Diana's Reviews > All the Queen's Men

All the Queen's Men by Linda Howard
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's review
Mar 03, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: audiobooks, favorites, re-listen, romance-suspense, soa-review, fantasy, featured
Read in June, 2012

Audiobook narrated by Kate Forbes (unabridged), Megan Gallagher (abridged)

I’ve often said that I came to romance through the door marked romantic suspense and All the Queen’s Men is that door. Back in 1998, I picked up the paperback on a mass-market table at a mall bookstore. I’d been reading a lot of man thrillers and my joy knew no bounds as I sat in the food court falling in love with my new discovery. A thriller with romance, a hero who falls hard when he zeroes in on his mate…and sex!!! Do I love it as much in 2012 as I did way back then? Even more now that I own two different audio versions, a Kindle file, and several paperbacks (just in case).

John Medina is the ultra sexy, mysterious, rootless, and dark special ops guy, a James Bond character that we girls can love. After All the Queen’s Men, I read countless romantic suspense series with covert ops alphas who are pale shadows of the original iron man John Medina. There’s nothing he doesn’t do better than anyone and he’ll stay cool and composed as he stares down the baddest terrorists, all the while clad in his Armani tux. Oh yeah, baby.

I love this book so much that a few years ago I bought an abridged cassette version on eBay. As abridgements go, this one produced in 1999 is excellent. Narrator Megan Gallagher hits the bull’s eye with my perception of characters that I feel I know very well. Her grasp of Niema’s confused, turbulent feelings expressed in her inner monologues is spot on. Gallagher doesn’t change her pitch between characters, but voices personality and attitude so distinctly that there’s no question of who’s speaking. And although this isn’t a light-hearted book, Gallagher easily conveys Medina’s impish sense of fun when he isn’t being a total badass. Oh, and there’s a bit of the kink in Medina’s seduction of Niema, confirming that kink was not invented this year.

The unabridged version was produced in cassette tape format in 2001 and has been languishing in the publisher’s vaults until its surprise digital release this year. Narrator Kate Forbes is adequate, but I find her reading lacks the attributes that are so appealing to me in Gallagher’s performance. It’s a vaguely indefinable essence that is admittedly personal and subjective. I don’t really have any specific criticism of Forbes – I just wish she’d punched it up a little.

A word of caution. Gallagher=abridged, Forbes=unabridged. Please don’t buy from the eBay seller who’s trying to sell the abridged-in-four-cassettes version falsely advertised as unabridged for, wait for it, $305(!). What will we do when our Sony Walkmans die?

See my audiobook reviews at Blue Moon
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Jill (new)

Jill Fantastic review, Diana. Like you I used to read man thrillers before romantic suspense. And Linda Howard was one of my very first authors I read (and loved). I haven't read AtQM in a while but remember John Medina with great love!

Diana Thanks, Jill. Wasn't it great discovering romantic thrillers? Stop by the blog if you can - 13 Howard reviews.

message 3: by Jill (new)

Jill Diana wrote: "Thanks, Jill. Wasn't it great discovering romantic thrillers? Stop by the blog if you can - 13 Howard reviews."

Wasn't it great discovering romantic thrillers?
I can totally relate. I used to read some of my mother's Mills & Boon romances, but found them too predictable and unexciting. Which is why I loved thrillers. I was clueless about r/s. And like you "a thriller with a romance...and sex"! Holy cow, I was in reading heaven!

Stop by the blog if you can - 13 Howard reviews
I check it out.

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