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Summary

"My dear girl! I could never fall in love by letter. Though I have no doubt you are a notorious breaker of hearts, not to mention a princess in disguise, and if I were a few miles closer to Toot-above-the-Batch I would be in great danger. From the safe distance of another continent, I will admit to a modest desire to see how your pearl becomes you, even to know the color of your hair and eyes, but this is mere curiosity, I assure you."

-Your knight, Robert

Through their innocent correspondence, a lonely young wife grows to love an imaginary man thousands of miles away. But when he returns to England from India, her idea of reality is turned upside down. Drawn from a safe world of tea and parlor chat into madness and mystery, she cannot find her own cherished Robert in the frightening stranger who claims her love.

Laura Kinsale personally chose the exceptional talent of Nicholas Boulton to voice her favorite heroine, sweet, witty Folie with her ferret, Toot.

©1997 Hedgehog Inc (P)2013 Hedgehog Inc

Critic reviews

"Flawless transitions and pacing convey the elements of suspense and sexuality in this romantic mystery." (AudioFile Magazine)

  • Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

What listeners say about My Sweet Folly

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For me, another winner!

Would you listen to My Sweet Folly again? Why?

I would read it again if I have the time, of course but.....

What did you like best about this story?

From the first amusingly clever correspondence, the meeting, then the mystery that developed from that moment on, I could not put it down!

Which character – as performed by Nicholas Boulton – was your favourite?

I love each and every one of Nicholas Boulton's characters, the voices are superb and without exception are just perfect.

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

I laughed quite a lot and yes, I choked up, too.

Any additional comments?

Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton have no equal in this genre.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiully flawed adults fumbling about in love

"Sweet Knight, your armour will rust if you stand out in the rain... I think you are all frozen up in rust already, Sweet Knight. You stand here stupidfied because none of your joints will move." That is, perhaps, the most beautiful way of asking someone to give over to the love they feel that I have ever encountered. To say that Laura Kinsale is an excellent writer, really doesn't do her talent justice. It is harder and harder to find someone who understands the english language, prose, and the human condition in such a way that it culminates into something as accessible as a romance novel. Kinsale is one of the few that does and she does it with such splendor. It isn't an easy listen, from the fraught beginning of exchnaged letters and their subsequent stubborness. There are peaks and valleys and Kinsale certainly did not adhere to any story arch expectations. When I thought we'd reached a climax I was only halfway through. But I think that is very representative of how love actally works, rather than this deterministic beginnging, middle and end. So I appreciated it. Folie is a wonderful creature but by no means perfect which is maybe why I and Kinsale herself loved her. I still am pzzled over her choice for Robert, but I think it works in the end. This book is definitely an adventure, and doesn't unfold at all how I expected. It is the opposite of predictable, which I really enoyed. My only warning is that you shouldn't take the prologue as any indication of how the story will actually unfold. Just, have an open mind. As for Nicolas Boulton, yes he is very good. I am not a Nick die-hard, though he is on a list of few narrators I not only tolerate but enjoy. Alex Wyndham gets the venerable position of favourite for me, but nonetheless Boulton's reading is superb. Highly recommend listening, and definitely worth a credit!

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If only narration was enough

This dragged on and on and on . As usual the narrator was excellent but there is only so much you can do with mediocre material

The only interesting thing I found about this book was the prologue and the letters they exchanged... those were funny but after that, skipped huge chunks of this books just so I could get to the end.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-11-15

Kinsale's Best Heroine

You know how among your friends there's often one half of a couple who’s so great that you willingly put up with a dead-head spouse for the privilege of spending time with him/her? Well, "My Sweet Folly" is like that for me. The heroine, Folie Hamilton, is…terrific. She's loving and caring, she's brave, she's laugh-out-loud funny, she's really smart, and she would never knowingly hurt anybody on purpose. Unfortunately, her chosen beloved – one Lieutenant Robert Cambourne late of the British Bengal Infantry in India -- isn't really any of those things. Or he’s not consistent enough at them to make him much of a hero. To be honest, I don’t know what she sees in him. (As my husband and I always say, “Must be a sex thing…”)

At any rate, this is a good story by a great author read by a terrific narrator. Mr. Boulton’s a kick. Nobody – NOBODY – is better at British doctors, lawyers, clergy and aristocratic matrons! Of particular note in this outing is the extended scene around poor, drunk Sir Howard and his long-suffering wife Lady Dingley as they try to enlist a sick, preoccupied Folie to do some matchmaking. The story reads very funny at this point, but it’s absolutely hysterical in Mr. Boulton’s audio.

Tolerate/endure Lieutenant Cambourne. The writing, the narration, the heroine and the rest of the characters in “My Sweet Folly” are SO worth it! Highly recommend.

18 people found this helpful

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  • 🌸DARA
  • 12-09-13

Delightful Journey of Romance vs Reality

This is my first book by Laura Kinsale so I didnt know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find this author wrote complex real to life characters along with a story that was a combination of romance, mystery, and adventure.

