I am having complete guilt over DNFing this book. I always make it a point to finish books I start, even if it takes me years. But when I started thinking about it, there are so many books out there and not every one is going to be my cup of tea and that’s okay. It doesn’t ease my guilt, but it’s the truth.
Title: Eye of the Beholder
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio
Summary (from Goodreads)
Alexa Chambers has a flair for style, an eye for art — and a reputation in tatters. An expert in Art Deco, she blew the whistle on an employer who was selling fakes to wealthy clients. Her payoff? No job and no prospects. Now she runs a shop in her hometown of Avalon, Arizona — a hot spot for crystal devotees and sunset gazers. But gutsy, energetic Alexa has no intention of sitting still. She’s ready to take risks to rebuild her career…and she secretly consults on an exquisite deco collection being installed at the new Avalon Resorts. Her scheme might just work — if she can steer clear of the resort’s owner, the enigmatic and possibly dangerous J. L. Trask.
Alexa was a scared teenager the last time she saw Trask, the man who accused her stepfather of murder. Insisting his dad’s fatal car crash had been no accident, Trask vowed one day he’d come back to Avalon for revenge. Now, twelve years later, their meeting is inevitable. Their attraction is immediate. And their chances of bliss are infinitesimal.
Trask wants to piece together the past with Alexa’s help — and get closer to this dazzling deco diva. Alexa wants to protect her family — and figure out Trask’s real motivations. But when a killer emerges from the shadows, they have no choice but to team up to solve a deadly crime from long ago.
Let me start by saying I am normally a fairly big fan of Jayne Ann Krentz. So when I saw this audiobook on sale, I jumped at the chance to read/listen to it! Now, let me preface this by saying I might have had a different experience if I’d read the book instead of listening to it. An audiobook is really only as good as the narrator. So if you do want to try this story, I would suggest reading it. Per Goodreads reviews, it was fairly well accepted. Without further ado, my review…
Coming from a theater background, I find myself preferring theatrical narrators in audiobooks. The male voices were absolutely lacking as was the general reading in this story. It almost felt as if the narrator was trying too hard to distinguish between conversation and general story. The story felt very monotone when read and I was actually getting confused by who was talking. The narrators portrayal of Alexa was somewhat redeeming, however not enough to keep my interest.
Now for the story itself. Even if I looked past the narration and listened to the words, this was just not a story I could get behind. I would say I made it about 25-30% of the way through the book and to me it felt unbelievable, a little weird and just didn’t catch. The murder mystery plot had promise, but I felt the connection to the romance was weak. As for the romance, well I didn’t feel any connection between the characters. Again weak. Then without realizing the story had any paranormal aspects, there was a short chapter of paranormal (in the part I read) and I was completely thrown off. Also, having lived in Arizona, really struggled to see Art Deco in the desert landscape. Again, weak and unbelievable for me.
Personally, this story just didn’t work for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I highly suggest reading (not listening) if you choose to try it out though!