By Sabrina Jeffries
Narrated by Carmen Rose
Publisher: Tantor Media
Publication date Nov 8, 2016
Running time 9 hrs 22 min
Repackaged work released in 1995 under Sabrina Jeffries’ Deborah Martin pseudonym.
I voluntarily reviewed an reviewers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
The first wedding night that Lady Juliana St. Albans spent with the dark and daring Rhys Vaughan was intoxicating, the heady culmination of her new husband’s driving hunger and her own awakened sensuality. When he mysteriously disappeared the next morning, she waited for him in hope and desperation. And when he was finally proclaimed dead in a shipwreck, she bitterly mourned the loss of her love.
The second wedding night that Juliana spent with Rhys Vaughan was six years later, after he returned to claim her just as she was about to wed another. This Rhys was different—bolder, harder, and convinced that she’d betrayed him. Only their blazing passion remains from their years apart. But is it enough to light their way through the maze of mystery, menace, and mistrust—to the love they once shared and would have to find again?
Jeffries often points out inequity and injustices in British history. In this case British cultural dominance of Wales as a destructive force. In other books she has looked at the [historical] British attitude towards the Rom people.
I applaud her for using what is sometimes considered a “fluff” genre to make readers aware of these issues. I believe it’s relevant to today (all too much) and you know what they say about forgetting history.
I had issues with this story however in it being overly dramatic and too dependent on misconception, miscommunication and misbehavior. I found the narrator delivered what I believe is a very reasonable Welsh accent (based in knowing someone from Wales, and watching BBC-America). But is was hard to listen to the book as I felt it was an overly-dramatic and stilted delivery.
Of course, we can say all romance novels are dramatic, but this one, with it’s epic love felt just too much. Plus, the very first scene starts the drama off with the news she and her family failed to tell the new guy that she had been previously married. It’s a little on the wrong side of unlikely.
I really didn’t get the way Julia is described as flighty by her brothers without any evidence to back it up. It definitely affects how she is seen by Rhys. And, I really disliked how he is all too willing to believe the worst of her. No relationship would be happy with his kind of temper.
Learning the work was originally published in 1995, it’s over the top tempers and drama mark it as dated. Today, I think we expect more nuanced heroines and heroes who can do more than shout and glower and characters who are more realistically developed than type-cast.
If Julia were as flighty as she is described at first she would not have had the will to do what she had to do.
In short, this wasn’t a bad book but it wouldn’t be first in my To-Be-Read List.