A laugh out loud, unconventional opposites attract love story from New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland.
I touched her confectionary creation, and she told me off.
Slapping my hands and cursing in her own unique fashion.
No one talked to me that way.
I liked it.
I liked her cake even more.
So, I took her to Italy to bake for me.
I should have asked her first, but I had a feeling she’d say no.
I brought her cat, though—that should count for something.
Now, I just need to convince her to stay.
And forget that little word.
I’d prefer lover.
But we’ll wait until she doesn’t want to kill me in my sleep.
|Title:||My Favorite Kidnapper|
|Length / Pages:||8h 3m / 345|
|Point of View:||First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||Canada & Italy|
|Release Date:||7 September, 2023|
A slice of audio deliciousness
At this stage, Melanie Moreland could announce she was writing absolutely any style, genre or trope and I would be all in. But no matter what she writes, she needs to have John Lane and Maxine Mitchell as her audiobook narrators. These two just ARE Melanie Moreland’s characters and they just get how to play them.
This newest offering is an opposites attract, unconventional romance between a slightly older man and the woman (and her cakes) that’s he’s crazy for. It’s a bit different for Ms Moreland but also feels delightfully familiar. Very much a lighter, funnier version of her Hidden Justice books.
Dante is the first to be introduced to us and immediately you can tell he’s got that in-charge, in-control vibe that speaks of a deliciously alpha hero. John Lane has that gloriously deep, husky and sexy tone that perfectly embodies the gruffness of Dante. You know from the first that this man is going to be the best kind to watch fall hopelessly, helplessly in love. And that he does. He is head over heels for the cake at the wedding of his niece. It shouldn’t be so funny to watch the lengths he’ll go to to get his hands on that cake. When he meets Brianna, all bets are off and he goes full-on caveman to get what he wants. But he’s a softie, really. And if you put aside that pesky kidnapping business, everything he does is for Brianna and her happiness.
When we meet Brianna, she is gloriously herself from the first. As soon as she slapped Dante’s hands away from the cake – I fell in love. She was so feisty, so sassy and didn’t stand for any of Dante’s nonsense. And yet she had her vulnerabilities and was honest enough to admit her reaction and attraction to Dante. Alone and determined to live the life she dreamed of, I couldn’t think of a better heroine to receive her happily ever after. Maxine Mitchell, as per usual, is perfect in her role as Brianna. She’s got a pleasing, slightly husky voice that manages to come across as both feisty and vulnerable. I totally believed her as Brianna and wouldn’t ask for anything more.
I also have to give slow claps to both our narrators for their superior portrayal of the opposite sex. You easily forget that it’s just one person talking during conversations rather than a man and woman talking to each other. It’s an amazing skill.
Individually, I loved Dante and his Little Bee (a nickname – squee!) but together they are just perfection. They both have the number on the other from their first meeting which leads to some sexy and hilarious banter! No matter how much Brianna fights it, she’s just as smitten with Dante as he is with her. It makes for a fabulous push and pull between our couple. Oh and of course we get some sexy times and of course, it’s as sweet as the rest of the book with a whole pinch of sexy added in. Happy sighs.
Brianna is younger than Dante – she is 26 to his 38 – and at first the power was firmly with him. He’s older, richer, more powerful, has better connections and is more worldly. Oh yeah, and the whole kidnapping thing. But as we move on and their relationship develops, you begin to realise that Brianna has a lot more power than even she realises. Dante worships her but the ending shows that she’s really the one in control. Basically what I’m saying is that they were perfect for each other and Brianna really grew into the best version of herself throughout the book. She went from being the kidnapped to being in charge of her own destiny.
Even if I’ve just read the book, I still love listening to the audiobook. It’s a difference experience, bringing out varied emotions in me. The narrators put a different spin on many elements or a different emphasis on what is being said which gives a different perspective. I also laughed out loud at more parts than I did in the book, just the way the lines were delivered.
Melanie Moreland’s stories make me so happy. She manages to make me fall in love with perfectly flawed characters as they themselves fall in love with each other. I don’t know what it is about her writing that just speaks to me. I fear I’m becoming obsessed. But I’m also happy with that fact.
This book was more delicious than the tastiest slices of cake slathered in rich, decadent cream cheese frosting. It was sweet, rich, delicious but just tart enough to keep you coming back for more. Oh and no calories! John Lane and Maxine Mitchell brought Dante and Brianna to life and I fell in love with the story even more. And yay for the extended epilogue being included in the audiobook. Happy, happy tears and definitely 5 stars.
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review
New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.
While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.
Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.