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Publisher's Summary

In the social whirl of Regency England, Elizabeth Chudderley is at the top of every guest list, the life of every party, and the belle of every ball. But her friends and admirers would be stunned to know the truth: that the merriest widow in London is also the loneliest. Behind the gaiety and smiles lies a secret longing - for something, or someone, to whisk her away....

Raised in scandal, Lord Michael de Grey is convinced that love is a losing gamble - and seduction the only game worth playing. But when duty threatens to trump everything he desires, the only way out is marriage to a woman of his brother’s choosing. Elizabeth Chudderley is delightful, delicious - and distressingly attractive. With such a captivating opponent, Michael isn’t quite sure who is winning the game. How can such passionate players negotiate a marriage of necessity - when their hearts have needs of their own?

©2013 Meredith Duran (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Here's a sophisticated, witty, smart novel that, like a Mary Balogh romance, compels the [listener] to look deeper into the story and uncover great depth as well as grand passion." (RT Book Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

I hated for it to end!

I had been resisting purchasing the Meredith Duran books because I had never heard/read any of her books before. Then I read the reviews, I was astounded by the reviews of the narrator, Alison Larkin, the reviews are what had actually induced me to buy the two author's books. I couldn't imagine a book that was narrated by Alison Larkin getting such terrible reviews.

Since the first book I had heard narrated by her, I have been going book-by-book through her list. I am a self described romance fanatic, I won't mention my vast audiobook collection, but suffice it to say I have heard many audiobooks, and Alison Larkin is one of my absolute favorites. She has amazing talent, and brings every book to life, and every character in a crowd is easily distinguished. There is a huge difference between just reading a book, and narration. Compare Julia Roberts (who narrated "Nanny Diaries") to Alison Larkin, and Alison Larkin would win, hands down. I only hope she will read many more romances in future.

I was, happily, introduced to Meredith Duran's books by way of the narrator. What a great combination of author and narrator. I will look forward to more of her books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The narrator ruins it

What would have made That Scandalous Summer better?

A better, more mature narrator. Alison Larkin has a school girl's voice. She is unable to make a male character sound like one. Even her women sound like high school girls. I know that Meredith Duran self-publishes, and I would imagine that means she has control over who records her books as well. I just hope that whoever it is gets a narrator with more range. Alison Larkin might work for a young adult book, although I think I still wouldn't like her in that. She is a bit over-vivacious, and there are still adults and men in young adult books usually. I don't think at this point she could even make a boy sound like a boy. So in this instance, it isn't possible for me to really review the book. I bought it because of all the good reviews and I have to believe it's worth reading. When my eyes are up to it, I'll try the kindle version. But for now, it's a big disappointment.

What didn’t you like about Alison Larkin’s performance?

As I said above.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Couldn't get there; the narration is in the way. It makes the book seem trivial.

Any additional comments?

I wish that Audible and equivalent companies would have standards to help publishers and self-published authors to choose their readers. An audiobook is worthless if the narrator is bad.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hmmmm

This could have been good and I really wanted to enjoy it but it wasn't and I didn't. The premise was good but I found Lizzy/Elizabeth rather whinny. Maybe it was the narrator of the audiobook. She was also horrid with Michael's voice. It kept changing. I finally did finish this but I can't recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Awful Characters

This book was pretty terrible. The lead male was a very flat character. There wasn't anything about him that made me like him or dislike him. There weren't many opportunities to get to know his character. The lead female was detestable. She was arrogant and quite vapid. I think she was supposed to be confident and independent, but it came across as rude and mean-spirited. She did not have any redeeming qualities. I do not plan on continuing with the rest of the series.

The narrator did an okay job. Her voice sounds a bit juvenile but nothing I couldn't tolerate.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • CAROLYN
  • Newark, New Jersey, United States
  • 02-03-14

SORRY BUT I WAS EXPECTING BETTER

Beautiful Socialite Elizabeth is hiding two secrets - 1 she's broke and 2 beneath all her smiles is a lonely confused woman. She must marry for money rather than love but when she wakes up in an unknown Doctor's bed she gets her first glimpse of a forbidden temptation.

Lord Michael de Grey is a renowned Rake but an ultimatum from his Duke Brother has made him take the drastic action of hiding away as a plain and penniless working class Doctor in Cornwall. Sparks fly but he doesn't want to marry and then hasn't got the finances to marry Elizabeth and she has to marry someone with money but still their mutual sexual attraction grows. Elizabeth holds a House Party to find a Suitor but Michael gate-crashes it with funny reactions, there's lots of 'this is the last time' sex which leads to interesting and heartbreaking consequences.

This is a Victorian Farce, there was much more action in Part Two which made it more enjoyable BUT I just didn't like Elizabeth's character and couldn't empathise with her until the end but by that time it was a little too late. I liked Michael and there were other interesting and confusing characters at the House Party but there was a lot of inner dialogue too which got repetitive and boring.

Worth a credit? The story did have it's moments - tender, sweet, touching, heartbreaking and sexy moments but they were just moments. It just didn't grab me and I know there are far better historical romances out there. So, alas I'm going to have to say NO - it wasn't remarkable, memorable or captivating for me but hey you may love it.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful