Earl of Brecken (Wicked Earls’ Club)

Aubrey Wynne
Narrator: Harry Frost

HISTORICAL NOVELLA: Evelina Franklin is a bluestocking from a wealthy family in the early 1800’s. Madoc is the Earl of Brecken, a Welsh earldom on the brink of ruin--his father had an accident several years earlier and became an invalid who wasted years drowning in bitterness, but unfortunately, unwilling to let his son run the estate. So, Madoc left for a time, working for the London Home Office as a spy. Meanwhile, his father’s steward dies, and his son bankrupts the estate. When Madoc returns and sees the degradation, he realizes he must marry into wealth to bring the estate back to life. Evelina and Madoc fall for each other, but this money issue intrudes. Fortunately, Madoc’s conscience appears after he falls for her, but he can’t marry her without confessing his circumstances to her father.

There is a delightful, yet low-level tension throughout this novella audiobook. Madoc is drawn to Evalina from the start, when he sees her skating on a frozen river, but doesn’t meet her until later. When they do meet, the story really progresses. It’s evident that they should be together, but the money issue provides a conflict that needs a satisfying resolution. Madoc is afraid to be honest about it with Evalina. The world-building for this audiobook is delightful, as listeners are privy to the hidden depths, unique gifts, and strong character within each of these protagonists, and that really fleshes out the storyline.

Harry Frost does a wonderful job of bringing this story to life. His voice is pleasant, and his intonations are on point for the story and for each character. His energy is consistent throughout the recording, and the production is free of unexpected noises. This tale fits beautifully as an audiobook; the accents and narration add a delightful layer to this intriguing story.

Carey Sullivan