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By Cat Treadgold

IR Rating:
A sweet and hot romance with a touch of mystery, Cat Treadgold's THE SILENT WOODSMAN (the audio version) covers more than a few of the classic romance novel tropes, but does so reasonably well.
A woman looking for answers about her missing twin brother gets caught in a rainstorm and ends up finding refuge at the lone cabin where a country star has gone to recover from throat surgery. The chemistry is instant, but can they adjust their lives enough for a real romance?

Cat Treadgold’s THE SILENT WOODSMAN makes use of a good number of tried-and-true romance writing tropes: a lone cabin in the woods, only one bed, hypothermia needing body heat to cure, a rich and famous star encountering an unpretentious and financially-struggling woman who’s never heard of him and isn’t fawning on him, rivals for both protagonists who are flashy and well-off but shallow, etc. These tropes are cliches because they work, and they work well here, too, upping the sexual tension, keeping the two protagonists separate enough to build dramatic (as well as romantic) tension, and giving the pair a chance to meet and get to know each other in a quiet place before throwing them back into the chaos of their daily lives. Country star Joe O’Connell’s literal inability to talk throughout their two stays in the cabin give them a paradoxically more intimate form of communication, as they have to pay deeper attention to each other—to what is being said and what is not being said. There are some substantial periods of separation in the book, without much (if any) progress being made on the relationship between the protagonists, and these can get dull in places. They are, however, at least somewhat successfully filled in with interactions between Ali and her friends, the discovery of her long-lost father, and a bit—just a taste—of mystery involving Ali’s missing-presumed-dead twin brother Liam (a mystery and a character that are mostly left for the next book in the series, THE GUARDSMAN, to explore).

The author does the reading for the audiobook, and she has a very pleasant alto voice, rich and expressive enough to be interesting without distracting from the story. Her pacing is quite good, slow and clear enough to be easily understood without slowing down the action. Her accents, however, could use some work, and there are several in the story. She does fairly well with Rena’s Southern drawl and Jean-Louis’s French accent, but the New York accent used by Ali’s friend Becca and her family is a bit off, especially when she ventures into Yiddish (she pronounces ferschnicket correctly, but pronounces Bubbe as boo-BAH instead of BUH-bee); and Duncan’s accent sounds more Jamaican than Irish. Still, her narration is clear, pleasant to listen to, and a welcome companion on a long and tedious car ride (or as a distraction while exercising). All in all, for readers who enjoy a solid romance with likeable protagonists, the intimate possibilities of a secluded cabin in the woods, and a lively cast of backup characters, THE SILENT WOODSMAN is a fine choice.

A sweet and hot romance with a touch of mystery, Cat Treadgold’s THE SILENT WOODSMAN (the audio version) covers more than a few of the classic romance novel tropes, but does so reasonably well.

~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader

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