An Unwilling Bride

An Unwilling Bride

3.7 37
by Jo Beverley
     
 

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She Would Give Him Her Hand, But Never Her Heart

Beth Armitage had the life she wanted. Her work as a teacher gave her the independence she always sought and a life free from the shackles of matrimony. Yet after a harrowing meeting with the Duke of Becraven, Beth found herself caught in a web of aristocratic power—and engaged to marry his rakish heir

Overview

She Would Give Him Her Hand, But Never Her Heart

Beth Armitage had the life she wanted. Her work as a teacher gave her the independence she always sought and a life free from the shackles of matrimony. Yet after a harrowing meeting with the Duke of Becraven, Beth found herself caught in a web of aristocratic power—and engaged to marry his rakish heir Lucien de Vaux, Marquess of Arden! She was determined to despise her betrothed, but when Arden decided to seduce her, she needed all her strength to keep her from surrendering her heart.

"Nobody does Regency better than Jo Beverley, and this latest tale adds to the argument that she may just be the best. " —Rendezvous

"Beverley breaks just about every rule in the book and makes us beg for more. " —Romantic Times

"Enthralling. " —Romantic Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780821767245
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
04/28/2006
Series:
Company of Rogues Series, #2
Pages:
351
Product dimensions:
4.38(w) x 6.76(h) x 0.99(d)

Meet the Author

Jo Beverley is widely regarded as one of the most talented romance writers today. She is a four-time winner of Romance Writers of America's cherished RITA Award and one of only a handful of members in the RITA Hall of Fame. She has also recieved the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Born in England, she now lives with her husband and two sons in Victoria, British Columbia, just a ferry ride away from Seattle, WA.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 22, 1947
Place of Birth:
Morecambe, Lancashire, UK
Education:
Degrees in English and American Studies, Keele University, Staffs, 1970

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Unwilling Bride 3.7 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 37 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The male lead in this book, Lucien (a marquess -- son of a duke) finds out that his mother had an affair with another man, resulting in his birth. His legal father, the duke, who has been cold and unemotional toward Lucien his entire life has now discovered that he (the duke) has an illegitmate daughter. In order to keep the succession 'pure' he blackmails this daughter, Beth, into marrying Lucien and bearing children. The duke does so by threatening with ruination the school her adoptive mother runs (and therefore Beth and Aunt Mary will become destitute). Lucien is threatened with the withdrawl of all unentailed properties. It's actually a pretty standard Regency fare except for two features: Beth is quite a 'bluestocking' -- in fact she is a proponent of the 'radical' writer Mary Wolstencroft (which has no bearing on the story except to create forced tension since Beth willingly abnegates every principle Wolstencroft espouses on women's rights, inc. the right to safety, once Lucien says he loves her). The second feature is the regular employment of threatened or real physical violence against Beth by Lucien. He does in fact put his hands around her throat at one time and on another occasion 'backhands' her across the room. This absolutely ruined the book for me and I would urge no one to read it unless you are a wife abuser looking for new ways to intimidate your victim. I don't understand why anyone in this day and age would write such a blatant justification for domestic violence (of course Lucien is 'sorry', of course Beth instantly forgives him and thinks he will never do it again and tells everyone she 'fell') in a 'romance' novel. I find it quite disturbing that the author and publisher reissued this book intact, without changing any of the violence in the original version. Reading about a female lead being abused is not romantic. In fact, the story is in some ways a case study of what happens when a vital, intelligent, educated woman is put into a situation where she is abused -- she loses all integrity and self respect and identifies with her accuser. Whatever happened to her passion for Wolstencroft and her defense of the rights of women to happiness and safety? Gone, gone, gone, along with human dignity and skin free of bruises. And Beth is not the only one to do this -- Lucien's parents have been estranged since his birth and after 20+ years his mother makes the first move to reconcile. The father confesses that he had never come back to her bed for fear that she would have another son and he would have to kill Lucien or otherwise make him disappear (but in the same breath goes on to say that he loves Lucien). Her response to that is , 'oh that's ok, I don't think you would have done it and it's moot anyway since I'm past menopause now.' They they rush off to bed. Let me get this straight -- a man who has emotionally abused your son has now confessed that he would planned to kill him or make him disappear for the sake of a pure succession and your response is 'Let's have wild sex?' Stop, don't buy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Beverley's writing is really good - but, hopefully in real life, we will never meet such a "ninny" as Beth! Here is a character who believes herself to be a bluestocking and is one of the biggest fools I have encountered in a Romance novel (and, since I read all the time, that is saying quite a lot). In fact, she gives womankind a bad name, IMHO!! Her husband should have just left her and gone to see his mistress - how could any man put up with such a STUPID woman - who believes herself to be quite intelligent, by the way!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!!!! I am extremely happy that it is now available as an eBook. I know many people have problem with Lucien and his aggressive behavior. However, that one flaw does not in any way ruin this book.  
Guest More than 1 year ago
One has to get to know Lucien first in AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE in order to understand him. He's a great guy, blessed - and sometimes - cursed - with exceptionally good looks, who has some growing up to do, which he does, with Beth's help.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Any fan of the Company of Rogues will love this book. Some of the Rogues are active in the story and the plot(s) is interesting. Lucien's temper was out of hand, though. Not sure why JB made him so tempermental! Beth forgave Lucien a little too quickly for striking her, although she understood why he nearly lost his mind there, but she came close to putting the blame on herself! As for beauty-thank God Beth was confident in her appearance. Most acquaintances of the de Vaux family made it clear that her lack of beauty made her less than acceptable. Lucien, being one of the most handsome men ever created, was guilty of this in the beginning, too. His friends were not. They loved Beth immediately and saw in her what took Lucien forever to see...but once he did, his true personality came through. He was charming and wonderfully intelligent. The reader wasn't simply told this, JB proved it to us by using many classic quotes. I liked that Lucien's friends were able to tease him about his good looks and wealth. Nicholas Delaney was a delight; he was actually more talkative and relaxed here than in his own story. I'm glad we got a follow-up of him and Eleanor and the baby. I was curious to know how their lives would turn out. I didn't think Blanche (Lucien's ex-mistress) should have questioned Nicholas so boldly in his own house, in front of his wife, about a past mistress. Nicholas, ever calm, handled it well, but Eleanor came off looking foolish. Remember: Fans of the Rogues, beginning with AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE of course, will love and understand these characters very well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good in fact one of Jo Beverley's best written story of 'an arranged marriage'. Though I did not care for Lucian hitting Beth, I did understand were the author was going with the story. There could have been a better discription of Beth, because rarely do beautiful men marriage plain women and fall in love so desperately. Overall, it is a good book because Ms. Beverly put a lot of heart ache in her writing as if she was trying to involve the reader.
NavyWave62 More than 1 year ago
HER WRITING MAKES YOU UNEASE!!  But, after having said that, this is another rough subject to approach, physical abuse (once), and verbal abuse at times.  You come to realize our h is not your normal heroine, and was thrust into a situation to where she said things to aggravate our H.  Physical abuse IS NEVER OK, but, please don't dwell on this one facet of the story, as others have.  Many of the character's take a long time to like, including our main pair.  But they do get to HEA, but oh it is so bumpy.  I liked that the character's from the first story have a good part in this.  That too was a hard book to read.  Can this standalone, yes, but you would miss so much of the back story of the "friends".  I had a hard time believing our h and the ex mistress, could form a friendship  I couldn't be in the same room with my husband and his ex-lover, thought this was too much of a stretch.  I would recommend this story, even though it isn't your normal romance.  Yes, there is lovemaking, but mildly described and only for a small portion of the story. No cliffhanger, but I did wish for an Epilogue, suppose you can catch up with them in the next book in the series.  I wish author/publisher would offer her books in a bundle - hint - hint.  (ljb) 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lucien and Beth did not really want to be together but they were. The enfolding story tells a lot about how society viewed women in their day and how Beth got around it, bringing Lucien-now her loving husband-along with her. I very much enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Lucien and Beth were a great ismatched pair. At times I wanted to strangle Beth, wondering how more inept, silly and nieve the author was going to make her, but soon realized without this type character the story line wouldn't have been asgood
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There were no grounds for romance. Throughout the entire book the two characters matched wits and argued. It was awful and with 30 pages left to read there is nothing that is entertaining in it whatsoever. I can't imagine the last pages will somehow make the book a good read. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. I don't know how it even got published.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed several of this author's books, but the first two in this series have not been so great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The so-called hero if this novel back-hands his "beloved" and all is excused, as long as he PROMISES never to do it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never a dull moment good read
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sallymel More than 1 year ago
This is the second in the series about the Rogues written by Jo Beverley. I have ordered the entire series as her novels about English lives and, especially the men, are very historical and not boring to read. Anything Jo Beverley writes in great. I was upset by the woman (bride) in this book who acted like a spoiled child and was so negative and complaining. I'm surprised her husband tolerated her but then he had to because it was a forced marriage by their parents.
TalleyRoss More than 1 year ago
What;s not to love about historical romance? This one had it all! The arranged marriage (under peculiar circumstances), the fashion, the big houses, the gentlemen, and the not so gentle men, the ladies, and the uh...not so ladylike?! This was my first book by Jo Beverly and I wasn't disappointed. I loved the characters. I loved how strong and independent a character Elizabeth was - even though it sometimes got her into trouble. I found Lucian to be entertaining as he insisted on the day's standards for a woman he would marry, but ignored the standards set forth for gentlemen. Both characters were extremely likable. An Unwilling Bride is the second in a series, and that did trip me up just a little bit. There were characters and references to the first book that were not explained sufficiency in this volume to make it totally stand alone. I was curious about the history of the story. (enough so that I am now reading book 1.) Because of not knowing or understanding the history, it made the ending feel long and unnecessary. I am pretty sure if I had read book 1 first, I would not feel that way. Overall a fun historical romp. There are a few steamy scenes, but probably not as much as you would get in a current PG-13 movie. (Did I mention that I loved, loved, loved, the tension between the leading man and lady?) I can see why Jo Beverly has won RITA awards and is known for her historical romances!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*One of my favorite books..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good read and I enjoyed it very much. The entire series is well worth reading1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a good read, I didn't want it to end.