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The Wedding Wager (Harlequin Historical) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 2001

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Harlequin Books (Mm) (Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373291639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373291632
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 16.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,826,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure delight! 12 Jun. 2001
By Norah Wilson - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Deborah Hale's newest, a variation on the Pygmalian story, is pure delight. Lenora Freemantle's wealthy uncle makes her a wager she can't refuse. If, within three months, she can take a common soldier of her uncle's choosing and educate him well enough to pass as a gentleman officer during a Season at Bath, her uncle will finance her dream -- a school for indigent girls. He will also make Lenora the headmistress of the school and take care of her financial needs so that she never need marry. If she loses the wager, however, she must marry the man of her uncle's choosing. She's got her work cut out for her, however, in the intractable Sergeant Morse Archer! These are two very memorable characters. This piece is a little lighter than some of this author's other offerings, but the emotional payoff is there in spades. It won't disappoint!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous twist on Pygmalion. 18 Jun. 2001
By Barbara Phinney - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Deb Hale's story is a twist on one of my favourite Bernard Shaw books. This is another keeper in my eyes. A well thought out tale loaded with back story and great motivation, The Wedding Wager is one of those stories that keeps you up at night. The hero is to die for. Who could ever resist a handsome soldier? I found the setting vivid and fascinating. The tension between the hero, Morse, and the heroine, Lenora has depth and orginality. I loved the ending, but won't give it away here. This story is too good for that.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, delightful Pygmalion tale 16 Jun. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Deborah Hale takes a bit of Pygmalion, a dash of Cinderella and adds her own special spices to create a charming and delightful story. Ms. Hale is also a virtuoso when it comes to imagery, which is always appropriate to the time period and the character's histories. A wonderful read!
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful characters in a delightful Pygmalion tale... 7 Jun. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Deborah Hale takes a Pygmalion premise, adds a dash of military heroism, a little bit of Cinderella and creates something uniquely her own. While every character, major or minor, is well drawn, her hero, Morse Archer, is particularly memorable. Wounded both physically and emotionally, he is a true gentleman at heart -- and what a heart! Rarely have I envied a fictional heroine more! Ms. Hale is also a virtuoso in her use of imagery -- always appropriate to the time period and drawn from the characters' experience. A truly delightful, entertaining read.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining read but not a keeper 29 Sept. 2001
By Susan Smith - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My second foray with Deborah Hale - I read "A Gentleman of Substance" last year.
The plot of this novel was an interesting idea although I have seen the reverse Pygmalion concept better done; Judith Ivory's The Proposition is better, in my view. Ivory's quality of prose is better than Hale's and her characters are better rounded. My main problem with this story was that the male protagonist was not well enough developed. The idea of using an enlisted man (rather than an officer/member of the nobility, etc, etc) was good but it just did not stand up to scrutiny as we do not know enough about his army experiences to understand the adult man. We know about his past as a footman and are given insight into how this effected him (eg he enlisted)and although we are given to understand Morse Archer was something of a hero in the Peninsula, we aren't given enough detail to sketch in his character.
Although Richard Sharpe (of the famous Bernard Cornwell series) was an enlisted man promoted from the ranks to officer, he never was accepted in the drawing room as Morse Archer is and Sharpe had more "elevated" tutoresses than Archer. So, this is a rather dangerous idea to write about without some better understanding of the social and military history of the times.
I don't think that Leonora was particularly sympathetic although eventually she does come to a good degree of personal insight and I was glad she woke up and went after her man! I don't think her behaviour was particularly beliveable within the contemporary context of her times. However, she matured and developed in a more believeable way than Sgt Archer.
I also question the plot device of having Algie fall in love with and expect to marry a servant - no matter how clever and sweet she might have been (and stupid but sweet he was), they both would have been ostracised from polite society and most certainly never accepted by her class either. A nice idea but ultimately completely unbelievable and therefore unsustainable.
I found the first half the the book somewhat boring and it was not until I was into the second half that the characters and the story began to satisfy. The pace was too slow; not enough happened and I kept waiting for some satisfying character development.
The author clearly has some talent but needs sharper editing to crisp up her writing and plotting. I shan't give up on her yet as I think she has potential and she was not afraid to take an unusual plot device and try it out.
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