Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Performance (CJ): ★★★★★
Performance (Blake): ★★★★★
Narrator: CJ Bloom, Blake Richard
Audiobook Length: 13hr 3m
Release Date: 01-30-2018
Reading Time: 6 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Moonlight Sins from AudiOMG! in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author, narrators and/or publisher’s generosity.
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout delivers the unforgettable story of a woman whose new life has just begun—but may end in murder . . .
Julia Hughes has always played it safe until she learned a very painful lesson. Now Julia’s starting over with a job in the Louisiana bayou—and a scorching encounter with a stranger, only to discover he’s Lucian de Vincent . . . her new employer. The de Vincent brothers share a massive fortune and a dark reputation. Julia cares for their troubled sister, but a menacing presence in the mansion—and the ever-present temptation of Lucian—prove dangerously distracting.
Lucian’s grandmother claimed de Vincent men fall in love once—and hard. Apparently, it’s Lucian’s turn. Julia’s compassionate care of his twin makes Lucian want to lay himself bare. But some secrets are better for Julia not to know.
The recent “suicide” of Lucian’s father is the latest in a string of deaths on the estate. Someone is eliminating the de Vincents. And the best way to get to Lucian may be through Julia. . . .
First Line: “‘Is it true? What they say about the women who come here?’ Fingernails dipped in shiny red polish trailed along Lucian de Vincent’s stomach, dragging the front of his shirt free. ‘That they . . . go insane?’”
Narrator Review (CJ):
This was my first time listening to CJ. I kind of feel like an idiot right now because she’s amazing and I’ve missed out on all of her totally epic narrations. I’m making up for it, I promise. I’ve got a CJ binge coming up.
Moonlight Sins is dark and eerie, and my GAAWD her voice contrasts this so well. She adds this unique humor to the text. A little bit quirky, a lot a bit relatable. She embodied Julia’s character so well. I don’t know who cast CJ for this part, but they’re my new favorite person. Genius. My ears are happy. I cried. Listening to this audiobook was like walking into a dark torture chamber but in the middle of the space is my favorite cupcake—CJ is the cupcake.
I want to talk about the inflections in CJ’s voice because CJ slayed. You never know what you’re going to get when you try a new narrator, and I got exactly what I wanted. A narrator must, must, must be able to have a legit conversation with themselves, meaning: control over octaves. CJ is a master of this trade. She needs to teach a college course called “How to Talk to Yourself for a Living.” On top of that, her flow is parallel to none and she makes this good book into a great book. A++ across the board.
Narrator Review (Blake):
This was actually my first listen to Blake, too. Yeehaw! I entered all sorts of new territory here. You know…I hesitated with his performance at first. He reads slowly, which I love, but there is this airiness that pushes him forward and I wasn’t sure if I liked or not.
Three hours later, I was sweating. No amount of fanning my face could have cooled me off. This man. THIS. MAN. Midnight Sins is da-a-ark. Blake! Augh! My heart.
Call me obsessed. Blake’s dialogue is out of this world. I mean, the man can TALK to himself. He’s very different from other male narrators in the sense that he separates a character’s dialogue from the narration even when he’s in the same POV. Am I making sense right now? I’m sure I sound like a crazy person. After you listen to so many audiobooks, tone muddles together, personalities dilute. No no no, not here. He narrates with that feathery, debonair tone, and then when he enters dialogue it’s like he’s legitimately talking to me.
Friends, this is so amazing, especially since the book is in third person past tense (also my favorite) and he was able to narrate it as such. This was just…addicting? Dare I say, perfect? If you’re an audiobook addict, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you listen to the audio sample. At first, this caught me off guard because I wasn’t used to it. Now, I F-L-O-V-E it. In a sea of narrators, I could pick Blake out immediately. And then I’d ask him kindly (but still sort of threateningly) to read every third person past tense book in existence.
We are first introduced to Julia Hughes. She’s been hired by one of the wealthiest families in the country to be a live-in nurse. Well, she doesn’t actually realize the extent of their wealth until she goes to New Orleans (one of my favorite book settings BTW) to meet the family and the woman she’ll be taking care of.
Girlfriend has no idea what she’s getting herself into.
⚠ Hot brother alert.
Why do I have this bizarre fascination with brothers? I think it’s because I only have sisters and nine chickens (whom I also call my sisters). The idea of being hired by a man who is 1/3 of a clan of hot…that’s just…naughty.
Lucian is a playboy. He’s a total Category 3 playa play. Immediately, there’s fire between Lucian and Julia, but everything is so secretive in his family, and they dance around this line of trust and feigned devotion.
Lucian’s twin sister pops outa nowhere after having been missing for ten years and Julia’s job is take care of her because she’s not mentally stable.
After the initial attraction and hot juju, Lucian and Julia’s relationship plateaus and the mysteries surrounding Julia take the forefront. JLA was very strategic here, but I would have liked to see more emotional development through this stage.
But it was in this middle section of the book where I doubted everyone’s intentions. Friends, that’s what makes a killer mystery read. I even doubted Julia for a second, and she was the one originally brought into this mess!
“Legend goes that only two things can happen to women of the de Vincent family or women who come here. They either end up…unstable or they end up dead.”
Why take that risk, you crazy girl? After one failed marriage and a dull existence, the last thing she needs is Lucian’s demonic family curse! I can’t blame her, though…if Lucian sounds anything like Blake Richard, I’d latch onto him like a leech and make him sing to me.
Unfortunately, the jokes about the de Vincents don’t seem so implausible anymore. It’s not long before the de Vincent family curse threatens Julia’s sanity, too.
Moonlight Sins was very captivating. It’s mix of Gothic themes and a Louisiana setting is brilliant. As the romance begins to settle, the mystery in the text concurrently exposes itself. JLA is the cookie crumb master and with every page turn, the tapestry she’s helping us weave becomes more vivid and vibrant.
It’ll be hard to top this one. But my fingers are crossed that the next hero in this standalone series will be Gabe. 😉