Review: Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries (Narration by Justine Eyre)

4 “Misunderstandings & Second Chances” Stars for the Story and Narration.

Just what could cause two young people in love to lead completely separate lives for years: misunderstandings. Double misconceptions with the aid of an Earl turn love into hate for an Earl’s heir and his intended. But when a forced reunion is orchestrated by a spymaster, will true love find a way to reign supreme?

Niall Lindsey, the heir to Earldom and Brilliana Trevor are in love and intend on marrying. Then the unthinkable happens and Niall is involved in a duel and kills a man. Brilliana is told the duel was over a woman and her heart is broken. How could she have misread Niall so wrongly? Moreover, as Brilliana has a sick mother and an unreliable father who has gambled away much of the family’s wealth, she feels she has no choice but to stay where she is to take care of her mother.

Niall, on the other hand, can’t believe that his one true love refused to follow him out of England when the duel and death lead to a necessary exile. How could she be so cold and heartless? Perhaps its true that all she sought was the comforts of being a Countess, and now that he must flee the country and the same comforts and privileges surely will no longer await abroad, she finds herself no longer “in love” with him.

Fast-forward seven years later. Brilliana is now a widow with a young son and Niall has finally been vindicated with the aid of a spymaster for whom he worked for while away. Niall is finally back in England but that same spymaster who he owes much too has asked for his help in nabbing a counterfeiter (an offense akin to treason and punishable by death). Even worse that same spymaster threatens Brilliana with the apprehension of her father for this crime in order to secure her cooperation. With no choice, both Brilliana and Niall reluctantly agree to work together to find the answers sought and nab the true mastermind behind the counterfeit ring. Being reunited again will the misconceptions continue or will true love find a way to break through all the disillusionment?

Justine Eyre is an experienced narrator who has narrated many romances. I have listened to a fair number of her paranormal/UF romances as well as a few historical romances. Ms. Eyre definitely has a distinctive, somewhat nasally voice, and also has an interesting pronunciation of certain words which she tends to elongate. Therefore I urge you to sound sample the narration before buying to ensure that it’s to your liking.

From a voice differentiation perspective, Ms. Eyre did a good job of deepening her voice sufficiently to create genuine sounding male voices. She also does a good job of differentiating between even among characters of the same gender based on personality traits. For example, she made her voice sound older for Brilliana’s father. I also think Ms. Eyre does a good job of communicating emotion.

It is a trope often used, but I found myself for the most part engaged and cheering on this couple to find their HEA in the end. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the story overall though was the suspense plot that was thrown in to keep the listener guessing as to the real culprit (and Brilliana’s father’s true role) in the counterfeit scheme that Niall and Brilliana are forced to work together to solve. All in all this wasn’t my favorite book by Sabrina Jeffries but it worked to pass the time and it kept me engaged until the end.

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.