This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Duke Buys a Bride written by Sophie Jordan
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Series: The Rogue Files #3
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A bride wasn’t in his plans . . .
The last thing Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, expects to see after sleeping off a night’s drunken shenanigans is a woman being auctioned in the village square. Before he can think about the ramifications, he buys her, thinking he’s winning the girl her freedom. Instead, he discovers he’s bought a wife.
A duke wasn’t in hers . . .
Alyse Bell is almost rid of the shackles that bound her in a name-only marriage, but the day her friend promised to purchase her in a wife auction, he vanishes, leaving her to face a mob of unsavory bachelors intent on owning her body and soul. But the appearance of a wicked, wealthy stranger changes her path forever.
The road to ruin . . .
Marcus doesn’t know what to do with the impertinent chit who clearly isn’t duchess material! Insisting their marriage isn’t legitimate, they leave for his estate in Scotland, hoping to devise a plan to get rid of each other. However, on a journey fraught with misadventure, their attraction grows and Marcus realizes he’ll do anything to keep this fiery woman for his own.
Don’t want to read the whole review? Click to jump to the Skinny Review.
The Duke Buys His Bride was an interesting read for me, but it honestly didn’t blow me away. Unfortunately, I have been reading a lot of contemporary romances in the last few months and I am just not loving historical romance at the moment. THE HORROR, I know!
The Duke Buys a Bride is a forced proximity-love between social classes romance and it is unique in a way that it involves a wife auction. Alyse was wed when her father died when she was really young to an older widower with children. This marriage was done to protect her when her father passed away and in exchange, she would basically cook, clean, and raise the children while not actually being a wife in truth. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for Alyse, her fake husband wanted to marry again and they devised a plan to sell her at auction to nullify their marriage (this used to be a real thing, people!). The upside, Alyse’s childhood friend was going to purchase her and she would live happily ever after!
Unfortunately, this didn’t come to pass and her childhood friend didn’t show up. Unbeknownst to her, the Duke of Autenberry, looking and smelling like a stinky bearded vagabond, was in attendance and on impulse bought her without really knowing the consequences. The meat of the story happens after this point, with Marcus & Alyse traveling to Scotland together.
As I’ve said, I have a love/hate relationship with the close proximity trope and didn’t really connect with the Duke of Autenberry. In fact, I was pretty pissed at him because he acted like a freaking spoiled 5-year-old by leaving London in a huff after he discovered his best friend and stepmother’s relationship in The Scandal of It All.
While I liked the relationship build-up and character development, I was left wanting more. Like the whole book really felt like a novella and I was left hugely disappointed by the time I finished the book.
I was left wanting.
I think the saving grace of this book is the fact that there is a teaser for the next book – Clara’s book. But other than that, I was left wanting. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE Sophie Jordan! In fact, her contemporaries are one of my favorite books and I have been rereading her contemporaries multiple times this year alone! But to be honest, Sophie’s historicals have always been a hit and miss for me.
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Do you like the close proximity romance trope? What book do you recommend that I can try?