Sex, Lies and Sensibility

Books on Tape. Feb. 2024. 11:10 hrs. ISBN 9780593747445. $95. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Upon their father’s death, Nora Dash and her sister Yanne inherit a dilapidated inn in Maine. The catch: The inn must earn enough to prevent foreclosure in the next nine months. On day one, they encounter Ennis “Bear” Freeman, who has been using the abandoned site for eco-tours presenting his Abenaki roots. Bear strikes a deal with the sisters to help renovate the inn as their business partner. Over repairs and morning jogs, Nora and Bear become friends who realize they want something more. Payne (Pride and Protest) soberly reads the author’s note, describing the writing journey that resulted in this book. Primary narrators Kacie Rogers and Phil Ava offer sizzling performances of the couple. Rogers’s Nora tries to hold firm to her “strong Black woman” exterior but displays vulnerability about her past and her feelings for Bear. Meanwhile, Rogers’s characterization of Yanne as a wannabe new-age guru is a hoot. Ava’s Bear, who sometimes has a stutter, smolders every time he thinks of Nora. A late second-act plot twist may give listeners pause, but the narrators’ delightful performances make this unputdownable.
VERDICT A sexy and sensitive update to Sense and Sensibility, perfect for fans of Sonali Dev’s Incense and Sensibility.
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