The Paid Companion by Amanda Quick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I listened to this on audiobook while I made my Christmas cards, and it was an enjoyable read and kept me entertained while I attended to my crafting. The narrator used a voice for Arthur that was a bit stuffy, and not at all brooding and sexy, but otherwise, I can't complain. There was a good balance between mystery and romance in this book. The mystery was quite authentic, and the villain was a fiend. The reveal was suspenseful, and I hadn't figured out who the villain was until the correct time. The storyline was cute, the way that Elenora and Arthur enter each other's lives was a good setup for the building of their relationship. I like that they feel like unique people, even with some of the typical historical romance character traits they have.
Elenora was a very likable heroine. She was intelligent, independent, brave and self-sufficient. But she was also warm and open to love. I liked how she bounced back from some very difficult circumstances in her life, and wasn't going to allow anyone to bully her. She took an active part in solving the mystery, and she was a very good detective.
Arthur was sexy and manly but also gentlemanly and cerebral. That was a very nice combination. While he definitely had a dangerous aura, he was a principled person. I like that he treated Elenora as an equal and it was evident that he really respected her.
The romance was believable and I rooted for their happy ending. Their love scenes were nicely sensual (although it was a bit odd hearing the older, stuffy-sound narrator read the naughty bits).
I think Amanda Quick's book are really good audiobook listens. I feel I enjoy them in this format more than I might in reading them. I think it's because the mystery is so prominent and Quick gets the historical details just right, and her style of romance works really well in this format.
I'd recommend getting this on audio if you can. I realized today that I had a paper copy but I'm glad I did the audio. It's worth the listen.
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