“The ending is absolutely perfect. If you like reading stories of/with Regency Romance, trust issues, a little mystery, marriage not made by love, learning to love, [overcoming] abuse, clean read (Lots of kissing), and finding where you are meant to be, then this might be for you!” ~ Kindle and Me
5 Star Reviews for The Stranger She Married
Within weeks of each other, Alicia Palmer has lost her twin brother and her parents, leaving her uncle to inherit the estate. But her uncle’s unfortunate financial failures have brought her family to near ruin, and it is now up to Alicia to save them all. Determined to keep what’s left of her family from the poorhouse, she has resigned herself to something she would have never chosen: marriage to the highest bidder. Alicia knows she isn’t a diamond of the first water. Who would ever give her a second look?
Word spreads fast when an eligible bachelor needs a bride and Cole Amesbury is everything that any well-heeled lady of the town would find intriguing — devastatingly handsome, filthy rich, and impeccably pedigreed. He’s known as a lover of all things beautiful–particularly beautiful women. Small wonder that he has a reputation as the consummate roué. But why is he blatantly pursuing Alicia?
At first I thought this would be a typical Regency romance, but I was happily proven wrong. The characters in author Donna Hatch’s historical romance are wonderfully realistic, well-rounded by their foibles and idiosyncrasies. Alicia’s modesty and vulnerability enhance her longing for true love and security. Cole’s seemingly carefree attitude and easy flirtations perfectly camouflage his hidden insecurities and personal demons. The attraction between Cole and Alicia was so palpable, that I rooted for their union with each scene.
Hatch seems to have a good grasp on what makes a good story. This plot itself was well thought-out and easy to follow. I eagerly turned each page to read more, and was far from disappointed. And when it became apparent that the deaths of Alicia’s parents and twin brother may have been far from accidental, the story just got better.
Donna Hatch has concocted a story with a charming blend of mystery and romance, sprinkled with snatches of well-placed humor. Fans of historical romance will find The Stranger She Married to be an enjoyable summer read.
Sensuality rating: Sweet
Reviewer: Gracey McCarthy from The Romance Studios Book Reviews
July 27, 2009
Alicia is out of options. Her parents death in a carriage accident and her brother’s death resulting from a duel, both left her to the mercy of her uncle. Her uncle is running through his inheritance quickly and will end them all in debtor’s prison by month’s end. Unless Alicia marries well. The problem is, all of her willing suitors disgust her. When Cole Amesbury arrives, she is swept away – until she finds out he is the one who shot her brother during that infamous duel. Cole had no idea that the young man had died from the minor wound he suffered a year ago. He had no idea that the enchanting beauty he just met was so affected by his actions. But he did know one thing – he wasn’t going to let her get sold off to the highest bidder. Even if it meant he couldn’t have her himself either.
My Opinion: A mixture of romance and mystery, this story is intriguing. Though many factors may seem unrelated or conflicting at first, the author does a wonderful job of tying everything together satisfactorily. Alicia is a strong character that really pulls you into her emotions, problems and personal conflicts. Cole is a noble and determined character who you just have to love. A little slow to start, the ending is exciting though I felt that it was perhaps to easy once you saw all the pieces. Twists and developments keep you turning the pages and wondering just how it will end. Great introductions to the main characters of later books. Good read – can’t wait to read the next one! by Clean Romance Reviews
It is an exceptionally well written book, filled with mystery, high adventure, and most importantly of all, a wonderful romance. Ms Hatch creates a wonderfully atmospheric book and just when the reader thinks she might have the mystery figured out, she throws in a delightful twist that leaves the reader guessing all over again! Regency readers will love “The Stranger She Married”. And I will be eagerly awaiting Ms Hatch’s next book! by Joyce DiPastena
Ms. Hatch still managed to keep me engrossed in her storytelling and often second-guessing what would happen next. The Stranger She Married is written in a more traditional regency style. Most of the story is of a rather low-key nature, and it is very character driven. It is also, without a doubt, a PG-rated romance, making it appropriate, in my opinion, for both younger and more sensitive romance readers. It has no curse words, minimal violence, and aside from a couple of passionate clinches, the love scenes are merely implied and take place off the canvas with no explicit details whatsoever. With its more subdued nature, I wouldn’t necessarily characterize this as a passionate, heart-stopping romance, and I normally prefer my romances to have a bit more steam. Still, in spite of it not being quite like my usual fare, The Stranger She Married had a very appealing quality that made me like it a lot.I think that there were two key elements which contributed to my enjoyment. First, the settings of the Regency balls, parties, social events and even the quiet solitude of a country estate were so beautifully and vividly rendered, it truly made me feel like I had been transported back in time to that era. The author certainly seems to have a good grasp on the history of the period, which lent the atmosphere a wonderful air of authenticity.
