cover image Secret of the Stone

Secret of the Stone

Barbara Delinsky, read by Nell Geisslinger. Brilliance Audio, , unabridged, six CDs, 7 hrs., $19.99 ISBN 978-1-4418-8522-7

This erotic romance traces the relationship between gentle sculptress Paige Mattheson and a rogue named Jesse Dallas, who seduces her to win a bet. A roughhewn “man’s man” who flees from commitment, Jesse tries to resist Paige’s cool allure but discovers to his frustration that she’s worth far more than a one-night stand. Narrator Nell Geisslinger deftly captures the essence of unruffled, artsy Paige, but is far less successful with the book’s other characters. Paige’s mother sounds too old and feeble, while minor characters often sound like caricatures. More importantly, the voice Geisslinger gives to Jesse is inconsistent: hardy and masculine one minute and indistinguishable from Paige the next. While Delinsky fans may enjoy this short, uneven audiobook, other listeners may want to steer clear. A Mira paperback. (July)