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  • Rise of the Defender

  • By: Kathryn Le Veque
  • Narrated by: Brian J. Gill
  • Length: 32 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 364

AD 1192 - Sir Christopher de Lohr is Richard the Lion Heart's champion, a man the Muslims nicknamed "The Lion's Claw". Blond, battle scarred, and powerful, he is what all men fear. After the fall of Acre, Christopher makes a promise at the deathbed of a dying comrade to marry the man's incorrigible but wealthy daughter. Christopher returns home to marry the woman, but the only thing he is interested in is her substantial dowry. He has no use for a wife and resents being forced into the marriage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shame on Audible for not checking the producer's wk

  • By Cam on 08-19-15

Wonderful epic novel~vintage Le Veque

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-19

Four warrior knights back from the Crusades, loyal to Richard the LionHeart, are instructed to return to England—Sir Christopher and Sir David De Lohr, Sir Marcus Burton, and Sir Edward De Wolf.

King Richard bestowed on Christopher an honor which makes him the right-hand of King Richard in England. He is the Defender of the Realm, gaining total control of Richard’s army left in England. Chris’s task is to make sure Prince John does not take over the realm while King Richard is still abroad. Prince John is not easy to deal with, nor his slimy advisor, Sir Ralph.
On Sir Author Barringdon deathbed he requested Christopher to marry his daughter. Lioncross Abbey would also be his. All his knights and fighting men were also bestowed upon him. Sir Christopher reluctantly agreed, only because the offer came with marriage to Baron Barringdon’s daughter. Chris does not want to marry. He wants to champion the king and none other. Sound easy enough? Never, as you will soon find out.

The friendship between these four knights returning to England makes them a special fighting team. They were always in sync, the other anticipating the moves of the battle. They watched each other’s backs for three long years in the Holy Land.
Dustin, Sir Author’s daughter is 19, ‘willful’ and difficult to handle, nor does she want to marry. Willful is not the only word for Dustin. Her beauty, intelligence, and innocence somehow excuse her willfulness. Chris, who never wanted to marry, thinks it may not be too bad after all.

How can this knightly friendship dissolve once on English soil? Simply by the love of one small slip of a woman who isn’t even aware how she affects men. Up to her 19th birthday, any advances by men, she easily thwarted with a swift punch in the nose. She knows what these men want– not her but her large dowry and the ultimate inheritance of her father’s wealth.

All would have been fine. As in most marriages, husband and wife find an equilibrium and manage a marriage, even if just to sire children. However, Marcus Burton was attracted to Dustin, with circumstances propelling them into more than just attraction.

As Chris finds Dustin is more than a beauty, he falls passionately in love with her. With that love, which he won’t admit to himself, he becomes protective and jealous of anyone who shows his appreciation to Dustin. Beware Marcus and David!
This tale, all 892 pages, not only has deep conflict between characters, but they have internal conflict within themselves. What is more important? Friendship where one’s life has been saved many times, honor, or love of a woman?

A note about the narrator: Brian J. Gill mightily adds to the emotion of the scenes with his pacing, tone, character voice, and display of various emotions which befall the characters. Jeffrey, a secondary character, has a German accent. We initially hear from him when Chris shows us he is becoming jealous; Marcus Burton has a brogue, and of course, the others sound English.

The story is magical. Don’t let the length of the story deter you from reading or listening. As a reader, I was entrenched, experiencing all that transpires. Each character has his/her own path of discovery about themselves and how they intend to remedy the situation they find themselves in. Some of them have more trouble than others to move beyond the lie they accept as true. Le Veque writes deeply emotional scenes of terror, hatred, guilt, sadness, and valor, giving much to ponder for the reader.

  • Outfoxing Destiny

  • The Nature of Vril: Harnessing the Secrets of Vital Magnetism
  • By: Valiant Thor
  • Narrated by: Valerie Gilbert
  • Length: 2 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

This audiobook is one of the best guides ever made on how to achieve mental well-being by understanding and mastering this mysterious and powerful force. The mechanics of how it works are detailed here, as well as methods of gathering, conserving, and using its power. The exercises outlined are simple and easy, and they work.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Use of breathing to gain vital energy (Vril)

  • By Svetik on 02-13-19

Off the Beaten Path -- well worth the read!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-19-19

I didn’t know what to expect in this listen. It is fascinating how life energy is used in the universe. The author suggests listening to the audio three times to absorb the information to later ponder. The narrator, Valerie Gilbert, does a terrific job in helping the reader understand from the first read. The second read had me honing in on instances how Vril is used in the body’s inner workings. By the third listen I enjoyed practicing implementing some of the uses of Vril, such as proper breathing, bringing Vril into the body through the air and directing it to parts of the body to rejuvenate, hence the title of the book becomes apparent.

