Blackthorne's Bride (Misadventures in Matrimony Series #3)

Blackthorne's Bride (Misadventures in Matrimony Series #3)

by Shana Galen

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061739361
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Misadventures in Matrimony Series , #3
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 155,207
File size: 788 KB

About the Author

Shana Galen is a former public school teacher in Houston, Texas. Newly married, Shana lives with her husband and two cats. She writes almost full time, which requires daily trips to the mall because shopping is the only activity that really allows her to think. (That's her story, and she's sticking to it!)

Read an Excerpt

Blackthorne's Bride

By Shana Galen

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Shana Galen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061124976

Chapter One

London 1801

Lady Madeleine was going to make the best of this night, even if it killed her.

And it probably would kill her.

Maddie shook her head. That was no way to think. If one expected the worst, one received the worst.

But there simply wasn't anything good about dressing in boys' clothing and running around London in the dead of night. Unless one wanted to be kidnapped.

You're doing it again! Maddie chided herself. She had to start thinking positively.

Very well, then . . . She might not like wearing boys' clothing, but at least it was comfortable.

She didn't like to sneak out at night, but at least she didn't have to carry a parasol in the dark.

And she didn't like to climb into darkened windows, risk the wrath of her horrid uncle, or tempt the cutthroats hiding down every London alleyway, but . . .

Oh, Lord! She was going to be murdered, and there was just nothing good about that!

Maddie tightened her grip on her cousin Catie's arm and hurried to catch her two adventuresome cousins, Ashley and Josie.

Above her, the moon was but a sliver in the dark, starless sky. The tall, terraced houses of Mayfair—white and bedecked with flowersspilling from boxes in the daylight—now loomed menacingly over her. They stared at her from sightless eyes.

Maddie tried to keep her gaze on Ashley's blond hair. The London fog obscured everything except what was right in front of one's face, but Ashley's wheat-blond tresses shimmered silver in the meager light. Ashley turned a corner, and Maddie clutched Catie tighter.

"Hurry," Maddie whispered, not wanting to lose sight of Ashley. But then the fog closed in, thick and heavy, and Maddie had to reach out and feel her way past the building on her right. She lurched to the side and stepped on something furry.

With a squeak—hers or its—she ran on.

Catie and she rounded the corner, and Maddie saw Ashley's bright hair. She was waiting for them. Thank heaven for her luminous cousin. The fog hadn't infiltrated this street as thickly yet, and Maddie was able to see the welcoming houses and the small tree-lined park that made up Berkeley Square.

Home. Almost home.

She wasn't going to die.

"Are you well?" Catie asked, pausing for a moment.

"Perfectly fine," Maddie replied, wishing she weren't shaking so badly. "Why do you ask?"

"You're holding my arm so tightly that I'm going to have a bruise."

Maddie loosened her hold. "Sorry."

"It's all right," Catie said.

Jiminy! If anyone should be consoled, Maddie thought, it was Catie. Her horrible father had locked her in a closet for two days. She herself was only out on the dark, unsafe streets because, though she was scared half out of her mind, she couldn't leave Catie in there.

Up ahead, rising out of the fog like a ghostly galleon from a storybook, floated her father's town house.

Home. Safety. For all of them.

The girls climbed up the bed sheets they had left hanging down the side of the house under Maddie's bedroom window. Maddie collapsed gratefully on the floor when her feet were again on solid ground.

When her stomach had ceased fluttering and her limbs were no longer shaking like saplings in a storm, she rose and fetched nightgowns, cool water, and fresh linens for the others. While the girls washed and changed, Maddie opened her desk drawer and pulled out a stash of almond biscuits she'd been saving for just such an occasion. She passed them out as her cousins gathered on the bed.

"Thank you, Mother," Ashley said as she took her biscuit. Maddie stuck out her tongue. She was used to the other girls teasing her for fussing over them, but she knew they appreciated it.

She wasn't the eldest or the bravest or the most beautiful. Respectively, Catie, Josie, and Ashley fit those roles. Maddie had always been the most privileged. Her father was the Earl of Castleigh—rich and powerful.

But privilege was not something one chose, nor something Maddie enjoyed. She would have much rather been courageous or beautiful or wise. Instead, she was frequently described as kind and tenderhearted. Boring descriptors, especially for a girl of eight, but she figured it was the best she could expect.

She scooted onto her bed next to her cousins, and Ashley elbowed her. "Well, that was fun, wasn't it?"

Maddie wanted to groan. Fun? Her insides still jittered from the so-called adventure, and her hands shook as they tried to hold the almond biscuit.

"You know . . . " Catie said quietly. Maddie thought she looked almost dead from fatigue. "Once we grow up and marry, we won't be able to have adventures like this anymore. Our husbands won't let us."

Now, this was a new idea, and one Maddie rather liked. No more climbing out windows. No more scratchy— er, rather comfortable —boys' clothing or dark city streets.

Josie sat forward. "When I become a pirate, I won't need a husband. I'll have loads of treasure all for myself."

"And I'm going to have lots of adventures," Ashley said. "I won't have time for a husband, especially a mean one."

Everyone knew she was talking about Catie's horrible father. He was even worse at being a husband than a parent.

"But how will you have money for adventures without a husband?" Josie asked. Maddie wondered the same.

"Well, I don't care how poor I am," Catie said confidently. "I'm not going to marry at all. Ever."

Maddie blinked. It was a shocking statement, one she couldn't imagine making herself. Not marry? Her father said it was a woman's job to marry.

Of course, her mother laughed at her father when he said that because her father always assigned women roles they didn't particularly want. Just the other day, when Maddie had tried to give a shilling to a little beggar boy on the street, her father scolded her because little ladies were not to consort with street urchins.


Excerpted from Blackthorne's Bride by Shana Galen Copyright © 2007 by Shana Galen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Blackthorne's Bride 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the Black thorn brothers in this book! Perfect male and female leads with just enough humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just love this series!
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van65 More than 1 year ago
Was a quick easy read. Held my interest.
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PaulaFL More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book, and I think it was a page turner. I thought the characters were fun and interesting. I would read all the books in the series, in order. The books are all fun and very easy to read. ENJOY!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fiancés, villains and bears, Oh-My! ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ Throw in¿2 battling brothers, 2 clashing cousins and 1 sensible suitor on a mad-dash carriage ride to the Scottish border all the while being pursued by a furious father with a shoot first, ask questions later attitude, and a dastardly Duke out for blood¿And you¿ll have a good idea of the seemingly insurmountable difficulties facing the hero and heroine of Shana Galen¿s newest book, BLACKTHORNE¿S BRIDE¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿. This charmingly written and pleasingly madcap road-romance is the third book in Ms. Galen¿s highly entertaining Adventures in Matrimony series which includes¿book #1, NO MAN¿S BRIDE and book #2, GOOD GROOM HUNTING¿but works very well as a stand alone novel¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ The story takes the unadventurous heroine, the lovely Lady Madeleine Fullbright, the handsome and brash hero Jack Martingale (Marquess of Blackthorne), a diverse cast of supporting characters¿and the reader¿on one of the most fast paced, comical and delightfully unconventional elopements to Gretna Green that I have ever read¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ Ms. Galen created an action packed ROMANTIC COMEDY that completely met¿and exceeded¿all of my expectations. Her story captured my attention from the beginning and happily kept me the turning pages, eager to find out just what she had in store for her characters around every bend. Also, their zany escapades and witty dialogue amused me to no end, but I never felt the author went overboard on the comedy. In fact, I felt Ms. Galen deftly blended the darker elements of the plot in with the humor, romance, and a fine amount of sexual tension¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ And really I liked both of the main characters¿yeah, THEY had a few flaws, but don¿t we all. G However, I thought their characterizations were compelling and very well developed. I thought Maddie was a very sympathetic character and never felt she came across as a spoiled little rich girl. She was good and kindhearted with strong protective instincts. And was always willing to reach out to help those hurt or in need¿be it human or animal¿which sometimes leads her to rush headlong into trouble and dangerous situations. Still, there was a charming innocence about her character that I found endearing. Maddie¿s fairly young now¿only 18¿and maybe a little naïve, and somewhat impulsive, but I think she has all the makings of a compassionate, generous, strong and confident woman. And I believe she¿s just the mate Jacks needs¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿. Jack Martingale is intelligent, virile, proud and arrogant, with a tendency to be a bit callous and somewhat domineering, but he is after all, a Marquess. And he¿s definitely an Alpha Hero, though absolutely not the abusive type. Jack shows the world a hard, tough exterior, but that just hides his insecurities. He¿s burdened with self-doubt and guilt-ridden by an incident that happened in his childhood. And though he feels the need to protect his loved ones, he¿s actually afraid he¿ll fail them. Jack falls into my reluctant hero category¿because he¿s one of those men who are much more decent and honorable than they think they are, or for some reason want the world to know. I liked his character quite a bit¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿.. Another reason this book works so well for me is that I¿ve always enjoyed reading road-romance type stories¿as the long journey really allows the author to show how the attraction, desire and passion between the characters develops. In this case it gave Maddie and Jack ample time to get to know each other, as well as, providing many opportunities for extremely intimate moments out of Regency society¿s strict and watchful eye. WELL-DONE Ms. Galen! If asked to choose, I¿d say BLACKTHORNE¿S BRIDE was my favorite book of the series, though I enjoyed all three books immensely. And I¿ll definitely be looking forward to more from this very talented author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Regency romance at its best, this current installment of Shana Galen¿s Misadventures in Matrimony series races over the pages filled with fun and plenty of action. ----------Lady Madeleine Castleigh is tired of fending off proposal after proposal from gentlemen of the ton only enamored with her dowry ¿ when not a one of them even knows the color of her eyes. Frustrated beyond endurance, she decides to elope to Gretna Green with a safe, respectable widower who will allow her to continue her benevolent work with charities. Lady Madeleine believes in many, many charities: from urchin children ¿ to a wounded black bear.---------------The dark and brooding John Phillip Charles Martingale, Marquess of Blackthorne, simply wants to enjoy a cup of coffee and the latest issue of The Times, but his younger brother Nick has other ideas. Nick has drawn the wrath of their archenemy Blevens. By insulting the man in front of the ton, Nick ensures the evil and powerful duke will not rest until he exacts his revenge upon both brothers. -------------When their escape involves stealing the carriage of the eloping Lady Madeleine, her fiancé, and her beautiful cousin chaperone, the journey becomes a galloping romp of throat-grabbing excitement. Will Blevens catch up with them first? Or perhaps Lady Madeleine¿s irate pursuing father will be the one to chase them down. -----------The danger and intrigue only heightens the unruly passion these two feel for one another. Of course, there is one small problem they are both engaged to others. ------------There is never a dull moment in this charming love story from beginning to end. Add it to your must have list and enjoy!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1801 London, the four preadolescent female cousins vowed to never marry. They form the Spinster¿s Club.--------------- Ten years later, two of the members have had ¿Misadventures in Matrimony (see NO MAN¿S BRIDE and GOOD GROOM¿S HUNTING). A third one Madeleine, tired of insincere proposals, plans to run away with scholarly Conlon Dover, a father of two. However, the fourth member, still unmarried Ashley jumps into the coach with them. Dover tells Madeleine they need a chaperone anyway she asks why since they are eloping.---------------- At a café, Marques John Martingale quietly drinks coffee when his brother Nicholas arrives. Nick explains that he humiliated Duke Bleven by calling him a rapist at a party. Bleven sent thugs after Nick, who explains that he also quoted Jack as calling Bleven an asshole. A moment later Bleven and his armed thugs arrive. Jack and Nick flee. As Ashley, Madeleine and Dover are leaving, Jack with his nose bloodied and clothing stained by coffee dives into their coach. Nick replaces the coachman and drives. Jack is instantly attracted to Madeleine who demands he take them to Gretna Green Jack says no. Madeleine is attracted to the roguish Jack, who steps out of the coach only to find Ashley¿s dad has caught them. Nick jumps her dad. Jack insists he must marry Ashley as they jump back into the coach and flee for Gretna Green with two dads, Bleven accompanied by his thugs, and who knows who else in pursuit.----------------- This amusing Regency romance will have fans in stitches as the runaways land in one predicament after another. The lead couple is a nice pairing while her cousin and his brother provide strong support once the audience understands their bickering started from meeting one another prior to this romp. Although the villain is dispatched too easily making the climax too fast and weak, readers will appreciate this hilarious historical.------------- Harriet Klausner