Editor’s note: After researching, it does appear that this audio is based on McNaught’s first version of Every Breath You Take. Also, Laura Dean is listed as narrator at Audible; however, Susan Denaker narrates.
Narrated by Susan Denaker
It’s been many years since I first read this book. After its original publication, it was republished in a version with some “boring” bits excised from the middle to make the pacing faster. I have no idea, which version was used here but this audiobook was SLOW. S_L_O_W. There seemed to be a lot of time without much action and there was much wordy description and backstory. In a print book, I can skim and, thus, make a slow book speed up. I can’t listen to an audiobook that way. I can’t skip bits and I can’t speed it up because then the narrator sounds like a chipmunk and any joy to be had in the characterizations would be lost. So, I’m left to listen. To. Every. Long. Minute. Of. The. Story.
Our hero, Mitchell Wyatt is the bastard son of Edward Wyatt. He was shipped off to be raised by strangers in Europe and has only recently discovered his family roots. Naturally, he’s resentful. He’s made his own way and is a rich and powerful man in his own right and he’s not feeling all that forgiving. His half-brother, William, is missing, presumed dead, Edward fell off a balcony, and Mitchell is under suspicion regarding both events.
Kate Donovan is the daughter of a restaurateur/Irish pub owner. Her father has recently died and she’s grieving deeply. Her boyfriend Evan Bartlett (son of the lawyer who arranged for Mitchell’s excision and exile) takes her to Anguilla for a holiday. Evan is called back to the States and Kate is there alone.
Mitchell is building a house on Anguilla and he encounters Kate in the Island Club where she is staying. Over the course of a few days, they establish a deep connection but there is much that each does not know about the other. Events separate Mitchell and Kate and things pick up some years later when there is a tragic incident, which brings Mitchell back to Kate’s side.
It is a romance so there should be no surprises when I tell you there is a happy ending and all the big misunderstandings (why can’t people just talk to each other?) are resolved. Eventually. But in terms of romance, it wasn’t terribly satisfying because the protagonists were not together for most of the book (it was quite a while before they even met) and the ending, though happy was… distanced and not sufficiently long. I wanted more payoff for all the waiting around.
There were a few suspense-type plots which arose throughout the book but they didn’t sustain the tension very well. It was more like they were devices to bring the characters together or to separate them rather than anything else.
The narration saved the experience. Susan Denaker had an entertaining and pleasant tone and the characterizations were very good. She voiced juvenile and children’s characters, as well as elderly ones and they were very well done. Mitchell was American by birth but raised all over Europe. Even though the text said he “sounded American”, most of the time, he was given a British accent. This made it easy to identify him as his voice wasn’t so much deeper as more stern. I say “most of the time”, because sometimes his British accent disappeared altogether.
When I was tempted to fast forward or give up because of all the waiting around while nothing much was happening, Ms. Denaker’s narration was enough to keep me going. I’d love to hear her narrate something more pacy and romantic.
The story is a little dated now but I do feel like I’ve discovered a new-to-me narrator (although I have no idea if she’s done much more or anything recent) so it was a worthwhile experience for me.
Book Content: C
Steam Factor: I’m Glad I Had My Earbuds In (but at the tame end of this scale)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Random House