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Unwilling Bride, An [Mass Market Paperback]

Jo Beverley
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1 2000 Zebra Historical Romance
A marriage of convenience to a wealthy aristocrat turns into a battle of wills for a feisty young woman who must keep her wits about her to keep from falling in love. Original.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull and Frustrating May 19 2004
First of all, I purchased this book because the back summary made the book seem passionate and original. I wanted to see what Beth would do with the marriage she is forced into. I thought she would use her wit and intelligence to ensnare her new husband. I thought there would at least be some sexual tension. However this is not the case at all. Beth in fact goes out of her way to make herself unattractive to her future husband, like snipping off her bow from her modcap before she first meets him. This is supposed to make us cheer her on, but I felt more frustrated. The hero, Lucien, is so shallow that without even knowing the character of the heroine, tells her he finds her "unattractive". This is what she wants, but she still feels hurt by his comment (FRUSTRATING!!!). This pretty much happens throughout the whole book. She goes out of her way to seem unaffected by him and he goes out of his way to hurt her. I really don't like the way JB forced the reader to read the interaction between Beth (who we're not even sure Lucien loves) and his mistress Blanche (who JB lets us know he does love). There is absolutely no chemistry whatsoever between Lucien and Beth. Lucien admits even after they are married that he felt no pressing need to make love to his wife. What galls me the most is that there is more passion between Lucien and Blanche than between Lucien and the woman he "loves" Beth. Then there's the back-handed slap. There were many times that JB could have made Lucien feel jealousy towards Beth, but didn't.Instead we are left with the impression that he slaps her because of wounded pride. Strangely this is the first show of any sort of intense feeling toward Beth and it falls flat.There was no justification for it. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Looking beneath the surface Jan. 21 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sigh -- so many readers latch on to one small incident and trash the whole thing because of it, and all without looking at the whole. As to the issue of abuse, Jo Beverley is known for dealing with difficult and sometimes uncomfortable (to be kind) issues. Abuse is one of the issues addressed in "An Unwilling Bride." Yes, the reader can be rightly concerned about the hero's temper and the one (count 'em, one) time Lucien backhands his wife. I am NOT justifying his behavior, but reading his reaction and all that follows, he seems to be even more upset about it than she is. Lucien is appalled at himself. It is also true that he is at times emotionally cruel to Beth early on, but it is the result of a very serious misunderstanding that she caused and a backlash from his own pain. As unpleasant as that is, it's real; people really do lash out at others when they themselves are in pain, particularly if the other person manges to add to the load. In addition, she is a virago early in their relationship, due in large part to her trying to get out of a marriage she doesn't want. Nevertheless, she is truly obnoxious at times and there is a portion of the book in which the reader may not like either character. Both are dealing with very difficult situations they feel powerless to change, and both have very strong, independent-minded personalities. Friction is inevitable. Moreover, responses that so berate Lucien fail to recognize that people are imperfect; they make mistakes. Odd how Lucien is condemned for one terrible mistake and the rest of his character, which is very fine indeed, is overlooked. At least Beth comes to realize that she started their problems (not "is responsible for his hitting her") and continued to exacerbate them. Like all relationships, both are responsible. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such knee jerk reaction! May 31 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I reviewed this book some while ago and have come back to look at ensuing comments from time to time with great interest. I do think it curious that readers of historical fiction so very often insist on applying contemporary behavioral standards to characters who peopled a world that is so different from our own that, if suddenly transported back, most of us would find life incomprehensible.
Domestic and marital law and attitudes have changed so much in the last 100 years that even our grandmothers would seem to have lived lives of deepest deprivation in what was, in fact, a "man's world" - you can't change the past!
So, why such vituperation at Jo Beverly for daring to present characters acting out situations from another world all together with a different set of morals and code of behaviour? The castigation she has received here seems to me to be ill-conceived at best. Would these critics be so scathing if reviewing science fiction? I doubt it but there is some similarity here in reading of a world radically unlike our own. Why read historical fiction if you prefer your stories and characters to be contemporary people dressed up in historical costume?
I believe this was an excellently written, brilliantly peopled story and should be read with an eye to historical context and understanding that one is reading about a very different world which, whether we like it or not, we cannot go back and change.
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1.0 out of 5 stars ZERO stars--Abuse and violence is NEVER okay April 15 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book began with a little bit of promise. I liked Beth, for about twenty pages.
However, this book degenerates into verbal abuse (by both hero and heroine), domestic violence and by the end of the novel, total outrageousness.
Let me break it down for you:
What if I said to you:
"Bob killed his wife. He was having a really emotional moment, and he's sure it'll never happen again."
Would you say "Okay Bob, no big deal?"
Heck no.
Well, in this book, the "hero" or as I'll call him, JA (you can determine what that stands for) backhands his wife! And, in about two minutes, she forgives him and basically asserts that she even DESERVED it! To make matters worse, she LIES to everyone around her to hide her big black eye, and he is barely repenant and the heroine barely ponders it.
To add to this ridiculous and horrifying turn of events, soon after, said "heroine" whom I'll refer to as Too Stupid to Live decides she wants to meet his mistress! To make the plot even more ridiculous, the wife and mistress become great friends.
Please. Where is the self respect of this previously likeable heroine?
Some reviewers have suggested that this kind of behavior is "okay" given the time period.
Imagine what the slaves would have thought if you told them their beatings and slavery was "Okay, for the time period" or the Jews "Well, it WAS the Holocaust..."...
Violence, abuse and degredation is NEVER okay and for us as readers to buy such a book and recommend it only sends a message that it is OKAY. Would you tell a battered wife that it's Okay that her husband beats her? That she probably egged him on? Violence, whether it happens now or two hundred years from now, is never all right. Never.
I am shocked that this EVER got into publication.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Monotonous
First, and most importantly : this book is a REPRINT (from 1992), which the "Product Details" should indicate, instead of a 2011 date. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2012 by LBM
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best romance books read
I absolutely loved the book . Lucien de Vaux is a handsome, charming regency buck and Beth Armitage is an intelligent independent school teacher ( commoner)who dislikes the... Read more
Published on Sept. 10 2009 by Grace2
1.0 out of 5 stars Hitting a woman is NEVER okay!
What appalled me more than Lucien's backhand was Beth's reaction to it. Instead of hitting him back (my preferred reaction) or taking him to task, she forgives him and shoulders... Read more
Published on May 13 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Even better the second time around
Okay, the slap was a little too much, but it doesn't change the fact that this is still a very good story. Read more
Published on March 16 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars For Heaven's Sake, Lighten Up!!
Fans who've come to know the other rogues will understand and enjoy this book immensely. Yes, Lucien did a stupid, dopey thing, but the fact that he realized it and agonized over... Read more
Published on March 9 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefered Lucien in An arranged mariage
Basically the only reason I liked this book was because of the heroine. i usually really like the hero so this is a surprise!! Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2003 by Andriana
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
Even leaving aside the revolting manner in which the so-called hero behaves, this book is dull in the extreme. Read more
Published on Oct. 1 2003 by J. Mullally
1.0 out of 5 stars Boaring!
I didn't enjoy this book because it was a very dull and typical regency romance. Yes, the domestic violence didn't help either, especially since I am no stranger to this issue... Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2003 by S. Pace
1.0 out of 5 stars Abuse is NOT Romantic
I have to agree with the other reviewers, hitting a woman is never alright, and I refuse to support a work of fiction which romanticizes such an issue.
Published on May 19 2003
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