Posted by: Jennifer | June 8, 2008

At the Bride Hunt Ball – Olivia Parker

Parker, Olivia. At the Bride Hunt Ball. (New York: Avon, 2008). ISBN – 9780061355448.

Main Characters: Gabriel Devine, Duke of Wolverest and Madelyn Haywood

Description from Book:

To Snare a Bride . . .

To Gabriel Devine, Duke of Wolverest, the bonds of marriage are nothing more than shackles. But if he’s to remain a lifelong bachelor, that leaves only his younger brother to carry on the family name. Inviting the ton’s most eligible ladies to an elegant ball, Gabriel is certain any one of them would be all too eager to become the next duchess and provide an heir – leaving Gabriel to continue his ecstatic pursuit of pleasure.

To Catch a Rogue . . .

Her social-climbing stepmother would give anything to have Madelyn Haywood betrothed to a future duke. But Madelyn believes the brothers Devine to be nothing more than heartless rogues – especially Gabriel, whose rakish reputation precedes him. He is nothing more than a slave to passion, and she will not be conquered by his caresses – and yet his wicked ways tempt her so . . .

My Thoughts:

Once I started reading this book, I did not want to put it down. Sadly, I didn’t have any significant amount of time to sit and read. I carried this book with me as I went about my day – at work, doing errands, visiting friends and family – and read the majority of it in 10-15 minute increments wishing that I had more time to indulge myself.

Gabriel Devine, Duke of Wolverest, needs to secure his familial line. However, he has no plans to ever marry. As a solution, he is determined to make his younger brother, Lord Tristan, marry and beget an heir. He comes up with a plan to invite 8 young women to his home for two weeks in order to allow his brother may choose a bride. The invites are handed out to the lucky ladies at a London ball.

Madelyn Haywood, however, is not at all interested in chasing after either of the Devine brothers. She is at the initial ball because of her stepmother – who is quite obnoxious. The stepmother is determined to marry Madelyn off to someone with money, and she believes that the Duke would be a perfect husband. When Madelyn senses that she is about to be offered one of the coveted invitations to Wolverest, she flees and by doing so inadvertently catches Gabriel’s eye. I howled with laughter when she pitched a lemon at Gabriel.

Of course, Madelyn and Gabriel can’t stay away from each other. He does manage to give Madelyn the invitation to his castle (despite the fact that Madelyn is unaware of his true identity). Within the first hour of Madelyn’s visit, she manages to get stung by a bee, create a rather funny scene, fall into a pond and embarrass herself my calling the Duke, Mr. Devine. She is a delightfully klutzy character who doesn’t quite fit in with the gaggle of potential brides. This is why I loved her character, no doubt. She made me laugh.

Gabriel was an interesting character also. He is determined not to marry because of the pain caused by his parent’s marriage. He does not want to cause a woman the same type of pain that his father caused his mother. But, Madelyn captivates him, challenges him and seriously upsets his plans for the future.

Kudos to Olivia Parker on her first book. I look forward to what comes next!

Read first June 2008

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