Improper English

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Katie MacAlister

Narrated By: Saskia Maarleveld

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: January 2017

Duration: 10 hours 51 minutes

Summary:

American Alexandra Freemar isn't about to put up with any flak from the uptight-albeit gorgeous-Scotland Yard inspector who accuses her of breaking and entering. She doesn't have time. She has two months in London to write the perfect romance novel-two months to prove that she can succeed as an author. Luckily, reserved Englishmen are not her cup of tea. Yet ...

Genres:

  • Kim B

    Don't bother. I listened to the whole book, but only because I'd paid $15 for it. The lead character, Alix, is not only an airhead, but a selfish child who doesn't realize just how self-centered and childish she is. She doesn't pick up on any social cues. She fails to clue into the fact that when a man asks you out to sight-see, you don't invite the guy you're mooning over to be a threesome. It's just plain rude to the person inviting you, but this "woman" doesn't seem to get it. In addition, she doesn't seem to know how to conduct herself with any decorum in a public place. Adding insult to injury, she pushes everyone into the awkward position of having to give her their opinion about her horrible writing skills and the book she's moved to England to write. The reader is forced on numerous occasions to listen to an over-dramatic, flowery, regency romance novel that this woman is writing. After awhile, I started fast-forwarding through these parts. The sad thing is that by the end of the book, I hated the lead character and can't understand why the one-dimensional, Alex (yes, the lead male has the same name,) is even interested in her and her daily histrionics. What was disturbing is that Alix has less than six encounters with the lead male and she already knows she's in love yet they haven't had a single conversation that would give you any understanding as to why either one of them would even consider dating the other. She's constantly harping on him and he's constantly telling her he needs to work or asking her why she's making a scene. Both of the characters are one-dimensional. We only know that she thinks she's a failure at life but she doesn't seem to understand that the failure is because she's so inept socially. We never, ever, understand why Alex, the stoic, Alpha-male, falls for her. I can only think that he's got a masochistic streak. The writer hasn't met an adjective she doesn't like. My writing teacher told us to "show" what the characters are doing, not "describe" what the characters are doing. But describe is what Ms. MacAlister does. On top of it, the author has the characters repeat the same arguments over and over. And the author, who loves, adjectives, likes to recycle the same adjectives over and over. I quickly tired of Alex's eyes darkening, his green eyes causing her heart to flutter, his jaw tightening. Just about every description of the landlady, Isabella, has the word, "silvery" in it. On top of her adjective fetish, the author spends a lot of time trying to show off her knowledge of British idioms and colloquialisms. Rather than be impressed, it comes off as the British slang being force fed to us. The lead character's constant use of British idioms is unrealistic. No American arrives and one week later knows every slang word the British use, let alone uses it in their own language. More importantly, she tells the story in the first person and uses British slang as if that's the way she thinks. I lived in England and I rarely used British slang (because it sounds stupid coming from an American unless they've been living in England for years) and I rarely, in all the time I was there, substituted a British word for an American word in my thought pattern. I would think that the person was drunk even though I knew the British would probably think the person was "pissed". The author finds it so important to teach us British word differences that she stops the flow of the first semi-sexual encounter to give us a lecture on the difference between pants and trousers (the British use pants to describe underwear.) What might have been a hot scene is completely destroyed by her need to instruct us on language. Talk about a bucket of cold water. She did it again later as well. She started to build up sexual tension only to have Alix start talking about something completely off-topic. You want to slap Alix and tell her to just shut up. Or maybe you want to find out who the author's editor is and demand they gave the author her money back, because this book was way too long and very poorly edited. The plot could have been interesting if we'd seen the character grow, but that doesn't happen until very late in the book, and even then, she still acts childish. My husband was happy when I finished the book because I kept yelling at my Echo and rolling my eyes, wishing I could either throttle the character or the author or the editor. The narrator was good, except she had trouble making men sound different from each other.