The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn (audiobook) – narrated by Rosalyn Landor

richard kenworthy audio

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second—or third—look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can’t quite believe it’s all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can’t help thinking that he’s hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.

Rating: A for narration; B- for content

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy is the final book in Ms Quinn’s Smythe-Smith Quartet, and while I think it’s the strongest of the four, it has keenly divided opinions amongst readers and listeners due to the actions of its eponymous hero, which, it has to be said, are very far from heroic.

Sir Richard Kenworthy, a baronet from Yorkshire, comes to London in search of a wife. A bride with a big fat dowry would be nice, but what he’s really looking for is someone who will marry him quickly. Having asked around, it seems to him that attending the annual Smythe-Smith musicale would be a good idea, as a family with five daughters is bound to have at least one that needs marrying off.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

Four Nights With the Duke (Desperate Duchesses #8) by Eloisa James

four nights with the duke

As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia’s audacious proposal, but there’s one thing he won’t give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil’s bargain…he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can’t afford to lose.

Rating: B

Eloisa James returns to her Desperate Duchesses universe for Four Nights With the Duke, the second in the series to feature characters we met as children in the earlier books. Emilia Carrington – known as Mia – is, at fifteen, infatuated with the handsome young Septimus Evander Brody, heir to the Duke of Pindar. Humiliated when she overhears him making fun of a romantic poem she has written about him, she refuses to be cowed, telling him that she wouldn’t marry him if he were the last man in England.

Years later, Mia is forced to eat her words when, following the tragic deaths of her brother and his wife, she must marry in order to retain custody of her young, disabled nephew and protect him from their avaricious uncle. But when her fiancé abandons her at the altar with only a few weeks to go before the one-year deadline Mia has only one option. She has, in her possession, a letter written by the late Duke of Pindar in which he admits to treason – which she plans to use in order to blackmail the current duke – Vander – into marrying her.

Needless to say, Vander is furious. Mia daren’t tell him the reasons behind her scheme, and because in his anger, he burns the letter she has written setting out her terms, he doesn’t realise that what Mia wants is a temporary marriage in name only. When he calms down after her visit, he acknowledges to himself that, as he has to get married sometime, she is as good a choice as anyone, and, more importantly, she’s not the sort of woman likely to cause gossip. His family name is already mud thanks to the twenty-year-long scandal of his mother’s extramarital liaison with Mia’s father, and Vander is determined to make sure that his own marriage is above reproach. As far as he’s concerned, he’s only getting married once, but he’s not going to make it easy for Mia. Still fuming over her audacity in threatening him and believing her to be still madly in love with him, he determines on his revenge. He’ll marry her, but will limit her time in his bed to only four nights per year (I have no idea why four – it seems rather arbitrary!) and even then, he’ll only come to her if she begs him to bed her.

There is quite a lot going on in the book, and there are many obstacles Vander and Mia must surmount if they’re going to be able to make a life together. Their family background is fairly complicated, as Vander is still incredibly bitter over what he sees as his mother’s betrayal of his father and the resulting damage to their family name. When Mia points out that perhaps their parents were lucky to have found a long-lasting love, Vander is sceptical. He sees love as destructive, and doesn’t want it, so whenever he finds himself feeling affection for Mia, he lashes out verbally and says something horrible to her. In addition, Mia struggles with feelings of inadequacy; about her looks (she’s small and curvy when the fashion is for tall and willowy) and the fact that others have never seen her as “good enough”, typified by her brother’s decision not to appoint her as his son’s guardian.

When Vander finally meets her nephew Charlie, he very quickly deduces that Mia’s need to protect the boy was at the root of her desperation to marry him – and also realises that the boy is in danger of being overly-coddled. The scenes between the pair are some of the best in the book, with Vander treating Charlie in the same way as he’d treat any other boy of his age, something the lad has never experienced before.

I have a weakness for forced-into-marriage stories, and confidently expected to enjoy this one. For the most part, I did enjoy it, but for a couple of things that didn’t quite work for me. For one thing, I couldn’t quite reconcile Vander’s fury at Mia’s machinations with his almost instantaneous lust for her. He’s dying to get into her knickers from pretty much the get-go, and the speed at which he progressed from irate incredulity to insta-lust made me feel dizzy!

I also found the pacing in the last part of the book to be a bit off. While most of the story deals with the newlyweds’ navigation of their shaky relationship, the last 10-15 percent veers off in a different direction and feels a little disjointed. The ending, too, is somewhat jarring and melodramatic, which may have been the intention given the number of different literary associations which abound, but it’s nonetheless abrupt and a bit contrived.

Apart from that, the writing is excellent and the motivations and emotions of both central characters are skilfully conveyed to the reader even as they are at pains to conceal them from each other. The protagonists are very well fleshed-out, and there are also a couple of stand-outs among the secondary characters – Vander’s uncle Chuffy, an habitual drunkard, obviously an unhappy man who drinks to numb his own sorrows, but who means well; and Mia’s nephew Charlie, a charming and very bright boy who, unlike the character of Rose in the previous book, isn’t precocious to the point of implausibility.

There are lots of little literary in-jokes dotted throughout the books. Mia is the author of half-a-dozen romantic novels published under the name of Lucibella Delicosa and most chapters are prefaced by some of the notes she is making for “her” new book. There are some amusing winks in the direction of some of Ms James’ fellow authors, and, I believe, a reference to the novels penned by the hero of Julia Quinn’s Ten Things I Love About You. Mia’s evil uncle is a lip-smacking, moustache-twirling villain, surely a nod towards the gothic novels which enjoyed such popularity at the time the book is set – there was always an evil uncle plotting to steal an inheritance from the heroine or her family somewhere along the line in those!

Overall, Four Nights With the Duke is an angsty and absorbing read, in which the raw emotion is well-balanced out by the humour and more tender moments. Mia is an admirable heroine – intelligent, determined and perceptive – and Vander, while there were times I wanted to hit him, is just the sort of wounded, sexy hero one can’t help falling for. Fans of Ms James will undoubtedly enjoy this story, and I’m sure it will appeal to those who are new to her books as well.

Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James (audiobook) – Narrated by Susan Duerden

potent pleasures

Reckless desire sends Charlotte Daicheston into the garden with a dashing masked stranger. He’s powerful, unforgettable, a devastatingly handsome footman who lures her – not against her will – into a grand indiscretion at a masquerade ball. Then he vanishes.

Several years later, after Charlotte has made her dazzling debut in London society, they meet again. But the rogue is no footman. He’s rich, titled, and he doesn’t remember Charlotte. Worse, he’s the subject of some scandalous gossip: rumor has it, the earl’s virility is in question.

Charlotte, who knows all too intimately the power of his passion, is stunned by the gossip that has set society ablaze. At last, there can be a storybook ending…unless, of course, Charlotte’s one mad indiscretion had not been with him at all….

Rating: C+ for narration; C for content

I remember reading the other two books in this trilogy several years ago, but for some reason hadn’t read the first, Potent Pleasures, so listening to this new audiobook version seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, it proved to be a disappointing experience overall, as the story relies too heavily on the fact that the main characters just don’t TALK to each other. The narration also leaves a lot to be desired, because, while there’s no doubting that Susan Duerden is a very accomplished vocal actress, some of her acting choices proved to be incredibly irritating – so much so that I was frequently tempted to abandon the book and listen to something else.

The story begins with our heroine, Lady Charlotte Daicheston, who is on the verge of her seventeenth birthday and her come-out ball, sneaking off to a masquerade with an adventurous friend. Very soon, she finds herself tempted out into the garden by a tall, dark, handsome stranger, whose kisses and caresses are so utterly thrilling that soon she’s on her back and completely ruined.

Alexander Foakes, Earl of Sheffield and Downs and his twin brother Patrick, are widely known throughout society as a couple of hellions. A few weeks after their brief appearance at Lady Charlotte’s coming out ball, they are packed off abroad by their father, who has grown tired of their continual carousing, roistering, and troublemaking.

We then skip ahead a few years, and Charlotte is twenty-two and still husband-less. It’s not for want of offers – she is the reigning belle of the ton and cuts quite a dash in society with her short-cropped curls and daringly cut gowns. When she meets Alex Foakes, who has recently returned from Italy with a one-year-old daughter in tow, she recognises him immediately as the man who took her virginity. He, however, doesn’t recognise her at all. He’d built himself up a picture of what his “garden girl” looked like behind her domino, even going so far as to have married a woman who resembled her and Charlotte’s short dark curls don’t fit the bill.

Even so, he is very much smitten. Initially, he had decided to look about him for a substitute mother for young Pippa, but the more he sees of Charlotte, the more intense his desire for her. Alex has returned home with more than a child, however. Rumours concerning his brief, unhappy marriage to a faithless Italian woman dog his footsteps, along with the gossip about the grounds upon which the marriage had been annulled – his (supposed) impotence.

Charlotte’s mother tries to explain the nature of Alex’s supposed “difficulties”, although as Charlotte has direct knowledge of his not-so-floppy-poppy, she’s unperturbed. She is, nonetheless, furious with him for not recognising the girl he ruined and is determined to reject his suit. The trouble is, she’s just as desperately attracted to him now as she was then – even more so now she is able to spend time with him and experience the full force of his seductive personality and witness his concern for his daughter.

Even on their wedding night, Alex doesn’t realise who Charlotte is. But he isn’t overly concerned about her lack of a maidenhead – until she inadvertently lets slip that she wasn’t a virgin. At that point Alex sees red – his disgust at being once more trapped into marriage with an unchaste woman clouding his judgement. When Charlotte tries to tell him that he’s the only man she’s ever slept with, he refuses to listen and storms off.

Fortunately, Alex soon comes to his senses and apologises to Charlotte for his behaviour, promising to trust her in future. She can’t resist him, forgives him, and the interrupted honeymoon is resumed, with Alex having quietly decided that his wife’s seducer must have been his twin. And you just know that the very fact of there being a twin brother waiting in the wings is going to cause even more trouble.

Potent Pleasures is one of Ms James’ earlier books, and I have to say, it shows. There’s a lot of head-hopping with some of the POVs belonging to very minor characters. There are pacing issues because, at some points in the book, there is just too much going on away from the central couple, and the two protagonists aren’t particularly engaging or well-developed characters. Charlotte has the potential to be quite interesting, what with her determination to remain unmarried, and her dedication to her painting, but once she falls under Alex’s spell she becomes sex-obsessed, starry-eyed and rather bland. As to the hero – there’s no denying Alex is a sexy, alpha male, but the way he treats Charlotte makes him difficult to like. He’s so pig-headed; he remembers deflowering a virgin (for the first and only time) several years ago, but because of his stupid insistence on believing his “garden girl” was a redhead, he is completely unable to believe she and Charlotte could be the same person. And because he abs-o-lutely-pos-i-tively did not have sex with her, it must have been Patrick. He blows up at her and calls her horrible names and won’t even listen to her version of events or consider that his is wrong. The one thing in his favour is that he does eventually admit to having been a complete wanker, but Charlotte still forgives him far too easily.

Unfortunately, the obvious holes in the plot and lack of strong characterisations in the book were only intensified in the audiobook version, because I didn’t particularly enjoy Susan Duerden’s narration. I’ve listened to her quite a lot, and have generally enjoyed her work; she’s an experienced performer, and is very good at bringing out the emotional content of the stories she reads, which is an important factor for me. She differentiates well between the characters, has a pleasantly modulated voice, and I’ve had some very favourable things to say about her work in the past. But here, I found that the vocal ticks I’ve noticed before – her rather sing-song style of delivery and her tendency to resort to a rather strained, throaty whisper for her male characters – really got on my nerves. In fact, at those points where Alex was supposed to sound sexy and seductive, the whispering just made me want to laugh, or cringe. And in turn, my issues with the performance only served to highlight my concerns with the pacing and plot. There are large chunks of the story in the first half of the book which are spent away from the two principals, and I found myself zoning in and out of those, only bringing my attention back when the main characters returned to the stage. Had I found the narration more engaging, I suspect I’d have been able to sustain my concentration for longer periods.

