Your audiobook is waiting…

Cadenza

Rockliffe, Book 6
Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
Length: 13 hrs
5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)
Regular price: $24.95
$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Rockliffe Series recommended in The Times.

The performance finished in a flourish of technical brilliance and the young man rose from the harpsichord to a storm of applause.

Julian Langham was poised on the brink of a dazzling career when the lawyers lured him into making a catastrophic mistake. Now, instead of the concert platform, he has a title he doesn’t want, an estate verging on bankruptcy...and bewildering responsibilities for which he is totally unfitted.

And yet the wreckage of Julian’s life is not a completely ill wind. For Tom, Rob, and Ellie it brings something that is almost a miracle...if they dare believe in it.

Meanwhile, first-cousins Arabella Brandon and Elizabeth Marsden embark on a daring escapade which will provide each of them with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The adventure will last only a few weeks, after which everything will be the way it was before. Or so they think. What neither of them expects is for it to change a number of lives...most notably, their own.

And there is an additional complication of which they are wholly unaware.

The famed omniscience of the Duke of Rockliffe.

©2018 Stella Riley (P)2019 Stella Riley

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    26
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful listening experience!

I am a huge fan of Stella Riley but after her previous Rockliffe book I thought there was not much scope for another in the series. I was mistaken - the story of the two heroines swapping places was wonderfully placed in the world of the Duke of Rockliffe and his friends. The two pairs of protagonists are more loosely connected to the increasing group of happily married and honourable, mostly aristocratic but unusually inclusive group than the protagonists of previous books. The new heroines have a loose connection to Rockliffe, the primary hero is a new and unique character, the virtuoso musician who is somewhat lost in the real world, only the secondary hero is known as a villain (or perhaps better termed antihero) of Hazard (Book 5) - the Earl of Sherbourne. His subtle transformation from antihero to hero and Elizabeth's developing love and loyalty to him was very enjoyable. Perhaps the only thing I missed from the story was a deeper explanation and resolution of the conflict between Sherbourne and his sister Genevieve (a theme of Hazard, the previous book again)
Julian and Arabella's relationship with the three children is heartwarming and a great illustration of both their character - I loved the way they won the children's trust and love and loyalty. The description of the music, the harpsichord and Julian's unique relationship with them gave a richness and depth to the story. There is a connection to the author's previous English Civil War era novel (Garland of Straw, in which the ancestors of Arabella and Max play primary role).
Listening to the audio edition with the superb perfomance of Alex Wyndham was a wonderful, wonderful experience. As always his beautiful voice, his perfect grasp on the emotions, the humor and the tension enlivens the written text. He illustrates the character types with diverse voice pitch variations accurately. I was happy to immerse myself into the Rockliffe world and into the love stories of Arabella and Elizabeth.
I hope there will be more stories about the Brandons!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • CHW
  • TX
  • 03-01-19

PURE ENJOYMENT

This book was an unexpected edition to the Rockclife series. I thought after Aristead's, etc story the series had reached its conclusion. However, this book was an enjoyable addition to this series.
Needless to say the author writes a fantastic story. She puts the story together in such a way that even the minute details are interesting, when at times these can be boring and tedious.

The book tells two concurrent stories with very different heroes and heroines. Julian, a shy virtuoso with a big heart captured me from the very beginning. He was a delight to get to know. Rafe, the villain from book 5, was a surprise. He was a man with a glacier demeanor but vulnerably fragile on the inside. It was very difficult not to like him. Arabella and Elizabeth were also well developed characters. I was very sad to see this book end, I enjoyed it thoroughly. My only criticism is that she did not finish Rafe and Elizabeth's story. I wanted to see them married and Rafe's walls of protection come down a bit more. I hope this means Stella will give us more of these two in .a later story

The three adorable children were a great addition to the story.

Alex Wyndham narrates this story.. nothing else needs to be said. He is FANTASTIC.

