Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

Book Description:
A laird trapped between centuries... Enchanted by a powerful spell, Highland laird Drustan MacKeltar slumbered for nearly five centuries hidden deep in a cave, until an unlikely savior awakened him. The enticing lass who dressed and spoke like no woman he'd ever known was from his distant future, where crumbled ruins were all that remained of his vanished world. Drustan knew he had to return to his own century if he was to save his people from a terrible fate. And he needed the bewitching woman by his side.... A woman changed forever in his arms... Gwen Cassidy had come to Scotland to shake up her humdrum life and, just maybe, meet a man. How could she have known that a tumble down a Highland ravine would send her plunging into an underground cavern to land atop the most devastatingly seductive man she'd ever seen? Or that once he'd kissed her, he wouldn't let her go? Bound to Drustan by a passion stronger than time, Gwen is swept back to sixteenth-century Scotland, where a treacherous enemy plots against them ... and where a warrior with the power to change history will defy time itself for the woman he loves....

One of the nice things about being home sick for a weekend with a bad cold and cough is I am at my leisure to read romance novels all day long and no one can bother me because "I am sick in bed." I already read and reviewed one book this past weekend, and this was my second - which I adored! I basically read it in one day. I must say, these Karen Marie Moning Highlander time travel romance novels are getting better and better as the Highlander series continue!

This is the story of Gwen and Drustan. Gwen is a modern day 25 year old virgin. She's carrying around some baggage and decides to go to Scotland to lose her virginity. Of course she has no idea she's going to meet the ideal man to do it (who cares if he's over 500 years old!) Well, she gets her wish. Not only is the sex great and highly passionate, but the build up is great and you don't have to wait until the end of the book! There's a great scene of him trying on clothes in a dressing room with a snotty salesgirl and a very passionate kiss (as in "the" kiss in the title). Their first encounter happens sort of early on, but then there is the problem that our hero, Drustan, sends them both back in time - but not together! So, we get to experience our hero and heroine, Gwen and Drustan having to meet and court all over again! I loved it!

If you like Highlander romances, this is very good, and I'm eager to read the rest of the series. Drustan (as usual) is larger than life, intelligent and a great lover as well. Gwen is feisty, extremely smart (a physicist) but lacking a bit on the self esteem. She goes after her man when she travels back in time to the 16th century and nothing stands in her way. I loved reading about how she adapts to the "other" Drustan and life in his castle. I enjoyed reading about the little romance between Drustan's father, Silvan, and their housekeeper Nell as well. My one gripe was the ending was a little offbeat in present day, and I was a bit disatisfied with it, I'd prefer it if it had stayed in the 1500's instead of present day. But, that was minor in the grand scheme of things, it was still a really good book!



February 2, 2011 - Audiobook Review:

As usual, Phil Gigante did a great job narrating, his voice for Drustan and Silvan were perfect, not to mention Daegus.  But, again, I have a problem with his voice for Gwen, she doesn't click for me on audio the same way she did in print.  Still, this is my favorite of Moning's Highlander series - a real treat, and Gigante makes it!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Captain Sinister's Lady by Darlene Marshall

Book Description:
Morgan Roberts, AKA Captain Sinister, dreams of leaving the sea and running away to farm, but when the Zephyr comes across a damaged ship wallowing in the Florida Straits, it's just too good an opportunity for any self-respecting privateer to pass up.

Amanda Stephenson is a widow traveling from Yorkshire to Charleston in the 1820's to set up her soap-making business. It's a grand adventure, just as she's always dreamed-until her ship is boarded by the crew of the Zephyr. Amanda's plans for her future do not include large, hairy, uncouth pirates.

Morgan Roberts has his work cut out for him, but he's prepared to try his most piratical tricks if it will convince the luscious widow to become Captain Sinister's Lady.

I began reading these pirate romances by Darlene Marshall because Diana Gabaldon recommended them. I wasn't thrilled with the first, but I loved the 2nd. The third comes in somewhere in between the two. It was okay, not bad, but not great.

I liked our heroine, Amanda Stephenson, a young and voluptuous widow that makes soap of all things. She's a head turner with a strong backbone and she's an enterprising businesswoman as well. Captain Morgan Roberts is instantly smitten and has decided he wants to give up his pirate ways and settle down on his farm and marry her. He just has to convince her that he's worth marrying. Morgan isn't exactly the usual swashbuckling pirate. He's a bit older than the usual with a scruffy long beard. The author never says exactly how old he is, but he has graying hair and people are always referring to his age around him as if he's getting up there in years. I'd say he's forty something - who knows?

The two of them are thrown together and there's some good sexual tension between them while living together on a small island in the Florida Keys (where most of the book takes place). Eventually he takes her to Savannah where she is introduced to friends who are able to help her and get her new clothes and the backing to start up her business. These are nice people, who happen to be Jewish, which is an unusual touch. I wonder how many Jewish families settled in the United States back then, it was kind of interesting to think about.

While in Savannah Morgan cleans himself up (thank God!) and shaves the beard and gets some fancy dress clothes. I was a bit surprised that Mandy (as Morgan calls her) realizes she loves him that same night and accepts his marriage proposal all of a sudden! I was expecting more of a courtship, but then they go down to St. Augustine where he has a house and the story takes off from there. Morgan gets a pardon from the president of the United States by agreeing to give up being a privateer and to help the US Navy get rid of the pirates along the coast.

While on their so-called honeymoon, there is a one night interlude at the same tavern, Gannymede's Cup, that plays a part in the two previous books and then they wind up down in Key West to clean out the pirate lairs for the Navy. While there, Morgan is injured and is feeling his age. He takes it out on Amanda and they quarrel a bit, but nothing to really worry about. There was some excitement at the end, I guessed who the unknown traitor was and the villain dies - all a bit predictable.

Overall, this was a nice little book, but nothing earth shattering. The storyline was different, but did not keep me on the edge of my seat. The romantic interludes weren't bad, but again, not overly thrilling. I'm not a big pirate romance reader, so that might be part of the reason why this didn't really grab me. I think Ms. Marshall has some potential, since her 2nd book was great, but her books need something, I can't put my finger on it, maybe more depth and feeling, they seem a little lightweight to me.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Much Ado About You by Eloisa James

Book Description:
When you're the oldest daughter, you don't get to have any fun!

Witty, orphaned Tess Essex faces her duty: marry well and marry quickly, so she can arrange matches for her three sisters -- beautiful Annabel, romantic Imogen and practical Josie. After all, right now they're under the rather awkward guardianship of the perpetually tipsy Duke of Holbrook. But just when she begins to think that all might end well, one of her sisters bolts with a horse-mad young lord, and her own fiancé just plain runs away.

Which leaves Tess contemplating marriage to the sort of man she wishes to avoid -- one of London's most infamous rakes. Lucius Felton is a rogue whose own mother considers him irredeemable! He's delicious, Annabel points out. And he's rich, Josie notes. But although Tess finally consents to marry him, it may be for the worst reason of all. Absurd as she knows it to be, she may have fallen utterly in love…

I wanted to like this book, I really did! But, it fell short of my expectations, I thought it was a pretty ho-hum regency romance. I've decided not to read further about the exploits of the Essex Sisters (there are two sequels out there). The characters were undeveloped and the romance was lacklustre at best - there wasn't even much humor in the book to make up for the lack of passion! The sex scenes were in that vague sort of manner - nothing explicit but they still had a hint of raciness in them. Overall, they were wanting in feeling.

This book was about a family of four sisters who are orphaned when their horse-mad father dies. He was a nobleman who was addicted to horses and racing, although he had the good sense to ensure they'd be cared for by the Duke of Holbrook, a horsey friend of his. At first, I was thoroughly confused by which sister was who. Who was the pretty one? Who was the oldest? Who was the mercenary one - who was in love with Lord Maitland? I just couldn't keep them straight, there seemed to be so many of them! After I settled into the book I got them straight, and I can't say I liked any of them except Tess, who was the main heroine of this book.