When it comes down to it, this isn’t an audiobook I feel I can recommend without some considerable reservation. The story is weak and the performance is flawed BUT, if you’ve enjoyed other audiobooks by this author/narrator team, and want to complete your collection, then you’re as likely to enjoy this as their other audios. If this is your first time listening to a book by Eloisa James, or to any historical romance, I’d say leave it alone and try something else.

Soulbound (Darkest London #6) by Kristen Callihan (AUDIOBOOK) – narrated by Moira Quirk

soulbound audio

Once two souls are joined…

When Adam’s soul mate rejected him, there was more at stake than his heart. After 700 years of searching, his true match would have ended the curse that keeps his spirit in chains. But beautiful, stubborn Eliza May fled―and now Adam is doomed to an eternity of anguish, his only hope for salvation gone…

Their hearts will beat together forever.

No matter how devilishly irresistible Adam was, Eliza couldn’t stand the thought of relinquishing her freedom forever. So she escaped. But she soon discovers she is being hunted by someone far more dangerous. The only man who can help is the one she vowed never to see again. Now Adam’s kindness is an unexpected refuge, and Eliza finds that some vows are made to be broken.

Rating: A for narration; A- for content

Paranormal romances aren’t my usual cup of tea, but having seen so many good reviews of the first book in this series (Firelight), I listened to the audiobook last year and both story and narration were so completely engaging that I was thoroughly pulled in to the author’s world of Darkest London and eager for more.

I’ve since read the next two books, and although I’m not completely caught up with the series, when the opportunity came to review Soulbound, I couldn’t pass it up. It helped to know that, although the books are all connected, they all work well as standalones, so even though I’ve yet to read or listen to Evernight (the previous book), I was sure I wouldn’t have too much trouble following the story.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

Twice Tempted by a Rogue (Stud Club #2) – AUDIOBOOK, narrated by Rosalyn Landor

twice tempted by a rogue

Luck is a double-edged sword for brooding war hero Rhys St. Maur. His death wish went unanswered on the battlefield, while fate allowed the murder of his good friend in the elite gentlemen’s society known as the Stud Club. Out of options, Rhys returns to his ancestral home on the moors of Devonshire, expecting anything but a chance at redemption in the arms of a beautiful innkeeper who dares him to take on the demons of his past–and the sweet temptation of a woman’s love.

Meredith Maddox believes in hard work, not fate, and romance isn’t part of her plan. But when Rhys returns, battle-scarred, world-weary, and more dangerously attractive than ever, the lovely widow is torn between determination and desire. As a deep mystery and dangerous smugglers threaten much more than their passionate reckoning, Meredith discovers that she must trust everything to a wager her heart placed long ago.

Rating: A for narration; B for content

Twice Tempted by a Rogue is the second book in Tessa Dare’s Stud Club series – the moniker not referring to the sexual attributes of the heroes (sadly!) but to the fact that they belong to an exclusive club which allows its members breeding rights to Osiris, England’s most valuable stallion. In the first book in the series (One Dance With a Duke) we learn that the club’s founder, Leo Chatwick, has been murdered, and the quest to bring the killer to brook is a theme running throughout the three books in the series.

A secondary character in book one, Rhys St. Maur has recently inherited the title of Lord Ashworth. Following a devastating fire fourteen years previously, he left his Devonshire home to join the army, and he hasn’t been back since. In all his years away, he’s faced death – gone looking for it, even – more times than he can count and has cheated it every time.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

The Widow Wager (The Notorious Flynns #3) by Jess Michaels

widow wager

Crispin Flynn has been on a downward spiral ever since he lost the woman he loved and watched his brother forced into a life he never would have chosen. His response has been drinking and gambling his way to utter ruin. One night, deep in his cups, he places a dangerous bet that results in him being forced to marry Gemma, the widow of the Earl of Laurelcross.

Gemma once had a passionate side, but has been hiding it ever since her much older husband died during the act of making love. Now she finds herself the much unwanted wife of one of the biggest libertines in London and the subject of even more gossip than ever.

