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  • Splendid

  • Blydon, Book 1
  • Written by: Julia Quinn
  • Narrated by: Lucy Rayner
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)
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Splendid cover art

Splendid

Written by: Julia Quinn
Narrated by: Lucy Rayner
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Publisher's Summary

Based on the phenomenal growth of Quinn's popularity and her four-week stint on the New York Times best-seller list with Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, it's the perfect time to revisit Ms. Quinn's "splendid" storytelling.

American heiress Emma Dunster has always been fun-loving and independent, with no wish to settle into marriage. She plans to enjoy her Season in London in more unconventional ways than husband hunting. But this time Emma's high jinks lead her into dangerous temptation.

Alexander Ridgely, the Duke of Ashbourne, is a notorious rake who carefully avoids the risk of love until he plants one reckless kiss on the sensuous lips of this high-spirited innocent and condemns himself to delicious torment. Little does he know that his passion has touched the very soul of the lovely enchantress and committed them both to a lifetime of splendid ecstasy.

©1995 Julie Cotler (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: The Bridgertons Audiobooks in Chronological Order


In a fictional Regency-era London, the Bridgerton and the Featherington families depend on the marriages of their many children. Bridgertons has won over the hearts of millions, and Julia Quinn has likened the series to "a Cinderella story." Shonda Rhimes adapted the series of romance novels into the hugely popular Bridgerton Netflix series. Although a different character inspires each volume of the series, it’s best to enjoy the saga chronologically.

What listeners say about Splendid

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It was good

I am quite surprised at the rude reviews of the narrators voice. There’s nothing wrong with it. She does very well with creating an American accent and English and male voices. This was on the more adventurous side I would say similar to Gregory’s story ‘gun scene’. Even if it isn’t your favourite Julia Quinn novel I wouldn’t skip it ever, still a great story.

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1 person found this helpful

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

The narration is so bad!

Have bought the whole Bridgerton and Rokesby series’ and thought I would try this one. The narrator has the worst voice and does not play the roles very well. I couldn’t get past the first chapter.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good listen

Enjoyed it.
Good story and excellent performance.
Loved the heroine. A few loose ends, but nothing that affected the happy ending.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent listen

inspired to listen from the Bridgerton series and doesn't disappoint. some mild annoyance at the constant her violet eyes or His emerald eyes but not a big deal.

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  • Joan M. Taylor
  • 2016-12-18

Murdered by Horrible Narration

Would you try another book from Julia Quinn and/or Lucy Rayner?

Julia Quinn, certainly. Lucy Rainer, no way.

What did you like best about this story?

Couldn't listen. I will dig out my print version.

What didn’t you like about Lucy Rayner’s performance?

Da da da dah. Da da da dah. Add a completely unnatural pattern of intonation with some underlying shrieking, and you've got the fingernails on blackboard performance of Lucy Rayner. Was her producer even listening as she recorded this? The narrator has no ear for narrative. Maybe she can sing. Or mime.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Irritation that a book I had looked forward to hearing was destroyed by poor narration. Who hired this woman?

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36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • M-M
  • 2017-02-02

Dreadful narrator ruins the story

I love Julia Quinn's books, including this one, but I had to stop listening because the narrator was so awful. I'm sorry to say bad things about Ms. Raynor, but OMG, I just couldn't continue. I stopped after wincing through about seven chapters. What is so upsetting is that this same narrator has done all three Blydon books (Splendid, Dancing at Midnight, and Minx) all of which I bought before realizing how annoying her voice is. Julia - how could you have chosen her? It appears I wasted three credits.

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32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Celia
  • 2017-01-02

Narrator Ruins All!!!

SHAME on Audible !!! Good trilogy, Incredibly Substandard narration. C'mon, how about some Quality Control???

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Helene
  • 2017-01-24

horrible narrator, could not get through it

How could the performance have been better?

change the narrator

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

Any additional comments?

I'm buying the hard copy to read myself as the narrator was terrible.

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • SUSAN C.
  • 2017-02-19

Narrator is awful.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I had a very hard time finishing this book mainly because of the narration. I was also disappointed in the dialog. I have enjoyed all of Julie Quins other books but this one is disappointing. I bought all 3 in the series but I don't think I can listen to the other 2 because of the narrator.

Has Splendid turned you off from other books in this genre?

no

Would you be willing to try another one of Lucy Rayner’s performances?

No

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

no

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joy Mccormick
  • 2017-05-10

Bad accent

The narrator's voice was shrill and unpleasant. The American had a modern California accent and sounded spoiled. She should have had an educated Boston accent and sounded intelligent. The story line was okay, or I would have returned it by the end of the first chapter.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Emily in GA
  • 2017-06-29

Narrator's accents grating.

What did you like best about Splendid? What did you like least?

I always like Julia Quinn, but this isn't the strongest of her books. It was her first, I believe, and it shows. The drama is a little exaggerated, and there are some small historical errors that she would not otherwise have made.Narrator is the weakest point. I noted that some didn't like the voice used for male protagonist (Alex), but the American accent was grating.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Splendid?

Lovely romantic story-- I enjoyed the way the character's first met. I liked the female protagonist's (Emma) spunk.

What didn’t you like about Lucy Rayner’s performance?

Her American accent was dreadful and not regionally appropriate. I cannot believe that the editors and producers didn't identify this issue earlier. The accent was not cultured or regionally appropriate for a nineteenth century, upper class woman from Boston. It ruined the context of the story. It would be a bit like using a cockney accent for the British aristocracy.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Buyer
  • 2021-02-07

Horrible narrator

Horrible narrator. The worst voice ever. Please get someone else. Please replace her ASAP . No one can listen to her.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Barbara H.
  • 2017-06-29

Is this really Julia Quinn

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I loved the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn and was looking forward to a new series to fall in love with. It almost feels like it was written by someone else. The hero sounds pompous and annoying with this narrator! Hard to like the man! The story is OK but again seems to deviate from the standards of the other series I have listened to.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Still listening, haven't made it to the end yet

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lucy Rayner?

Rosalyn Landor or Simon Prebble

What would have made this romance irresistible?

A likeable male character, not a stuffy sounding pompous man

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • K. Barlow
  • 2017-10-10

Narration could have been better

The book was ok, not as good as the Bridgeton series but I didn't like the narration

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3 people found this helpful