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The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride: A Regency Historical Romance

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Marriage… To the highest bidder Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections, or dare Lydia hope that th Marriage… To the highest bidder Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections, or dare Lydia hope that the charming stable boy she once loved is still within her ruthless, wealthy new husband? “Virginia Heath’s writing is as warm, witty, and insightful as ever...one of the best authors of historical romance around.” —All About Romance on The Determined Lord Hadleigh “I loved every minute of this story along with the wonderful witty moments that I have come to love from Virginia Heath’s writing.” —Rae Reads on The Determined Lord Hadleigh


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Marriage… To the highest bidder Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections, or dare Lydia hope that th Marriage… To the highest bidder Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections, or dare Lydia hope that the charming stable boy she once loved is still within her ruthless, wealthy new husband? “Virginia Heath’s writing is as warm, witty, and insightful as ever...one of the best authors of historical romance around.” —All About Romance on The Determined Lord Hadleigh “I loved every minute of this story along with the wonderful witty moments that I have come to love from Virginia Heath’s writing.” —Rae Reads on The Determined Lord Hadleigh

30 review for The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride: A Regency Historical Romance

  1. 4 out of 5

    OLT

    I just discovered Virginia Heath a couple of months ago and immediately put her into my list of favorite HR authors, mostly because of how much I liked REDEEMING THE RECLUSIVE EARL and THE DISCERNING GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE. Those two had a lovely balance of humor and romance, with smart banter and intelligent dialogue. This new one is nicely written, is romantic, and deals well with the topics of misapprehension, misunderstanding, resentment, and forgiveness. What I missed here, however, was the humor I just discovered Virginia Heath a couple of months ago and immediately put her into my list of favorite HR authors, mostly because of how much I liked REDEEMING THE RECLUSIVE EARL and THE DISCERNING GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE. Those two had a lovely balance of humor and romance, with smart banter and intelligent dialogue. This new one is nicely written, is romantic, and deals well with the topics of misapprehension, misunderstanding, resentment, and forgiveness. What I missed here, however, was the humor and wit of those two favorites mentioned above. There was a bit of levity in the relationship between the hero here and his business partners, but the H/h relationship, although satisfying after getting over the initial intransigence and willful misunderstanding on the heroine's part, did not have that spark of humor and fun of the other two. Granted, the topic here is relatively serious. Young star-crossed lovers, not from the same social class, separated by tragic events for almost 10 years, reunited, but there's resentment keeping them apart. Not to mention that social class difference still existing, since he is a former stable boy turned successful businessman and she is the daughter of a peer. When he worked as a stable boy at her father's estate, he was falsely accused of stealing from the household and sent to Australia for 7 years or so. Although in love with him, she was convinced by her family that he had really committed the crime. Now he's back and things don't look so good as far as their relationship is concerned. But her daddy is a piece of work who needs money and is about to arrange her marriage to a sleazy marquess to get his debts paid off. Our hero doesn't like this idea and "buys" her for himself. Now we have not only a second-chance romance but also a marriage-of-convenience romance to sit back and enjoy. And a bit of a mystery because the hero wants to prove his innocence once and for all, which means he needs to uncover the actual thief of years ago. This is a good romance. Perhaps if I hadn't read the other two that were more to my liking I would have awarded it more stars. Heath still remains in my list of HR authors worth reading.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ItaPixie

    This is the story of Lady Lydia who fell in love with a stable boy, Owen, when she was 16 years old. Their young illicit love story was abruptly interrupted when he was accused and found guilty of stealing from her house, even going so far as taking her dying mother's pearls. After the trial Owen was sent away to pay is debt with the justice and Lydia felt stupid and betrayed. Now he is back and their lives intewine once again as if fate wants to play with them. Owen is determined to prove his inn This is the story of Lady Lydia who fell in love with a stable boy, Owen, when she was 16 years old. Their young illicit love story was abruptly interrupted when he was accused and found guilty of stealing from her house, even going so far as taking her dying mother's pearls. After the trial Owen was sent away to pay is debt with the justice and Lydia felt stupid and betrayed. Now he is back and their lives intewine once again as if fate wants to play with them. Owen is determined to prove his innocence but without any evidence it's really difficult to regain Lydia's trust and benevolence. The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride is a brilliant new addiction to Virginia Heath historical novels. The chemistry and the affection between Lydia and Owen show in their every interactions and you can’t help but be angry for them for the things they have had to endure and to root for their happily ever after. Copy kindly provided by the Publisher/Author.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lu

