From best-selling author Ayr Bray comes The Illegitimate Heir, the romantic tale of an honorable soldier, a rich beauty, and a vengeful rake....
The younger son of an earl often cannot afford to marry for love, so it is fortunate that Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam has fallen in love with Helen Malham, who has both beauty and wealth. Her father, however, will not allow her to marry a man without a title.
When the prince regent names Richard the Duke of Blachedone, it is both a blessing and a curse. His newly acquired title means he may marry Helen - assuming she will have him once the truth comes out. He was awarded the dukedom not for his service to the Crown, but because he is the former duke's illegitimate son, and soon all of London will know.
Mr. Calvin Aldrich is a rake and a blackguard who is set to be one of the richest dukes in England...until his uncle is stripped of his titles and possessions while on his deathbed. Bereft of his inheritance, Calvin will stop at nothing to get revenge on his uncle's illegitimate heir. He will strike at Richard any way he can, even if it means ruining an innocent woman.
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Richard, Your Grace!
Definitely in the top 20 of my JAFF audiobooks. I have a lot, and I mean an awful lot of audiobooks in various genres (JAFF accounts for maybe 75%) , so to get into the top 20 in one of them is a real achievement!
I don't think I can compare it to any of my other audiobooks, as the premise of the good Colonel inheriting such a grand title and wealth is a new one to me. There are several other JAFF works around where he eventually inherits the Matlock title though.
Difficult to say without giving away any spoilers, and I don't like putting spoilers in my reviews, as my favourite scene is fairly late on in the book. Of the early part of the book, I think it's the scene where Richard finds out about his inheritance from the Prince Regent.
My main emotional reaction was towards Mr. Aldridge, the man who expected to inherit the title before Richard's biological father managed to work around that problem. I really wanted to punch him!
As I said earlier, this was a unique JAFF premise for me. I have no idea if the solution that Richard's biological father worked out so that he could pass the title on to Richard would have been possible but Ayr Bray told it as a good tale, as she usually does.
I thought the narrator, Basil Sands did a pretty good job overall. He managed the female voices well, though I wasn't too keen on the one he used for Helen Malham. She sounded a bit "whiney" to me.
I would add a caution about the type of audience this would suit.There are several fairly graphic sex scenes so I would recommend this as a Mature Audience Only audiobook. It doesn't bother me but I know there are people out there who prefer not to read or listen to such scenes.
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for my honest review.
- Anji Dale