One magical summer, Megan Hallberg met - and loved - Prince Stefano Barrali. But his royal duties took him home, and when she discovered she carried his child, she also discovered he was engaged...to a beautiful, worldly aristocrat.
Ten years later, Stefano runs into Megan at the grand opening of a Barcelona hotel, and it's his every sensual fantasy come to life. His memory of the stunning blonde and their passionate summer has haunted his dreams, and a night under the stars gives him the perfect opportunity to reclaim the woman he thought lost to him.
Megan finds herself torn between passion with a prince and a fierce need to protect her daughter. Can the man who captured her heart so many years ago be her destiny...or her downfall?
©2013 Nicole Burnham (P)2015 Nicole Burnham
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It was OK. I listened to it while I was doing other things, so I didn't really waste my time.
The narrator seemed pretentious and self-aware. It bothered me that she added chuckles and breaths for emphasis that just seemed annoying. I've had a lot of experience working with voice talent and audio editing, so I am probably way more critical than the usual listener, but she really rubbed me the wrong way. I also wished she had picked a pronunciation for Stefano's name and stuck with it. She constantly wavered between STEFano and SteFAno. I will probably avoid her books in the future. Her little girl voice is grating, and her foreign accents are over the top. All in all, not my favorite.
It was just so-so. I couldn't find anything better to listen to at the time, so I stuck with it, but the story got pretty annoying in the middle, and I about gave up.
"Warm and predictable"
Historical romance is my favorite audiobook genre. This book caught my eye because the synopsis hinted at it having all of the elements I love in historical romance but taking place within a present day setting.
Megan and Prince Stefano Barrali met ten years previous to the start of the story while doing humanitarian work in Brazil when they were both just twenty-two years old. Their short whirlwind love affair ended when their project did and Stefano went home to take care of family obligations while Megan continued on with college. Soon after they resumed their normal lives, Megan found out she was pregnant at the same time Stefano publically announced his engagement to a beautiful social-lite.
Now, ten years later Megan is a single mother to Anna and a successful manager of a renowned hotel in Barcelona. It's here that she is met face to face again with Stefano. There is still a strong connection between the two despite the decade that that has gone by. Megan does not wait to tell Stefano that he has a daughter; the bulk of the book is him developing a relationship with Anna as well as reconnecting and forming a new one with Megan.
The main obstacles to Megan and Stefano's relationship are the media and how his family will react once they learn about Megan and Anna. Then there is Megan's professional career and the life she would have to give up if she were to be with a prince. Somehow, these never felt like true threats and should not have deterred them from each other or publically becoming a family. In fact, the media and Stefano's family are basically left in the dark about his relationship with them.
The formula of this book- a present day prince falling in love with a "commoner" is no different than any other contemporary book where a main character (usually a male) is some kind of celebrity and falls in love with a non celebrity or someone of different background or social class. All in all this is a rather unoriginal love story that will give its audience something warm and predictable. I prefer more tension, angst and wit- not sweet and mundane.
What I did like about it was the fact the Megan never took advantage of Stefano's status; she built a successful life for her and her daughter (however I do feel that she gave up to easily on reaching out to Stefano). I also found a few quotes to be particularly simple yet effective and memorable: "Love the child; the rest will fall into place" and "embracing life as it is."
I thought the narrator, Hollis McCarthy, read fluidly and had a pleasing voice. This is the first book that I have listened to where there was an Italian-like accent and (especially in the beginning), I could not help likening it to the standard vampire drawl of " I vant to suck your blood!" I am no judge of a good Italian accent but there were times that I questioned its authenticity. Overall, she was a very neutral narrator-one that simply let you listen without distraction.
***A copy of this audiobook was given to me in exchange for an honest review***
This was a fantastic listen! Hollis McCarthy way of reading this book, made me feel like I was a part of the story and I was actually there as everything was taking place. This book was a exciting start to an amazing series! Hopefully they will continue to use Hollis McCarthy as the narrator for she truly does bring the story to life for the listener.
"Love this series."