The setting of this book centers on horse racing. All the men in the book are really into it and will do almost anything to get a good racehorse - including marrying. Each of the sisters has a horse for her dowry and naturally they are all great equestriennes themselves. I must admit, I'm not that interested in horseracing and Lord Maitland, one of the men that younger sister Imogen is madly in love with, is hopeless when it comes to horseracing - the worst of the lot. He has a one track mind and comes across as shallow a bit stupid. He was just annoying to me and I didn't have any sympanthy for him until the very end (I don't want to spoil it.) I felt sorry that Tess' sister, Imogen, was so in love with him.

I also had a problem with our hero, Lucius Felton. Good looking, blonde and rich as anything, I found him annoying because he kept on insisting he was incapable of feelings - well, maybe he was right! Why would someone want to read about an emotionless romance hero - we barely got inside his head so we could tell what he was really feeling. There wasn't enough to interest me. It's one thing for a Mr. Darcy to come across as someone who's emotions are always in check - but Pride and Prejudice is not a romance novel and we don't get Mr. Darcy's point of view in it either. In this book we do, but it was sadly lacking - sometimes he'd do something unexpected, but not until the end did he finally come to life and show some passion - but that was the point - he finally came around. It was just kind of dull getting to that point. And whatever happened to his valet? We see him in the beginning bemoaning the fact that his master is in a houseful of unmarried women on the marriage market, and then we never see or hear from him again. Not even much later in the story - I think he became a lost thread.

Tess, the eldest of the quartet, seems to be the only normal one of the lot and the only character I liked. She has a romantic streak in her and learns how to get her way with her husband eventually. Is she witty as the description above suggests? Maybe, but I don't recall any real indication of it. She's got a good head on her shoulders - though she has her lapses of reason. She seems to think she should marry Lord Mayne, even though the handsome Mr. Felton had asked her to marry him and she keeps kissing him (what is it with some of these nit-wit regency romance heroines who continue to kiss the men they don't want to marry?) I was so relieved when Lord Mayne ran off - sketchy about why he did, though we sort of get our answer at the very end of the book. Which reminds me, the ending really seemed to read as if it was just tacked on, kind of a family related, money doesn't buy happiness sort of thing. It ends satisfactorily - but it's not totally resolved and the epilogue is predictable. Mr. Felton still has his family problems and Tess' sisters are still up in the air - leaving room for the sequels - of which I have no interest in reading.

Another little gripe I have is that I felt this book was disjointed - there were so many different characters and their little plotlines going on, some of became lost threads - Tess and Felton, Tess and Mayne, the Duke and Maitland's mother, Imogen and Maitland, young Josie, the youngest sister still in the schoolroom, Miss Pythian-Adams (Maitland's fiancee) and the fact she really doesn't want to marry Maitland - it was such a jumble - and not in a good way like a Shakespeare comedy (which I guess the Much Ado title is supposed to allude to.)

I didn't dislike this book, but I felt it was a waste of my time. There are much better regency romances out there than to read this disjointed, dull and passionless *code for not enough sex* romance novel. Much ado? Hardly.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Margaret Atwood

Book Description from Amazon:
Margaret Atwood returns with a shrewd, funny, and insightful retelling of the myth of Odysseus from the point of view of Penelope. Describing her own remarkable vision, the author writes in the foreword, “I’ve chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing Chorus, which focuses on two questions that must pose themselves after any close reading of the Odyssey: What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to? The story as told in the Odyssey doesn’t hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. I’ve always been haunted by the hanged maids and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself.” One of the high points of literary fiction in 2005, this critically acclaimed story found a vast audience and is finally available in paperback.

To be honest, I can't say I ever really cared about the hanged maids, I was always much more interested in the tale of faithful, waiting Penelope and how she kept the suitors waiting, and wily Odysseus returning and dispatching them readily after disguising himself as a begger, sizing up the territory.

This is a witty satire and I liked it. A short book, part of the "Myths" series, it's really a novella that can be read in a few hours at most. I really like Atwood's Penelope and her take on things which is all reminiscences of her past after she has been long dead and is "living" in the afterworld. Her take on Helen is just as I'd expect and it's funny - I couldn't help thinking of self absorbed, vain Helen of Troy as some sort of Paris Hilton nowadays. She was pretty funny with her snide comments and put downs of Penelope. I don't blame Penelope for hating her and blaming her for ruining her life. (I would too!)

