House of Shadows

Series: Timeslip, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
4 out of 5 stars (215 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The wooded hills of Oxfordshire conceal the remains of the aptly named Ashdown House - a wasted pile of cinders and regret. Once home to the daughter of a king, Ashdown and its secrets will unite three women across four centuries in a tangle of romance, deceit, and destiny....

In the winter of 1662, Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, is on her deathbed. She entrusts an ancient pearl, rumored to have magic power, to her faithful cavalier, William Craven, for safekeeping. In his grief, William orders the construction of Ashdown Estate in her memory and places the pearl at its center.

One hundred and fifty years later, notorious courtesan Lavinia Flyte hears the maids at Ashdown House whisper of a hidden treasure and bears witness as her protector, Lord Evershot - desperate to find it - burns the building to the ground.

Now, a battered mirror and the diary of a Regency courtesan are the only clues Holly Ansell has to finding her brother, who has gone missing researching the mystery of Elizabeth Stuart and her alleged affair with Lord Craven. As she retraces his footsteps, Holly's quest will soon reveal the truth about Lavinia and compel her to confront the stunning revelation about the legacy of the Winter Queen.

©2015 Nicola Cornick (P)2017 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited.

Critic Reviews

"Fans of Kate Morton will enjoy this thrilling tale." ( Candis)

What listeners say about House of Shadows

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Author should be LIVID!

This was a pretty decent book. I don’t require War and Peace quality or the narration of vocal angels, but honestly, the narration from Heather Wilds (the Winter Queen) ruined the audiobook experience for me. Awful awful awful! If I was Nicola Clark, I’d be pissed, because I’m sure the narration turned people away from purchasing this book. Why do they choose such horrible narrators? Don’t the editors or production companies or somebody look at the reviews or listen to these actors themselves? Come on!
Now that I’m done ranting, House of Shadows was a pretty good story and I loved the part read by Fiona Hardingham. I’m looking forward to listening to the third book in the Timeslip series. (No Heather Wilds, I checked😊)

8 people found this helpful

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

Boring

THE NARRATOR FOR THE WHITE QUEEN WAS VERY ANNOYING. EVERY FEW WORDS, HER VOICE WENT UP. I FOUND MYSELF CRINGING EVERY TIME & MISSED WHAT SHE WAS SAYING. BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO GO BACK & LISTEN AGAIN. I KEPT WAITING FOR SOMETHING EXCITING

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic

This was a very enjoyable read. I loved that it spanned three different unique lifetimes that eventually tied together. mystery magic and romance with a historical touch what could be better?

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed the story

Enjoyed the story but almost couldn’t finish it due to the narration. One of the narrators is irritating to listen to. She reads as if it’s a list and not a conversation. Really made it hard to listen and follow.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hard to listen to! Just read this yourself

I really thought I wouldn't comment on the winter queen narrator because everyone else had and I thought it was overkill... Until I listened. Ugh she makes that portion of the story almost impossible to listen to and it really did ruin this book. The story itself is good - definitely worth a read, but I'd recommend READING it. She reads like she is reciting a rhythmic poem, or a list. Every single line is read with the same tone, same tempo, and same emphasis on the last word of the sentence. Absolutely the most annoying narrator I've ever listened to. I dreaded each chapter that started with her voice. If I knew how to ask for a refund, I would. But the story was good enough that I'm buying the next in the series (fortunately this narrator isn't on it)

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator for Elizabeth is not good!

I loved the story and the narrators for Holly & Lavina are wonderful; but the narrator for Elizabeth was not good! The pauses are not in natural places and there absolutely no emotional portrayal!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Terrible narrator

I think this could’ve been a good storyline, but I had to abandon it a few chapters in. The narrator is really difficult to listen to. She reads like someone having to read out loud from a textbook. The tone of her voice as she ends each sentence just ruins it. No passion. No animation.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story but the narration...

I enjoyed the overall story but listening the performance of the narrator performing the Winter Queen made me want to scream! Whoever allowed that person be recorded and published should have to listen her over and over for all eternity. The other narrators were great which what made that one stand out even more. Sheesh! Audible, please don’t publish anymore books with that narrator!

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Story okay

The story is okay. I really did not enjoy the narrator for the Winter Queen. she was awful. She ended every sentence on a high note so it sounded like all sentences ran together. The other narrators were good. The story isnt bad. I don't regret listening to it but could have been much better.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Frustrating but good

The historical parts of the story that drive the plot are fascinating and surprising. Apparently the story of the white queen and her commoner is known to many but not to many but not to me. If you don’t know it don’t look it up until after you have you have read the story. I found the absence of activity by police and his wife over Hope’s brother’s disappearance to be annoying but overall it was essential to the plot and only annoying

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • 11-06-18

disappointing

It started well and I expected a mistery but it seemed to lose its way half way through and was more of a split time romance. Too long.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-18

Gripping

What a wonderful book. Can’t wait to read her others. Half way through I drove to Ashdown House and had a tour by the author!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • TR
  • 12-28-17

Irritating Narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. Maybe to read the book but the narrator Heather Wilds spoilt the story for me. The other narrators were good, however. The story is very slow and lacks pace. It had the potential to be very good but the characters seemed flat and the chemistry seemed lacking in some way.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the detailed description of the past. The supernatural elements were interesting.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Heather Wilds narration spoilt the story for me because she narrated every sentence like a statement. Really weird, emotionless narration.

Could you see House of Shadows being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No. The story is ok but far too slow to be successfully adapted to the screen.

Any additional comments?

Re-record the parts of the story with Craven as the narration is extremely poor.