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Wow this is a fun listen! I am sometimes disappointed when listening to a favourite book, but not on this occasion. Can a woman narrator do justice to male characters?
On this occasion, emphatically yes!
Emma Wilder really brings the characters to life. I loved grand dad Arthur's gruff life wisdom, he is spot on. Carmela and Graham' marriage revival is an added dimension too.
Light and shade, fun, humour, drama - there's lots of listening variety.
This is part of the New Zealand series but is absolutely a stand alone book.
Ian and Nina take a while to get together but when they do, it's typically steamy. If you haven't read the book you might want to be aware there are some fairly explicit sexual descriptions that the narration really brings to life!
I am still not a fan of the 'prince' element but that's a tiny personal point on my part, just being honest.
Control and choice are strong themes. Ian isn't perfect- he stuffs up but admits it and keeps trying (got to love him just for that!) and Nina has to toughen up to confirm her self belief. There's adjustments on both sides - just like real relationships.
New Zealand wraps around the listener and somehow the vibe and feel of the country is even stronger when spoken aloud.
Credit to all involved.
I received a free copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way or obliged to be positive. This is my own opinion.
Any additional comments?
Rosalind James' story is wonderfully narrated by Emma Wilder. Each of the characters come to life under Emma's skillful vocalizations. This story doesn't just include Iain and Nina's burgeoning relationship but it also includes the mature love story of Iain's parents - a love story doesn't really end at "I do". The third generation gives lessons learned from life long love given by the widowed grandfather. Truly a multi-generational love story. But be prepared - just because there's more than one generation doesn't mean there is any less steam. I highly recommend this great pairing of story and narration.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
It is a refreshing book on many levels.
First it somehow manages to combine several romantic genres (rugby romance, suspense romance, fairytale romance) successfully and contain realistic characters. It is no spoiler to say that the fairytale aspect of this book is approached very differently than other romance books. And for readers, I think really, as long as you like a good romance with a slow, satisfying build-up you will love this book even if none of these genres appeal to you, because really, it is just a great multi-generational romantic tale of several characters. The interaction between the generations is particularly interesting in this book, and the grandfather's interactions with Iain and Nina are right up there with my favorite parts of this book.
It is completely different than other books in this series (which is true of all the books in the series) and not a rehash of an old plot.
Yes the romantic protagonists Iain and Nina have great chemistry and heat, but James really puts together an ensemble of characters with great chemistry and she looks at love from different perspectives. Nina is a particularly interesting character to me. Like Iain, it can be hard for me to see things from her point of view, but she always has tangible reasons and that is what makes what she does interesting.
Escape from New Zealand books are the cheapest ticket to New Zealand money can buy. Listening to any one from the series helps the listener explore the country, and this book is no different, but does explore a different part of the country.
As any listener of a series can tell you, it can be hard to adjust to a new reader, no matter how great the reader might be. And even though I believe it is great to hear what different readers can do with the readers, I experienced Claire Bocking withdraw for twenty minutes or so because I was so used to her. After those twenty minutes I could fully appreciate Emma Wilder's reading. She has a clear, easy to understand voice, does accents well, is good at reading the different characters and doing voice acting, and was pleasant to listen to. I would be happy to listen to other books she might have narrated.
I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful