• The Meaning of Love

  • The Lady Osbaldestone’s Christmas Chronicles
  • By: Stephanie Laurens
  • Narrated by: Matthew Brenher
  • Length: 15 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (459 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What happens when a love left behind doesn’t die?

Melissa North had assumed that after eight years of not setting eyes on each other, her youthful attraction to - or an infatuation with - Julian Delamere, once Viscount Dagenham and now earl of Carsely, would have faded to nothing and gasped its last. Unfortunately, during the intervening years, she has failed to find any suitable suitor who measures up to her mark, and she is resigned to ending her days an old maid.

Then she sees Julian across a crowded ballroom, and he sees her, and the intensity of their connection shocks her. She seizes the first chance that offers to flee, only to discover that she has jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

Within 24 hours, she and Julian are the newly engaged toast of the ton.

Julian has never forgotten Melissa. Now, having inherited the earldom, he must marry and is determined to choose his own bride. He had assumed that, by now, Melissa would be married to someone else, but apparently not. Consequently, he is not averse to the path fate seems to be steering them down.

And, indeed, as they discover, enforced separation has made their hearts grow fonder, and the attraction between them flares even more intensely.

However, it’s soon apparent that someone is intent on ensuring their married life is cut short in deadly fashion. Through a whirlwind courtship, a massive ton wedding, and finally, blissful country peace, they fend off increasingly dangerous, potentially lethal threats, until, together, they unravel the conspiracy that has dogged their heels and expose the villain behind it all.

©2021 by Stephanie Laurens (P)2021 by Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Meaning of Love

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected

This was supposed to be a sequel to the Lady Osbaldestone’s Christmas Chronicles, however the sharp wit of Lady Osbaldestone was almost completely missing, she was portrayed as being in her dotage, considering she was only 50 in the last book she wasn’t even 60 in this one. Christmas was totally missing, as was the characters of all the prime people in the story. I know people change, but there was nothing left of either the old Mellissa or the Viscount, never mind the 3 children, we could have been reading about a totally unrelated group of people. A disappointing conclusion to the Christmas Chronicles.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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It's fine but...

As part of The Lady Osbaldestone's Christmas Chronicles...one would expect Lady Osbaldestone to have a larger part. And where was the Christmas?

The story was fine, I was just so disappointed.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Worst writing ever

Convoluted plot, tortured dialog, leaden narration...this book has it all. To summarize: the most fun couple of the Chrstmas Chonicles has a couple problems - their relationship is just too perfect, and someone is trying to murder then.
Fear not! The would be murderers are singularly incompetent, but persistent. There are at least 8 attempts with all kinds of elaborate devices, each one sillier than the last. In between the attempts, there are elaborate descriptions of minutiae, ponderings about the couples importance and perfectness, and dialog so stilted and awful, that the book is almost a parody of itself. The narration is so leaden and uninspired that you get to savor the excess of florid phrases, ridiculously elaborate vocabulary, and total lack of sense.
Do not waste your money.

7 people found this helpful

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Cheated

This was supposed to be the fifth of a Christmas montague! It was not! I am furious and disappointed with you! I have been sharing these books WITH my younger granddaughters, Please take this book back and return my credit! My girls are not in the need of a tutorial of the wedding night!!! Disgusting!!!

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing.

Struggled to finish. it's very unlike the other Christmas books in this series I look forward to every year.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ejoyed the previous4 books , this 1 was monotonous

The monotony of several murder attempts became very frustrating and I must say a bit annoying as I read through this book. I was really disappointed that it dragged on and on and on and found it to be a bit boring because of that. I really did enjoy the previous 4 books and did enjoy parts of this book as well, but the author could definitely have left a lot of the extra murder attempts a test out... I mean seriously how many murder attempts can someone survive??? didn't even really care who the mastermind was in the end.

6 people found this helpful

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Not really a Lady Osbaldestone Christmas story

I was looking for another lovely story in the series, but this is a very different type of story. Lady Osbaldestone only appears for a moment and most of this very long story does not take place at Christmas. Two of the characters from one of the earlier books are the main players in this book, and as such interesting. Still, I was disappointed.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not part of the Christmas Chronicles, but a good book on its own.

As a previous reviewer said, I was surprised that this book is not truly part of the Christmas Chronicles. Those stories are fun and easy and just what I want to listen to at Christmas time. Bought this one thinking it would be another easy Christmas book, but quickly realized this one may be connected due to the two main characters, but was not at all part of that series.

That being said, I enjoyed this very much. Once I settled into it being its own book, I found both main characters to be wonderful. Melissa is a strong woman in her own right, and the Earl is ahead of his time in his thinking about women. Both follow their hearts but think very clearly about love and its meaning in their lives.

