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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 30 March 1999
"The Bridegroom" hooked me from the first page and never let me down. I stayed up all night reading it and was sorry to see it end. The twins, especially Reggie, who delighted us in the earlier Captive Heart books, take the reader on a whirlwind ride. Ms. Johnston has provided the reader with a sensual, thrilling, exciting read to conclude the Captive Heart series. Its no wonder "The Bridegroom" has been on the bestseller lists since its debut. Ms. Johnston's books keep getting better and better. She never lets her readers down.
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on 19 April 1999
By Dolores Monaco, Pensacola Florida
For years I searched for a modern Regency romance with the charm and authentic period detail of the original Georgette Heyer novels. I found all that and more in Joan Johnston's "The Bridegroom":
-- A strong but wounded hero transformed by an equally strong and lovable heroine
-- A story with heart as big and complex as love itself
-- A subplot and secondary characters that mesh with the main storyline and enhance it
-- Minor characters who delight, touch and amuse; whose interaction with the principle characters develops them and the plot
-- Realistic conflict grounded in human nature and the social order of the period
BRAVO, MISS JOHNSTON: Come back from the Wild West and give us more of your topnotch Regencies!
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on 19 February 1999
This book is an insult to readers' intelligence. We are asked to believe that a man, deeply scarred by his own illegitimacy would conspire to have the marriage of the woman he loves annulled. It's done--and in record time, without the knowledge of her father, a duke, or anyone else. Does the author not know that annulments were rare and time-consuming to obtain, that having a marriage annulled (on trumped up grounds that the husband was a bigamist) would make the daughter illegitimate? Would any mother stand for it? Would the man who instigated this and is so conscious of his own illegitimacy-- contemplate it? As for him, the sudden discovery that, instead of being the illegitimate son of a whore he is the grandson of a nobleman, that too, strains credulity, not to mention the circumstances which forced his mother to prostitute herself. Finally, why the villain of the piece should wait 12 years to revenge himself on those he once wronged and then attempt several times in a row to murder them instead of continuing to hide is beyond me. But then, I like my stories to have a modicum of logic. One star is as low as one can get with this ranking system. I would have given the book a raspberry.
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on 15 February 1999
This book begins okay, and it's interesting to meet the characters from the previous books in the series, but about halfway through I began to get really bored. The hero is far too indecisive, the plot comes undone very quickly and the ending is so abrupt and contrived it left me shaking my head in disbelief. Ms. Johnston appears to have a hard time writing about characters who really have a dark side to them - Carlisle could have been much better constructed, but his angst seems weak. Its also very difficult to make the hero from one book the apparant villain in the next (Blackthorne), and we never do understand Cedric Ambleside's motives in this story. Too contrived, particularly the ending, and not enough real characterization.
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on 25 January 1999
After over thirty-five romances, many of which were best sellers, one would think that Joan Johnston has written about everything and could only be trite and stale. However, the incomparable grandmaster of historical romance shows she is quite refreshing as she provides her audience with a majestic tale of love's struggle to surmount a quest for revenge engraved inside the hero's soul. The story line is a fast-paced, yet seductive love story that makes for a wonderful climax to the captivating "Captive Hearts" series (see CAPTIVE, AFTER THE KISS, and THE BODYGUARD). Ms. Johnston should be right back where her readers always seem to place her, at the top of all the best selling lists.

Harriet Klausner
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on 21 February 1999
Ok. Yes, the plot was a bit farfetched at times. And yes, the characters weren't perfect. I also admit that the ending could have been drawn out a bit more but, alas, all of a sudden it was just there and they all lived happily ever after. This is a romance novel not a work of literary genius. That's not to say that there are not romance novels that can't achieve that status, but that's not what one really looks for in a romance novel. We want romance and this book has it. For all its faults, I liked it. I liked the characters regardless of the semi-weak characterazation. It was enjoyable and romantic, just the way I like my romance novels to be.
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on 29 March 1999
This book was just what I need to take me away from the everyday world.
Its entertaining, romantic and easy read. I think the author knows her material and knows how to make her characters interesting and exciting. She makes you want to be back there to share in their world. I have read several other books by Ms. Johnston and look forward to reading more of her books in the future.
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on 15 February 1999
Those delightful twins from the earlier Captive Hearts books are all grown up ... well, with a bit of maturing yet to do which they will in the course of THE BRIDEGROOM. I would have given five stars but for the brutal scene in the barn for which Clay is not repentant. With his background, he should have been horrified.
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on 20 June 1999
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think i'm going to read it again it was different and funny and had an intresting plot that will keep you wondering what will happen next...my advice is that every fan of romance books shouldn't miss this one...;)
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on 18 June 1999
I loved this book from the start. I never wanted to put it down. The characters were inspiring and full of life. I was happy to see that I could not predict the ending as easily as you can most romance novels.
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