In defense of her honor, innocent Leda Etoile has burned all her bridges and taken refuge in her tiny attic room in a shabby boarding house in London. But her last safe haven is invaded when she wakes to find a man hidden in the dark - a man with golden hair and the face of a fallen angel, who moves in the night like a shadow.
Will he be her savior, or her ruin? Samuel Gerard draws her inexorably into the richest circles of aristocratic England. But even as Leda falls in love with a man she can never have, she must keep his secrets. Though everything about him is shame and illusion, this shadow warrior desperately desires what only Leda can give him - absolute love, and the truth about himself.
The incredibly successful pairing of Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton has been honored once again, winning a THIRD Earphones Award from AudioFile Magazine, this time for The Shadow and the Star. Sweeping listeners from the jubilee parades of Park Lane to the flower-scented breezes of Hawaii, Boulton brings this beloved Kinsale classic to memorable life.
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This is another magnificent combination of a brilliant storyteller and a wonderful narrator; together they create perfection.
Leda was taken in by a gentlewoman as a young girl and was taught all about the upper class Etiquette of the day; unfortunately her benefactress died and there was no provision for Leda. All the rules went out of the window when she had to find a job and find somewhere to live. Then she meets Samuel and another magical story begins......
This is another exciting journey of the heart, mind and senses that we come to expect from Laura Kinsale.
Another wonderful book choc full of characters so alive and diverse, each with so many layers that you must open your mind and in so doing, you are watching as well as listening.
Nicholas Boulton is the best there is and such a talent.
I am eagerly awaiting the next two books out this year and hope, with everything crossed, that she will eventually complete ALL her books on Audible.
"Wonderful Story - Wished it was longer!! ;-)"
Laura Kinsale's books have become some of my favorite books to listen to on Audible. The blending of Laura's writing and the narration of Nicholas Boulton are a double duo that nobody should miss!! This superb combination is a force to be reckoned!
This is a lovely story of two unconventional people who meet and discover what they have learned in life is not necessarily 100% accurate. Samuel is a "ninja" warrior with a disturbing past and Leda is a innocent sweet tempered young lady who ends up in situations she didn't expect. It is a charming story that draws you in from the beginning and when it ends leaves you with the feeling that you've just said goodbye to some old friends. I really wish it was longer!!
Not surprising.....this one is worth a credit for sure!
"Worth every second of reading!"
The narrator is OUTSTANDING! The story was captivating, entertaining and suspenseful ! I will read it again! The author is amazing!
Everytime I 'open' a Kinsale book, I do so with great expectation. This is because the very first one I bought so blew me away that I was immediately pressured by expectation and wondering if she could maintain the same level. The Shadow and the Star was my fourth Kinsale book and so far I have had no disappointment. The only one I can forsee is the day I finish the last of her books and face the disappointment of not having another to look forward to.
"Unlike anything else"
What a breath of fresh air. An author who does research and weaves an amazing tale. She does an amazing job of luring you in building anticipation. Sometimes the characters annoyed me but it ended up being for the best. I recommend!!! Worth credit!
"The Best Kinsale/Boulton Yet!"
The Shadow and the Star has always been one of my ultimate favorite books. I love Samuel's angst, how he drove himself to be fast and deadly, yet struggled with his lust. The way the author showed his progress from lust to love was amazing. Leda is possibly my favorite Kinsale heroine, innocent, naïve, bound by her moral code, yet steadfast in her principles. Mr. Boulton did a beautiful job of showing both the hero and the heroine. Bravo!
"An incredibly well-written/narrated book!!!!"
An absolute MUST read. While I was reading this book I had an amazing feeling of being detached from this life. The story kept playing in my head when I was actually not reading the book. The story truly took me back into this time period more so than any other historical romance I have read to date and I’ll have to say I owe it greatly to Nicholas Boulton’s superb reading performance. I absolutely LOVE this man’s gift. It is also extremely well written. What a wonderful combination of talents.
"Always my favorite among Laura's romances"
A superb read
the climactic lagoon battle
He makes the king's English of the time sound like it, and then he adds in some Hawaiian of the era. The man's range is superb. His ability to bind the listener to the tale just as good.
This book always was entrancing to me with its range over England thru Hawaii, with its apt descriptions of down in the luck London as well as the latest highborn contrivances and life among the upper classes there. Moving then to soft flowery vales high up in the valleys of Oahu and to the reedy shallows of old Pearl Harbor. Lots of research, lots of love for these venues by the author and then enhanced even more by reader Boulton.
