In order to enjoy Truly Madly Yours, the listener needs to overlook a few large romance tropes, ignore having buttons pushed, and have faith that a monumental jerk can turn himself into a romance-worthy hero. Of course, this is written by a master of contemporary romance, Rachel Gibson, and if anyone can make it all work it’s her.
Nick is the biological son of Truly, Idaho’s big-wig, Henry Shaw. Henry refuses to recognize paternity and leaves Nick and his mother to struggle emotionally and financially. Henry later marries Delaney’s mother and adopts Delaney. Delaney lives her life trying to be perfect for Henry, but his over-controlling ways finally drive her from home when she turns 18. Henry hopes to have another heir, but when it became obvious that’s not going to happen, he tries to connect with Nick. By that time Nick has made a success out of his life and wants nothing to do with Henry.
Delaney grew up fascinated with bad-boy Nick, though he generally treats her badly. In truth, Nick is drawn to Delaney even while he hates her for occupying the position he sees at rightfully his. This push-me-pull-you attraction ends in misunderstanding and helps prompt Delaney’s flight from Truly.
Ten years later, Delaney returns for Henry’s funeral and the reading of his will. To everyone’s surprise and dismay, the will states Delaney must come back and live in Truly, Idaho for one year to inherit $3 million. It further states Nick must not have sex with Delaney during that year in order to inherit two valuable properties.
Nick runs hot and cold around Delaney and is generally a jerk. Gibson provides Nick with a believable background that helps explain his confusion and his anger. I can’t help liking him even when I want to push him off his very sexy motorcycle. Delaney doesn’t always use good sense with Nick, but her character is also well written and sympathetic. The girl who ran away in order to find herself becomes the woman whose life isn’t defined by where she lives.
I enjoy Gibson’s ability to tell a story, so I’m pleased more of her books are available on audio. While I’d never heard of Emma Bates before, and I didn’t find any other titles to her credit on Audible, I’m satisfied with her reading of Truly Madly Yours. Her voice is deep, with just a hint of gravel, and very pleasant to listen to. Her conversations have a good flow and balance between the speakers and sound very realistic. Bates also puts the right amount of emphasis and emotion into the voices. My two quibbles are fairly minor. At times I had difficulty distinguishing speakers in a conversation. Bates doesn’t change her voice much for the characters and the listener must depend on textual clues to know who is speaking. Also, the delivery was a little slow. A faster pace would better fit the character of the book.
Book Content: B-
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Violence: Minimal, threats only
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harper Audio
Truly Madly Yours was provided to AudioGals for review by Harper Audio.