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The Stranger She Married (Rogue Hearts) (Volume 1) Paperback – November 21, 2013
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From the Inside Flap
Immerse yourself in the Regency Romance era of Jane Austen and Lord Byron. Donna Hatch's historical romance romance novels will sweep you away into a magical new world.These meticulously researched and beautifully written Regency romance novels will transport you into the glittering world of Regency England, a unique era of British history.
Every "sweet" or PG-rated historical romance penned by Donna Hatch brings feisty heroines and tortured heroes together into a glorious happily ever after.
Dance with a duke, battle pirates, save a kingdom, and fall in love.
Believe in happily ever after.
About the Author
Author of Historical Romance and Fantasy, award-winning author Donna Hatch's writing awards include the internationally-recognized Golden Quill Award, the International Digital Award, and the Reader's Choice award. A native of Arizona, who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she is the mother of six busy children. All of her heroes are patterned after her husband of over 20 years, who continues to prove that there really is a happily ever after.
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Top customer reviews
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I loved this book. It has danger, suspense, mystery, and a wonderful love story. I see that many feel it is a copy of A Rose in Winter. I read that book, but it was over twenty years ago. I honestly don't remember. The same plot lines are used over and over in any genre. It is how they are combined and put forth that makes them different. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)
Plot and Setting: 3.5 -- Plot has unique elements and no major holes, but a few shaky bits and/or a slight lack of focus. I was quite certain of who Nicholas was under the mask from the start, but enjoyed spending the rest of the book trying to prove my theory until it was at last confirmed. But I would've preferred if that was the main focus of the plot, without the constant dangers and conspiracy against Alicia's family. The two pieces did overlap and influence each other at times, but they were so different that neither felt fully focused or polished. Setting (including timeline) is somewhat unclear or inconsistent. Time passes with only vague references to seasons.
Characters: 3 -- Main characters are mostly relatable, realistic, interesting, and/or dynamic. There were things I appreciated about both Alicia and Cole, for sure, but they were each also flawed, and they were flaws I found more irritating than sympathetic for the most part. Minor characters and villains are almost exclusively stereotyped or simplified, though we do get to know some better than others. Relationships between characters are not especially well developed, but what is there is generally good. Alicia and Cole do, in the end, have a solid relationship, but the nature of the plot makes it hard to see it forming along the way.
Mechanics and Writing: 3.5 -- A handful of typos, punctuation issues, or word errors, and a few choices that hinder understanding. Though historically accurate, the use of outdated words like 'vail' for a tip, or 'tiger' as the boy in charge of horses, is actually a bit off-putting. Probably more so because before we got to those words, the French phrase 'je ne sais quoi" was written 'je ne said quais,' which left me doubting the accuracy of the rest of her writing. It might be an older spelling of the French I suppose, but as that's not clear, it didn't work. Good use of POV (Alicia and Cole). Generally skillful writing. Evidence of careful planning and writing for the most part.
Redeeming Value: 3.5 -- Incidental uplifting themes or lessons. Alicia learns to look beyond appearances to find love and hold true to her marriage vows. She also learns to forgive. Cole learns that even well-intentioned lies can have complicated consequences. Sex, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified, but some definitely shaky ground, eg: duels, fights, piracy, lies, attempted rape, lots of flirtation and attempted seduction of Alicia by Cole (who knows full well she's married to Nicholas), deception that makes things seem more morally reprehensible than they really are.
Personal Enjoyment: 3 -- I liked it. It was enjoyable and entertaining. I wouldn’t mind re-reading it someday, but it’s not a priority.