I am a person who is aware of how important eating live food is to the body to keep it healthy, drinking clean, pure water, and breathing unpolluted air. Now I understand why. However, I didn’t realize that all around us this life energy flows, and we can, through our minds, direct its mighty force.

If you are a person who loves to learn (sections are divided into lessons rather than chapters), seeking out new, or in this case, recognizing ancient wisdom, give this author a read. This is off the beaten path, but a subject which should interest many curious souls.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tempest

  • The Raveneau Novels, Book 4
  • By: Cynthia Wright
  • Narrated by: Emily Beresford
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72

Newport heiress Catherine Beasley Parrish has been groomed all her life to marry an English duke. However, when she meets Adam Raveneau, the latest in a long line of Raveneau rakes and a newly created viscount, Cathy awakens to a destiny worth fighting for. Although Raveneau insists that he is not marriage material, he is in desperate need of funds to restore Tempest Hall, his crumbling family estate on Barbados. And when Cathy begs him to save her from the toad-like duke her mother intends her to marry, Adam realizes that they may be able help each other.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved the ending great plot

  • By Cyn on 10-15-16

An Unforgettable Series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-29-19

The situation of this quite humorous story tickles my funny-bone. The characters are of various personalities, most deeply flawed adding to the spirit of the story. Enjoy the falsity of the rich in Rhode Island, sail to Barbados, an island you will feel, taste and smell. The contrast is striking.

The Parrish’s live in Rhode Island, a very American family, and are tremendously rich, thanks to Mr. Parrish’s cleverness in trade. So, what’s the problem? Catherine’s mother, Hermoine, needs her daughter to marry a titled gentleman, priming her daughter for such a moment since birth.

I feel a bit sorry for Catherine Parrish. I suppose more than just a bit. She is such a good-natured young lady and has tried to keep her mother happy through the years. She is a free spirit with kindness and a passion for living.

However, Hermoine is prickly, snippy– a character author Wright portrays superbly. Along with narrator Emily Beresford’s pacing and tone in the dialogue, this woman jumps off the page as someone you would never like to cross! We see how this affects her relationship with her daughter and her husband, let alone Adam Raveneau once he meets her. She coerces, prods, etc. a duke who is basically penniless.

This duke, among other wealthy and titled guests, is invited to a huge ball thrown by the Parrish’s. No expense is too great. She will get her daughter betrothed. This is the moment Hermoine has been waiting for.

Bryon, Adam’s friend, happened to snag an invitation. Bryon dragged him to the ball, a ball where all were in costume, 18th century. Bryon was prettily and appropriately dressed, but Adam, being the renegade, he comes as a pirate. Catherine is transfixed!

Byron works behind the scenes to get Adam to do something about his circumstances. He has an old mansion on the island of Barbados which is falling apart and he also is without money. Adam is titled, however, but if you were to ask him, he’d belittle the title and even his character. I LOVED HIM!

Adam comes to her rescue, but Cathy is no shrinking violet. She is forced to go against her mother’s wishes by a very bold plan! Adam really can’t say how he decided to be her knight in shining armor.

I came to love Cathy’s forthright, positive nature. She is an innocent and strictly schooled about men from her mother. Men are just a means to an end. Cathy shows us how much this affects her actions and reactions.

Just one more remark about Emily Beresford. I have listened to her work before. Her dialogue is easy to follow. In this story she has dialogue for a child, barks like a dog, is a harpy of a woman, dons the tone of the titled with their ennui, contrasting with Cathy’s family American dialect, and makes the Barbados island real with the dialect of its people at Tempest. She captures all the author wants and takes you sailing!

