Sunday, May 13, 2012

Audiobook Review: Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray

Author: Jeanne Ray
Narrator: Jeanne Ray
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Duration: 6 hours 40 minutes
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Julie Roseman has known since childhood that Rosemans are supposed to despise Cacciamanis. She’s never known exactly why...but she’s followed her family’s advice and avoided all Cacciamanis like the plague. Until she bumps into Romeo Cacciamani at a small-business conference—and realizes he’s sort of...sweet. Now, this unexpected relationship is blooming into something big. But wait until their families find out...

Overall Rating: 2/5

This had the potential to be a cute story. It's a Romeo and Juliet retelling, with the feuding families being competitive flower shop owners. There's a different spin in that Julie and Romeo are adults with kids and grandkids when they get to know each other and fall in love. While I liked the plot, the characters' reactions to each other weren't realistic and believable enough for me.

I thought the conflict was completely melodramatic. The family feud thing doesn't work nearly as well when the two lovebirds are grown adults. Romeo's sons physically threaten Julie, which was way over-the-top. I liked the way Julie's girls handled the relationship, but not the way Julie reacted to her girls' outrage. She takes it and lets her girls bully her, even though she is their mother. And then Julie's ex-husband gets involved and starts lecturing her and commanding her to stay away from Romeo. I understand his part in the story, but he shouldn't have gotten so involved with Julie's love life. Especially since he married the woman he slept with while married to Julie.

So, while a good story, the motivations of the characters was really lacking. I just couldn't enjoy it because of that. Like I said, it would have been better had they not been adults.

Audio Thoughts
I was surprised by the quality of the narration; I'm never too sure about audiobooks narrated by the author. However, Jeanne Ray does a good job. The fact that it's told in first-person from the point of view of Julie helped a lot. But she also does a good job in capturing the spirit of the other characters as well. I'm not sure the narration added anything to my enjoyment of the story, but it definitely didn't take away anything.