The Stolen Bride Paperback – Jun 1 2010
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From Library Journal
Lady Sophie Kyle is engaged to marry Lord Randal Ashby. The two have been in love since childhood, but two weeks before the wedding she decides he has been forced into a declaration and therefore doesn't really love her. In the dismals, she manages to get kidnapped. Beverly ( Lord Wraybourne's Betrothed, The Stanforth Secrets, LJ 6/15/89) builds her current novel with events and characters from previous ones. A reader with knowledge of the two earlier Regencies will understand the machinations of this one, for the denouement rests on previous knowledge. This novel can stand alone (barely), but is much better understood in context. Piers Verderan, the sinister, sardonic, and brooding antihero friend of Lord Randal is sure to be the hero of the next installment. Buy if you have Beverly's other books and they proved popular.
- Paula M. Zieselman, Debevoise & Plimpton, New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Jo Beverley is widely regarded as one of the most talented romance writers today. She is a four-time winner of Romance Writers of America's cherished RITA Award and one of only a handful of members in the RITA Hall of Fame. She has also recieved the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Born in England, she now lives with her husband and two sons in Victoria, British Columbia, just a ferry ride away from Seattle, WA.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There's a reason why this book is so hard to find. It really isn't up to the author's usual standards, and I'm sure she would want to rewrite it before reprinting it again. While there was a plot of sorts, there wasn't much romance between the title character and her fiance. In fact, the book's biggest weakness is that we never really connect with Lady Sophie. We are given much more insight into one of the secondary characters, Beth Hawley, who is portrayed much better. THE STOLEN BRIDE isn't one of the author's best works, but then, it is one of her earliest efforts. If you never locate a copy, be satisfied with one of her more recent books, which are much better.
The first half of the book is far more about Beth Hawley, Jane's old governess, however. Beth is on her way to Steyne for the festivities leading to Sophie and Randal's wedding, when she meets up with Sir Marius Fletcher, another friend of David Wraybourne. He's a very big man, but unfailingly courteous, though with a good sense of humour. We sniff a secondary romance, and we'd be right.
On to Sophie and Randal, though, and for most of the book we only really see them through other characters' eyes. Something's wrong with what should be a blissful romance. Randal is avoiding Sophie, while she tries to flirt with him. She even tries to flirt with his friend Piers Verderan in order to make Randal jealous, but that only makes both men angry. Why is Randal so aloof? Why is Sophie so insecure? Why is Sophie wondering whether Randal was forced into proposing after he compromised her? Even though everyone around can see how much Randal loves Sophie, his behaviour is making her unhappy.
Into the mix here we then have anonymous threatening letters, and an attempt on the life of Randal's brother, where Randal himself seems to have been the intended victim.
The book was readable, but problematic. It was unclear whether it was meant to be about Sophie and Randal or Beth and Marius, and as such neither couple got adequate attention. The dramatic plot, although it tied into the events in Lord Wraybourne's Betrothed, was a distraction; it would have been much more interesting to see if Sophie and Randal could have sorted out their problems without this outside intervention. And, unusually for Beverley's work (or has she just got better?), the book was riddled with grammatical errors and typos, such as words missing or printed twice.
All in all, her longer novels are much better than these early regencies - although Piers Verderan's story, Emily and the Dark Angel, is really excellent. It's almost worth buying The Stolen Bride to find out more about his background and reputation, as we do here.