The book is wonderful. The whole series will capture your heart. If you love this historical time with stories set in new America and its colonialist mother, England, you have found yourself a new author!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Unending Love

  • By: Kathryn Le Veque
  • Narrated by: Sean Patrick Hopkins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127

1234 A.D. - For as long as she can remember, the Lady Adalind de Aston has loved Sir Maddoc du Bois. Being sent away to foster did nothing to cure her of her unending love for Maddoc, a sentiment he did not return. Years later, Adalind returns from fostering as a cultured and beautiful woman. So beautiful, in fact, that tales of her beauty are legendary and a string of hopeful suitors follow her home. Maddoc, now faced with this exquisite and refined creature, is tasked, as the captain of the army, with chasing the suitors away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful and captivating!

  • By Nicole Laverdure on 04-16-14

Beauty, Love, and Danger -- at their very best

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-01-19

Adalind, the heroine, has loved a knight who works for her grandfather, David de Lodhr, since she was five. She was so sure of it, she asked Maddoc to marry her then. Time changes much except this love she has for Maddoc. Between fostering and away at court, she hadn’t seen Maddoc for six or seven years. Her heart tells her the same as when young. “The heart wants what the heart wants”. She loves the man more than when he was a boy. But a female just can’t throw herself on a man when it is obvious, he avoids any entanglement. His job is to protect the keep and the family within. That’s it.

How many women would wish to have the beauty that Adalind had? Adalind was chased by every man at court, the women were jealous of her beauty and were mean and sometimes cruel to her. Hence, after three years she returns home.

She is with her family when Maddoc who now is captain of the guard for the keep sees her again. She no longer is the girl with the buck teeth, but an exquisite creature, so lovely, he had never seen a woman of such beauty. Worst part – he doesn’t even know how to flirt. With her flirtation, his heart is utterly caught. She is his to protect—she is his, period.

Adalind has not only beauty from the outside, but she is also sweet, vivacious and unpretentious. Her woes at court follow her home. Men come knocking at her door, insisting she accepts their suit. Men battle for her. It seems rather crazy to see how men grovel at her feet, at first, I was amused by the situation. But it later became irritating and then just dangerous. By that time, I had stepped into Adalind’s shoes and found myself escaping across the highlands for safety.

I love the way narrator Sean Patrick Hopkins portrays each of Adalind’s suitors, some are rather simple-minded and obtuse (I found myself feeling sorry for them), others were cunning using position and power in the clans to get what they want, still another will appall you what he would do to get her hand. Hopkins makes the characters pop from the page.

Le Veque’s writing and Hopkin’s narration make for an exciting read with action-packed, emotional scenes, where men will kill and go to battle over the hand of a woman. Surprises await you. I listened to the book twice and it is absolutely superb.

  • Winter's Flame

  • Seasons of Fortitude Series, Book 4
  • By: Elizabeth Rose
  • Narrated by: Brian J. Gill
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Passion ignites and the sparks fly when a border lord and a noblewoman skilled at the forge are brought together under unusual circumstances. Lady Winter has always been curious since childhood and even though she is a noblewoman, she has learned from the best blacksmith to be skilled at the forge. While at her sister's wedding in Ravenscar, she decides to stay and help the blacksmith who trained her. His eyesight is failing and although he was once the best blacksmith in all England, now he is doomed without Winter's help. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Winter Meets Her Match

  • By BOOKTALK WITH EILEEN on 11-12-18

Winter Meets Her Match

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-18

I’ve enjoyed this series, although I didn’t read any of Legendary Bastards of the Crown Series which the author suggests. I didn’t find the series lacking because I hadn’t. Each sister is very different and with great entertainment I followed their difficulties in life while finding their true loves.

Winter is very stubborn and high-spirited. She is also very protective of people she loves, as we discover when she does something unthinkable for a noble lady—works in the forge to help the blacksmith. She also discovers she has a passionate streak when she meets Sir Martin de Grey.

The story is quite comical, even though the stakes are high. As Winter is helping the blacksmith who no longer has good enough eyesight to do his work, Sir Martin de Grey comes to the forge demanding his sword. Of course, the sword hadn’t been worked on because Sir Martin had taken his son as a hostage, who most recently did the blacksmith’s work.

Now Sir Martin enjoys women, pure and simple — but never touches a virgin. He sees Winter, thinking her the blacksmith’s daughter, and is immediately interested in the wench. Lady Winter has to pretend to be the daughter and eventually they must both go to Sir Martin’s own forge to work on the sword.

