Review: The Wicked Cousin by Stella Riley (narration by Alex Wyndham)

4.5 “Unlikely Dare Devil Match” Stars for the story and 5 Stars for the narration!

The Wicked Cousin is another win for Stella Riley!  Having thoroughly enjoyed the prior books in this series, I jumped at the chance to listen to The Wicked Cousin and was once again impressed with Ms. Riley’s talent for writing characters that her readers/listeners are certain to fall in love with.  Additionally, Alex Wyndham’s narration is superb as always making this a title best enjoyed in audio format.

Although this is the fourth book in the Rockliffe Series, the romance works as a stand-alone as the relationship between the main hero and heroine is fully contained in this book.  All that said, for those that have read the prior books, you will be happy to know that the prior characters continue to play a role in this book as secondary characters.

After being stifled for years, for being the sole surviving son after his twin brother’s death, Sebastian Audley has spent his last few years away from the strong grip of his father instead choosing to sow his wild oats even if it is on his own dime. When he finally decides to return to London, he of course becomes the gossip of the season.  Notorious for his inability to turn away a dare, he instantly becomes the target of many young ladies who are intrigued by his notoriety.  What Sebastian never could have imagined, however, is that he’d also become the target of a former mistress who is determined (in a Fatal Attraction kind of way) to win back his affections.

Meanwhile, the one lady who is not interested in the “wicked” Sebastian is Cassandra Delahaye. So imagine her surprise when she finds herself in the same room alone with Sebastian in what could be a compromising position.  Fortunately for Cassandra, Sebastian finds a way for their first meeting to remain a secret, even if that way ensures that Cassandra thinks even less of his rule defying ways. Nonetheless the groundwork has been laid, and the unlikely pair begin to form a bond.  But could there possibly be a HEA in the cards for two such unlikely characters?  Moreover, even if they wish it so, what will it take for the former mistress to step out of the way?

Alex Wyndham is in superior form in The Wicked Cousin. In a short period of time, Mr. Wyndham has managed to climb to the top of my favorite historical romance narrators with his suave voice and attention to detail. Among his strengths are his ability to create character appropriate voices for each and every character. While Mr. Wyndham excels at the male voices, his portrayal of the females is also of a high caliber and allows the listener to just sit back and enjoy the romance.

To that effect, I felt that both his voicing of Cassandra and Sebastian was spot on. Moreover, even his portrayal of the large cast of secondary characters allowed for easy differentiation.

All in all, The Wicked Cousin is a treat that should not be missed by fans of Stella Riley and, indeed, any historical romance lover.

Source: Review copy provided for review purposes.