Monday, October 9, 2017

Audiobook Review: His Lady Bride by Shayla Black / Shelley Bradley

Series:     Brothers in Arms #1
Pub. Date:Sept. 5, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Tim Allen
Length:9 hrs 2 min
Source:Publisher

His Lady Bride is set during the tumultuous time of Richard III's reign, shortly after Richard had his nephews murdered to steal the throne. I enjoy when my historicals include actual historical events with a re-imagining of events, motives and characters.

Our heroine is Gwenyth de Auburd, a baronet's daughter who lost everything when her parents died. After being condescended to by her vain cousins and forced to work in the kitchen by a cruel uncle, Gwenyth dreams of the days she can be a lady again. Indeed, all Gwenyth seemed to care about was marrying well and regaining her status. So when she was wed by force to a poorly sorcerer, Gwenyth did not accept her fate graciously. Despite growing up with little, Gwenyth came off as a spoiled brat. She was ungrateful, greedy, and callous when it came to her new husband. I was not a fan of this heroine at all.

Aric Neville, the battle-worn White Lion, retreated to a pauper's shack to wallow in his solitude after his part in Richard's ascension to the throne. I sympathized with Aric's plight, and he felt real remorse for his what he perceived to be his role in the death of the little princes. For the most part, I liked Aric as a hero. He was honorable, always tried to do the right thing, and took care of those around him. 

Our heroine was so stubborn and short-sighted when it came to our hero that I really wondered why he was with her for most of the book. Aric was quite stubborn himself at times, thinking the worst of Gwenyth when she was trying to turn their relationship around. However, I felt like Gwenyth brought much of that on herself. I just wish there would have been less angst and more relationship-building. But that is a personal style preference for me - I like to see some of the relationship building instead of having the build up for the entire book.

That being said, I enjoyed the secondary storyline that involved Aric's brothers-in-arms and his attempt to step back from political issues. My interest was definitely peaked by Aric's brothers-in-arms, who I believe are the heroes of the other books in the series. So I will definitely keep reading to see how those play out. 

I'm not usually a fan of male narrators, but Tim Allen did a good job with this story. His male characters were all separate and distinct voices, and his female affectation did not sound like fingernails down a chalkboard. The female affectation was important for me here b/c I already did not care for the heroine, so giving her an annoyingly fake and high-pitched voice would have driven me batty.  

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