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The Bargain

(Regency #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,623 ratings  ·  300 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Zebra (first published 1988)
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,623 ratings  ·  300 reviews

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I couldn't stand the heroine in this book. She was a real brat. She was contemplating an affair with Rafe, Duke of Candover (the jerk hero from Petals in the Storm) while married to the hero. The poor guy survived his war wounds to come home to a wife like her. (big sneer). Not one of MJP's best. But decent, considering how much I disliked the heroine.
Lois Bujold
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who like Regency romances
Recommended to Lois by: random internet mention
I enjoyed this enough to promptly go get another, despite my general preference for witty romantic comedy, of any era, over romantic melodrama. (Somebody needs to clone Jennifer Crusie.) This one definitely weighs in on the melodrama side, being a nice variant on the "convenient marriage" trope, where an heiress, in order to get control of her fortune, strikes a bargain with a dying British officer post-Waterloo. Unexpected consequences naturally ensue.

The reader coming over from other genres ne
“The marriage of convenience is a time-honored tradition, though I’ve never heard of one quite like this...But everyone benefits.”

Lady Jocelyn Kendal is running out of time. Her father's will gives her until she turns twenty-five to marry, or she's going to lose her inheritance. She's had her eye on a duke, but he doesn't seem to be the marrying kind - he prefers experienced widows to virginal misses. While at a visit to a military hospital, she meets Major David Lancaster, who is expected to di
A solid 2.5 stars.
I think I might not read any more books by this author. It's not that she can't write. There is lots of great detail about life for the upper classes in England at that time, and her descriptions of both the countryside and the people are meticulous and vivid. But I just didn't feel anything.

Here is a nice description of the hero and what he is thinking.
Lovely man: decent, brave and loving.
And here is description of our heroine, with pages of what she is thinking, especially a
2.5 Stars

It was an okay read. I love the idea of the heroine proposing a marriage to someone she believe will die soon only to realize that he eventually got well. What will the heroine do?

Unfortunately, I don't like the idea of the author including the love interest of another pair, because I don't care. Could we please focus on the main characters? And not drift to another - who happens to be mentioned on another book of hers, which I haven't read... So like I said, I don't care.

You can always count on me to pick up a marriage-of-convenience romance, and so obviously I was going to pick up Mary Jo Putney’s The Bargain sooner or later, especially when I found a copy for 50 cents at a library sale. This Regency romance is one of the author’s first books, with an original publication date of 1988. It’s also my first time with this author. And all I’m really going to say about that is that I seriously hope the author’s writing has improved in the last 30 years.

What I really
I didn't originally give this audiobook a star rating as it was so bad I couldn't listen to it. But I've been going back over my stats for last year and this is the only thing I haven't rated, which seemed a bit odd, so I've popped back and given it one star.

I'm not giving this a rating, as the sole reason for the DNF is the narration, and I don't feel it fair to tar the book with the same brush.

I really enjoyed The Bargain when I read it a few years back, so when it cropped up on Audible last m
Rose May
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: d-plus
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A (Is For Awkward)
Unlike many books I give 2 stars this one I really really liked, and wanted to like even more.

The problems in it however were many, and at times completely undermined the general story for me, which dragged my overall rating down.

Problem the first! Historical anachronisms:

Addiction was mentioned and discussed as a normal medical condition, early on in the story. The problem is from my own reading at least addiction to opium wasn't recognized as a medical condition until 100 years later. Even 50
Jacob Proffitt
A solid Regency romance with more melodrama than I'm used to. I liked both Jocelyn and David immensely, but that became part of my problem in the last third of the book or so. Well, not David so much. He was beyond dreamy from the start and never faltered, even when confused or despairing.

Jocelyn's core brokenness persisted way, way too long, however. Not that it was unrealistic, really. Her trauma was real and it was consistent and embedded deeply in her character. But it seemed like Putney had
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to rate this book better because I so enjoyed reading Mary Jo Putney. Re-reading this book reminded me of fond memories of reading these relatively "older" authors, who I have loved since a young girl. One of my favorite books is her masterpiece and I remember almost every little detail in that book, which I read at least 15 years ago.

But that is not this book.

I have read The Bargain before and my feeling toward the book has remained the same. It is not a poorly written book. Not at a
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
The premise was cute, but it wasn’t that great of a book. The writing style was strange. There were an abundance of POV changes, to the point where it would change randomly within paragraphs. Also, it kind of felt like I was reading a summary sometimes. There was a lot of ‘so-and-so explained what had occurred’, so you never get to hear these conversations. This bothered me the most when it came to the epilogue. It felt like the author was making a checklist.

I ended up getting so annoyed with Jo
First off: HOLY POV SWITCHING BATMAN. I almost put down this book several times as the author switches viewpoint characters mid scene (mid paragraph??) several times in the course of a chapter. And not just between the heroine and hero, but roughly six different viewpoint characters.

I picked this up as a library borrow book based on the reviews on Goodreads from the potential selection of ebooks. As per the above, the author's handling of the view point storytelling was irksome. Additionally, th
Olga Godim
Jul 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
A classic romance. The focus of this novel is on the relationship. No suspense, no mystery, just a solid story of a man and a woman finding each other. Those who dislike romances wouldn’t like it, but for those who do, it would be a pleasant journey into Regency fluff.
I won’t go into the particulars of the plot here; you know what to expect, but I’ll say that the book is written well and reads fast. Both protagonists are sympathetic if not truly alive, and the mandatory happily-ever-after arriv
Lubnaa (Romance Library)
I actually loved this so much. I adored David. Contrary to popular opinion, I didn't hate the heroine. I didn't particularly love her either. I only wish she had realized her true feelings earlier. Overall, great start to the new year!
Lady Alexandrine
"The Bargin" and "The Rake" by Mary Jo Putney are on sale today for only 0.99 on!
The Rake
THE BARGAIN is a story of what happens when the heroine marries a soldier who is on death's door. Lady Jocelyn Kendal needs a husband, in name only, to fulfill the wishes of her father's will. Expected to die at any moment, Major David Lancaster wants to know that his younger sister will be taken care so he agrees to the arrangement. Unknown to either of them at the time, their future will change drastically.

