Listen free for 30 days

The Art of Inheriting Secrets

A Novel
Narrated by: Stina Nielsen
Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
4 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

When Olivia Shaw’s mother dies, the sophisticated food editor is astonished to learn she’s inherited a centuries-old English estate - and a title to go with it. Raw with grief and reeling from the knowledge that her reserved mother hid something so momentous, Olivia leaves San Francisco and crosses the pond to unravel the mystery of a lifetime.

One glance at the breathtaking Rosemere Priory and Olivia understands why the manor, magnificent even in disrepair, was the subject of her mother’s exquisite paintings. What she doesn’t understand is why her mother never mentioned it to her. As Olivia begins digging into her mother’s past, she discovers that the peeling wallpaper, debris-laden halls, and ceiling-high Elizabethan windows covered in lush green vines hide unimaginable secrets.

Although personal problems and her life back home beckon, Olivia finds herself falling for the charming English village and its residents. But before she can decide what Rosemere’s and her own future hold, Olivia must first untangle the secrets of her past.

©2018 Barbara O’Neal (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Unfulfilled possibilities

A book I stuck with as I enjoyed the style of writing.The story line was promising with a few interesting threads that I thought would be developed and played out,,,, but I was disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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

Barbara O’Neal

Interesting start but overweighted on the sensual relationship of the heroine and helper, descended half way into obscene or blasphemous language every scene as troubles increased. Did not want to hear this. I sent it back.

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

Mediocre

The story in itself was ok(ish). However I kept waiting for something to happen and by chapter 11 I was bored. This is not helped by the narrator whose voice drones and is practically the same for each character. I listen to a LOT of audiobooks and this is the fist one I’ve not wanted to keep listening to to and have actually turned off.

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

Thoroughly enjoyed this book

I listen to a lot of audiobooks and this was one of the best of my recent listens. A few slightly odd pronunciations made me chuckle and squirm in equal measure and it is very heavy on description, sometimes detracting from the plots, but the story was great and I really enjoyed it. Recommend this for an easy listen.

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

A great listen when relaxing

Wonderful romantic storyline which I enjoyed however sometimes just a little too contrived . Overall though a great listen when you just want to sit back and relax

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Had me in tears at the end.

Stina Nielson had the exact voice to bring this amazingly put together story to life. I was on textbooks several times. Best audio book I have listened to do far. Must follow up on other books by Barbara O'Neal for sure.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for BCE
  • BCE
  • 20-01-19

Very Abrupt Ending? Book 2

I enjoyed the mystery, romance and setting. Got a bit frustrated by the author's characterization of Olivia. Why though the sudden ending with so much left undone or at least the potential for understanding what will come next.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Donna Smith McG
  • Donna Smith McG
  • 12-11-18

‘The Art of Inheriting Secrets’ a fabulous story except for..one thing

I truly loved this book..I did..and I’m not going to detail every single thing about it because that’s what the summary is about. Just know it’s about a woman, Olivia, from California, who has lost her mom, who’s originally from England. Little does Olivia know that she is about to inherit an estate, a title and a whole lot more, including a beautiful Brit named Samir. That’s my little short summary..the rest is for everyone else to discover. So what did I love and wish was different?

Simply, this story was so complex, but wasn’t hard to follow. There are twists and turns with Olivia and the secrets in the 600 year old or so House with its 37 bedrooms, and then there’s the discovery of her mother and what Olivia didn’t know! I mean it was a book I just couldn’t put down...but, and I refuse to give any spoilers, with literally 15 minutes towards the end of the book, and to me it’s totally not over, IT ENDS!! I can’t tell you how I hate books that end with unanswered questions?! Or is there going to be another book?! Which I obviously see there won’t be..but I was beyond disappointed. It took me less time to read/listen than to think of how I would write this review, because it’s such a great book with an author who pretty much decided “Its over!” This review would have been a true 5 star if it hadn’t been the end, and for that it lost me as the reader. I lost sleep over this book and I wind up with questions unanswered.

As far as narration I don’t think there is a better one than Stina Nielsen, perfect with her British and obviously American accent..she made listening perfect. I’m sorry that just listening didn’t make this book perfect...

