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Posted October 4, 2005
A total disappointment
Without a greaat deal of explanation......we meet Spence, the Earl...who has run off to war to avoid his title and it's responsibilities. He's back from war, and oh, he's fighting a duel over cheating at cards. He's shot, hits his head, and the next thing we know....his wife appears on the scene when Spence is brought home to his estates in a coffin. For an entire day and a half the Countess leaves the coffin untouched. Just before they are closing the door to the family pire, Emma the Countess suddenly gets the idea of looking in the coffin. There's little to no explanation for this sudden thought. She only wants to make sure....at that instant, that Spence is indeed in the coffin. NOTE: At this period in England, the dead were ALWAYS exposed at home for a number of days so all might come and pay their 'respects.' Hasty burials with closed coffins simply did not happen. Back to the book....Emma has the coffin opened, and WOW, there's our hero, asking for water. Amazing. He didn't die after a trip from London, and languishing in the coffin for another two days? Nope, I didn't buy it. He would have run out of oxygen long before he was rescued. After that bit of idiocy, the book goes downhill from there. 1: Emma has been 'practicing economies' for years due to Spence ignoring the estate. For some reason, Emma won't allow anyone, even herself to talk with Spence about the issue for weeks. Doesn't make any sense. 2: Spence whines throughout the book about his brother's death, but the author doesn't tell us WHY he feels personally responsible until the last couple of chapters. 3: The villan is so obvious...no connecting the dots here for anyone except the lead characters. And for some reason, Spence is so wrapped up in his whining about running away, that he misses said villan until the guy conveinently tries to murder him to his face. Thankfully for the reader, Spence finally gets it. 4: Emma is constantly worried about a baby, something 'of his to keep when he leaves.' I ended up hoping the baby would run away too....... 5: Emma, Countess of Kellworth was once involved with Spence's Uncle. There's no explanation for that, or any background about her relationship with her family. Yet book relates to several issues with both the Uncle and her mother that the reader doesn't understand. And by that time, I didn't care about anything but getting to the last page, and dropping this book into File 13. Diane Perkins has substantially disappointed me with this one. If her next book is such a bore....I'll pass on any future novels.
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Posted December 9, 2008
terrific Regency romance
In 1816 Earl Spence Keenan cannot believe that his seconds Gideon Wolf and Theodore Blakewell were unable to put an end to the duel he has forthcoming with Esmund who accused him of cheating at cards. A former soldier, Spence is not afraid of dying he just cannot see why they need to settle this over guns. Spence purposely misses, but a shaking Esmund shoots him dead on Spence¿s last thought was an apology to his wife Emily who he has not seen in three years. Gideon and Theodore bring Spence¿s corpse home for burial, but Emily demands to see the body before it is buried feeling deep in her heart she would know if he died. Reluctantly, the coffin is opened and Spence grabs her gasping for water. Over the next few days Emily helps her husband heal when he recovers enough he fails to recognize his wife. Already angry at him for neglecting her and his estate, she wants nothing further to do with him. As he heals he loves his wife, but she rejects him. Spence realizes he must make up for his neglect to his tenants if he wants to regain the love of his special angel. --- THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN is a terrific Regency romance starring two interesting characters. Spence feels regret and love as he tries desperately to overcome guilt and neglect while Emily refuses to let her love of her spouse intercede with her feelings of abandonment and disdain. The villain and his actions add excitement and even provide some explanation to Spence¿s early failures though that seems an unneeded rationalization as the dysfunctional relationship as accentuated by the bargain makes for a strong historical. --- Harriet Klausner
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Posted September 19, 2005
Richly satisfying romance !!
Take two strong, well-drawn, and compelling main characters... add an amazing (yet quite plausible) storyline with unforeseen twists... add strong attention to historical detail, with a cast of (again)very realistic supporting characters... add inexorable sensual tension between the hero[Spence] and heroine[Emma]... Now add the feeling of deep and abiding love growing between them ... and you have all the makings of a great Diane Perkins romance. I couldn't put it down! I LOVE her books. They're all very moving stories, with characters you truly care about. And they bear up well to repeated readings. I catch different views when I re-read them it's a bit like holding a diamond up to a light and seeing new facets each time. If you crave *real love* in your Regency romances, read THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN. And thank you, Diane Perkins!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 29, 2012
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