"The Bargain" is a sweet, unusual story, and one I could not stop listening to. I did not read the original version published in 1989 as "The Would-Be Widow", but I certainly enjoyed this revamped version.
The strong willed heroine, Lady Jocelyn Kendal, has deeply buried emotional issues, which effects her decision making. So, when she is faced with having to marry before her twenty-fifth birthday or lose her inheritance to her uncle and wicked aunt-by-marriage, according to her father's will, she is at a loss as to what to do. She refuses to marry without a love match, and she has only been interested in one man, the Duke of Candover, despite the many men who have tried to woo her. Although she thinks he has feelings for her, she knows she can not convince him to marry her in the 4 weeks before her birthday, besides he has never seemed interested in commitment.
While visiting a friend recuperating at the Military Hospital she realizes she may have come across the answer to her prayers. Major David Lancaster has been fatally wounded and is not expected to live. He is not afraid to die, but is worried about his unmarried sister's well being and future. So when Jocelyn learns of this she sees an opportunity that she simply can't pass up.
I enjoyed Emma Newman's narration, although soft spoken she did well defining the different characters.
I recommend "The Bargain" to all Historical Romance lovers.
I only gave it 4 Stars because although it had a good story-line, it was drawn out too much. I didn't care for the hero, Gabriel St John, the Marquess of Ralston, but liked the heroine, Lady Calpurnia Hartwell, and secondary characters, except for the ones we were not suppose to like--the gold digging dandy. I think the Dandy should have been hit by Gabriel or Calpurnia's brother when he told Calpurnia about the bet in a most demeaning way, although the Marquess did call him out--pistols at dawn.
It has detailed sexual content, not suitable for under 18 years of age.
The narrator did not do male voices well.
I'm a real Louis L'Amour fan, but felt "The proving Trail" was not up to his usual excellence.
Perhaps with another narrator it would have been better.
Waking Up With The Duke is a unique story. The storyline calls for love-making throughout the book, but unlike many stories with immoderate sexual content the theme of "Waking Up With The Duke" is about begetting a babe. I did not find it objectionable as I do with stories that simply throw in page after page of sexual activity to increase the length of their books, or ones that depict erotic behavior intended to cause sexual excitement. Most of the aforementioned books have little to no actual story.
"Waking Up With The Duke" is an emotional story about dysfunctional families of the aristocracy, friendships, guilt, regrets, and love. The guilt ridden Duke of Ainsley feels he owes his friend and cousin Walfort a debt, but the payment requested even shocked the rake.
The hero and heroine of the story is the Duke of Ainsley and the Lady Jane Walfort, but the secondary characters play important roles. There is: Lord Walfort, his jewels, the scandalous Duchess of Ainsley and her artist lover with no known last name, his brothers and their ever-growing families. I love his brother's young heir, who, when speaking to the Duke addresses him as "Uncle", and the Duke replies "Nephew".
The story encompasses a variety of emotions. It has some inventive verbal humor, but for the most part is emotionally heart-rendering. It is not a story to be easily forgotten.
It is very well written, and Anne Flosnik gave a flawless performance--she is quite an actress. Her ability to portray the emotions of the characters brings them to life. The listener feels their love, pain, and happiness.
This is only the second book I have listened to written by Claudy Conn, but I enjoyed Serena even more than the first, which I found engaging. I have added a couple more of her books to my wish list. I really like her writing style. I like the way she defines her characters personalities, as well as their appearance. You feel like you have been picked up and set into the scene she is describing.
It is hard to find an author with fresh ideas for those of us that read/listen to several books per month, but "Serena" fits that category. I didn't want to put it down, so to speak, and listened to it straight through.
The book is about the adventures of a beautiful unconventional lady; who, at the age of 23, was being pressured to choose a man to marry from her numerous suitors. Serena refuses to marry without love.
Freddy, one of Serena's suitors, is a wealthy, titled young man of 19. He tells his mother he is going to marry Serena. Upset that her son is considering marrying an "older woman" and refusing to return to University she asks her brother, Lord Pendleton, Freddy's uncle, to investigate the woman and talk some sense into her son.
For Serena, it is love at first sight when she meets Lord Pendleton, although she doesn't recognize the feeling. For Lord Pendleton plan "B" in rescuing his nephew is to turn Serena's attention away from Freddy to himself.
The story includes love and romance, murder and mayhem and theft of a gold shipment.
This was my first time to hear Mary Sarah Agliotta read, but she gave a noteworthy performance.
I highly recommend "Serena".
"After the Storm" exceeded my expectations. It was well written and had a well thought out plot. The characters were interesting and likable.
The author has a good command of language, so her descriptions were not overly wordy. Her characters came alive under her talented pen...it's as if you were there.
"After the Storm" has love and romance, intrigue, murder and attempted murder. I don't like reading about explicit sexual lust or detailed blood and gore, so I appreciated how tastefully everything was done.
It held my interest from beginning to end.
Stevie Zimmerman gave a great performance.
I enjoyed listening to "Smuggler's Moon" which differed from the cookie cutter themes of books I have listened to lately. Historical romance has been my genre of choice for years, but lately it seems many authors follow similar themes, just making necessary changes from one book to another to keep from violating copyright laws. Especially when it comes to handsome, sexy, muscular Scots.
Although Lord Sebastian Trevarre is a tall, strong, handsome Englishman, he also has heart. While Sebastian is in the Royal Navy his brother gambles away their fortune and leaves England. Trying to recoup enough money to pay off the debt against the family's entailed leased land and buy back his horses, he gambles with Faircloth and wins his Estate, which Sebastian plans to sell. Upon learning of Faircloth's fatal accident and the plight of his family, Sebastian proposes to the younger shy sister Sarah, to provide the Faircloth family a place to live. Julia Faircloth, the eldest daughter, who runs the family will not let her sister sacrifice herself, so Julia switches places with Sarah and marries Sebastian instead. Discovering the deceit on his wedding night he is furious.....
"Smuggler's Moon" is well written, providing mental pictures of the characters and their surroundings without the overuse of words. I felt as if I was in Cornwall from the author's depiction of the area.
"Smuggler's Moon" is for a mature audience; with detailed sexual scenes.
Excellent narration by Rosalyn Landor.
"Lady Dearing's Masquerade" is a story about a long suffering love affair between two unlikely individuals; a lady shunned by the ton, with a tarnished reputation, and a man with the reputation of a saint. How the Lady fights to keep the troubled children from a Founding Home in her care, against those that would take them from her.
A good story, performed well by Elena Greene who does both men and women's voices equally well.
I've always enjoyed Agatha Christy mysteries and "Philomel Cottage" was no exception. It was well written, with her famous twist at the end. It was a little less than an hour, well spent.
Hugh Fraser did a good job as narrator..
The story is basically about the life of Alex, the brother of the Chieftain of their clan. Alex is a gorgeous warrior who loves to fight, wench and tell stories. Glenna is the fiery, outspoken daughter of the Chieftain of a neighboring clan. Alex has sworn not to marry, and Glenna has swore never to remarry-- having knifed her husband and been set-aside.
The story moved a little too slow to hold my interest, so it took me awhile to finish it, but the last several chapters were very good with lots of action. All-in-all it was a decent read. The hero and heroine were likeable. The author did not use a lot of filler words, did a good job with her descriptions, and the sexual scenes were not too long nor too frequent, although it was often on Alex's mind.
The narration was superb. I will look for more books narrated by Derek Perkins.
Carmen Rose reads well, but everyone sound alike, both male and females. With a talented narrator "A Good Debutant's Guide to Ruin" could have been entertaining, but even the love scenes sounded like someone reading a recipe. The narrator sure makes a difference.
Historical romance is my genre of choice, but it took me 3 tries to finish "A Good Debutant's Guide to Ruin" -- I cannot recommend it.
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