    A hero emerged from the stables and reached London's fanciest ballrooms, after a little detour to the Antipodes. The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride by Virginia Heath is a lovely cross-class, second-chance, enemies-to-lovers historical romance. Owen Wolf made it. He went from a poor stable boy to a powerful man received, even if reluctantly, by London's most prestigious families. He had enough money and power to get all his wishes. The only thing his money could not get him was the respect of Lady Lyd A hero emerged from the stables and reached London's fanciest ballrooms, after a little detour to the Antipodes. The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride by Virginia Heath is a lovely cross-class, second-chance, enemies-to-lovers historical romance. Owen Wolf made it. He went from a poor stable boy to a powerful man received, even if reluctantly, by London's most prestigious families. He had enough money and power to get all his wishes. The only thing his money could not get him was the respect of Lady Lydia Barton. Owen and Lydia had not always been enemies. They quite liked each other back when Owen worked for Lydia's father. But when Owen was accused of stealing her mother's jewels, Lydia did not defend him, and he was transported to the Antipodes. Years later, he was back in London, and she was about to marry a horrible man twice her age. I love a cross-class romance, especially with a good dose of angst and repressed love. My heart hurt for Lydia. She was so neglected by her family and so unloved. All her efforts to please were turned against her in the cruelest of manners. Owen is my kind of hero. Self-made man, confident, but not in matters of the heart, loyal, sweet, and always so thoughtful and chivalrous. There are some villainous side characters to create enough opposition without being overly dramatic or taking the focus out of the love story. But not all side characters are villains. Randolph and Gertie are the kind of friends everyone wishes to have. He is a dwarf that runs a gaming hell. Both he and Gertie were simply adorable. The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride is lovely, uplifting, and entertaining. Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    K.S. Marsden

    Lady Lydia has no say in her future. She thinks it's bad being engaged to a hideous old lord; but it's even worse when she's bought by a man she hates, who only wants her title. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I've got to say that I thoroughly enjoy reading Heath's work, and always jump at the chance to read a new book. I always think she does a great job of balancing the romantic and historical aspects, as well as delivering solid plots each time. Lady Lydia Barton has the Lady Lydia has no say in her future. She thinks it's bad being engaged to a hideous old lord; but it's even worse when she's bought by a man she hates, who only wants her title. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I've got to say that I thoroughly enjoy reading Heath's work, and always jump at the chance to read a new book. I always think she does a great job of balancing the romantic and historical aspects, as well as delivering solid plots each time. Lady Lydia Barton has the title, the charm and the beauty; but after being betrayed by the boy she loved at sixteen, she has rejected any further suitors. Now she's a spinster, and her cold-hearted father's poor finances means that he's ready to sell his daughter to the highest bidder. It seems that fate is playing a very cruel joke - the stableboy she loved (until he stole her dying mother's jewels) has returned from the penal colony of Australia, and has become one of the richest men in London. Owen Wolfe knows that he is innocent, but nobody cares about the opinion of a lowly stableboy, when he is accused by a noble family. When that same noble family is in dire straits, Owen has the chance to exact his revenge, or find his redemption, he hasn't quite decided yet. I enjoyed this story, as it follows the two engaging in a marriage of convenience, whilst dancing around old feelings. Owen tries to uncover the truth, unable to move forwards until he has proven his innocence to the world. But the truth comes at an awful price that he may never share it. I liked that Heath doesn't shy away from the worst parts of sending criminals to Australia. For the nobles England, they are sweeping away convicts, without giving them a second thought. Owen survives the inhumane journey and you get to find out more about life in the penal colony. I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Heath's work.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Frankie (Chicks, Rogues and Scandals)