I liked Lady Winter’s curious manner and her desire to learn more about what happens between a man and woman. Her demeanor has Sir Martin thinking she has done this before–which she hasn’t! Her curiosity could just kill the cat! Her no-nonsense approach to life, even at nineteen gives her a maturity other girls don’t have at her age.

When Sir Martin de Grey approaches her, taking her to his chamber, she goes. That chamber has painted scenes on the ceiling which should make any maiden swoon. Not Lady Winter. Like I said it’s all very comical and you will get some laughs from it. Sir Martin almost forgets why he needs the sword to be forged and doesn’t learn of Lady Winter’s true identity until he has done the deed. All this just complicates the situation further.

Another character I find humorous is the nanny. In fact, the narrator does the personification of this woman to perfection. Nanny is a seer, but doesn’t see all. Just glimpses. She’s been Lady Winter’s nurse since she was a bairn and follows her to Sir Martin’s castle. She tries to talk reason into Lady Winter, but Winter is just too curious!

On the whole, his narration was good. It’s pacing and tone was one of levity. It is with some regret I felt the narrator portrayed little emotion from Lady Winter as she is in Sir Martin’s bed or close to. The tone of the dialogue rang false, feeling too dry and methodical, rather than playful.

Bottom Line: 5 for story , 4 for performance

  • Scared to Death

  • Detective Kay Hunter, Book 1
  • By: Rachel Amphlett
  • Narrated by: Alison Campbell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66

"If you want to see your daughter alive again, listen carefully." When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong. But Detective Kay Hunter isn't convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession. When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay's worst fears are realized.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid Police Procedural Makes the Mark

  • By MarisaReads on 10-18-17

Thriller Deathly Scary!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-18

Enjoyed this suspenseful thriller about the repercussions of bullying, with an excellent explanation what goes on with the police behind the scene in a crime.  This topic is very much in the news when kids who are bullied strike back, killing many as they do.  So it is appropriate to read/listen and a wonderful beginning to a series about Detective Kate Hunter, a skillful detective with boss issues and personal life complications.

The plot is well thought out, keeping me guessing with all its twists, but, at the same time, making sense as it unfolds.  I like Kate, with her great rapport with her colleagues, and her astute thoughts on where the investigation might lead. She's a great role model.

I am also struck on how Kate Hunter's boss doesn't cut her any slack and even though she has been found to not be at fault in a particular previous debacle, her boss rides her. How many of us have had such bosses? Another subplot runs its course, giving us some insight to Kate's personal life, as well as her relationship with her working colleagues.

I very much relate to this story, knowing how people with troubles in their own lives, may have jobs which also take chunks out of who they are.  They pull through by being strong, doing what is right.

The narrator told the tale and sparked fear in the listener through the killer's dialog.  She did a great job! Her voice pacing was a bit slow for me so I found the story more engaging by listening at 1.25X instead of 1.00X.  On the whole, she adds timbre to the character personalities and the telling, making it quite the thriller.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Rachel Amphlett. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Will to Live

  • Detective Kay Hunter, Book 2
  • By: Rachel Amphlett
  • Narrated by: Alison Campbell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60

When a packed commuter train runs over a body on a stretch of track known to locals as "Suicide Mile", it soon transpires that the man was a victim of a calculated murder. As the investigation evolves and a pattern of murders is uncovered, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter realizes the railway's recent reputation may be the work of a brutal serial killer. With a backlog of cold cases to investigate and attempting to uncover who is behind a professional vendetta against her, Kay must keep one step ahead of both the killer and her own adversaries.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Truth Will Out!

  • By MarisaReads on 11-08-17

Great Series -- a thriller and then some

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-18

This series has been very enjoyable to follow.  Book two deals with mental illness and suicide, along with people who hold grudges and act on them.

We become more acquainted with Detective Kay's work environment, and the people who have it in for her and those, as well, who believe in her. We also learn more about the procedures within the police force in obtaining evidence for a crime committed. I'm impressed with the thoroughness of an investigation and not jumping to conclusions.

Kay Hunter doesn't let her personal woes at work interfere with the caliber of her work in trying to break a case, even when it looks like she can't unravel it. She is driven to solve a case, meticulously working through the evidence.

