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Royal Bride [Mass Market Paperback]

Joan Wolf


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Book Description

25 May 2001
Prince Augustus of Jura has devoted his entire life to trying to defeat Napoleon and defend his country. When Napoleon's forces are finally conquered, Augustus faces his next challenge - finding a wife in order to ward off Austria's attempts to take over Jura. He decides to marry an English girl with political connections and rejoices when he meets a beautiful but cold woman from a well-connected family. Devastated after she runs away with his cousin, Augustus turns to Charity, her sister. A tomboy stuck in her sister's shadow, Charity's warmth charms Augustus...and suddenly marrying to save Jura doesn't seem so bad.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; New edition edition (25 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446606952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446606950
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.7 x 2.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,551,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The direction on the letter read: Her Highness, the Princess Mariana, Dowager Countess of Beaufort. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairy Tale Romance Wilts Without Heroine 8 July 2001
By Cheryl Richter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Overall, Royal Bride is a pleasant enough Regency Period story, possessing a fairy tale quality that will appeal to many readers. However, those who prefer more depth to their romance reading may wish to look elsewhere.
Royal Bride wasn't a bad read so much as a dissatisfying one. It was a good book that could have been great if only the author had taken the story and heroine to the places they begged to go. Unfortunately, neither the characters nor the plot quite lived up to their potential.
Many readers found the beginning characterization of Charity Beaufort as a `girl' distasteful because it hinted at pedophilia. However, in defense of poor Gus, who, at twenty-seven, can hardly be considered "old", it must be remembered that at that time in history, sons and daughters of the aristocracy were expected to improve the family fortunes through marriage at a much younger age. It wasn't unheard of for the daughters to be married off as young as thirteen or fourteen years of age -- a practice that existed even as late as the 18th century! To be fair, a female at seventeen is considered a young woman not a child, regardless of her height or bra size!
It was the author's failure to fully realize Charity's character that left a bad taste in this reader's mind. Charity seemed to be a mere bystander rather than an active participant. If she had been allowed to flourish as a woman later on, readers would have been more willing to overlook the age difference presented in the beginning. Unfortunately, too much effort was placed on establishing Charity's innocence and girlish personae in the first part of the story; not enough was focused on her transformation into womanhood in the second. Charity just didn't DO enough in this story to justify, to the reader's satisfaction, her growth from "girl" to woman.
"Royal Bride" fails on several other fronts. First, the author chose to tell her story from a kind of passive point of view. The characters Do and Say a lot, but the thoughts and emotions of the hero and heroine are never really explored. Introspection - when characters contemplate their own thoughts and feelings - is held to a minimum here which keeps the reader from connecting with them on an emotional level. Connecting emotionally with the hero and heroine is the lifeblood of the romance novel.
Second, the obstacles that confronted Augustus as he struggled with the intrigues of court were overcome almost as soon as they were introduced to the plot. Gus foiled the villain's nefarious schemes far too easily. These easy resolutions were just plain boring.
Ultimately, the story fails because Charity takes a back seat to the plot. The focus should have been on her. I wanted to get to know this intelligent, enchanting person. I wanted to watch her mature, have adventures, conquer the hero, and save the day. I needed the author to prove to me that regardless of her age, Charity had the spunk to enthrall a "battle-scarred" prince. To convince me I needed to experience the story through Charity's eyes. Unfortunately, this heroine struggles through it wearing blinders.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Regency-lite, that�s all. 27 April 2001
By kellytwo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having been enticed into reading this book by the lovely cover, and the stated premise indicated by the title, I'd not progressed very far before wrinkling my brow and inspecting the spine of the book. The writing, while good, seemed very simplistic in style, and I thought perhaps it was for the `young adult'. But no, not that, apparently. Well, then, maybe an `English as Second Language' or `Beginning Adult Reader' book, all of which are necessary ingredients in the overall literacy program. But if so, I couldn't find any indication of it.
And then I encountered the two plot elements that I most despise in any romance novel. The young miss, just out of the schoolroom who positively enchants the sophisticated, older, usually, battle-hardened warrior, at least ten years older than the child--and--the child doesn't even come up to the top of his shoulder. Either of these are grotesque, in my opinion, and I could happily live the rest of my life without ever again encountering either of them in any book I might read.
And make no mistake about this `child' bride. She is constantly referred to as a child, at least during the first third of the book. What gives here, I wondered? At this point I read the reviews, and came to the following conclusion.
No one is perfect every time out, and that includes all authors of any longevity, even those with a huge backlist, and years spent on the best-seller lists.
Even Tiger Woods loses occasionally.
This book is just an aberration, so get over it, and go on to the next one. I found more than enough indications that Royal Bride was indeed written by Joan Wolf, so that's not a problem for me. I'll still read her next one, no question.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars boring.... 8 Mar 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This story had zero chemistry between Lady Charity and Prince Augustus. Also, I agree with a previous reader that she might have been a bit young, but more importantly, she was too immature for a good romantic heroine. What is up with Joan Wolf and brides who refuse marital relations? It is totally illogical that a Prince, who would certainly need an heir, would allow a bride not to fulfill her wifely duty as his princess and bride. Also totally silly that she would be upset that he conducted a brief affair after they were married. After all, she was not sleeping with him and he was a devilishly handsome man. The Vienna intrigues were interesting but the romance was too been there, done that for Joan Wolf. I wish she would go back to her third party stories. I realize that in the 18-19 centuries, brides were generally young, but readers today are not and if authors want teenagers as brides in their stories, at least make them mature.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I wish I'd read the reviews before buying. 4 April 2001
By PENNY KING - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love Joan Wolf's books and bought this one without even checking the reviews. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was reading all of it. This book made me very uncomfortable. The heroine, Charity, is described as a VERY small, flat-chested girl who looks fourteen and fails to reach the hero's shoulders. I have a very hard time imagining a passionate romance between a little girl and a grown man. Nor do I want to. As for the mystery angle I was never allowed to become involved in it...everything was explained as soon as it was introduced. The secondary characters were very one dimentional and uninteresting. I sincerely hope that Ms. Wolf returns to her above par writing with her next book, but you can bet I'll check the reviews before I buy it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Romance... 16 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I did not like this story at all. I wish too I had read the reviews before I bought this book. I won't make that mistake again. Charity might have been 17-18 years old when she married Prince Augustus, but she looked like a child. What romance is there (that adult women would want to read...)about a flat chested teenager with a grown-up man? That is not my recipe for romance or a good story. True, many women (girls) married younger back than, but many were disfigured via small pox and romance writers do not include that in their stories either. Wait for the next Joan Wolf story and don't bother with this one. But make sure you check the reviews first...
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