Narrated by Genvieve Bevier
With a riff on Whispersync
This was my first test of the Whispersync process – where theoretically you buy an eBook at Amazon for your Kindle device, including apps for iPad and iPhone, and then you are offered a discounted version of the audiobook. And theoretically you just download them and read away in one format, then switch to the other seamlessly and easily – read a little, listen a little – happy as a clam.
Grumble grumble – even following Brenda’s great tutorial, I didn’t get the experience of automated bliss. But more about that later.
I liked Dahl’s contemporary style for the Tumble Creek series in eBook, so I was expecting something similar. Hmmmm, not so much, as it turned out. This story featured two seriously damaged souls – rough upbringing making each of them tough nuts to crack. Grace is fleeing her Hollywood makeup artist lifestyle on the heels of a misunderstanding with an ex, and ends up in Wyoming on her last dime. She’s got tough-girl purple hair and it sounds like she wears too much tough-girl makeup and she’s got a tough-girl attitude. She takes the ‘tude to the limit with cowboy hero Cole, pretty much out-macho-ing the macho cowboy.
Cole had a taste of the Hollywood lifestyle too, and it turned him bitter and hard. Add to that a tragic accident that may keep him from ever riding horses again, and he’s a sour and resentful guy, hardest on himself for being such a jerk and a loser. If you’re following along here, you might wonder – as did I several times – how Dahl was going to redeem these two unpleasant characters.
Part of my test of the Whispersync process was to listen to the audio first, then switch to reading the Kindle. The first part – picking up the page in the Kindle – worked well. There I read several pages in my own head before going back to the Audible app to pick up where I left off. But the Audible app didn’t ever sync, so I had to listen to those several pages over again in the audiobook. That is where I realized that the narrator had a completely different take on these characters and their language than I did.
Genvieve Bevier is totally new to me. Her Audible work is primarily romance and erotica. Her own narrator voice is very low-pitched, almost gravelly, and her delivery seemed good until I had to hear her read to me what I had just read. From that point on, I paid close attention. Her reading is ok – her characters pretty good, although by the end I was having trouble discerning between Grace and Cole because she pitched Grace so low. Bevier also uses a sort of urgency in her voice, which worked well in urgent parts but I found annoying when it wasn’t appropriate. It was bad enough that Grace was unlikable throughout – Bevier pushed Grace’s delivery to the max, making her even more disagreeable.
With all this hardness and toughness and roughness, I kept waiting for the characters to finally connect, to realize there was more to life than their dour outlooks. They each misunderstood each other; they each jumped to conclusions and jumped the gun. They each had inner dialog berating themselves. Where was the redemption? Where was the tiniest pinprick of the idea that maybe there was something there between them besides hot, rough, meaningless, don’t-touch-me-afterwards sex? Cole pushes a little harder than Grace by chasing after her when she runs away. The End. Yeah – ok – there was a little bit of an epilogue to lead you to believe they would maybe try a little bit harder to get together. But it was too little, too late for me. It’s not that it wasn’t realistic – yeah, I can see that someone having such a hard life would find it even harder to connect and trust someone else, but I don’t read romance for the “maybe we’ll connect” ending.
I had Brenda hold my hand through the Whispersync process. I learned that (1) I can’t use the Kindle mobile site to get the discounted audiobook. It just purchases the book and you’re done. I think this part is best done on your full computer, not an iPad. And (2) I had to go into the desktop Audible website, click on Library and change my download preference to E-Enhanced before downloading, because that is not an option in the Audible app. Even then I gave up on using Whispersync on this book and instead tried it with several free combos to get it to never exactly work. By the time I had gone through 3 eBook/audio combos, I realized I would rather be reading. Call me when it works!!
Book Content: C-
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises