Narrated by Lesa Lockford
Linda Howard wrote several books early in her career in which I find the heroes define the word Troglodyte = a person characterized by outmoded or reactionary attitudes with heroines who put up with them and actually fall in love with them instead of sweeping them out the door. With the recent release of The Cutting Edge in audio format, I was hoping the new-to-me narrator would change that aspect of Brett Rutland – a gal can dream, can’t she?
The talent of narrator Lesa Lockford was obvious immediately and I was excited. With her skill, Ms. Lockford could easily give Brett’s overbearing actions and comments a sexy, teasing, “I can’t resist you” tone while adding a romantic bent to his thoughts about Tessa instead of pure caveman. But alas, as good narrators are wont do, she delivered exactly what Linda Howard wrote back in 1985 and she did it perfectly. Rats! Don’t get me wrong, the narration is top of the line – its quality is the only thing that pulled me through this dated story. But what I would have given for a modern day twist with a change in voice inflection.
Brett Rutland has come to the CA based corporation where transplanted Southern belle Tessa Conway works, to ferret out an embezzler and his eye immediately falls on the popular employee. Tessa’s character was written with a backbone to go with her outgoing personality so it was disheartening to have her fall hard and fast for the highhanded consultant. We get a tiny glimpse of Brett as a tender lover, but not nearly enough before he’s forced to consider evidence that points to Tessa. Although Brett had good reason to draw the conclusions he did about Tessa, the outcome wasn’t satisfying. Tessa dealt out some well aimed verbal payback but she didn’t back up her words with any type of action before capitulating. Spoiler…..Like “Get the Hell out of my bedroom if not the whole house you big jerk, I don’t care how sorry you are, you’ve put me through too much to come play naked nursemaid within a matter of hours of walking back through my door ……” end Spoiler
I like Alpha heroes but they need to meet their match and crying doormats are not that match.
Lesa Lockford gives a pitch perfect performance of the material she had to work with. A great deal of this book is told from the inner thoughts of either Brett or Tessa which can be very monotonous in an audiobook but I easily remained involved. I was actually surprised to realize how little conversing there was until I started to write this review. When the speaking parts did come along Tessa, with her honeyed southern lilt, was a pleasure to hear as were each of her friends and co workers; Brett’s bossy masculine overtone fit his character as written so well I wanted to punch him more than once throughout the book. There wasn’t a flat note to be heard. Lesa Lockford’s admirable ability reminds me closely of Natalie Ross’ work with past Linda Howard books. And that’s a compliment, especially considering Ms. Ross’ class of narrators.
I’m excited to see The Cutting Edge released as an audiobook and would be truly ecstatic to see Dreamscape Audio on the path to releasing Linda Howard’s series romance backlist from this point forward. If that’s the case, Midnight Rainbow will be next on deck – be still my heart!
Book Content: C-
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Publisher: Dreamscape Audio