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I have loved The Marigold Chain for years. The story is a compelling mix of history and romance, both beautifully languaged and researched. Alex Wyndham performs, as usual, with vocal beauty and grace, bringing the characters vibrantly alive, and adds another dimension of enjoyment to an already wonderful novel.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Not your average Hist Rom but so much richer and more textured. Intelligent female leads who have their own plans and take care of themselves. I loved the flaws of the characters because they made the characters real and unpredictable. Given the nature of the era, where women had little or no power beyond their own wit and men were both indulged and also abused by the situations they were born into, Chloe and Alex have an uphill battle to come together. You really care about the individuals and their fates, but their actions are not always likeable as is the case with Alex. He has a lot of emotional maturing to do but Chloe has always had to be mature.
Rich details of history are woven through the story which get you really hooked. Alex Wyndham is superb as always. He has a way of inhabiting the life of each individual that communicates a wealth of feeling. If I see his name on a book even if I don't know the author I will buy it he is that good,. Do yourself a favour and read all of Stellas books as each one is a pearl and not to be missed
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Marigold Chain the most enjoyable?
Great characters in this book and a wonderful story did not want it to end. The narrator brought it all to life.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Set in Restoration London, The Marigold Chain is a book I loved the first time I read it almost thirty years ago, and I've been eagerly awaiting its release in audio.
While quite spectacularly drunk, Alex Deveril wins the hand and dowry of Chloe Herveaux in a card game. Not prepared to stay under her wastrel half-brother’s roof any longer, Chloe is only too ready to depart with Alex, intending to go to stay with friends for the night, but she has reckoned without Alex’s stubbornness. He won a bride and a bride he will have – and he won’t take no for an answer. He and Chloe are married that night.
The next morning, amid a hangover of Biblical proportions, Alex comes to the realisation of what he’s done, apologises and suggests to Chloe that they seek an annulment. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be quick, but he thinks it may be possible, especially if the final decision ends up resting with the king.
What follows is a thoroughly enjoyable romance, set amid the intrigue of the court and against the backdrop of the war between the English and the Dutch, and later, the horror of the Great Fire of London. Alex is a delicious hero, gorgeous, charming, and highly intelligent, with a quick wit and sharp tongue that can wound at twenty paces, but who, beneath it all is a man of courage, honour and deep loyalty. Chloe is no simpering miss, but a strong young woman who metaphorically rolls up her sleeves and gets on with it, quickly adjusting to her changed circumstances and the mercurial husband who keeps her constantly on her toes. The historical background is comprehensively researched and in the scenes which take place amid the streets of London, the reader is completely immersed in the sights and the sounds of the city. The cast of supporting characters – including His Glorious Majesty, King Charles II – is very well fleshed out, and another of the things I enjoy very much about Ms Riley’s work, her skill in writing strong male friendships is very much in evidence.
Ms Riley has the knack of writing the most delicious romantic and sexual tension between her principals, and the gradual progression of the romance between Alex and Chloe is masterful, and something to be thoroughly savoured.
What to say about the incredibly talented Alex Wyndham that hasn't already been said? Not much, really - he's easily one of the best narrators in the business. He gives every single character - even if they only have a line or two - a distinct voice, and differentiates extremely well between all the different male characters in the story. Listeners of A Splendid Defiance will recognise Prince Rupert, and his portrayal of King Charles has just the right levels of humour and gravitas. Alex and Chloe are superbly realised; and his ability to pick up on and deliver every emotional cue is simply wonderful.
Some fondly-remembered books turn out to be disappointing upon a re-read years later, but fortunately, The Marigold Chain is not one of those - and in audio it's an extremely satisfying and enjoyable experience. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful