LISTENER

D. Mark

London, United Kingdom
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 69
  • ratings
  • What Happens in Scotland

  • By: Jennifer McQuiston
  • Narrated by: Lana J. Weston
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

When Lady Georgette Thorold awoke she saw...her corset hanging from the armoire...a very handsome, very naked Scotsman lying beside her...and a wedding ring on her finger! Before the attractive stranger can tell her his name, Georgette does the only sensible thing - she runs for it. Little does she know, James MacKenzie isn't clear on what happened the night before, either. All he knows is that his money is missing and the stunning woman who just ran from the room is either his wife or a thief...or possibly both.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • What happens in Scotland... should stay there.

  • By D. Mark on 26-07-18

What happens in Scotland... should stay there.

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

Reviewed: 26-07-18

I've had this book on my to-listen list for quite a while, but have put it off. I have previously listened to another McQuiston book 'Diary of an Accidental Wallflower' which had quite an unlikeable heroine, and did not incite me to seek any other of her books. However, I liked the premise of 'What happens in Scotland' so eventually gave it a listen.

I almost turned it off and returned the book within the first five minutes of listening. Mispronunciation of words such as 'penchant', 'dishabille', and most unforgivably, 'ton' as 'tone' had me wondering if anyone ever listens to these tihngs before they are sold to the public. Added to that the frankly awful voicing of James, and I was certain that this title was destined to languish on the Did Not Finish list. I decided to try to ignore these glaring problems, and soon found it surprisingly easy to keep listening.

The structure of this book is very different to most in the genre. The whole book takes place during a single (extremely eventful) day. Aside from the first five minutes, Georgette and James spend the first half of the book apart. Unfortunately, I enjoyed that time much more than when they do eventually come together again.

I quite liked Georgette, she is intelligent, resourceful, and with a dark sense of humour. James on the other hand is irritating in the extreme. We are given reason from his past as to why he is so distrustful and wilfully independent. I would have had more sympathy for James if he had expressed that this attitude was a regrettable result of his past experiences. But he has almost no self awareness, and doesn't appreciate how much his behaviour has hurt his parents, his brother, his best friend and now Georgette. He comes across as juvenile, petulant and resentful.

He throws accusation after accusation at Georgette, and demands hard evidence of her innocence before he will believe her. His training as a solicitor is cited as reason for this. This ignores one of the basic tenets of the law, that it is not for the accused to prove their innocence, but for their accusers to prove their guilt. At one point he tells Georgette that he loves her, but does not trust her. This clearly shows that the man is immature, and does not understand what love is. There is no love without trust, only some warped power game.

Georgette's response to James' behaviour just doesn't ring true. Her interactions with other characters are funny, quick witted and no-nonsense. With James she is constantly understanding why he might be distrustful of her, rather than raking him down as he rightly deserves, Considering the trials of her first marriage, the last thing she needs is an insecure, emotionally demanding second husband who feels her money is a threat to his masculinity, and will accuse her of wrongdoing anytime anything goes wrong. James and Georgette seem to bring out the worst in each other, he becomes angry and suspicious, she a doormat. I just can't see that a happily ever after is on the cards for these two.

As to Lana Weston's narration... I have already mentioned the glaring issues I had with the narration that almost had me switching off. I will say that on further listening, Weston's female voices are very good. She reads in an entertaining way, and her comic timing is excellent. Her male voices however, are just terrible. Somehow she reads the men's voices in a higher pitch than her normal speaking voice. Add to that her idea of a Scot's accent, and the result is rather whiny and irritating. This wasn't too much a disaster for a beta male like James, but would not do for a big strapping Scotsman.

One other important thing you should know about this book is that there is a character called DAVID CAMERON. Yep. They don't just call him David or Cameron, he is full-named all the way through the book. In this book, he is not a nice character (so not the greatest stretch in the world), but he is the HERO of the next book in this series, 'Summer is for Lovers'. A review of that book says that he is full-named 55 times throughout. I'm not sure I'd be able to ignore that.

I finished this book in two days, and it is good for a bit of light listening. However, there are many better books for that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lord of Chance

  • Rogues to Riches, Book 1
  • By: Erica Ridley
  • Narrated by: Marian Hussey
  • Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

Disguised as a country miss, Charlotte Devon flees London, desperate to leave her tattered reputation behind. In Scotland, her estranged father's noble blood will finally make her a respectable debutante. Except she finds herself accidentally wed to a devil-may-care rogue with a sinful smile. He's the last thing she needs...and everything her traitorous heart desires.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • So many plot holes, you could use it as a sieve.