I agree that there probably were a few too many murder attempts to be believable, but it did not diminish my enjoyment of this book. The author gets a little repetitive sometimes (“she arched her brow“- lots of brow arching all the way through!) but again, did not diminish my enjoyment.

I do hope Stephanie Laurens will do more Lady Osbaldeston‘s Christmas chronicle books – they are delightful. But if you are in the mood for a good romance on its own, this is a good book for you.

3 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable

I was so glad to get Melissa and Julian's story. They were a star-crossed couple who met when they were both too young to become a couple. Eight years have passed and the time is perfect for them. I loved the mix of romance and mystery in this story. If you're a fan of the Lady Olbaldastone Chronicles you will love the completion of this couples story. The mystery is well done even if I did figure out who the perpetrator was fairly early on. This did not diminish my enjoyment of the story.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Author received a new thesaurus

Well the premise of the story was wonderful it was painful to listen to. Not only did the author describe the color of the air in the room and every innate conversation they had with every character whether important to the story or not.

The author has a great writing technique but definitely over uses the English language. Using big words and an extreme amount of words to go along with them does not make a great novel.

The narrator was flat unenthusiastic and quite literally boring.

The editor of this book and the producer of the narrated book should have helped the author and narrator along and condensed some words to make listening more enjoyable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cortrick000
  • 09-23-22

Narration

Terrible, plodding narration. Was a real effort to stick with it to the end. Will not be listening to any other book by this narrator.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. M. Freeman
  • 09-22-22

I've had to RE listen as the story is too slow

The story is too slow at times. And because of this I had to Re-listen to many parts. The chapters are too long to negotiate easily to do this.
I enjoyed the story although the wedding in the regency time would have been different than included.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-07-22

the meaning of love

why do we suddenly need so many sex scenes
your last four books lovely can listen to anywhere don't mind my grandkids (12,10,3,2) ok young ones don't know what I'm listening to but older ones do
the story the plot brilliant but can we please leave out the bedroom detail

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-25-22

Steady and enjoyable if not a little unrealistic conclusion


I enjoyed this novel and performances were good although the conclusion was a little unrealistic for the sequence of events in the regency era. However it’s a love story and fiction, so author can end on a happy and neatly wrapped bow! I’d still like to hear more of her work however as it had a good flow and like I mentioned earlier was reasonably enjoyable :)

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  • a buckley
  • 05-01-22

most enjoyable

I have listened to all of the 3 books ,and I have enjoyed each one the oratory and the stories were very good ,

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Merrii
  • 12-18-21

Good story flat delivery

I think the actual story lines not bad and if you like the author you will like this one.

However sadly the narrator is so flat (I had to check it wasn’t a computer) there’s no pacing or emotion behind the words found it difficult to keep listening

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  • Marie
  • 11-11-21

Very Good !

A very well written story but also extremely slow at times. The pacing was,at times, almost at a standstill but in the end an enjoyable story. Whilst I cannot include it as a favourite, I am pleased to have been able to listen to it.

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  • Terry
  • 10-18-21

fantastic listen

really loved this book great story,narration good,had to listen in one go,will be reading again

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  • Sally
  • 10-17-21

The worst Stephanie Laurens book

Is this the narrator’s first audiobook? You can actually hear when he turns a page. I’ve never come across that before.
Given this is a romance novel, for a predominantly female audience, the choice to give the main female character a truely insipid voice, seem an odd and incredibly grating.
So the performance was awful, which made it hard to tell how bad the book was. The ending was telegraphed early in the story. The characters and setting seemed poorly developed. Seemed like it was written on autopilot without a lot of thought.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie A. Darcy
  • 06-07-22

Good story.

A good story. well written but let down by the droll narration. At times l was about to give up on the book the narration was so dry and boring.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kerrie Jarvie
  • 05-24-22

Don't bother

Poorly written, poorly narrated. Worst book I've listened to on audible but I did finish it to find out the culprit lol. glad it was a free book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maryanne
  • 02-24-22

Enjoyable

Loved the themes and characters. A lot of nice twist and movement throughout the book. Not fond on the narrator - sorry.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • 02-15-22

delightful

Loved this delightful Georgette Heyer style romantic suspenseful novel particularly developing depth between heroin and hero in the midst of overwhelming odds

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-03-21

I struggled with the narration

The stilted reading of the book put me off. I know it’s set in Regency England but I found the narration overly correct and lacking emotion and inflection.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • anita rose
  • 10-24-21

the meaning of love

mysterious right to the end
giving you a chance to opt for the perpetrator. but I was wrong. I thought it was one of the family. oh well. a good listen.