Review: The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts

HouseQuillCourt

Narrator – Anne Dover Audible Audio, 13 hours and 2 minutes

Published January 7th 2016 by Hachette Audio UK Rating: 5*

In 1813, Venetia Lovell lives by the sea in Kent with her lovely, frivolous mother and idle younger brother.  Venetia’s father Theo is an interior designer with whom Venetia shares his passion and talent for design.  While he is away traveling for new and exciting items and accoutrements for his wealthy clients, Venetia and her family are always excited waiting for him to come home.  In the meantime Venetia daydreams of one day having an interior design shop where she and her father can display only five finest in home furnishings.

Just before Christmas a handsome but fairly hostile stranger, Jack Chamberlaine, arrives at the Lovell’s cottage to deliver terrible and life-changing news.  Venetia’s beloved father is dead, her life turned topsy-turvey, and with no other options available to them Jack has come to escort the family to their new home in London -to the house in Quill Court.   Consequently, Venetia’s creativity, courage, and strength will be stretched to the limit, and the impossibility of discovering a love far greater than she ever could have imagined could be hers if only she can stay alive long enough to claim it!

***  I was totally immersed in this book from page one.  I loved Venetia right from the beginning, for her kindness in dealing with her frivolous and anxiety ridden mother and a little less for her catering to her lazy spoiled brother.   She was smart and her passionate artistic nature was a delight where I could almost feel her creativity flowing right through me.    I also felt her pain and disappointment in discovering her father’s ‘other’ family.     Unfortunately, Jack Chamberlaine, her father’s ward, was a little more difficult to warm up to having grown up with the ‘other’ family, he naturally felt that Venetia and her family were the upstarts and wouldn’t treat her step-sister kindly.  These were Jack’s assumptions without ever even trying to get to know Venetia.

The story was filled with great depth and very detailed scenarios.   All of which touched upon several of the secondary characters who all played really great parts in the overall story including, of course, some of the nasty villain(s) and their loathsome cohorts.  As I listened, the story and the all the characters seemed to find themselves up against the wall so many times and sometimes they were saved and other times, not so much.   As mentioned before the scenario’s and the villain were very well put together and trying to discover how the villain always seemed a step ahead of every plan will keep the reader on edge.

Bottom Line:   I loved this book, the story itself, the fast-pacing and the wonderful narration by Anne Dover.   This is highly recommended and I urge you to give this new author (at least for me) a try.   Highly enjoyable.

Marilyn Rondeau

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Review: Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts

Carnal Innocence

Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins

Unabridged Audiobook Release Date:04-06-12

Publisher: Recorded Books Rating: 5*

In CARNAL INNOCENCE author Nora Roberts has created a mesmerizing tale of madness, murder, and love in a small southern town of the bayou.  Put into play is Caroline Waverly, a beautiful world renowned concert violinist who is still fragile from both a public breakup and private breakdown after witnessing her lover with another.  Caroline, has left the concert circuit escaping to her late grandmother’s home in Innocence, Mississippi.   However instead of the peace and tranquility she expected, she found a town reeling from two vicious and heinous murders. And, if that weren’t enough Caroline discovers a third victim on her property.

Enter Caroline’s devastatingly handsome bad-boy neighbor – Tucker Longstreet.  Big, beautiful with a devilish grin and the sexiest southern drawl ever.  But for some reason, Tucker makes Caroline feel safe even though his reputation for breaking hearts has put him at the top of the suspect list, seeing as how he was connected to each of the murdered women.

***  Lordy, lordy, but I have listened to Tom Stechschulte before and I have to say that NO ONE does sexy Southern drawls like Mr. Stechschulte!  He is a master of making a written hero pop to life as one very SEXY heart throb – just by hearing that rich southern interpretation.   Wow!  And let me also say that the sensuality both actual and implied was steaming all the way through to the very end!

Now mix that with exquisite storytelling by Nora Roberts and you have a perfect combination that will force you to keep listening way into the middle of the night and then turning it back on as soon as you wake up!  Be it children, heroes or heroines, pets, even nasty villains  – Ms. Roberts writes the books that grab you and simply won’t let you go.    Loved every minute of this audiobook, the outstanding performance of Mr. Stechschulte and the entire cast of characters who made this ‘very hard to put down’  and immensely satisfying book!

Marilyn Rondeau

 

Review: The Chosen: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood By J.R. Ward

The Chosen

Narrated by: Jim Frangione Length: 17 hrs and 32 mins

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 15 Release Date:04-04-17

Publisher: Random House Audio                                      Rating:  5*

I have waited a long time to finally get the real story of Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards; convicted of treason against the Blind King and at the end of book 14, was captured and awaiting a brutal interrogation and a most heinous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.    Xcor would never have given in if it weren’t for the promises he made to a sacred female, The Chosen Layla.  She was never his, but she had saved his life and after the life he’d led he knew he’d never deserve someone like her.

Now that Layla has delivered her young twins she finds herself at loose ends and wants something for herself including the warrior she knows who is a good man Xcor.   When Quinn discovers that Layla had been seeing Xcor behind his back – he went nuts and wanted to keep her babies from her.  Devastated by the chasm she had caused  between the young’s biological father and the warrior she loved Layla had to summon the courage to stand up to the only family she has for the only man she has ever loved.    Layla knew Xcor’s heritage and was torn between keeping the secret or revealing that which might divide their world further.

****  Once again, a stellar book to add to Ms. Wards fabulous Black Dagger Brotherhood series.   The more answers that are revealed in these books, the more questions and subplots emerge keeping this series alive and well.   Enter a new deity which seems very evil and new characters begin to come to the forefront where one cannot wait for the next book to be written.   Just as new folks begin to take on life, characters we thought we knew seem to be taking on new persona’s such as our resident fallen ‘angel’  – now what is that all about?

So many directions Ms. Ward can go in with the revelations found in THE CHOSEN –  I personally cannot wait to see what comes next!   And Ms. Ward – Please, Please – help out Assail!

Marilyn Rondeau