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Daniel is a self-made man. He grew up poor but his mother pushed and encouraged her kids to become more. She worked hard to get them scholarships to private schools and then to prestigious colleges. Both of her kids have made something of themselves, but when Daniel gets a call about an upcoming reunion with his private school classmates, he's reminded that he doesn't have the privilege and last names of those he went to school with and is dreading going. His assistant recommends that he finds a date to take to the reunion and sets him up with a matchmaker. Just hours after meeting with her, she calls him with someone he has to meet.
Barrister Robert Ashton is surprised to find out that his uncle has died and he's inherited the title of Earl. Along with the title, he's inherited two properties that have been in his family for ten generations. He's taken to view the properties which are both in disrepair. He's overwhelmed with the repairs needed and unable to pay for them. When discussing what to do with the properties, including selling, his mother throws the crazy suggestion of marrying for money, much like families have done for generations. Robert is not interested in her suggestion and doesn't think the plan will work, but his mother sets him up with a matchmaker. The matchmaker introduces him to Daniel Fabian. The two men meet and find a connection, and decide to spend more time together. By the end of their second day together, they've both agreed to marry so they each get what they want. Daniel will get a title and Robert will get the money and help to restore the estate.
I loved both Robert and Daniel's characters. They were good guys with big hearts, and aren't afraid of hard work. Though neither realize it, they're both looking for that connection they find in each other and family. The story is written from both characters' POV, and at one point Robert referred to an object in a way that only someone from England would and I realized what a spectacular job the author did of providing distinct voices for each character.
Once I started reading this book, I was drawn into it and hated to put it down! It's such a beautiful story with a great ending. This will be one I read over and over! I highly recommend you read Robert and Daniel's story, I'm sure you'll fall in love with them too!
This story was narrated by Robert Nieman. I found his voice easy to listen to and felt that he had a good pace while narrating. I was disappointed in his accents, or lack of accents in this storytelling. There were many different characters from areas with distinct accents, and I didn't feel the narrator attempted any. Sometimes Robert would have an accent but it wasn't consistent and I didn't think it was an accurate one. The narrator did give characters individual voices that made him easy to listen to.
Overall: 4.5 stars
Performance: 4 stars
Story: 5 stars
I’ll admit that reading the blurb alone may not have tempted me into reading Noble Intentions. While I generally enjoy Mr. Grey’s books and characters, and find the writing to flow smoothly, I have to be in the right mood for a lower angst, sweet romance. However, when I saw this book happened to be narrated by one of my very favorite voices, I went ahead and dove right in.
In many ways, I wasn’t completely expecting the story within Noble Intentions. I simply haven’t encountered many arranged marriages or partnerships in the m/m genre, so even though the blurb mentions it, it still caught me a bit off guard when it came up in the book. Honestly the whole idea put me off the story a little bit. However, it ended up working out better than I anticipated. I appreciated how the match came about and, as far as arranged relationships go, this one had a fairly natural feel that was plausible.
I liked the characters of Noble Intentions as well. Mr. Grey often creates characters who have an easy and likeable demeanor to them, not overly intense and with good hearts. That’s precisely how I viewed Daniel and Robert. There are no other-the-top dramatics or intense scenes, just a sweet romance between two nice and charming characters. The relationship conflicts that arose made sense but weren’t drawn out unnecessarily or overly angsty. Rather, it presented some hurdles for the couple to navigate as they try to make their arrangement work, ultimately it added some balance between the men and provided opportunity for character growth as well.
As always, I really enjoyed Mr. Nieman’s narration style. His relaxed, steady rhythm suited the story perfectly. I thought the two voices he used to delineate between Robert and Daniel worked well for the characters, they weren’t caricatures, but different enough to distinguish who was talking during longer dialogue exchanges. In many ways, I think the Mr. Nieman’s narration made this book that much more appealing to me. If the story of Noble Intentions intrigues you, or if you are looking for a sweeter romance, this would certainly fit the bill and I most definitely recommend the audiobook version.
*Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*