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STORY OVERVIEW AND REVIEW:
Wanderlust, a perfect title for a story that will give you a major case of wanderlust, is definitely Lauren Blakely's sweetest novel yet. It's set in one of the most romantic cities on earth, with two strong and charming characters you'll root for from the start.
While one moves to the City of Light to start anew, the other is ready to bid adieu and move on to the next adventure. Joy and Griffin meet in Paris shortly after Joy moves to the country for work. They start their acquaintance with flirty banter and guesses of names, the chemistry between them strong and palpable. They meet again when Joy's company hires Griffin to be her translator.
Now that they're technically workmates, they have to turn down the sparks to stay professional. But when Joy asks Griffin to teach her French and help her experience all the pleasure France has to offer, it's inevitable their restraint snaps.
As they fall more and more for each other, they have to accept the fact that their love affair has a time limit. Once Griffin's contract ends, he's packing his bags to check off the final items on the bucket list his brother made for him before he passed away.
I loved the pacing of this story, the build-up from strangers who have that spark, to friends, then to lovers. I became even more invested this couple because I personally saw that they were falling even more in love. Two words to describe the sexual tension—delayed gratification.
It was sweet, sexy, and oh so romantic. But most of all, it's a story about rediscovering oneself and realizing that the only way to move on and forward is to let go.
WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT THE AUDIOBOOK?
I loved everything. Absolutely everything. I have to be honest that when I first heard Richard Armitage speaking, I had to rewind a few times because I was too distracted by that man's sexy voice. I mean, it's Richard Armitage.
He was fantastic in this audiobook! Not only was he a wonderful Griffin, he made a pretty great Joy, too. His shift from English to American to French accent did things to my heart. His accents for the different characters—Griffin especially when he's speaking in French—were fantastic, all with just enough emotion to shoot straight to my heart.
This is my second audiobook narrated by Grace Grant, and I enjoyed this just as much. Her portrayal made Joy's confidence, the awe she felt for her new surroundings, her feelings for Griffin, so vivid, so tangible.
The collaborative efforts of the two narrators brought a kaleidoscope of butterflies in my stomach. I was transported to Paris, to their romance and happily ever after. I tasted the food, smelled the scents, saw the sights. I laughed, swooned, teared up, and felt hopeful.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS AUDIOBOOK TO A FRIEND? IF SO, WHY?
Romance lovers will definitely enjoy Wanderlust. Aside from the vivid imagery of everything Paris has to offer, the characters had great chemistry, story arcs, and growths. It was hopeful, sweet, and incredibly dreamy. And did I mention Richard Armitage is one of the narrators? No?
I just have to say, Ms. Blakely knows how to end a book. Whenever I finish her stories, she never fails to leave me in a happy daze and with a full heart. Wanderlust is not an exception.
Tropes: Friends to Lovers, Love Abroad—Paris
POV: First Person, Dual POV
26 of 26 people found this review helpful
I want to go to Paris now!!! I truly could visualize everything in this book. I could tell by the descriptions of everything that Lauren Blakely wrote about what she saw while visiting the city or did some great research. I think that was my favorite thing about this book, seriously I could taste the chocolate with berry's and lime juice and to me that is awesome writing.
Griffin is a seriously great character because he was so realistic to me. He had some hard situations in his past and was just trying to live each day and wanted to do what he thought he needed to do. Joy was also great because she had her insecurities from her past but didn't let them stop her. Even when she was feeling discouraged she would push through it and come out better because of it. Together these two made me swoon, they became friends which I loved. Even though the attraction and the sexual tension was there they still did spend time getting to know each other as friends. I thought this story was very romantic and this would be every women's dream to meet a person and truly just to enjoy each other's company so much while visiting so many great places and laughing together so much. In the end I loved the romance & the way this book left me with a happy light heart in the end.
NOW lets talk about the narration!!! Grace Grant is great as always but Richard Armitage stole the show!! This man with his natural British accent was great but his French was great too! I loved how smoothly he flipped from French to British and he really brought Griffin to life for me! Great Narration choice!!!
36 of 37 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
If you like this kind of surface romantic fiction then you will like this book. I found it ok but this kind of Mills and Boon fiction isn't my cup of tea, I just wanted to hear Richard doing something different.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
I found Grace's narration wooden and slow. I kept checking whether I had accidentally slowed it down but I hadn't. The story was actually ok; a simple love story with one layer. They meet, a few complicated things occur, and then love conquers. Although Richard usually has the most entertaining and wonderful voice I found his narration quite stilted too which is unusual for him. I felt that he sounded as though he was just reading the book instead of feeling it and inhabiting the characters.Maybe soft-porn really isn't his kind of thing after all.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
Richard's narrations were better. I found the simulated, fantasy, shower scene quite uncomfortable to listen to coming from Richard's voice as he's usually very articulate and puts great energy into inhabiting his characters and I thought he sounded uncomfortable. If you ignore the sex the story was ok.
If this book were a film would you go see it?
I think the book would probably translate better into a film but the script would have to work hard to tease out all the things that were shallow in the book or not given greater depth. It would need a script writer like the Fifty Shades one or the Me Before You one to manage the sex scenes and bring out the conflicts of being torn between job and love and the pain of losing a loved one.
Any additional comments?
If you like this kind of fiction then you will like the book. If it's not really your cup of tea then even Richard can't bring it alive in his usual masterful way.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Lauren Blakely or narrated by Richard Armitage and Grace Grant ?
No, Lauren Blakely's writing is shallow. I found Grace Grant's narration irritating. Richard's fans are known for saying they would listen to him read anything, even the phone book, but although his narration of Wanderlust is up to his usual excellent standard I feel that is voice is wasted on this low grade fiction. Whatever were you thinking of Audible? Richard Armitage is worthy of better!
What will your next listen be?
Outlander book 7 - An Echo in the Bone narrated by Davina Porter and The Tattooist of Auschwitz narrated by Richard Armitage.
Did Richard Armitage and Grace Grant do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?
Grace Grant did not.
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Nothing that jumps out at me. I will be returning it.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Wanderlust in three words, what would they be?
What was one of the most memorable moments of Wanderlust?
Richard Armitage talking dirty. Chapters 16 & 22 especially
Have you listened to any of Richard Armitage and Grace Grant ’s other performances? How does this one compare?
All of Richard Armitage's. OMG! So hot. Never expected Mr Armitage to talk dirty! Such a treat
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Funny early interactions between main characters. Last few chapters so sad with HEASome chapters had a different effect (fanning myself)
Any additional comments?
Could we have more Richard Armitage / Lauren Blakey collaborations, please?A real Valentine's Day treat for all Richard Armitage's Army. Thank you Lauren & Thank you Richard.