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I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book, but once I got into it, I couldn't stop listening. This is my favorite kind of hero - one who is an actor when he needs to be someone else, has a wicked sense of humour, and gets himself out of situations in ways I'd never imagine. I check the Amazon reviews before buying most books (and if I don't I usually end up returning them), and this book is one I'd recommend. The reader was perfect. How many characters argue with themselves while playing two different people?
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
4.5 "The Gentleman Actor and the Merchant's Daughter" Stars for the story and 5+ Stars for the narration! (Narration by Alex Wyndham)Stella Riley's creative imagination and wit are in top form for the third book in the Rockcliffe Series, The Player. Proving her ability to weave in unconventional and unique circumstances into a romantic tale, Ms. Riley kept me intrigued and on my toes throughout the entire listen (a 10+ hour listen which I devoured over two short days!). Moreover, Alex Wydham's appealing and soothing voice kept me glued to my earbuds. The rumors surrounding his rushed departure from his home in England have kept Adrian Sinclair Devereux away for a decade. But upon becoming the Earl of Sarre, he can no longer run away from his fate, so home he returns with revenge plans in hand.Having survived in the interim in Paris through an unconventional trade for a gentleman--one which mixed gambling and acting--he soon finds himself leaning on old habits when he uncovers a potential damsel in distress (Caroline Maitland). Caroline appears perilously close to falling victim to a former friend who betrayed him in the worst of possible ways (Marcus Sheringham). Caroline's grandfather has determined to marry her off to a gentleman with a title, and as is typical of the time, the one who has taken a particular interest in her (Marcus), is much more interested in her dowry than love. But the only way Adrian can get close to her involves him polishing off his old acting skills, so he dusts off one of his favorite roles and puts on a show worthy of an encore. But though Sarre first crossed paths with Caroline as an unintended effect of his planned revenge, he must soon determine if his role in the play that involves her salvation (and, in turn, Marcus' damnation) is merely an act spurred by revenge or driven by something much deeper and heartfelt. Moreover, having met her under a cloud of deception will he be able to convince Caroline that he has her true interests at heart?As always, Alex Wyndham delivers a spell-binding narration. Without a doubt Mr. Wyndham is one of my top-favorite historical romance narrators. His voice is so soothing and his deliver is always perfectly timed to give heightened effect to the scene enacted. Additionally, Mr. Wyndham's attention to even the minutest details is sublime. From the age to the regional accent of each character (and even of the same character, like Adrian who switches accents back and forth depending on the role he is playing), you can count on Mr. Wyndham to present both an authentic and easily distinguishable voice for each and every character that perfectly matches the story Ms. Riley has written. Perhaps one of my favorite things about Ms Riley's romances is her ability to capture the societal conventions of the historic times she writes about. Things that appear trivial in today's world, such as whether you earned or inherited your wealth, had profound ramifications in the times Ms Riley writes about. Capturing this cultural depiction and mixing it together with compelling characters worthy of a true HEA makes her romances especially endearing. The Player is no different, and given Mr. Wyndham's extraordinary narration to boot, deserves to be on every historical romance listener's to be listened to list. Source: Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, without hesitation because it is beautifully written and brilliantly narrated.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Player?
Mr Bailes - see review
What does Alex Wyndham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
A expertise in being able to transition seamlessly from one character to another and then back into the narrative. All his characters are well crafted.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Yes - Mr Bailes - see review.
Any additional comments?
Sublime is the one word I can use to describe the final audio in Stella Riley’s Rockliffe series, The Player.
Once again the collaboration between Ms Riley and Alex Wyndham has proved to be a triumph because of the written and narrated content.
The hero in The Player is Francis Adrian Sinclair Devereux, Earl of Sarre who has spent the last 10 years living in France only returning to England now due to a family bereavement.
While living in France he has learned new interesting skills (I won’t say more!) and acquired a good friend Bertrand who adds a lot of fun to the story. As a result French and English characters are sprinkled throughout the book so Mr Wyndham has to narrate the different languages that he does seamlessly - Wonderful.
The storyline is typically Stella Riley with assured and well-constructed dialogue between all characters where not one word is wasted - Superb.
There are a number of touching scenes in the book but my favourite is when Adrian meets a former employee of his father, Mr Bailes. This is beautifully written and with a real emotional pull.
I will not say anymore regarding the plot but will concluded by highly recommending this book to anyone who likes a really good romance coupled with an outstanding narration, which I can only describe as Sublime.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I have quickly come to realise that if I see the name Stella Riley on the cover of a novel then I know I'm going to disappear into 'book land' and not emerge for hours! THE PLAYER is no exception and add the velvet voiced, talented and versatile, Alex Wyndham, into the mix and we have perfection, clear and simple.
THE PLAYER, the third in Ms. Riley's Rockliffe series is simply superb. There are deeply moving moments, giggly moments and sheer genius moments. Stella Riley has a deep understanding of human nature and because of this quite unique talent, her writing tweaks something in my heart every time. All of her books are different yet she subtly introduces old friends/favourites - like the swoon worthy Rock from THE PARFIT KNIGHT and THE MÉSALLIANCE - into each of her stories.
Ms. Riley couldn't have chosen a more perfect narrator to perform her fab books; long may their partnership continue. I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her writing.....The whole series is highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful