HelenEdith's Blog

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Book Review: Elizabeth Mansfield – The Bartered Bride

Posted by HelenEdith on July 26, 2008

This book came home from the charity shop, and was new about 30 years ago, but that did not affect my enjoyment. Back 30 years ago, romance writers often married off their couple early so that they could have bedroom encounters, but that isn’t the case in this book: although the couple do indeed marry early in the book, this is not a plot mechanism to spend a lot of time in their bedroom.

Cassandra Chivers is the daughter of a self-made man – a “Cit”. She meets Lord Kittridge when he takes her side in a shop where the assistant accuses her of stealing. She falls in love with him on sight.

Lord Kittridge discovers that his father has gambled away his estates, leaving them heavily mortgaged, and as a result, he is unable to propose to the lady whom he had hoped to marry. Cassie’s father, finding out about this and about Cassie’s liking for Lord Kittridge, decides to provide Cassie with a generous dowry which will enable the couple to marry.

Of course, he doesn’t tell everybody everything. Cassie is most reluctant at first until it is represented to her that if she doesn’t marry Kittridge that her father will find someone else to do so. That brings Cassie round. Kittridge doesn’t have much choice, as he needs the money to support his high-spending family. However, he thinks that Cassie has somehow trapped him into the marriage and that all she wants is his title.

Our couple aren’t off to a good start. Love letters from Kittridge’s lost love don’t help matters. Not even an extended stay at Kittridge’s country residence is really working. Every time they seem to be reaching an understanding, another of those letters arrives.

In true Regency romance style, things do get sorted out by the end of the book though.


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