Morgan Leaves appears on the blog today with her debut offering, a nice mix of romance, fairy tale and dog rescue: all narrated by Grace Grant. Please read on for my review of
Love’s a Bitch
Newly graduated from Veterinary school, Ashley is heading off to hike the Appalachian Trail and find herself, decide on a direction before returning to real life. From first to last, the hike is never smooth: she meets a British man, Will, and their chemistry is off the charts. Then things start to move in unexpected directions. From Will and Ashley’s chemistry and growing relationship that is a serious Cinderella story, to the dangers and action as Ashley finds that rescuing dogs is her new passion, the story has a mix of romance, suspense and a dash of stranger in a strange land as it progresses. Ashley is intriguing, if a bit simply singleminded in her approach to life, love and choices, partly due to her age and partly her inexperience with actually living after a long stretch in academia. But, her heart is in the right place, and the connection that is almost instant between she and Hope, the rescued pitbull is adorable, and Hope’s transformation with a bit of love, acceptance and kindness are remarkable. Then we have Will, possibly ‘slumming it’ on what is hoped to be his last ‘rebellious moment’ from his family expectations, is also intriguing. A bit heedless when it comes to realizing the extent of his family’s questions about Ashley and their match. He’s not dismissive, per se, to her concerns, but isn’t quite realizing that all of the differences that attract him to Ashley instead of the women he’s previously met are also bound to be noticed (perhaps not favorably) by his family. But, the relationship moves on from hiking to the drawing room in the estate of the 23rd Baron of Whiteshire, and Ashley is desperate to keep a piece of herself and her own passions, even as she wants to keep her relationship with Will.
What Leaves has done, and not always evenly, is mixed a Cinderella-like theme with that of dog rescue and a character trying to find her passion. A bit uneven in pacing and in character development, what stands out is her love for dog rescue and the character of Hope is perhaps one of the better drawn and compelling characters in the story. Ashley is intriguing, more for what she learns and how she puts her attention, energy and heart into the rescue: Will is a supportive and encouraging character, but not solidly intriguing. Will’s family is as expected, with no real surprises there despite the opportunities to show more. As far as strength in the plotting arcs, the story of Hope and the rescues shines strongest, with a solid line of suspense elements that drove the novel forward to the nice but nothing new here romantic moments.
Fortunately for Leaves, her choice of Grace Grant to narrate the story was genius. Grant’s voices are always clear and distinct, she embodies Ashley in her pace and tone of speech, and gives emotional emphasis to moments that required it. Her ability to bring the most from the words on the page, adding nuance that emphasized the important moments and allowed the heart to shine in moments where it was required were wonderful, reaffirming my decision to snap up any book that she has narrated.
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration 5 Story 3
Title: Love's a Bitch
Author: Morgan Leaves
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Narrator: Grace Grant
Published by: Self-Produced, Self-Published
Published on: 14 April, 2017
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 26 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦Audible
Ashley Jordan set out to hike the Appalachian Trail with the hope of finding herself along the way. But one dark night Fate, and a dog called Hope, crossed her path. From that moment on, Ash rides a wild rollercoaster that takes her from the dangerous backwoods to the royal heights of English society. Ash must tangle with a one-eyed monster, an ostentatious Duchess, and her own sense of self, as she strives to fight for abused animals everywhere. And through it all one man steals her heart and makes her question all she knows: Will Kensington, or more accurately, Sir Willoughby Alfred Lawrence Kensington the Third, The 23rd Baron of Whiteshire.
The Baron turns Ash’s world upside down as she is forced to wrestle with her modern sensibility caught inside a fairytale love. Will and Ash’s lives are an ocean apart, in more ways than one. And even as their love grows, their radically different worlds threaten to tear them apart. Ash and Will must find a way to come together and fight for what they truly care about, love, family, and Hope.
One thing’s for sure…Love’s a bitch.
A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.