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The Marriage Test (Thorndike Romance) Hardcover – Large Print, 13 Aug 2004


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Hardcover, Large Print, 13 Aug 2004
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 572 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (13 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786267682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786267682
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 14.8 x 2.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,827,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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IT WAS A DEVILISH BAD NIGHT TO BE A traveler. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Tasty Read 1 Jun. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'd never heard of Bettina Krahn or her books before picking one up to while-away a long bus ride. I love period pieces and wasn't quite sure what to expect, but once I got past the initial chapter or two, orienting myself with the characters, I was amused and delighted.
Being somewhat of a medieval buff and a "foodie", the crafting of the genre dishes and delicacies was well-done, and certainly gave this book a nice flavor, if you'll forgive the pun.
An easy read that had humor and romance at the same time. I'd gladly pick up other novels done by this author.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Book should say: DO NOT READ ON A EMPTY STOMACH!! 7 May 2004
By Psboston7 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is book #3 in the {{BRIDES OF VIRTUE}} series but I do not think this is a series you have to read in order. In fact this is the first one I read. This book is for the Epicureans Romance Readers out there and more. BK certainly did her share of research for the culinary delights in this story. Being as my occupation is Director of Catering I always like to read books with Food in the storyline this one does not dissapoint.
Julia is a young women who has been in the convent since the age of 10. She has always been headstrong and independent, not really the attributes one would equate to a Nun in Medieval times, the Head Abbess assigns Julia into the Kitchen at a early age to keep her out of making trouble in the convent. Julia takes to the Kitchen like a "duck-to-water" becomes irreplaceable. One evening (during very bad weather) 2 knights traveling through the area stop at the convent to get something to eat (after being told in the nearby village that they will find exceptional faire there) well of course they have a dinner TO DIE FOR and unbeknownst to the Abbess these 2 knights Count has a peculiar ailment............ He has a uncanny disability to pick up every scent there is GOOD AND BAD and he becomes so overwhelmed that it makes him deranged hence he is named "THE BEAST". Because of this ailment he can not enjoy food especially food made from awful cooks that don't know what flavors compliment each other. So when they come upon this convent with Food OUT OF THIS WORLD they try to find out who the cook is, the Abbess knows she has a treasure in her cook so she doesn't allow them to meet Julia. The 2 Knights go away not knowing who the cook is but they are fairly tripping over themselves to return to the Count to tell him of their find. I don't want to get to lengthy about the book description since the 2 previous reviews (as well as Amazon synopsis) does a fine job in telling what the story is about.
When you get down to it I ENJOYED this book there is humor, betrayal, mystery, a feud, the physical attraction is sensual...... all the things that makes reading Historical Romances so lively. Griffin and Julia are a good couple to watch come to their feelings. BK does a excellent job in describing each meal in such detail that you can just taste the buttery crust in Julia's tarts and pasties. Griffin's ailment is rather interesting and I could say the same for the way Julia learns to get around it. There are some secondary characters in the book that add to the overall wholeness of the story. Good Job Ms. Krahn!!!
Respectfully Reviewed
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Average test score. 29 Jun. 2004
By C. Vowels - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gently born but impoverished, Julia of Childress has become one of the greatest cooks in medieval France. Jealously guarded by the abbess of the convent in which she was raised, Julia longs for a husband and family of her own as many of the other girls at the convent have found. Finally, along comes a count with enough clout to make the abbess relinquish Julia's considerable talents for the period of a year. Though she's incensed at being bartered for like a piece of property, Julia is excited at the prospect of adventure outside the convent walls--she hopes that at her new home she might be able to snag a husband.
Griffin, the Comte de Grandaise, has an olfactory peculiarity. He was born with a sense of smell so powerful it will put modern day readers under the impression that it is akin to a super-power. Unable to stomach most food because of his condition, Griffin is enamored of Julia's cooking and determinedly wins her services for a year. Not prepared to be presented with a noble born lady instead of a homely, lower class cook, Griffin finds himself drawn to Julia for more than just her culinary skills.
At first I was as enchanted with "The Marriage Test" as every character in it seemed to be with Julia's food. I loved the large role the food itself played, it really added to the entertainment value of the story. Later, some of the food description did get a little old, but overall I didn't feel it detracted in any way from the story.
Julia is a strong woman, but not headstrong. She realizes she has to play by the rules of her time and does the best she can to arrange her life the way she wants it without the extreme hysterics we so often see from medieval heroines. Later in the story, when Griffin is forced at sword point to marry Julia, her reaction is so real to the situation and afterward her reaction to Griffin's treatment is so genuine I'm moved to tears.
Griffin doesn't fare as well as Julia. His character never quite gets the polish it needs. It seems he has a decent backstory, but it's not explored satisfactorily. In the end, he's a little bit of an enigma and a little bit of an idiot. I can understand Julia's attraction to him, but I'm never quite as sure what his real feelings are.
The romance isn't bad, in fact it has moments of greatness, but they're not enough to make for a stellar read. Toward the end, the love story is resolved a little too early so the author introduces a silly, totally undeveloped hang-up on Griffin's part that has me gritting my teeth as it's an obvious device to add a final bit of drama to the romance. Not that the hang-up was the only problem because the story had really run out of steam before that.
All in all "The Marriage Test" is easy to read and at places truly entertaining and moving, but doesn't quite pull together into a really good book. I give it three stars because two wouldn't do justice to the excellent heroine and the well researched and entertaining plot. I've read a Betina Krahn book before, but I can't remember which one it was, which may not be a good sign. I would read this author again if one of her storylines seemed like something I'd like.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
amusing medieval romance 29 April 2004
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After dining at a feast that could only have been made in heaven, Sirs Greeve and Axel return home informing their liege Count Griffin de Grandaise of the delicious palate. Griffin, who cannot abide the slop that is served and with a "nasal" condition, sneaks into the Convent of the Brides of Virtue and tastes the best food he ever ate. He offers the Abbess gold to purchase her cook from her, but is rejected until the Bishop and Duke intercede and force a transaction. The cook, Julia of Childress, will spend one year teaching Griffin's staff to cook in exchange for gold. She is to be returned with her virtual intact so she can take her vows.
Unhappy as a pawn and the presumption of the Abbess that she wants to take vows, Julia accompanies Griffin back to his estate, but not before she spends his fortune on spices and sundry. Griffin is attracted to his new employee but avoids her except for meals because he does not want to cause an incident with the Duke and besides he is engaged to the daughter of his neighbor. As a third player manipulates the hostility between Griffin and his future in-laws, Julia choose to stay as his countess because she loves him.
THE MARRIAGE TEST is an amusing medieval romance that moves the senses especially taste and olfactory. The humorous storyline grips the audience from the moment Griffin sneaks into the convent's kitchens. The tale never slows down until a final confrontation though the tie up in terms of relationships is too tidy. Fans will enjoy Julia's skills to make Griffin salivate for her food and for her.
Harriet Klausner
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as the first two 24 May 2004
By S. Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Despite the well-drawn characters and nasty villains, this book dragged somewhat. The interactions between the main characters were spot-on, and the mechaniations of those in power rang true. For me, the emphasis on food and Griffin's overwrought sense of smell got old and repetitious. The rest of the novel was very good, but too many times those (many) portions dealing with food read more like a food magazine than a novel.
I would buy the first two, but not this one.
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