In all I truly LOVED the story, the romantic theme, yes sexually too, but not too extreme, but I was disappointed and when you finish a book that leaves you with more questions than answers...I just want to ask the author, “Why?”

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Trudi Zimmerman
  • Trudi Zimmerman
  • 04-02-19

Such a surprising read!

Loved this book! I was not expecting it to be as engaging, it was difficult to put it down!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-12-18

Nice listen, okay story

First, think the narrator did a really good job - timing, accents and differentiation between characters and male/female voice all worked well for the story. Somtimes a little weak on matching intonation with context, but never too annoying or disruptive.

in comparison to her other contemporary works, I found this a weak contribution. it read more like a mills and boon rather than a good novel, a couple of her contemporaries are in my go-to re- reads list. This is not one of them. Her other books seem to have more layers, and say more, this felt less dimensional. still, enjoyed it, just not planning a second visit.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Debbie
  • Debbie
  • 24-07-18

Great narration, horrible story.

Story is boring and full of inappropriate sex scenes and homosexuality. I fast-forwarded through a LOT of it just to try to piece the mystery together. So disappointed. Will not listen to any more of O'Neal's stories as this one was just YUCK. Stina Nielsen did a great job with narration as always.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Maria
  • Maria
  • 02-12-18

Terrific book... but rushed ending

I loved this book! Right from the beginning it hooked me, and I loved Olivia from the get-go. The plot line of Olivia's mother leaving behind a mysterious legacy was really well done. The characters were lovable and engaging, and the descriptions and scenes of Rosemere were gorgeous. I especially loved the descriptions of food and ingredients woven throughout. I listened nearly straight through and relished every sentence. It was a bit slow in parts... a little more action would have nudged the pace up a bit, yet it still held my interest. The only negative to this book was the ending. It was if all of a sudden, the author got tired of writing, and wrapped up the ending in one sweet little neat package within a span of 5 minutes. I couldn't believe there was no narrative or dialog about what happened with Rebecca, other than a quick mention in a phone call. And there was still no real understanding of why her mother left all of those clues leading up to the last revelation. What was the point? I'm not sure I really understood. And was that the only reason her mother came back to England? I guess I expected a more thorough, satisfying ending and didn't get it. But still, I do recommend the book, as it enchanted me right up to the end. The narrator was terrific, too. Now I'm craving Indian food!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jenny Morris Wood
  • Jenny Morris Wood
  • 22-11-18

marvelous darling

History, culture, life changing inheritance and romance. Wonderful story. Maybe a second book? Must read, it won't disappoint.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Flav Rox
  • Flav Rox
  • 17-08-18

Lackluster

The ending was rushed and lackluster. It left so many questions like; was she able to have her dreams with having a family in in the kitchen at the main house? Did she get married to Sam and have children? Was she able to get the house renovated. What happened with the garden. Was there an investigation done on the two remains that were found in the Rose's. were there any repercussion gor Sam's father after the discoveries

She also did not complete the treasure hunt to discover the secret, the revelation of the secret came about without any perpetual actions from her. The book was rushed and left unfinished.

The reader was exceptional!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lulu
  • Lulu
  • 03-08-18

A Departure from Recent Work - Good but ...

I have become a big fan of Barbara O'Neal/Barbara Samuel. I thought each book was slightly better than the previous book and I loved her focus on the southwest, food, and friendship. This book was a real switch to me. More gothic, set in England, still with a focus on food but not so much on friendship. It was an enjoyable read but didn't seem nearly as authentic or plausible as her previous books. The reader has to really stretch their ability to accept the unacceptable for this storyline to be remotely plausible. For someone so distressed over her mother's death and who was supposedly quite close to her, the mom seemed to have been very busy behind the daughter's back.

However, although I felt there were some disconnects, some loose ends that were never tied up and the author was clearly outside her element, this was still an enjoyable book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peggy
  • Peggy
  • 25-05-20

Foods and historic English property, my favs

I liked this book. The plot was pretty engaging tho some spots dragged and the end solution was rushed. I felt that could have been more fleshed out after waiting so long. Narration excellent. I liked all the characters. I'll definitely look for another book from this author.