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Summary

Bella Parkinson is the most promising actress in London, bright, sexy...and hopelessly scatterbrained.

Rupert Henriques is dashingly handsome and wealthy enough to buy her every theatre in London if she wanted it; he cannot wait to marry her. But Bella has a secret from her past - and the one man who knows it is about to come back into her life again....

©1976 Jilly Cooper (P)2017 W.F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Flawlessly entertaining." (Helen Fielding)
"Unputdownable." (Marian Keyes)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 3 out of 5 stars
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    5
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    11
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 2.5 out of 5 stars
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    4
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    4
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    4
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    10

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    6
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    7
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    9
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    2
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    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Book written in the 60s!

This book was written in the 60s, is very much of its time and therefore it is inappropriate ( as other reviewers have) to compare it to Jilly Coopers more recent books. It has romance and then some very unexpected twists and turns. The narrator copes with these admirably and has a nice tone and pace as well as good characterisation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I couldn’t listen to this book...

The recording is so slow.
If I set it to a faster speed, it became too fast!
I simply gave up...
I will be returning this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect tale of the 70s

I really enjoyed this, and having read the book many, many years ago, the audio was just as enjoyable. BUT - you have to remember that this is a 1970s book, so judging it by today's standards may seem a little odd. For example, 'Bella took her wireless into the bathroom' and 'she read her mail' - now it would be listening to Spotify whilst checking Facebook! So it's a little culture-dated, but if you were alive at that time and can appreciate that kind of normal, this is one of Ms Coopers brilliantly told tales of poor-girl joining high-country society and a thoroughly 5 star story.

The narration had distinctly different voices and the male voices by a female speaker sounded genuine, although I was a bit put off by the slow speed with which every sentence was finished - it gave the narration a rather robotic feel outside of the dialogue. For that reason, 3 for the performance.

Overall, a solid 4 stars and would listen to again.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Rubbish

terrible story, language and narrator. worst book I have ever bought. don't waste your money

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun and frothy

This is a fun romance that’s very evocative of the seventies although now a little dated. Bella is talented, spoilt and hiding a secret which she believes will bring her promising career to an abrupt stop. The Henriques family is rich, well connected, snobbish and definitely don’t see Bella as a viable prospect for their son. This audible was a bit spoiled for me by the narrator whose performance was very uneven. At times she sounded very stilted which really slowed down parts of the story and gave a very unrealistic feel to some of the characters.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Poor narration.

The poor narration spoilt any enjoyment, my advice would be to buy the hard copy instead.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narration

I have read this book time and time again, and was really pleased when I saw it on audible, but am so so disappointed by the narration. Her voice is monotone and droney, and I'm afraid I will not be listening to any other book that is narrated by this, so called, voice artist. Sorry

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not Jilly's best

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I can't speak for the story line. Beacuse the narration was too awful to continue with.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Change the narrator she an extremely irritating voice, I normally like Jilly coopers stories but her voice was to unbearable to continue listening to.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Ruth Urquhart?

Suzy Atchinson,

What character would you cut from Bella?

Non I hate abridged books, I like my stories as the author intended them.

Any additional comments?

I have read all of Jilly coopers early books. This was not her best book from her early works. I would love you to do Imogen, Prudence, and Harriet, but please do pick a different narrator.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Can't believe this is a Jilly Cooper!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

18-20 year olds who enjoy junk romantic novels

What could Jilly Cooper have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

A good rip-roaring story, written in her usual funny and outrageous style

Would you be willing to try another one of Ruth Urquhart’s performances?

No I most certainly wouldn't

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

Absolutely none that I can think of

Any additional comments?

I am astonished this title was written by Jilly Cooper. If I didn't know, I would have thought it was written by a new wanner-be novelist of the same name, aiming at the romantic pulp fiction market. Add to that the annoying narration, and the result is a do-do. Sorry Jilly and Ruth, but this isn't your finest day!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Couldn't listen any longer

I'm sure it's a good story but I couldn't listen to the narrator reading it after about 10 mins. Shame, I like JC books and now have a wasted credit..

0 of 1 people found this review helpful