Liz Hurley comes to the blog in Audio form with the first in what I see is to be a multi-book series with
A New Life for Ariana Byrne
Let’s start with the book, shall we? Escapism fiction that is laced with real-life issues that compel you to read on, even when the situations (and they do) get a bit outrageous, as they are always balanced with that underlying British humor, self-deprecation and out-and-out laughs. My first from the librarian turned author Hurley, her sense of the absurd that just, might, could possibly be real, and a true rags-to-riches scenario held interest and kept the humor flowing as it was peppered with actual situations (with family and kids) that everyone can relate to.
Ariana’s been the caregiver for her 4 siblings since the age of eighteen when her parents were killed and she was the option for her family. She did everything for them, and when she suddenly found herself pregnant with twins, and believing she’d found “true love” married her then boyfriend Greg and continued to carry on. But now, some years later and her boys and sisters having claimed most everything, she’s realized her husband isn’t quite ‘up’ to the job, and everything is a struggle, long after it should have settled. Now, with the unexpected news that she’s actually a countess with various holdings and a manor in the Norfolk countryside ……..
Oh this was so clever: from struggle to pay the bills and find space for yourself and your own thoughts, to rambling through a huge manor house, with plenty of land to roam and money to spare – there is a whole other level of “learning and struggle’ for Ariana. Manners, how things are done, and the appearance of a very engaging (and hyphenated) Sebastian, she’s got plenty to learn, and lots to absorb. Throughout the story, including standing up to her former husband and his parents, dealing with her sisters and even falling face-first into a situation she feels totally unprepared for, Ariana is compassionate and kind, and full of the sort of humor and awareness that her luck has changed so much for the better, she couldn’t even have conjured it up in her wildest dreams… if she had time for those back then, that is. From compelling characters, a lovely arc, plenty of humor and a romance that is beginning to take root, the story remained engaging and funny, sweet and light despite some of the very real conflicts and situations that were overcome. The perfect escapist listen for those days when nothing else will do, and you want to find a new character to become your best friend.
Narration for the story is provided by Martha Mackintosh, and she brought Ariana and her sisters to life, presenting the sort of ‘bemused confusion’ that I’m sure Ariana was meant to feel through most of her drastic life changes. Clear and clean presentation of the story combined with pauses, tone moderations and adjustment in voice and delivery for different characters, the listen provided that perfect kick your feet up and escape opportunity that gelled with the book and the story perfectly.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: A New Life for Ariana Byrne
Author: Liz Hurley
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, British, Contemporary Elements, Family Saga, Friendship, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Narrator: Martha Mackintosh
Published by: Hera Books, Saga Egemont
Published on: 7 February, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 22 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
What happens after all your dreams come true?
Ariana Byrne knows how to survive. After becoming guardian to her four little sisters after their parents died when she was only eighteen, she had to grow up quickly. Now she’s in her twenties, stuck in a loveless marriage to Greg, trying to make ends meet for her young twins, William and Leo.
So when Ari is told that she’s actually the Right Honourable Lady de Foix, Countess of Hiverton, owner of a sprawling estate in the village of Saxburgh in Norfolk, her first instinct is laughter. Surely the girl who has to choose between food and keeping the lights on isn’t really rich beyond her wildest dreams?
She knows how to take care of her sisters and her children, but how on earth can Ari take care of an entire village? Can she fight off the circling land developers from Saxburgh, and stop her in-laws from grabbing all the money for themselves?
And while she’s struggling to settle in and settle down, she’s making new friends and new mistakes. Trusting her gorgeous neighbour, Sebastian Flint-Hyssop, may be the biggest one of all…
She’s swapped sink estate for country estate…but can a girl from inner city London learn how to become a Lady?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.