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.
Yes I would recommend this book to any of my friends who enjoy cozy mysteries - and it might be a good book for those who are not familiar with cozies to get started reading them.
I liked the characterizations. I became very fond of Jordan and her uncles (and I was hoping that Officer Smiley would end up being a good guy). Also, the book moved along smoothly and didn't drag. It held my attention throughout.
I have not listened to any of her other performances, but I have listened to a lot of audio books and I thought her performance was exceptional.
I usually have two audio books going at once - one in the house on my Kindle and one in the car on my iPod. This one was in the car, but several times I brought it in because I didn't want to wait until I was on the road again to hear more. That's unusual for me, which is an indication of how much I enjoyed it. I will definitely be getting the remaining books in this series.
Just wanted to mention that I love Honor's Splendour. I have a copy in paperback and Kindle. I wanted it in audio as well, but didn't notice when I ordered it that it was ABRIDGED. An abridged book may be OK if you have never read the book before, but if you have, it is VERY disappointing. The parts of the book that are left out are ones that I believe add to the story. Ms. Garwood has written a very entertaining book, but I think the abridged version did not do the story credit. I ended up ordering a copy of the unabridged book in audio, and am happy with it. But I learned from this experience that I will never buy an abridged audio book ever again. I rated this 5 stars for the STORY, not the actual product.
Top 10 out of over 60 audio books.
The ending was very satisfying. I was a bit worried about some developments (with Mrs. P in particular), but it was handled so well that instead of being sad I was really happy.
That's hard to answer. Often in a book, the main character is generally the one you relate to the most, but Heather has developed the other characters so well throughout this series that I feel like they are all friends. Darcy, Nick, Mimi, Harper, Mrs. P, Evan, Starla, Vi, Godfrey....and the list goes on. And of course the familiars are so adorable - I'm crazy about Archie and Pepe. I think it would be difficult for me if any of these characters disappeared from future books.
I wouldn't say extreme....I was totally involved in it from start to finish. It was a feel good book that was fun to read and I definitely want to hear more from Darcy and the gang.
I have read other series by Heather (as both Heather Blake and Heather Webber), but so far this is the only series in audio book. I don't have a lot of time to read, but I can listen to audio books when driving or doing other tasks. So I hope that more of Heather's books end up in audio
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