Sins of Sevin hit me right in the “feels” department. Wow, what an emotional and angst-filled forbidden love story riddled with land mines of impossible choices! I couldn’t get enough of this story and devoured it over just two short days. When it was finally over, I felt like a huge ball of tension had been lifted from heart as I was on pins and needles absolutely sure that there was no way for this story to end happily. Nonetheless, Penelope Ward found a way to make it all work and therefore has further entrenched herself even more firmly on my favorite authors list! As if the story isn’t reason enough to listen to this title, the narration by the Sean Crisden and Aletha George duo was also incredibly well matched for this touching tale, which alternated from the hero’s and heroine’s perspectives.
Sevin has been raised in an extremely conservative religious lifestyle, even if his choices have been less than pious at times. Raised by his step-mother and his father, alongside his three step-brothers, Sevin has never really felt quite at home, from his symbolic black hair, as compared to his step-siblings’ blond locks, to his general views on the morality of sex and religion. Perhaps his unusual nature stems from his hippie mother’s free spirited ways, but his ability to live a different, more typical way of life vanished the day she passed away.
When Sevin’s father passes away unexpectedly too, Sevin is presented with an opportunity to escape. Though it’s an escape to a similar lifestyle – to pursue an arranged courtship several states away with one of his father’s business associates’ daughter, and be groomed to take over her father’s business – Sevin is optimistic that it has to be better than the lot he has been given at home.
What Sevin could have never anticipated, however, was that the daughter that had been hand-picked for him (Elle), was not the one whose company he found himself constantly seeking and pictured being passionate with (Evangeline), dreams that seemed particularly inappropriate in a culture with strict rules against touching and even kissing prior to marriage. Nonetheless, the same free-spirited ways that seemed out of place in his own home environment seem to define Evangeline’s personality as well. These are traits Sevin can’t help but to admire, and strongly desire, even though he has resigned himself to the fate he previously agreed to, practically sight unseen, when he accepted her father’s offer to court and marry Elle.
Alas, strong convictions are meant to be tested, particularly when true love awaits in its wings. And when the impossible happens, all plans no matter how well intentioned, are vulnerable to the temptation to sin.
Narrated in the traditional New Adult romance fashion, Aletha George performs all of the chapters from Evangeline’s perspective and Sean Crisden the ones from Sevin’s. This style has the fantastic effect of allowing you to compare the similarities in these characters even as they struggle in their own ways to reconcile their hearts to the religious and moral principles they have been taught.
I adored Ms. George’s performance! Every character was voiced with absolute attention to personality traits – each character was easily distinguishable from the other just by the unique intonation and pitch she used. Her attention to the mood of the scene was superb and really allowed this dramatic story to unfold in a believable, real life way.
I also liked Mr. Crisden’s narration. His deep, sexy sound was perfect for Sevin and really gave a voice to his unfathomable, tension-wrought choices. He also produced very distinct female impersonations of Elle and Evangeline. Perhaps my only reservation is that while Elle understandably sounded meek and submissive, I thought Evangeline’s character merited a stronger, more assured voice. Nonetheless, overall I thought Mr. Crisden’s performance was quite skilled and helped me visualize the story.
I highly recommend Sins of Sevin to lovers of forbidden romance. The fantastic performance that Aletha George and Sean Crisden render make this an excellent selection to experience in audio format.
Narration: Sean Crisden B+ / Aletha George A
Book Content: A-
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Violence Rating: Minimal
Genre: Contemporary Romance - New Adult
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Sins of Sevin was provided to AudioGals by Tantor Audio for a review.