Sophie Jordan returns to the blog with the fifth book (and my favorite) of The Rogue Files series, a Regency era romance with
The Duke’s Stolen Bride
Marian, her two younger sisters and one younger brother were not of “the ton” but solidly respectable in their town and quite a happy family with their father being a respected and esteemed doctor. He and his wife always encouraged their children to be ‘more’ than society expected, and that marriage was only “an option” for the girls – not their only purpose. To that end, Marian wanted to be a governess, her middle sister a seamstress and her youngest sister a healer / doctor with a talent for potions and remedies. This is all well and good, if a bit unusual, until Marian’s father died, years after his wife, and Marian was expected to see her brother through Eton and care for the family. Marian has really taken her “lessons” learned from her parents’ marriage – and wants to see that her sisters are able to marry for love, and she is able to maintain her own independence and determine her own destiny. But with creditors always at her door, and everything seeming to be a struggle, her ‘introduction’ to the Duke from under a table where she hides by his well-kept hessians have her at a bit of a disadvantage.
You’d never know it from her response though, and the Duke, nicknamed “The Depraved Duke” by the townsfolk, is intrigued by this local girl. But things are desperate for Marian, and she’s unwilling to seriously consider the ever-increasing efforts by the local blacksmith to marry. A neighbor, also on society’s outskirts, just may have Marian’s answer – if she can steel herself to ask for it. With decision made, Marian takes her neighbor’s advice and starts on a path to learn how to become a rich man’s mistress – if the Duke will agree to ‘teach’ her.
Nathaniel never wants to lose his heart to another – after his first wife died in childbirth, a woman he’d loved since childhood, and his own mother’s remarriage after his father’s death seemed more a transaction that saw him off to school at the tender age of six, he’s unwilling to give people the benefit of the doubt, and ships in his pleasures when he needs them. But there’s something about Marian that has him intrigued – and it’s more than her honesty or beauty.
My favorite of this series, Marian is delightful with her mouth often engaged long before her brain can apply the brakes. She’s alternately attracted to and afraid of Nate, but her determination to get her sisters on firmer footing and find a way to pay for her brother’s tuition have her putting aside her own hesitations as she strikes her bargain. But with the bargain made, and things going a bit too far because their connection is electric, there’s an unhappy suitor who won’t take no for an answer. When she’s blackmailed into agreeing to the blacksmith’s proposal or risk her family’s reputation ruined, Marian agrees – and the tension and action increase. From Nate’s realization that he loves her, to her finally understanding and believing it – the two have a rather twisty path to navigate on their way to happily ever after. Jordan’s ability to build Marian’s character in ways that you instantly understand and empathize with her situation and laugh at her brash tongue – particularly when the words are out before she speaks. Nate just needed to be understood and accepted, after a lifetime of bullying in school because of his small size, now he’s a man grown tall and strong, with a tender heart and one who wants love -just like everyone. Jordan has brought another wonderful couple into the series, and given us a new take on hope, destiny, independence and couple-hood.
Title: The Duke's Stolen Bride
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: The Rogue Files #5
Also in this series: While the Duke Was Sleeping, The Scandal of It All, The Duke Buys a Bride, This Scot of Mine, The Virgin and the Rogue
Genre: Historic Elements, Historical Romance, Humor elements, Regency, Second Chance, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon
Published on: 22 October, 2019
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 24 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
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…
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?
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.