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Overview

He Would Stop at Nothing to Get What He Wanted . . .

Determined to succeed, Nicholas Blum leaves his beloved family to work for a shopkeeper in Pennsylvania. His stay won't be long, though, for once he proves himself he plans to return to his beloved North Carolina Moravian community to marry the golden sweetheart he's entrusted to his younger brother's care.

The last thing Nicholas wants is a female taskmaster who bosses him by day and invades...

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His Stolen Bride

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Overview

He Would Stop at Nothing to Get What He Wanted . . .

Determined to succeed, Nicholas Blum leaves his beloved family to work for a shopkeeper in Pennsylvania. His stay won't be long, though, for once he proves himself he plans to return to his beloved North Carolina Moravian community to marry the golden sweetheart he's entrusted to his younger brother's care.

The last thing Nicholas wants is a female taskmaster who bosses him by day and invades his dreams at night—no matter how lovely petite Abbigall Till may be. And Abbigail, the shop owner's spinster daughter, certainly doesn't need a big attractive man like Nicholas upsetting her shop and wreaking havoc with her heart.

Then Nicholas gets some shocking news—his intended bride is to marry someone else. As he races home to stop the wedding, Nicholas is haunted by thoughts of the sweet, stubborn wren he's left behind. Abbigail too feels an aching despair over losing the man she belatedly realizes she loves. Will the strength of their love survive, or has their only chance at happiness been stolen forever?

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Editorial Reviews

Sabrina Jeffries
His Stolen Bride is a delightful romance that will charm your heart.Judith Stanton is definitely an author to watch!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062034991
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/2/2010
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 239,915
  • File size: 730 KB

Meet the Author

Judith Stanton grew up on a farm in North Carolina. During a successful career as a university professor, she taught writing and feminist theory and also traveled widely in England researching eighteenth-century romance writers. She and her husband live in the country and have two horse and a dozen rescued cats.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Salem, North Carolina, April 1796

He would not give her up yet, Single Brother Nicholas Blum vowed to himself. But the Elders had not even asked her name before denying his request to marry. Then, with his father's blessing and support, they had assigned him to yet another trade. With another master.

In another state.

Three hundred miles away.

His hand reached for the latch to his brother's dye shop. Matthias might help. Might not. Nicholas would tell him just enough to enlist his sympathy. He need not confess his plan to marry Catharina Baumgarten.

Nicholas would not, could not give her up at all.

The latch creaked downward suddenly, and the door sprang open.

"Nicky?" Taller than he, darker, thinner, better, his brother was already hard at work. He peered at Nicholas in the soft dawn light. "Early for you, is it not?"

Nicholas walked in. Steam from a vat of boiling scarlet liquid shrouded them. "I, um, I leave this morning." Asking anything would be harder than he thought.

"Ah, yes," Matthias said tactfully. "Your latest adventure."

"My banishment. You can say it."

But Matthias wouldn't. He never misspoke, never took a misstep. Piety, natural modesty, and an endless capacity to stick to one dull task had made him a model Single Brother. A success among Salem's community of tradesmen. And a bit of a prig, Nicholas assured himself. For there was no denying that his younger brother threw a harsh light on the fits and starts andstops on his own path.

Matthias cuffed his shoulder. Red from the dye baths stained his fist, a curiously diabolical sight on such a paragon. "'Tis a fresh start, brother, and well you know it. This time, you will find your true vocation, I am certain of it. Would that I..." he trailed off. His blue eyes went dreamy, then he sighed. "But I have bolts of linen destined for the scarlet baths today."

"You love your work," Nicholas said, taken aback by a note that smacked of envy in his pious brother's voice.

Matthias strode over to the vat, grasped a giant paddle with both hands, and stirred the steaming brew.

"Idle hands are the devil's —"

"Dieu, Matty. The devil has no more a handhold on you than he would on a saint. You never needed work to save yourself from sin."

He sloshed the sinister red mixture to the vat's rim. "We work because we must. I here amidst the colors, and you...wherever. In adventures."

As a boy of twelve, Nicholas had run off to fight with the Continentals, contrary to the Brethen's pacifist faith. Someone had to defend the town, he had fervently believed. He had never lived it down.

"Hah. My bid at butchery was no adventure. I retched for days on end."

Matthias almost grinned. "I never said 'twas all adventure."

"No, indeed," Nicholas grumbled. Apprenticing had been his hell.

The paddle swished and slurped in the dye bath.

For twelve years, Matthias had been the town's dyer, never deviating from the trade chosen for him at fourteen years of age. Whereas Nicholas, after his wartime misadventure, had been turned out by a severe master gunsmith at fifteen. By seventeen, he had conclusively established that brawn alone did not a blacksmith make. His hands were too large for delicate clockworks, and he had no stomach for butchering. Now twenty-eight, he made a humble living as the town's lone tinsmith, making tinware for his fellow communicants in the church and the outsiders who came on Market Day.

He was years from being established enough that the Elders would let him marry.

Catharina.

He forged ahead to the purpose of his visit. "Matty, while I'm gone, I want you to watch out for my..." He stopped. It was damned awkward. Officially, Catharina was nothing to him. Courtship was forbidden. Even flirting was frowned upon. In their community, Brethren Single Brothers and Single Sisters lived, worked, prayed, and played strictly apart. Naming her, in any terms that smacked of familiarity would tarnish her in his family's eyes and soil her reputation.

Matthias looked up guardedly. "Watch out for your affairs? Father says Brother Issen will mind your shop. Do you not trust him?"

Nicholas grasped the topic like a drowning man. If clever, he could steer it back to Catharina. "'Tis not a matter of trust. Nils lacks your business sense," he confided. "He's apt to fashion naught but lanterns for a year. Engage him in conversation and steer him toward variety."

"I can do that."

"And our family. Harmon, Elizabeth, and the twins — they sometimes need an older brother's hand.

Matthias's dark brows knotted guiltily. "Ach, I'm too steeped in work. Besides, Harmon and Elizabeth soon be grown, and I will barely know them."

Nicholas was not displeased to prick his brother's conscience. Matthias had stinted family for work never giving their younger brother and four sisters their due, things he himself took to be the older brother'sduty. Frolics, presents, and advice — whether the wanted it or not. "It's the twins mostly. I — well, perhaps I should not say how often I bail them out of trouble."

Matthias's mouth crooked. "Rapscallions. I can guess."

"And Anna Johanna. She's old enough to marry the next time it's proposed. You should talk to her."

"Or to some fence post! Truly, Nicky, she won't listen. She's a grown woman."

"I will worry about our parents, too."

Matthias's sideways look said he must be mad. Their father and stepmother were able, respected leaders in the town, healthy, vigorous. Almost embarrassingly still in love. "They cannot need aught from us."

Nicholas pushed his point. "They are getting on, Matty," he said gravely. "And so must I. The sun's up."

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 1999

    Outstanding!

    His Stolen Bride was a wonderful follow-up to Wild Indigo. Nicholas is a warm and honorable hero, and the history was beautifully done. Ms. Stanton's stories are never sappy, but always touching. This is the best romance I've read this year.

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