The Duke’s Stolen Bride by Sophie Jordan

The Duke’s Stolen Bride by Sophie Jordan
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (355 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

An urgent dilemma…

To save her impoverished family, Marian Langley will become a mistress. But she will not be just any mistress. Marian intends to become so skilled, so coveted, that she can set her own terms, retaining control over her body and her fate. Only one problem remains: finding a tutor…

A scandalous solution…

Other men deprive themselves of pleasure for propriety’s sake. Nathaniel, Duke of Warrington, would much rather be depraved. He slakes his desires with professionals who ask nothing of him but his coin. Marian’s proposal—that he train her without taking her virtue—is an intriguing diversion, until their lessons in seduction spin out of control.

And a most unlikely duchess…
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When Marian is blackmailed into engagement by a man she despises, Nate impulsively steals her away. Though he never intended to take a wife, he can’t tolerate the idea of Marian forfeiting her freedom to another. But can he bear to give her what she demands—a real marriage?

Life can change without much notice. For Marian Langley it changed for the worse with the loss of her father and three younger siblings to care for. She had a steady position, living in beautiful homes, tasting society from the fringes and helping raise other people’s children.

Salvation in the form of the local favorite of the gossip mills, none other than the ‘depraved duke’ himself, seems unlikely but so does the scheme that Marian contrives to rescue her family from certain ruin.

Not necessarily an original story line but I still read the book in two sittings. Marian and Nate were what set it apart. Their chemistry and dialogue was spot on for this die hard romance reader.

Marian is the good side of feisty and fiery without being over the top. She certainly catches the attention of a bored, if not slightly hardened, duke of the realm. They have the unfortunate, yet destiny laden, ways of running to each other. Marian’s impulsiveness has a bit to do with that but it works to her favor. He’s had staid and traditional. She’s anything but. I looked forward to each new run in, it was sure to be lively.

Nate has resigned himself to staying out of society, away from match making mothers and having his cake brought to him rather than him having to visit the brothels in London, works to his advantage. But it’s a lonely life. Until a certain local lass finds her way under his table, needing his protection. Little did he know that ‘protection’ would cost him more than money, it would cost his heart.

Besides Marian and Nate, Ms. Jordan created some interesting side characters in the form of the younger Langley sisters, Nora and Charlotte. There’s also a younger brother, Phillip, but he’s away at school and never actually introduced. I look forward to reading Nora and Charlotte’s stories if Ms. Jordan decides to make this into a series.

The story moves along at a good pace but the end felt a little rushed. Don’t get me wrong, it works okay and the ending closes out their story. I think I was just expecting more details, more set up for future stories maybe. She can still do it, the very basic ground work was laid so I’ll just have to wait and see. This book was good so I’ll certainly be watching for others.

Readers who love a good, spicy historical romance will be glad they picked up The Duke’s Stolen Bride.

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