Published by Avon on July 24, 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
A bride wasn’t in his plans . . .
The last thing Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, expects to see after sleeping off a night’s drunken shenanigans is a woman being auctioned in the village square. Before he can think about the ramifications, he buys her, thinking he’s winning the girl her freedom. Instead, he discovers he’s bought a wife.
A duke wasn’t in hers . . .
Alyse Bell is almost rid of the shackles that bound her in a name-only marriage, but the day her friend promised to purchase her in a wife auction, he vanishes, leaving her to face a mob of unsavory bachelors intent on owning her body and soul. But the appearance of a wicked, wealthy stranger changes her path forever.
The road to ruin . . .
Marcus doesn’t know what to do with the impertinent chit who clearly isn’t duchess material! Insisting their marriage isn’t legitimate, they leave for his estate in Scotland, hoping to devise a plan to get rid of each other. However, on a journey fraught with misadventure, their attraction grows and Marcus realizes he’ll do anything to keep this fiery woman for his own.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Alyse Bell was frantic: due to unforeseeable circumstances, she finds herself at a wife auction, and her friend Yardley, who was supposed to buy her – and her freedom – never showed up. She can hardly breathe, imagining her future husband will be one of the drooling men in front of her. Marcus Weatherton, the Duke of Autenberry, had imbibed a bit too much and ended up in gaol. The morning after, the masses gathered on the town marketplace slow him down; they are watching women being auctioned off. Marcus might not be perfect, but this makes his blood boil. He will buy Alyse and save her from those men, who remind him too much of his father, then send her off on her merry way. Which is nowhere, because Alyse has no one to go to, and no money to go to London, where she hopes to be free at last.
I could not resist the premise– wife auctions were once a real thing – and I am thrilled that THE DUKE BUYS A BRIDE lives up to its potential. Sophie Jordan works her magic and weaves a grand romance around those two wonderful characters faced with an impossible situation. The story was nothing like I expected, a few plot twists (happily) stunned me, and I was positively elated that Marcus was such a gentleman, in spite of his cool demeanour. Alyse might have been in distress, far from being weak, she looked at the situation calmly and did nothing rash. The romance builds slowly, and when Alyse and Marcus finally come together, their passion unleashes an inferno.
While characters from the two previous books appear and/or are mentioned, THE DUKE BUYS A BRIDE can easily be read as a standalone. Sometimes it’s small details that contribute to making a story irresistible, and here it’s a mule, and it made me love Alyse even more. There are books that you savour and devour, and THE DUKE BUYS A BRIDE is one of those!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.