For me, this was the kind of book that kept me guessing along the way. The main character Robert is a controlled, multi-faceted man of means and Folly is a woman who is a romantic dreamer who slowly loses faith in her quest. Together their romance grows in an unusual progression of adventure where they learn trust, faith and the journey of love.

The narrator was terrific. His voice is perfect for this type of story. His voice reminds me of the voice of (the actor) Richard Armitage who has narrated a few books on Audible. .

If you enjoy a great romantic/mystery story that doesn't have detailed sex scenes then I would highly recommend this book.

39 people found this helpful

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  • redhead05
  • 17-12-17

Another wonderful story by Laura Kinsale

My Sweet Folly was a wonderful experience. The letters in the beginning set the entire tone of the remainder of the book. I had no idea where the rest of the book was going. As usual, Laura Kinsale tells a fine and complicated story with one situation after another, some humorous and some serious. I found the characters believable and likeable (except for the villain, of course). Narrated wonderfully by Nicholas Boulton, it kept me interested the entire time. I have already downloaded the next one to read, Seize the Fire. Bet it is as good as the others I've consumed. And consumed is the right word - once started, it is very difficult to stop the narration and take care of business otherwise.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Elkay
  • 27-10-13

Delightful

Many other reviewers have remarked that "Folly" is like two entirely separate books, or that the plot somehow got out of hand along the way. To me, this felt like a wonderful cohesive adventure, but I can also see how this story could seem disjointed.

We begin with a series of charming letters exchanged by two lonely strangers who clearly form a connection - and then, with very little explanation, that connection is abruptly and cruelly severed.

Years pass, and the two are thrown together by circumstance. Folie, the heroine, is likeable and relatable - practical, levelheaded, optimistic and intelligent. When we finally meet Robert...he's basically completely bonkers and is THE WORST. But I LOVED this part of the book because it was a terrific homage to the gothic novel- think Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester and you'll get the idea.

I enjoy Laura Kinsale's plots for the most part; this one was complex and compelling; there are many mysteries here: the obvious questions about what has happened to Robert, who did it and why, but also the many complexities of his and Folie's relationship that get puzzled out along the way.

There were some steamy scenes and most of these were actually unpleasant - on purpose.
They advance the plot, tell us something about the characters, and contribute meaningfully to the story. The heroine is long-suffering and incredibly forgiving, but I found that very believable - we see just enough of Robert's underlying qualities to know that she is not just being a doormat when she puts up with his nonsense.

Having read some lukewarm reviews, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. It wasn't quite as good as "Flowers from the Storm" or "Prince of Midnight," but it was still very, very good. Worth a credit!

19 people found this helpful

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  • mad4books
  • 19-09-20

Disappointing

This was a really, really bad novel, but the performance was so good I read the whole thing, resisting the urge to abandon it half way through. The beginning was promising, but it seemed as if the author just didn’t know where to go with it. Things got more ridiculous with every chapter. Listening to Nicolas Boulton, however, is always a pleasure.

2 people found this helpful

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  • L. Sain
  • 24-08-18

I didn't really like this one.

I have a hit and miss relationship with Laura Kinsale. And this one I can't say I liked. I found the premise ridiculous. It has long been suspected that George III had the blood disease porphyria.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Aubrey Wynne
  • 28-05-17

Another winner!

Where does My Sweet Folly rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 10 along with the rest of Laura Kinsale's books.

Have you listened to any of Nicholas Boulton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nicholas Boulton is my all-time favorite narrator. It's hard to listen to others once you've listened to the best.

Any additional comments?

The characters were unique with depth, darkness and humor. There was even some hints of magic that added to the fun. I enjoyed this immensely.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cam
  • 13-09-13

Complex & wonderful storyline,amazing narrator

Any additional comments?

This is perhaps one of Laura Kinsale's best books I have listened to on Audible. The plot here is one of the most complex I have seen her do and she keeps you guessing throughout the book to no avail. LK is a truly talented writer. This book is witty, clever, and touching. Again, I can not say enough about how Nicholas Boulton brings characters to life with his superb narration. I absolutely adore him. LK + NB = An amazing book well worth your time.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Kathie
  • 08-09-13

Another brilliant read from Kinsale and Boulton

As with the other Kinsale books I've enjoyed, the two main characters are interesting and complex. The secondary characters are also well developed. The story is unveiled skillfully and I enjoyed it completely. The story had similar themes as Prince of Midnight and Flowers from the Storm - wherein the main character is in a struggle for recovery or redemption. Ms. Kinsale's characters are not drawn from the model of male or female perfection; they evolve through the course of the story.

This is a sweet love story that takes place over a number of years; there is a bit of adventure and a nice bit of romance.

And, as always, Boulton's narration alone is worth the credit.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Kristin
  • 15-09-13

Another amazing listen!!!

Cannot say enough about the combination of this author and this narrator. Amazing how she portrays the struggles in the minds of characters. Laughed out loud many times in this book, and also was very touched by the twists in the story line. This ranks right up there with 'Flowers From the Storm' as my all time favorite audio books. And the narrator continues to be amazing. What a talent for bringing characters, thoughts and emotions to life! I listened to almost the entire book in one day, couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Would give 10 stars for this if I could.

17 people found this helpful