  • By D. Mark on 18-07-18

So many plot holes, you could use it as a sieve.

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

Reviewed: 18-07-18

PROS: The premise of this book- a couple accidentally handfasts themselves to each other in Scotland-is a good one. The main characters, Charlotte and Anthony are fairly likeable and have a moderate amount of depth. The narrator, Marian Hussey, is easy to listen to and does a good job.

CONS: The writing is so lazy with very little attention to detail, such that there are gaping holes in the plot that Ridley does not even try to close. She writes as though Scotland consists of one small town. In fact, I don't even think she gives them a location, other than being "in Scotland". Charlotte and a number of other people seem to be making an extended stay at a posting inn, as though it is some kind of holiday resort. Why?

The reliance on coincidences to move the story along is outrageous. Charlotte's father's solicitor just happens to come across her "in Scotland". He doesn't even say he's been looking for her, for some unknown reason he is "in Scotland" and just happens to come across her. There is also no explanation as to why Charlotte's mother allows her to go all the way to Scotland, when she knows her father does not in fact live there. The smallest amount of effort could have resolved these issues, which makes it particularly irritating.

The everyday actions of the characters is just wrong. Charlotte's determination to join the card game and stake money she can't afford to lose doesn't make sense. Anthony's reaction to owing a great deal of money in a short period of time doesn't make sense. He starts doing odd jobs for pennies because it makes him feel useful. What? Charlotte and Anthony are very concerned about not wasting money, and yet they travel from Scotland to London by hiring private carriages instead of travelling by the mail or the stage, staying at numerous posting houses along the way. A pair of "ruffians" from London have a rather impressive amount of knowledge about Scottish law. How? Ridley's understanding of the era seems to be minimal.

You always have to suspend your disbelief a fair amount for books like these, but I think Ridley is asking far too much with this one. If you like to have some authenticity and attention to detail in your historicals, avoid!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Earl Interrupted

  • The Daring Marriages, Book 2
  • By: Amanda Forester
  • Narrated by: Carolyn Morris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Captain Robert Ashton, Earl of Darington, knows finding a bride in London will not be easy - not since he has been notoriously dubbed as the "Pirate Earl". What he didn't expect was to get abducted - and to have his escape go horribly awry when an innocent lady gets caught in the crossfire.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly good.

  • By D. Mark on 14-04-18

Surprisingly good.

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

Reviewed: 14-04-18

Despite enjoying the first book in this series, If The Earl Only Knew, I wasn't sure if I wanted to listen to this second book. From the description it sounded like a retelling of the first book, encompassing the same time frame, characters and events. So I didn't have the highest hopes for Earl Interrupted, but I was pleasantly surprised. First, I will say that it is essential that you have read or listened to the first book, and recently too. Kate and Robert's past is only briefly recapped in this book, and your knowledge of the sequence of events as laid out in the first book is essential to understand what is going on. I had listened to the first book twice so found it easy enough to follow.

Since Robert barely talks in the first book, there is enough unrevealed in book one to fill a second book. I enjoyed the scenes that had appeared in book one but from a different perspective. Tbh, Emma grated on my nerves in the first book, and seemed a bit dim, but her seemingly senseless optimism is explained. Emma is a Christian and you are not allowed to forget it for the entire book. I was raised a Catholic, but even I found it a bit hard to stomach all the God stuff. It got to the point where she was actively trying to convert Robert.

Carolyn Morris is a well established narrator, and if you have enjoyed her other work you will enjoy this. I won't say that she has the greatest range in the world, but she is a lively narrator and puts a lot of life into the book.

If you enjoyed If the Earl Only Knew, treat yourself to this book to complete the story. I don't think the series is properly named, being 'The Daring Marriages' when neither of the marriages are at all daring. Robert is the Earl of Darington, and his nickname is Dare, so I suppose it came from that. It would make a bit more sense if Darington was Robert and Kate's surname rather than just Robert's title.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Duchess Deal

  • By: Tessa Dare
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63

Witty, saucy Regency romance... 'I am a Duke. I'm not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It's a different thing entirely.' When the Duke of Ashbury returns from war scarred, he realises he needs an heir - which means he needs a wife! When Emma Gladstone, a vicar's daughter turned seamstress, visits wearing a wedding dress, he decides on the spot that she'll do....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By D. Mark on 31-03-18

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 31-03-18

Due to a change in publisher, this title came out several months after its original date. Having finally been able to listen to the book, I'm very sorry to say that it has come as something of an anticlimax.

