LISTENER

F

  • 35
  • reviews
  • 53
  • helpful votes
  • 36
  • ratings

The crazy narcissist

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-05-20

Wow! What an amazing book, I am writing the review several days after finishing the book as I am unsure quite what to think. It was really well written, but the central character was such a dreadful person, that I struggled sometimes, as I felt like a voyeur watching a car crash of a life evolve.

Delia or Cordelia as she called herself after one of her many reinventions, is a stunningly beautiful girl and later, woman, who, due to her father's dreadful psychological scarring of young Delia when a child, affected her whole life. I think that she was most likely born an awful person, but her father's warped thinking and his treatment of her left their mark on her character and her behaviour, which had devastating consequences throughout her life.

The story reminded me a little of Sweetpea, which I read last year, but unlike the main protagonist in that book who caused destruction because of unhelpful or unkind actions against her (an eye for an eye), Delia wasn't provoked into being a dreadful human, she just was already. She was narcissistic, selfish, cruel, nasty, unprincipled and a thoroughly dreadful wrong 'un, but I couldn't stop listening, because I wanted her to redeem herself and become a better person....but she just ploughed her own furrow with her own agenda, regardless of the carnage left in her wake.

I also really enjoyed the island's folklore tales, it added a great dimension to the story.

A few reviews said they didn't like the ending, but I did. I couldn't think how else it could have ended, it seemed a fitting end to her life, back on the island where she was born, back to where her warped thinking first began.

The narrator was outstanding. I adored her Irish accent of Delia, what a beautiful, lyrical voice she has. Her other voices were very good too. It was a joy to listen to her voice, thank you.

I would recommend the book, as it is a good novel with a very good narrator. Be prepared to be shocked..!

Never really got going, for me

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-20

I bought the book based on some favourable reviews. The story sounded interesting but once I got into it, it didn't really grab me. The hero/heroine run their lives in parallel for around 16 years, having first exchanged a sentence or two when they were 18 years old in Italy. They obviously meet up again at the end of the book, but it feels rushed when they finally meet and what doesn't feel right, is their declared love for each other after only a few hours together. It seemed a long, drawn-out process, for very little gain at the end. I apologise to those who loved this book. On the plus side, I thought Teresa and her sister Hope were interesting characters, but Angus I thought was so shallow & weak (or maybe that was just the way the narrator chose to portray him), and when he cheated on his girlfriend of 6 years, I went off him completely & didn't really care what happened to him in the end

Fantastic book

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

Reviewed: 26-03-20

What a joy to find a book (in this case, a set of 3 books in the series) that are so well written, and better still, superbly narrated. We started listening to the first book in the series on a long car journey. We were both gripped by the storyline, so downloaded books 2 & 3 to continue the story, Forced Confessions (book 3), was, like the other two books (Summary Justice & Blind Defence), outstanding. What a brilliant story.

The premise for the series, is a young ex-con who trains as a barrister. The idea for the main protagonist's background is genius. He knows how it feels to be in the dock at the Old Bailey, and comes alive when defending his clients. It is his 'family' network that surround him that make this series superb. Tess De Vere, who he met when she was 19 and a trainee in law & he, a young defendant on trial for murder, comes back into his life, after hearing a snatched conversation in a restaurant. She is a great support character, together with her best friend Sally plus his friend & ex-con Archie and his mentor Helen Camberley QC.

Will Benson, now a barrister, takes on his first murder case in book 1. The pace of the book and the way the author tells Will's life story is outstanding, slowly peeling each layer of Will's onion with such care. I love a good court room drama, this series of books is up there with the best. Highly recommended.

Daniel Weyman, the narrator, for me, turned the book into a 5 star rating. Outstanding.
.

1 person found this helpful

An average read

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-01-20

I bought The Holiday as quite a few of the reviews were favourable, however, whilst enjoyable & it kept me company on a long 11 hour journey, I can't say that the storyline was riveting. It seems an odd premise to base 90 percent of the story on one woman's suspicions that her husband is having an affair with one of her 3 friends. The silly woman, why didn't she just ask him? I appreciate that if she had done so, TM Logan wouldn't have had a story, but it seems a bit thin to base a story on one woman's lack of a backbone. She is portrayed as having a good marriage, so it didn't make sense for her not to have asked her husband once she found supposed evidence. Her 3 friends are portrayed as her best friends (the kids all go to the same school so presumably the families also live near each other) but yet she didn't ask them if they were having an affair with her husband. How odd. She suspects first one friend, then goes off the idea after discounting some spurious evident, then decides its friend number two, then goes off that idea, then decides its friend number 3. What a daft woman which made for a fairly lukewarm, story. Logan tries to spice it up with various secrets, but sadly for me, it all felt a little lame, added to which the main protagonist is supposed to be a criminal investigator - she must be rubbish at her job! I like to buy in to my characters and by the end of the story, I couldn't have cared less about any of them. Sadly this book was not to my taste at all, plus if you were ever thinking of taking 3 families with kids on holiday plus one singleton, when there is little or no communication between them.....don't bother.

Outstanding narration, shame about the book

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

Reviewed: 21-10-19

I chose this book purely because Alex Wyndham was reading it. Of all the male readers in my vast audio collection, he is one of the best. However not even his talents could save this book. When I first started listening to it, I was hopeful that I had found a new historical author (my favourites other than Jane Austen of course, are Lucinda Brant and Stella Riley, they are outstanding & so well-researched that it is a pleasure to read). However about a quarter of the way into this book, I began huffing & puffing at the storyline - it just didn't go anywhere. I understand that Georgian/Regency romantic novels usually have The Big Misunderstanding, but really, this one was the outside of enough! The last half of the book was based entirely on what he didn't tell her, and what she didn't tell him. I wanted to knock their heads together, the stupid pair. I just couldn't root for either hero or heroine, both deserved each other. The lady of the book was ridiculous in that she wanted an heir but then whilst pregnant, embarked on a journey of such profound stupidity, that I almost stopped listening. There was also a situation involving the painting discovery when one of the main characters learnt of it's whereabouts through a prostitute - that really stretched my powers of imagination. I only continued to listen in honour of Alex Wyndham's hard work.

