Narrated by Elenna Stauffer
There is an alchemy which happens when a book and reader join together for a journey and with audiobooks, an added element into the mix is the narrator. Sometimes, the planets align and the right book, with the right narrator at the right time ends up in the queue and – voila! Success!
So it was with Getting Rid of Bradley. This Harlequin category was released in 2001 and the audiobook in 2010 so it is not in any way a new release. I read the category some time ago and gave the book 3 stars. But, for some reason – possibly the timing or the narrator or both – when I started listening on my iPod, it was a total success for me.
It’s a romantic comedy/farce, with mistaken identity, many dogs (including a dog joke which isn’t really funny but made me laugh anyway), a cop hero who made me think of Anthony LaPaglia in So I Married An Axed Murderer (although their characters aren’t that similar so I don’t know why that is) and a heroine who packs a punch with a handbag or a baseball bat. Throw in a psychotic cat, a nosy neighbor, a rich sister who doesn’t like men very much, and a match-making cop partner and you have Getting Rid of Bradley.
Elenna Stauffer is a new-to-me narrator. Her male voices weren’t so much deeper in pitch as huskier. On another day it’s possible I may have thought her voice for Zach, the hero, was too squeaky but as she captured the humor of the story and the snap and zing of the dialogue and, as it was the right day (as it turns out), I didn’t.
Lucy, our heroine, is a smart, newly divorced physics teacher who decides it is time to become spontaneous and independent. Her sister, the more streetwise Tina, is always taking care of her. As Lucy points out, Tina’s advice is often spot on, so taking it all the time doesn’t seem like a bad thing until Lucy realizes she’s not making her own decisions. I pictured Tina as Kit, the gum snapping best friend of Vivian from Pretty Woman and the voice Ms. Stauffer gave her matched that image exactly.
The story is old so some aspects of it were a bit dated – more in the absence of things than in the presence of anything too weird. There were no email or texts or even cell phones. The only thing I noted in passing was the reference to the phone with the cord – but I suppose some people have such phones even now and it suited Lucy’s eclectic, vintage personality. There was a typewriter with the old-fashioned carriage return handle but as it was the punch line of a joke which made me laugh, I didn’t mind it.
For me, this was a feel good romp, with two main characters I was happy to see end up together. Now that I’ve finally listened to it, I suspect it will be one I return to from time to time. I guess I’ll see then how much of the magic was the timing.
Book Content: A
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Brilliance Audio