Heart of Courage
Book 3 in the Heart Trilogy series
By Kat Martin
Narrated by Beverley A. Crick
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Jan 25, 2017
Running time 11 hrs
Under the pert pen name “Lady Smart,” opinionated Lindsey Graham crusades for social change among London’s elite, writing for the ladies’ gazette Heart to Heart. But Lindsey’s greatest campaign begins when her brother Rudy, a notorious rake, is accused of murdering a string of prostitutes.
Her confidence in his innocence is bolstered when an anonymous letter arrives naming Viscount Merrick as the killer. Lindsey launches her own investigation into the gentleman’s questionable pursuits, a risky venture that earns her an unwelcome bodyguard—Thor Draugr.
At first, Lindsey refuses the protection of her employer’s brother-in-law. They are like oil and water, yet she can barely conceal her attraction to the rugged Norseman. But an attempt on her life reveals not only the lengths that someone will go to in order to prevent her interference in the viscount’s sordid affairs, but that she can no longer deny that she desires the warrior by her side . . .
Contains mature themes.
I hate to say it but I thought this story was absolutely ridiculous and not in a way that would classify it as comedy. I have put off writing my thoughts about it because I found it eye-rolling from the start. First off, we open with a Jack the Ripper scenario, and then meet Thor, from a remote island where everyone speaks Norwegian, or something that sounds Norwegian, and sticks with the “old ways:” where men are Thor-like and women exist to serving them, even more than was common in the 19th century.
The isle, Draugr, whence come Thor and his brother Leif seems to be fiction but figures in some fantasy Role Play games and fiction as a kind of undead, or a troll.
I couldn’t tell if the author meant for the Thor character to be an escapee from the Norse pantheon or a comic book. Or maybe, realizing how overdone he is in romantic fiction, she was casting a Norseman into the role usually occupied by a Scottish Highlander? Anyway, he starts out sounding like a bag of rocks but in the end is not an idiot. Lindsey, is the intrepid “girl reporter.” a bit like Nelly Bly. She casts herself as the investigator but, of course, gets herself into trouble from which she must be rescued by, who else but, Thor.
If you want to create a character from Scandinavia don’t call him “Thor.” It automatically creates a mixed bag of mythology and theme.
I also found the starting point for relationship utterly ridiculous, for Lindsey is everything he dislikes in a woman, so of course they are attracted to each other?
Sometimes I can deal with Beverley Crick’s reading – her sing song voicing of fiction tends to get on my nerves – but this was not one of those times. I must, however, commend her for not choking on the prose.
I hate to pan a book, and can only say this is strictly my personal opinion. I felt it was thematically confused and not worth my time.
KAT MARTIN: http://www.katmartin.com/