Published by HarperCollins e-books on July 1st 2008
Genres: Historical Romance
To Snare a Bride . . .
To Gabriel Devine, Duke of Wolverest, the bonds of marriage are nothing more than shackles. But if he's to remain a lifelong bachelor, that leaves only his younger brother to carry on the family name. Inviting the ton's most eligible ladies to an elegant ball, Gabriel is certain any one of them would be all too eager to become the next duchess and provide an heir—leaving Gabriel to continue his ecstatic pursuit of pleasure.
To Catch a Rogue . . .
Her social-climbing stepmother would give anything to have Madelyn Haywood betrothed to a future duke. But Madelyn believes the brothers Devine to be nothing more than heartless rogues—especially Gabriel, whose rakish reputation precedes him. He is nothing more than a slave to passion, and she will not be conquered by his caresses—and yet his wicked ways tempt her so . . .
At The Bride Hunt Ball (Devine & Friends #1)
By Olivia Parker
We’re going on a Bride Hunt…but I’m pretty sure it’s the Duke who’s afraid.
I’m finding it hard to write a review for At The Bride Hunt Ballas I’m not sure I could do it justice. It was bloody good and had all the things I absolutely adore in my historical romance reads. I think the humour was the highlight. Then again it could have been the quirky heroine. Some might think it’s the hero who steals the show with his straight-laced rules that get thrown out the window once he meets the heroine. We do not have formulaic characters in this story, and while we may see other storylines that are similar, I think the author has an individual voice that would be hard to reproduce and match. This is a story that has been out for years, but my first time reading this author. Thank you to my fellow Goodreads reading group members for bringing this wonderful story to my attention.
All the best-laid plans in the world can’t stop love or physical attraction. To me, that is the lesson to be learned inAt The Bride Hunt Ball. I started reading and almost immediately I had Mr Darcy in mind when picturing Gabriel Devine, The Duke of Wolveston. My favourite Mr Darcy is Colin Firth, but in this case, I couldn’t help but picture Matthew Macfadyen when I thought of Gabriel. The Duke has a stiff upper lip, stern visage, with a sensual side just below the surface. Gabriel is a Duke, so, of course, it’s his responsibility to marry well and produce an heir to carry on the name. BUT…Gabriel has no desire to marry. He hatches a plan to marry off his younger brother so he can produce the heir instead. The only problem is, Gabriel doesn’t trust his brother’s judgement when it comes to picking a wife, so he and their sister come up with the idea of the bride hunt ball. Now the process of corralling all these lovely young ladies takes time and dedication. Firstly, they must be beautiful. Secondly, they must have style and grace. The one thing they must not do is attract unwanted attention. Well then, how the bloody hell did Madelyn make the cut?
Madelyn has managed to avoid the marriage noose up till now. When she hears about the absurd plan the Devine brothers have thought up, she is quite horrified. How dare they make it a game to find a wife. Why would any woman with a lick of intelligence want to take part in a game like that? Unfortunately, her stepmother couldn’t think of anything better than foisting her off on one of those Devine brothers. Even though the competition is to find a wife for the younger brother Tristan, Priscilla, Madelyn’s stepmother, has her eye on a bigger prize. She thinks Madelyn should be aiming her wiles on Gabriel. Madelyn thinks Priscilla is crazy to believe she has a chance with either of them, especially considering a number of times she’s told she’s ugly, impetuous and a laughingstock. Madelyn tries to talk some sense into Priscilla with no success and she’s unfortunately thrown to the wolves.
Madelyn and Gabriel’s first meeting, and second for that matter are an absolute crack up. Madelyn does a great job of getting Gabriel’s attention, but not in an ideal way. Funny thing is, Gabriel is fascinated with her and is shocked to find out that Madelyn doesn’t see her appeal. No one besides family has been able to make him laugh or even smile like she does. Someone has convinced her that she is unattractive and it doesn’t take long for Gabriel to realise her stepmother is a scheming and nasty woman.
I really enjoyed At The Bride Hunt Ball. It was sweet, funny and sexy. The ending left me with a huge grin on my face and I loved every minute of their journey to happiness. Madelyn gets herself into trouble and finds herself in embarrassing situations regularly. At first, his Grace is horrified but learns to love her faults and all. It was nice to see him realise the gem he had in Madelyn.
I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.