Forced to wed to keep her inheritance, independent Lady Jocelyn Kendal finds an outrageous solution: she proposes marriage to Major David Lancaster, an officer dying from his Waterloo wounds. In return for making her his wife, she will provide for his governess sister. But after the bargain is struck and the marriage is made, the major makes a shocking, miraculous recovery. Though they agree to an annulment, such matters take time...time enough for David to realize he is irrevocably in love with his wife. Haunted by her past, Jocelyn refuses to trust the desire David ignites in her. She never counted on a real husband, least of all one who would entice her to be a real wife. But some bargains are made to be broken - and his skilled courtship is impossible to resist....
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A Classic Worth Your Time
Wonderful story and exceptional narration
A combination of the wonderful narration and the story itself. I am not always a huge fan of historical romances, because some authors get so caught up in describing historical facts that it detracts from the story itself. And in some romance novels, the authors sometimes try so hard to develop conflict between the characters that it becomes tiresome. You pretty much know that the characters are going to eventually get together, and a little friction is good - but when page after page after page is so full of the conflict it wears me down. Mary Jo put just the right amount of tension in this book. Plus, she didn't make it seem like a history lesson. There was enough detail of the era to make it interesting and to make the reader understand the period, but it didn't detract from the story. The characters were very well developed and I was drawn into their lives. I was very satisfied with the outcome at the end of the book, which makes me want to read more from this author.
I don't read a lot of historical romances, but I would probably compare The Bargain to Julie Garwood's novels set in Scotland and her Clayborn western series. Both authors did a great job of creating characters that draw the reader into their lives and make you want the best for them. Both authors also, while providing the historical information you need to understand the era where the story takes place, do not let the details bog down the story.
Emma Newman was amazing. I have a great respect for voice artists - I think their skills are often underrated. A good performance can make the characters come to life and do justice to the author and the story. However, a bad performance can make even a good book difficult to listen to. I have over 60 audio books, and I would put Emma's performance in the top 3. Her voice is beautiful and she performed the different characters in a way that you could tell who was talking simply by the voice she used, and she was able to perform both male and female voices without having the males sound odd. Some narrators try too hard and it can be distracting. I would definitely listen to more books that she narrates.
There were many pivotal moments in the story, but a particular moment doesn't readily come to mind.
Because of vision issues, I cannot read paper books, so I buy Kindle books so I can increase the font on my Kindle and on my computer. However, I am trying to get as many audio books as I can. Not only because of my vision issues but also because I can listen to audio books when I don't have time to sit down and read. I usually have one audio book in progress in my car and one in the house. I had "The Bargain" in my car, but was tempted on several occasions to bring it into the house because I was so caught up in the story. I would definitely recommend this book.
- Lynda Turpin