Audiobook Review | “His Trophy Wife” by by Leigh Michaels, narrated by Paula Slade

Posted Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “His Trophy Wife” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Leigh Michaels) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I had fully intended to listen to His Trophy Wife somewhere between mid-to-late December and mid-to-late January; both months proved to be quite intense, most of which I recently blogged about on my latest #StoriesOfJorie. February proved to be an upturnt month for me – I simply couldn’t motivate myself to read nor blog. As such, I am running into my deadline to post my review for this adopted audiobook rather than being ahead of it.

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What initially prompted me to listen to His Trophy Wife:

When I was first getting home from being at the hospital overseeing my father’s care as he recovered from his series of strokes, I couldn’t think of wanting to read anything too serious nor emotionally gutting. I had thought perhaps I could use a bit of lighter stories in my life – or at the very least, lighter Romances to serve as a bit of a distraction whilst I shifted back into reading more widely and regularly. The only error on my part is not realising I would vacillate between being inclined to read or listen to audiobooks and feeling a bit indifferent to either of them. This is one of those lighter Roms I thought might inspire me forward but hadn’t foreseen I’d be listening to it the day my review was due to post – as I hadn’t known then, at the time of my request I’d fall in and out of loving to read stories.

I typically read quite a lot of Romances per year – including having read quite a number of Harlequin Romances in the past, which is why I thought this might be a good fit for me. I knew going in the subject matter was a bit of a different turn of conflict than I normally read in Romances – as generally speaking, I read relationship-based Romances where both lead characters ‘want’ to be around each other; at least, generally speaking! There are times where I soak into a Rom where one characters falls for the other whilst waiting hopeful the feelings are returnt. in this particular case, it was more of a marriage of convenience where one party is gaining a bit more out of it than the other. These make for good folly – as does the convenience of the marriage act as subterfuge to a marriage which can last? Or is there more going on beneath the surface of what they’ve shared, lending towards a unique outcome once everything is revealled? In essence, this was picked to re-inspire me to listen and read during a time where I felt like doing anything else.

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Audiobook Review | “His Trophy Wife” by by Leigh Michaels, narrated by Paula SladeHis Trophy Wife
by Leigh Michaels
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Paula Slade

When Morganna Ashworth's father died, leaving her his debts, Sloan Montgomery realized he could finally achieve his two lifelong ambitions: the acquisition of a socially acceptable wife, and revenge on the Ashworth family!

In return for him paying off the debts, Morganna became Mrs. Sloan Montgomery. But once they were wed, Sloan didn't bargain on falling deeply in love with his trophy wife! Especially considering all the secrets and lies between them….

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance

Published by Leigh Michaels

on 26th August, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours, 54 minutes (unabridged)

Leigh Michaels | Site | Blog | @leighmichaels | Facebook

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my review of his trophy wife:

There was a rumour of debts owed when a daughter’s father dies quite suddenly; leaving her prey to one man to take his revenge by insisting the only way to pay back her father’s debts would be to marry him. He (Sloan) wanted a particular image of a particular kind of wife, one who would be seen and one who would not be more than what he wanted her to be; as she would be serving his needs whilst disregarding her own. Morganna was conflicted – between honouring her agreement and feeling boxed into a life she did not choose for herself.

As the story pulls back the layers of why Morganna would agree to the proposition Sloan suggested – you start to see more of who Morgonna was before the marriage. She loved miniature houses and carving her own miniature furniture. This was an interesting angle to explore, as I too, love miniature houses. I came to fall in love with them whilst touring homes at Christmastime where one home on the route had a lovely array of miniatures – each one was a treasure of it’s own to look inside. Such delicate and dainty features were etched into the creations – what amazed me is how artists can create such originality in such a small scale of creation! It was interesting this was the art Morganna was passionate about as it’s something I have admired for awhile.

How Morganna could stomach Sloan’s incredulous plot to have a ‘trophy wife’ is hard to process – except to say she was backed against a wall. If she married Sloan, she could pay off her father’s debts and enter into a contract marriage where she could take care of her mother by sacrificing her own life in the process. I found myself nearly disinterested in hearing this story as I wasn’t entirely convinced there was any hope of Morganna’s life would ever quite be the same again. It was hard to find a way to connect to Morganna and I had no interest in Sloan, which was a bit of a disappointment.

When I have read ‘marriage of conveniences’ in the past, there was a small inkling of hope ebbing out of the shadows; even men who were hoodwinked by women – (ie. convinced to marry under false pretenses) held something that seemed to be missing in this story-line. Generally, I am one to rally behind a romance which is slow to bubble to the surface or even, a romance where you go into knowing the two people could not be more opposite than the ones you’ve just met against the page. However, whilst listening to this story, I just kept wondering – why do I pity the characters rather than feel inclined to hear their story unravel!? It simply turnt out not to be my cuppa after all. I tried – but I felt like Morganna took the easy way out of her situation (for whichever reason) and started to walk a path where she was selling bits of her soul in the process. I did not feel inclined to learn how her and Sloan ‘came together’ as is hinted in the premise; as most of the plot just felt hollow and a bit too shallow for me to continue listening to it. Especially as Sloan felt too superficial to me; a character who cannot commit to sharing more of himself than what he feels is necessary or what he feels is the best ‘image’ to convey; in other words, a bit too narcissistic for me.

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specifically in regards to the audiobook:

As I am relatively new to reviewing audiobooks and listening to them with a greater frequency than of the past, I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

Listening Habit:

As disclosed on my first audiobook review of The Cryptic Lines (narrated by Jake Urry), I find colouring whilst I am listening to audiobooks to be a great benefit for being able to find the right catalyst of focus to soak inside the narrations.

As a bit of a New Year surprise – Mum found this wicked awesome boxed set of colouring books by Leisure Arts which happily included a box of coloured pencils, markers and a lovely enclosed pencil sharpener! (the stories I could tell you about using a rinky-dinky sharpener where everything just drops in place?) As I looked over the five new colouring books – the designs within “Wonders of Extreme: Color Art for Everyone” is what struck a chord with me to ‘play’ with whilst listening to His Trophy Wife.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

This is my first time listening to Paula Slade.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

Sloan was pulled off quite well – he’s quite swarmy in the beginning, seeking only his own needs and wanting to pull off a marriage where everything is levelled in his favour. His voice is a bit ‘strange’ at times, as he doesn’t quite sound alluring to listen too and you constantly question his motives. I know this is supposed to happen (given his character traits) but it was distracting at times, too.

Morganna moves in and out of sounding innocent and remorseful. You can tell how conflicted Morganna was to follow through with everything because more than anything she cares about her parents. She couldn’t change the outcome of her father’s death but she wanted to at least help her mother live a relatively normal life. Her voice is attuned well to this kind of conflict and you empathise with her straight-away even though you wish she could have made different choices to avoid the marriage which only made sense on paper.

Morganna’s mother Abigail sounds exactly as you would think she might – as she comes across with a certain personality.

How the Novel sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

I felt the novel was spoken narrative more than theatrical – at least by how Ms Slade approached narrating the piece. The story-line shifts from the past to the present; where flashback sequences explain the ‘missing’ key moments of how Sloan and Morganna came together.

Regards to Articulation & Performance of different sections of the novel:

There were supporting characters I felt didn’t need to have their own ‘voice style’ – as sometimes their voices were a bit distracting. Other times, I felt Ms Slade anchoured the characters quite well – between the lead characters and the supporting cast. She took extra care to bring the characters to life and tried to make the distinctions between everyone involved so that this didn’t sound like one singular monotone voice narrating the whole of the text.

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

The sound quality is good – you can here the narrator’s voice without distraction. There isn’t background ambiance like there sometimes can be heard in other audiobooks – this is simply a straight-narration.

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

I questioned if I might have enjoyed this in print a bit more than in audio at different junctions of the story. One thing that was a bit off-putting was keeping track of the details as the flashbacks and the current timeline felt a bit ‘bled together’ rather than separate. It sort of broke the continuity for me to have the details revealled a bit out of order – at least in the beginning. Sometimes I notice I do better when audiobooks give a bit more foundation to the story in the opening sections than to move back and forth several times in order to present the story as it was told in print.

In closing, would I seek out another Paula Slade audiobook?

I believe I would. There was enough inside this audiobook to lend my mind to seek out another one of her stories. She wasn’t my favourite narrator but she wasn’t the worst either. I’d say her narration is more middle of the road.

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 This audiobook review is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

Adopt an Audiobook badge provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

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{SOURCES: Whilst signing up for adopting audiobooks through Audiobookworm Promotions, I sought permission to use the cover art & the book synopsis of the audiobooks I would be adopting to use on my reviews. I was given permission by Audiobookworm Promotions to use these materials. Therefore, the cover art for “His Trophy Wife” and the book synopsis are being used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audiobook Review Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Marriage of Convenience, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Romance Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

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