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I read this book some years ago and was glad to see it on Audible. Just the idea of marrying a dying soldier for convenience sake is filled with all sorts of delicious conflict for an upstanding young gentlewoman, and Ms. Putney didn''t miss any of them.
I am so happy to have this in my audio library and look forward to more by the same author coming available.
Will I listen to this again? Absolutely Yes.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about The Bargain?
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.
What other book might you compare The Bargain to and why?
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.
What about Emma Newman’s performance did you like?
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.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
There were many pivotal moments in the story, but a particular moment doesn't readily come to mind.
Any additional comments?
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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Mary Jo Putney or narrated by Emma Newman?
I like this story and I've enjoyed other titles by this author, but I won't be listening to Emma Newman again, I'm afraid. Her performance is flat and emotionless and there is practically zero differentiation between the characters (the men and women basically sound the same, apart from the few characters to whom Ms Newman gives dodgy regional accents) and there is no difference between narration and dialogue.
Would you be willing to try another one of Emma Newman’s performances?
Sorry, but no, for the reasons I've given above.
Any additional comments?
Audible - if you want to cut down on the number of returns you receive because of poor narration, you really need to start thinking hard about the way you select samples for this site, and stop just running it through a computer programme which just gives us the first few minutes. We need to hear a selection of character voices (hero and heroine especially if it's a romance), which are rarely found within the first few pages of any book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful