The Bartered Bride by Mary Jo Putney
Published by Ballatine Books
Why I read this: It was one of the 'just in' audio titles at my local library. The cover was pretty :)

Sweeping from the exotic temptations of the Orient to the ruthless grandeur of 19th century London, The Bartered Bride is a compelling romantic adventure that begins with a daring act of courage. After building a fortune amid the splendor and dangers of the China seas, American adventurer and merchant prince Gavin Elliott is sailing for London, where he intends to establish himself in the society that forced his family to leave in disgrace when Gavin was only a child. But fate intervenes on an infamous island in the East Indies when he tries to save a European woman being sold at a slave auction.

Alexandra Warren ventures to Australia as a young bride eager for adventure. A dozen years later she is returning home as widow and mother when a pirate attack separates her from her beloved daughter and condemns Alex to a life of servitude. Then a miracle arrives in the form of a steely-eyed Yankee captain willing to risk everything to set her free.

A shocking turn of events brings an unexpected alliance with her rescuer, and Gavin and Alex arrive in London as intimate strangers joined by too many painful secrets. Yet attraction and affection soon overcome the trial of their first meeting. Until the past reaches out to change Gavin's life—and threatens the passionate love he has found with his irresistible bartered bride.

This is a book that that I hope all my blogging buddies will read. Then I want us all to lobby for it to be made into a movie. It was that good.

Alexandra and her are daughter are kidnapped by pirates, seperated from one another, then sold into slavery. For 6 months Alex lives as a slave with no rights or opinion, and bounces from one owner to another. She has no idea where her daughter is, or if the girl is alive.

Gavin in a merchant ship captain. He arrives in the Indies and comes across a woman in a slave market. Gavin tries to buy her freedom, but it's forbidden by the Sultan.
Instead, Gavin embarks on a 'game' with the Sultan. If he should win, he gets to leave with Alex. If he does not win, then Alex is still a slave, and Gavin must dedicate 10 years of service to the Sultan.

The game that he plays is just the first exciting part of this book. It was very interesting, and I'm sure, a game that was played in truth during that time in history.

It involved tossing special dice, and completing a task according to the image that lands up. They were not easy feats that Gavin had to accomplish, but he did them nonetheless, and is able to leave with Alex.

In order to save her reputation, because Alex had become pregnant by one of her slavers, Gavin weds her. It was something that both of them did not want to do at first, but Gavin, who has a deep respect for women did not want Alex being shamed for returning home pregnant and unwed, so he insisted on the marriage.

Something I liked so much about this book is that nothing was rushed. Alex clearly had fears and reservations about entering into a sexual relationship with her husband, yet Gavin was so very patient. An ideal Hero in every sense of the word.

Several weeks after returning home, Alex is kidnapped and Gavin is sentenced to hang for her murder. It's an exciting, yet heartbreaking time. The suspense was killing me! I knew that Alex would get free in time to stop the execution, but as the story went along I was on the edge of my seat, I had doubts.

There is nothing bad I have to say about The Bartered Bride. Its an A+, and nothing less.
Both Alex and Gavin were amazing characters who I easily became attached to. There was not a single slow moment or plot problem that had me annoyed or scratching my head. The story was fast paced, but still slow enough to get all the right emotions across.

My goal is to seek out the authors entire back list and get busy reading. I hope they are all this good!


  1. Isabel // 10:14 a.m.  

    I'll start looking for this one. :)

  2. CindyS // 12:12 p.m.  

    This is one of those authors I think I have in the TBR pile and just haven't gotten around to. Love your review - even though there are obviously children in the story I think I may be able to read this one - with a hero like that I *should* read this story!

  3. Chantal // 11:44 p.m.  

    Hi girls,

    It was absolutely epic. I loved it :)