It's enjoyable watching her interact with people who surround a crime scene, whether in the periphery or up close.  Kate is an admirable character with gut instincts she acts on, yet she's very thorough with her investigations.

The author creates a believable story, with mystery and suspense, building a slow-coil of dread as Kate gets closer to solving the crime.  She doesn't show her hand, in the slightest, as who is responsible for the crime/crimes.

I've enjoyed listening to the narrator, also either English or very familiar with the local dialog.  Between the author and the narrator, I feel like I'm watching a BBC film. They are very well in tune and create the perfect environment for me to envision the scenes.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Rachel Amphlett. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • A Witch's Journey

  • The Lobster Cove Series
  • By: Tena Stetler
  • Narrated by: Kate Tyler
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

Pepper McKay comes from a long line of powerful witches. Unfortunately, magic brings her nothing but trouble. She learned the love of wildlife rescue and rehab from her Aunt Ashling. After graduating from college, Pepper works for Salem Wildlife Sanctuary and lives from paycheck to paycheck, until she inherits the McKay property in Lobster Cove. With the family land and resources, she dares to dream of starting her own wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very enjoyable listen. Great Narrator

  • By Jason on 03-31-18

A Fun and Entertaining Read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-18

There are some stories which are close to your heart simply because of the setting.  Pepper wants to rescue wildlife.  That, in itself, brings me closer to the story.  I loved the detail the author surely researched to make Pepper's journey real to the listener--with a plot most believable. Equally lovely, was the support her parents gave her.

I like the fact that Pepper learns to rely on the love her family.  I also enjoy the fact that Lathen, a simple handyman (don't you believe it!) is there for Pepper.

This is a fun story with suspense and the joy of meeting the person that zings your heart, witch or no!

The narrator used certain tone and accents that jarred my sensibilities.  Of course, this is all subjective, but I feel the tone was a harsher than it should be.  Perhaps, she was interested in providing the listener a voice different from the others.  Of course, every listener will react to different voice portrayals. This is not to say she took away from the story, she just didn't bring the story to full bloom.

Bottom line:  I think this is a worthy listen and if you enjoy paranormal and romance, this one is certainly up your ally.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Kate Tyler. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Hazard

  • Rockliffe Series, Book 5
  • By: Stella Riley
  • Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101

Hazard: A game of Chance and Luck, made riskier when Fate is rolling the dice. For Aristide Delacroix, the first throw summons shades from his past. A man he had met, just once, over a card-table... and the lovely girl indirectly responsible for plunging his life into catastrophe. For Lord Nicholas Wynstanton, tired of waiting for Madeleine Delacroix to make up her mind, it slyly suggests he begin a whole new game with loaded dice; while for Madeleine, it devises a terrifying lesson in missed opportunities and the uncertainty of second chances. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent continuation to a delightful series

  • By noagnes on 05-17-18

Author's Writing Style & Production is Awesome!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-18

The publisher's summary of this story just didn't do the story justice. I see the symbolism, but it doesn't hit the mark for me.  Now the story is another matter...!

Author Stella Riley’s writing is as elegant and rich as the time period  she writes in. Her characters flow off the page, with a wide-range of personalities the narrator does an absolutely superb job showing the reader.

The setting, and plotline produces a delightful cast of characters with multi-layered challenges. 

This series has been a wonderful one to following and I look forward to book six which comes out quite soon.

The Duke of Rockcliffe has a presence in each of her stories, some more than others. In this story, the brother of the Duke takes a front seat, Lord Nicholas Wynstanton, as well as a very good friend of his, Aristide Delacroix. Both gentlemen have the same problem, with a twist with a woman they are attracted to.

As with most families, personalities between siblings can be vast.  Nothing is more true than the personality of the Duke of Rockcliffe and his brother Lord Nicholas.  The Duke is quite cold-blooded with a warm heart, and with ennui dripping from every sentence.  While Nicholas is so completely opposite.  One thing is certain.  The two brothers love each other with a fierceness you will discover as the story progresses.

Lord Nicholas knows what he wants – he wants Madeleine Delacroix, Aristide’s sister, but she is definitely not an easy catch! She has a problem with the huge gulf of society between them and knows he could so much better than her.
Nicholas is entirely lovable. I absolutely love his joie de vivre, his bubbly personality keeping family and friends laughing.  All but Madeleine... Narrator Wyndham does a marvelous job portraying his gaiety and seemingly not a serious thought in his head, not until later, that is, and that’s the beauty of how Riley fleshes-out her characters which Wyndham is right in step.

