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Bride by Mistake (Berkley Sensation) Mass Market Paperback – 3 Jan 2012
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About the Author
Anne Gracie is the award-winning author of the Chance Sisters Romance series. She spent her childhood and youth on the move. The gypsy life taught her that humor and love are universal languages and that favorite books can take you home, wherever you are. Anne started her first novel while backpacking solo around the world, writing by hand in notebooks. Since then, her books have been translated into more than sixteen languages, and include Japanese manga editions. As well as writing, Anne promotes adult literacy, flings balls for her dog, enjoys her tangled garden, and keeps bees.
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Top customer reviews
Luke, now Lord Ripton, had no intentions of ever returning to Spain. Yes, he married the girl, but he's been nineteen at the time, and she only thirteen! He never intended the marriage to stand, but now an annulment has been denied, leaving him with no choice. Not only does he have a wife, but fetching her means returning to a county he hates. Because the courageous, even noble young lieutenant who saved Bella all those years ago is gone. War changes people, but it's not only Luke who's been transformed beyond recognition. He may have left Bella in a convent, but if he's expecting a meek, dutiful bride then he is in for a big surprise.
Finally, the last of the Devil Riders has arrived. We've already got to know Gabe (The Stolen Princess), Harry (His Captive Lady) and Rafe (To Catch a Bride) - and even Gabe and Harry's brother Nash (The Accidental Wedding) - quite well over the last four books, but Luke's always been a background, shadowy figure. Yet of all of them he'd the one with the most stable family background - so where does all his darkness come from?
That emotional mystery lies at the heart of this story, as Luke returns to Spain stubbornly determined to ignore his demons. He's autocratic, handsome, stubborn and wounded, but luckily for him Isabella has a fiery personality to match. She may not be pretty, but she's brave and set on righting a past wrong. In fact she's so busy seeing to it, while trying to keep her romantic heart under control, that Luke has no choice but to follow someone else for a change. With some pretty amusing results. Travelling across Spain, clashing wills and delving into Bella's past leaves Luke no choice but to confront his own. The way she helps heal him is sweet as well as passionate, and they make a wonderful team.
However, with no secondary plot of mystery or extra characters to provide something more, this story does feel a little light at time. All the focus, all the time, is on Bella and Luke, and as interesting as they were I would have liked a little more... something to add weight to their tale. The ending is sadly rushed too, feeling like an after thought, while certain other resolutions were too convenient for words. They would have made a better secondary plot woven throughout the book.
With all the hallmarks of Gracie's usually wonderful work - strong heroine, handsome hero, beautiful love story - this may not be my favourite of her novels (The Perfect Stranger does a similar plot in much better style), but it's still thoroughly enjoyable and better than many others out there. Dare I hope that the last Renfrew brother, Marcus, might be up next? That shadowy earl needs his own tale.
I always enjoy a romance better when the characters are driving the story, and when the characterisation is strong, so the reader is never left scratching their head thinking "hang on - surely X would never have done that?".
If I have any quibbles, it's with the final section of the book, where Luke's inner demons are dispatched (I felt) unrealistically quickly; but then I suppose had that not been the case, the story would have had nowhere to go, so I can chalk that up to the demands of dramatic license.
I believe this is the final book in a series of five. I haven't read the othes (yet - but I intend to do so), but it isn't necessary to have read the preceeding titles in order to enjoy this one
May suit other readers, but I miss the Gracie who wrote Gallant Waif, and the Merridew sisters books.
Overall, the book was good, better than the previous one with Nash Renfrew and Maddy. However, it wasn't as good as the one with Rafe and Ayisha. There was something lacking, and I think it was to do with Luke blaming Isabella for being forced to marry on some level. It's not her fault she was attacked. She was 13, he was nearly 20. Sure, he probably didn't want to marry so young, but he left her all those years, doing goodness knows what with whom, whilst Isabella has been dreaming of the day she'd be rescued, only for him to not be the Prince Charming she'd envisaged.
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Most recent customer reviews
This is one of the best regency romances I've read in a while.
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