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Publisher's Summary

Laura Kinsale presents...

the charming and hilarious new author, Susanna Malcolm, with a classic Regency that only Nicholas Boulton could narrate so perfectly.

Lord Gideon Birch, wounded former naval Captain and freshly minted Viscount, has a colorful history as a renowned lover of women. But a decade at war has transformed this sensual rake, and what he wants now is only to live a life on his own terms.

And so, he comes to the quietest village in England, searching for serenity and instead, encounters an astonishingly enthralling pair of green eyes that unsettle his carefully constructed world.

Though she would love nothing more than to leave Littleover, Miss Theadosia Ridley is sorely hampered by a lack of funds. Desperately trying to earn enough to feed herself and her ailing family servant, she must reluctantly accept Lord Birch's opportune offer of employment: He needs her and her knowledge of Greek to catalog and translate the extensive library he's accumulated over the course of the war.

Dubious of his motives, she vows to keep her distance from the dashing newcomer. But time in his company unveils a compelling man far more complex than his shallow reputation would lead one to believe. Can she uphold her vow not to succumb to his charms?

©2017 Susanna Malcolm (P)2018 Hedgehog Inc. Productions

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cate F.
  • Richmond, VA USA
  • 07-14-18

Marvelous Narrator

Nicholas Boulton has a resonant, rumbling voice and the ability to perform believable women, none with squeaky voices. An intelligent heroine although a bit contradictory. I would liked to have heard more of the hero’s back story.
All in all, an enjoyable listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Title Should Be - The Besotted Viscount -

Cranky, wounded, devilishly handsome Gideon comes into his family estate and falls cravat over hessians for his librarian employee, the bluestocking Thea. It's not her besotted with the viscount, rather him besotted with the spinster. I liked it. Good sex, too!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Country living is the focus in this hist rom

I enjoyed this English countryside romance though sometimes Thea was so uptight! It took her a long time to see what Gideon was offering. In her defense though, she has no one to protect her from village gossip and her reputation is important for her livelihood. There is a lot of back and forth and just when you think they can move forward something else gets in the way. Fortunately the ending and epilogue make the wait worthwhile. Audiobook narration by Nicholas Boulton is excellent, I've yet to hear a character and voice he can't master. 3.5 stars for the story ( I did really like Gideon), 4.5 stars for the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Promising Start

I came across this title in my search for a historical romance just for indulgence sake. When I read that Nicholas Boulton was the narrator and published by Hedgehog, Inc. (Laura Kinsale) I knew I could not go wrong. Needless to say that Susanna Malcolm is a new to me.
The writing is intelligent although at times contemporary phrases or situations were distracting and annoying but not enough to detract from the story. The main leads were fleshed out well but at times their behaviors were disconcerting or too much in conflict with their own experiences or personalities. Ms. Malcom's writing has a mature voice reminding me of writers like Laura Kinsale and Sherry Thomas but still in need of more seasoning. The story has a fair amount of angst but it does not overwhelm the story. There is a cast of secondary characters including the town that assist in driving the plot to a lovely conclusion.
I look forward to reading more stories from Ms.Malcolm. Although I appreciate lighter fare this book is a refreshing change to the onslaught of books masquerading teenagers as adults.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book AMAZING narrator

I always love listening to Nicholas Boulton’s books. He is incredible and truly the best in his field. The story, although slow, was a heart warming one. Wonderful job for both writer and narrator.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I could listen to Nicholas Boulton read anything

Ok I really love Laura Kinsale's books - read them back when they were first published. Then I found them this year on audible and loved them all over again but even more read by the fabulous Nicholas Boulton. So when I saw that there was a new one but by a different author I immediately bought it. And all I can say is more more more.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely wonderful

I was very surprised and I completely enjoyed every part of this book. There was nothing in the book that I would ask her to explain or rewrite. She put you in the mind of the characters and during the whole time listening to the book Nicholas Bolton really delivers amazing characters so you feel that you are actually part of what’s going on. Super sexy also. This book will be added to the books that I read again and again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful!!!!! Outstanding....a must to listen to!!

