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The Wife Test Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Brides of Virtue Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When a medieval-era nobleman needs to ransom himself but hasn't the funds, where can he turn? If he's the French Duke of Avalon, he asks the Convent of the Brides of Virtue, which has enjoyed the benefits of his protection, to deliver four marriageable "daughters" to King Edward. So begins this witty, rollicking romance between spunky Chloe of Guibray, a beauty with a questionable lineage, and the ill-tempered Sir Hugh de Sennett. Determined to uncover her mysterious English roots and see her friends happily wed, Chloe maneuvers her way into the group being sent to the king and devises "the wife test" to evaluate the best match for each lady. All would go well were it not for the stern presence of their escort, Sir Hugh, a rigid, pious knight whose ill will toward womankind is notorious. But even as he struggles to resist Chloe's charms, circumstances conspire to throw them together. Toss in reluctant bridegrooms, fractious brides and a murder attempt or two, and the course of true love runs far from smooth. The assorted maidens are types, not rounded characters, but Chloe has enough moxie to compensate for the lot of them. Despite a slow start, Krahn's amusing follow up to The Husband Test quickly blossoms into a bright, exciting adventure.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

To pay his ransom to King Edward of England, the duke of Avalon offers to send four of his "daughters" from the Convent of the Brides of Virtue in France to marry Edward's noblemen. An orphan who had been left at the convent as a baby, Chloe can't resist the opportunity to become a potential bride because she believes England holds the key to her past and her future. Much to his displeasure, Sir Hugh of Sennet is chosen by Edward to escort the "brides," and he soon realizes that he must not only protect the all-too-tempting habit-disguised women from his own lovelorn men but also from a mysterious group. Even after arriving safely in England, Hugh finds he still is not finished with the women because Edward now wants Hugh to help Chloe match the brides up with suitable husbands! Following Krahn's delightful The Husband Test (2001), this laughter-laced historical perfectly packages witty dialogue and engaging characters into a captivating romance. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425190927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425190920
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,676,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Terrific characters, subtle wit and well-researched period authenticity. Those who read and enjoyed The Husband Test will be delighted to once again experience the wily intelligence of the abbess of the Convent of the Brides of Virtue and her charges. When English King Edward holds a French duke for ransom, he contrives to send his daughters as brides to the king in lieu of a ransom - never mind the fact that he has no daughters! He asks the abbess to send four of her charges, which he will adopt as his illegitimate offspring. And so the king sends trusted knight Sir Hugh of Sennet to escort the maidens to England.
Chloe de Guibray was left as an infant on the steps of the convent and has little knowledge of her parentage. Now she has risked everything to travel to England where she believes the answers lie. She's passed herself off as one of the "brides" and winds up as their leader of sorts and a thorn in Sir Hugh's side. She's not afraid to stand up to him even while worrying that he finds her "objectionable". As the days pass, she wistfully contemplates how much she and the grumpy (but handsome) Hugh have in common, but his rigid beliefs preclude friendship of any sort - or anything else for that matter. What a shame . . .
The dutiful, brave, intense and gruff Hugh resents his mission and is rather unpleasant to the ladies in his care. It surely seems to the maidens that the testy Sir Hugh hates women, but that's really not the case. Hugh was raised in a monastery and in typical old church style, was taught that women are responsible for the lust that men feel and thus, should be avoided at all costs if one is not to be corrupted.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Wife Test" is a follow up of sorts to "The Husband Test," and is, for some reason, being marketed as a rollicking, laugh a minute kind of novel. While, "The Wife Test" is not a dour book, it is not a romp either (perhaps I don't have the same 'rollicking' sense of humour that the publishers have?). On the other hand, "The Wife Test" proved to be really enjoyable read, boasting of a clever and well written plot, and an engaging and courageous heroine, and one that (esp if you're a historical romance fan) should not be missed.
Having been taken prisoner after the French had lost the Battle of Crecy to the English, the Duke of Avalon (or more accurately his family) is now expected to pay a huge ransom before he will be allowed to go free. Except that the duke has already been stripped of nearly everything by the Edward III, and has little left to offer. A chance remark by his jailer gives the duke an idea. He is the patron of the Convent of the Brides of Virtue -- a convent that takes in and educates young ladies from noble familles in order to prepare them for marriage. The duke's plan is to legally adopt four such young ladies and pretend that they are his illegitimate daughters and to present them to Edward III as potential brides for his nobles.
And so he immediately sends word to the abbess to select four young ladies to pass off as his daughters. The abbess on the other hand is livid. Not only does the duke expect her to be party to his fraud, but he also expects her to provide the dowry for his 'daughters!' Reluctantly, the abbess decides to play along and she selects four young ladies of impeccable background to become brides to these English lords.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Setting - King Edward II England circa 1300's --- Chloe of Guibray, was a babe in a basket left on the doorstep and brought up by the nuns in the convent of the Brides of Virtue. As such she knew most all of the `secrets' kept at the abbey by virtue of her training as the abbess' clerk. - Those secrets she didn't know she was adept at learning, all except the most important one to her, which was her true origins. When she heard how the Duke of Avalon was asking the convent to deliver four marriageable "daughters" as a part of his ransom to the King of England, Chloe decided that this would be her chance out of the convent and to discover just where and to whom her mysterious English roots would lead her to. She maneuvered her way into the ransom bride party as `another' of the Duke's `daughters' and when arriving in England, convinced King Edward that it was her `duty' to administer the `wife test' to the prospective brides and grooms in order to match them up to the person most suited to each.
Escorting the `maidens' party to England was the ill-tempered, intense and very gruff Sir Hugh de Sennett whose ill will toward women was notorious - and most probably why the King, who was known to enjoy a jest or two, thought Hugh would be the perfect escort and later assistant `wife tester' along with Chloe. Raised in a monastery since the age of five by monks, Hugh did not hold the female population in any type of esteem at all - likening the whole lot of them to instruments of the devil whose sole duty was to corrupt all men! AND in his mind, the leader of this pack of females, Chloe, had to be the worst - why else couldn't he erase the image of her azure-blue eyes, and long white legs, from his mind!
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