Author: Lauren Jameson
Narrator: Sandra Lea
Format: Paperback, eBook, AudioBook
Audio Producer: Penguin Audio
Length: 9 Hours, 33 minutes.
Source: Penguin Audio via AudioBook Jukebox
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: In Vino Veritas # 1
Best Read in Order: Not Applicable
Stars: Overall: 3 Narration: 4 Story: 2.5
Purchase Now: Amazon § Audible § Barnes & Noble § iTunes § Chapters/Indigo
About the Book:
From the author of Surrender to Temptation comes a provocative story of overwhelming passion set free with one exquisite touch.
Madeline Stone is determined to heal from her tragic past, one difficult step at a time and she doesn’t need any distractions. Then she meets a mysterious and captivating stranger—and over a glass of outrageously expensive wine, her world turns upside down. Try as she might to banish the wealthy business mogul from her thoughts, Madeline can’t fight Alex’s staggering appeal or his enticing offer of intimate discovery.
Alex doesn’t date—at least, not in the traditional sense. Still, he wants Madeline and his sexual intensity provides her with a much-needed escape. They embark on a tumultuous erotic affair, one that takes them to the pinnacle of obsession and desire. But underneath each explosive encounter lie dangerous secrets waiting to consume them both.
I had great hopes for this audiobook, and was excited to have the opportunity to review it. While I had heard mixed reviews about the story, I was curious to see what the audio version would bring.
The two main characters are Maddy and Alex. Maddy, unfortunately, appears to have lived in a cave for much of her life, and that naiveté that was far too important to her story was overwhelming and not believable. There were several instances where her lack of exposure to even the most general thoughts on a subject made me want to slap her. Repeatedly. It made for a great disconnect between her character being ‘deeply flawed’ since I didn’t feel that she had an emotional depth that would be required for the guardedness that she was meant to display. Sadly, the lack of connection to Maddy was a large reason, but not the only reason I didn’t enjoy the book.
Alex is a bit more worldly, although his ‘deep dark secret’ was more of a shadow under the tree, and not all that dramatic to anyone BUT Maddy, and his almost overbearing nature doesn’t feel like a dominant but a reaction to deep insecurities. While he was less annoying and I had more moments of connection to him, the whole dynamic between the two was both messy and felt less like a relationship of love than it should have.
Lauren Jameson has a polished style of writing, she turns a phrase well: but she had several instances of overly long descriptive scenes that didn’t serve a purpose for the story. Those passages were beautifully written with imaginative descriptions, but there was far too much tell and not enough show that broke the flow of the story. Additionally, there were really no unique twists to the story, it felt far too similar to others of the genre, and didn’t have enough punch to stand alone with a great memorable scene for me. Fans of the more famous titles in this genre will find the book to their taste: this is written with a particular turn of phrase and smoothness that isn’t always available to readers of erotic romances.
The narration provided by Sandra Lea was immaculate: her delivery is spectacular and she does not over-work her voice to craft character voices and inflections that fit the characters. Unfortunately, for me, her voice sounded far too young and innocent for the storyline: while there are several titles and genres that would suit her tone and voice, this was not the best fit.
All in all, this was a book that was passably crafted with an audio recording that was polished and well delivered, but the voice choice was a miss. For me, it was a bit of a disappointment to find so many elements that didn’t work: I had hoped for more.
I received an MP3 recording from Penguin Audio via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
Lauren Jameson is a writer, yoga newbie, knitting aficionado and animal lover who lives in the shadows of the great Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada. She’s older than she looks—really—and younger than she feels—most of the time—and she loves to explore the journeys that take women through life in her stories. Jameson’s stories are erotic contemporary romances that take a walk on the wild side. Make sure to check out her work as Lauren Hawkeye, where you will find erotic historical, steamy paranormal, and hot contemporary.