Desert Isle Keeper
The Songbird’s Seduction
Narrated by Heather Wilds
I must admit to being a little apprehensive when starting The Songbird’s Seduction. I’d read mixed reviews of the book, and I’m really not a fan of slapstick, something the story was compared to by a few readers. But I figured the book couldn’t last forever and besides, narrator Heather Wilds rarely disappoints. Bearing all this in mind, I settled in and was soon swept away to Edwardian England where I was introduced to a cast of engaging characters, and a plot that kept me laughing without slipping into the realm of the ridiculous.
Lucy Eastlake lives a pretty unconventional life. She stars in light opera, and has begun to make a name for herself in the field. Orphaned at a young age, Lucy was taken in by two of her great-aunts. Now, she’s doing all she can to keep them financially afloat. Lucy is optimistic, never allowing herself to give into despair. It finally seems like things are coming together when one of her aunts relates the story of a siege she lived through and the treasure that should be split between the survivors. Now, Lucy and her aunts are bound for a small town in the Pyrenees mountains to claim their fortune. How hard can it really be?
Ptolemy Grant is an up-and-coming professor of anthropology. He’s straight-laced and serious, keeping his eye on the prize. At the moment, the prize is a job at a well-known university. He’s nearly engaged to a woman he doesn’t love, but does love really matter? Ptolemy figures it doesn’t, especially when he factors in just how much this marriage will mean for his career.
Ptolemy’s grandfather is a British lord who once survived a siege in India. He summons Ptolemy and asks him to deliver a letter to a woman he once loved. The old man wants to sign over his share of the treasure to Lucy’s Aunt Lavinia. While delivering the missive, Ptolemy comes face-to-face with Lucy and is chagrined to realize that she is the woman with whom he had a rather bizarre encounter the previous evening.
Lucy is more than a little dismayed to find the uptight Mr. Grant on her doorstep. She found the previous evening’s encounter most vexing, and she wants nothing more than to forget it. But how can she when Mr. Grant offers to guide her and her aunts across France? At first, Lucy refuses his offer, but, very soon, she realizes his assistance will be invaluable. She gives in, and they embark on a journey filled with laughter and intrigue. No one is looking for love, but will they seize it now that it’s showed up?
Lucy and Ptolemy (Lucy calls him Archie because she’s sure Ptolemy has to be the most pretentious name she’s ever heard) make a wonderful couple. She is quick-witted and adventurous, and he balances her impetuous nature quite well with his practicality and focus. Sometimes, Lucy’s intelligence makes him appear the tiniest bit dim-witted, but this is handled in a humorous way, allowing the listener to love Archie in spite of himself. Lucy is the mistress of hair-brained schemes. Sometimes, I wanted to strangle her, but my exasperation never lasted long. The story is told with a certain charm. By the time I reached the end, I was fully committed to the relationship between Lucy and Archie. I wanted things to work out for them. I wanted them to have years together, years to explore their similarities and their differences.
Narrator Heather Wilds was the perfect choice for The Songbird’s Seduction. Her alto-range voice is extremely pleasant to listen to. She voices all characters well, and really gets the humor of the story. Her pacing is wonderful, and her timing is spot on.
Those of you who have listened to Ms. Wilds before may remember her strange manner of breathing. Often, she will draw a very audible breath in the middle of a sentence. I am pleased to report a definite improvement in this area. I think I heard her breathe one time. I’m not sure if the other breaths were edited out, or if she has learned to breathe in more appropriate places. Either way, it is an improvement worth noting.
If you’re looking for an historical romance with a good dose of humor, I strongly recommend this one. Heather Wilds brings the author’s prose to life, making it a listen to be raved about.
Breakdown of Grade – Narration: A- and Book Content: A-
Unabridged. Length – 9 hours 43 minutes