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The Bride Sale [Kindle Edition]

Candice Hern
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

A Bartered Lady

Lord James Harkness is shocked to discover a "bride sale" taking place in his small English village -- and surprised by the depth of his feelings for the unfortunate gentlewoman being auctioned off by a disreputable husband. But is it honor and nobility that compel James to outbid the townfolk for the proud, beautiful lady -- or is it something more akin to . . . desire?

A Mysterious Lord

Verity Osborne is not sure whether good fortune or ill brought her to this dark, brooding man and his lonely manor house on the moors. Local talk brands James Harkness as evil -- but Verity senses a gentleness underneath. She dearly longs for her liberty, but his sensuous touch causes her to stay. However, James must first trust Verity with his secrets if they are ever to share love's rapturous freedom. And will the promised passion she sees flaming in his eyes warm Verity's heart . . . or burn her?

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Appalled to see a lovely Englishwoman about to be sold to the town's most repulsive bachelor at an illegal "wife sale," reclusive James Harkness, "Lord Heartless," impulsively bids for her himself and wins. But there is much more to Verity Osborne than he expects, and as she fights her own insecurities and struggles to maintain her dignity, she glimpses the tormented man behind Harkness's cold facade and sets out to save him with life-changing, ultimately romantic, results. Borrowing from both The Bartered Bride and Beauty and the Beast, Hern seamlessly interweaves diverse plot threads with a full complement of realistic, complex characters to form a poignant, compelling historical romance that is both true to the period and unusual in its detail. An old mystery adds interest, and the bleak and beautiful Cornish landscape lends a Gothic touch. Hern (Miss Lacey's Last Fling) is an established writer of well-received traditional Regency romances and lives in San Francisco. This is her first historical romance.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Candice Hern has always enjoyed escaping into the history and literature of Regency England. After years of re-reading the novels of Jane Austen and other women of the period, she by chance discovered the great Georgette Heyer -- and all her contemporary stepchildren -- and was instantly hooked.

Candice lives in San Francisco in a house cluttered with African violets, orchids, Regency-period antiques, and mountains of reference books.

Product Details

  • File Size: 256 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 038080901X
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (October 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000VYX994
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,845 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Premise falls flat, a novel, but not a romance February 14, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is most definitely not romantic. The author gets so involved with her 'noble heroine' and the worthy peasants clches that she and the hero barely exchange words. There is no witty dialogue or reparteee, any of the 'getting to know you' one would hope for before they actually do the business.
When they finally do 'it' at about page 200, it is little better than a near rape as she 'comforts' him when he is having one of his flashbacks as to the awful things that happened to him in the war. Then he is furious that she is a virgin and didn't mention it (not that she ever got a chance!) and tells her to get out and he will never touch her again. We get gory descriptions of the blood all over her and what a 'bloody mess' she looks, as if she is some thing, not even a person.
Only when her ex shows up and wants her back does James bestir himself to admit to her he likes her (big deal) and needs her. (selfish brute who wants to forget the war)
He is not a bad man, but if the book was not so seriously skewed to her playing Lady Bountiful we might get to like him more. The whole Lord Heartless image really starts to be unconvincing after the first couple of pages, but he does seem that way as we never learn anything about his former love, or his son--he even says he had only ever loved two people in his life-his first wife and Verity. Parents? Son? The depth of character is just not there.
The entire book was predictable, and the only real star was her depiction of Cornwall, which reads like something straight out of the wonderful Poldark series.
A highly derivative romance, with no sizzle and some very distrubing undertones, and inconsistent characters I never get to feel I care enough about.
I ploughed to the end of nearly 400 pages just waiting for something to heat up, but it left me (and the lovers I shouldn't wonder) cold.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark hero and a bride sale???? October 25, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Interesting story line that I had not read much about before. The hero (James) has gone off to the war in Spain and when he comes home he obviously has posttraumatic stress syndrome, which of course no one including him understands. At the same time, the heroine (Verity) is being sold, by her husband at an auction in a little town square. One thing leads to another and James ends up buying Verity from her husband. It is interesting to see how things progress. Verity is not made into his mistress instead she is introduced as his cousin, though many know differently.
The story progresses as you find out what happened to his previous wife and see how Verity comes to care for the town and those around her. Including the bad tempered James.
I enjoyed this story and recommend it to others as not the normal romance.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a very sweet book April 18, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ok I have to admit I was very curious about this book when I read the title. "The Bride Sale" could mean all sorts of things. I was very pleased to see that this was a very sweet story of a young woman, Verity, who has been put up for sale by her idiot husband,Gilbert. She stand proud and doesn't show any emotions even though she is scared to death. The hero of the story Lord James Harkness, or as he is better known, Lord Heartless, comes upon the auction by accident and can't believe his eyes. when he sees who may be the winner he imediately bids 200 pounds before he even really thinks it through. He has no idea what to do with her but he can't let her be hurt.
James is feared by the villagers. They have heard tales that he killed his wife and child and rather than let them know he is a coward he lets them think he is a murderer. Verity is very uneasy at first. She doesn't know what to expect from James. Verity soon realizes tht James is not evil but a gentle man who has suffered greatly over the deaths of his family and still sufers today after 6 years. She is known for her herbal healing and sets out to try and heal James's soul.
Jmaes and Verity are attracted to each other as friends and as lovers but so many obsticals stand in there way. When they finally do over come them you feel like cheering. This story was easy to read and very enjoyable. I plan on reading more from this author in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like a dark hero, this book is for you! February 7, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lord James Harkness is stunned when he hears a young woman being auctioned off to the highest bidder in the gloomy town square. When he sees the crude man who places the highest bid, he bids five times more and wins.
Verity Osborne is so dejected when her "husband" auctions her off to the highest bidder. Lord Harkness is a dark, mysterious man who now "owns" Verity, but what will he do with her? After she hears Lord Harkness called "Lord Heartless" and is told he murdered his wife and child, Verity is frightened beyond measure.
But beneath the troubled, tortured James, lies a man that needs to believe he is not the monster that people think. Verity helps him conquer his past and together make a future together.
If you liked To Love a Dark Lord by Anne Stuart, you will definitely like this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, weak plot (contains spoiler) July 28, 2011
By kcscarp
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The way that the two lead characters meet is unusual and promised an interesting story, but unfortunately the author couldn't hold it together. The bad reputation of the Earl is unconvincing, given that the people around him knew him his whole life. The eventual villain is too convincing as a friend of the Earl to turn out to want him dead. Considering how good some Ms. Hern's other books are (The Best Intentions being one), this one was a real disappointment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic with a touch of Mistery
I really enjoyed this beautiful historical story of James and Verity in lovely Cornwall, England. Two shattered souls looking for forgiveness, acceptance and a chance at love... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story and characters. I highly recommend.
Fabulous! I enjoyed this book very much. I've already reread it two more times. Main characters you can empathize with and enjoy their journey to healing and finding love. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mizgamer
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Hern's norm, almost Gothic
3.75 or 4 stars for this dark but poignant tale. The Bride Sale begins with a bang, as Verity Osbourne is auctioned off by her husband, Gilbert the Gambling Wimp. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mountaineer
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it.
I liked this story for what it was. A fiction story whether historical fiction, romance, or whatever label you may want to add, it was a nice read, not the best I've read... Read more
Published on May 14, 2006 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, with a real subplot
Verity is a heroine who discovers her inner strength, stops being a doormat, gives generously of herself to those around her, and discovers that she's okay after all. Read more
Published on June 24, 2004 by S. Reader
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring...
Gosh - how many ways can I say boring? This is a historical novel, it is not supposed to be one of the typical sweet regency romances that Ms. Hern writes. Read more
Published on July 23, 2002 by Annie
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to read!!!
The Bride Sale is a wonderful book to read! Once i started, I couldn't put it down. Candice has such a gift for showing how the two people fall in love and how they help each other... Read more
Published on June 26, 2002 by Alexian
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
If the very genteel Verity Osborne thought that having a halter placed around her throat and put up for auction by her husband was horrendous, then the person who actually won her... Read more
Published on June 5, 2002 by M. Rondeau
5.0 out of 5 stars `The Bride Sale
I thought Candice Hern was at the top of her form with "Miss Lacey's Last Fling" but she just keeps getting better! Read more
Published on March 13, 2002 by Lizah Martin
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More About the Author

Candice Hern is the bestselling author of Regency romances, historical romance novels set during the English Regency, a period she knows well through years of collecting antiques and fashion prints of the era. She travels to England regularly, always in search of more historical and local color to help bring her books to life, and prides herself on the detailed research that goes into each novel. Her books have won praise for their "intelligence and elegant romantic sensibility" (Romantic Times) , and have been compared to those of Georgette Heyer. Rendezvous Reviews said of one of her books: "Even Jane Austen would have liked this one." Her books have won numerous awards, including the National Readers Choice Award. Candice's award-winning website ( is often cited for its Regency World pages, where readers interested in the era will find an illustrated glossary, a detailed timeline, illustrated digests of Regency people and places, articles on Regency fashion, research links, and much more. The website also provides readers with more information on all Candice's books, including excerpts and a look "behind the scenes" of each novel. You can also find Candice on FaceBook (AuthorCandiceHern) and Twitter (@CandiceHern).

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