Mind Over Matter by Nora Roberts (audiobook)

In brief: A.J. (real name Aurora) is a high ranking Hollywood agent who protects her clients fiercely. When David, a producer, wants to use her clairvoyant mother in a documentary, Aurora’s claws come out. But something else starts to stir between the pair…

The good: Aurora’s mother is lovely and there are some interesting aspects to the plot (clairvoyance, a kidnapping) to make things more exciting.

The not-so-good: David can be a bit too strong and domineering for my taste (plus, he smokes. Yuck).

Why I chose it: Library audiobook

Year: 2011 (Book 1987)

Read by: Alyson Silverman

Length: 6 hours, 21 minutes (book is 345 pages)

Publisher: Harlequin

Setting: California

My rating: 7.5 out of 10

Mind Over Matter has the distinction of being the first romance audiobook I’ve listened to. At first I wasn’t too sure if listening to all those sexy scenes was for me, but as long as you’re either a) cautious about having the windows down and stereo blaring at traffic lights or b) not bothered by people watching you listening to sexy scenes you’ll be fine. As it was also only the second audiobook I’d listened to as a grown-up, it was a bit different listening to one narrator rather than the cast from Oh Dear Silvia. I thought Alyson Silverman did a good job, after the first disc I got used to the different nuances and speed of speech for the different characters that she used. The book is relatively ‘fast’ for audio at 6 hours, 21 minutes.

I believe that Mind Over Matter is one of Nora Roberts’ early Harlequin Silhouette romances – it’s more of a category romance where the relationship between the two main characters is the main focus. However, there are enough quirks to lift the story and make it really interesting. The story is about A.J. (Aurora) Fields, a hotshot Hollywood agent. But it wasn’t always this way – Aurora set herself up in business at a young age with just one client, Clarissa (a psychic, and also her mother). When producer David Brady wants to involve Clarissa in a documentary, Aurora’s very fierce about protecting her mother’s dignity and getting a good deal. Sparks fly between Aurora and David, but it’s a hot-cold kind of relationship. As one draws closer, the other pulls away. Aurora ends up telling David more than anyone else has ever known about her and her senses, but is he the one?

While I liked Aurora’s sass and fierce individuality, I didn’t warm to David. Sure, he can be kind and he does look after his documentary subjects, but he’s too overbearing and alpha for me. I’m not sure of his attitudes towards women are just a little too antique because of the age of this book (it was first published in 1987) or if it’s in his nature to steamroll over everything. As a modern reader, I found the references to him smoking quite distasteful (he smokes inside! Without asking permission!). I think David could be more sensitive, but it’s going to take a lot of dedication from Aurora to bring that to the forefront. Aurora’s tough, but she shows a gentle side after an otherworldly experience (don’t worry, there’s not too much of that) and she just dissolves in David’s arms. Again, I think it might be a product of the earlier age of romance that made me think she gave up far too readily to the hero. Plus, the whole ‘who calls Aurora A.J., who doesn’t’ thing was a little confusing. Was she the same person? It took me a little while to realise she was the same person on the audio.

What I really enjoyed was Clarissa, Aurora’s mum. She’s sweet, kind and incredibly good natured. She’s a psychic with a high standard of ethics, in that she doesn’t do futures (possibly a wise thing in Hollywood) and she’s real – she cannot cook at all. Her experiences with the kidnapping of a child were fascinating and I’d like to read more about this. Clearly Nora Roberts’ storytelling is more than just romance! The story is fun, despite my gripes about David. It was an easy listen and it wasn’t too hard to get out of the car – a good thing in an audiobook.

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