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Clare

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  • 2
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Beautiful book, unfortunate narrator

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2021

Romantic, relatable, poignant story, beautifully written as always from Roan Parrish.
Nieman’s narration is bizarre - he has no instinct about when to pause, and he runs sentences together so often that at times it was hard to tell which character was speaking. He does not even attempt to differentiate the voices of the leads, or take a stab at Rex’s slight southern accent or Daniel’s Philly accent- this may have been a wise choice, if he wasn’t able to do them well, but it compounds the issues with his reading skills, making it difficult to relax into the story.
Despite these issues, the quality of the writing made it enjoyable listening overall.
Having listened to the next audiobook in the series, I would recommend reading the first book, then listening to the next two books in the series, which have a far better narrator.

Charming

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

Reviewed: 17-01-2021

Cosy m/m romance with a supernatural theme, well narrated by Cornell Collins as always

Well written but problematic characters

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

Reviewed: 04-01-2021

Another solid, well written m/m mystery from JL, with a vivid setting and beautiful descriptions.

Unfortunately the romantic plot line didn’t work for me at all, but I don’t want to include any spoilers, so I’ll just say this is less romantically and ethically satisfying than some of JL’s other work. Needed more work at the end to resolve or address all the issues that were so carefully developed throughout the book.

Entertaining, interesting, beautiful romance

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

Reviewed: 03-12-2020

One of the best romances I’ve read. Great for lovers of historical fiction, 19thC politics, queer fiction, m/m romance, regency romance.

MLD/ Cornell Collins continues to be a reliably good narrator.

Funny, beautiful, relatable

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

Reviewed: 18-07-2020

This is one of those special books that I couldn’t put down until I finished. I was so attached to the characters. The writing is fresh and funny and astute, definitely a cut above a lot of other writers of the same genre.
Big love for this novel!

Too long, annoying and pandering

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

Reviewed: 09-07-2020

Not worth the credit. This starts terribly, improves, and then drags on for ages.
Predictable, occasionally funny, with annoying narration that makes the women even more shallow and everyone more juvenile than the writing demands (which is already pretty unlikeable).

Cute but very light

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

Reviewed: 13-06-2020

Despite an occasionally irritating narrator, this is very easy listening.
The story is cute, especially because of the renaissance fair setting. But there is nothing of substance here at all, and at times the mediocre writing breaks the spell. DeLuca apparently feels the need to spell out absolutely everything, even the tiniest “revelations”, in boring step-by-step detail, so the reader is left feeling like the protagonist is a bit thick. Wow, you finally realised the bar is understaffed. Wow, the balloon outside the house is probably for your birthday. It’s all very minor.
The saving grace is the sweetness of the main characters, and the desire you feel for the protagonist to find a good life for herself.

Great read

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

Reviewed: 28-05-2020

Love the protagonists, beautifully written, and their friendship is gorgeous. Jayme Mattler was great as Hazel, but Todd Haberkorn’s attempts at female voices were breathy and childish, and made Hazel seem like a ditz. This audiobook would be improved so much if Mattler alone read both parts. But it still gets 5*s because the story is so lovely

Fun novel, annoying narration

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

Reviewed: 25-04-2020

A lively, endearing novel with a fun protagonist and some excellent moments - sadly a bit let down by the narration.

Unfortunate intonation where every sentence ends in a lift? So that everything’s a question? And you find it hard to figure out which things are actually questions?
There was some awkward long pausing, as well random rushing - and I found it hard sometimes to distinguish the dialogue from the storyteller.

The lead character Laurie is rounded, fun and very relatable - and well matched by her colleague, the dreamy Jamie.
Some of the sub-plots felt a bit thrown together, which meant the psychology of the protagonist didn’t always ring quite true. But it mostly hung together, thanks largely to the humorous and boisterous writing.
There were a few too many stereotypes among the background characters, but they led to several “take that!” moments of independence and welcome displays of female solidarity.
A bit of a mixed bag but still a satisfying listen

2 people found this helpful

Addictive and heartbreaking

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

Reviewed: 22-04-2020

This is a great novel - charming, engrossing, relatable and sometimes incredibly funny.
Deals really well with some darker subject matter, and romps through the fun parts.
The ending won’t be to everyone’s taste - it was definitely a heartbreaking experience for me (both good and bad)