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Tempting the Bride [Mass Market Paperback]

Sherry Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Mass Market Paperback, 3 Jan 2013 --  

Book Description

3 Jan 2013
Helena Fitzhugh understands perfectly well that she would be ruined should her secret love affair be discovered. But when a rendezvous goes wrong and she is about to be caught in the act, she is forced to accept help from a man she truly despises, David Hillsborough, and announce that she has eloped with him. But David has always loved Helena and after a carriage accident causes her to lose her memory, he seizes the chance to tell her of his love. But when her memory returns, can Helena learn to trust and love a man she had sworn never to like?


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: BERKLEY - US (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425251020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425251027
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 741,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

With lush sensuality, intense emotion, lyrical writing, and exquisitely realized characters, Thomas has delivered another unforgettable winner (Library Journal (starred review))

Thomas' splendidly nuanced characters and emotionally compelling plot give the third book in her latest lushly sensual, exquisitely written historical trilogy... a rare richness and depth readers will treasure (Booklist)

Sizzling....Helena's self-possessed intelligence makes her a standout heroine, and Thomas has an exquisite ability to transport the reader into the outstanding story (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

Searing, tender, and filled with passion, [Sherry Thomas'] writing is nothing short of a revelation (Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

An utterly captivating historical romance by acclaimed author Sherry Thomas, the third in her Fitzhugh trilogy. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 15 Sep 2013
By Caz
Format:Kindle Edition
I thought this final book in the Fitzhugh trilogy was another winner from Sherry Thomas. She takes a couple of my favourite tropes - the marriage of convenience and the bickering couple who fall for each other - and puts a slightly different spin on them, especially on the latter.

David Hillsborough, Viscount Hastings and Helena Fitzhugh have appeared in the earlier two books in this trilogy - Beguiling the Beauty and Ravishing the Heiress, and spent all their appearances taking verbal pot-shots at each other and trading lethal barbs. But their banter is not the run-of-the-mill flirtatiousness with which many a hero and heroine thinly veil their mutual attraction - no, these verbal darts are tipped with poison and invariably find their mark, so that one could be forgiven for thinking that David and Helena really dislike each other.

In Helena's case, that might not be far from the truth, but for David... well, he's been in love with Helena since he was fourteen - but she hardly acknowledged his existence. So, David, in the manner of the addled, hormonally-charged teenaged boy, decided to make her notice him by playing practical jokes on her, behaving outrageously towards her, insulting her and, when they were older, making increasingly suggestive comments to her.

The problem is that while Hastings has grown up in all other respects, when it comes to Helena, he has never been able to progress beyond the metaphorical pigtail-pulling. Handsome, rich and otherwise urbane, he still behaves like that lovesick, teenaged boy whenever he is in Helena's presence, and the only person in her entire family who has no idea of the reason for his behaviour is, of course, the lady herself.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rebooting a relationship. 4 Oct 2012
By OLT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's not a spoiler to say that amnesia plays a big part in this story. I'm not a big fan of the amnesia trope (OK, I hate it) but it works in this case because the relationship between the H and h was so messed up that nothing but a wipe-out of it all and a reboot could be as efficient a fix in a 278-page book.

This is a very good romance, but it's my least favorite in Thomas's Fitzhugh family trilogy, probably because I found the two main characters (pre-amnesia) to be so exasperating. David Hillsborough, Viscount Hastings, has known and loved Helena Fitzhugh since she was 14 and has managed to spend all this time insulting, antagonizing, teasing, almost sexually harassing her and just in general being a boor and jerk around her. Granted, this relationship started when they were very young but one would think that in adulthood Hastings would figure out that this wasn't working. He was personable and charming around other people.

But Helena is no prize either. She's an opinionated, stubborn woman who has decided that a certain Andrew Martin is the love of her life. Certain they would marry, she is disappointed when he is persuaded by his mother to marry someone else, but that doesn't stop Helena from continuing a relationship with him. Supposedly Helena is an intelligent, take-charge, free-thinking businesswoman, but that makes her attraction to little weasel Andrew that much more puzzling.

