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I loved this novella. It was everything I hoped for in a mail-order bride historical romance: charming, sweet, romantic, some suspense, loveable characters, historical detail, and a happy ending. However, I was disappointed with the narrator. Other listeners might really like how she narrated, but I did not.
First, I must address the narrator's performance. Her pitch was fine, and she seemed really prepared and knew the book well. Her voice for the hero Seth was pretty good with a believable Midwestern accent; he just sounded like he had a little nasal congestion. The voices for the villains were quite good, too. Mainly, my issue is how the narrator has this weird halting way of talking. Her words do not flow well at all. She sounds somewhat robotic with her weird half-pauses at random intervals and emphasis on words that don't need emphasising. This is most apparent when she is reading a non-speaking part. Also, I did not like her voice for Lily and thought the accent was not an authentic Swedish accent, but I am no expert on Swedish accents. Lilly's voice sounded like a bad impression of Miss Piggy. To prospective listeners, please try the sample before you buy, and you can hear for yourself whether you agree or disagree with me.
When I first started listening to the book, I strongly disliked the narration, but I had won a copy of the audiobook and had promised the author that I would write a review. I then forced myself to keep listening, and after 20 minutes, the high quality of the writing allowed me to get accustomed to the narration.
I love this story. Lily was a strong woman who has been through some tough times, but she keeps going and perseveres. She is a little naive at first, but I was sympathetic with that. When Lily has to escape a terrible situation, I liked her so much and the sequence was so well written and believable that my heart was literally racing. The author Linda Hubalek also has a dastardly villain that really keeps Lily and Seth on their toes. Seth, the hero, is such a good, loveable guy who is very courageous. The author does an excellent job with the plot, and I could not find any inconsistency in the details! Bravo to the author!
FYI, there is just kissing in this novella; any lovemaking takes place off-stage or behind closed doors. I think this book is fine for anyone 13 and up; there is some punching and attempted forced prostitution/human trafficking, but the details are tastefully written, and Lily escaped before anything really bad could happen.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not paid for my review.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Story in itself is light, provides quick read with little character development. Absolutely nothing complicated or emotional, but entertaining nonetheless.
The narration, however, leaves MUCH to be desired. How the editors allowed this performance is a mystery. Just awful.