Friday, October 20, 2006

A Perfect 10 -- THE STOLEN BRIDE

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THE STOLEN BRIDE – Brenda Joyce
De Warenne Dynasty, Book 6
A Perfect 10
HQN
ISBN: 0-373-77184-3
October 2006
Historical Romance

Adare, Ireland – 1818

Eleanor “Elle” de Warenne has been in love with Sean O’Neill for as long as she can remember. But her heart broke four years ago on the day he left to broaden his horizons and to find out just what he was missing in life, or so he said. Since then she has had no word of where he went, where he is, or how he is faring. Sean O’Neill, for all intents and purposes, is missing, and Elle has finally moved on with her life. As she prepares to marry a man she thinks she may be able to love, Elle cannot help but think of Sean and the agony he caused when he promised he’d return, a pledge he reneged on.

Sean O’Neill is not the man he used to be after spending the past two years in hell in solitary confinement in prison. Now he has escaped and is determined never to be locked up in closed spaces ever again. But he cannot help but wish for another look at Eleanor de Warenne one last time before he flees to America. And so he is back in Adare, wishing for what could have been and cursing his luck that he dared leave the one woman who has always accepted him without fail. His dismay at the fact that she is about to marry is only counterbalanced by his belief that she’ll be better off with Peter Sinclair, the son of an earl, and surely a man of greater honor than Sean. Elle could not do any worse and deserves the best that life can give her.

Eleanor is shocked and relieved when Sean turns up before her marriage to Peter. He’s come back for her! But things are not as they appear to be, and Sean is very different. His tortured expression hides what he has experienced in these past years, but she’s positive that she can fix him. When Sean breaks her heart one more time and tells her he’s only in Adare briefly, Elle is sure she cannot handle this pain again. Despite the fact that Sean could very well put her in danger by being associated with an escaped convict, he cannot stop wanting to be with her. Before he has a chance to think of what he’s about to do, Elle becomes THE STOLEN BRIDE, and now they’re both being chased by men who are bent on caging Sean one more time…

Brenda Joyce’s fans of her De Warrene Dynasty series will at once recognize Sean and Eleanor, who were first introduced in THE PRIZE. Growing up together after Sean’s mother married Eleanor’s father, it was always understood that wherever Sean went, Elle was not far behind. No one knew how much Elle’s infatuation would grow to become an all-consuming love for the man he would become, despite the fact that he’s her stepbrother. Now a grown woman, even after being separated for four years, two of which Sean spent in prison, Elle still finds that she cannot ignore her feelings for him. Sean has always been her better half, and now when he needs her help and love the most, Sean is determined keep Elle safe, even if he must cut off all ties from her and their family.

An emotionally sweeping tale of heartache, redemption, and rebirth, THE STOLEN BRIDE lives up to this reader’s high expectations for a Perfect 10 read. Intermingled within the novel are glimpses of some of Sean and Elle’s past history, giving more texture to just what these two have gone through together and singularly to get where they are today. Bittersweet and heartrendingly romantic, Sean and Elle’s love story is a tale for the ages. Fans will enjoy reuniting with others in the de Warrene clan, and it’s a very satisfying read to see just how the family comes together when one of their own is in trouble.

Settle in and enjoy, for you won’t want to put down THE STOLEN BRIDE until you’ve reached its conclusion. A LADY AT LAST hits the stores in December, yet another de Warrene book to look forward to!

Amy Cunningham

For more insightful reviews, be sure to visit Romance Reviews Today and RRT Erotic

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