Midnight Angel Audiobook
By: Lisa Kleypas
Narrated by: Susan Duerden
Lord Lucas Stokehurst is captivated by the gentle grace and regal beauty of “Miss Karen Billings”, who appeared seemingly out of nowhere and now stands demurely before him. Enchanted, the gallant, haunted widower impetuously offers her a position as governess to his young daughter, taking the lady of mystery into his home.
But “Miss Billings” has another name, Anastasia, and a dark past that pursues her still. Condemned for a crime she cannot remember, she barely escaped the gallows. And now she seeks shelter in the arms of a man devastated by tragedy, a man who must now defy society and the forces of vengeance to keep his lady safe and their bold new love alive.
OK… So this is supposed to be one of the, “not so great “, LisaKleypa’s novels.
When I saw that the average rating for this book was only 3.6 on Goodreads, I decided to put it on the back burner, but less than two weeks ago I found out about the released of The Stokehurst series on audio, so I decided to take a chance with the audio version.
Alright… as a romance reader/listener and a huge fan of Ms. Kleypas, I can see why this book didn’t get the high ratings I’m accustomed seeing in any of her novels. I truly feel that the biggest obstacle that this book had to overcome was Ms. Kleypas herself, the expectations of her work are always very very high. We all know how deliciously entertaining her romance stories are, how well she develops her characters, how amusing the witty dialogue is, and how tight and cohesive are her plots….. Well… not so much in this book, and if you never heard of Lisa Kleypas, this a great place to start, there’s no place to go from here, but up.
The heroine Tasia, although likable enough, was missing… let me think…. Oh yea, a sense of humor! And somehow she was a little hard to relate to, do I dare to say, a bit undeveloped? Or maybe she just wasn’t my kind of heroine. I didn’t feel like I really knew her; she was missing the spunk, and the witty tone that I love so much in Klepa’s heroines.
Let’s talk about the hero….. Lucas, oh! Lucas….. a bit arrogant, possessive and dull……. The key word here, is “dull”.
I read some reviews about how much they dislike the hero’s physical flaw, I can honestly tell you that didn’t bother me at all, not when the flaw was the result of an injury suffered in an act of bravery, this only put a mark in the positive column, plus he’ was always a gentleman, come on ladies! Don’t we like gentlemen?
I did like Lucas a lot, but not enough to make boyfriend status, he was gorgeous and self assured…. So… what went wrong?… I found his personality boring, and missing the luster we normally get in the the main characters, this was very atypical of Ms. Kleypa’s heroes.
After my opinion of the main characters, I imagine you’re thinking a hated this book, but all to the contrary, I really, truly enjoyed the audiobook, I most definitely enjoyed the plot, the inside to the Russian nobility was very interesting. The romance and love scenes are not without the magical sensuality and eroticism, so magnificently written by this author.
I loved Emma! Luca’s daughter and protagonist of the following book, Prince of Dreams. While she’s only 12 years old her personality was great; she was lively, determined and courageous. The introduction of Nikolas the dark and tortured hero (right up my alley), promised a great sequel. The ability of Ms. Kleypas to transport you away to this era it’s never diminished in this book, and the writing it’s as good as ever.
I do feel my criticisms of the characters come from my expectations being too high, I can assure you, I wouldn’t have any complaints about this book if it would had been written by any other author but Ms. Kleypas.
Ultimately, I do recommend this listen to all Kleypa’s fans, or to any Historical romance fan. I believe that if you approach this book with low expectations, you might just be pleasantly surprised, this was hell of a lot better historical romance novel than some of the ones I had read or listened to lately.
Although Susan Duerden is not new to the industry, this is the first of Lisa Kleypa’s books she has narrated; this might be great news for listeners that didn’t approve of Rosalyn Landor’s performance. I’ve read a few complaints about how Ms. Landor’s male voices were not as masculine and sexy as these books demanded, and to a point I agree, but in my opinion, she made out for it with her terrific sense of timing and the excellent delivery of the witty dialogue.
You won’t have any grievances with this audiobook, Susan Duerden does a terrific job with this incredibly enjoyable performance. She displayed Impressive and believable male voices, (yes, they are sexy and masculine) and very distinctive for each character. In addition to her clear and smooth English accent her Russian tone was excellent for the depiction of some of the characters. Lucas and Tasias’s personality are clearly conveyed, and the children voices (Emma) are fantastic.
The overall tone, timing and flow of the story were expertly executed, transporting the listener with ease to this wonderful world and time in history.
In conclusion, this was an excellent interpretation and portrayal by Ms. Duerden, judging by the high ratings it’s receiving on audible.com. I have to believe this book has come across as a better novel on audio.
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