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Bride Thief [Hardcover]

Jacquie D'Alessandro
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mar 2002

At six-and-twenty, Samantha Briggeham knew her marital prospects were fading by the season and she was pleased by the thought. She had no intention of being betrothed–especially against her will–to a man she did not love. She had a plan...and it didn’t include being swept into a pair of powerful arms and spirited away by a masked rider. News of Sammie’s heroic rescue from undesired wedlock turned her into the toast of the ton, wooed by suitors far and wide. But she couldn’t forget the swashbuckling brigand who’d abducted her–something about him intrigued her completely. Then she met Eric Landsdowne, the dashing and seductive Earl of Wesley.

His exploits were legendary, his life filled with danger. He was the elusive Bride Thief, who had his own reasons for helping young women escape the unhappy fate of arranged marriages, and whose true identity was a scrupulously guarded secret. But from the moment he rescued Sammie–only to discover she’d already managed to get herself un-betrothed–Eric knew he couldn’t lose her a second time. Marriage was out of the question. Which left only one option: A clandestine affair that might lead to scandal, social ruin, and the unmasking of a love-bested legend. . .
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: San Val (Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1417712651
  • ISBN-13: 978-1417712656
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
Samantha Briggeham turned from the opened window where the cool night breeze drifted into the drawing room, and faced her beloved but clearly addle-brained father. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Regency romance with an interesting plot 28 April 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Bride Thief" is a fabulous love story set in Regency England.Samantha Briggeham is a young lady on her way to become a spinster and she is quite happy to live her live in the country helping her younger brother with his experiments. When her matchmaking parents betroth her against her will she decides to save herself from the unwanted marriage. Unfortunately the infamous "Bride Thief" arrives in time to rescue her and when Samantha explains him his mistake he takes her back to her parent's house. Eric Landsdowne, the Earl of Wesley spends his time running his estate and rescuing helpless young ladies from their unwanted forced marriages and helping them to find their place in the world. He is a handsome and charming man, the victim of the matchmaking mamas and nobody knows that he is hiding behind the black mask of this unusual thief. Samantha's practical behaviour and innocent sensuality awakes passion and strange emotions in the earl and he can't stay away from her. Samantha is attracted to the handsome aristocrat and at the same time she is fascinated by the Bride Thief's powerful maleness. After her abduction and safe return she becomes the toast of the neighbouring society gatherings and she thinks all the gentlemen among them Eric pay court to her only becuse of her encounter with the thief. She doesn't trust Eric but she can't resist his charm and kisses and they become lovers. Unfortunately they are found in a compromising position and they are forced to get married. The road to happiness is full of misunderstandings, lack of trust, danger and Eric's secrets from the past. The author has written an entertaining romance using the elements of romantic adventure, deep passion and an honourable and noble cause. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charming 5 Mar 2013
By Rebekka
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Eric is probably one of the most charming hero I've met. And the way he's so crazy jealous of himself (I.e. alter ego The Bride Thief) when he thinks Samantha has feelings for the masked guy is amusing.

The dialogues in the books are smooth, entertaining and purposeful. It's not chit-chat but it brings the story forward.
Samantha is an intelligent and interesting young woman - and totally opposite of her matchmaking mother, who loves to "faint" at timely and untimely occasions.

The first few chapters before Samantha meets Eric (she met the Bride Thief first), however when they do meet, it's fascinating to observe their relationship development, and it was difficult to stop reading. Loved the way it was described how he slowly fell in love with her without stating it outright. He was nervous in her presence and couldn't find anything to talk about, when he was usually not a guy that had problems with conversation.

I've read a couple of D'Allessandro's books now and she's quickly moving up to the shelf of favorites (where Lisa Kleypas is quite dominating). D'Alessandro describes the road to love and affection rather than the whole easily written 'rake meets innocent girl' plot where everything focuses on how many times he makes her blush and how much he wants to have sex with her and how arrogant and annoying he is, but the heroine just CANT help but fall for him.

Like that in many of her stories the hero/heroine has a passion for a certain hobby (in this case science and astronomy) - its not all about romantic, forbidden meetings on balls/soirees/darkly lit libraries. The hero and heroine are always equally attracted to each other and are honest about it to themselves and to the other part.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
All in all, I am not an avid historical romance reader, preferring to stick to contemporary or paranormal. However, every now and then I do get a craving for a dashing rogue, back when chivalry was something to be taken seriously and not a joke. That said, I picked up The Bride Thief from my local Borders as the back synopsis sounded good.