I have read or listened to several Tessa Dare books, including the Castles Ever After, and the Spindle Cove series. Mostly (but not always) her books have been a hit with me, witty, well paced, and with really lovable characters. The first three Spindle Cove books are wonderful, after that, not so much. The cross-over book Do You Want To Start A Scandal was frankly bizarre.

When I read the blurb for The Duchess Deal it sounded like Dare had finally got back on track. When I found out that Mary Jane Wells was narrating the audiobook I was delighted. I am a big fan of Wells, and so waited the extra few months for the audiobook to come out, though the hard back was available much earlier.

The beginning section of this book is just as I had hoped. Lots of witty dialogue with two good quality leads, and some laugh out loud moments. Ash and Emma both have a lot of emotional baggage, but are both quite pragmatic with a shared dark humour. Ash's attempts to enjoy his wedding night are wonderfully calamitous, and his determination to keep a 'stiff upper lip' quite adorable.

For me, the book dipped terribly in the middle. Here, we are introduced to some of the characters who will become main characters in later books in the series. I felt this section was so obviously about setting up future books, and really broke the flow of Ash and Emma's story. These characters appear heavily in this middle section, and then disappear before making a brief reappearance near the end of the book. It just didn't feel natural, and I lost interest in the book, and didn't return to it for a few weeks.

The final section of the book was better, but to be honest I just didn't feel that there had been much emotional development between Ash and Emma. They seem to have sex every other minute, but there were no real moments of intimacy between the two. There were no proper descriptions of the two eating meals with each other, reading books, talking about their childhoods, laughing, sharing non-sexual touch... any of the scenes that normally make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Throughout they really struggled with intimacy, and 'witty banter' characterised nearly all of their conversations, which got really tedious.

It is quite a short book, and it felt like there wasn't time for some of the better elements to really shine. Ash's relationship with a local lad Trevor had the potential to be comedy gold, but it flagged until it became necessary as a plot device.

Wells does a good job, but as the book lacked emotional depth, so did her performance.

All in all, I don't think this will be a re-listen for me, and I'm not too fussed about listening to the rest of the series either.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Black Duke's Prize

  • By: Suzanne Enoch
  • Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
  • Length: 5 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

Sent to London by her untrustworthy uncle, the beautiful and feisty Katherine Ralston arrives for the Season in utter despair. Not only is she caught up in the mad whirl of ballgowns and galas, she must also make certain that her disreputable uncle doesn't sell her family estate in her absence. Katherine Ralston, a country girl at heart, sees the Season in London as something she must endure. Nicholas Varnon, known as the Black Duke for his rakish and irresistible charms....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • The Taming of the Pain in the Arse

  • By D. Mark on 27-09-17

The Taming of the Pain in the Arse

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

Reviewed: 27-09-17

This book is about half the length of a normal novel, and is only just about bearable for that time. If it were any longer, I would have abandoned it as a Did Not Finish. The storyline is ok, although nothing original, but the main protagonists are so unlikeable that it's difficult to care about what happens to them. Nicholas starts off as a repellant character who talks to- and about- women in a disgusting manner. His character does improve throughout the story, but conversely, Katherine gets worse and worse. I find childish couples very wearing, and the almost constant bickering of these two is not enjoyable. 'The benefit of the doubt' is an unknown concept in this book.

The book references The Taming of the Shrew several times, and this-along with constant references to her "Irish temper"- apparently justifies Katherine's erratic behaviour. She flies into a temper in seconds and without warning. I find a woman's violence against a man as repellent as a man's towards a woman, but unfortunately this is treated as acceptable. I really hate it when a writer's idea of an "independent", "spirited" or "feisty" female is an unreasonable, argumentative, irrational woman. Her lack of manners and ingratitude are just awful.

The supporting characters are not very well fleshed out, and there isn't a laugh in the whole book.

Anne Flosnik is a narrator you can either bear to listen to or not. The narration of this book is neither better nor worse than any other she has read. Other than the general strangeness of her narration, the only thing that stood out was when she pronounced 'Don Quixote' phonetically. Other than the pure wrongness of this, it ruined a gag.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Captured Heart

  • Highland Hearts, Book 1
  • By: Heather McCollum
  • Narrated by: Michelle Ford
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Fleeing with only her bow, horse, enormous pet wolf, and the cryptic clues hidden in her mother's medicine journal, healer Meg Boswell gallops north towards freedom, running from the man who falsely accused her mother of witchcraft. Cursed with magical healing abilities, Meg knows that if she's captured, she will die like her mother-atop a blazing witch's pyre.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Oh dear

  • By D. Mark on 17-09-17

Oh dear

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

Reviewed: 17-09-17

Any additional comments?

I thought the reviews on audible.com must have been a bit harsh... they were not. This Michelle Ford is the reader otherwise known as Carolyn Morris. I have listened to quite a few books read by Carolyn Morris, and while her male voices are not really her strong point, they don't detract from the enjoyment of the book. I can totally understand why she would record this book under a different name. The result of her attempting male Scottish voices is frankly horrible. Strangely high-pitched and whiny, and she has difficulty trying to maintain the accent. There are few books that I deem unlistenable, but I'm afraid this is one of them. The story seems promising enough, but there is no way I'd be able to concentrate on it. Return!

  • An English Bride in Scotland

  • By: Lynsay Sands
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50

Annabel was about to take the veil to become a nun, when her mother suddenly arrived at the abbey to take her home... so that she can marry the Scottish laird who is betrothed to her runaway sister! She knows nothing about being a wife, and definitely nothing about the marriage bed. But from the moment Ross MacKay sets eyes on Annabel, he is taken with his shy, sweet bride... and the fact that she's blessed with lush curves only makes him utter his own prayers of thanks. But when an enemy endangers her life, he'll move the Highlands themselves to save her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A nice story, but not a romping Highland yarn.

  • By D. Mark on 13-09-17

A nice story, but not a romping Highland yarn.

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

Reviewed: 13-09-17

Any additional comments?

This book is easy listening at its best (you really don't have to pay that much attention to it). Annabel and Ross get along from the start, and don't have a disagreement throughout the entire book. She gets along with his soldiers, his clan, his family... it's all just a bit blah. To liven things up, Annabel and Ross both get whacked over the head a few times by a mysterious attacker, then some older women do too for good measure. Surprisingly, in spite of sustaining several head injuries within just a few days, Annabel does not seem to have any lasting damage. Ross doesn't seem too bothered that his wife keeps getting attacked, mostly when she happens to be naked. He's super-chilled, and nothing really stirs him up- except annoying sisters.

I was surprised when I had only two chapters left of this book, because it felt like the story hadn't yet got going. If you're looking for hot-blooded, passionate highlanders, look elsewhere. This is my first experience of Lynsay Sands, and I'm not sure I'll be seeking out her other titles.

The book is ably read by Mary Jane Wells, who is always a pleasure to listen to. The only problem I had was that she pronounced plaid as "played" rather than "plad". I have noticed this is another book she narrated with a Scotsman in it, but then the work was hardly used and therefore easily ignored. Here it crops up all the time, so was much more distracting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Highlander's Bride

  • By: Amanda Forester
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

All Highland warrior Gavin Patrick wants is to get back to his native Scotland. Before Gavin leaves the battlefield, he's given a final mission - escort Lady Marie Colette to her fiancé. Under no circumstances is he to lay hands on the beautiful heiress...no matter how desperate the temptation. Forced to pose as a married couple to escape from France, Gavin and Marie Colette find themselves thrown into peril...and each other's arms. As the danger mounts, so does forbidden passion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A perfect audiobook

  • By D. Mark on 11-09-17

A perfect audiobook

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

Reviewed: 11-09-17

Any additional comments?

This is one of those books that lends itself so well to audio. The plot is well paced, interesting without being too complicated, and with great main and supporting characters. The storyline is adventurous, with many laugh-out-load comedic moments, but is overall a gentle, beautiful love story.

It is superbly read by Mary Jane Wells, who is fast becoming one of my favourite narrators. In fact, I cannot think of another who would have done this book justice. Wells is particularly gifted when it comes to accents, and her skills were certainly put to the test with this book. The main characters are a Scottish highlander and a French noblewoman, and Wells switches seamlessly between English, Scottish and French accents throughout the entire book. I was very surprised not to notice any stumbles. This is the fourth book narrated by Wells that I have listened to, and I am so happy that she is starting to get better quality books to read.

I also recommend If The Earl Only Knew by Amanda Forester, and will be checking out the second book in the Highland Trouble series immediately!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dauntless Miss Wingrave

  • By: Amanda Scott
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars 1

A brave young gentlewoman dares to defy an infuriatingly arrogant earl. Brave and beautiful Miss Emily Wingrave knows that it will not be easy to help her older widowed sister deal with the trustee of her late husband’s estate. The trustee is none other than the willful, arrogant Earl of Meriden, and she is determined to stop him from meddling with her sister’s struggling family.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible book, wonderful narration.

