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The Bargain Mass Market Paperback – August 5, 2014
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Reading an Ashford novel borders on the euphoric as it tosses delight upon delight! ... A creative and inventive vehicle with a refreshing look at London's Carlton House set. --Romance Communications
...a scintillating Regency adventure filled with supernatural happenings and dark and dangerous action. ...the storyline is immensely enjoyable -- Affaire de Coeur
If, as I do, you love historicals set in the Regency era, filled with great wit, funny family relations, and a beta hero to die for, you will simply want to devour this book. - Romance Reader theromancereader.com/ashford-bargain.html
charmingly written, by a deft hand -- RT Book Reviews rtbookreviews.com/book-review/bargain-1
From the Publisher
"Jane Ashford is an exceptional talent."
Praise for Jane Ashford's The Marriage Wager:
"Exceptional characters and beautifully crafted historical details ensure a delightful read for Judith McNaught and Mary Balogh fans."
"Sparkles with wonderful dialogue, witty scenes and just the right touch of humor, adventure and repartee."
"An emotionally poignant historical romance that will thrill readers of the genre, particularly fans of Julie Garwood."
--Affaire de Coeur
"A riveting, emotional romance that will garner a place of prominence on anyone's keeper shelf."
"All the makings of a great Regency romance."
--The Atlanta Journal
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are the typical Regency misunderstandings, attractions, and difficult situations but I found the characters fresh and fun. This is an enjoyable, clean Regency read and I recommend it to anyone looking for a few hours of escapism.
No way could anyone with a heart be bored with this story. Wonderful job!
The Story: The book begins at a party at the home of George Augustus Frederick, the Prince Regent of England and Ireland. Among the guests at the party is Lord Alan Gresham, the sixth son of the Duke of Langford, a fellow of science at Balliol College and the hero of the book. Gresham has been summoned to the house by “Prinny” to investigate the “ghost” that is haunting the house; the “ghost” is believed to be Tess Harding, an actress and former paramour of “Prinny’s”. Also attending the party is Ariel Harding, the heroine of the book and Tess’ daughter. Ariel wants to know the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death. Due to the fact that both have access to information and knowledge that the other doesn’t possess, Gresham and Ariel become-very-reluctant partners in the investigation.
As the investigation goes on Ariel befriends three of Alan’s five brothers, and helps them with their relationship issues, and finds out the identity of her father, whom she never knew. Ariel begins a relationship with her father, Daniel Bolton, who also does a little matchmaking to help his newfound daughter with her relationship with Alan. Eventually, three of Alan’s brothers find love, the mystery is solved, Alan discovers he loves Ariel and they have their Happily Ever After.
Positives: This is a typical Regency romance novel. It has a very sweet core at its center. The characters of Alan and Ariel are well written and there are likeable supporting characters. It is very believable that these two people would fall in love.
Negatives: The book lacks pepper and passion; this is not a hot, steamy romance, but more of a slow burn, develop over time type romance. While I do appreciate having three of Alan’s brothers find romance in this book, it would have been nicer from my perspective for Ms. Ashford-real name Jane LeCompte-to have given each Gresham brother his own story. The resolution of the mystery comes from out of the blue and is not set up in any way, which from my perspective makes it feel a bit tacked-on. We never find out entirely why Bess Harding committed suicide.
Sex: Two love scenes that are pretty mild.
Violence: At the end of the book, Ariel and others are assaulted and tied up. A murder takes place. None of the violence is graphic.
Bottom Line: Not the best Regency I’ve ever read-there are too many holes for that-but “The Bargain” is a very good book.
The story centers around Lord Alan Gresham after he is summoned to Carlton House in London by the Prince Regent to get rid of a ghost that haunts Carlton House. Gresham is a light scientist at Oxford University who should be able to debunk the ghost quickly. The ghost appears to be the Prince's past mistress, Tess Harding, a famous actress who committed suicide a few weeks earlier. Lord Gresham teams up with Tess’s daughter, Ariel Harding, who is determined to uncover the truth behind her mother's death.
I can’t adequately express how much I loved these characters. Ariel is a very determined and persistent heroine with a strong sense of independence. She also has the gift of communication and ability to get information out of people who are otherwise reluctant to talk. Alan on the other hand is a man of science and reason who believes emotions and love are irrational. And of course, Ariel falls in love with him, despite Alan not having a clue about romance.
I listened to the Audible version of this audiobook narrated by Nicola Barber. She did a great job and really brought the characters to life, giving each character their own distinct voice. In short, I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook and definitely recommend it!