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Rhapsodic

The Bargainer, Book 1
Narrated by: Susannah Jones
Series: The Bargainer Series, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,534 ratings)

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This Story Is Sexy

Publisher's Summary

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she's been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she's received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He's a man who can get you anything you want...at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he's never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it's just a chaste kiss - a single bead's worth - and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it's more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that's been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he'll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

©2016 Laura Thalassa (P)2017 Laura Thalassa

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I'm so glad I read this

I was about to skip over this book because the summary was a bit confusing but the reviews said it was worth a shot. I was not disappointed. I loved that the worlds were established enough but not overly explained to follow along smoothly. The main character is tough and funny (didn't expect that!) and the side characters are interesting. Of course the love interest was ¡¡HOT!! and really every fantasy style romance man but he was everything I'd look for so I was super happy. the plot is interesting and engaging and there wasn't a moment I though "hmmm wonder when something fascinating is going to happen"
It's not just well written! Oh no. Susannah Jones gives one of the BEST performances I've heard on audible and I've been a member for a long time and gone through about 100 books. Susannah where have you been all my life!? She give great tones and has amazing character voices. She gives one of the best sexy male voices I've heard, better than some men! Her delivery is natural and impeccable. Enough so I might just get another book she's narrated based on her being part of it alone!

54 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love the plot

I would have given 5 starts in each category but the narrator voice for Dez was so weird sounding. Like a high school speaking like her boyfriend. That through me off. It also mad it hard to connect with Dez. However, the story was so good I just had to power through.

I love this plot and I can't wait to see what happens next. I think we find out there is more to Callie than we first thought. I hope we find out what the plan is for those creepy little kids.

Overall great read!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I tried to finish it, I did

The narrator was fine, but the story had too many major things that rubbed me the wrong way. For starters our love interest meets our protagonist when she’s 15. FIFTEEN. And he’s already making suggestive remarks. And the creepiness is borderline ignored because in this world the legal age is 16. Still gross. My biggest issue is how controlling the men are in this book, mainly our love interest, and the protagonist rarely puts up a fight. She gets angry but she’s literally being forced to do things and she get over it in what seems like 30 seconds. Oddly enough, what made me turn this off, even though it was the least important problem to me, is the stereotypical portrayal of her black best friend. The “giiirrrlll”s and the “hey bitch”es and the “black Jesus”s literally grated on my nerves so much I couldn’t force myself to finish. I say this as a black woman, if you can’t write a black character who uses AAVE without resorting to these sorts of cliches, it’s totally okay to write their dialogue like literally every other character. Like come on. Our protagonist and her best friend have an extended conversation later in the book and the friend said nookie, I swear to god this woman said nookie, and I had to hit stop before I scratched my own ears off. What year is it?! If you can look past the borderline pedophilia, the glossing over obviously abusive relationships, and just annoying black stereotypes, hey you might enjoy it. But I could never get into the story because either our girl is being forced into something and brushing it off, we’re having a flashback of her when she was basically a child and coming on to a grown man, or heaven forbid her best friend *speaks*. This book exhausted me.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Swears, Flashbacks, and Adult Audiences

Any additional comments?

This is not as much as a review, and more of a, "Let me tell you what I wish I had known."

I was drawn in by the story description and by all of the positive reviews, and the beautiful cover. I was eager to get started on it.

I only got about 1/2 way through before stopping. BUT, I do agree with a majority of the readers, what I did get through was gripping, interesting, and a really good read.

That aside, their are some things I wish I had known before getting this book, that I hope will help someone else make their purchasing decision.

1. This book swears a lot more than I am comfortable with. There are a lot of F-bombs, and I didn't like hearing them.

2. Every chapter starts with a flashback. Some reviewers found this tastefully done, I found there to be too many, and found them a bit of a bore, taking away from the main storyline.

3. This is definitely a book suited for mature audiences. I guess I could have gotten that from the cover, but there was a lot of sexual components that I didn't find tasteful.

It you don't have issues with any of the things I listed above, you may have just found a new favorite book. The writing is, overall, really well done. Plus the narrator does a great job.

80 of 95 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Honestly baffled

Would you try another book from Laura Thalassa and/or Susannah Jones?

The reader, maybe. The author, "SWEET BABY JESUS" no.

What character would you cut from Rhapsodic?

Haha this book has like 5 characters total and most of them appear in 3 scenes at most. You could still cut half of them and nothing of value would be lost.

Any additional comments?

I have written and deleted many things already. What do I want to say? How do I properly express how much this book annoyed me? My two main thoughts while listening:

1. Any of the elements of this story could have been enjoyable if they were done well.
2. This is kind of embarrassing. Just a general embarrassment all around.

I think I can describe this book best by describing the male lead. SPOILERS MAYBE? Not much happens in this book, y'all.

He is an enormous man with the face of a woman. He wears old band shirts (so cool). His arms have muscles (and you WILL be reminded). He has a predatory, nefarious, wicked, sinful, evil, vicious, thesaurus-exhausting smile. Our protagonist breathlessly insists constantly, in nearly every scene that he is a terrible man who does terrible things to people and will do terrible things to her. He is the king of the night! He is the king of sex! So what will he do to her now that he's come to collect on her debts?

He kisses her. He takes her furniture shopping. He helps her get away from an angry ex-boyfriend. He stocks up his kitchen with all her favorite foods. He takes her traveling. He wants her to stop drinking so much, it's not good for her. He wants her to have her own friends because she's too isolated. He wants her to talk about her feelings and their relationship. He blocks her sexual advances because he'd rather cuddle and marathon Harry Potter movies. He fixes everything in the end by assuring her that she is beautiful. What.

