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The Duke Buys a Bride é o terceiro volume da série The Rogue Files e pode ser lido separadamente mas a estória me deixou curiosa a respeito dos outros livros da série. Como descrito na sinopse Marcus, o Duke de Autenberry salva uma pobre camponesa órfã dando o início na romântica e aventureira saga do casal. A trama, fortemente centrada nos protagonistas Marcus e Alyse, com ótimo ritmo, humor e algumas reviravoltas prende a atenção desde o primeiro capítulo. Adorei. A obra perde uma estrelinha pelo final um pouco apressado. Confesso que eu ficaria mais satisfeita com um final que amarrasse um pouco mais as pontas soltas e mostrasse um pouco do relacionamento do casal de protagonistas e o reencontro com os familiares de Marcus e a amiga de Alyse. No geral, este é um romance que distrai e não decepciona.
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.
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.
After reading in fact the next book in this series, which I loved, I remembered I had this one sitting on my kindle shelves. This was a very different read, like a road movie with two people who by the end of their journey have moved, have change from whom they were at the beginning of their trip. Alyse thought a new life awaited her once this day and her martienne in name will be over, alas her friend didn’t show up and she is left facing an ugly and disparaging crowd and an uncertain future. Marcus is running, running from his life, tittle, family. This is how he finds himself among a small town populace which is cheering about a bride auction. Even he, a high born man can’t stand to face such an archaic practice. Alyse didn’t change a lot during their ride, she is deeply who she is, just her feelings concerning a certain lord evolved to something deeper but she sees her as too unsuitable for blue blood. Marcus is haughty as they come, which is rather expected for a nobility. But even if he is flawed, he takes Alyse under his protection and does what must be even if it is rather selfish way. At first, he appears cold and icy but the more he interacts with Alyse, the more he moves to come to accept his feelings and his errors. I might have loved to read more about Marcus tumult, how he came to see Alyse as a desirable woman, as first he thought just save a poor farm girl from a dreadful fate. 4.5 stars for this enjoyable and entertaining read.
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.
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
Marcus, Duke of Autenberry, is running away to his estate in the highlands of Scotland when he comes across a wife auction in a village market square. Alyse Bell has fulfilled the 7-year contract for a 'white wedding' and now is ready to move on, providing her best friend buys her and takes her to London. When he doesn't show up, Alyse is left to the dubious mercy of the crowd - until Marcus buys her out of pity. Apparently, this was a real thing in the days when divorces and annulments were hard to come by. It makes for an interesting premise that mostly failed to live up to its promise. Alyse and Marcus were too hot and cold for the storyline to make much sense. I did enjoy seeing what happened with Marcus after his appearance in a previous book in the series, but the idea of the haughty Duke with a common farm girl wife didn't work for me, especially after his disdain for the shopgirl in While the Duke was Sleeping. It was an okay and quick read. The sex scenes were fine though not until late in the book, and there were a few funny moments, especially with the laird who kidnaps Alyse. I'm looking forward to his book.