Narrated by Nicole Poole
Well, it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Seven series audiobooks which sport the fantastic author/narrator duo of Dannika Dark and Nicole Poole. Charming is the seventh book that I have listened to in this series although it is technically labeled as the 6.5 book in the series due to its novella length. And it is safe to say that the characters in these books – which ordinarily must be read in chronological order – have become like those of a favorite television or movie series for me. Every time a new book comes out, I can’t wait to get myself firmly entrenched in their new romantic and shifter/urban fantasy world adventures. Interestingly though, while Charming does feature the romantic journey of one of the key secondary characters from the other books, it could easily be enjoyed as a standalone as it is a spin-off story that revolves around past events and a different pack of shifters than the main characters of the other books (ie, the Weston Pack). Additionally, there is some cross-over from the Mageri series by Dannika Dark/Nicole Poole as it also features a mage as the “bad guy” in the story, and therefore could easily be enjoyed by fans of that series as well.
For those of you who have been following the Seven series, Charming‘s hero is Prince. Prince has been featured in several of the prior books as one of the most powerful packmasters in the area due primarily to the fact that he is one of the oldest wolf shifters still alive (over 700 years old) and hails from the royal blood of one of the original shifter families. Given he is a pure-blood, Prince has great power and is greatly respected, but it also means that he feels that he has his own obligations to maintain his bloodline pure which means that he has never settled down with a mate.
When Prince comes across Nadia Kozlov, however, and realizes that she is the daughter of another pure-blood shifter who many centuries ago featured prominently in his life, he seizes his opportunity to find closure to past events. The fact that Nadia fits to a T the evasive regal characteristics that he has been holding out for in a mate is also an additional factor that strengthens his resolve to get to know her better.
However, Katarina, Nadia’s twin sister, crashes Prince’s and Nadia’s first “date” together, and although she is the complete opposite of everything he thought he ever wanted, Prince can’t help but be lured by Katarina’s free-spirited, refuse-to-conform-to-convention ways. Moreover, Katarina, who is a bounty hunter, is convinced that her father is still alive, and when she finds out Prince’s connection to him, insists that he help her find him.
As Katarina and Prince embark on this dangerous journey to discover if her father is still alive and where he might be, this pair finds themselves fighting not just a powerful mage but also a growing attraction that neither believes could ever work given their diametrically opposed ways. Will their partnership prove to be successful both in tracking down her father and in finding a path to a HEA?
Ms. Poole has an incredible talent for producing completely personality-specific and totally distinguishable characters. Her voices are so good that they have actually become synonymous with the characters for me. Her performance in Charming is equally talented, and she also maintains remarkable consistency in her voices for all the characters who have been previously introduced in prior books, including Prince, Nadia and even Reno (the hero from Six Months who makes a cameo appearance).
Perhaps my favorite part of Ms. Poole’s performance in Charming is her portrayal of Katarina. Her voice completely embodies Katarina’s tough as nails persona. I could easily conjure up the image of her character as one that couldn’t care less about societal opinions, and instead preferred to stay true to her own ways no matter the cost. Ms. Poole’s portrayal of Prince has always been spot on too, exactly capturing his more refined and “Prince Charming” style.
And as always, Ms. Poole also does a fantastic job of conveying emotions. From the fast-paced, suspense-filled scenes, to the hot and passionate ones, her performance helps complete the total effect of this spectacular story.
All in all, for a novella length book, Charming weaves an interesting story of how the past intersects with the future, and puts forth a believable opposites-attract love story. Moreover, with Nicole Poole’s expert rendition, it is a natural choice for audio format listening! The only reason this title doesn’t get an A in my book, however, is because I think the difficulties and emotional conflicts of the potential love triangle are a little glossed over, perhaps due to the novella length of the story. Nonetheless, urban fantasy lovers will not want to miss this story, and if you haven’t yet listened to this series at all, then I highly recommend that you also give Seven Years (book 1) a listen.
Book Content: B+
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Violence Rating: Fighting
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Charming was provided to AudioGals by Tantor Audio for a review.