Overall this was a light, enjoyable listen that left me smiling at its conclusion and during many excellent dialogues throughout. You will not go wrong with this choice and it is certainly credit worthy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Another Great Book in the Rockliffe Series

Cadenza, Stella Riley's 6th entry in the Rockliffe series, has a most interesting and unique hero. A genius harpsichordist thrown into circumstances he is ill-prepared to handle, Julian Langham becomes more then a splendid musician, which he already is at the beginning of the book. His relationship with the children, the townspeople of Beckingham, and all our acquaintances from the previous books, especially the Duke of Rockliffe, add to his growth as a character to be admired. Add to that two wonderful love stories as only Stella can do them.

Once again Ms. Riley has intrigued me and held my interest through out. It was especially welcome to catch up on characters from the other Rockliffe books that I've known and loved. My favorite is Julian's handling of the children, Tom, Rob, and Ellie, with such aplomb. And he said he didn't know what to do with them.

Alex Wyndham's reading of Cadenza gave life to all the nuances I had missed from reading the story. And I read Cadenza twice. I especially like his reading of Julian; his voice made me like him that much more. Good job, Alex.

A definite recommendation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lu
  • 02-28-19

A hero so lovable it hurts!

A shy daydreamer with an amazing musical talent finds out that all his dreams will have to be postponed (perhaps forever) because he is responsible for a failing estate and three illegitimate orphans.
A daring girl (Arabella Brandon), hoping to avoid an unwanted season in London, changes place with her poorer cousin, and ends up accepting a post as a housekeeper/ governess.
Destiny mingled with determination and love are the main ingredients of this masterpiece by Mrs. Riley. Julian, the hero, is so lovable it hurts!
The children are so delightful, the friendships so real that you find yourself in a happy place throughout the book.
In addition to revisiting the indomitable Duke of Rockliffe (and all the other couples in the Rockliffe Series), there is also an extra romance between Elizabeth (Arabella's cousin) and The Earl of Sherbourne. Rafe is a wonderful hero in his own frosty way, and a villain redeemed to boot. Elizabeth is a vicar's daughter that decides to take her destiny in her own hands.
Although I'm not well versed in music, I loved all the musical references (the ones in the final scenes are gold), and I have managed to find beautiful renditions of the pieces mentioned on the internet and they are lovely. The artist that inspired Julian is called Jean Rondeau and he is so very talented.
For those who have already read Mrs. Riley's "Garland of Straw", its lovely to find out that Arabella is a great great granddaughter of Gabriel and Venetia.
As the audience did at the end of Julian's lovely performances, I can only clap my hands and shout "bravo", as I really enjoyed every minute of this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Brava!

Brava! An absolutely amazing Georgian romance with two surprising heroines, two very interesting heroes plus a "soundtrack." Julian (hero #1) is both a delightful hero and a good man (the best combination). This time, along with Stella's typical measure of historical accuracy, she provides a wealth of background information on the music. On her site, she lists Julian's recital concert playlist with links to performances by a modern-day harpsichord virtuoso. The story is creative and original with the unusual addition of a redeemed villain (hero #2) who was introduced in Hazard, which gives a surprising twist to the story. More Rockliffe stories, please! They just keep getting better and better.
AUDIOBOOK: Alex Wyndham is a master!! His interpretation made an already gold-medal story into platinum! Bravo!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Beth B
  • United states
  • 02-26-19

If Stella Riley is unknown to you please REMEDY THIS

I loved this book from start to finish and though I strongly recommend reading her books in order, you will still enjoy Cadenza as a stand alone. Stella is a master at creating complex and fascinating characters and this book is no exception. I especially loved Bella and Julian,s story, as the interweaving of Music, as a character, added depth and passion to all the individuals involved.
Music is impeccably explored and highlights her research and dedication to detail. This sensitivity gives us access in particular to Julian, who is consumed by his own talent and passion for the Harpsichord and music. At the start he has to give up his passion for duty, which results in a deep melancholy and confusion about life. He is holding on and his only hope lied in the time-consuming task of rebuilding a damaged Harpsichord. At first we do not see Julian the Musician, we see the Julian who has been thrown into a situation he is totally unprepared for and way out of his depth , both as a “parent” and a farmer. The children are damaged, the farm is falling apart and he has no access to his own music. As all creative geniuses, he is wildly eccentric and he communicates most clearly through his playing. As a musician he is confident and bold, emotional and articulate contrasted to his socially awkward, shy and somewhat naive character off the stage. We are equally drawn to him as a professional and as a person who is thrown into a situation in which he is over his head. Bella comes and unites the two parts of his personality and weaves his “children” in to create a family. Bella needs to make a difference and here she is in her element, life is not conventional but organic and free-flowing.