The other thing which truly impressed me was the dialog. I don’t think I have ever read dialog that is quite so fresh, varied and robust to the point that it is not only woven seamlessly into the plot, but it almost becomes a living, breathing thing in itself. I have certainly waded through my share of vapid conversations in romance novels, but the dialog in The Stranger She Married is never boring or inane, instead I felt that it really gave the story more genuineness and depth. The author skillfully uses it to build relationships, and occasionally there was some sharp, witty bantering which brought a smile to my face. It seems to me that writing truly good dialog would be rather challenging, but in my opinion, Ms. Hatch has done a wonderful job with it here. by the Hope Chest Reviews (read the entire review here)
I love Regency and I love a clean romance. Ahhhhhh. So it’s only natural to say that I really love Donna Hatch’s writing. She has a way of making the words flow while painting the perfect picture. When I read her books, I get so into the story. I feel like I’m watching a movie in my mind and I get swept away on a fantastic ride. She always has some sort of twist in her stories which makes it a lot of fun.
I actually read the second book in The Rogue Hearts series first (which I loved), so I was already acquainted with the characters a bit. I ate up this story. The characters were so real and the whole story just came to life. It’s a bit steamy in parts, but nothing that crossed my conservative boundaries. It might have bothered me that Cole was trying to woo (is that the right word) Alicia, except that I had some suspicions that made it okay for me. How is that for cryptic? I’m trying to write a review without adding spoilers. It’s very difficult. Let’s just say that I loved it and it made me want to read the second book in The Rogue Hearts series, The Guise of a Gentleman, again. And then it made me hungry for more…next book Donna? Andrea Wheeler Smith
The dishes piled up and I groaned every time the phone rang yesterday because I did not want to stop reading for even a minute! Loved every part of this book…the characters, mystery and especially the romance! The heroine is just the right combination of innocence, humanness, and morality. The hero is a great mixture of strength, sensitivity and mystery. You will fall in love with them both. The Stranger She Married is proof that you can have a wonderful romance without being explicit! I hope the author continues to write clean romance in the future! by Zette T.
Read more 5 star reviews for The Stranger She Married here.
5 star Reviews for The Guise of a Gentleman
I liked it even more than the first book. In fact, I loved it. The Guise of a Gentleman sweeps the reader along in an almost epic journey that begins in the proper, quiet drawing rooms of country manor houses, then moves to a daring high-seas pirate adventure, and back to England for an intense, nail-biting climax followed by a sweet HEA. I was sucked right into the story in the first chapter when the heroine rescues the hero from certain death and he thanks her with a tender but searing kiss. Things slowed down a bit for me after that, with the plot following the couple around from one country party to the next as they get to know each other and their attraction builds. About a quarter of the way in though, I was hooked again, and by the time they set out to sea, I was utterly enthralled and at times reluctant to put the book down.