I also enjoyed the way the many tales and exploits of Odysseus trying to find his way home after the Trojan War (as in The Odyssey) were simplified and explained. Were the tales of Odysseus true or just exaggerations of what really happened? Were the Sirens that called to his men truly irresistible or just 'a high-class Sicilian knocking shop--the courtesans there were known for their musical talents and their fancy feathered outfits?'

Atwood concentrated a large part of the end of the book on the doomed maids who trail after Odysseus in the afterlife forever blaming him for killing them unjustly. Atwood would like us to believe that Penelope told them to act rudely and bed the suitors and act as if they were betraying her so that they could learn the Suitors secrets and report back to her. By not telling anyone of her plan, Odysseus killed them in cold blood not realizing that they had been obeying Penelope's orders all along. A plausible reason for them to resent Odysseus forever, but frankly, why blame Odysseus? I'd blame Penelope! She was the one that got them into the mess and they were obeying her, not Odysseus! If they want to dog someone for eternity, make it Penelope who should have told someone that they were in cahoots with her. Still, the whole misfortune of the maids is one that doesn't bother me in any event - it's just a myth - right?

I recommend this book, especially if you're a fan of Homer, it made me laugh in parts, and it's a pleasant diversion and a quick read. Read it (if you can get your hands on it.)


Friday, September 12, 2008

Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens

Book Description from Amazon:
Governess Honoria Wetherby is determined not to marry; she plans to have adventures among the Egyptian pyramids in lieu of wedding a controlling husband. But even the best-laid plans can run afoul of luck and outrageous fortune, as is fatefully proven one stormy evening when Honoria happens upon a dying young man in the woods. After passing the night in a cottage alone with the corpse and his cousin, the rakish and very much alive Devil Cynster, it's decided -- by the handsome rake -- that Honoria has been compromised by the unchaperoned evening and the only remedy is to marry. Despite her flat refusal, Devil is determined to have the beautiful and feisty governess; his family is overjoyed that he's finally planning to marry. But Devil definitely has his work cut out for him as he attempts to convince Honoria to wed him and forego her plans for adventure. Luring Honoria to the altar is further complicated when she insists upon aiding him in the search for his cousin's killer. Which will Devil accomplish first: seducing Honoria or unveiling a murderer? Or will Honoria foil the first plan and solve the second before Devil can?

Devil's Bride is the first of several novels by Laurens that feature the members of the noble Cynster family in Regency England. The larger-than-life hero is bold, brave, daring, and determined and meets his perfect match in the heroine, who is plucky, intelligent, practical, and wise. Lush sensuality, deft plotting, and charming secondary characters make this novel a stellar beginning for the Bar Cynster series. --Lois Faye Dyer

This was my first Stephanie Laurens book. I'd heard a lot of about her books and what a popular series this was. In fact, I hear the audio book of this particular romance novel is great, but I couldn't get my hands on it. In any case, it was a good read, one I'd characterize as a regency romantic suspense novel-heavy on the sex - in fact almost over the top.

I can't say this is your usual heroine. Honoria is her own woman at age 24 she decides she will never marry. She has her reasons which we find out has to do with a terrible accident in which her parents were killed in a rain storm (thus leading up to that old chestnut of sleepwalking and nighmares during thunderstorms.) Orphaned, she is well set up, money is not a worry, and she comes from an old aristocratic family. She has hired herself out as a "finishing" governess. Not that she needs the money, but it's something to do until she goes to Africa, which is her ambition to walk among the pyramids and the Great Sphinx. That is until she stumbles upon a dying body and the Duke of St. Ives - Devil Cynster.