This is my first book by Susanna Malcom , i pray she has more audiobooks narrated by Boulton - it was amazing! From the first minute to the last but the last 20 minutes was the best listen and something you’d listen to over and over again! It was hysterically funny and so tender that you’ll well up with tears. Her dialogue is crisp, funny and heartbreakingly sweet and when read by Nicholas Boulton you won’t want to stop listening. One of the refreshing parts of the storyline was just the two lead characters - having been through so much in their life, admitting that they were lonely and falling in with each other was the natural course. Not an easy course, but a natural one. That stood out to me and it was a great part of the story. Boulton’s narration made it seem at times like I was just listening to a movie without seeing the picture. It was that powerfully done. I will definitely listen to this one again.

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  • mszuch
  • 08-07-18

A good historical romance

A thoroughly simply historical romance, man meets woman and they eventually fall in love, but what was not simply was the delightful prose, I read/listened to a lyrical style similar to Laura Kinsale (all of whom books I delight in) and off course the wonderful Nicholas Bolton velvety tones just enhanced the story further. I look forward to reading/listening to more of Sussanna Malcolm proses hopefully in the future.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Caz
  • 08-16-18

Great narration, weak story: disappointing overall

Besotted with the Viscount is a fairly low-angst tale set in a small English village, which sees two people who don’t quite fit in discovering that they fit in with each other rather well. It’s a leisurely-paced, character-driven tale, that starts well, but drags in the middle and then resorts to a rather clichéd Big Misunderstanding in order to create some much-needed tension towards the end.

War hero Captain Lord Gideon Birch hated every moment of the naval career forced on him by his family, and wants nothing more than to live quietly somewhere as far from the sea as possible. To that end, he has purchased a property in the vicinity of a remote village in Derbyshire.

Thea Ridley is the daughter of a scholar and lived most of her life in Greece before returning to England following the deaths of her parents. She lives in a small cottage with her elderly companion and is barely making ends meet, so when the opportunity arises to work for Lord Birch, cataloguing and translating his extensive library of Greek texts, she jumps at the chance to earn enough money to be able to move our of England, where she's never felt she belonged.

It’s a nice way of getting the two together, but I couldn’t help asking myself how it was that neither of them thought it improper to be alone together so often. I suppose it could be that Gideon regarded Thea as a servant and therefore without a reputation to worry about, but that’s clearly not the case, given that they first meet at a social event. He’s immediately smitten by her beautiful face (and in fact, if anyone is besotted in this story, it’s him). But Gideon’s reputation as a rake and libertine is widely known, so Thea, who is still getting over being thrown over by the young man she’d expected to marry - is wary, of Gideon and of men in general.

This is a romance novel, so I don’t need to spell out where things are headed. Thea is equally taken with the handsome captain, but keeps reminding herself that Men Are Not To Be Trusted and remains in denial about the truth of her feelings for Gideon. Until, that is, her former love arrives back in the village accompanied by his new – pregnant - wife (whom he married for money), and promptly propositions Thea, intending to make her his mistress. She’s so furiously indignant, she goes back to Gideon’s house, figures if all men are going to think she’s a whore, she might as well be one, and jumps Gideon - much to his delight.

Things between them are fairly blissful (fortunately, Gideon has hardly any servants, so there’s nobody to witness them getting it on in all the rooms in the house) – although at no point does he, a gentleman, mention marriage – until the Big Mis kicks in near the end. Without spoilers, something happens to Thea which turns the whole village against her, and when details reach Gideon – who has had to go away for a week – he immediately believes the worst, and, on returning to Littleover, makes no attempt to see or speak to Thea to get her side of the story.

Needless to say, Gideon’s behaviour at that point is unforgiveable and I didn’t blame Thea for the decision she makes afterward. All is happily resolved, of course, but I have to say that while I generally liked Gideon, his lack of faith in Thea in the final stages of the novel left a nasty taste in my mouth.

It will come as no surprise when I say that the narration was by far the strongest part of this audiobook. Unfortunately, however, not even the velvet tones of Nicholas Boulton were enough to raise the book above the average, and actually, it’s the first time I’ve ever said that I wished he’d been given better material to work with, as so far, the authors he’s narrated for in the romance genre - Laura Kinsale, Alexis Hall, Elizabeth Kingston – are all top-notch. His performance is excellent, as usual; his interpretations of the various characters are fabulous, they’re all very clearly differentiated, and his ability to get to the emotional heart of any given scene is superb. But ultimately, the story is weak and the heroine is difficult to warm to, so in spite of Mr. Boulton’s best efforts – wonderful though they are – Besotted by the Viscount is rather a middling affair.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful