A Wallflower Christmas Audiobook
By: Lisa Kleypas
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
Published by Brilliance audio 11/2010
It’s Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady in waiting and, if it weren’t for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.A Wallflower Christmas takes a trip to Victorian London, under the mistletoe, and on a journey of the heart. With her trademark charm, sensuality, and unforgettable characters, there’s no one like Lisa Kleypas to make you believe in the magic of Christmas.
I originally read the first 4 books of this series back in 2009; the audio books hadn’t been published then.
This series was my introduction to the Historical Romance genre, and I’ve loved it ever since.
So, when I finally saw this published on audio in 2010, I let the average ratings influence my decision to pass over it. In a way, I’m glad I didn’t listen to it then. I can see why some were disappointed, the novel’s length doesn’t permit the depth of the story or characters that make Ms. Kleypas’ historicals so enjoyable; however, since it had been a long time since I revisit the Wallflower setting, I found this novel immensely enjoyable, it served as a reminder of the great entertainment and escapism Ms. Kleypas delivers with her books.
The desire of the Bowman’s family to marry their offspring into English nobility, to elevate their social status by bringing blue blood into the lineage doesn’t stop with just their daughters, and it’s Rafe Bowman’s (eldest brother of Lillian and Daisy) turn to come to England and try to win the hand of Miss Nathalie Blandford, a very rich and upper class socialite girl, but it will be her cousin and paid companion, Hanna, who would have the biggest doubts about this proposed union, and as she embarks in the task of finding out what is this American rogue all about, she begins to lose her heart in the process.
Rafe Bowman is not a saint, and as a powerful Wall Street Mogul he has been privy to a life of debauchery, and frankly, he’s far from a gentleman, but he will try everything in his power to fulfill his parents’ wishes – securing his place in his family’s fortune it’s an important gold he must accomplish.
But, the brain will say one thing while the heart says another; Rafe, immediately finds himself attracted to Nathalie’s poor cousin, who in no way will help his financial or social status.
Will Rafe follow his father’s orders, or will he sacrifice everything for his capricious heart?
I can’t say the Rafe is my favorite male lead in the series, but I always enjoy seeing a bad boy brought to his knees by the power of love.
Although, I think this could be enjoyed as a standalone novel, I feel the references to past characters will have you wonder, plus this is a great historical romance series, and should be enjoyed and its entirety.
This it’s not the first time I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy Rosalyn Landors’s narrations, her elegant tone and clear British accent are perfect to transport you to the era, her delivery lends authenticity to the novels and immediately places you in the story.
I never have a problem distinguishing the female and male voices, the sarcastic lines are perfectly delivered, enhancing the dialogue by truly conveying the characters’ wit.
Although, I have to admit, I do like my male characters’ voice delivered in a deeper tone, I have always given Ms. Landor a pass because the overall narration is truly enjoyable, and regardless of the tone, I always get a clear picture of their personality.
All in all, this is fantastic performance by Ms. Landor.
You can see here on audible.com, I’m not in the minority when it comes to rating her performance.