Once they determine they cannot escape the marriage, the two begin a slow circling of each other. Passion is easy, but can they overcome mistrust and secrets in order to make the worst night of their lives one of their best? Or are they bound to lose each other before their love can take root?

Rating: C+

This is the third book in Ms. Michaels’ Notorious Flynns series, and focuses on Crispin, the younger brother of the new Duke of Hartholm, and a young man who has, for the past few months, been bent on self-destruction. It’s a fairly quick read, with possibly more sex scenes than one might normally find in a book of this length – not that I’m complaining! Jess Michaels writes them very well indeed, as one would expect of an author with fifty or so romances to her name. But the downside to that is that while Ms. Michaels has provided both hero and heroine with a fair amount of emotional baggage as a way of adding depth to their characterisation, the amount of time spent in the bedroom combined with the short-ish page-count means that their issues are resolved too quickly, especially considering the fact that Crispin is pretty much an alcoholic at the beginning of the story.

Crispin Flynn has always had a reputation as a hell-raiser, but ever since his brother Rafe suddenly found himself in possession of a title and a wife he didn’t want, his downward spiral has accelerated. Waking up one morning to find himself married to a woman he has never met sobers him abruptly – albeit temporarily. He is determined to find a way out of the union – he was in his cups and appears to have won her in a game of cards, so it surely can’t be legal. His brother is a duke, and even though they have been somewhat estranged for a while, surely someone with his power and influence will be able to find Crispin a way out.

His new wife, Gemma, formerly the Countess of Laurelcross, is no happier at finding herself married to a notorious rake, but given the dreadful rumours that are already circulating throughout society about her, will be utterly and completely ruined should her new husband be able to cast her off. Society will care nothing for the fact that she was humiliated and all but sold by her avaricious father – but if it were only her own reputation at stake, Gemma would brave the censure in order to gain her freedom. Unfortunately, however, she has a younger sister who is still dependent on their father, and any further stain on Gemma’s name will attach itself to Mary as well.

Realising that there is no good way out of the marriage, Crispin and Gemma decide to make the best of things, although both of them are keeping secrets that they are reluctant to divulge. Gemma comes clean first, telling the story of her miserable first marriage to a man who just wanted a brood-mare and then became cruel when she didn’t fall pregnant, and then telling Crispin of the rumours circulating that she killed him. But she is disappointed when Crispin doesn’t return the favour. He’s been drinking himself into oblivion day after day, and has managed to lose more than half his fortune at the gaming tables – and he won’t tell her why.

There were a number of things I really liked about this story. The familial relationships between Crispin, Rafe and their sister (and their respective spouses) are very well written and show clearly that the Flynns are a close-knit, loving family who look out for each other no matter what. They welcome Gemma unconditionally, giving her the sort of affection and support she’s never previously experienced. Gemma herself is a great heroine – even though life has battered her about a fair bit, she’s not going to give in without a fight and will do whatever she must to prevent her sister from treading the same path. She regains her confidence and owns her own sexuality – which naturally delights her new husband – even though she’d been made to feel ashamed of her own desires in her previous marriage. She’s intuitive and sensitive, hoping that her love and acceptance will help him to climb out of the pit he’s been so industriously digging for himself. Crispin is an attractive hero, in spite of his drinking, and the author does a good job in showing how close to the edge he is all the time in his continual cravings for a drink. He does manage to resist for a time, but he slips eventually, despite his good intentions. The most attractive thing about him, though, is the way he asks for and respects Gemma’s opinion – which is something that takes her completely by surprise. They make a good couple, both having unpleasantness in their pasts but who have the potential to heal with the help of the other.

The problem with the book is that when Crispin’s motivations for his headlong rush into self-destruction are finally revealed, they’re really weak and make rather a nonsense of the whole thing. He’s been labouring under a massive misapprehension as to the true nature of the woman he’d loved and lost, but even so, his reaction – given the nature of their relationship – is extreme, and stretched my credulity too far. And the other problem is that he is able to get over his craving for alcohol without too much trouble; that’s an issue I’ve found in other books I’ve read where one of the protagonists has an addiction of some kind, so this one isn’t alone in that.

