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The Bartered Bride

Cover of The Bartered Bride

The Bartered Bride

Bride Trilogy, Book 3
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After building a fortune in the exotic East, American adventurer and merchant prince Gavin Elliott sets his sails for London to begin a new life. Then fate intervenes on an infamous island in the East...More
After building a fortune in the exotic East, American adventurer and merchant prince Gavin Elliott sets his sails for London to begin a new life. Then fate intervenes on an infamous island in the East...More
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Description-
  • After building a fortune in the exotic East, American adventurer and merchant prince Gavin Elliott sets his sails for London to begin a new life. Then fate intervenes on an infamous island in the East Indies where a European woman faces degradation and peril. Though saving her may cost Gavin his life, he cannot refuse to help the fierce beauty who touches his heart and soul with her indomitable spirit.

    Alexandra Warren is returning home from Australia as a widow and mother when a pirate attack condemns her to a life of servitude. A miracle arrives in the form of a steely-eyed Yankee captain, whose reckless courage wins them freedom and a safe passage home to London. Intimate strangers joined by too many secrets, they slowly begin to heal the past with attraction and tenderness--until an old enemy reaches out to threaten the passionate love Gavin has found with his irresistible bartered bride.

    From the Paperback edition.
 
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One The stones of the Tower radiated anguish and despair. How many prisoners had paced these rooms, praying for escape? As a nearby church bell tolled seven times, Gavin Elliott lay on his narrow bed, eyes closed. Soon he must rise and prepare for the trial that would begin today, but he preferred to hang on to the rags of a pleasant dream as long as possible. Transparent aquamarine water, white sand, Alexandra laughing with the vitality that made all other women pale by comparison.

    Alex. The dream splintered and fell away. Wearily he sat up and swung his legs from the bed. The stone floor had the chill of death. Two warders were always posted in the room with him, ubiquitous as the stony chamber's cold drafts. He'd lived shoulder to shoulder with other men when he first went to sea as a common sailor, but he'd spent too many years as the captain, the owner, the taipan, to enjoy this return to constant scrutiny.

    The door opened, closed again. "Your breakfast has arrived, sir." The warders were scrupulously polite. Not their fault the tea was prepared so far away that it was tepid by the time it reached the prisoner in the Bloody Tower.

    Moving to the washstand, Gavin splashed cold water on his face to clear his mind, then shaved with extra care. It wouldn't do to look like a murderous villain today. The face in the mirror didn't inspire him with confidence, though. Grief, strain, and weeks of imprisonment shadowed his eyes, and years of sun and sea had left him with a weathered, tan complexion that Britons considered ungentlemanly.

    The coat and trousers he donned were black for mourning. He wondered if his judges would consider that hypocritical.

    The door opened again. The taller of the warders, Ridley, mumbled a protest. The reply was much clearer. "I have permission."

    Recognizing the voice, Gavin turned to greet the Earl of Wrexham. They'd come a long way since that first meeting in India seven years before. Kyle Renbourne had been Lord Maxwell then, a restless heir running away from his staid English life. Gavin had been in dire straits, a string of disasters having driven his trading company, Elliott House, to the brink of collapse.

    After a night of talking and drinking they struck a deal on a handshake, and became friends as well as partners. That bond held even now that Kyle had inherited his father's honors, while Gavin was the scandal of London.

    Kyle crossed the room, his long coat darkened with rain. "I thought I'd accompany you to your trial."

    And in doing so, he'd make a public display of support. "Good of you," Gavin said gruffly, "but there's no point in tarnishing your reputation."

    His friend gave a faint smile. "An advantage of being a lord is that it doesn't much matter what people think about me."

    "It matters when one is assumed to be a murderer."

    With a gesture, Kyle cleared the room of warders. When they were alone, he said, "The investigator has a couple of leads that might prove who tried to make you look guilty. Pierce or your damned cousin are capable of doing it."

    Gavin shrugged into his coat. "It's easier to believe that I'm a murderer than that I'm the target of a vast, complicated conspiracy."

    "You're no murderer." "I didn't kill Alex, but there are other lives on my conscience. Maybe divine justice is catching up with me."

    "Defending your life and protecting others isn't murder. The so-called evidence that you were responsible for Alexandra's death is absurd." "It's strong enough to hang an upstart Scottish-American merchant." Especially a merchant who had angered powerful men. "Given the circumstances, it's not hard to build a case for me wanting...
About the Author-
  • A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author, Mary Jo Putney is a graduate of Syracuse University with degrees in eighteenth-century literature and industrial design. She has won numerous awards for her writing, including two Romance Writers of America RITA awards, four consecutive Golden Leaf awards for Best Historical Romance, and the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Historical Romance. The author of twenty-seven novels, Ms. Putney lives near Baltimore, Maryland, with her nearest and dearest, both two-and four-footed.


    From the Paperback edition.
Reviews-
  • JO BEVERLEY "Mary Jo Putney is not to be missed!"
  • The Oakland Press "[MARY JO PUTNEY] IS A BEAUTIFUL WRITER . . . She opens the door to another society during a different time and the reader is so much richer for the experience."
  • Romantic Times "Mary Jo Putney can sweep readers into exotic locales as easily as into the ballrooms and courtrooms of Victorian England . . . Another finely crafted tale by a mistress of the genre."
  • Kirkus Reviews "ANOTHER IN THE LONG LINE OFWONDERFULLY ENTERTAINING TALES FROM PUTNEY."
  • Library Journal "With its strong, courageous characters, high degree of emotional intensity, excellent writing, and compelling plot, this novel is classic Putney and a fitting conclusion to the trilogy that began with The Wild Child. One of the best authors writing today, Putney . . . has few peers when it comes to creating emotionally satisfying romances that connect with readers."
  • The Midwest Book Review "An exciting, action-packed historical romance that never slows down . . . The story line is loaded with a taste of an exotic 1830s environment. . . . Mary Jo Putney continues to provide a vast panorama of an intriguing bygone era by placing her romances in unique locales."
  • Publishers Weekly "A rich and realistic nineteenth-century historical romance . . . Putney knows how to create characters attractive enough to enchant readers without being too good to be true."
  • Rendezvous "Recommended . . . Combines passion with suspense . . . Cleanly plotted and well written."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Bride Trilogy, Book 3
Mary Jo Putney
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