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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Audio Book Review: Forever His: Stolen Brides, Book 1 by Shelly Thacker

This is an intensely romantic time travel, medieval tale.
Forever His: Stolen Brides, Book 1
by Shelly Thacker
 Narrated by Julia Motyka

 Length: 15 hrs and 5 mins
    Series: Stolen Brides, Book 1
Format: Unabridged
 Release Date:09-26-13
Publisher: Summit Avenue Books
Genre: Time Travel Romance
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
On New Year's Eve, she tumbles 700 years back in time - and into the bed of a darkly handsome knight.

Sir Gaston de Varennes wanted a docile bride who would fit into his plans for vengeance and justice, but a trick of time finds him married to a thoroughly modern American lady who turns his castle, his life, and his heart upside down. Will her desperate secret tear them apart after only a few bittersweet weeks of stolen passion - or will they conquer mistrust, treachery, and time itself to discover a love that spans the centuries?

Winner of the National Readers Choice Award: Best Historical Romance of the Year

The Stolen Brides Series: One falls through time and finds herself married to a dark may never reach her royal wedding if she can't resist her rugged is abducted by a mysterious swordsman and swept away to a secret island paradise. Three regal brides are about to discover that falling in love with a warrior is the most dangerous adventure of all.
©1993 Shelly Thacker Meinhardt (P)2013 Shelly Thacker Meinhardt

Celine Fontaine is a twenty-three year old woman of wealth and sophistication. She had been engaged to a charismatic man until some hoodlums tried to steal his car and she suffered a bullet wound in the back. Her ambitious family doesn’t understand her panic attacks nor do they know that she must soon go through another operation to remove a fragment of the bullet that could otherwise end her life. She is struggling with her fears as she stares at the moon through the window of the family ancestral chateau in France. Suddenly she is struck by the light of a lunar eclipse. When she stumbles from the flash of light she finds herself in an oddly familiar room that looks totally different. She is dismayed when she learns that she has been whisked 700 years to the past.

Everyone thinks Celine is Lady Christiane Fontaine, the convent raised cousin of Sir Gaston’s vicious enemy, Duc Alain de la Tourelle. Gaston is convinced that Tourelle murdered his father and elder brother. The battle between Gaston and Tourelle has angered the King to the point that he ordered Gaston to marry Lady Christiane. Gaston could not refuse to marry as ordered but he could refuse to consummate the marriage. He is sure it is just a matter of time to uncover proof of Tourelle’s treacherous lies to reveal to the King so he can seek an annulment.

Gaston is a fierce, handsome warrior who earned the title of the Black Knight. Gaston tries to humiliate Lady Chrisitane by treating her no better than a house servant. But she soon makes friends in the household as she treats everyone with kindness and makes changes around the fortress to help make things easier and improve conditions.

Gaston doesn’t believe Celine’s claims to be from a future time even if there are oddities. And he is adamant that their union will not be consummated no matter how fierce their attraction. He can’t decide if he should keep her close so he knows what threat she poses or stay away from the overpowering temptation. Meanwhile Celine desperately tries to find a way to return to her time for the surgery she needs to save her life.

This story has wonderful chemical attraction and frustrating tension. The medieval settings are believable and beautiful. The time travel dilemma is also believable and well done. There were a few too many vivid sexual encounters for my tastes but they were nicely handled and could be skimmed over without losing the intimacy and emotional depths growing between the pair. If you like medieval and/or time travel romance and strong minded characters who struggle against the pull of true love this is a story you should check out.

Audio Notes: Initially I struggled with the rather breathy narration. Julia Motyka does a good job with the French and accents but has to work to portray the deep, manly voice of the warrior knight. Still, this is a story that I think was easier for me to listen to than if I had picked it to read in print.

I received this audible download to review for the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox.

Note: the Kindle version appears to be free at the time of this posting.

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