Those two things apart, The Widow Wager is a well written and enjoyable story that uses one of my favourite tropes – the forced marriage – and does it with aplomb. The characterisation is strong all around, the sex scenes are hot and we definitely get the sense of a strong emotional connection forming between Crispin and Gemma. Had Crispin’s motivations been rather more plausible, this would have been a very strong B grade book. As it is, I’m going with a C+ – it’s worth reading, but the big reveal was a disappointment.

TBR Challenge: A Kiss for Luck (novella) by Grace Burrowes

kiss for luck

Game designer Sadie Delacourt has moved to the peaceful, bucolic town of Damson Valley for a fresh start where she can keep an eye on a recently divorced sister and her small nephew. Sadie plans to focus on her business and her family, until handsome neighbor Gideon Granville turns his focus on Sadie. When Sadie learns where Gideon has been aiming his snooping skills, she’s ready to delete him from her plans entirely—though Gideon is all that stands between her and the trouble she thought she’d left behind her.

Rating: C+

This month’s prompt for the TBR Challenge was to read a contemporary romance. As is obvious, I don’t read them very often, but this is a challenge after all, and I like to rise to it if I can. I didn’t completely wimp out on this one, but I confess that I’ve taken a bit of a short cut. In my defence, I did start a couple of other contemporaries, but didn’t make it past the first few chapters because they just didn’t grab me. Or more likely, I wasn’t in the mood – I have to be in the right frame of mind to read a contemporary and for various reasons – not least of which was being unwell – I just wasn’t.

Rooting around through my Kindle revealed this, one of the novellas in Grace Burrowes’ Sweetest Kisses series set in the fictional Damson Valley in rural Maryland. I’m a huge fan of her historicals, and had wondered how her very distinctive writing style would translate to contemporaries, and as this is a novella, I was able to zip through it quickly.

It’s a sweet story in which the two protagonists – a game designer and a lawyer-turned-investigator – meet when they become neighbours. It’s quite a packed story and while to my historically attuned sensibilities, the relationship seems a bit rushed, it’s quite possible that in contemporary terms, that isn’t the case – I don’t read enough of them to be able to know what the norm is, to be honest.

What I can say is that many of Ms Burrowes’ trademarks are very much in evidence. Unusual names (some of them recycled – Trenton, MacKenzie, Winters), the hero and heroine calling each other by last names and full names, bonding over lemonade and other foodstuffs, very well written familial and relationships and friendships and, best of all, the high degree of honesty and intimacy between the two protagonists. The only problem with the latter is that I’d normally expect it to develop over a longer time; at their very first meeting, Sadie verbalises her assessment of Gideon as likeable, self-sufficient and observant, but unacquainted with the state of his own emotions. It seems that one of Sadie’s ‘problems’ is her excessive bluntness, and we learn later that she’s the child of a pair of alcoholics which led her to more or less bringing up her younger sister. But both these things –Sadie’s bluntness and Gideon’s emotional sterility are not really explored or followed up.

The author’s background as a family law practitioner is put to good use in the story, as Sadie and her sister Jay-Jay have moved to Damson Valley in order to get Jay-Jay and her young son away from her abusive ex. When we learn Gideon is considering taking a case that would involve tracking down a child he’s being told has been deliberately kept from his father, it’s fairly obvious where the conflict in the story is going to come from, but seeing it all work out and watching Gideon interact with his friends, the Knightley brothers (who are the heroes of the three full-length novels in the series) was interesting enough to keep me reading.

I may go on to read one or more of the novels when I’m in the mood – the author’s writing style is very recognisable – again, I’m not sure how it works in the context of a contemporary, but it was one of the things I most enjoyed about the story. Both Sadie and Gideon are decent people, although if I’m honest Gideon is probably too good to be true (which is a common trait in all her heroes!) and there are some really lovely, tender moments between them.

Ultimately, I was a little disappointed that the characterisation of the principals wasn’t deeper and the their issues weren’t more fully explored, as that is the sort of emotional depth I’ve come to expect from Ms Burrowes, but I suspect the lack was more due to the limitations imposed by the shorter format than anything else.