Historical romance is my favorite audiobook genre. This book caught my eye because the synopsis hinted at it having all of the elements I love in his..Show More »torical romance but taking place within a present day setting.
Megan and Prince Stefano Barrali met ten years previous to the start of the story while doing humanitarian work in Brazil when they were both just twenty-two years old. Their short whirlwind love affair ended when their project did and Stefano went home to take care of family obligations while Megan continued on with college. Soon after they resumed their normal lives, Megan found out she was pregnant at the same time Stefano publically announced his engagement to a beautiful social-lite.
Now, ten years later Megan is a single mother to Anna and a successful manager of a renowned hotel in Barcelona. It's here that she is met face to face again with Stefano. There is still a strong connection between the two despite the decade that that has gone by. Megan does not wait to tell Stefano that he has a daughter; the bulk of the book is him developing a relationship with Anna as well as reconnecting and forming a new one with Megan.
The main obstacles to Megan and Stefano's relationship are the media and how his family will react once they learn about Megan and Anna. Then there is Megan's professional career and the life she would have to give up if she were to be with a prince. Somehow, these never felt like true threats and should not have deterred them from each other or publically becoming a family. In fact, the media and Stefano's family are basically left in the dark about his relationship with them.
The formula of this book- a present day prince falling in love with a "commoner" is no different than any other contemporary book where a main character (usually a male) is some kind of celebrity and falls in love with a non celebrity or someone of different background or social class. All in all this is a rather unoriginal love story that will give its audience something warm and predictable. I prefer more tension, angst and wit- not sweet and mundane.
What I did like about it was the fact the Megan never took advantage of Stefano's status; she built a successful life for her and her daughter (however I do feel that she gave up to easily on reaching out to Stefano). I also found a few quotes to be particularly simple yet effective and memorable: "Love the child; the rest will fall into place" and "embracing life as it is."
I thought the narrator, Hollis McCarthy, read fluidly and had a pleasing voice. This is the first book that I have listened to where there was an Italian-like accent and (especially in the beginning), I could not help likening it to the standard vampire drawl of " I vant to suck your blood!" I am no judge of a good Italian accent but there were times that I questioned its authenticity. Overall, she was a very neutral narrator-one that simply let you listen without distraction.
***A copy of this audiobook was given to me in exchange for an honest review***
In a make believe country, with make believe royalty, anyone can meet a prince! This is a fun listen, with an upbeat story. The reader is terrific..Show More » and it's easy to tell who is talking at any given time. Take a listen and be transported!
I've enjoyed this series in print, but this is the first audio I've tried. So glad I did! Nicole Burnham writes characters you care about and the worl..Show More »d she's built is a fabulous escape. Love this royal family and I'm anxious for the next book. Great narration, too!
A Royal Scandals Christmas is a collection of three novellas involving some of the people who work for the Barrali family. It is a glimpse at the liv..Show More »es of some of the people who are employed by the Barrali family. All three of these novellas are close to being second chance at love stories. All three are well written. The stories mesh well together, while not necessarily being written about the same Christmas.
Christmas with a Prince. Holly Elliott is at the Barrali family winery to celebrate her brother’s wedding. She is anticipating a wonderful celebration with her brother and his fiancé. What she is not anticipating is her brother’s best friend (and her secret love) being able to get out of a commitment and being at the nuptials.
Christmas on the Royal Yacht. April Dietrich left New York to take a job with the royal family. In doing so, she left behind her lover Rock Fournier. Five years have passed since she left and Rock is now working as a Chef on the royal yacht. Can the holiday season soften both their hearts and mend old hurts?
Christmas with a Palace Thief. Umberto Niro, head of palace security, catches his former lover (and disgraced security agent) in the queen’s closet. Can he set aside years of mistrust to find the truth behind her actions today and in the past or will he be destined to live alone. While all three novellas were well written, Christmas with a Palace Thief was my favorite. All three novellas were quick reads and would definitely put a person in the holiday spirit. I enjoy reading Nichole Burnham’s books. The characters and plot have a nice pace and don’t seem rushed or stilted.
Hollis McCarthy did a good job with the narration of the stories. I think she struggled a little with the male voices at the beginning but by the third novella seemed to do a great job with the accents and characters. I would listen to more books narrated by Ms. McCarthy.