Devil is an alpha male in the Regency English style. Impeccably attired, handsome with a swarthy pirate look about him, he is also an eligible bachelor - a duke no less! What more could you want? Oh, he has the reputation for being a rake, and it's common knowlege he's an expert at seduction and pleasuring his bed partners. Rather than having this become an uncomfortable topic later on in the book between Devil and Honoria, it's never dwelled upon, and if it's alluded to, it's more in a matter of - this is how Devil got so good at what he does - he's had slews of lovers and has mastered his technique. I must admit, I found it a bit jarring and couldn't help wondering if he is the kind of man that can remain true to his duchess once he's been married for 10 years or so? We're left to believe he's besotted with her, but it's not a given he'll remain faithful forever - his father didn't.

Honoria and Devil meet unexpectedly when a murder has taken place. The victim is a young cousin of Devil's and the rest of the book is spent searching for the murderer. They have a sleepwalking romantic interlude in a cabin during a thunderstorm (in the same room with his dead cousin's body which I found pretty creepy - hence she's asleep, otherwise who'd want to fool around with a corpse nearby?) As far as the murderer goes - it's not very hard to figure out who did it - I guessed immediately - but it's a novel way for the two of them to meet and get to know one another better, rather than at a ball or an "at home." Devil decides he is going to marry her immediately and sets out on making her "his." It's fun and the sexual tension is great leading up to the penultimate moment of when they finally do the deed (unmarried!) They actually wind up having so much sex before they're married, that it's a bit anti-climatic by the time their wedding night rolls around - - been there done that. In my opinion, the book was better before they got married, still I was relieved that it did not turn into a 'how Devil turns Honoria into his love slave' plotline.

Once they're married, the search for the killer picks up, but it's not all that exciting, since you pretty much have figured out who it is. You'd have to be a complete idiot not to know, she really hits you over the head with clues to his identity. I was actually hoping that it was a ploy to make us think we knew who did it - and then fake us out and have it a complete surprise at the end. But, alas, that was not the case. I like all the characters in the book. We meet Devil's cousins and brother (of which there are others books about) and mother. I'll be interested in all of their stories.

All in all, this was a fun and sexy read, but I found it dragged at times, and some of the flowery language used in the sex or kissing scenes got a little old. But, it was an original plot with some suspense - although I've realized if I'm going to read a Regency Romance novel, I'm not after suspense like this one, I'm into comedy and fluff. Don't get me wrong, there were some amusing parts in this book, but mostly it was all about the premarital sex and more sex, and more sex that went on and on for several pages. If that's what you like, you'll like this book. For me, it was good up to a point and then just got old, but it won't stop me from reading the rest of the series! *grin*


Monday, September 8, 2008

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Book Description:
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher's carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor's dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.

Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher's mind.

And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debuts in years: a comedy, a heartbreaker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.

I loved this book! I really enjoyed it and thought it was excellent. At times I was really moved by it and got teary-eyed. Such a unique perspective of an autistic boy, his broken family, life's lessons and coping and dealing with them. A short read, but very well done and original. I decided to read it because my 14 year old son had to read it for his summer reading assignment. He only finished it yesterday and now I'm dying to discuss it with him.

I agree with the above description of the author, he takes some really heavy emotional moments and is able to write about them from Christopher's perspective - Christopher who cannot show or feel emotion - and it's amazing. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but a culmination of events that lead to his reading letters from his mother and then a one-sided conversation with his father is very moving. Despite Christopher's handicap, he manages to succeed in what he sets out to do, whether it's taking his maths A-levels or going to London on a train on his own. He manages! You get the sense that Christopher is going to be okay. He has challenges, but he's a smart kid and he'll adjust and be a great scientist or mathematician one day. You can't help but admire him, and at the same time want to hug him - but he doesn't like to be hugged! Having a son so close to his age, who has his own everyday ups and downs and challenges, I really felt for his parents and could relate to them. You love your children so much. Ironically, even though he does a despicable thing, I really felt sorry for his father more than his mother. It all starts with the death of Wellington the dog, but opens up a whole can of worms for Christopher and the relative peace in his world.

