Sunday 15 November 2015

The Stranger She Married (The Rogue Hearts Series Book 1) by Donna Hatch, narrated by Tanya Mills (2015)


When her parents and twin brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor's prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.
Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he'd thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer's attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart. And Cole must protect Alicia from the killer who has been exterminating her family before she is the next target.


When I pressed play and heard the narrator's voice for the first time I groaned with disappointment. The tone is quiet, slow and dreary. Also, the narrator, with her fake British accent, had the irritating habit of pausing mid sentence. There was also something about the recording quality that didn't seem quite right. I almost gave up on this audiobook straight away but the story seemed like something I would really enjoy so I persevered. I'm so glad I did.

I  sped up the narration which improved the listening experience.
Overall, I would say that listening to this book was time well spent as I enjoyed the story. By speeding up the narration I was able to enjoy it a bit better and the mid-sentence pausing didn't seem as obvious.

I actually loved the story though. There is plenty of suspense, intrigue and romance from beginning to end and it provided a lot of entertainment on a dull Sunday afternoon.
I think the author was unlucky in her choice of narrator and unfortunately from listening to the sneak peak chapter of the next book the narrator, Tanya Mills, has been signed up for the rest of the series. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series in Kindle format. But for the audio version, it is a question of whether or not I like the series enough to listen to Tanya Mills do the reading.
I would have cast someone, anyone, with a genuine British accent, or someone who can do it well.
There was one Irish character who, thankfully, only made a very brief appearance, as her accent was hideous and not done well at all. If I had to choose an alternative narrator, I can honestly say that I've never been disappointed by any productions from Melanie Fraser.

I received this audiobook from the author via in exchange for an honest review.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks Melanie. After the trouble you went to commenting on my post I accidentally deleted it! Sorry. :-( Panic stations when I couldn't get it back.