So many things in this book would be entertaining if they weren't played so embarrassingly straight. Up until the last hour, all it is is the two main leads interacting, interspersed constantly with flashbacks of them interacting even more. I honestly can't remember any of these scenes because it is really just one really long conversation and we know how it resolves from the moment it starts. None of this would be a problem if I liked the main leads. But I don't. Because the book says they're one thing, they are actually a different thing, and I don't like any of the things.

OK, I need to stop now or I never will. I just wanted to put my thoughts down because it was the interesting premise and glowing reviews that made me buy this book.

Good ideas, bad execution. Reader did her best with it. "I AM THE NIGHT!"

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing!

Would you listen to Rhapsodic again? Why?

Definitely! Great book and awesome narrator! I read this book when it was released on kindle. As soon as I received an email from the author for the release of this audiobook, I purchased. Laura Thalassa is an automatic purchase for me.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Des! Do I need a reason?

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

Nope

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The end!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book to pass the time

At first I was very skeptical about this book. the plot seemed confusing and the reviews I read were both good and bad. I'm happy I purchased the book though, because it was great to pass the time. I commute almost an hour to work every day and this was a great book to listen in to. You can really sum up the book in a few sentences without explaining everything that happened but it's definitely a book that left you wanting more at the end. Overall I really enjoyed this read and searched all over to find the second book. A few days after finishing the first book, the second book came out and I didn't hesitate at all the purchase the second book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lilian
  • Seattle WA United States
  • 08-02-17

more NOW!!!

This is my first book by this author and my first listen to Susannah Jones and without a doubt I was captivated. The story grabs you from the get go and never lets you go. I don't usually listen to faeries and sirens since in my past experience they tend to either be really dark or really silly but not with this book. The story starts of introducing us to an almost 16 year old siren who, for justified reasons finds herself trying to make a deal with a very powerful and dangerous faerie king. Then she does it again and again and again. Years later... it's time to pay her debts. Everything she knows and believes is shuttered to pieces as the past and present begin to blend together and she begins to see and understand the full picture. How the past helped become who she is and how the same past that almost destroyed her is responsible for a potential great future. However, just when everything seems to have reached the peak of perfection, it all comes crashing down. The siren and her king must pick up the pieces and come out stronger than before.

I love how the book is constantly moving. Although the story touches on the past, it serves to highlight the path of the future. The world building in this book is wonderful. The relationships between the main characters and secondary characters is spectacular. Of course the romance part of this book is meant to melt the heart. Pair a wonderful book with a great narrator and you have magic. Bonus..No cliffhanger. There is a great ending that paves the way to the next book. Too bad the next book isn't available but it will be an automatic download for me...



4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tiffany
  • Huntington Beach, CA, United States
  • 07-11-17

Why is book 2 not yet available in audio?

I enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next books. Not sure why book 2 is not yet available in audio. Audible.com people please get on that. The one thing I dislike about audio books is that in many cases not all of the books in a series are available in audio.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

its okay

Not the storyline, that I anticipated. Not a bad book, but most likely won't finish the series

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica Wolfe
  • 11-30-17

A Fine Romance

A fine romance

Though Desmond is a pitiful name for a romantic hero, this is nonetheless an enjoyable romance. Thematically It feels like the writer has borrowed heavily from Sara J Mas' Court of Thorns series, but given I like that series this wasn't too much of an issue for me. In tone it's more like A. J. Aalto. This story lacks Mas' complexity and nuance, but it's fun.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-30-18

Loved it

Such a steamy intriguing mystery. That kept me well intertwined throughout. Call is a women that keeps other women inspired.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Louise
  • 05-01-19

A fun, addictive read

I loved Callys bad ass attitude & the banter between her & the Bargainer. It did seem a bit too much like a Mills & Boon book at times and was quite predictable but was a really fun read.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-27-19

Exciting world building

Really exciting world building. I loved the flash backs and present day comparisons. I loved the intensity of the relationship.

Im sad the best friend is barely in it and is used as a plot device. I dislike that we don't know much about des really apart from 2 lavish titles . It's unrealistic that he rules that kingdom yet he's barely there!!!!!!

And also her body changing in the end and getting wings? So unexplained

Shall keep reading as I want to know whats hurting those warrior women.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-27-19

amazing

absolutely love this book! So detailed. Can't wait to listen to the next two books.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bethany Kelly
  • 12-02-18

Uncomfortable listening

The power struggles and unbalance of power between the two characters made their relationship difficult to swallow. A bit 'Fifty Shades', and too similar to, but not as well written as, Sarah J. Maas' Faerie series. The plot focused too much on the slightly warped relationship and the action seemed like a bit of an afterthought.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sara M.
  • 04-06-18

solid romance with raunchy scenes

nice built up for the romance. I'm not sure if i will read the second book. happy to leave these two characters as the book 1 ends.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex
  • 08-10-18

lovable, easy listen but gaps in story telling

there's gaps in the story that maybe answer in book two other then that it's a easy listen with rememable parts and lovable characters you'll won't forget easily, just stick it out

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • IMEE B
  • 04-19-18

***Rhapsodic***

Rhapsodic is magical, beautifully written in a slow burn romance and suspense between a sirene and her fairy king of the night. Its mesmerizing. Laura Thalassa create a magnifcent world of fairies, humans and other supernatural beings. Susannah Jones narratives is excellent, she puts life to each character with all their feelings and emotions.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer Rach
  • 03-16-18

very addictive

I I switched between reading and listening. time for the second book. highly recommend. Callie never the victim

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jayltee
  • 01-17-18

Aggressively Cliched

Flimsy, poorly written romance with a blurb indicating a fantasy novel. The prologue sets out a promising idea but it’s wasted in the following chapters, drenched in cliche, poor characterisation and distracting plotting. After so many quality audiobooks lately this was such a let down.