Lizzie’s story investigates the emotional damages of love on the part of Ralph Harcourt, the Earl of Sherborne. Throughout the two stories the character of honestly is explored. In Lizzie’s story, secrets prevent intimacy beyond a natural attraction. The vulnerability of revealing secrets is explored and ultimately experienced, allowing growth in a relationship. Lizzie must interpret
Sherborne’s reticence in a realistic vein and accept what he is able to give as enough. She is able to give him the freedom to realize his his emotions in his own time.

I love that Stella’s main women are not “missish” a term which his fiction readers will recognize.

Rockliffe again unites a cast of regulars and never fails to delight.
His omniscience and sardonic humour unite all the books in this series and he adds the element of a delicious moral flexibility to a very rigid society.

As always Alex Wyndham,s performance is stellar. His characterizations are insightful, delicate and revealing and his sense of personal drama and timing is perfect. His voice inhabits each character and becomes the music of the written word. You can see the result of the close interaction and collaboration between Alex and Stella each time a book is put in audiobook form. Everything is refined and polished to a high degree . There is a magic about Alex,s narration and he and the story become so entwined as to be the same.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Another wonderful book in the series!

Stella Riley is one of the best authors I read...I look forward to her books coming out on audio, and listen to them multiple times. Elegant language, interesting plots and believable characters. This one is especially meaningful for me due to the musical aspect of the plot and the unique and unusual character of the male lead. I also liked the way she reclaimed a character from a previous book in the series. And, as always, Alex Wyndham is superb! (I am so excited about the Black Madonna being issued on audio! )

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cate F.
  • Richmond, VA USA
  • 02-25-19

An endearing hero from Stella Riley & Alec Wyndham

Once again the evocative writing of Stella Riley, interpreted by Alec Wyndham, pulled me into a story filled with love and humor. I always appreciate the way Riley’s characters are distinct individuals without anachronistic names or behaviors. Their journey is always deepened by their emotional growth as they encounter obstacles and make mistakes. The double love story was a splendid extra brought about because two cousins switched places on the way to their HEAs.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Deborah C
  • 03-03-19

Outstanding narration and an outstanding story

I have just finished listening to Cadenza written by Stella Riley and performed by Alex Wyndham.
As always Alex brings the Rockliffe series to life with his narration and this story is a lovely ending to the Rockliffe series.
I shall miss all the characters but know I can go back time and again to listen to all the wonderful stories in this series.
Deborah C

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • F
  • 02-26-19

Another Triumph !

The sixth book in The Rockliffe series is as superb as the previous 5 novels. Stella Riley's books have an elegance about them and her flow of the English language is a joy to read. Cadenza has a plot that is interesting in that it has two hero/heroines with a separate story development throughout the book. Not wanting to give too much of this wonderful story away, our main hero is an extraordinarily talented musician who has landed back in England through circumstances of inheritance, while our two heroines swap places ( Lizzie is a likeable character with a quiet, tempered personality and Arabella (Bella) is wonderful, practical, fun-loving, intelligent and kind). I was thrilled to have The Duke of Rockliffe and his family & friends making their re-appearance, which is always a delight and feels like we, the reader, are welcoming back old & much-loved friends. I particularly liked the musical angle to the story as it is something close to my heart, and as with all Stella Riley's books, the reader finishes a book not only enjoying a well-written and very enjoyable book, but having gleaned some well-researched facts. As to Alex Wyndham's performance - he is absolutely one of the best male narrators that I have heard throughout my 9 years with Audible. Thank you to both for giving me 13 hours of joy, which if it is anything like all my other Stella Riley books will be listened to many times in the future.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Yildiz
  • 03-03-19

