A beautiful duchess mourns for her beloved.
A sun-bronzed merchant returns to claim a birthright.
Disparate souls in need of love and renewal.
Paths cross and the journey begins...
Hampshire, England, 1777: Antonia, Dowager Duchess of Roxton, has been mourning the loss of her soul mate for three long years. Her despair is all-consuming until into her life steps a devilishly handsome younger man. Unconventional and self-assured, wealthy merchant Jonathon Strang will stop at nothing to convince Antonia she can love again, and deeply.
©2011, 2014 (2nd edition) Lucinda Brant (P)2015 Lucinda Brant
Autumn Duchess ranks at the top end of the audiobooks I have listened to so far. Alongside every book written by Lucinda Brant and narrated by Alex Wyndham. They make the perfect team, because Lucinda writes such emotional, exciting stories, and Alex brings them to life. It's better than watching a movie because you can picture the scenes in your mind as Alex portrays every character perfectly.
Although I should say Jonathon Strang is my favourite character, after all, he is the hero in the story, he is actually only my second favourite. Antonia, the Dowager Duchess of Roxton is first! What an emotional character she is. She is French (Alex's French accent is wonderful) and she is such a free thinking woman, fair to all except at times herself. When she loves, she loves unconditionally and deeply. She has been a widow for 3 years, yet is still in deep mourning for her husband, still wearing widow's clothes, and with no thought to ever marrying again. She is content to live in the Dowager House on the Roxton Estate, spending as much time with her grand children as possible. When Jonathon Strang comes along he turns her life upside down, and their story is made all the more intriguing purely because of her personality and strength of character. She is an amazing woman.
I have listened to every book that Alex has done for Lucinda Brant, and you can't compare them because each one is a pleasure to listen to because in each one Alex performs the characters perfectly.
One grieving woman, one determined man, can Jonathon Strang help Antonia, Dowager Duchess of Roxton live her life to the full again.
The many voices that Alex can produce for all the characters amaze me. He can go from a very low pitched man's voice, to a small child's voice and does each character justice. Even his women's voices are believable, the beautiful young ladies tender, sweet voices, to the old womens voices that are gossiping, or being outraged, they are done to perfection. The passionate, romantic scenes that he narrates, especially when he is narrating Jonathon's parts are absolutely swoon worthy! He brings so much emotion to each character too that when he is reading a particularly emotional scene, I am brought to tears, sometimes happy ones, sometimes sad! Not just a sign of some wonderfully written scenes, but narrated exactly as I am sure Lucinda wanted.
Lucinda's stories and their characters are full of depth, well researched, and although can easily be read or listened to as stand alone stories, it's wonderful to read/listen to the other books in the series too, both for the joy of the characters interactions and for the fact that Alex is the narrator. Together Lucinda and Alex make the perfect writing/narrating team!
So many books, so little time...
AUTUMN DUCHESS is a lovely, gently moving story about finding love again and about rebuilding family relationships that have deteriorated under the strain of grief.
Antonia, dowager Duchess of Roxton lost the husband she dearly loved three years previously, but refuses to put off her mourning or to re-enter society, much to the distress of her son (hero of Midnight Marriage). It's only when she meets the strapping, handsome - and ten years younger - merchant Jonathon Strang that she finds someone who understands the depth of her grief and the need she still feels to continue to remember her late husband. Jonathon gradually coaxes Antonia back to the land of the living, and the gently moving love story between the couple is a true delight. Tender and poignant, but not without its heated moments, it is underscored beautifully by their growing friendship and their shared understanding of what it means to love, to lose and to grieve.
Lucinda Brant's grasp of historical detail is once again used to excellent effect, especially in a small sub-plot concerning the possible involvement of one of Antonia's nephews with a revolutionary movement, but the focus is very much the evolving romance between Antonia and Strang, which is wonderful.
Alex Wyndham delivers another truly fine performance here, giving each character a distinct voice according to age and situation. He adopts a slight but consistent French accent for Antonia which sounds pretty authentic, and his interpretation of Jonathon only adds to the character's all-round gorgeousness, his own smooth baritone expertly conveying the man’s good sense, wit, kindness and sensuality.
While this is the third book in a series, it's easy to listen to as a standalone, as there is enough backstory included to keep the new listener suitably informed. But I think that once you've listened to one audiobook from this superb author/narrator team, you won't be able to stop at just one.
I absolutely LOVE how cleverly written this book is. I enjoyed every minute of it. I feel book 2 is better than even book 1 and I really liked book 1. The story was gripping, engaging and completely riveting. An older woman and a man 10 years her junior. A couple of very passionate scenes without LB getting verbally descriptive sexually which I feel adds to the story rather than take away. You will not go wrong with this book.
"Alex Wyndham narration is star quality!"
The Autumn Duchess, what a perfect way to begin the season. I read this book several times over the years and it is a favorite in fact if I had to choose one of Lucinda Brant’s Roxton series to call my favorite this would be it. Ms. Brant’s skill as a story teller is always reinforced when I find myself completely lost in her books. This is Historical Romance at its best. If you care for impeccable research, terrific writing, and characters that you can fall in love with, it doesn’t get any better. This can be enjoyed as a standalone novel, but what fun would that be? Start from the beginning and be transported back to opulent Georgian England.
As for Alex Wyndham, he more than narrates this series he inhabits each character and brings them completely to life, a performance that only enhances Brant’s vivid and lively writing style. I understand there is more to come from these two, and I for one cannot wait!
"Can True Love Be Shared Twice?"
