Narrated by Ava Erickson
Krista & Becca Ritchie are twin sister writers of New Adult fiction who have been on my list of authors to discover for some time now. Having gained a loyal following on Goodreads, I’ve been intrigued by other reviewers I follow and trust who swear by their brilliance. Well, having finally experienced my first title by them, I finally get what all the talk is about, and after listening to Amour Amour, I must say that I agree.
Thora James has dreamed of being a star aerial acrobat since she was a little girl. She worked hard at her gymnastic career, and earned a college scholarship to prove it, and now she is working to make that dream come true. However, she is still plagued by her family’s and friends’ doubts that she has what it takes to make an elite career out of the art she loves so much. When a famous Las Vegas show, Amour (a Cirque du Soleil style circus, but in this case, performed and directed by primarily a Russian family of acrobats) puts out a casting call for a lead role a year before she is set to graduate , Thora follows her heart and goes to Las Vegas even at the cost of losing her scholarship and her family’s support.
Quite unexpectedly, however, before she can even officially tryout, she meets a man in a nightclub who pushes her limits and who she later finds out is none other than the star of Amour, Nikolai Kotova. Known as “The God of Russia”, Nikolai defies the laws of gravity with his 6 foot 5 inch frame and yet his graceful mastery of an art usually reserved for people of shorter stature is unparalleled. Growing up in a large family of Russian acrobats, Nikolai has only ever known the circus. His commanding presence and ability to enthrall a crowd is undeniable, but perhaps what is the most kinetic is the chemistry she instantly feels with Nikolai even as his aloof demeanor towards her and brutally honest critique of her abilities should result in the polar opposite effect. Does Thora possibly have a chance of landing the role of a lifetime with such an inauspicious beginning? Moreover, what will she do if her family refuses to support her?
Amour Amour had me simply mesmerized There is just nothing like the high that you get from an audiobook that leaves you entranced and which requires that you listen to its conclusion without interruption, and Amour Amour was like that for me. I devoured this 13-and-a-half-hour story in one day – it was that compelling. In particular, I loved the depth of the characters, and the glimpse into the Cirque du Soleil style circus that forms the backdrop for this passionate, heart stirring story. There is also an inspirational element to this story which teaches you that even ordinary people can become extraordinary if they want it bad enough and work hard to make it happen. The power of family love is also a constant theme in this book that already delivers on so many other fronts.
My only regret is that it was not read by a narrator proficient with Russian accents. Instead the narrator gives the Russian family regular American accents, which detracts and confuses the listener at the beginning as you’re first trying to piece together this story. Had the narrator given the hero a Russian accent, I think it would have added to the genuineness and heightened the effect of the confident, acrobat artist that is portrayed so convincingly by the authors. What a missed opportunity. However, I eventually just put this issue in a box and listened to the story, imagining my own voice for the hero.
Putting this issue aside, however, Ms. Erickson does a fine job of the other critical elements that I look for in a narration. She adeptly provided distinguishable voices for the characters so I had no issue telling them apart, even without dialogue tags. She also knows how to vary her delivery to suit the mood of the scene and I had no trouble understanding her reading. So, all in all, I’d likely listen to Ms. Erickson again particularly in a story with all-American characters.
Even without the narration adding to the effect of this provocative story, I was unable to put down my earbuds. This is a story that is focused on dreaming big, loving even with no guarantees, and on the importance on family. Every element of this story struck a chord with me. Now that I’ve listened to my first Krista & Becca Ritchie romance, I will no doubt be looking to explore more of their stories in the very near future.
Book Content: A
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Violence Rating: Minimal
Genre: Contemporary Romance - New Adult
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Amour Amour was provided to AudioGals by Blackstone Audio for a review.