These Old Shades: Gossip, scandal and an unforgettable Regency romance

Written by:
Georgette Heyer
Narrated by:
Alexander Vlahos

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
February 2021
12 hours 11 minutes
Brought to you by Penguin.

These Old Shades is read by Alexander Vlahos, star of Versailles.

Leonie Bonnard is being drawn into a twenty-year-old feud.

Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, is a reprehensible rake with an axe to grind. Decades ago the Comte de Saint-Vire did something unforgivable and ever since Justin has been lying in wait to settle the score.

When Justin meets Leon, a street urchin with a striking resemblance to his nemesis, he aims to use him as a pawn in his plans for revenge on the Comte. Except Leon is in fact Leonie, a beautiful young ingénue who may just steal Justin's heart.

Can Leonie win the Duke's affection, or will his need for revenge overcome them both?

'One of my perennial comfort authors. Heyer's books are as incisively witty and quietly subversive as any of Jane Austen's' JOANNE HARRIS

'Absolutely delicious tales of Regency heroes . . . Utter, immersive escapism' SOPHIE KINSELLA

Léonie, hot-tempered and very much her own woman, is one of Heyer's best female leads[...]The novel remains a witty, vivid page turner' MELANIE REID

'If you haven't read her yet, what a treat you have in store!' Harriet Evans

'Georgette Heyer is second to none' Sunday Times

© Georgette Heyer 1926 (P) Penguin Audio 2021
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This is one of my favorite Heyer novels, and I was happy to find it in an audiobook. The narrator’s overall voice is fine; however, I find it difficult to believe that he did any preparation before this reading. A character that is supposed to have an upper class French accent, speaks with a lower class English accent. This is a critical flaw because it directly connects to the plot. An upper class English character is inexplicably given a Scottish accent. Most of Heyer’s fans have read her novels countless times, and are going to pick up on a poorly prepared production. I could not finish listening to this version.

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Rosalind A.

This is a wonderful book, and the narration is not as bad as one of the other options out there, but it is still not great. Some name pronounciations are inconsistent, the tone of different people’s voice often doesnt match their personality, and there is often an “overacted” vibe. The french servants all have strange scottish and welsh accents. It is listenable and i still enjoyed it but would avoid this narrator in future.

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Christine P.

I’ve read this book twice over the last forty years and decided this time to listen to it on audio whilst crafting. I think it’s always difficult for men to read women’s voices and vice versus, and for the most part the narrator did well. But oh! Very sadly he ruined Leon/Leonie’s voice, sounding first like a 12-year old boy, then a 12 year old girl. The voice was so high, jerky and childish it was difficult to know why Avon didn’t just throttle her. She was supposed to be 19! I never felt like this reading the book - she came over as naive but charming. So unfortunately this did rather spoil the book for me. There were many more male characters in this book than female so it made sense to have a male narrator - such a shame it was the second lead character that didn’t ring true for me. Georgette Heyer’s books do sound just a little dated (even politically incorrect!) these days, but the stories are full of charm and wit! I shall work my way through them again - on audio!

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