    When I heard that the next book by Virginia Heath was going to be a mix of two favourite tropes; Marriage of Convenience and Enemies to Lovers (which just happens to be my favourite romance trope – I think everyone knows that by now) I knew instantly that we would be in for a whopping great book. And as always Virginia has gone and knocked ball of greatness out of the game and moved the goalposts of how historical romances books are written, the same goal posts which all historical romance autho When I heard that the next book by Virginia Heath was going to be a mix of two favourite tropes; Marriage of Convenience and Enemies to Lovers (which just happens to be my favourite romance trope – I think everyone knows that by now) I knew instantly that we would be in for a whopping great book. And as always Virginia has gone and knocked ball of greatness out of the game and moved the goalposts of how historical romances books are written, the same goal posts which all historical romance authors aim for. Honestly, is there no end to this amazing woman’s ability to entertain us, loyal readers? This is a fabulous addition to her rapidly expanding writing CV! I believe this is her fifteenth book (I could be wrong if I am then do let me know) in what; four/five years? That is impressive, and as ever I am in complete awe of her…I think I best actually say something about the book, instead of embarrassing us all with the constant fangirling waffle! Wolfe by name wolf by nature, isn’t that how it’s supposed to go? I don’t think lovely Owen is quite a wolf, true he maybe roguish scoundrel and underneath is twinkling charm and this endearing boyishness I did think there was a ruthless, hardened and steal quality about him, but he isn’t a wolf. Which I did found a tad disappointing I wanted him to be a rougher – especially regarding what he had been through, but hey, that’s just me, I’m a bit weird. Apart from that, he is an amazing hero, I have always loved a self-made man, a man who has really fought and worked his arse off to get to where he is; and that is Owen! Virginia has done the most amazing job at creating a genuinely lovable rogue, a down on his luck lad who became the master of his realm. A man who every woman with a pulse will instantly fall in love with just doesn’t think of taking him from me…..I have my handbag at the ready for a duel He started his life in a decent job as a stable hand, then for things to take a wrong turn and suddenly he had nothing, and now he is the owner of a Gaming Hell, he has aspirations, his has vision, he is a proud, stubborn, complex and intelligent man. Yet despite having his world turned topsy-turvy, he has succeeded, and beneath that money magnet lies the heart of a kind, caring and compassionate man – a man who can’t for the life of him see the woman whom he loved all those years ago being sold off to a viper. After being wrongfully accused and eventually transported for stealing, he has spent many years trying to regain his place in the world and he has worked hard, bloody hard to amass the fortune he has in his bank account and now the not so bad boy is back – much to the unease of the woman he loved all those years ago, a woman who he will never forgive, and yet he can’t seem to get said woman out of his mind. Lydia is on the threshold of a marriage, she is going to be sold out to the highest bidder as her family are in dire straights, their huge wealth has gone and now her father needs to fill the family coffers and the only way to do that is to sell off his daughter even if that means selling her to the vile, evil and most likely murderous Lord Kelvedon. That is until the rakish, super gambler; Owen Wolfe steps in and literally wins her hand. Now they are together, they not only must face life as man and wife when they detest each other but they soon find themselves on a hunt to clear Owen name, because if he didn’t steal those dratted jewels, then who did? I love, love, love that period when they are married, they still don’t completely trust or like each other and yet, there is a passion brewing, the air is tingling with pent up frustration, anger, lust, and confusion. I have always loved a good-natured battle between the couple and add in Virginia’s solid and brilliant wit you have fun and fireworks, but there are also some real emotional and heart-warming moments, it was in those instances where I warmed a little more to Lydia, as before that I wasn’t sure about her, but she soon won me over. This is a wonderful escapist read, it takes the reader on a journey of discovery to find that all-elusive happily ever after. It has everything we loyal readers have come to love about Virginia heath’s writing; a perfect fiery romance full or real wit and raw passion, two intriguing characters who pull the reader into their lives and it is a real joy getting to know them and watch them grow and change from two warring individuals to an unbreakable couple. But don’t think this is all about the romance, I love that there is an intriguing mystery that hovers around in the background giving this a bit of a different feel to other romances. Again another aspect I love about the historical genre, I love a good mystery entwined with the romance. This was an Arc via the author which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Virginia. x