The heroine is someone whom you don't find as the typical regency heroine. She's "dowdy", older than marriageable age and obsessed with scientific experiments. Samantha is delightful, however, a wonderfully complex character, with more than what she appears to be. She's spirited, stubborn and (to Eric's eyes) sexy. Ah, so many 's' words...(read the book and you'll understand that last statement)

The hero definitely met my requirements for a dashing rogue. He's handsome, caring and funny, able to laugh at himself. He is also the Bride Thief, a man who rescues poor women who are being forced into an arranged marriage by their families and setting them free in America or the Continent. Every time he dons the costume he risks can you not love a regency romance Zorro??

Our protagonists meet when Sammie's father arranges for her to marry a dreadful man, which she quickly gets herself out of via cleverness, but Eric doesn't realise and rescues her - only to realise he is now going to have to return her. After this, Sammie finds herself in the spotlight, something she hates and she is suddenly introduced to the Earl of Wesley (Eric) who just wants to know if she's okay after his abduction. Of course, once the sparks ignite, there's no stopping them.

I loved this book. I thought it was funny, very romantic and intriguing. An element of suspense is also introduced as the net for the Bride Thief ever decreases. D'allessandro is a brilliant writer and I think that if you give this book a chance, you will fall in love too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure delight! 25 Jun 2002
By Fani - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished reading one of the best books I've read this year and probably one that deserves a place in my all time top 5 list! Lately I read several romance books, all of them nice but nothing to rave about. Well, this is cartainly not thie case with the Bride Thief. Thanks to Jaquie d'Allessandro, I spend a most delightful weekend (and came to work after only 5 hours of sleep, since I couldn't out it down)! I've read "Whirlwind wedding" and "Red roses mean love" and liked her style very much, but this time she wrote a novel that could only be described as perfect. What I find most amazing about her writing style, is her ability to blend humorous, lighthearted scenes with heartwrenching ones with extreme efficiency, making you pass from laughter to tears and vice versa with ease. This is a book that has it all: tenderness, humor, friendship and of course -what most romance readers crave for- Passion. The characters don't stare at each other and find themselves immediately in love or in lust as is the case with many books: their relationship and feelings for each other evolve as they spend more and more time together, until they realize they can't keep their hands to themselves and get caught in a very compromising situation. The story is fast paced, humorous, witty, the heroine lovely (who else can write a book about a 26 year old, average looking bookworm with spectacles and make the reader actually believe she is desirable???) and the hero is to die for!!!
Do yourself a favor and buy this book as soon as possible. You certainly won't regret it! At the least, you'll have an entertaining evening. But what I think, is that you'll find a new keeper. If you haven't read other books by Jaquie d'Alessandro this is definately the place to start.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Joy to Read 25 May 2002
By M. Rondeau - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Samantha Briggeham - Sammie to most - was resigned to spinster hood at the ripe old age of 26. She was intelligent, kind and very happy in her own little world - happy that is, until her mother was determined to have her last daughter married off. It didn't seem to matter to anyone but Sammie that the chosen bridegroom was not anyone she was the least bit interested in or wanted for that matter.
Enter the notorious "Bride Thief". He heard of the plight of poor Sammie and set in motion her kidnapping. Unfortunately for him, Sammie, had solved her own problems with her betrothed and by the time she was kidnapped, her problem betrohtal was resolved to be dissolved. The bigger problem was that now, the Bride Thief had to return his victim, and hope that her reputation was not diminished.
Eric Lansdowne, the Earl of Wesley, was actually the Bride Thief with a huge bounty on his head, that would get him hung if caught. He felt responsible for Sammie and set out to make sure that she suffered no ill effects from her kidnapping. Quite by accident, he found himself drawn to this young woman who was like no other he had ever met, and he began to feel things that for him could prove dangerous to his health.
Ms. D'Allesandro serves up another wonderful cast of characters in this tale. A brilliant younger brother, the meddling marriage minded mama, and the intelligent lovely Samantha. The dialog is witty and fast moving. Scenes of Sammie and her sisters discussing ways to prevent pregnancy are a hoot. The romance and seduction of the Earl are hot and sizzling! A wonderful story. Can't wait for more for this amazing talent!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable book ! 31 Mar 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I deeply enjoyed Jacquie D'Alessandro's previous books and looked forward to reading "The Bride Thief" as soon as it was released. While this book lacks the rolicking humor in her previous books, it's still a light and enjoyable read. The story is told well, and I appreciated the premise of the book...a handsome stranger whisks off unwilling brides before they must make unhappy marriages.
