Published: HarperAudio 2010
Length: 9 hours 46 minutes
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Genre: Historical romance
Source: Own audiobook
Annabel Winslow is in a pickle. Having newly arrived in London for her first season and being in possession of a voluptuous figure, is being openly courted the the Earl of Newbury, who is at least 75 and a nasty brute to boot. Annabel does not want to marry him, of course, but feels that she has no choice since her father has recently died and left the whole family, including Annabel's mother her 7 siblings, almost destitute.
Then, while attending a party in the countryside, Annabel met Sebastian Grey, the Earl of Newbury's nephew. And suddenly she found herself not only courted by the lecherous uncle, but also the charming young nephew. Should she follow her heart so that she can be with the one she loves, or should she marry the loathsome earl just so she can put food on the table for her family and make sure that her brothers get to stay in school?
I listened to the audio of this book and enjoyed it very much, it was entertaining and fun. If you enjoy a series like Downton Abbey then this may be a book you would enjoy in audio as well. There was one 'dark' scene towards the end of the book that reminded me of a similar predicament Lady Mary found herself in.
Rosalyn Landor does a fantastic piece of narration. Her voices were amazing. She did Annabel's grandmother just beautifully, Annabel well and Sebastian Grey very well too. At times I felt like there were a whole cast of actors working alongside her. What was a pleasant historical romance became a work of art in her hands. I wonder how long narrators spend practising for such a reading.
The book was well paced and the plot never dragged. Annabel is in a difficult situation, in that she feels she must marry to ensure her large family of younger brothers and sisters are financially secure. At first things seem to overwhelm her, however when the chips are down her true colours shine through.
Sebastian Grey is a delightful hero, he has a little secret that no one knows about, but which provides a good bit of interest among the women in the book. I liked him as the male character, he was caring and thoughtful, with a ready wit.
My favourite part of the book was when Seb and Annabelle were discussing conversations and Annabelle asked him to clarify. They came to the conclusion many of the topics that people spoke were either in convoluted prose or was mere gossip. I thought to myself that probably not much has changed since their time!