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The Marriage Bed (Leisure Historical Romance) (Leisure historical romance) Mass Market Paperback – 25 Apr 2008

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing; Reissue edition (25 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0843949333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843949339
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.7 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,878,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


When destiny brings them back together, a reluctant monk forced into marriage and a beautiful virgin, longing to fulfill the forbidden fantasies of girlhood, succumb to the mutual attraction between them during their wedding night. Reissue.

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By on 7 Feb. 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is the first that I have read by Claudia Dain, unfortunately I must admit that I was not overly impressed. The story is set in the 12th. Century and concerns a knight (Richard) who becomes a monk to avoid temptation, he is then forced by certain circumstances to wed a woman (Lady Isabel) who he had accepted could never be his. I felt that the character of Lady Isabel was rather shallow and selfish and I could not understand how Richard who is really very Godly and good, but believes himself a sinner, could have eventually loved her. Admittedly she did redeem herself towards the end of the story, but it took a long time coming. The story unwound very slowly and I did struggle to reach the end of the book. However I will try other books by this author, I don't believe it is fair to make a judgement about her after reading only one of her books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A sexy monk? Definitely! 5 Feb. 2004
By V - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Marriage Bed has been in my "to be read" shelf for some time now. I kept avoiding it because I could not find much romance in the book's synopsis. The hero is a monk, living in an abbey, and even when forced into marriage by the king, wants to remain celibate. Okayyyy - that certainly sounded like a boring premise for a romance. But, I went on the favorable recommendations of many reviewers and took a dive. Was I knocked off my feet! It was "full steam ahead" from the first pages and I knew I was reading a great romantic tale.
Richard, the hero, was highly appealing despite his morose thoughts. Although we see Richard in the abbey, he never appears monkish. Oh - he wants to be a monk but he struggles daily - possibly even hourly - with lust. He's a very lusty guy, shut away in an abbey, attempting to rid himself of this blight on his soul. And the abbey has done nothing to tame his domineering personality
Isabel is the only heir to a large keep, Dornei, and her father has just died. She is betrothed to an heir of another large keep and the marriage has been arranged to align these two strong properties into one. In the opening pages, Isabel is running from Dornei to the abbey for protection. Although she is betrothed, there is more than one man who wants to lay claim to Isabel and her inheritance. The abbey allows Isabel sanctuary and sends for her betrothed only to be notified that he has died. The second son also is dead, leaving the third son as heir and the newly proclaimed future husband to Isabel. That third son is Richard. Isabel is thrilled because she has loved Richard since she was a young girl and never wanted to marry his brother. She has prayed for Richard to be her husband and has only dreamed of such a union. Now it is happening and she cannot hide her immense joy over the union.
Richard is a resident of that abbey Isabel flees to for protection. Soon after her arrival, he is notified of the death of his two older brothers and informed that he is to marry Isabel. Richard is furious and refuses to marry her. But the king's wishes for this marriage win out and Richard goes fuming into his own wedding. He believes Isabel is a spoiled young lady who has gotten her way and resents her greatly. He exhibits no feelings towards Isabel and refuses to have anything to do with her. As they ride off towards Dornei, now man and wife, Isabel remains ecstatic with her marriage and Richard only grows angrier over the union. . As soon as Richard and Isabel reach Dornei, he is immediately about the business of being lord. He is very efficient as he attends to his new duties - with the exception of the marriage bed. That is something he just doesn't want to face - yet.
The Marriage Bed is quite an unusual romance in several aspects:
- The vast majority of the story occurs over just a few days.
- There is sufficient cause behind Richard's angst to cause his actions seeking absolution. His hidden secret is not the usual unbelievable childhood with a cruel, abusive father or mother.
- Although this story occurs over just a few days, there is a tremendous amount of growth for both the hero and heroine as they deal with the truth and uncover the secrets.
- The heroine wants the marriage bed more than hero but don't let that little fact influence your choice to read this book. This is one very virile hero.
- The sincere concerns about morality play a huge part in the undercurrent of the story.
- The hero and heroine have known each other well since childhood.
- This hero was a very humble man - so much so that it made him a much stronger individual.
- Religion is a significant part of this story. Even the two experienced, strong knights who come to help guard Dornei spend time kneeling in prayer. Religion is given the proper place it truly occupied in this time in history. It is not harsh but seen as a means of desired stamina.
This book does not contain the overused plot line of a misunderstanding. The dialogue between the leads is honest although hurtful at times. They don't throw ugly words at one another. The hero may desire celibacy in the beginning but this ends up being quite a sensual book. The sensual rating is 4.25 out of 5.0 (See More About Me for rating guidelines). I loved The Marriage Bed and highly recommend it. It is only my second Dain book and I will now eagerly read more of her backlist.
40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Excrucitatingly bad taste, not the least bit romantic 2 Mar. 2004
By J. Mullally - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is the height of bad taste on a number of levels. The heroine is totally uninteresting, and the hero is a humorless prig of the first order. He sits around worrying about his lust all the time and fails to care about any other person but himself. When he finally decides he is going to consummate his marriage, with all of the enthusiasm of a man about to be executed, he really picks his moment. And has sex with her after she has just been nearly raped in a stinking dungeon and has just seen her assailant's head hacked off and rolling into the distance. That is truly just gross
