Story Rating: 4.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Length: 7 hours, 38 minutes
Sometimes I forget how much I love a book or a series until I revisit the story and am reminded just how much I adore it. That is where I found myself when listening to the audio for It Takes Two to Tumble, the first book in Cat Sebastian’s fantastic Seducing the Sedgewicks series. I first read this story back in 2017 when it originally released, so it has been almost four years. I once again found myself delighted by the lovely Sound of Music feel to the early stages of the book as the naval captain, Phillip, returns home from years at sea used to order and structure and expecting nothing less from his home and children. Instead, he finds Ben, the local vicar, doing his best to wrangle his group of hellions into some sense of normalcy. Ben has a much more free spirited approach to the kids, knowing that they are hurting after their mother’s death and having an absentee father. I love Ben’s little tricks to get the kids to learn without letting on he is actually teaching a lesson.
The early portion of the book is Phillip coming to realign his expectations, where the later part focuses more on Ben, who has a vision for his life and a slow realization it is never going to work. He isn’t going to marry a sweet girl and raise babies. He is gay and he can’t pretend to be in love with his best friend and betrothed. So there is a nice balance here as both men figure out what they really want in life and take steps to reach it. If you want to hear more of my thoughts on the book itself, as well as a more complete overview of the story, check out my original review.
I listened to this one in audio with narrator Joel Leslie and he does a wonderful job with the book. Both Ben and Phillip have voices that fit well with their characters. The side characters are also handled quite nicely. This one is a little tricky as there are three children, as well as lots of female side characters, and Leslie does a good job capturing them all. I particularly enjoyed Ben’s brother Hartley’s languid voice with that hint of sarcasm. His personality really comes through his voice. At a few points, when in conversation, I felt like Ben and Phillip sounded a bit too alike, but it didn’t impede my understanding of what was going on. What I noticed most here is how well Leslie really crafts these character voices. I know Leslie well enough to know what his voice sounds like in real life, and I found myself struck while listening at how wonderful he is in creating characters that sound nothing at all like his own voice, yet that still sound perfectly natural and suited to the characters. It is not something every narrator can do well and Leslie really excels at it.
I am really glad I got a chance to revisit this story, as this series is one I just love and the audio is done so well. I am looking forward to listening to Hartley’s book as well, and eager to catch back up with these characters.