Narrator: Cornell Collins
Length: 1o hours, 5 minutes
I absolutely fell in love with Kidnapped by the Pirate when I first read the book last year. I love pirate stories and this book is all old school fun with the older, experienced, and seemingly dastardly pirate paired with the young virgin who has little world experience. It is so many of my favorite tropes rolled into one: age gap, virgin hero, pirates, enemies to lovers. All these combine with adventure, thrills, and a super sexy romance to make this one of my favorite stories by Keira Andrews. Listening to this book also made me really appreciate the coming of age elements as well, as we see Nathaniel really grow and change over the course of the story. So I totally loved this book and recommend it all the time. You can check out my review here for more details about the story itself and my impressions.
I was excited to get to listen to this one in audio and revisit the book, and I think overall narrator Cornell Collins does a nice job. Nathaniel’s voice sounds youthful, with the right bit of naiveté, but without sounding too childish. There is a large ensemble cast here (though much of the book is Nathaniel and Hawk alone) and Collins voices the side roles well and makes them nicely distinguished. The women are also handled well, particularly Nathaniel’s sister, and her voice feels very natural and never forced. The tone and pacing are great and Collins handles the excitement as well as the quiet moments equally well.
The biggest hurdle I had here was Hawk’s voice early on. He is so stereotypical “pirate” that I found his voice incredibly distracting at the start of the story. Like if I said “do an impression of a pirate,” then this is what I would expect it to sound like. It was just so over the top, I found it jarring. I think perhaps this was somewhat intentional, as early on Hawk is supposed to scare and intimidate Nathaniel. So maybe this was a conscious choice, as I noticed it less as the story went on (or perhaps I got more used to it). But Hawk sounds like this crotchety old man early on and I found it was hard to envision him as this eventual love interest for Nathaniel given the way he sounded. Of course, having read the book, I had a different impression of him in my mind, which helped as I knew he was really a softy. But I did have trouble getting into things a bit at the start as a result.
Overall though, I really enjoyed listening to this in audio. Kidnapped by the Pirate is such a fabulous story, and as things settled down with Hawk, I found myself totally drawn in listening to it in audio. I can highly recommend this book and think readers would enjoy it in either format.