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Kate McMurry

United States
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 25
  • ratings
  • The Bargain

  • By: Mary Jo Putney
  • Narrated by: Emma Newman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 271
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 249
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 249

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Classic Worth Your Time

  • By April on 02-28-14

Terrific narration of an exciting Regency romance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-26-15

Where does The Bargain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I listen to such a wide variety of audiobooks across so many different genres, it would be difficult for me to attempt to make that kind of ranking because I would be comparing not just apples to oranges, but bananas and peaches and pears.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bargain?

I enjoyed the entire course of this highly entertaining "marriage of convenience" plot. The heroine is strong and dynamic, and the hero is intelligent, compassionate, and both physically and ethically strong.

What does Emma Newman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

For a novel to work well as an audiobook, two factors are essential: (1) It must be exceptionally well written in order to thrive beneath the intense scrutiny of being read out loud at a quarter of the speed it would take a reader to read the book silently to herself. The Bargain definitely passes that test. (2) The narrator must be a very good performer, able to convincingly portray every kind of character, from old to young, male or female, and often different nationalities. Ms. Newman is a fine performer able to deliver these dramatic necessities really well.

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

A beautiful aristocrat must wed by her 25th birthday in order to inherit a fortune under the terms of her father's will. With the deadline only days away, in desperation, she makes a mad marriage bargain with an impoverished officer dying of wounds from the Battle of Waterloo, but her presumed immediate widowhood becomes instead a marriage in fact when her convenient husband inconveniently recovers.

Any additional comments?

I was delighted to discover this recording, which offers me the opportunity to enjoy one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors in the form of an excellent audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Eight Cousins

  • or The Aunt Hill
  • By: Louisa May Alcott
  • Narrated by: Barbara Caruso
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159

Recently orphaned, young Rose Campbell is sent to the "Aunt Hill", where Uncle Alex, her six aunts, and seven boy cousins live in noisy confusion. It is nothing like the quiet girls’ boarding school that has been Rose’s home for the past year. Surrounded by a bewildering array of pets, relatives, and unfamiliar foods, the fragile girl wonders if she will ever get used to this new life. Fortunately, Uncle Alex is her guardian. He keeps the aunts from coddling her too much, and makes sure that she has plenty of time to play outside with her cousins.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific rendition of a beloved children's classic

  • By Kate McMurry on 01-25-15

Terrific rendition of a beloved children's classic

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-25-15

What made the experience of listening to Eight Cousins the most enjoyable?

It is well performed, and it is a book so beautifully written with such appealing content, it stands up very well to being read aloud--which lesser books do not.

What did you like best about this story?

The ideas on health and healing, education, and women's role in society expressed by Dr. Alec Campbell are remarkably advanced. He would be very much at home in the company of holistic physicians of the modern world and is a perfect model of a "liberated," feminist male. He is extremely kind, generous, nurturing, and attentive to his sickly, heartbroken, 13-year-old, orphaned niece, Rose, the heroine of this novel.

For readers who enjoy stories rooted in family life, the Campbell clan offers a joyful vision of the many pleasures of being a treasured member of a close-knit, extended family.

Which character – as performed by Barbara Caruso – was your favorite?

There were three favorites: Rose, the 13-year-old heroine; Aunt Plenty, Rose's sixty-something great-aunt, and Pokey, a four-year-old little girl. Ms. Caruso is outstanding with female voices of all ages. However, she does not attempt to do male voices authentically, other than to very slightly deepen and roughen her voice to indicate adult males. To be fair, though, in my personal experience, few female narrators do male voices outstandingly, a notable exception being the late Anna Fields (AKA Kate Fleming).

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me both laugh and cry. Rose formed important one-on-one relationships with many different relatives and several friends, but the most significant and moving relationships were Rose and Uncle Alec, Rose and the 15-year-old family maid, Phoebe, and Rose and her 15-year-old cousin Mac. I loved the way Uncle Alec encouraged Rose's innate tendency to compassion, and she found frequent opportunities to express her generosity and kindness as she assisted and nurtured Phoebe and Mac.

