REVIEW: Unlocked by Courtney MilanSaturday, July 14, 2012 1:00
Thanks to my discovery of Amazon Cloud and their Cloud Player, I’m able to listen to my audiobooks while sitting at the computer. It’s a great setup. I’m very happy that Courtney Milan’s Unlocked was my first in this audio experiment. I’ve not read any of her books, but the audio version has made me want to dig through the TBR mountain and find the others in this series. Now, whether starting with this novella is the right place to begin, I don’t know. All I do know is that I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Elaine Warren plays the wallflower at balls and house parties very well. She’s had ten years to perfect the facade. Back all those years ago, Evan Carlton always made fun of her laugh, calling her names – Lady Equine is just one – and just making her life miserable. Even his cousin, Diana, gets in on the bullying. But when Evan realizes what he’s done to Elaine, instead of facing her and apologizing, he leaves the country.
Over the next ten years, Elaine continues to endure the bullying and insults, which give her both heartache and backbone. She protects her mother, since the scientific woman is also the butt of jokes. Given how much time has passed, most of these awful things flow over Elaine without much effect, but now that Evan – the new Earl of Westfeld – has returned, she’s afraid that all the pain will begin anew. In a way it does. Cousin Diana has not outgrown such childish behavior, and this night that the earl approaches Elaine, her taunts become ever more frequent. But Evan finally intercedes by asking Elaine to dance, hoping this might be his chance to apologize and make things right with this lovely woman.
His apologies, however, fall on deaf ears initially. It’s not until his heartfelt plea for forgiveness does Elaine soften toward him and she agrees to be friends, despite his want of something more. These tender moments between Evan and Elaine are written so beautifully. His earnestness and sincerity is felt to the bone, not only by Elaine but the reader as well. There’s a couple of those scenes and each one is so moving. Elaine is happy with this new friendship and the respect of society she’s never had, and it’s not until much later that she begins to believe that Evan truly does love her. But now how does she tell the man she rejected her feelings have changed?
Sometimes an audiobook does so much more for a story. I believe it does in this instance. With those emotionally moving scenes written so eloquently by Ms. Milan and the English narrator lending a bit more authenticity to the characters, the experience of this book is doubled. I enjoyed every last word.
A perpetual wallflower destined for spinsterhood, Lady Elaine Warren is resigned to her position in society. So when Evan Carlton, the powerful, popular Earl of Westfeld, singles her out upon his return to England, she knows what it means. Her former tormenter is up to his old tricks, and she’s his intended victim. This time, though, the earl is going to discover that wallflowers can fight back.
Evan has come to regret his cruel, callow past. At first, he only wants to make up for past wrongs. But when Elaine throws his initial apology in his face, he finds himself wanting more. And this time, what torments him might be love…
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: