Audio Review: MJ O’Shea – Duke in Hiding

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Author: MJ O’Shea
Reviewer: Sandra
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: MM Contemporary

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Summary:
Every gentleman has something to hide.

Meeting Heath Blackwood, a gorgeous English farmer, is probably the most exciting thing to ever happen to small-town landscaper Theo Brody, who has lived in quiet Maplehurst, New Hampshire, all his life. The sexy and secretive Brit shakes the foundations of his orderly world as they are swept up in a springtime romance neither can resist.

But Heath’s secrets run deeper than Theo ever imagined. He’s actually Heathcliff Pierrepont Blackwood, Duke of Kingston, in hiding from recent death threats. Suddenly there’s more separating them than the Atlantic Ocean, and Theo doubts he’ll ever fit in with English nobility. Though Heath and Theo are opposites in almost every way, their love might bridge the gap—if they’re willing to take the risk

Review:
I liked this. It has that novella feel to it, in that you don’t feel like you hafta work too hard. Heath is a snot at first, but quickly wins Theo over. They banter and start a tentative friendship which quickly progresses to more when they both easily admit their feelings to each other. Gilly and her family, as well as a few townsfolk, provide good secondary characters to round out the setting.

Narration by Rusty Topsfield was good, although the British accents were terrible and inconsistent. And two minor characters (the twins that ran the coffee shop) bounced between southern-American, British, and Italian-American. Odd. But the tone and pacing were good. I’ve read one other book by this narrator, Splintered, and similar commentary. So he’s not a go-to favorite but I wouldn’t avoid him either.

Overall the story was sweet. It’s light on the sex, but the little bit we get is hot and I was definitely buying the chemistry between these two.

We knew that things would come to a head eventually, although I didn’t love the way they played out  and would have liked more time on-page once the big reveal happens. The drama happened too quickly with a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am resolution crammed in at the end that didn’t feel earned. But we got a little ‘4 month later’ epilogue to ensure all was well and in the end I did have a grin on my face.

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