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This is one of Stephanie Laurens best books! In my top 5 of romance books. Never a dull or slow moment, as in some of her other books. The characters and little sub-plots are wonderful The Grand Dames are hysterical! Hammish, Royce's half-brother, is great too, as are Royce's sisters. The book paints a delightful picture of life on the castle estate with Royce's handling of situations showing a different, softer, side of Royce. The sex scenes are sizzling, and the dialogue and dynamics between the lovers is some of Laurens' best.
Laurens brings in many of the characters in the series, as well as reveals who the Last Traitor is. It would be best if one had read the other books in the series first, although the love story is strong enough, the book would still be great as a stand-alone. Part of the fun of the book, however, comes from knowing Royce's personality and history, as well as the wrap-up of the Last Traitor sub-plot. Without having read the other books, it would be hard to understand this part of the story.
Crossley does a good job with the narration, but the female voices are not as good as Simon Preble's. I particuarly didn't like Minerva's voice (the lead female character), but after awhile you get used to it.
The book is compelling and a super read! I had read the book before listening to the audio, but still stayed up half the night not able to take a break. Get this one, you won't be dissapointed.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
What would have made Mastered by Love better?
Narrator!!!! Honestly I am only about an hour into this 15 hour novel and so disappointed. I do not think I can finish it due to the narration. The narrator himself has a nice voice...but the characters...UGH. Minerva (the heroine) is AWFUL. He makes her sound (very hard to explain) whiny, stupid, choppy, etc. It sounds like they are trying to portray her as one of the characters they want you to dislike. Even the hero sounds stupid at times. I love ALL of the Bastion novels and love love love Simon Prebble. I took a chance and bought this novel based on the reviews but I do not forsee "getting used to" Minervas voice. I can normally envision the heroine immediatly as such when Rosalyn Landor or Simon Prebble are the narrators....this one, i want to throw her out the window into the lake praying she shuts up. What a waste of money :-( And this novel above all else should be awesome as it is the finale to the Bastion novels....but I cannot listen anymore. Trust me, SAVE your MONEY and hope they record it later with a better narration. If you do not believe me go ahead and buy it and you get your first taste of Minerva at 25 minutes and you will agree...
What could Stephanie Laurens have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
I dont know because I cannot finish it because of narrator.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Steven Crossley?
Simon Prebble or Rosalyn Landor or Susan Erickson (just about anyone)
What character would you cut from Mastered by Love?
did not get that far
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
A very good story, with lots of tension and a satisfying culmination of the search for a traitor which has run through the series.
Lately ruined for me by the narrator - he really cannot do women. If the heroine and other female characters spoke in the manner given them by the narrator I would have thought the hero would have been more likely to have arranged their deaths rather than the traitor’s. Such a shame and made the book really difficult to engage with at times
I was looking forward to the final book and read it, even though I had be disappointed by others. This series is the other side of Mary Balogh's style of writing. The sex overtook the story and it was a pity. One of the main cries through out was "It wasn't meant to be like that" and I throughly agree. It had huge potential, but got bogged down with rather forcefully, aggressive sex. Seduction is one thing, but sexual harassment leaves one feeling very uncomfortable. This series ran out of steam, instead the books were bulked out with more and more erotic, aggressive, masterful and soon on sex.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, if it was their style.
What three words best describe Steven Crossley’s performance?
I struggle a bit with this narrator but the stories are so good I worked my way past the few things that annoy me.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, although 11 hours would be a stretch in a normal day.
Any additional comments?
This whole series was just fabulous. Such a good author of this type of book.