So Helena has an accident and amnesia conveniently wipes out all memory of her life after about 14 years of age. This means no memory whatsoever of Hastings or her love Andrew. This gives Hastings the chance to start all over and charm instead of antagonize, something one wonders he didn't try in the first place. But stylistically, it makes for an interesting concept and this is an enjoyable read.

It wasn't as emotional a read for me as Fitz and Millie's story, but I enjoyed the use Thomas made of this miraculous amnesia and also the view into the depth of Hasting's character, a character that had initially seemed very superficial. In addition, post-accident Helena is a much more sympathetic character than pre-amnesia Helena ever was. Never thought amnesia could cause personality changes, even though I did love Overboard long ago, but Helena certainly improves in this story, even after her memory returns.

This is an entertaining book. I couldn't give it 5 stars because I was comparing it to Ravishing the Heiress (Berkley Sensation) which for me was a superior book because of the emotional wallop it carried. However, if one compares it to the normal run-of-the-mill HR being released it is definitely a 5-star book.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The author impresses me more and more 3 Oct 2012
By Willread - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got this book on my Kindle last night and read all night. It was so good - and also impressive.

Why is it impressive? Sherry Thomas keeps digging into storylines that I would have thought I would hate and yet I always end up loving her books. In Beguiling the Beauty (Berkley Sensation) she has her heroine be in disguise so the hero doesn`t realize she is the woman he`s always loved. Entirely incredible plotline, one would think but Sherry Thomas makes it work. In Ravishing the Heiress (Berkley Sensation) she has the hero and heroine live together as "married friends" for years and the hero has mistresses on the side. This is also a storyline I would have thought I would have hated but Sherry Thomas makes it work.

In this book it`s amnesia. Can you imagine a more over-used theme in historical romance - especially compared to how rare true amnesia really is. And not only amnesia, Sherry Thomas also has a hero who starts out being obnoxious and borderline cruel to the heroine. Like a school boy in love (which is really what he starts out being) he teases the heroine and I`m not talking about the fun banter we see in many books. No, he prefers her hate to her not noticing him at all so he goes on with golden sentences like "Nice dress - too bad you don`t have the body to fill it out the right places" (my words - I couldn`t find the direct quote). The heroine rightly dislikes the hero and wants nothing to do with him.

If you`re turned away from this book by the amnesia plot and the obnoxious hero - don`t. Like her other books in this series, this is a very good story. She is true to her characters and to human reactions in situations like this. If you are, on the other hand, tired of the same-old, same-old in historical romance then this is the book for you. It`s as if Sherry Thomas reinvents the boring old storylines and gives them new blood. As I said, I`m very impressed.

The couple in Tempting the Bride are mentioned in Sherry Thomas` other two books (which are about the heroine`s siblings) but you can read this one without having read either. I would recommend the other two books in this series, though. They are great books too!
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's ok 22 Oct 2012
By Giuk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have very mixed feelings about this book.

I loved that the hero was in love with heroine from the get go, it was definitely different from your usual historical novel, where the hero suddenly (and inexplicably) falls in love with a woman he just met.
In relation to the heroine...I can't quite figure her out. First a woman who will conscientiously have an affair with a married man is no great lady as far as I am concerned. Besides that, she completely ignores the fact that the hero goes out of his way to try to make everything ok, but not only isn't she grateful, but she blames him over and over again. She puts her passion before her family's good name and don't give a fig about any of them until it's too late (and it took quite a lot to happen for her to figure that out). In short, the heroine was very annoying, but I guess that was kind of the point.
I have to admit that their banter was extremely funny, I found myself more often than not, chuckling.
But I have to mention one of the biggest problems in this book. Which is the plot.

------------------------------------SPOILER----------------------------------------

It's so damn easy to make her loose her memory and star all over again. And it wasn't just that. The twist that makes the plot ever more miserable, is the idea to make the heroine regain her memory slowly, which, incidentally, is just a lazy excuse for a melodramatic suspense.
I just kept wishing that he would "conquer her love" like a normal person would have to. I wished that he would show her, without the idiotic subterfuge of amnesia utilised by the author, that he was worthy of her affections. Was it so impossible for the heroine to leave her preconceptions of him and see him like a man? Why? Why, Lord, why did she had to have amnesia to start liking him?

