Sophie Jordan returns to the blog today with the third installment in her series, The Rogue Files. Please read on for my review of
The Duke Buys a Bride
A clever premise to rectify (and perhaps provide opportunity) for Alyse, a young woman who has been living, in name only, as a wife to a man, receiving protection and shelter. But, he’s now found a woman he loves and wishes to marry, yet he can’t leave Alyse without protection, or simply divorce her. Enter the ‘wife auction’, a formerly real thing in which men could “trade in” the old, seeing them settled and relocated, before making a new start. A bit extreme, but it’s been arranged that Alyse’s friend will be the bid winner, and Alyse gets her wish – freedom and self-direction. But the friend doesn’t show up, the crowd is full of unsavory men, and nothing is quite working out to plan. Including one very grumpy, hungover duke – who finds the men disgusting and too like his late father, unworthy of respect and the young woman now up for bid. His chivalry takes hold and he purchases her, instantly making it clear that he wants nothing from her – but he’s willing to see her delivered into her new life. Only problem – she has few actual options, no money and only dreams.
Marcus, Duke of Autenberry left London to escape gossip and issues with both his stepmother and best friend’s wife. The typical broody, angsty male, he’s drowning his emotions in drink. That is, until Alyse. From the moment of his impulsive purchase, to recognizing that he now has a wife to care for, even if he’s got no intention of actually being a husband, he offers her a job and a place to live in his northern estate. What follows is a road-trip story- with the two learning one another as Marcus continued to try and deny his feelings and work through his many issues without giving Alyse a chance. She’s bold and embracing both this new adventure and the sense of freedom she’s finding in the travel and opportunities Marcus isn’t like others she’s met – he’s protective and gallant, if grumpy and removed, all a huge difference from her worries as her plan fell apart.
I so wanted this to be a story to not forget: I’ve had a bit of an up and down experience with this series, and this book was no exception. Alyse was, by far, the better developed and presented character, and her personality and quiet confidence as she worked out what could happen next was engaging. Marcus was far too closed off and determined to keep all his cards close to his chest- he’s finding Alyse attractive, but is determined to not follow in the footsteps of others who used power, position and title to bend others to his will. But his wife’s openness and solidly apparent compassion and sense of fun keep him coming back for more: more of her time, more of her presence. And just when their strained relationship reaches the breaking point, and decisions must be made: he makes just the right moves to make her his. And the quick resolution after a plot that felt stalled and a character, in Marcus, that completely shut everyone down only to slowly come to his senses just didn’t really keep me caring about him or the conclusion. A nice moment to check in with a couple from earlier in the series, and some intrigue with the wife auction just weren’t enough to overcome the dragging plot or the odd inclusions of date confusion and modern speech didn’t fit or truly date the story. Not my favorite by this author, but a pure guilty pleasure that is a solid beach read.
Title: The Duke Buys a Bride
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: The Rogue Files #3
Also in this series: While the Duke Was Sleeping, The Scandal of It All, This Scot of Mine, The Duke's Stolen Bride
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon
Published on: 24 July, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 39 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
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.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.