Lord of Vengeance
by Lara Adrian writing as Tina St. John
Lara Adrian, LLC (USA)
Reissued: April 2012
E-Book, 356 pages and
Unabridged audio via Tantor
Narrated By Antony Ferguson
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
Release Date: 07-30-14
Original Release: June 1999, Ballantine
Audiobook provided by Tantor Audio for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own unless otherwise noted.
Taken captive by Gunnar Rutledge, a dark knight sworn to destroy her father, Raina d’Bussy must teach forgiveness to a man who knows no mercy and lives only to exact revenge on his enemy. But time in Gunnar’s keep stirs an unwanted passion in Raina, and something far more perilous, when she finds herself falling in love with the one man she should never desire.
For Gunnar, vengeance is all that matters. He seeks the ultimate price from his enemy’s beautiful young daughter, claiming Raina as his hostage. But the proud beauty defies him at every turn, tempting him like no other. Setting out to break Raina’s glorious spirit, Gunnar instead finds himself bewitched by her goodness, her strength. Can he seize the justice he is due without losing Raina forever?
There’s a lot of good action, sexual tension and exciting surprises in this story. I cannot swear to the historical veracity of the tale: nothing screamed “wrong!” to me, but this medieval tale taking place at the time of King Stephen’s reign, seemed generic to the middle ages.
I did not see how the central paradox of the book would be resolved positively. In romance this is one of my favorite things. It gives me something to wonder about. After all, Gunnar, the Lord of Vengeance wants nothing more than to kill the man who she sees as a good and loving father. But to Gunnar he is the monster who killed both his mother and father and had him left for dead.
Even Gunnar understands this as the paradox. Something has to happen, obviously it is going to be an issue. The genre demands a happy ending and we know that isn’t going to happen with the other guy. I came up with a variety of paths the story could take, but all were unsatisfactory, so I kept listening until the end to find out how we would get from point hate and vengeance to point happily ever after. Along the way, Gunnar learns that things rarely go as planned and what we think we want is often not what we really need.
But the way there has a lot of hot action on the way, and even a few fights and life lessons. Some of the sex is a little improbable, but still exciting. And a big surprise I didn’t see coming! I really enjoyed the book.
The narration: Most of the time the narration was excellent. But, the male narration of the main female character, Raina was simpering and insipid. Is this what men hear when a woman speaks — this unintelligent, weak woman? I was really disappointed with that. The male characters were well done though.
I have listened to two men narrate women’s voices and they have both been disappointing. I feel women narrate men better but, let’s face it both genders may mess it up. I am sure it is tough to do. It is so important though and makes the difference between a book being something I hit the play button cringing or with a smile.
So, yes on the book. The narration was reasonable, but please let me know what you think about the voicing of Raina.
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