Ms. McCarthy's versatility. Her ability to morph from one character to the next is so flawless that you forget you are reading a book and not watching a movie.
I loved Anna. A spirited little girl with a mind of her own and a heart full of love and mischief.
Ms. McCarthy also narrated the anthology A Royal Scandals Christmas. She brings the story to the reader with her upbeat narrative and her powerful voice, it's easy to fall for her presentation.
Love finds a way.
I used the Audible and Kindle listen and read feature. Although I enjoyed the story, the sync between Audible and Kindle left a lot to be desired. There were times the audio left the book in the dust. It was hard to follow the narrator because the page didn't catch up until the next chapter. That's a no, no when trying to read along.
This is a fun romance! The story line is of course unrealistic, and yet somehow believable.....The narration is excellent and I hope they keep the same narrator for the entire series.
"A beautifully written and performed story."
I love the soothing voice of Hollis McCarthy. But if a book is not well written with a great storyline, a voice won't be able to make it better. These two together have produced an unforgettable book.
Nicole Burnham has written a beautiful storyline of second chances. I was drawn in and emotionally invested in the characters lives. I really hope there will be more about them in the sequels of this series!
I had read this book previously. So many times the "voice" doesn't line up with how I had it in my head while reading myself. Hollis McCarthy did not disappoint! She "felt" the words as I had, the emotion spilling through as she read aloud. I enjoyed listening to the book as much as reading it myself.
Absolutely, but I wasn't able to do so. What I love about listening through Audible's app is that I was able to rewind a minute or two...just to get back to where I was in the story...then enjoy the rest. Easy to continue when not on a long distance trip where I can listen in one sitting.
"Great Beginning to Series"
Scandal with a Prince: Royal Scandals Book 1 by Nicole Burnham. Megan Hallberg met and fell in love with Prince Stefano Barrali, when they were both volunteering as aid works in Venezuela. After a steamy romance, they both headed their separate ways. She to graduate school in the United States, and he back home to his country to fulfill his military and family commitments. After Megan returns to the United States, she discovers that she is pregnant with Prince Stefano’s child. She attempts to contact him, but in doing so, discovers that he is engaged. Fast forward ten years, Prince Stefano meets Megan again, at the hotel she is working at in Spain. He wants to pick up where they left off that summer, but Megan has a secret – their daughter Anna. Megan needs to do what is best for Anna, even if that means she denies what her heart wants. There are pitfalls, misunderstandings and paparazzi along the way. Now that fate stepped in and Megan and Stefano have met once again, will they fulfill their destiny to be together? Can they make a relationship in the spotlight work, all the while shielding their daughter Anna from public scrutiny?
Hollis McCarthy did a good job with the narration of this book. She did a great job with the accents and characters. I would listen to more books narrated by Ms. McCarthy.
"Great Start to a Series"
It was good to meet the first members of the Royal Family from Sarcacia. The story revolves around controlling parents learning how to give up some of that to their royal children and learning about the consequences of their actions
I liked getting to know the main characters
I liked that she had great voices for all ages and sexes showing up in the story.
When Anna ended up in the hospital
The story was a great way to learn about the chances of a second chance at love, especially when one of the couple lives in the spotlight.
"Warning. Won't be able to put the book down!!"
Couple meets attraction but they part ways only to be thrown together years later but with a major change a child.
This is a great start of a new series by Nicole Burnham that pulls you right into the storyline her writing is exceptional I felt like I was right there watching everything enfold. Can't wait for the next one
"I loved the characters ."
I loved the characters in this story their honesty, concern for Anna and their relationships with each other as well as other characters. i thought the misunderstandings drug out a bit longer than necessary, but liked the resolution very much.
I had difficulty with the narration. For me the narrator was so dramatic it was hard to listen to. I eventually got used to her dramatic style, but never enjoyed the book as much as I felt I would have without the drama. I did like the narrator's voice, and she pronounced the foreign names places and words very well. She also laughed and chuckled very realistically, but the pace and inflections were hard to listen to.
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