As Lord Nicholas becomes more frustrated with the woman he is attracted to, we really get to know the man, the man who eventually Madeleine cannot help falling in love in love with. Her prickly, acerbic tongue covers her true feelings, helping to keep as far distance as she can from Aristide.

Aristide, Madeleine's brother is attracted to Genevieve, a woman he should avoid, and frankly doesn’t want to remember. She was the catalyst to the pivotal moment in his life, where virtually he hit rock bottom. When they re-meet, she doesn’t remember him at all – another nail to keep Pandora’s box closed. He struggles... She seems so innocent and doesn’t appear to be lying. And yet...?

It takes two to tango. Genevieve Westin hasn’t had an easy life. So when the two part earlier in their lives, her desperate decision to marry to save herself from her brother Rafe, comes to haunt her. Now, after the death of her first husband, she finds herself with little choice. If she is to marry the one of her choice, she must do it quickly. Rafe will make the decision for her, if not.

But love challenges aren’t all that this story is about. It’s about how men and women brought low struggle to gain a place in society. It’s about how men of ill ilk stopping at nothing to get what they want. Madeleine is caught up in a scenario where she not only defends herself, she defends Nicolas. Love that scene -- an eye-opener for stubborn Madeleine!

  • Abducted at the Altar: A St. Briac Family Novel

  • Brides of Skye, Book 1
  • By: Cynthia Wright
  • Narrated by: Tim Campbell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

Fiona MacLeod has never left the Isle of Skye, except in the pages of books. However, everything changes when her mother makes a deathbed request that Fi travel to Falkland Palace and experience the royal court. Across the ocean in Europe, architect Christophe de St. Briac, a rising star among the artistic builders of the Renaissance, has his pick of women to warm his bed - until King François I pressures him to accept a project at Scotland’s Falkland Palace. Although Fiona and Christophe are from different worlds, they soon find their passionate souls have everything in common.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and Great Production!

  • By BOOKTALK WITH EILEEN on 11-05-18

Entertaining and Great Production!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-05-18

I’ve read or listened to author Cynthia Wright’s books for a long time.  I always start a read knowing I’ll be entertained with fully-developed gentle, honorable characters who end up taking part of my heart when the tale is complete. Her diabolical antagonists are wily and devious -- a pleasure to see them fail with their schemes.

This tale is not the exception.  Narrator Tim Campbell makes the listen a page-turner with his fantastic flexibility between French accented English and the Scottish brogue.  He positively takes the characters Wright creates to a higher level!

Fiona MacLeod is a dutiful child, particularly to her family. She loves her mother and father very much.  When her mother dies, she has only her father, who is devastated by her mother’s death. He is a man who can’t seem to let go of his daughter and plays right into the hands of the antagonist. He seems to be a weak man, but with a good heart.

Fiona has her dreams, perhaps more than the average highland lass, thanks to her mother teaching her how to read and write and the hours of reading together.  When she meets St. Briac she is intrigued with him, spending time questioning him about the places he's lived.

The antagonist whom we find has reasons to do what he does, is misguided with some mistruths. He is quite the unsavory sort, but Fiona's father doesn't see his bad character for he hides it with smiles and a lordly demeanor. Her father betrothes her to him without her consent. Should she do as her father wishes?  Afterall, many highland marriages are made for alliances and not love.  But Fiona wishes for more.  She wants to be loved and to love her husband.

Christophe St. Briac is every bit the rogue – women in his bed, but leave them before morning.  His passion is to create beautiful buildings.  As an architect, he had grand plans for Le Louvre and had been given a promise to work on that dream when he’d done a little favor for the King. I enjoyed getting to know the man behind the work-driven one. He is attracted to wee Fiona, and she to him.  But Christophe doesn't consider himself a marrying man.  Will his love to her be strong enough to keep him from returning to France?

Wright's tales leave a smile on my face and a light heart. She entertains with conflicted  characters, humor, and passionate, determined heroes and heroines who struggle to reach their happy ever after--all the while cheered on by the reader/listener!

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