  • By D. Mark on 09-09-17

Terrible book, wonderful narration.

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

Reviewed: 09-09-17

Any additional comments?

When you read terrible reviews on Goodreads, but forget to remove the book from your Audible wishlist...

I am a huge fan of Mary Jane Wells, but even she could not save this nonsense. The two main characters are just awful, unnecessarily argumentative and childish. I'm not sure what exactly the point of this book is. Avoid!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Simply Love

  • The Simply Quartet, Book 2
  • By: Mary Balogh
  • Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

She spies him in the deepening dusk of a Wales evening - a lone figure of breathtaking strength and masculinity, his handsome face branded by a secret pain. For single mother and teacher Anne Jewell, newly arrived with her son at a sprawling estate in Wales, Sydnam Butler is a man whose sorrows - and passions - run deeper than she could have ever imagined. As steward of a remote seaside manor, Sydnam lives a reclusive existence far from the pity and disdain of others.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Simply Lovely

  • By D. Mark on 23-07-17

Simply Lovely

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

Reviewed: 23-07-17

Any additional comments?

This is a wonderfully touching book that is unwaveringly focused on the relationship of Anne and Sydnam, without much drama or action to distract from the main story. I had wanted to listen to this book for a while, but I try not to start in the middle of a series. Accordingly I started with the first in the Quartet series, Simply Unforgettable, and it is still languishing in my 'Did not finish' pile. I found the lead characters in that story boring and irritating (and all too forgettable), and I worried that this book too would not live up to my expectations. I am delighted that my worries were for nought.

Unlike many in the genre, this book did not revolve around a 'misunderstanding', but real psychological problems resulting from severe traumas. Both Anne and Sydnam had suffered greatly in their past, and had worked hard to provide themselves with peace and stability. After the turbulence of their pasts, they are contented to live uneventful, safe, quiet lives, alone. However, when they meet, they challenge each other's supposed contentment, and each begins to question whether they really are happy with the lives they have made for themselves. Are they alone, or are they lonely?

The development of the relationship between Anne and Sydnam is slow, painful and realistic. They both have to face uncomfortable truths which they have not in the past been strong enough to confront. They both have self-esteem issues and think themselves not good enough for the other. Although their past traumas are different in nature, it has given them a unique insight into the other, and they instinctively understand aspects in the other's character that others do not. They challenge and support each other to overcome the barriers preventing them from being truly happy. The ending is incredibly moving.

The only thing that I find jarring in this book is the ease and speed with which Anne forgives her family. Having dedicated the whole book to the slow building of the relationship between Anne and Sydnam, I don't understand why Balogh decided that Anne could forgive the incredible betrayals of her family, and the decade-long estrangement within a couple of paragraphs. The way Anne's family have treated her for ten years is despicable. They come across as very weak-minded, and caring more about what the neighbours think than the health and wellbeing of their daughter and grandchild. They have done nothing in all that time to assist her, even from afar.

Then, when Anne (without any invitation or encouragement from any of them) goes to see them, her father actually tells her to her face that she must have invited her rape by trying to attract her rapist. He then says that if she had wanted to, she could have stopped him, then caps it all by saying that it is the man who is always blamed!! Then he says that while he is sorry for his actions (or lack thereof) he had been concerned about what the neighbours would say, and perhaps, after all, it was better that she had not faced the gossip. AS IF SHE WAS NOT GOSSIPPED ABOUT AND OSTRACISED EVERYWHERE SHE WENT AS AN UNMARRIED MOTHER WHO HAD NO FAMILY TO SUPPORT HER!! Her mother, brother, sister and brother-in-law/ex-fiancé are all pathetic characters who do nothing but beg forgiveness which they don't deserve. This had me absolutely boiling with anger, and yet Anne apparently turned around and forgave them all because she wanted her son to know his family. Why you would encourage your child to rely on people who would turn their backs at the first sign of trouble is beyond me. Sydnam, who had forced her against her will to visit her family, did nothing to support her in the confrontation. For me this who scene was unnecessary, and really compromised the trust they had built up between them.

Other than Anne's useless family, there are some good supporting characters who do not overpower the book. Most of the Balogh I have read is the old Heyer-like stuff, and so I am not conversant with the more modern Balogh-world, but I gather that most of the supporting characters, such as the Bedwyn brood, are from her other books and series.

Do I really need to say anything about Rosalyn Landor's performance? Exceptional as always! Landor is such a safe pair of hands, that you can sink into a book, and not worry about unsustained characterisation, poor pronunciation or dodgy accents!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful