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July 26, 2012 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Overseas by Beatriz Williams

Overseas by Beatriz WilliamsOverseas
by Beatriz Williams
Narrated by January LaVoy

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: May 10, 2012
Format: Audio, 15 hours | 49 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy

When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Why would this handsome British billionaire—Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor—pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college?

The answer is beyond imagining… at least at first. Kate and Julian’s story may have begun not in the moneyed world of twenty-first-century Manhattan but in France during World War I, when a mysterious American woman emerged from the shadows of the Western Front to save the life of Captain Julian Laurence Ashford, a celebrated war poet and infantry officer.

For the first quarter of the book I was glued to my headphones. The story was told from Kate’s point of view alternating between the present and 1916 France. The beginning was so compelling: A mixture of time-travel, historical fiction and a timeless romance. I was expecting something like Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan.

From the synopsis, all the story elements I like were there, but for me the story never reached its potential. When the romance kicked in it became over the top syrupy sweet and at times annoying. A lot of Kate’s actions were unbelievable, especially for an independent woman, and the story became like a fairy tale. There is very little meat to the historical fiction and the time-travel was totally implausible and circular, not even remotely believable. There were a couple of interesting supporting characters that I thought could have been better developed instead of focusing almost exclusively on Kate and Julian.

You’re probably wondering why I kept listening.

Even though this book was not for me, it was compelling enough that I wanted to know how it ended. There was enough of a mystery to keep me engaged in spite of the overwhelming romance.

The audio was very listenable. The narrator did a nice job of differentiating between the characters and her voice for Kate was a very believable twenty-something. The British accent for Julian was acceptable and I really enjoyed Charlie, Kate’s co-worker, who called everyone ‘dude’. In spite of some corny romantic dialog, at almost 16 hours and a bit too long, my listening time passed at a nice pace.

I was expecting something in this book other than what I got. The cover and the blurb were a bit misleading. Romance as the main focus of a novel is not my genre although I don’t mind it as part of the story. I wanted more historical detail and more about the time travel, but it was mostly a fairy tale love story.

I’m fairly certain romance readers will enjoy this book; time travel and historical fiction fans, maybe not.

Source: Review copy.
© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.


Leave a Comment
  1. Mary / Jul 26 2012 9:54 am

    Sorry this one didn’t work for you, Leslie. I *do* enjoy romance so I think I’d probably like it.


    • Leslie / Jul 26 2012 1:24 pm

      I think you would enjoy it. The audio version was well done. If I had been reading it in print I probably would have given up but it was really easy to listen to as I did chores and gardening.


      • Mary / Jul 26 2012 2:31 pm

        Oh, that’s good to know about the audio. I was on the fence about print or audio. Thanks!


  2. BermudaOnion / Jul 26 2012 2:35 pm

    I don’t think I’d like the syrupy sweet romance either.


    • Leslie / Jul 26 2012 3:28 pm

      There were lots of “oh darling” and “my beloved” from Julian. I guess that was to show he was a gentleman from 100 years ago. But seriously, he was way too perfect!


  3. stacybuckeye / Aug 5 2012 7:55 pm

    I do love a great romance and am looking forward to this one. Good to know the audio is good.



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