Winner of three contemporary romance awards. The NEC-RWA Readers Choice Award, Contemporary Romance Chick Lit Writers Award, and the Chatelaine Award.
In this modern Irish fairytale, a young art teacher from Savannah, Georgia has given up on love. Three times Tory Adams has loved; three times her heart has been crushed. On a whim, Tory purchases a lottery ticket using the dates her ex-boyfriends dumped her. And she wins! Wins over $600 million dollars. All Tory has ever desired is love, a home, and a family. Now, with a pot of gold, she can at least have her own home, and she is not settling for just any home.
Tory flies to Ireland to buy the castle on Dragon's Isle, a magical place where her grandparents met and fell in love. But could money buy love? From the moment she arrives in Ireland, Tory faces complications. Wonderful complications. A handsome Irishman appears followed by a trio of men to chase her across the Emerald Isle. But she must decide - do the men love her or are they simply romancing the numbers?
4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮Three things drew me to The Ex Lottery: 1) The cover. This looks like the cover of a NYT Bestseller. 2) The narrator. Eva Kaminsky is ahh-mazing, but I’ll tell you more about that later. 3) The premise. This was the biggest draw. Kim Sanders has thought up an entirely original basis for a story. It was one that I couldn’t resist, even though I’m not typically that fond of the romance genre.
The Ex Lottery wound up being just the lighthearted adventure that I needed after all of the spook-tacular audios I heard in October. The story was definitely fun, but it wasn’t shallow. It had real substance. I was surprised to find such a well-woven plot underneath all of the fun.
One of my biggest complaints with Romance, and with all genres, is predictability. Sanders’ cleverness extended beyond the basic premise of the story. As someone who listens to a lots of stories, I love being surprised. Alas, it is becoming harder and harder to surprise me. However, Sanders was able to catch me offguard several times with unexpected, but welcomed, plot twists. With true skill, she was able to tie each of these seemingly random twists into the larger story, leaving no loose ends.
Many authors are capable of developing ideas clever enough to serve as the foundation of a good story, but far fewer are able to execute those ideas and follow them up with a story of worth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a promising synopsis, only to be let down by the plot execution, character development, quality of writing, or all of the above. The Ex Lottery was well written, narrated, and produced.
The Ex Lottery did not disappoint me in any respect. It made me laugh, made me swoon, and kept me guessing. If only all Contemporary Romance novels were written with as much ingenuity and heart as The Ex Lottery, I might become a regular romance listener. At the very least, I’m interested in hearing more from Kim Sanders.
Narration review: Eva Kaminsky was a huge part of why I decided to listen to The Ex Lottery. I hadn’t heard her before, but I’d heard of her enough to know that this would be worth a listen. And it sure was! Kaminsky added so much to the telling of this story. She was perfectly tuned into the characters’ personalities and the overall tone of the tale. The characterization she provided, particularly to the exes and other background characters, went a long way toward helping me navigate the story and connect with its characters. Less than an hour into the audiobook, I had already begun searching through her other titles. I plan on hearing The Gilded Age Mysteries very soon. ♣︎
➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its author, Kim Sanders, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Kim!
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What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ex Lottery?
It's a funny one: When Carter swims over to the island.
Which scene was your favorite?
Any scene with Shane and Tori
Any additional comments?
Narration: For the most part the narration was well-done for this audiobook. Eva Kaminsky speaks clearly and at a good pace. Tori’s voice was distinct from other females. I found there was excellent distinction of Jack’s voice and Shane’s voice in particular. Kaminsky’s attempt at the Irish accent was commendable. While it started off a bit rough, I found she steadily improved her attempted Irish brogue as the narration progressed. (4/5)
Production: Sound quality was good. The audio was clear and sound levels were consistent. Spacing between chapters was very good. However, the spacing between POV shifts was too short and I often had to rewind a tiny bit to get my bearings, especially when the changed POV started with dialogue as opposed to setting. I think I detected a little ‘blip’ in the audio just about two times. (4/5)
Overall Experience: Overall this story translated to audio quite well. I enjoyed listening. The Irish accents were cite and added a nice flair to the storytelling. (4/5)
I liked this story. The plot is well-laid out. The complications are clear. The resolutions are satisfying. There are also a couple of secondary plots to keep the reader’s interest and tickle their heart. The main characters are well-developed and their growth is shown as the story progresses. Although the story opens well after the passing of Tori’s grandmother, she is still very much a part of the book and her story is just as captivating.
This tale is billed as a fairy tale and you should understand that up front. It’s very romantic and at times whimsical. Everything is romanticized through Tori’s eyes from infants, to the dramatically beautiful setting and even to an old sea captain’s gnarled hands.
I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.