Later, her stripping naked for bandages for one injured man is just silly-most normal women would just lift their skirts and cut off several yards of fabric, not strip naked in front of total strangers in the wilderness and then not even bother to put their dress back on
The story is way too short and 'one note'-his guilt over his supposed lust, and her love and then her anger
There is no real convincing falling in love with the story because she is already in love with him, has been since her childhood, and he is in lust with her.
Never once anywhere in the book do they say they love each other. Or even have a relatively normal conversation.
The sexual aspect of this novel is far too violent and her repetitiveness in the saying she will have to tolerate him for three years until she gets pregnant is just too silly for words. Her 'she loves him, she loves him not' attitude gets wearing after the first 50 pages.
The author also needs to be cured of her semi-colonitis. They are put all over the place and rarely used correctly and it only serves to distract from an already hard to follow and rather dull narrative.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Frustrating!! 12 May 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I agree with the other rater that this book was rather disappointing given all the other rave reviews.
I stuck with it, but only out of sheer stubborn will! I found the characters' motivations to be quite unrealistic. Especially Richard's struggle with himself (non-existent at times) and I found Isabel's love for him to verge on obsession which made me feel quite uncomfortable. For the first half of the book I felt no affinity with Richard at all and I wanted to tell Isabel to stop humiliating herself over him and get a life.
Having said that, I thought the medieval conversation and other characters were well written. Rowland the Dark, especially, sounded gorgeous and I was much more interested in him than the main character, Richard!
I felt that the book got better as it progressed and that the whole thing would have been more successful had it begun in the middle of the story. There were certain instances that I felt the book dragged a little, especially when building up to some form of revelation which, unfortunately, was completely guessable.
Basically, if you like stories of reluctant(albeit with an internal struggle) men being pursued by infatuated women, you'll probably love it. Personally, I saw enough of that in High School and I prefer my hero to be uncontrollably devastated in his attraction to a smart, independent and (possibly reluctant) heroine.
Although a new twist on the Medieval Romance, it was not something that I could relate to. I have given it a low rating as I think there are authors out there who do the Medieval job better.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
One of the best new authors in any genre 27 Dec. 2001
By "booksrlis" - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms Dain comes through once again. When I started THE MARRIAGE BED, I thought how in heaven's name is she going to write a whole book about this subject? Well stupid question that I needn't have asked, after reading THE HOLDING. After all she took every cliche plot and character and turned it into one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. The turn of a phrase, eloquent and timeless, is Ms. dain's forte. THE HOLDING was such a piece of work. So should I be surprised that she took a subject that hardly seemed worthy of a chapter or two and turned it into a engaging novel.
THE MARRIAGE BED opens with the hero in the throws of a wet dream, or in medieval times what was known as a visit from a succubus. And, we follow Richard from that dream through his raison de etre. In a tale of only four days we are treated to a journey filled with humanity, love, self doubt,Pride, humiliation, redemption and forgiveness. Richard and Isabel both feel their way through their faith and their love for each other. I read THE MARRIAGE BED in one sitting, less than five hours.
As in THE HOLDING, the prose is outstanding and memorable. Indeed, the ability to take bible verse and weave it sensually through a medieval love story can only be admired. The Song of Solomon was never so beautifully quoted. Ms. Dain does not skimp on prose in THE MARRIAGE BED either.
Every once in awhile an author comes along that stands out from the ordinary and tantalizes our imaginations with wonderfully drawn stories of times past. And when we finish their tale we want it to not be over. So we wait patiently for the next book and think, can it possibly be as good as the first and we are rewarded for our patience. Ms. Dain is such an author and I am happy to have found her early on.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent medieval romance with a twist 21 Dec. 2001
By Nicole Miale - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been a romance fan for years, with a special interest in medievals. I've experienced the typical plot devices and the "Norman cur/Saxon wench" themes which can be lots of fun, but don't necessarily stand up to the test of time. With The Holding, and now The Marriage Bed, Claudia Dain has created a new take on the medieval romance which intrigued and satisfied even this jaded reader.
Religion was a major part of life in the medieval world, yet perhaps because of the very nature of romance, it is often ignored or given only a small role to play in even well-done novels. Ms. Dain has thrown that convention on its head and given us in Richard a hero who has devoted himself to God's service and is most reluctant to give it up for marriage even to Isabel, the most winsome and lovesick (for Richard) of women. The conflict between the hero and heroine is unique in my experience -- the heroine wants the marriage and all that comes with it, including love, companionship, and yes, sex. The hero wants to do his duty and somehow figure out a way to get back to the abbey where he feels he belongs in order to atone for a long ago sin.
The struggle between them is real, and intense, and at times very amusing. Their evolution as characters and as a couple is absorbing and believable - neither starts out or ends as a perfect being. They are flawed and yet striving to be more. Their supporting cast is excellent as well, and I liked the reappearance of the men from The Holding too.
Some of the plot devices are a bit trite, and I could see certain things coming way too far in advance, but I didn't mark down the score because I'm so thrilled to see a new author in this sub-genre who takes some chances with the conventional character types. Thank you, Ms. Dain and keep them coming!!
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