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All the stars for this perfect, PERFECT narration of the story by Hamish McKinlay. He is SO expressive, he really gets involved and brings the characters audibly to life....he IS David Lauriston, he IS Lord Murdo Balfour with all of their feelings; their heated anger, their unbridled joy, their passionate desire [chapter 14...phew!!]. He's an actor, but in no way theatrical if that makes any sense...he doesn't detract from the story in favour of his acting abilities; instead of making himself sound good, he applies his talents to the story and WHAT a story it was!! I've upgraded it on my Goodreads bookshelves to my Creme-de-la-Creme shelf..it was that good!! Everything ended just as I wanted it to [other than Patrick Chalmers death of course], lots of puddle of goo moments...and I WILL be listening to this wonderful series again in 2018.
I was so happy to finally get to the last book in this fantastic series, and if the first two blew me away this one was so good I am literally beyond words now.
I absolutely, whole heartedly LOVE these books and this story, for ANY historical Romance lovers this is the perfect series!!!
Hamish Mckinlay's narration is perfection! There could not have been a better narrator- not only for his mastery of accents and dialects but the depth of emotion he poured into every syllable. I distinctly remember a scene were Murdo is shouting at an innkeeper, most narrators would add anger to their voice but not really yell the lines. He really brought Murdo's aristocratic supremacy and his anger and yelled those lines in such a real way- and yet not painful to listen to for the audio reader. In other parts of the story he whispers softly lines of endearment and passion that are just heart clenching and gut wrenchingly good. It would have been a crime to give this series to any other narrator and I would gladly isten to ANY book narrated by him.
We first meet David and Murdo about three years before the events of this book, and the path they shared together since then was as bumpy as the road to Laverock estate, Murdo's countryside home where David has been recuperating from the leg injury he suffered in the end of the second book while helping Elizabeth escape her abusive husband.
In the following months they have been living in a bubble, isolated, but free to express their feeling for each other in the safety of Murdo's wealth and the privacy of their rooms in Laverock. Now that David has healed enough they must face the impending end of their romance, each going back to former obligations and lives. The struggles they face are so real, time accurate and identifiable this story really is unlike any other Historical Romance I read before (and I have read many, it's one of my favorite genres). I love the time it takes them to fall in love, which reflects the time period very well to me and also their personalities. Same sex relationships, while probably widely conducted in secret, were not a feasible thing in the 19th century. The slow build of it, the sacrifices they each make for the other and the lengths they go for Elizabeth's sake are staggering. I also loved the unfolding of Murdo's past, his fragility beneath the aristocratic façade and the trust he puts in David to understand and respect him.
Elizabeth's story is a wonderful connective thread throughout all three books, confronting David with his life choices and Murdo with his aspirations for the future. The thrilling unfolding of the story and the danger they all face to help her is interesting, suspenseful and frustratingly painful to read. It really emphasizes the difference between the 1800's and our life today while still being relatable (as many women still face domestic violence and go unnoticed in our time as well). The limitations of the time period they live in and the details of that life is accurately written, a must in any good Historical in my view. I liked the thoughtful way Joanna Chambers constructed the ending, making it believable and securing Elizabeth's safety while still sticking to the time period. I love each character in the books, how they come to play and add depth to the love David and Murdo share. This is a story of who one can overcome cultural boundaries and hindrances to have the life one chooses. It's a story of love worth experiencing and protecting, acceptance and friendship.
This is an amazing love story you do not want to miss!!!
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I absolutely love and adore this series! I have read it many times, but I have to say that the audiobooks just added to my enjoyment even more. Hamish Mackinlay's Scottish and English accents were so perfect and beautiful. The tender moments between Murdo and David literally had me in tears. If you love historical romances, this series is for you!