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REVIEW: Lord Carew’s Bride by Mary Balogh

Dear Mrs. Balogh,

Now for the second report of the double-header. Wow, I really loved this book! Great follow-up to “Dark Angel.”

Love has not been kind to Samantha Newman, but friendship has. When her emotions are rubbed raw by the reappearance in her life of a villain who had broken her heart some years before, she turns with gratitude to the kindly Hartley Wade, with whom she had developed a warm friendship when she mistook him for a gardener during a visit to the country. She accepts his proposal, expecting a quiet, safe, undemanding marriage. She does not know that Hartley is the Marquess of Carew and that he loves her passionately–and believes she returns his feelings.

Carew-God, I love this man. He doesn’t whine or pity himself. He makes the best of what he has. And no false cure for his physical problems! He’s willing to try to forgive Lionel (boo, hiss) but when the chips are down, he defends himself and his lady. And he does a mean garden. I’d love to have him come take a look at mine. He seems like he’s going to make a wonderful father and would be kind to small animals.

Samantha-nice character development over the course of the two books. She believably went from a giddy 18 year old, gawking at London to a weary, more mature person at the end of DA. I can see how she’d want to spare herself from being hurt in love again. She almost went into a six year hibernation after what Lionel (boo, hiss) did to her and I loved her comment to Hartley that “You put sunshine back in my life.”

Cover- this man is plain?! Not in my book. I wanted the red head in the background with the dark haired man to be Jennifer and Gabe but was thwarted-bummer.

Marriage Bed- Aunt Aggy should not be allowed to give any tender young thing any sex-ed lectures. lowly count to 10 my ass.

3 Day Honeymoon- Hubba, hubba Hartley. The man is insatiable! He could give an erotica hero a run for is money. Definitely not a wham, bam, thank you ma’am kind of guy.

Boxing scene- Payback! Oh, this was great. I soooo love the ending. No grand forgiveness, I’m-above-all-that nonsense from Hartley. Lionel (boo, hiss) got what he deserved for hurting Hartley so many years ago and for hurting Samantha more recently. And Samantha had a nice touch of bloodthirstiness herself.

Fountain scene-YES, Samantha! You go girl. Kick him where it counts then jack-slap him upside the head. Hoo-aah!

I also loved the quiet scene at the end when Samantha massaged Hartley’s hand, something no one else had ever done for him. And when she finally realized and explained to Hartley that she loved him. That he is her best friend as well as her lover. Lovely ending to a lovely book. Thanks.

~Jayne

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

8 Comments

  1. Keishon
    Nov 14, 2006 @ 11:16:38

    You know, I’m gonna have to disagree with you on this one ;-) I know quite a few readers enjoyed this book but it was just an average read for me. This was one of the first Balogh’s I found and read. She’s had some winners like The Temporary Wife, The First Snowdrop and Snow Angel. I have Dark Angel TBR and I’d really like to read that one since you gave it such a high grade but Lord Carew’s Bride was meh for me when I first read it, like some gazillion years ago.

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  2. Jayne
    Nov 14, 2006 @ 11:27:54

    LOL, you’re not the only one who thinks it’s just “meh.” I won’t come to fisticuffs with you over it but…..you’re wrong! ;)

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  3. Phyl
    Nov 14, 2006 @ 16:02:02

    Thank you, Keishon! I’m with you on this one. It has been a few years since I read this, but I remember that I just couldn’t warm up to Samantha. By the time she developed some character, it was too late (I’d read Dark Angel first). I will agree that DA is one of Balogh’s better books. Her trads are SO much meatier than her new books. Why is this?

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  4. Michelle
    Nov 14, 2006 @ 17:29:25

    Sounds good, but do you have to read Dark Angel first or can this stand alone?

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  5. Jayne
    Nov 14, 2006 @ 20:36:31

    Reading Dark Angel adds to it but I think it can stand alone just fine.

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  6. seton
    Nov 15, 2006 @ 00:49:42

    The reason why I like LCB so much is that usually the faithful, unpreposing ordinary dudes like Hartley never get the babes like Samantha over gorgeous bad boys that makes your heart race like Lionel (boo, hiss!). If I was a heroine in a romance novel, I would go for the steady dude Every. Single. Time.

    That’s why I happen to like friends-to-lovers stories. . . . and yes, friends can have great sex too!

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  7. Julia
    Nov 22, 2006 @ 06:48:17

    Oh, I agree with Jayne here. I am a big Balogh fan and this is one of my favorites. In fact, it is one of my confort reads and I have reread it several times. I just love it!
    I love scarred, imperfect heroes and while I enjoy tortured heroes, it is refreshing to see one that is a beta hero. Hartley is nice and sweet, but at the same he is courageous and knows how to defend himself and his woman. And the friendship between him and Sam is beautiful.

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  8. Bobbi
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 08:04:54

    Just a funny thing. My best friend (and maid of honor)arrived at my house and gave me this book — on the eve of my wedding to Mr. Carew! It was a fun read for me and my Carew has all the sweet, smart and kind traits as Hartley too!

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