The Gift

Narrated by: Susan Duerden
Series: Crown's Spies, Book 3
Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,018 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of Ransom weaves the delightful, sensual story of two lovers destined for high adventure and blissful rapture!

A child bride, Sara Winchester had grown into a winsome beauty, joyfully anticipating the day when her husband Nathan, Marquess of St. James, would return to claim her heart at last. Charmingly innocent, she dismissed the ancient feud that divided Nathan's family from her own.. .and she was totally unaware of his past exploits as the notorious pirate, Pagan. The man who now stood before her was perplexing, arrogant and powerfully handsome... a warrior-gentleman whose gentle touch aroused her to the wildest, deepest pleasures of love.

Nathan had never bared his soul to any woman, but he was soon utterly beguiled and exasperated by Sara’s sweet, defiant ways. Aboard his ship, The Seahawk, she was brave, imperious and determined to win his heart completely - yet upon their return to England, her love would be sorely tested as a vile conspiracy tried to tear them apart. With their future at stake, they would discover the true destiny of their passion... for all time!

©1991 Julie Garwood (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Gift

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Very Funny moments but not much substance!!!

The book was not as great as I had hoped. The heroin seemed simple minded and naive. She had a good heart and beauty but that's it. A bit disappointing so I can not recommend this book unless if you are willing to listen through this for the few funny moments here and there.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A RIOTOUS REGENCY ADVENTURE ON THE HIGH SEAS

This is book 3 in JG's fantastic series The Crown Spies and, as usual, she delivers her winning formula for us Historical Romance lovers to suck up, revel in and enjoy in a storyline that includes adventure, fun, romance, sex, thrills, laughs, intrigue and of course, likeable H/H's who's endings are always tender, inevitable and predictable but it's the journey we all love to hear about and share in.

Nathan and Sara's story was filled with entertaining characters who are involved in a hilarious lol story that'll have people scowling and looking at you believing you've gone totally mad (but hey who cares). Nathan is handsome, arrogant, possessive, dominant, protective to loved ones and he growls and scowls at everybody especially when he captures Sara, his childhood bride, as he is finally ready to fulfil a bargain made years earlier and needs to both consummate and procreate to seal the deal. Sara, a delicate beauty who's naive, quirky, trusting, giving and loving but is also prone to screaming and crying...... and she's just the remedy Nathan doesn't realise he needs to break down the walls surrounding his heart.

Great secondary characters who help to make this one of the best in the series and I'm soooo looking forward to book 4 Castles which is Sir Colin's story - so please please Audible keep your listeners happy and add it soon.

Could easily be a stand alone listen but it does mention characters from previous books.

Worth a credit? It's definitely creditworthy, especially for the 12 and a half hours of listening pleasure it gives you, but it's an unbelievable bargain at under $10 - so save your credits for a more expensive, but maybe not a more worthy or enjoyable, listen.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Romance on the High Seas

The Gift, by Julie Garwood, is the wonderfully, romantic story of Nathan, the Marquess of St. James, and Sara Winchester. I enjoyed this book, as narrated by Susan Duerden, and found it to be an absolutely captivating third installment to JG’s: Crown Spies Series.

Sara is young, and a romantic, at heart. Those of us who love a great romantic tale will fall in love with her and be able to relate to her “rose-colored-glasses” view of the world, where she wants to believe she lives.

Nathan, of course, on the other hand is a strong, possessive, warrior of few words; making them perfectly entertaining characters, involved in a funny, adventure.
Definitely Credit Worthy!

3 people found this helpful

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Who wrote this...what did they do with Ms Garwood?

What could Julie Garwood have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This was a really weak story. There were too many subplots and side characters that I'm sure were supposed to lend to the story but they really just weakened it. The author could have removed 3 or 4 of the subplots and ended up with a much better book.I was really disappointed. I recommended this book to my reading buddy because I knew the narrator and a Julie Garwood is generally a pretty pleasant read. The story line seemed original. We both really tried to like this book but just finished it feeling very let down.I just kept waiting for something to happen and it never really did. Right up to the end everything and I mean everything got resolved in the last few minutes of the book. It was too much to resolve in such a short time and she gave the reader way too little reward after we had hung on for sooooo long!!

Which character – as performed by Susan Duerden – was your favorite?

The narrator does voices well so you can keep up with who is speaking in the book. That's really important as the listener. Sometimes her 'guy' voice for Nathan just made him sound sort of leering. I will definitely look for more books to listen to with her as the narrator.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I think Nathan and Sara were quite loveable. Sara is a bit air headed and naïve but Ms. Garwood does her in a believable and likeable way. Too bad she cluttered up their sweet love story with a bunch of plot distractions. I definitely caught myself smiling over some of Sara's silly antics.

Any additional comments?

Don't let this turn you off of Julie Garwood. I've liked a lot of her books and always thought her character development was her strength. I own several that I have really enjoyed.

2 people found this helpful

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Very annoying heroine

Sara is the most annoying heroine I've ever read. Susan Duerden's narrating doesn't help AT ALL. She drags out the last word of every sentence she reads. Listening at a faster speed helps a little, but it's almost enough to give the book up completely. Good luck getting past Sara's whining and "need to prove herself"...

1 person found this helpful

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

Silly heroine, overindulgent hero

I don't care for this sort of heroine - opinionated, bossy and ridiculous but everyone thinks she's so adorable for it. And the reader isn't my favourite... she has a weird speech pattern and does annoying voices.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very Entertaining!!!

If you could sum up The Gift in three words, what would they be?

Funny! Entertaining! Exciting!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sara was so cute! I loved her character. Nate was good too! A totally a manly man!

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

Yes - Loved it!

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

The same. It would be a good movie

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The lead male character sounded like Voldemort!

Would you try another book from Julie Garwood and/or Susan Duerden?

Julie Garwood's historical books are always entertaining but the narration on "The Gift" was so distracting that it ruined the book for me.

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

"The Bride" also by Julie Garwood, was a better story and far superior narration.

How could the performance have been better?

There were two major problems with the performance. First, the lead male character sounded like Voldemort most of the time. There was a wheezy hissing quality that didn't sound anything like the masculine voice one would expect from a leading male in a romantic novel.

The other issue was that almost every non-dialog sentence was repeated in the same sing-song cadence every single time, regardless of appropriate tone (comedic, dramatic, etc). This made long stretches of text without dialog monotonous in their constant sing-song manner.

1 person found this helpful

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

I really enjoyed this book it was very interested.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Gift to be better than the print version?

I believe very much so

What did you like best about this story?

The narration was very good and understandable

What about Susan Duerden’s performance did you like?

she was really superb

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

yes but I sure tried to listen every free moment I can spare in order to finish the book.

Any additional comments?

It was so well done - the story was really great and got my interest throughout the book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Really enjoyed this book

Any additional comments?

With a book by Julie Garwood plus narrated by Susan Duerden I knew I would love it!
I wasn't disappointed at all!!!!!!

1 person found this helpful