That said, I did find Eric Landsdowne to be a character of contrasts. He seems very much the "love them and leave them" rake, and yet, he rescues young women from desperate fates. The main character of Samantha Briggeham is delightful. It's nice to know that an intelligent woman *can* get Prince Charming in the end !
I do recommend this book, but I would recommend previous titles by the same author above this one. If you are already a Jacquie D'Alessandro fan, I am sure you will have fun as you read.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a "Must Read"! 29 Mar 2002
By Marcia L. Hopkins - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Samantha Briggeham is independent and unconventional (she is often referred to as "eccentric" by those who know her) for any century, but she happens to be living in 1820 when young women often find themselves in arranged marriages and being "independent" is not something that is encouraged in a young woman.
Samantha's father, Charles Briggeham, believes Major Wilshire is perfect for Samantha and has made the arrangements for her to marry. Samantha, who enjoys reading and carrying on scientific experiments with her younger brother, Hubert, has other ideas and they do not include being married off to the dour Major Wilshire, who she considers a "tiresome dolt". Although Samantha's three younger sisters are married and seem to be happy, Samantha has no desire for the married life especially to a man she does not love.
Samantha decides that since she can't convince her father that she is not suitable marriage material, she will speak to Major Wilshire and convince him. Samantha's meeting with Major Wilshire is successful and he is quite sure he doesn't want to marry such a "strange" woman. When Samantha is returning home from her meeting with the Major, she is kidnapped by a masked man on horseback. The mysterious masked rider is the infamous "Bride Thief" who rescues ladies from arranged and unwanted marriages. Samantha is terrified, then intrigued, by the mysterious kidnapper and she explains to him that she is no longer in danger of being married off since she had just convinced Major Wilshire that she is completely unsuitable for marriage. The Bride Thief returns Samantha to her home and news of her adventure spreads rapidly through the social circles making Samantha a much sought after guest at numerous parties.
At one of the parties Samantha attends she meets the Earl of Wesley, Eric Landsdowne. Samantha is very intrigued by the Earl and finds him to be somewhat familiar to her in his mannerisms and speech. The Earl of Wesley and the Bride Thief are one and the same person. Samantha is unaware of the earl's secret identify and finds herself inexplicably drawn and attracted to him. Sadly, she feels he is much too good looking and sought after by too many women to be interested in someone like her.
Ms. D'Alessandro's books are always filled with witty scenarios and dialog as well as heart warming scenes and this book is no exception to that rule. The Bride Thief is one of the best of Ms. D'Alessandro's books, perhaps the best or at least it's a tie between The Bride Thief and Whirlwind Wedding.
The Bride Thief won't disappoint Jacquie D'Alessandro fans it will only add weight to the conviction that Jacquie D'Alessandro is one of today's hot regency romance writers!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hilarious historical romp 30 Mar 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Considered on the shelf by most of the Ton, Samantha Briggeham has no plans to marry unless somehow love enters the equation. However, at her advanced age (the mid-twenties) she knows that will never happen. However, the infamous BRIDE THIEF thinks that Sammie is being forced to wed in an arranged marriage. Unable to allow that to happen to her or other unwanted females, he abducts Sammie.

After being freed by him, Sammie cannot forget the BRIDE THIEF or the wonderful Eric Landsdowne, the Earl of Wesley, who she has just met. Eric also cannot ignore his feelings for Sammie, who he met when he "rescued" her as his alter ego the BRIDE THIEF. Instead of receiving the typical courting scenario from him, Sammie engages in a romantic liaison with Eric, but they are caught. He does the honorable thing and proposes, but Sammie fears for her independence. Then there is the Bride Thief, under siege by angry fathers seeking missing daughters, wanting to set free the woman he loves from an arranged marriage, ironically to him.

THE BRIDE THIEF is an entertaining, often humorous Regency romantic romp that also provides a lesson in sticking to ones values even if it hurts to do so. The story line retains its amusing posture throughout the tale though a couple of subplots seem like unnecessary detours. The characters are a delightful group, especially the bewildered Eric and the intrepid Sammie, which Jacquie D'Alessandro provides her readers with a hilarious historical romp.

Harriet Klausner
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