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The Bride Finder Mass Market Paperback – January 30, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

When reclusive, haunted Anatole St. Leger bows to fate and commands that the Bride Finder make him a match, he expects only a marriage of convenience, not a passionate love. But he reckons without the powers of the title character, his future wife's determination, or the family ghost. Beautifully vivid descriptions, captivating characters, and a magical plot with a few unexpected twists will not disappoint readers as this classic Beauty and the Beast legend takes on new, occasionally darker, dimensions. A first rate story of courage, acceptance, and the healing power of love by the author of Parker and the Gypsy (Silhouette, 1997).
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

A yeomanlike romance, with a heavy emphasis on the uncanny. Anatole St. Leger, a wild 18th-century hero complete with long, dark hair and the prerequisite scar across his forehead, has a lot more going for him than just his black clothing and his rough and ravishing ways. Anatole has supernatural powers: He is clairvoyant; he can move objects with the power of his mind; he knows when visitors are approaching his home and who they are; and he can unlace the heroine's corset without laying a rough and ravishing finger on her. Even the scar on his face is the result of his ``terrible'' St. Leger gift. Apparently Anatole's mother wasn't comfortable with the more magical St. Leger family talents; when little Anatole shyly levitated a bouquet of flowers in her direction, she panicked and threw a vase at him. Poor Anatole was brought up loveless and alone, hating his aptitude for sorcery. In order to bring some warmth to his crenellated castle (complete with ghost), Anatole summons the Bride Finder (the Reverend Septimus Fitzleger), and asks him to find a hearty, large-bosomed wife and bring her home to Cornwall. (Apparently, St. Leger men whose brides are not chosen by the Bride Finder are cursed.) Instead, Fitzleger brings tiny, fairylike Madeline Breton. Madeline is sensible, forthright, and outspoken; she doesn't believe in ghosts, and much of Anatole's time is spent keeping the truth from her. He is also distressed by his inability to elicit from Madeline the famous ``grand passion'' that St. Leger wives are supposed to feel for their husbands. (St. Legers pledge themselves to their mates not only until death but also through eternity.) The castle ghost, Prospero, a Medieval ladies' man, advises his descendant to love her``simply love her.'' There's also a mystery involving the St. Legers' archenemies, the Mortmains, but it's clunky, poorly conceived, and less interesting than the bedroom prestidigitation. Unsurprising but satisfying. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 403 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett Books; Reissue edition (January 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449003884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449003886
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Rondeau VINE VOICE on December 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
How does one describe perfection...The Bride Finder...would be one way. I sensed by reading some of Ms. Carroll's earlier novels that hers was a rare talent for combining deeply emotional writing with some uplifting sparks of wonderfully humorous dialog.
Anatole St. Leger is a very private and lonely man whose childhood left him with more scars than the visible one on his forehead. As head of the St. Leger family, he knows that he must marry and because any St. Leger man whose bride is not chosen by the Bride Finder is cursed he sends for the Bride Finder - a distant relation the Reverend Septimus Fitzleger. Anatole also gives him a list requesting a tall, large-bosomed, horse-loving wife. Well, the resident ghost Prospero - switches the list so that what Fitzleger does find is a tiny petite fairy-like creature that basically scares the hell out of our fearsome hero - the Lady Madeline Breton. The description and dialog of their initial meeting is pricelessly funny! Anatole definitely desires her but having never experienced any gentleness in his young life it was difficult for him to understand what exactly he should do or how to act with this woman who was now his wife. The legends state that the brides found by the Bride Finder would be the `soul mates' of the St. Leger men - passionate and all-loving. Anatole is at a loss and feels a complete failure that he cannot seem to elicit this passionate response from Madeline.
Madeline, something of a blue-stocking - possessed of a very sensible nature - had been the one that had kept her family from ultimate ruin so when approached by Fitzleger and offered a huge marriage settlement that would help her family from impending doom, she agreed to this proxy marriage.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lealing on November 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anatole St Leger lives a solitary life in Castle Leger, Cornwall. He comes from a long line of St Legers who are blessed with special paranormal powers. In Anatole's case he can see the future and sense the presence of a person who is close by. He can also move objects with his mind. His calling has come and he must surrender to his fate and choose his mate. He sends for the Bride Finder to choose his future wife. Anatole makes a list for the Bride Finder and sends him off to find his wife.

Madeline Breton agrees to marry Anatole St Leger by proxy, after meeting the Bride Finder in London. She is given a small miniature of the man she is to marry and falls in love with the picture. Her marriage settlement will also help relieve the debts her family have gained. Madeline arrives at Castle Leger, only to be rejected at first glance by her husband. For Madeline is not what Anatole envisaged his wife to be. She has turned out to be a fragile china doll and not the strapping lass that he expected. And Anatole is not what Madeline expected in her husband either. Far from being the poet like romantic the picture depicted, Anatole is a tall, strong, dark haired giant of a man.

With encouragment of the Bride Finder, Anatole agrees to take Madeline as his wife. But he is afraid that she will find out about his heritage, of his paranormal powers and of the ghost that haunts Castle Leger. He decides to keep all these secrets from her, for he is afraid that she will reject him. As time passes, Anatole finds himself falling in love with his fragile china doll but will she love him in return. Will he be brave enough to reveal to her his dark secrets.

This was a dark and gothic like read. A most marvellous read indeed.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Asaro on March 31, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book. In fact, it's one of the best I've read in a long time. The thorough characterization, the emotional depths of the people, and the chemistry of the hero and heroine worked beautifully for me. The author's treatment of the fantasy element--the hero's unusual powers--is also well done. It weaves smoothly into the tapestry of events and is crucial to the tale.
What made this book particularly special for me, though, was watching the slow healing of this huge, forboding man, a brooding lord with immense power that derives not only from his position in the real world, but also from his supernatural gifts. Yet hidden within him, buried as deep as he can bury them, are the heart-breaking memories of a small boy who had to bear a terrible loneliness. It is lovely to see the hero's ability to love come alive as his new wife unknowingly heals him, particularly because he so fears that he will hurt this small but baffling bride who looks more like a fairy queen to him than a human woman.

I also found it charming to see how the heroine stumbled through her social clumsiness, always with an accepting, courageous heart beneath her shyness. A few times I found myself wishing she would understand just a bit quicker how much the hero needed her. But this is a minor point that almost becomes lost among the wonderful positives.

Their wedding night is also well done. The characters come to each other almost as strangers, fearing they are mismatched, but with good hearts. It's charming the way they both try so hard to make things work out despite the unusual circumstances. The writing is effective; Carroll finds a good balance in love scenes, sweetly sensual without becoming mechanical or drawing out the scene longer than it warrants.
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