IDK how I'll end up rating this book but I don't recall being as conflicted yet...absorbed? confused? about the MCs & this type of storyline since Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas. Huge upside = well-written, so straight-forward, fast read for me. May stay up late to finish b/c need to know if suspicions re: certain plot points are correct. :)
I hadn’t had much luck w/ audiobooks in recent years so was thrilled to discover Moira Quirk, narrator for the Darkest London series by Kristen Callihan. Then a kind soul in a certain HR group mentioned that Ms. Quirk also narrated Elizabeth Hoyt’s Prince Trilogy. It had been a while since I read that series so figured to kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone by doing a re-read via audio.
I remember liking ‘The Raven Prince’ well enough (after all, I continued to read the subsequent books) so the story itself would probably fall around 3-3.5. IMO, it's still one of the better Beauty & Beast storylines, with sympathetic main characters & a varied cast of likeable secondary characters. Altho certain things didn't ring true for the Georgian period, I tried to overlook most by repeating the mantra 'country life is more informal'. And last but certainly not least, the sexual content of this book was much franker/more explicit than I remembered. *grins*
However, I ended up *loving* ‘The Raven Prince’ due to Ms. Quirk’s narration. Granted, I don’t have as many ABs ‘under my belt’ as some of my friends but IMHO, the term ‘voice actor’ truly does apply to Ms. Quirk. She is simply fantastic at breathing life into both general narrative and dialogue, as well as maintaining sufficient tonal differences to make dialogue easily discernible, especially amongst several characters. IDK why but her diction & cadence/inflection suit my ears perfectly.
To the ever-lasting bafflement/frustration of TPB in publishing, I suppose that opinions & preferences re: AB narrators are probably just as personal & quirky as those for books in general. Having made serious efforts in recent months to incorporate ABs into my reads, I’ve come to realise that I prefer narrators w/ natural inflection and somewhat normal talking speed. (Frex, Davina Porter is another fabulous narrator but Good Lord, it would’ve taken me months to re-read the Outlander series via audio. The books are long enough but tack on audio format + her narration speed? Alas, ’twas the unfortunate kiss of death for me.) And yes, I may have a minor bias towards UK-accented English. :)
Have never read Hoyt’s Prince Trilogy or it’s been a while since you read it? If you haven't listened to any of Ms. Quirk's voice works, I strongly recommend that you give ‘The Raven Prince’ a go via audio.