THE BARGAIN starts out slowly. Taking place during the Regency times of Britain, Jocelyn
Lady Jocelyn Kendal is in need of a temporary husband to fulfil her father's will. Major David Lancaster is in need of financial protection for his sister, as his death seems imminent. Within minutes of meeting, they come to a suitable agreeement, but neither of them bargain on David's sister Sally and surgeon Ian Kinlock interceding. But David's health means that Jocelyn can't marry the man she intended to you, but couldn't bring up to scratch in time.

At first, I was completely prepared to dis
Belinda Kroll
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I can always count on Mary Jo Putney for an entertaining read. In this book, Jocelyn has a deadline to marry by the time she turns 25, or she won't get her inheritance. Her father made the stipulation upon his death because he knew Jocelyn would never turn to marriage willingly. Something in her past just made the whole idea an inconvenience at best, repulsive at worst.

Well, now that the wars with Napoleon are over, Jocelyn comes up with a brilliant, if ethically amoral, idea. Marry a dying majo
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this novel when I first read it. A second reading is pure magic. A little too much psychological understanding at the end but it doesn't detract from the pleasure. Not only do you meet Jocelyn and David but through David's sister Sally, you meet Ian Kinlock, a surgeon, worth knowing and following through other Putney novels.
Indrani Sen
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk
I enjoyed the book. It's not a deep, meaningful, life-changing book. But a book which I was very happy to read when I was tired from my heavy reads. The book is well written with a story that moves forward well.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, 2019
I got bored so I just looked up historical romance and this wasn’t on loan, and so I borrowed it. It wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t terrible either, tbh I just wanted to read a historical romance and this fit the bill.

As a whole, I did like the premise, it’s pretty unusual and original. In a genre where the books tend to be similar enough for me to confuse different book plots, that is definitely a plus. I also came to like Jocelyn and Sarah (although I don’t know if this was just because the lat
"Do not weep for me, my lady. If you remember me at all, I would rather you did with a smile."

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Awwwwwww. I gots them warm fuzzies! Do her dirty, David!

High Points.
The era. David. Crazy doctor. Stubborn and headstrong female. Being beautiful. Being plain and still getting the guy. Kindness. getting better. Wooing. Miracles. Love.

Low Points.
Dare I say it, boarder-lined cliche. It was especially cliche near the end and I felt it was a little rushed and it felt a bit f
Kate McMurry
Review of audiobook version of this exciting Regency romance novel narrated by Emma Newman

I am posting this audiobook review using the format that Audible recommends:

Overall: 5 stars
Performance: 5 stars
Story: 5 stars

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

A. 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 a
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable with well drawn characters.

Lady Jocelyn stands to be disinherited from most of her patrimony if she does not marry prior to her 25th birthday.

Her parents went through a public and terrible divorce and this has impacted upon Jocelyn's view of herself and marriage and she has never met a man that she trusts enough to marry and she is afraid of the consequences of love or passion. As her birthday approaches, she considers a variety of different options, whilst secretly thinking that she
Marilyn Rondeau
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this is another take on the oft used theme of a marriage of convenience but when it is portrayed with such heartfelt emotion it takes on another dimension. Even though the original purpose was to keep her inheritance, Lady Jocelyn Kendal hadn’t made the decision lightly, or alone. While visiting an officer recuperating at the soldier’s hospital he suggested a rather morbid solution to her problem. His fellow officer Major David Lancaster, was dying from his Waterloo wounds and was uneasy a ...more
Loved it! I thought that perhaps it could have done without the secondary romance, between Sarah and the doctor, but that's a minor point. This is the first book I've read by this author, and definitely intend to read more. The characters were well-drawn, and the hero, David, is one of those somewhat unnusual regency heroes, in that he's not a wastrel or a rake, but an all-round decent chap. He's never boring and he's got a good sense of humour - he's rather lovely, really! I liked Jocelyn too; ...more
3.5-ish, I'd say. I really liked the hero, who was such a sweet, honorable guy, and though at a certain point I wanted to smack the heroine, in the end I did understand her motivation in continually pushing the hero away. I could've done without the secondary romance, but it wasn't as boring and shoehorned in as the romances of minor character usually are. The plot was predictable, but all in all it was a pretty good book. Entertaining enough, and it made me want to give other Putney books a try ...more
Feb 07, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Loved the hero
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeper
Upon her father’s death, Lady Jocelyn Kendall lost her home to the heir, her uncle (and his nasty wife) and that to retain her considerable legacy, she must marry before her 25th birthday. When she visited a friend at a London hospital for the survivors of Waterloo, she found what she felt was the perfect solution – to marry a death bed soldier in exchange for settling an allowance on his sister Sally to protect her future.

At Sally’s insistence, Jocelyn brings David to her home to make his passi
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She writes young adult fiction as M.J. Putney.

Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very comfortably

Other books in the series

Regency (3 books)
  • Petals in the Storm (Fallen Angels, #3; Regency, #2)
  • Angel Rogue (Fallen Angels, #4)
“But why, she thought wryly, did a man seem more attractive as he became less available? How humbling to think one had so much in common with a cow stretching its neck through a gate for better grass.” 17 likes
“But gratitude would not have me love you as I do. Love was inspired by what you are - the good, the bad, and even the foolish, which is what you're being right now.” 17 likes
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