I am a big fangirl of Valerie Bowman. I was first introduced to her when I read “The Unexpected Duchess” the first book in the “Playful Brides” series. I’ve read all the books up to “The Irresistible Rogue” and Bowman does not disappoint. She is a fun, witty, creative and her characters are charismatic. Although I enjoyed all the books in the series, “The Accidental Countess” was not one of my favorites. I really struggled when I read it and that is why I decided to hear the audiobook so I can see if it would give me a different experience.
I personally really love listening to audiobooks because they provide me with a different perspective then when I read. I love to hear the characters in another person’s voice. This is Lady Cassandra Monroe’s story. Cassandra or Cassie is the quiet and sweet friend of Lucy and Jane. She has been in love with Julian all her life. When Julian, a second son, goes off to war, it is Lady Cassandra that rights to him for all the years he is gone. However, Julian was promised to her cousin Penelope and even though a formal engagement was not announced it is assumed by their parents that they will marry when Julian returns.
Some things I really love about this story is the funny and witty things that Cassandra and her friends are either saying or coming up with. I love their friendship and it reminds me of Lisa Kleypass’s series “The Wallflowers.”
Some of the big issues I had when I read the books was Cassandra and Julian. I liked them but I did not love them. They both felt very flat to me and that did not change in the audiobook. Another big issues for me was the plot. It was so convoluted that it grated on my nerves. Lucy decides that when Julian comes home she is going to present Cassandra as Prudence Bunbury a fictional person. Julian doesn’t know that Cassandra and Prudence are the same person. Lucy hosts a house party where all the people involved, because of difference reasons, go along with this charade. It was not enjoyable to me and I had to remind myself of who was who. Needless to say when Julian discovers the deception he is very angry and doubts what he knew about Cassandra during their correspondence. I do have to say that although I was very frustrated with Julian and Cassandra I enjoyed Garret’s presence in this part of the story.
What I did love, as I mentioned before, is the friendship between the ladies. I also loved the snips of Jane and Garrett. I didn’t really pay too much attention to Donald and Daphne in this book so it was refreshing to pick up some things I missed the first time. Also, Daphne and Rafe become such important characters later on I really enjoyed the development of their character in this story. Overall, this was a fun read. Bowman is a very creative and unique author. Alison Larkin was a great narrator. Her tone and accent were perfectly suited for this story.
**Audiobook provided by Tantor**