Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

Posted October 3, 2018 by B. in Contemporary Romance, Lesbian Romance, LGBTQ, Listen Up!, Rating B Tags: , , , ,

Audiobook review: In Her Court

Author: Tamsen Parker
Narrator: Jill Smith
Audio Speed: 1.0x
Series: Camp Firefly Falls #18
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ, f/f
Source: Author

Having read Nate’s story (Love, All) not too long ago—and after hearing very good things about its predecessor from other welcome sources—I was really excited to experience In Her Court for myself. So, when I was offered the chance to review the audiobook, I happily dove right in. Despite not being familiar with any of the other stories in the Camp Firefly Falls series aside from these two, I liked In Her Court enough to want to give some of the other titles a try.

One of the things I liked most was that the pitfalls of Willa and Van’s background made In Her Court potentially disastrous, but ultimately very interesting. With a seven-year age difference, and an absence from each others’ lives that’s nearing a decade, there’s lots of room for misunderstanding—and they have plenty. Willa’s hero-worship of Van is challenged by the latter’s job-related cynicism, and Van’s dismissal of Willa as her best friend’s baby sister is ripe for ruin in the face of Willa’s intelligence, determination, and form-fitting tennis dresses. It doesn’t help that they’re in such different places with regards to their careers. Willa is enjoying the high of the potential her new journey into academia possesses, while Van is trying to come to terms with the fact that she’s wasted so much of her life working towards a future she no longer wants. Not exactly a good basis for a fresh start.

On the other hand, they’ve got enough sexual chemistry to overrule both their better judgment. While there were some aspects of their relationship I had difficulties with, sex between the two wasn’t among them. I’ve admittedly felt somewhat apathetic about a lot of sex scenes I’ve read, but I thought the intimacy of In Her Court was handled well. Bypassing the potential “heat rating,” I appreciated that they were really learning each other in these moments. They seemed, in fact, to be instances of active exploration, complete with constant check-ins for boundaries and direction, not merely reflection “for next time.” Both women paid attention from start to finish every time with very gratifying results.

Jill Smith is a new-to-me narrator, and I enjoyed her treatment of In Her Court a great deal. Her portrayal of Willa’s sexy, blond jock personality was believable (if a bit much once or twice), and even her boozy, sarcastic take on Nate was a lot of fun. My favorite of her representations, however, was Van, who came across as nervous and charmingly unsure, and—best of all—sounded endearingly like an extra-awkward “Rosa Diaz” from the show Brooklyn 99. I’d definitely be up for listening to other titles read by Ms. Smith sometime in the future.

Overall, I’m still glad I got to listen to the audiobook edition of In Her Court. Sexy and sweet, Willa and Van made a great couple by the end, neatly filling in the gaps I regretted experiencing in Nate’s story. There were also several moments when I laughed out loud regarding the 80’s nostalgia, most especially during the laser tag scene. That one I went back and listened to twice, just for kicks. While I’m still curious to go back and read the two stories back-to-back, I think this audiobook will make most fans of Ms. Parker very happy.

My Ratings
Story: B+
Narration: A-

Review copy provided by the author.

B.

About the Book:

Newly minted professor Evangeline “Van” Thompson’s academic dreams have turned into nightmares. She can’t wait to escape the pressure cooker of the university to spend the summer at Camp Firefly Falls with her bestie, Nate.  

Unfortunately, Nate breaks his leg halfway through the season, and his little sister, Willa, fills in for him as resident tennis instructor. Van has fond memories of the blonde moppet, but when Willa shows up at camp, she’s not so little anymore. She’s grown into a bombshell and a menace on the tennis court – why do those skirts have to be so short, anyway? 

Willa Carter has had a crush on Van Thompson since the third grade, but Van’s always been more interested in hanging out with Willa’s older brother. Not much seems to have changed – Van’s managing the camp’s web presence while Willa rocks her tennis whites.   

Camp will be closing in a few weeks, and Van’s barely spoken to Willa despite sharing a cabin. But when the two get thrown together to plan the last session of camp, s’mores might not be the only thing getting sticky and sweet before the season’s out….