Bravissimo & Encore

It is said that you should always leave the best until last and in Cadenza- Rockliffe book 6; Stella Riley and Alex Wyndham have certainly done this as the final curtains closes on this most exquisite series.
Once again the collaboration of writer and narrator has produced another stunning performance that will live with me for a long time.
The story starts in Vienna where Julian Langham has just presented his first virtuoso performance and is on the brink of a dazzling career when lawyers lure him into making a catastrophic mistake and now, instead of the concert platform, he has a title he doesn’t want, an estate verging on bankruptcy and thus begins his Cadenza.
What follows are two parallel love stories that are very different. One is warm, sensitive and heartfelt while the other is tentative and reticent with both parties treading very carefully in order to be sure of each other’s feelings. I’ll not give the names of the couples and who ends up with who because that would be a spoiler but suffice to say the writing and performance by Alex Wyndham throughout is measured, moving and completely believable. What I can also say is that once again Ms Riley’s dialogue and characterisation are truly exceptional.
The main lead Julian Langham is an absolute delight and Mr Wyndham squeezes every ounce of emotion out of him with the result that he made me smile and also shed a tear. I defy anyone to listen to this audio and not fall in love with Julian. He is truly wonderful and one of Ms Riley’s best male leads that Mr Wyndham performs so well. In fact Alex Wyndham is one of the finest Audio narrators around whose wonderful narrative voice is supplemented by superb transitions from male to female, young to old, gentry to common man that are seamless.
In addition to Julian, Arabella – Belle – and Elizabeth – Lizzie – also grace the stage along with Ralph Sherbourne - previously featured in Hazard - where he was truly obnoxious. This is another tour de force from the pen of Ms Riley. Add to this the usual Rockliffe entourage led by the charismatic and formidable Duke, detailed knowledge of the Harpsichord, a well written plot and you have the perfect blend.
However, just when you think the ensemble is complete and the performance ready to begin, in walks Max Brandon, Belle’s brother, who steps centre stage. Wow, how good is he. I think he’s the brother all girls would want because he is witty, smart, supportive, intelligent and practical. I can only hope that Ms Riley has a future planned for him because I would like to see more of this relative of Gabriel Brandon from her excellent R&C series, Garland of Straw.
I truly think this is probably the best audio in Stella Riley’s Rockliffe series as it has everything a Georgian Romance should. Consequently when all the participants take their final bow all I wanted to do was shout ‘Bravissimo and Encore’ for Stella Riley and Alex Wyndham who have given another stunning performance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wendy Loveridge
  • 03-10-19

Cadenza is a feast for the senses

This series has been absolutely tremendous and I have loved every wonderful minute of it, especially with the velvet tones of narrator, Alex Wyndham, added into the mix.

Cadenza follows the fortunes of a talented musician - a virtuoso in fact. Julian Langham is abruptly thrust into an aristocratic world he does not want, and worse, it’s at the expense of his beloved music. He is broke and desperately unhappy when Arabella (Belle) Brandon arrives with her beautiful laugh and practical good sense to save him. She has changed places with her cousin Elizabeth (Lizzie) Marsden who has travelled in her place to take up an offer of a London season under the sponsorship of the Duke and Duchess of Rockliffe.

Obviously the cause and effect of the girls subterfuge has far reaching consequences, but they are entertaining and give the author and her narrator great scope for drama, wit and spine tingling romance.

There is a parallel, secondary romance between Lizzie and Ralph Sherbourne which is quite lovely, but my favourite of the two romances is Belle and Julian’s. I think Julian is probably the most unusual character I have ever encountered in Historical Romance and quite delightful in his complexity.

Six books down the line and the superb acting skills of Alex Wyndham have never dimmed. He has kept a grip on Rockliffe’s ‘gang’ of friends and family and effortlessly replicated the voices of each one so expertly that there is never any doubt as to which character we are listening to. With each new book in the series more characters have been added, but he is never phased and his versatility knows no bounds. A consummate actor and an eloquent writer - what more could we, their audience ask for? Bravo Ms. Riley and Mr. Wyndham.

If you have never listened to an audio book by this author/narrator combination, then my advice is to begin with The Parfit Knight. I guarantee you will want to lock yourself away until you have devoured all six books. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful