Title: The Bride Thief (2002)
Author: Jacquie D’Alessandro
Genre: Regency Historical, Stand Alone Novel, 357 pages
Reason for Reading: recommendations on message boards
At six-and-twenty, Samantha Briggeham knew her marital prospects were fading by the season and she was pleased by the thought. She had no intention of being betrothed–especially against her will–to a man she did not love. She had a plan…and it didn’t include being swept into a pair of powerful arms and spirited away by a masked rider. News of Sammie’s heroic rescue from undesired wedlock turned her into the toast of the ton, wooed by suitors far and wide. But she couldn’t forget the swashbuckling brigand who’d abducted her–something about him intrigued her completely. Then she met Eric Landsdowne, the dashing and seductive Earl of Wesley.His exploits were legendary, his life filled with danger. He was the elusive Bride Thief, who had his own reasons for helping young women escape the unhappy fate of arranged marriages, and whose true identity was a scrupulously guarded secret. But from the moment he rescued Sammie–only to discover she’d already managed to get herself un-betrothed–Eric knew he couldn’t lose her a second time. Marriage was out of the question. Which left only one option: A clandestine affair that might lead to scandal, social ruin, and the unmasking of a love-bested legend. . .
Ramblings: That JacquieD. She really has charm up the wazoo. She writes wallpaper historicals and I usually prefer something more meaty and serious but her combination of likable H/Hs, nicely developed sexual tension (a lost art these days), and witty dialogue is just winsome to me. It doesn’t hurt that I adore heroes with secret identities. That’s the reason why I primarily read this. Of course, the idea of a brigand who saves women from unwanted marriages is a little out there. You either accept or you dont. Once I did, I was so charmed that this was on the way to possibly being an A- read for me.
Unfortunately, my interest seriously waned for the last 100 pages. It actually look me an extra two days to finish it. Hence, the B grade. This is only my third JacquieD book and I am already seeing a lot of recycling here. The heroine is a classic independent, plain, bespeckled, bookstocking spinster whom the hero is still instantly entranced by, just like in the author’s Sleepless at Midnight. Then there is a passage in which the H/H both decide to end their affair that sounds like it was copied and pasted word-for-word onto the later Confessions at Midnight. I liked all three JacquieD books but I might have to quit while I’m ahead.
P.S. If anyone wants my copy of this book, I’ll be happy to pass it along. Email me.