"Heart crushing plot, exceptional narration"
I came across one reviewer who claimed Nicholas Boulton had "ruined" her for all other narrators and after listening to him in Flowers from the Storm and now this one, well I whole-heartedly agree. Nicholas Boulton's voice is pure bliss and his performance is exquisite. Honestly, I do believe he could read me a tax form and I may clutch my heart in divine anguish. I'm ecstactic that he reads all of Laura Kinsale's books and I purchased all that were available for sale after listening to Flowers from the Storm (I'm staggering them between several other audiobooks so that I can slowly savor them).
What is so amazing about the pairing of Boulton and Kinsale is that he perfectly performs the beautiful, tormented characters and heart crushing plots that Kinsale has devised. Her words are lovely, but Boulton, without a doubt, heightens any emotion a reader could summon by just reading alone. Really, you should be forbidden to read Kinsale's books when there is such a narrator as Boulton to perform them. I mean Japanese, Hawaiian, English and British accents...I think he's unbeatable.
The beginning of this book started off a bit shaky for me; I had my doubts about the Japanese story line and I waited for it to become the one aspect that wouldn't work in this book; however, Kinsale pulled it off. I would hesitate to call Samuel a Ninja at all. He was conditioned and educated on many levels of respect and self control and learning to fight was a strong part of that (with and without a sword). I enjoyed the short chapters of Samuel as a boy being trained in Hawaii interlaced with the intense, present day relationship with Leda.
Like Flowers from the Storm, I felt a bit speechless at the end of this book... Kinsale really pushes the reader's comfort level as to how much their heart can really take; I was amazed I was able to survive the emotional rollercoaster this book took me through.
"A STORY FOR THE MIND, HEART AND SENSES!"
The Shadow and the Star was an unexpected surprise for me. I had no idea how the exquisite and very complex story of Samuel and Leda would take me on an emotional journey. The writing is so good that you feel as though you have been transported to each setting described in the book: from the dreary, congested streets of London to the airy, fresh paradise of Hawaii. You see….you smell….and you feel. In addition, the masterful combination of Nicholas Boulton’s narration and Laura Kinsale’s writing was magic to me.
The story in itself is unique, and the secondary and tertiary characters that surround the lives of Samuel and Leda were all relevant, entertaining, interesting and quite powerful. From the saving graces of the Ashlands to the devoted training from master Dojun, Samuel’s life was saved, but the emotional turmoil, and unrest from his incomprehensible abuse as a child, was far from healed. And, this aspect of the story is what makes Samuel a very tortured hero who moved forward by creating fortresses of dreams based on false premises from his wounded heart.
Every tormented Hero needs a heroine who is immovable, patient and so in love with him that she will be able to see him through all of the dark moments that need to be worked through before reaching their HEA. And, this is what Leda is to Samuel. She was the anchor that steadied him through his storms of raw emotions. In Leda’s own life she was saved from living on the streets, and raised by the very proper Lady Myrtle. I enjoyed how Leda recalled advice and sayings in every dilemma of the deceased woman (Mrs. Myrtle) who mentored her.
Leda is a beautiful heroine. I was so touched by Leda’s journey: from her fierce struggle to hold on to her morals when fighting poverty, and later in her quest to never give up on love and her hero, in her relationship with Samuel.
The author really does make the reader work for the HEA. My emotions were as tight as piano wires as I read this book. I had to listen to (certain parts) twice as I tried to count the reasons or evidence that led to Samuel’s love for Leda. You see, I felt dissatisfied with the ending and was left frustrated because I was not sure that the Hero and Heroine had resolved all of the challenges to reach a continued HEA. (No epilogue did not help in that respect). However, upon reading/listening a second time, it was as plain as day that this man freaken loved Leda.
Although Samuel pursued love as one searching in the dark, he finally defeated his fear and self-loathing and allowed himself to find peace in Leda’s unquenchable love. This is a beautiful story that will stay within my heart forever……and, I have no doubts, whatsoever, that Samuel and Leda found their HEA and will be able to weather anything that comes their way as they live in complete happiness and a sweet surrender to one another.
"A new twist on historical romance"
I love how the author invoked three very difference cultures in this story. It added such depth to her characters.
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