10/1/12

Belinda Goes to Bath, M. C. Beaton, Narrator: Helen Lisanti


Belinda Goes to Bath
The Traveling Matchmaker, book 2
M. C. Beaton, writing as Marion Chesney
Narrator: Helen Lisanti
5 hours 27 minutes
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Author M.C. Beaton
Author M.C. Beaton













Narrator Helen Lisanti
Narrator Helen Lisanti















The charming and melodious voice of Helen Lisanti is narrator for the second book in The Traveling Matchmaker series Belinda Goes to Bath. The subtle, touches of trepidation in Mrs. Judd voice, quavering with fear is so well done.The bully of a husband, Mr. Judd, sounds so harsh and mean. I liked the pace Ms. Lisanti keeps while reading, expressing excitement, fear, and scorn, without missing a beat. At the same time she is consistently reading the story very smoothly and in a pleasant way. It is amazing how Ms. Lisanti, is able to put so much interpretation into a single word. Listening to Ms. Lisanti is a promised delivery of excellence in every-way.

In Belinda Goes to Bath, Hannah Pym, a great lover of traveling on the Flying Machine, as the stagecoach was called then, was full of eager anticipation of some adventure and excitement. She meets nineteen-year-old Belinda Earle who is traveling to Bath with Miss Wimple, her spiteful hired companion. Belinda is to be banished to the care of her strict and religious, Great Aunt Harriet.

Belinda’s shame is, she failed to find a suitable husband during her coming out season, and then she ran off with a footman. The footman never intended to marry her, and leaves her stranded and alone in London.
Shamed and crushed, she found her own way home and faced the scorn and punishment of her family. Both her parents had died in the smallpox epidemic, leaving Belinda in the care of her aunt and uncle, they expect her to marry a titled man, and one that is well heeled.  Belinda is not a particularly pretty girl, and far too outspoken, not popular characteristics for the times.Young women were supposed to twitter, giggle and be a bit empty-headed. Prospects for Belinda, do not look good.

Hannah, befriends Belinda, when the testy Miss Wimple, dozes off and Belinda tells her the tale of her banishment. Before long, the cold, and the snow, cause all of them to drink to much at each post stop, leaving them with various degrees of fatigue and hangovers. The coachman drinking far more than the passengers, falls asleep and overturns the coach into a river. Fortunately, they are rescued and taken by the Marquis of Frenton, to his home Baddle Castle.

Lord Frenton, has ulterior motives for not taking them to the nearest Inn, instead of his home. He has houseguests that he is very sorry he invited. He met Miss Penelope Jordan at her coming out ball, and found her beautiful, a potential marriage partner, to grace his home. He thought by inviting another couple, he could get to know her better and decide if she would make a good wife and companion. Bad weather prevented the other guests from accepting his invitation, leaving Miss Penelope, to assume that Lord Frenton was intent on marrying her. It doesn't take long for Lord Frenton to discover that although Penelope is very beautiful, she is not very nice. He especially does not like the way she has presented herself as lady of the manor, when he has not yet, asked her to marry him. He is hoping the presence of the coach passengers, will act as a buffer between himself and the Jordan's.

Due to Miss Wimple's head injury, and Belinda's severely sprained ankle, they are delayed at the castle longer than any of them expected. During their stay, we are drawn further into each passengers story, as well as Penelope Jordan and her parents. Ms. Jordan, has her nose put out of joint when the lord of the manors attention and eye, wanders to the more interesting Belinda Earle. Ignoring Belinda's protestations that she has no desire to marry after the episode with the worthless footman, Hannah Pym, is determined to have Belinda engaged to the Marquis, before reaching Bath.Through her stratagems and crafty intrigues Hannah, will successfully maneuver all relationships on to the roads that she desires. Oh, that she could be as successful with her own recently ignited desire for romance. This is a fun, and fairly typical light, Regency Romance, made interesting by the highly skilled talents of M. C. Beaton to make the typical sound fascinating. Lisanti gives it dimension and elevates it to another level of pleasure.

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