Friday, February 3, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Handmaiden's Necklace by Kat Martin

Series:     Necklace Trilogy #3
Pub. Date:Nov. 8, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Henrietta Miere
Length:9 hrs 42 min

This is the third and final book in the Necklace Trilogy that revolves around an ancient necklace with its own folklore that it will do good things for those who have true hearts. I have not read the earlier books, which I regret because I felt like I didn't have the full story of the necklace. There were allusions to the necklace helping earlier couples in the series, so it made me curious about their stories. This is a second chance romance featuring current possessor of the necklace, Rafael - Duke of Sheffield. Rafael was given the necklace by his sister (I think?), who was a prior heroine in the series. 

Five years ago, Rafael was in love with Danielle Duval, a red-haired beauty who loved him right back. But when a scandal tears them apart, Rafael becomes a bitter and angry duke and Dani retreats from society with a broken-heart. Fast forward five years and the two have an encounter that brings the scandal back to the front of everyone's minds, and drives Rafael to discover what actually happened. Our story bounces off from here.

I liked Rafael's character very much. I thought he acted carelessly five years ago and was the one in the wrong... however over the five years Rafael has matured and gotten a grip on his rage problems,. The only problem is that now he is bitter and jaded. But when Dani comes back to his life, Rafael seemed to redeem himself very easily. Danielle outright lied to Rafael, or omitted things she really should not have. Instead of coming clean, she waited until Rafael discovered the lie/omission and tried to do damage control. This was very annoying for me - I do not like deception in my romances, especially when they are very big deceptions.

There is a bit of suspense with the story as well, including some attempted murders and kidnapping. This aspect helped to advance the plot when I was annoyed at the romance.  However my favorite aspect of the book did not involve the main characters. There is a side romance occurring between Dani's handmaid, Caro, and a handsome indentured servant, Robert. There was mystery and danger surrounding Robert's character as well, and I was more interested in the story of this couple than I was our main couple.

The performance by the narrator was okay, but it seemed to be more of a reading than a performance (if that makes sense). I enjoyed this story, but it wasn't a standout. I think if I had read the earlier books I may have been more invested in the characters and history of the necklace. So that's my fault.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this audiobook that I received from the publisher, Tantor Audio.