Never a Bride [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Charming and delightful-a must-read!"
-Joan Johnston, New York Times bestselling author of A Stranger's Game

"Witty dialogue and clever schemes... Grey's vivid characters will charm readers."
-Booklist

Her name is on everyone's lips...

When he left for America six years ago, the handsome Viscount ...

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Never a Bride

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Overview

"Charming and delightful-a must-read!"
-Joan Johnston, New York Times bestselling author of A Stranger's Game

"Witty dialogue and clever schemes... Grey's vivid characters will charm readers."
-Booklist

Her name is on everyone's lips...

When he left for America six years ago, the handsome Viscount Stonehurst never suspected that he would return home to England to find his lovely fiancée embroiled in the scandal of the decade. The woman he planned on making his wife has been kissing every man in London...except him!

But scandal doesn't matter in search of the truth...

Engaged and then abandoned, Mirabella Wittingham is determined to find the man who drove her cousin to suicide, even if it means ruining her reputation and disgracing herself in the process...When her plans go awry, Mirabella has no choice but to turn to her long-lost fiancé for help. But can she trust the man who deserted her so many years ago, or is he destined to fail her yet again?

"Readers will be quickly drawn in by the lively pace, the appealing protagonists, and the sexual chemistry that almost visibly shimmers between them in this charming, light-hearted, and well-done Regency."
-Library Journal

"An uplifting, wonderfully sensual story. I hated for it to end."
-Meryl Sawyer, New York Times bestselling author of Play Dead

Amelia Grey's awards include the Booksellers Best and the Aspen Gold, and writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Happily married for over twenty-five years, she lives in Panama City Beach, Florida.

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Editorial Reviews

Joan Johnston
Charming and delightful-a must-read!
Meryl Sawyer
Wonderfully sensual.
Library Journal
In an effort to discover who was responsible for driving her beloved cousin to suicide, an unconventional noblewoman almost ruins her reputation in her quest. Then her long-lost fiancé unexpectedly returns from America, and things change dramatically. This lively Regency-set historical was originally published in 2001 by Jove.
Never a Bride
An amazing, beautifully written story... a fast-paced page turner and a keeper.
— April
My Book Addiction and More
An amazing, beautifully written story... a fast-paced page turner and a keeper.
— April
Jennifer
Grey does an excellent job combining mystery and romance amongst the Regency era backdrop.
Fresh Ficiton
A delightful tale full of mystery and intrigue.
Rakehell
Delightfully charming...
— Valerie
The Long and Short of It Reviews
I absolutely adored this story. The characters are beautifully developed, their chemistry is unmatched, and the story is written so superbly that you fly through the pages and are swept away.
Rundpinne
Amelia Grey sweeps the reader back to the Regency era...
— Jennifer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402258022
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 129,458
  • File size: 636 KB

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey's awards include the Booksellers Best and the Aspen Gold, and writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Amelia read her first romance book when she was thirteen and has been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. She is the author of over twenty-five books. Happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years, Amelia lives in Panama City Beach, Florida.
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Read an Excerpt

From Chapter One

Will This Be the Year?

Another Season opens and the patient Miss Mirabella Whittingham begins one more year waiting for her long absent fiancé to return. One would hope that Viscount Stonehurst would appear this year to claim his bride. Hmm. Lord Stonehurst certainly knows how to keep everyone in the ton guessing.
-Lord Truefitt, Society's Daily Column

"Mirabella, what's this I hear about you being free with your affections?"

Mirabella Whittingham froze at the sound of her uncle's voice. Heaven have mercy, she was caught. And she'd bet the amethyst earrings she wore that Sir Patrick Stephenson was the young gentleman who'd given her away. She forced herself to remain calm and formulated a plan to pretend she had no idea what Uncle Archer was talking about. But as sure as she knew her name, she knew what he intended to say.

She wrinkled her nose and tried to come up with an expedient prevarication to explain her recent actions. Nothing coming to mind, she decided on the truth-at least part of it.

"Now, Uncle. I haven't been free with my affections." In fact, what she was doing would end up costing some young man a great deal when she was through with these London dandies. But her uncle didn't need to know that. "I've only kissed one or two." As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she realized truth hadn't been the way to go. Archer Hornbeck's round face flamed red, and a telltale vein popped out on his wide forehead.

"Blue heavens, Mirabella. I can't have your father or anyone else hear you say something like that, even in jest." Guilt pricked her. The last thing she wanted was her ill father to know what she was doing. At all costs, she wanted to keep her plans from him. If he found out, she'd never accomplish her goal.

Her uncle's pale blue gaze darted across the empty dance floor, around the perimeter of the great hall and back to Mirabella. He touched her elbow and ushered her to a secluded corner of the brightly lit room. There was no dancing or music at the moment, but it was far from quiet at the party. Dowagers chattering, men chuckling and young ladies laughing behind fluttering fans filled the air around them.

Mirabella had to strain to hear her uncle's whispered voice. "I'm happy to be your escort while your father is ill, but I cannot allow this sort of behavior."

Indeed Archer Hornbeck was her chaperone for the Season, but he wasn't her true uncle. He had been her father's friend since Mirabella was a little girl, and had insisted she call him uncle ever since.

He was looking to make a match for himself and often found reasons to excuse himself from her during parties so that he could dance with an eligible young lady or wealthy widow. No doubt her father would be furious to know Uncle Archer had not remained faithful to his duty, but right now it worked to her advantage that he was neglectful.

"I won't have gossip about you making the rounds while you are in my care." Pallor washed his face. "If your father should get wind of this, he would look to me for answers."

"You are a sweet, dear man to worry so about me." She reached out and gingerly patted his forearm. Archer's expression softened, and he sighed. He took her gloved hand and squeezed her fingers affectionately.

Looking down into her eyes, he said, "I'll do anything for you, my lovely Mirabella. That includes stopping scandalous talk. But you must do your part and stop this... this kissing."

Mirabella hated putting him through such an ordeal, but she'd made her choice. She couldn't stop now. Certainly not for fear of scandal. She had been an enigma in Society since she'd made her debut. She attended the parties and balls each Season, but she wasn't eligible to make a match. She had been betrothed for six years to a man she had never met. A man who had made no attempt to marry her despite his promise.

"There's no fear, Uncle. I'm sure the gossip will pass. It always does. Next week someone else will be on the tips of all the loose tongues." His thin lips widened into a forced smile. "I must insist that you don't put yourself in a position to catch the attention of the gossipmongers. They can be fierce and unforgiving when given a reason. If any hint of this should hit the Society papers, you'll be ruined. Not even marrying a duke would save you from their scorn."

Mirabella kept a strained smile on her face, too, as she searched for the right thing to say this time. She hadn't made her decision lightly, and she couldn't make any promises. There were only five weeks left of the Season- five weeks in which to carry out her plan.

"You have no cause to fret about me, Uncle." She slipped her hand from his. "This is my fourth and final London Season. By now, I know how these things work."

"If that were the case, you wouldn't allow yourself to be alone with a gentleman."

"I have nothing in common with the young girls making their debuts each year, which is where all the attention will be. All of my friends have married and have babies to occupy their time." She swallowed a sigh. "Given my unfortunate betrothal situation, I've come to accept my fate, so what does a little gossip matter?"

Uncle Archer opened his mouth to speak, but a bevy of young ladies suddenly rushed by them in a flurry of satin skirts. Mirabella noticed that a short, pretty blonde deliberately knocked his arm. When he looked at the young woman, the blonde smiled at him and winked before rushing away with the others. Archer watched her all the way down the corridor until she moved out of sight.

He cleared his throat and said, "There is no such thing as a little gossip. And of course you'll marry someday." She was thoughtful a moment while she considered his words. "Perhaps when I'm old and gray," she answered, stating almost verbatim what she'd overheard her fiancé say that day so long ago when she was listening outside her father's library. She never saw Viscount Stonehurst's face, but she would never forget the words he spoke.

"Nonsense. Your father told me he sent word to Earl Lockshaven stating that if his errant son doesn't show his face by the last party of this Season he'll consider the engagement broken, and the dowry will have to be repaid. You'll be free to make a match with another young man."

"Oh, Uncle, I am not a fanciful debutante anymore. Who will want me if the man I'm betrothed to won't return to London and marry me? Everyone already looks at me as having been put on the shelf."

"Pure rubbish, my dear girl. With your beauty and your father's wealth any man would want to marry you."

His words reminded her of Sarah and the reason she was having this conversation with her uncle. Her dear friend had had only a very small dowry, no beauty and no offers of marriage. Gentlemen had always confounded Mirabella. Why would they seek beauty and money when looking for a wife and ignore the kind of love and attention Sarah could have given? She would have been a devoted wife and loving mother.

Mirabella turned away from her uncle and looked at the crowd of people gaily dressed in their finest clothes milling about the great hall. Her fiancé perplexed her more than most. She could understand him rejecting her had they met and he had found her unsuitable. But he hadn't broken the engagement, and he hadn't come for her. She had not heard one word from him since he left London six years earlier.

"Should Lord Stonehurst ever return to London, I shall be forced to marry him to please my father, but if he continues to stay away as he pledged he would, I shall be happy to remain an old maid."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 125 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(45)

3 Star

(31)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 125 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 12, 2012

    I had gotten this freebie quite a while ago and wasn't expecting

    I had gotten this freebie quite a while ago and wasn't expecting much. But I was really surprised at how engaging the story was. Mirabella has been left of the shelf when her intended left the country six years before. She has given up and decides she will never be a bride. In the mean time she on the trail of the man she feels is responsible for the suicide of her best friend. The problems start when she meets a mystery man who really makes her feel special and then gets caught with a man in the garden by her fiancee who has returned. The story of how she can help her friend and not lose the man was full of humor and heart warming moments. Very much worth the time to read.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    easy read

    good book for people who like romance with a little spice.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    Loved it!

    I loved this book! There were a couple unique elements to the storyline which I really enjoyed and even though it was bit predictable, some of the dialogue was cheesy, and it was easy to figure out who the villian was, I absolutely loved it! She kept the story moving with some fun little twists, and I liked how she had enough drama to keep the tension between the characters without tearing them apart, which would have detracted from the overall glow of this story. It is the perfect book if you're looking for something fun and heartwarming to read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    Better than most 3 1/2 stars

    I really liked Camden, but I didn't really LOVE Mirabella. I thought her decisions were sometimes a bit unrealistic and she was a little too unfeminine for me. He was handsome, sweet, caring, proper, and I really liked the protective streak but she didn't offer many situations to be protected. They didn't quite go together perfectly but I still really enjoyed the book and it only took me two days to read. (btw I totally LOVE this cover, I wish more covers looked like this).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2011

    Nice Romance

    Pretty nice read for a free e-book...thanks B&N!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Highly Reccommend

    Was an easy and fun read. A little bit of mystery and romance all rolled into one. Kept me captivated the entire time.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Good Romance

    Light reading a good summer romance novel

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  • Posted July 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    More like 2.5

    Dragged in spots. Liked the characters but just in spots was bit nausiating.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    I loved this book so much, I read it twice!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2011

    Nice but not a keepr

    I thought the heroine was TSTL at times with her antics and I couldn't understand why she forgave her fiancee so easily. But the writer had an engaging way of penning that made me make it to the end. It's more of a 2.5 stars for me.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Disappointing

    I had a very difficult time getting through this book. I felt that it moved very slowly, and I had figured out early in the book who the "villain" was that the heroine was searching for. I ended up skipping many pages that didn't add anything to the plot, including the love scenes.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    Great Book!

    Very much enjoyed this book. Highly recommend!

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    An okay historical.

    2 1/2 stars.

    This is my first book by Amelia Grey. I'd heard wonderful things about her Rogues' Dynasty series and was looking forward to reading Never A Bride.

    The premise of the story was good: Mirabella's father secured her engagement to Viscount "Cam" Brackley. Cam then had no intention of marrying Mirabella until he was old, he only agreed to the engagement because her dowry would help his father pay off debts. Six years later, Mirabella's father demands he come back and marry or Cam's father must repay the portion of dowry he already received.

    Mirabella, however, knows none of this - only that her fiancee has been gone and will probably not come back any time soon. She is on a mission to find out who disgraced her cousin so badly that the cousin committed suicide. In order to do that, she must get the young men of the ton alone and get her finger into their neckcloths in search of a scar the cousin had written about in her diary. Needless to say Mirabella is starting to get a bit of a reputation when Cam unexpectely returns.

    Here's the thing: I liked both Mirabella and Cam, just not together. They were both lovely characters but they didn't "mesh" for me. It was like they just kept bumping up against each other but didn't quite connect. My other problem was that I guessed the "whodunit" very early into the book. I would have preferred a bit of mystery and suspense on that front. It was frustrating to watch Mirabella go through all her machinations when I already knew who it was.

    We also met Cam's best childhood friend, who was unexplainably mean to both Cam and Mirabella, but we never found out why he was such a jerk - jealousy? I'm not sure what he would be jealous of as he was already titled and married and had an heir. I was a bit confused on that point.

    As I mentioed above, while I did like the main characters, this book was just not a good match for me.

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  • Posted November 19, 2010

    TRULY ENJOYED THIS BOOK

    I loved the chemistry between Camden and Mirabella.

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  • Posted August 24, 2010

    Beautiful Read

    Originally posted at: www.longandshortreviews.blogspot.com ***** As someone who enjoys a fantastic regency novel, I was extremely excited to dive into Amelia Grey's Never A Bride. Having read the author's previous offerings, I knew I could expect intrigue, romance, well-developed characters, and a story I would thoroughly enjoy.

    When the story begins, we are introduced to Miss Mirabella Whittingham. For the past six-years, she has waited for the return of her fiancé, Camden Thurston Brackley. Society has begun gossiping about his extended absence and, as there has been no correspondence from the man who sailed for America years before, Mirabella has decided she will remain unmarried for the rest of her life. It's a good thing too, because Mirabella has located a diary that has shed light into the death of a close friend who lived under her father's employ and took her life when she discovered she was pregnant and the father refused to accept responsibility. Armed with the knowledge she's taken from the diary, Mirabella is determined to find the culprit named only "Prince Charming," and bring him to justice. Her plan? To kiss as many men from her friend's dancing card from the previous season as possible and search for the scar that the diary indicates exists on the man's throat.

    Unfortunately for our heroine, who believes her reputation is of no importance as she will never marry, Camden has just returned home. His family is in dire financial straits, meaning he must continue with the engagement. So it's both awkward and embarrassing when she makes the acquaintance of her betrothed while in the embrace of another man. Considering that Camden's last fiancé betrayed him and he's sworn never to marry without trust, their relationship ends before it's even given the opportunity to begin. or has it? Both Mirabella and Camden need something from each other and, as a ruse is created to fool society, assist Camden, and give Mirabella enough time to find the man she's searching for, our hero and heroine soon discover that the greatest risk is one they never expect -- to fall in love.

    I absolutely adored this story. The characters are beautifully developed, their chemistry is unmatched, and the story is written so superbly that you fly through the pages and are swept away. Although the mystery is important and provides necessary tension between Mirabella and Camden, it is done in such a manner that is very believable versus becoming draining or tedious. While I had a good idea of who Prince Charming was, that is only because in this sort of story you are given so many players and after a time it's fairly easy to target the one who is always in the picture, yet, remains apart from it. This isn't to say I was disappointed, but rather that the relationship between Mirabella and Camden remains the central focus -- as it should.

    Fans of regency romance have to read Never A Bride. If you've never experienced Ms. Grey's work, this is a perfect way to start.

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  • Posted July 17, 2010

    WONDERFUL ENCHANTING REGENCY ROMANCE!

    NEVER A BRIDE by Amelia Grey is an enchanting wonderful Regency Romance. It is a re-released. It is set during the 1800's England. It is well written with details and depth. The characters are charming, free spirited, and full of life. The heroine, Mirabella, is intelligent, courageous, smart, full of life, beautiful and out to avenge the death of her cousin. She has been engaged for six years to our hero who has been in America all this time. She begins to believe he isn't coming to claim her hand in marriage, therefore, she sets out on her mission to kiss as many gentlemen as possible to find and avenge her cousin's seducer (she has her cousin's diary with some details about her seducer). Mirabella is aware of the consequences of her action but feels she must avenge her cousin. The hero, Camden, is handsome, strong, been betrayed before, been in America for six years. Comes home to find Mirabella, his fiance, in the arms of another man. Although, their engagement was arranged by their fathers , they have never meet each other before. They find they are intrigued with other and must continue their engagement for a few months to settle some things. During this time they actually realize they are falling in love with each other. This is an amazing, beautifully written story of avenge, romance, passion, sensuality, intrigue, compromise, betrayal, suspense and sacrifice.This is a fast paced, page turner and a keeper. This book was received for review from Sourcebooks and details can be found at My Book Addiction and More.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable Regency romance

    After six years in which her betrothed, Viscount Stonehurst, Camden Brackhurst, left her behind in a single state and went off to America, Lady Mirabella Whittingham adapts to remaining on the shelf. She even finds spinsterhood quite enjoyable that is until her best friend Sarah committed suicide. Sarah¿s diary blames her troubles on an aristocrat with a scar on the back of his neck. Mirabella plans to uncover the culprit¿s identity and take him to task. However, to do so requires kissing all the eligible bachelors in town for the season to inspect their necks because Sarah never names anyone. <P>As Mirabella makes the rounds and shocks the Ton, Camden finally returns from across the ocean. He is appalled at his fiancee¿s behavior, but finds he is very attracted to her. She is stunned to observe the telltale scar on his neck. <P> Though NEVER A BRIDE requires a plausibility leap, Regency romance fans will enjoy the tale. Readers must accept Mirabella¿s way out character behavior, but at the same time will admire her spunk and loyalty. The story line is fun especially when an outraged Camden makes his feelings known. On the other hand, six years waiting for someone who deserted you before you ever met makes his present day behavior seem inappropriate, but perhaps that is a modern day perspective by this reviewer. Still sub-genre fans will receive pleasure from Amelia Grey¿s gender war historical romance. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 125 Customer Reviews

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