Upon reading the synopsis of Inamorata, I was sure I would be delving into a historical romance with a bit of intrigue thrown in. Much to my delight, I soon discovered that author Megan Chance had thrown a paranormal element into the mix. Since most paranormal romances I’ve read have been contemporary, I was thrilled to be taken back to nineteenth-century Venice.
American artist Joseph Hannigan and his twin sister Sophie arrive in Venice, in search of a wealthy patron to make Joseph’s dreams of fame come true. Raised in New York, the twins were forced to flee, after scandal made it impossible for them to remain there. In Venice, a city filled with charm and beauty, the Hannigans are sure they can start anew.
Nicholas Dane is enchanted by the Hannigan twins. It’s clear he has romantic feelings for Sophie, but he tries hard not to let them show. Nicholas has a secret, one he’s desperate to shield Sophie and her brother from. Nicholas is not in Venice for a vacation or to become inspired by its art. He’s there for a much more sinister reason, something that could change the lives of Joseph and Sophie forever.
Odile Leon is sure Venice is where she needs to be. She has served as muse to several great artists, musicians, and poets, but that’s not enough for her. Odile is driven to find someone else to inspire, even though the inspiration she offers comes at an extremely high price. She sits and waits for the chance to weave her web around another extremely talented young man.
When Joseph and Odile meet, both are certain they can have what they want most. Nicholas and Sophie are less certain. They join forces to keep Joseph from falling under Odile’s spell, an act that will alter the destinies of these four in unimaginable ways.
Since the story is told from three very distinct points of view, I was surprised to discover that David deVries was the only narrator. In this listener’s opinion, the book would have been more enjoyable if each point of view had been read by a different person. The book, with its host of characters, proved challenging for Mr. deVries, as he switches between the French Odile, British Nicholas, and American Sophie.
Mr. deVries chose to read all of Odile’s chapters in a very fake-sounding French accent. When I first heard it, I honestly wondered if I would be able to continue listening. His pronunciations made me giggle and groan in equal measure. Obviously, he wanted to set Odile apart from the rest of the cast, but the accent just didn’t work.
Fortunately, Mr. deVries proved more successful with his portrayals of Nicholas and Sophie. His British accent wasn’t the best I’d ever heard, but it was far from laughable. He imbued Nicholas’s character with exactly the right amounts of cynicism and determination. Sophie, on the other hand, was portrayed as a young woman who is devoted to her brother, but longs for something of her own. Mr. deVries did a wonderful job allowing the listener to hear the deep yearning in Sophie’s voice.
Other characters were also distinctly voiced. It was very easy, for example, to pick Joseph out of any scene in which he was present. The fact that he is given no accent is a dead giveaway, and an appropriate one too.
I didn’t necessarily dislike Mr. deVries’s narration. In fact, as I’ve stated, there were aspects of it that I honestly did enjoy. However, I came away from the book wishing for just a little more.
There are hints of incest between Sophie and Joseph. We never actually witness them having sex, but Ms. Chance definitely gives us the impression that the relationship between the twins is less than wholesome. Luckily, this didn’t dismay me. I found it to be an interesting component to the story, and I wanted to know whether or not it was true. It was just one of many things about Inamorata that kept me engaged until the very end.
You will remember that I mentioned a paranormal aspect to the story. You’re probably asking yourself where it is. Sadly, this is something I cannot reveal, since I didn’t fully realize it until I was pretty far along in the book. It is there, and do trust me when I tell you that Ms. Chance does something quite unusual with it. Inamorata is far from run-of-the mill.
Breakdown of Grade – Narration: B- and Book Content: A
Unabridged. Length – 12 hours 56 minutes
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