat tired of books in which the heroine (especially) is instantly sexually attracted to the man (to the point of feeling heat "down there") as soon as she sees him---we're talking inexperienced women in historical settings where sex was not discussed at all. I'm too accustomed to reading books with randy heroes who immediately want to bed the heroine as soon as he sees her for that part to bother me, though it would be nice to read a historical romance novel in which the hero and heroine aren't initially physically attracted to each other but fall in love as they get to know each other AND don't have sex until they're already in love with each other.
The sex in this book happens too early (I lost my respect for Audrianna in the scene in the garden in which Sebastian, whom she barely knows, "initiates" her into the sexual world as she let a man to whom she was not married lift her skirts and have his way with her, even if it was just with his hands) and too often. As with the second book, I found myself skipping past the majority of the sex scenes, which go on far too long, to get back to the plot (which was pretty good) and the character development (which left quite a bit to be desired, though not as badly as in Book 2). Because Audrianna and Sebastian were immediately physically attracted to each other's good looks and perfect bodies, I guess the author felt there wasn't much need to delve too deeply into their true natures/characters for them to "fall in love" with each other (though I don't recall Sebastian ever saying that to her or thinking that to himself, now that I think about it). They basically fell in love over the pleasure they took in each other's bodies.
Madeline Hunter is a good enough author that I'd love to find a novel of hers that depends more on the development of the characters for the relationship to work rather than falling back on explicit, unnecessary sex scenes which are there only to titillate and don't move the plot or the story forward at all.
Polly Lee, as the narrator, does a commendable job with the material provided for her to narrate.
I couldn't listen to the 'heroine' a second longer
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 t..Show More »o 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 is the first book, I listened to in this series not realising it was the 3rd,
however it stood on it's own, I didn't feel like I was missin..Show More »g anything by not starting with book 1.
I have to disagree with one review that hated the narrator. I thought she was amazing, her performance was perfect. I felt that she "got" the characters and their insecurities and misunderstandings.
I agree with another listener, who said that she can't wait for book 4 - the Duke's story, I loved his character.
Like Molly Harper's "And One Last Thing...," I enjoyed this book much better as an audio book. The Duke always stood out in the first three audios in..Show More » this series as a libertine and drunkard who only stayed sober and conducted business on Tuesdays. He was the comedic relief, and I was looking forward to his story in this fourth audio.
The narrator perfectly captures the nuances of the Duke of Castleford's very droll humor - I just didn't get that from reading the book last year. The comedic interplay with the characters from the preceding books also came more clearly into focus. If you enjoyed the previous audios in this series, I think you'll enjoy this one.