Jared has without a doubt earned a spot on my all-time favorite romance heroes list. From the moment he kissed Elise for the first time, I completely fell for him. Jared is an utterly charming, mischievous rogue, but at the same time, he plays the part of a proper gentleman to perfection. Underneath it all, he isn’t quite the rake that he outwardly projects, which I loved. I thought this bit of his persona showed that in his heart he was looking for something special rather than just flitting from one ladies’ bedchamber to another, although he certainly could have had his pick of female admirers if he’d wanted them.
Jared was also a deeply tortured hero who was tormented by all the questionable things he’d done over the years as a pirate, even though they were for the greater good. At the same time, he showed a profound sense of honor by creating rules for his pirate crew that kept them in line and prevented even worse things from happening. He had also earned their complete trust and respect by being a strong leader, and even proved his loyalty to them unto death. Outwardly, Jared was strong and brave, but inwardly, he was lonely and broken, a man who wasn’t even certain of who he was anymore. I adored how his real self naturally came out when he was in Elise’s presence and he wasn’t afraid to show her his vulnerabilities. The scene where he seeks out her comfort after a sad, upsetting event in his life was thoroughly beautiful. Jared was also great with kids, showing tender affection for Elise’s young son, Colin and his cabin boy/tiger, Jose. I could very easily envision him being a fabulous father. Jared embodied all the qualities that I tend to love most in my romance heroes. I can’t think of a thing about him that I didn’t like, and he would be more than welcome to give me kissing lessons any day.;-) by The Hope Chest Reviews (read the entire review here)
Set primarily in England after the Napoleonic Wars, this Regency romance captivates the reader from the start. Hatch weaves her spellbinding tale in such a way that her characters, both major and minor, come alive and whisk the reader back to 1819. And they don’t release the unsuspecting until the story ends. Being a romance, the hero and heroine live happily ever after, but Elise and Jared ride a roller coaster of swashbuckling adventure that elicits smiles and tears, and almost doesn’t happen. The Guise of a Gentleman is a delight to read –I’m not a big fan of Regency romances – and Hatch’s research into the truth about pirates is immaculate. Although they step onto the page only near the end, they are realistically portrayed and so is the fate that awaits them. by Prirates and Privateers
This book was fantastic! I think I liked it even better than the first one. Jared is a wonderful and full character. Elise is sweet and brave and everything you could want in a heroine. The action and adventure pull you along, keeping you enthralled through every twist and turn. The side characters are full and fun, making the world of piracy come to life. Jared and Elise’s love is realistic, sweet and powerful. I got so caught up in the story that my heart pounded, tears filled my eyes and I just wanted to reach over and kiss my husband as I read it. I also liked seeing more of the other brothers come to life. I’m not sure whose story I am most looking forward to reading next – can’t wait for the next one! by Clean Romance Reviews
|The Guise of a Gentleman may have landed Donna Hatch straight on my bookshelf of authors to keep an eye on. This story was both tender, amusing, and full of suspense at the same time. From the very first, when Elise and Jared meet in that so unconventional manner, their playful banter and the subtle undercurrents that underlaid every sentence was mesmerizing. The question of just what Jared was hiding and whether he would get away with it kept me flipping pages far past my bedtime.Under Donna Hatch’s pen, every character comes vividly to life — I especially appreciate how Elise wasn’t a virginal young miss waiting to be Jared’s saviour. That departure from the usual tropes, combined with her son and her original intent to not remarry again made for a charming introduction to her. Colin, contrary to what I though, wasn’t a throwaway character. He and his relationship with his mother formed the basis of much of the story and it was a joy to read.
Now that I’ve picked this story up, I can’t wait to see if Jared’s brothers will find wives of their own in upcoming books. Grant, for example, I positively await his fall into love with evil glee. by Night Owl Reviews
Ms. Hatch uses secondary characters to reveal much about the mores of polite society and to show the under belly of society. Some of these characters operate in both segments, some to do good deeds and some to do evil.
Donna Hatch weaves the relationship of Elise and Jared with unbreakable threads of caring and incredible love. This thread gleams like gold in a plot full of dark intrigues. by The Long and Short Reviews
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