Yes! The scene descriptions are phenomenal. I also love the way this narrator has capture the story in its entirety.
Antonia, Dowager Duchess of Roxton, still young after 27 years of marriage, must start life anew without her husband. Her heart is so pained, she is unable to leave mourning even three years after his passing. She often visits the mausoleum where her husband is entombed.
Her son, nearing the end of his tether, has decided to threaten her—taking away privileges dear to her heart. I admit, Antonia was rather spoiled. A duchess and coddled most of her life, she now faces changes – some fearful and some unsettling. She shows her meddle, tempered with wisdom when facing these fears and heartache.
Where son is unable to pull Antonia out of her melancholy, a merchant, Jonathan Strang, does. Jonathan starts his association with Antonia brashly, shocking Antonia a bit from her stupor. He has an agenda for meeting the woman, but straightaway becomes intrigued, wishing to know the woman hiding under the garb of duchess. She in turn, is confused, angered, amused and eventually touched by the person he is.
I didn’t like Julian, Antonia’s son, as I did in book two. He acted entirely unfair and harshly when dealing with his mother. But readers, there is a reason, and Julian, duke of Roxton reprieves himself– somewhat.
Jonathan Strang took my heart this time. He is a man of deep waters, wonderful with children, honorable to a fault and does not tolerate hurting a woman. Yes, he won my heart completely!
Rich in description and authenticity, the opulence and excessive luxury of the story is part of the allure of this listen, coating your throat like a fine port—smooth with a slow burn.
Additionally, you will be kept amused by the rather arrogant and outlandish remarks from various characters to the most proper and dry butler who sees all and sees nothing. You will revel in the whirlwind lives of those gossipmongers who spin truths with lies. It makes my head spin.
You will be privy to scenes of such poignant and pure selfless love…and you will discover nothing is more important than family and love.
Narrator Alex Wyndham is so much a part of this series I would want no other to take his place. He captures the French accent spoken in English charmingly, and depicts the many nuances of emotions found in this era of excesses. I enjoyed his children’s voices and particularly the ennui of the aristocratic gentlemen’s voice. A fine production, indeed.
Note: I found I enjoyed the speed of the complete saga at speed 0.75x. It allows the words and divine voice of Mr. Wyndham time to appreciate.
"I am rapidly running out of superlatives . . ."
. . . to describe the audiobooks produced by author Lucinda Brant and actor Alex Wyndham, but "sublime" comes to mind here.
Everything about this book works: the plot, the characters, the setting. Alex Wyndham's performance is just the icing on the cake.
Autumn Dutchess ranks in my top favorites along with all her other novels. Each one is richly detailed and full of vividly real characters. The stories take you into wonderful worlds full of history and unexpected events. Her books do not fall into the typical stereotypes and plot lines. Her characters dont just fall in love they learn and grow together. Reading the books in order is important. Do not deny yourself the pleasure of meeting her charactes and joining her world. Alex Wyndham is a superb narrator, perfectly bringing her people and facinating world to life. Intricate stories, with unexpected twists but satisfying plot lines are signature Lucinda Brant.
In this book the Dutchess continues to shine as a facinating lady with great humour and sensitivity. I love that she is off balance in this book and of course I love the great character of Jonathan who defies all convention and does not back down to anyone
Alex is a part of the stories now, he too has become a main character in the series. His range of voices, his timing and his care of the narrative make him an essential part of the family. He becomes the hero of each book and his understanding of all these strong men communicates beautifully through his wondeful voice.
When Jonathan found her in the mausoleum after the torture was so moving and emotive.
Lucinda Brant is a master of all the elements in writing Historical Fiction. Her writing is fluent and captivating, bringing all the threads together to weave great books
The story development, character development out of this world. Very emotional story. Just a wonderful wonderful story.
"Autumn Duchess Is Wonderful"
I have read, "Autumn Duchess" a number of times and loved the story so very much. Just imagine to my delight to hear Alex Wyndham's marvelous voice in the character of all of the people I have come to know, admire and love! His voice takes on the great sadness that Antonia, Dowager Duchess of Roxton, feels after the loss of her great love, the Fifth Duke of Roxton, now going on three years. Her friends and even her oldest son begin to wonder about her sanity. Than Jonathan Strang, a bronzed, devilishly handsome merchant who is a decade younger than her pursues Antonia, and is bound and determined to make her his bride to the surprise of Antonia and to her oldest son who is now the Sixth Duke of Roxron who is bound and determined to run the "wolf" away from his mother. Will Antonia give into her emotions and desires that suddenly have come alive by Jonathan or will she remain alone and determined to remain loyal to her dead husband. You must read and than listen to Autumn Duchess, by Lucinda Brant. You will fall in love with the "The Roxton Family Saga" which this is the third book of the series.
"Incredible narration and beautiful story!"
Lucinda does it again- such an amazing story! I love Jonathan and the Dowager Duchess. This has been my favorite story of the series so far! The narration done by Alex is spot on with each character. This novel is a favorite of mine now. Definitely a reread and re-listen!
"A second book worth its weight in emeralds"
Narration was excellent at times it felt like truly different characters were speaking. The plot was unexpected at points (not so much at others). Still the story remained solid with nice details and enough to make you wish for r next book. Audible is wonderful- I spend a decent amount of time on the road and it's truly a blissful getaway to listen.
Enjoyable. I'd say it's 3.5 stars.
I was a bit put off by the idea of Antonia finding another love after the wonderful life she had with the Duke. But Jonathan seems like a good guy and his relationship with the Duchess is fun.
The last chapter or two seemed a bit rushed.
Narration was very good.
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