3 people found this helpful

Another Triumph !

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

Reviewed: 26-02-19

The sixth book in The Rockliffe series is as superb as the previous 5 novels. Stella Riley's books have an elegance about them and her flow of the English language is a joy to read. Cadenza has a plot that is interesting in that it has two hero/heroines with a separate story development throughout the book. Not wanting to give too much of this wonderful story away, our main hero is an extraordinarily talented musician who has landed back in England through circumstances of inheritance, while our two heroines swap places ( Lizzie is a likeable character with a quiet, tempered personality and Arabella (Bella) is wonderful, practical, fun-loving, intelligent and kind). I was thrilled to have The Duke of Rockliffe and his family & friends making their re-appearance, which is always a delight and feels like we, the reader, are welcoming back old & much-loved friends. I particularly liked the musical angle to the story as it is something close to my heart, and as with all Stella Riley's books, the reader finishes a book not only enjoying a well-written and very enjoyable book, but having gleaned some well-researched facts. As to Alex Wyndham's performance - he is absolutely one of the best male narrators that I have heard throughout my 9 years with Audible. Thank you to both for giving me 13 hours of joy, which if it is anything like all my other Stella Riley books will be listened to many times in the future.

3 people found this helpful

Outstanding female narration

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-18

The book is a good yarn, with many chuckles along the way, but for me the narrator, Mary Jane Wells turned a good book into an excellent audiobook. She was superb, so well read and I felt she really 'got' the nuance of each character. The way she read the children's voices was genius. I'm not a great lover of child voice narration, but everything about MJW's performance was spot on.
Good story, excellent H&H, very funny, quirky and heartfelt. Would recommend as an example of voice properly matching novel. Well done to Tessa Dare and to MJW, thank you for an very enjoyable 7 hours or so.

Darcy's Story

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-09-18

It was interesting to read Darcy's story. I wish I had read the book & not listed to it being narrated. I really enjoyed The British Knight & loved the voice of Shane East & Saskia M. Their voicing of Darcy's character was super, and so I was therefore looking forward to Darcy's story. The story itself is good, though a bit unbelievable when Logan decided that he loved Darcy seemingly only after a good talking to from his granny(?), but sadly it was the narration from Imogen Church that ruined it for me. I'm not sure what her brief was, as to how she was to interpret Darcy's character, but the way she portrayed her was as a dithering, hesitate, slightly pathetic individual. Most of her sentences where stretched out, each word a hesitation before speaking, it was beyond annoying. I have no idea what she was trying to convey, but Darcy's character in the British Knight was so lovely & in this book, she was narrated as quite pathetic (though the book certainly didn't convey her as such). I enjoyed the book, but Imogen Church was certainly not the reader for me. Irritating.

Woeful!

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

Reviewed: 07-08-18

Sadly, I tried to return this dreadful audio book back to Audible but as they wouldn't allow me to, I decided to persevere to the bitter end. The story in itself wasn't too bad. Wealth playboy meets damaged beautiful woman. My main problem was the woman who narrated the book. Oh my word, she made my ears bleed. Such a dreadful whiny American accent. Do all American women sound like that? I shouldn't think so. She was awful. Her voice was horrendously little-girlie, it verged upon the pathetic. The story began to be frustrating too. All she did was moan about her past. Maybe because I am British & we just get on with things & don't whinge, I started to loose patience & towards the end, wanted to slap her. It was written very much in the 50 Shades mode, minus the S&M, but oh my, did she need therapy. I am surprised the main male character didn't tire of her sooner. She was looking a gift horse in the mouth & still kept whinging. Idiot! I think if I had physically read the book, it would have been slightly more enjoyable, then I wouldn't have the narrator still ringing in my ears.

Another triumph !

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

Reviewed: 12-02-18

Where does Satyr's Son: A Georgian Historical Romance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Anything written by either Lucinda Brant or Stella Riley and read by the amazingly talented Alex Wyndham is always something to look forward to. Satyr's Son, the last (boo!) in the Roxton series, is wonderful. My favourite will always be Noble Satyr, as I just adored the Duke and Antonia's story, but each subsequent book only adds to the series. I enjoyed Henri-Antoine's story very much with the delightful Lisa Crisp.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Satyr's Son: A Georgian Historical Romance?

I loved the scene in the mausoleum, which sounds ghoulish, but if you read the series, you would know why it isn't. M'Le Duc is forever threaded through the series, and it was fitting that he should be included in the final chapter. Beautifully crafted by Ms Brant, as always.

Which character – as performed by Alex Wyndham – was your favourite?

Henri-Antoine. His mellifluous voice is just gorgeous. Alex W is the best at his craft.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I loved the book. I've adored all the books and being a part of the Roxton's lives. A marvellous series, my all time favourite. I have listened to them all on many occasions, and will continue to do so. They make a dull old day seem so much brighter.

Any additional comments?

If you haven't read any of the Roxton books, you are in for such a treat - lucky you ! Read the books sequentially to gain the best experience, then read the 2 books with the letters that belong to the series. A magical, wonderful, amazing read or if you have the luxury of listening to the audio books, then settle in to hear the voice of the ultimate narrator, Alex Wyndham. Perfect.