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The Bartered Bride Hardcover – April 30, 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Setting: The East Indies and London, 1834

Sensuality: 7

Lovely widow Alexandra Warren and her young daughter are sailing from Australia to the haven of her family in London when pirates attack their ship and they are captured, separated, and Alex is sold into slavery. Six months later, Captain Gavin Elliott drops anchor at the island of Maduri and is shocked to find a European woman being auctioned in the slave market. Alex clings to hope when the handsome sea captain offers to buy her, but the ruling Sultan of Maduri has plans for Gavin and shrewdly views Alex's plight as a means to control him. Through strength, courage, and wisdom, Gavin thwarts the Sultan's plans, but after surviving the dangers of the South Seas, Alex and Gavin are faced with a more lethal threat when they arrive in London. This time, whether either of them will survive the evil that threatens their lives is anyone's guess.

The exotic locale of the East Indies contrasts vividly with polite London society in this third tale in Ms. Putney's trilogy (The Wild Child and The China Bride). The plot has enough twists and turns to satisfy the most devoted of mystery fans while the relationship between hero and heroine is complicated and the secondary characters well drawn. The author's exploration of British politics, slavery in the 1830s, and London society adds depth and texture to the novel. --Lois Faye Dyer

From Publishers Weekly

This final volume in a popular trilogy (The Wild Child; The China Bride) is a rich and realistic 19th-century historical romance. Gavin Elliott, captain of his trading company's flagship, has been traveling the East Indies since the death of his young wife and infant daughter. Alexandra Warren, too, is widowed; soon after she and her daughter leave Australia for England, their ship is taken by Malaysian pirates and she is abducted. When Gavin visits Malaysia as the guest of a local sultan, he sees Alexandra on the block at a slave auction. As soon as he sets eyes on the indomitable Englishwoman, their fates are united. After a series of trials (including wrestling a giant lizard), Gavin is allowed to bring Alexandra back to England, but their worst problems are not yet behind them. Putney knows how to create characters attractive enough to enchant readers without being too good to be true. Gavin is gallant and romantic¢he risks his life for a woman he doesn't know, marries her to protect her reputation and understands her physical reticence after her traumatic experience¢but he is not without doubts and desires. Alexandra, for her part, believes that Gavin helps her out of chivalry, but she is too gracious and too aware of her position to reject his aid. Both characters have vivid inner lives and thoroughly imagined personalities. Their union is inevitable¢this is a romance novel¢but their journey from strangers to spouses to true lovers is utterly authentic.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345437055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345437051
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,418,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rebecca Huston on February 28, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like books that start off with a bit of a bang. This one certainly does.

In the Tower of London, an adventurer is awaiting trial for the murder of his wife, whom he loves quite dearly. For Gavin Elliot life on the seas and dry land has been a long series of hairbreadth escapes, and winning the love of not one, but two women. Now he's lost everything.

We get the heroine, the blond and beautiful Alexandra Warren in the middle of a pirate attack in the East Indies. Recently widowed, and with her young daughter, Katie, in tow, she's seeking to return to England and her family. But captured by pirates from a close by island, not only is she separated from her beloved daughter, she is subjected to a life of horrors.

Noted romance author Mary Jo Putney gives us another entry in her "Bride" series, with the title in this one coming from the events surrounding Alex's captivity by the decadent Sultan Kasan. The Sultan offers Elliot a choice -- to rescue Alex he must win at the challenges of the Lion's Game, or help the sultan build a merchanting empire. The fact that the sultan uses piracy to terrorize local shipping is a little matter here as well -- and Elliot has pressing business in England over a touch of revenge. How he manages to outwit the Sultan and rescue Alex and her daughter makes for one of the more entertaining sections of the novel.

Returning to England, our two main characters have managed to make a marriage of convenience, but further troubles await in persistant would-be lovers, a pack of in-laws (mostly characters from previous Putney novels that I found to be distracting), and that murder charge that the novel opened with. While I don't mind flashbacks as a plot device, sometimes it gets annoying.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mary Jo Putney is never afraid to tackle more complicated issues in her historical romances (i.e. alcoholism in "The Rake" and depression in "Veils of Silk"), and she takes on some doozies in "The Bartered Bride"--slavery, rape and its aftermath.

The heroine, Alexandra Warren, is a young widow who is traveling back to England from Austrailia with her young daughter when their ship is attacked by pirates in the East Indies and Alex is sold into slavery. Six months later, Captain Gavin Elliott is visiting the island of Maduri and sees Alex being sold in the local slave market and attempts to buy her freedom. The Sultan of Maduri refuses to let him, recognizing that Gavin's concern for the English slave woman may be a way to control the independent Captain. Gavin must risk his own freedom and even his life in a series of tasks known as "The Lion Game" before the Sultan will agree to release Alex.

Gavin is about as decent a guy as you will ever find in a historical romance and Alex is a *very* strong heroine. The story is complicated and the situations heart-wrenching as Gavin tries to help Alex recover from the abuse that she endured as a slave and resume her life. This is definitely *not* light, fluffy romance, but it is different and interesting and very well-written for the most part. (The boiler-plate last minute rescue scene at the end was a bit over-dramatic for my taste, but was fun to read if a bit predicable.)

A well-written book about a complicated subject with a wonderful hero and strong heroine.
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Format: Hardcover
Okay, I have to share right off the bat, this is my first Mary Jo Putney book. How this writer escaped me, I'll never know. To say she is a SUPERB writer is almost an understatement.
Accosted by pirates while traveling back to London with her small daughter, Alexandra Warren finds herself sold into slavery. She immediately finds herself separated from her young daughter. Unable to accept this, or her captivity, she's passed from master to master because of her unwillingness to accept her fate. It's not long before she finds herself on the block in the market, being sold to the highest bidder.
Gavin Elliott, merchant prince of the high seas, finds himself touring a foreign island with a feared Sultan. Because the Sultan is trying to court his agreement on a business venture, he's giving Gavin the red carpet treatment. While touring the market area, Gavin finds himself entranced by the woman who's up for auction. When he realizes she's a European, he feels obligated to do what he can to help her escape her fate. The only way the Sultan will allow Alexandra to be free, is for Gavin to compete against him in an ancient challenge-if the Sultan wins, he gets Gavin in service for ten years. If Gavin wins, he gets
Alexandra, and the Sultan will trace her daughter. Finding himself unable to let the beautiful Alexandra suffer, Gavin agrees. He's faced with many tough challenges-but the toughest is something he'd never dreamed of. Can he betray Alexandra's trust and grant their freedom?
Alexandra is bitter and scarred, and can't imaging allowing a man to touch her and enjoying it. But she finds Gavin a beautiful person, both inside and out. A man who's good and moral, she wishes she'd met him long before.
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