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What I liked about this novel the most was that it is a true fairy tale - a Duke saves a commoner woman from an auction and romance slowly builds and they live happily ever after - Alyse is a strong heroine character who needs help - Marcus who has been going through life as a rake, drinker, and running away from responsibility finally grows up and realizes that all he needs is Alyse's love - the plot again like the other novels in the series is a unique story line with a wife auction of all things
I feel like I've have this book on pre-order forever, and then I made myself save reading it until I had the time I hoped would be required to savor every second. You need to do that with a Sophie Jordan book, my friends. Because they are YUM, and you will devour them...and then they end. And you feel like pawing at the last page and demanding that there be more behind it. This book did not disappoint, and my kindle has the paw marks to prove it. Marc and Alyse's story was sweet, and tender, and funny...and sexy as all get out. SJ has a gift of creating heroine's with inborn strength and spunk, and heroes that will just melt your heart watching them struggling along, then realizing the path of true love. If you wanna smile—and swoon—read this book.
This might be a 3.5 popped up to a 4 for awesome narration!
I did enjoy listening to this book for the most part. I enjoyed the uniqueness of the bride sale but then the story dragged around the middle. The repetition of “you are not my wife” became a bit tiresome, is it any wonder that Alyse began to believe it?
I enjoyed the road trip aspect of the book but I expected a bit more excitement from the journey but I got more “driving through Kansas” monotony rather than “the epic beauty and adventure of the highlands!”
I felt that the story began to pick up after the halfway mark, around 60% and the sex scenes were pretty spicy!
There could have been more/better dialogue and there were some questions left unanswered:
(1) What exactly happened with the creeper Tanner? Was he just a creepy guy, did he molest her? I kept expecting him to pop up and I get that he was added to show the danger Alyse was in by being sold (in case that was unclear) but I felt he was a plot point that was dropped and could have been an interesting/exciting/ominous presence that just... wasn’t. Instead... (2) We get the non-fiancé/supposed lover crop up again at the very end wanting to marry Alyse. Why? Not really sure. And I guess he just bows out gracefully after Marcus declares himself. His reappearance at the end seemed jarring and out of place. Speaking of which... (3) That epilogue... I get that it’s a segue to the next book but ... we never even meet this sister chick in THIS book sooooo it’s pretty hard to care. Would have preferred more married life, kids, etc. between Marcus and Alyse and less about other characters in the epilogue.
I did love the narrator, Carmen Rose. She did a fabulous job on the narration, accents were onpoint, and I found it to be a soothing not overly dramatic read. She has read a number of Tessa Dare books and I’ve enjoyed those as well.
I’d say this is a reader but maybe not a re-reader.
'The Duke Buys A Bride' is the third book in Sophie Jordan's: The Rogue Files. This story begins with the reader finding Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry in Scotland. He's been running away from his life in London, because of recent changes to his family life that he's having difficulties dealing with. Marcus finds himself sleeping-off a night of drinking, but soon he's back on the road to his Scottish Estate. Along the way he travels through a small village with an auction taking place. One of the 'items' on the auction block is a young woman. I know for our times it's hard to believe that such things actually took place, even during Regency times, but they did. Even in this era it was possible for men who had tired of their wives to offer them up for auction to another man who needed help at his home or farm, or a bed partner. This is what was happening to Alyce. Alyce was still a maid, but she'd been living with a family and acting as a 'wife' and mother to younger children. Now her 'husband' had the chance to marry an older and wealthier woman, and so Alyce was being sold. She was told by her sweetheart that he would come and purchase her, and they'd be married. Unfortunately, he didn't appear for her. // Marcus was watching this young woman being sold, and was appalled at the idea that some brute of a man might buy her. He stood up and bought her, much to Alyce's surprise, and Marcus surprised himself as well. // The rest of the story tells of Alyce and Marcus coming to know one another on their journey to his estate. It's an emotional journey for both of them, but I think for Marcus it's the deepest journey of self-discovery. This is an excellent book - very emotional with bits of warmth and humor, and heart and happiness to be uncovered and discovered.
This is my 2nd Sophie Jordan book. Enjoyed the first one. I could not believe this was written by the same author. Zero romance. Just a man & woman who didn’t even like or even appear to lust after each other - so not very convincing as a romance novel. There were maybe 3 sex scenes and that was at the very end of the book. It wasn’t even a slow burn leading up to sex. Even then, the characters went from indifference for each other to supposedly being passionately in love with no explanation. I usually finish every book I start. I literally stopped reading this with maybe 50 out of 346 pages left because the writing was so awful I stopped caring how it ended. Not sure I will waste more money on what appears to be a very mediocre author.
This book wasn't perfect. But hit all the notes I was craving in romance. Adventure, damsel in distress, opposites attract, romance, some comedy, chemistry. Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, rescues a stranger, Alyse Bell, from a shameful auction block. He thinks he's helping by setting her free, she reminding him of his younger sisters, only to realize it's an auction for a wife. Both Marcus and Alyse agree that the concept is ridiculous - neither feel honor bound to the silly bill of sale. That being said, Marcus feels honor bound to at least care for Alyse enough to get her somewhere safe, to give her employment. Out in the middle of nowhere, he begrudgingly takes her on his journey north, where he intends to give her a job on one of his estates. I love when the set up for a romance feels real (if fantastical) and this one had a great backstory and beginning.
I love journey romances and this one fit the bill. It's a cold, slow journey and the two are forced through situations together which are fun and interesting. That being said, this would have been a five star read if not for some minor plot oversights. For a short, light read, I expect all the details to sort of come back around. I was disappointed that Marcus and Alyse never verbally discuss their pasts more than they do. They both think of their own plights, but don't actually share them with each other except in the briefest ways. Little side stories are therefore pretty disappointing. Like Alyse's history with the tanner and Marcus' situation with his stepmother, etc. Alyse had a side story with an intended that was hugely underused and tacked on at the very end. And the effort to get that confrontation to happen seemed silly and out of character for Alyse. Ultimately, I wanted more conversation between Alyse and Marcus. Like about their class differences, about her educated background, her father, his life, etc. These are light issues, however.
On the whole, the romance itself was really excellent and I enjoyed. I loved Alyse and Marcus together overall. I just wish the book had been a bit longer and more fleshed out.
Hmm... It hurts me to leave only 2/5 stars but i was so disappointed by this book! Ms. Jordan’s books are an auto buy for me so the sadness was even more profound than usual. The book felt rushed and incomplete. The characters felt two dimensional, I didn’t understand our H’s drive, I couldn’t empathize with his experience at all. The journey from England to Scotland was tedious and felt so unnecessary - it somehow made a book that felt rushed simultaneously drag on??!! This felt more like a novella, one with protagonists that don’t actually like each other.
This book is SO GOOD. I had never read anything by Sophie Jordan before, I am so happy to have discovered her. Such a talented writer and story teller...the characters feel like real people. I feel that sadness of a book ending and realizing these are not real people, the story is over...I am walking around in a haze, thinking of their love story all day, ha! Some Romance novels are well written but seem to use historical information as page filler and it becomes a dull history lesson (thanks, but I can pull out a history book if I want to read every last detail on the Napoleonic wars). Other Romance novels have flat characters that jump into bed quickly and the whole read is totally forgettable. This book...this book is perfection. Fully fleshed out characters with great dialogue, wonderful descriptions of the elation and agonizing yearning during those initial days of falling for someone... Top quality entertainment and escapism. This book is why people read Romance, or at least why I do. I read this book, then waited a day, and then read it all over. I have since bought more books by Sophie Jordan for my Kindle and can't wait to dive into them.