A great story doesn't need a ridiculous turn to make it great. In the end, it's very simple, the story had great potential, but it didn't reach it.

I can't really advise you not to buy it, but I would exactly recommend it either.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Penthouse meets Jane Austen 21 Nov 2012
By Michelle Fleming - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Jane Austen and Regency romance, but this is book not what I expect from the genre. I don't expect the average Regency romance to be as historically accurate as Georgette Heyer's novels, but I don't care for being constantly hit over the head with anachronisms.

The female main character supposedly "went to college" and then started her own publishing business as a young single woman. This should have been the first clue that the author was making no attempt whatsoever to hew to historical reality. The male romantic lead mocks her early in the book saying "A women's college, is that what they call a hotbed of lesbianism these days?" The female lead later reads a "smutty story" involving bondage written by the male lead and then comments that it "makes me hornier than a camp full of soldiers." If you can imagine characters from Jane Austen saying or doing these things you have a better ability to suspend disbelief than I do.

I'm not a prude, but I do expect a certain amount of gentility and circumspection from characters in this genre. However this book reads like Penthouse meets Jane Austen. If that's your thing, then you'll love this book. But I would have found the characters' crude turns of phrase startling in a book set in modern times, much less ones from this era. I had long since lost interest in the book and was only skimming to see how ridiculous it got by the time I hit quotes like "This is my room, my dear Lady Hastings. Or do you not remember that you came here last night famished for cock and wouldn't leave me alone until I'd f***ed you well and good?"

As for the characterization, what their was of it, the main male lead was almost likeable but the female lead I found judgmental and arrogant. She wasn't likeable, much less believable.

This book would be better characterized as Regency porn rather than Regency romance. Like I say, if that's what you're looking for more power to you. But I felt misled about what I was getting with this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A satisfying, sigh-worthy read 7 Nov 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Of the 3 books in the Fitzhugh Trilogy, this was my favorite. Although one of my favorite tropes is the long-lasting unrequited crush (which Ravishing the Heiress (Berkley Sensation)certainly was), it was the tension between David and Helena that edged them out over Millie and Fitz. David had a crush on Helena since he was a young boy and acted out by tormenting her as boys are known to do. Helena, oblivious to the fact that he was acting out of puppy love, barely paid him any mind unless she was responding with cutting remarks or turning the tables on him. Helena's older sister was so beautiful that it never even occurred to her that she could be the object of his or any man's affection at the time as she was often overlooked in favor of her sister. Helena was very thin, did not possess the "womanly curves" of the time and didn't hit puberty until her mid-teens. It was interesting to watch David and Helena circle each other for the first 2 books in the trilogy and it was even better to get more of their backstory in this book. As adults, David had the hardest time approaching her with anything but sarcastic taunts and crude overtures meant to shock her(ahem...the Bride of Larkspear) because of their past. We see him struggle to break out of the persona he'd crafted to show Helena a different side of himself. Through a series of events that I don't want to spoil, Helena is affected by amnesia for a short time. This affords David the opportunity to be the man he's always wanted to be for Helena, even knowing that once she recovers her memory, the true feelings that he's revealed to her still may not be enough for her to get over their rocky past. David is not the rakish, crude rogue he'd presented all these years. He's a loving, patient father and his scenes with his daughter, Bea, won me over to his side. Thomas' writing leaves no doubt that he'd loved Helena all this time. Helena was stubborn, prickly and I loved the fact that she always gave as good as she got and managed to be one step ahead of David much of the time. And Thomas' handling of Bea's character, a little girl with high-functioning asperger's (not called out by name in the book, but confirmed after a query to the author), was just so moving. I found myself just captivated by this little make-shift family that they appeared to be creating, if only David and Helena could learn to trust one another. This is the story that made Sherry Thomas a 'Must-Read' author for me and I highly recommend it.
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