If you are at all interested in special needs kids or forms of autism and Asperger's Syndrome, this is a must read. A very short book, it took me less than a day to read. A thoughtful and memorable read.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Highlander's Touch by Karen Marie Moning

Book Description:
A Warrior Of Immortal Powers
He was a mighty Scottish warrior who lived in a world bound by ancient laws and timeless magic. But no immortal powers could prepare the laird of Castle Brodie for the lovely accursed lass who stood before him. A terrible trick of fate had sent her 700 years back in time and into his private chamber to tempt him with her beauty--and seduce him with a desire he could never fulfill. For this woman he burned to possess was also the woman he had sworn to destroy.

A Woman Caught In The Mists Of Time

When Lisa felt the earth move under her feet, the fiercely independent 21st-century woman never dreamed she was falling...into another century. But the powerful, naked warrior who stood glaring down at her was only too real...and too dangerously arousing. Irresistibly handsome he might be, but Lisa had no intention of remaining in this savage land torn by treachery and war. How could she know that her seductive captor had other plans for her...plans that would save her from a tragic fate? Or that this man who had long ago forsaken love would defy time itself to claim her for his own....


What can I say? I loved this book! I hadn't expected to like it so much, since I was less than thrilled with the two previous Karen Marie Moning books that I've read, but this one was really entertaining, at times poignant in which I had tears in my eyes, and other times the sexual tension between them was hot and their ultimate connection was everything the reader has been hoping for.

Circenn, laird of the Brodie is an immortal Scottish highlander who is over 500 years old but looks like he's 30. Lisa Stone who inadvertently time travels to the Scottish highlands of the early 14th century has no idea. They meet because he has put a curse on this flask of fae elixir that she has touched in the 21st century. Due to various complications, he has vowed to kill any man that brings the flask back to him (I told you it was complicated.) Once Circenn meets the beautiful Lisa he can't bring himself to kill her, thus making him break this sacred vow he made - this gnaws at his honor. Of course, there is an instant attraction to each other. He is the ultimate alpha hero - 6 foot 7 inches, good looking, chiseled features, muscular, long silky dark hair and a huge -- ahem. Well, let's just say, he is certain to please any woman in the bedroom. How can Lisa resist such a man?

But, Lisa has to get back to her own time because she has numerous responsiblities! Her mother is dying of cancer and she has to take care of her. Working two jobs and paying off a mountain of medical debt she is worried her mother will die and she won't get to see her before that happens. Circenn doesn't have the ability to send her back, and the only one who can (a devilish fae from Beyond the Highland Mists), Adam Black, will kill her on sight - or this is what Circenn believes will happen if he asks for Adam's help.

The long and short of it is, Lisa falls for Circenn, but cannot cope with the fact that she has no way of getting back to her dying mother. She feels incredibly guilty and torn that she has brought this all on herself due to her own curiosity of touching the dratted flask while at her night job of cleaning at the museum. She is showered with love and affection from Circenn but can't really enjoy herself with this hanging over her head. Then she finds out he's immortal and that opens up a whole lot of other problems. Circenn loves her, but hates the idea of having to watch her grow old and die eventually and hopes that perhaps he can convince her to drink the fae elixir and become immortal like him. Will she do it, or forsake him once she finds out he's immortal and somehow go back to her dying mother?

I won't spoil the ending, but you'll recognize some familiar historical characters such as the Knights of the Templar and Robert the Bruce. And as mentioned earlier, the trouble making fae, Adam, from Moning's first book. There are revelations concerning Adam and Circenn and a magical, fantastical ending that is completely over the top, but makes it all end happily. Don't expect any realism in this book, it's a pure fantasy, paranormal romance which makes for a fun read!



January, 2011 - Audiobook Review
I loved the audiobook, narrated by the incomparable Phil Gigante, but prefered the book in print.  Primarily, I think it was because as much as I love Gigante's voice for Circenn, his female voices leave much to be desired.  Lisa's voice sounded too high and not gritty enough for how I imagined her to be in print.  Someone that has gone through as much as she has should sound a bit older and wiser and not so "dumb!"  She came across better in print.  But, his voice for Circenn is wonderful - albeit it sounded like he was doing an imitation of Sean Connery!  But hey, I love Sean Connery, so I don't mind! *grin*  Gigante is the creme de la creme with his highlander voices - yumm!  His French accents are great too for the Templars.
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