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The Bargain | [Mary Jo Putney]

The Bargain

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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....

©All Mary Jo Putney (P)All Mary Jo Putney

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (148 )
5 star
 (61)
4 star
 (57)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.1 (138 )
5 star
 (54)
4 star
 (55)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.2 (137 )
5 star
 (57)
4 star
 (55)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    April Inverness, FL, United States 02-28-14
    April Inverness, FL, United States 02-28-14 Member Since 2006

    iPod Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
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    "A Classic Worth Your Time"

    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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 03-21-14
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 03-21-14 Member Since 2008

    I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth the time and credit"

    Setting: London, 1815
    Genre: Romance
    Narration wasn't the worst I've ever heard, and it didn't 't detract from the story.

    This is a lovely book. Lady Jocelyn comes across as a bit hard-edged, but her softer side and her vulnerabilities are shown over the course of the story. Major David Lancaster doesn't seem to have any hardness at all, so the only change/growth is the love he develops for Jocelyn. She, however, is madly in love with a Duke who has been raking his way through the bedrooms of every willing widow and discontented wife in the ton for his entire adulthood. He is not the marrying kind. His interest in Jocelyn comes forth only after she arranges the marriage of convenience with Major Lancaster. The conflicts of the story are David's health and Jocelyn's devotion for another man. There is a subplot, which is David's sister's animosity toward Jocelyn and a developing love interest of her own.

    Definitely credit-worthy.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly ANN ARBOR, MI, United States 07-02-14
    Kimberly ANN ARBOR, MI, United States 07-02-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Not much going on here"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    More plot, more action


    What could Mary Jo Putney have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Something more than two people falling in love needs to happen.


    Have you listened to any of Emma Newman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not but the narration was good -not at all the problem.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom and frustration.


    Any additional comments?

    If all you need from a romance is two people falling in love, you will enjoy this book. If you need action, surprises, originality, this is not the story for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynda Turpin ANTELOPE, CA, US 05-09-14
    Lynda Turpin ANTELOPE, CA, US 05-09-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    59
    4
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    "Wonderful story and exceptional narration"
    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Dexter, MI, United States 03-07-14
    Carol Dexter, MI, United States 03-07-14 Member Since 2010

    I am a singer and Celtic harper specializing in the music of Scotland, where I go often to study and perform. I love romance books because I like a light hearted story with a happy ending!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not all I bargained for!"

    I remembered liking this book when I read it years ago but unfortunately, the audio book just wasn't very captivating. The narrator was kind of annoying as was the heroine of the story. The premise of the story was interesting but it couldn't overcome the other difficulties that hold this one back. Not horrible but not great either.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    leonie Australia 02-27-14
    leonie Australia 02-27-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "romance with a difference"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Bargain to be better than the print version?

    No. I felt that reading this book would be preferable. The narrator was good but not suited to this book.


    What other book might you compare The Bargain to and why?

    This is a good historical romance and is well written. It is slightly more detailed a story to the normal romance but enjoyable.


    Have you listened to any of Emma Newman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to other books narrated by Emma Newman and enjoyed them much more than this one.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    No idea.


    Any additional comments?

    A good romance that is well written. The story of the soldier on his death bed and the beauty is lovely and slow. The romance blooms between them with a few hitches and lots of love. It has a good ending.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny Frankston South, Australia 06-16-14
    Penny Frankston South, Australia 06-16-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Interesting story, poor naration."

    Whilst the story line was quite interesting, the narrator just lacked the ability to give this listening experience its full potential. The engrained British class system so epitomised by voice, appeared beyond this narrators range.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lady M Peoria, AZ, United States 03-27-14
    Lady M Peoria, AZ, United States 03-27-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable"

    "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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa Charlotte, NC, United States 03-26-14
    Theresa Charlotte, NC, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2009
    ratings
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    38
    11
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    Story
    "great narration"
    What did you love best about The Bargain?

    the time period is one of my favorite to read about


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mary Jo Putney again?

    yes


    Have you listened to any of Emma Newman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    not sure


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    not the best writing but I thought the narration was good which made the story more enjoyable

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • Caz
    Frinton-on-Sea
    3/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor narration ruins a good book"
    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
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