Any additional comments?

It was a huge pleasure to re-experience this book, which I so dearly loved in my childhood and shared with my own children, as an audiobook performance. Hearing it narrated by an excellent voice talent greatly enhanced what was already a long-time love affair with this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Thunder and Roses

  • Fallen Angels, Book 1
  • By: Mary Jo Putney
  • Narrated by: Peter Bishop
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 251
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 249

They called him the Demon Earl. They said he could do anything. Son of a rogue and a gypsy, Nicolas Davies was a notorious rake until a shattering betrayal left him alone and embittered in the Welsh countryside. Desperation drives quiet schoolmistress Clare Morgan to ask the Demon Earl to help save her village. Unwilling to involve himself in the problems of others, Nicholas sets an impossible price on his aid-only if Clare will live with him for three months, letting the world think the worst, will he intervene.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great start to a series!

  • By bookworm2bookworm on 11-11-13

One of Mary Jo Putney's best books, well narrated!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-16-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Thunder and Roses to be better than the print version?

It's an enthralling way to re-experience a classic book by a gifted author. For an audiobook to work well, the book itself must be outstandingly enough written to not just survive but prosper under the microscopic exposure of being read out loud at a quarter of the speed of silent reading to oneself. Thunder and Roses passes that test with flying colors. In addition, the narrator must be a good performer, able to convincingly portray every kind of character, from old to young, male or female, and often different nationalities. Peter Bishop is a terrific vocal performer who delivers fully on all these counts.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Nicholas Davies, the half-Gypsy, "Demon" earl, is a wonderful hero. He's a classic, "dark and dangerous," wounded hero. The pairing of him with a Welsh village schoolteacher, the heroine, Clare Morgan, is absolutely wonderful. They are two very strong protagonists who are extremely well matched.

What about Peter Bishop’s performance did you like?

He has a rich, pleasing voice and, as I mentioned above, he does a great job portraying all types of character personalities.

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

A Welsh Methodist minister's daughter confronts a bitter, half-gypsy earl, who cares nothing for the responsibility he owes to the ancient title he's inherited, and demands that he rescue the local villagers from poverty.

Any additional comments?

I am a long-time, avid fan of Mary Jo Putney, and I was delighted to find such an outstanding audio recording of this book, which is one of my favorite historical romance novels by this brilliant author.

  • Dancing on the Wind

  • Fallen Angels, Book 2
  • By: Mary Jo Putney
  • Narrated by: William Kirby
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 96
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 91
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

From New York Times best-selling author Mary Jo Putney - a classic love story that has become one of her most beloved and acclaimed historical romances.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful book, Lacklustre narrator

  • By charlotte on 08-23-14

Wonderful novel, terrific narrator

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-16-15

What made the experience of listening to Dancing on the Wind the most enjoyable?

Excellent characters and story experienced as fine performance art.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I enjoyed both Lucien, the hero, and Kit, the heroine. Lucien, the mysterious spymaster, and Kit of the many disguises, are both alienated survivors, negotiating a dangerous world of terrible enemies all on their own. I love it in a romance novel when equally strong protagonists such as these two, against all odds, find each other and work together against a common enemy.

What does William Kirby bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

For an audiobook to work well, it requires two things: First, the book must be outstandingly enough written to not just survive but prosper under the intense scrutiny of being read out loud at a quarter of the speed it would take a reader to read the book silently to herself. Dancing on the Wind is absolutely a novel of that sterling quality. Second, the narrator must be a good performer, able to convincingly portray every kind of character, from old to young, male or female, and often different nationalities. Mr. Kirby is a fine performer able to deliver these dramatic necessities really well.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book offers sensual romance, action, adventure, pathos, and moments of humor. In short, it has it all.

Any additional comments?

Fans of Mary Jo Putney will be pleased at an opportunity to enjoy this, one of the very best of her historical novels, in the form of an excellent audiobook.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful