Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Look of Love by Bella Andre, narrated by Eva Kaminski

Why I listened to it:  I saw this one at Audible and decided to give it a go.  I've had the ebook on my TBR for a while.  Sometimes, the audiobook is something I can get to earlier.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  With THE LOOK OF LOVE, bestselling author Bella Andre introduces you the Sullivan family. In this fun and emotional contemporary romance series, when a Sullivan bad boy falls...he falls hard. And it's forever.

Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is—until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love—and protect—her, but will she let him?

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.

What worked for me (and what didn't): I've heard good things about the series and I can see why it is popular.  Hot sexy Sullivan men (6 of them! - plus 2 sisters) who are super honorable alpha protector types even though up until they meet the woman who will be their special lady, they are complete manwhores.  Fun and sexy and nothing too heavy (notwithstanding there is some domestic violence described*), this story didn't have the more realistic feel of  something like Shannon Stacey's Kowalski series - all the Sullivans (it appears) are rich and the story was a bit more fairytale-ish

(*I don't mean to downplay the seriousness of domestic violence.  That is a heavy thing and the book doesn't make light of it.  But it isn't the main focus of the book by any means.)

As I was listening I did roll my eyes a few times.  The whole book (apart from the epilogue) takes place in less than a week. Chase falls in love almost instantly (and I'm not a huge fan of the insta-love).  I'm supposed to believe that a woman who's fresh out of an abusive marriage is going to get over her issues and fall in love in a matter of days?  It was a book all about the power of the mighty wang of lovin'.  

There were times when Chase annoyed me because he was super pushy.  He said he didn't want to push Chloe but he's always telling her he loves her and, given she told him she's not ready for that - that's pushy.

What I did like however is that he didn't take over for her.  He realised that there were things she needed to do herself and he could stand with her, beside her, supporting her but they were for her to do not him (as much as he would have been happy to).   Another thing I liked was that Chloe and Chase were together for pretty much the whole story.  Even though it was only over a few days, the story is very tightly focused on Chloe and Chase, which did please this romance listener.

I can't say I completely bought the love story.  It was too short a duration for me to accept.  But I went along for the ride and it was fun.  If I don't think about it too much.  And the sex was hot. 

What else?  Having listened to this one, *I'm* convinced that Eva Kaminski is a pseudonym for Sophie Eastlake (Thea Harrison's Elder Races series) and Julia Whelan (The Witness).  Definite voice print match. Or at least, they're sisters or something!   There has been some discussion in the comments* over at Speaking of Audiobooks to the effect that Eva is a different person to Sophie/Julia (the consensus seems to be the latter two ladies are the same person) so YMMV.  But, if you have enjoyed Julia/Sophie's narration in the past, I think you will like Eva's. (*don't be put off by the title of the SOA post, the references to these particular narrators are positive).

In any event, I enjoyed her narration very much.  I will probably pick up the others in the series and slip them into to my listening queue when I'm in the mood for something light and flirty.

Eva/Sophie/Julia has a very pleasant style and is one of those narrators who can give each heroine in a series a slightly different voice - although her hero voices are slightly more limited.  She can deliver the sex scenes without making me cringe and conveys emotion really well (even if I thought it was just too soon to completely believe).

Grade:  B-


Unknown said...

I have read and reviewed well listened and reviewed that one a short while ago in my Turkish blog and hopefully will do soon for my English one. I totally agree on the things you said for what didn'^t work. I am not a huge mushy romance type, I must admit but sometimes we all need that ;) so this was a nice and light one. As for listening reviews, I am poorly talented in that part, I listen a lot of audiobooks but I am more into the story than the narrator so I suppose I fail to notice most of cons and pros of the narrator. I can hardly remember voices.
And one more thing I have nominated you for liebster blog award, here is the link. ;)

Kaetrin said...

@Tugce Nida Sevin. Thank you for visiting my blog :) and yes, I totally agree, sometimes you want to read/listen to something that's not terribly taxing and it can completely hit the spot.

I don't follow that many blogs with so few followers so I'm not sure I can do much about the Liebster nomination, but again, thank you for stopping by. Come back anytime :)