  6. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: StandAlone Publication Date: 7/1/20 Number of Pages: 288 *** 4.5 Stars Rounded Up *** OMGoodness! Lady Lydia Barton’s family gives a whole new meaning to cruel and dysfunctional! She’s up for sale, literally, to the highest bidder. Well, not exactly the highest bidder because they would never entertain an offer of any sort from Owen Wolfe – until … they did. I loved both Lydia and Owen but had to wonder how they came to be such good people given their beginnings. The book is excellently writ Series: StandAlone Publication Date: 7/1/20 Number of Pages: 288 *** 4.5 Stars Rounded Up *** OMGoodness! Lady Lydia Barton’s family gives a whole new meaning to cruel and dysfunctional! She’s up for sale, literally, to the highest bidder. Well, not exactly the highest bidder because they would never entertain an offer of any sort from Owen Wolfe – until … they did. I loved both Lydia and Owen but had to wonder how they came to be such good people given their beginnings. The book is excellently written and conveys the emotions and conflicts wonderfully. Ten years ago, Lady Lydia Barton was a sixteen-year-old girl who fell head-over-heels in love … with the new stable boy. Yes, that is a highly inappropriate and unlikely match, but she doesn’t care. He is wonderful – he actually ‘sees’ her – who she is – and nobody else does. Then, he does the unthinkable. He steals from her family and is caught red-handed. When he is dragged off in manacles, she is heartbroken. Her heart doesn’t think he’s guilty – but she’s seen the proof first hand. Lydia has had offers of marriage since then, but nobody touched her heart. That doesn’t matter any longer – her father has just announced that she must do her duty to the family and save them from financial ruin. She has no choice – no matter how loathsome the man is. Owen Wolfe was orphaned at eight and came to work at the Barton’s stables when he was eighteen. He was very intelligent and wanted to make something of himself. What thrilled him was that the daughter of the house fancied him – he couldn’t believe it. He knew it was an impossible match, but he loved her anyway. When the unthinkable happened and he was arrested, she didn’t defend him. He’s sure she could have freed him had she spoken up. But she didn’t, and he was convicted and transported – forever. Then, he earned a pardon, and now he’s back! Does Owen want revenge? Can he, after all of this time, find the real thief? Can he forgive Lydia? Does he want to save her from the hellish life that is in store for her? Will Lydia ever believe that Owen wasn’t guilty? Can they finally find their HEA? You’ll just definitely have to read this delightful story to find out. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Emro

    Ten years ago, Lady Lydia Barton and Owen Wolfe were in love, but hearts were broken when Owen was accused of stealing from her family and transported to New South Wales for his crimes. Now he is back and the tables have turned. Owen is rich and the owner of a successful gaming club while Lydia’s father, the Earl of Fulbrook is on the verge of financial ruin and preparing to sell Lydia’s hand in marriage to the Marquess of Kelvedon – an old and lecherous man that makes Lydia’s skin crawl. Lydia Ten years ago, Lady Lydia Barton and Owen Wolfe were in love, but hearts were broken when Owen was accused of stealing from her family and transported to New South Wales for his crimes. Now he is back and the tables have turned. Owen is rich and the owner of a successful gaming club while Lydia’s father, the Earl of Fulbrook is on the verge of financial ruin and preparing to sell Lydia’s hand in marriage to the Marquess of Kelvedon – an old and lecherous man that makes Lydia’s skin crawl. Lydia doesn’t want to marry Kelvedon, but her father and brother have made it clear that if she does not, they will lose everything. She has resigned herself to the enviable when she learns that Owen has made an offer for her hand and her father has accepted. But Owen doesn’t want a forced bride and will only marry her if she agrees to the match. She goes to see him will every intention of refusing him, but in the end accepts and they elope. It isn’t long before Lydia begins to realize how wrong she was about Owen, but it doesn’t change the fact that she still believes he is guilty. Owen hires a Bow Street Runner to investigate and clear his name, but when the truth comes out, will Owen use the information to set the record straight or will he choose love? This was a well written, second chance at love story with wonderful characters, mild love scenes, a villain that gets his due and a sweet HEA. Lydia was not my favorite heroine, I didn't like that she had so little faith in Owen and was only willing to believe him if he provided her with "proof", and when she finally "remembers" - I think she should have groveled a bit - however, she does redeem herself in rather spectacular fashion at the end. And Owen, sigh, I absolutely loved Owen, he was a completely swoon-worthy hero. I really enjoyed the story and would happily recommend it! *I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me.*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    What a great second chance historical romance this proved to be, I really enjoyed reading it! Lady Lydia Barton is getting married to whomever will pay her father the most money. The arrangement is to save her family from the ignominy of losing their home to pay their growing debts but the man who seems most likely to be her husband is Lord Kelvedon, someone who makes her very flesh crawl at the thought of being near him! However, when a higher bidder offers she's faced with the dilemma of marryi What a great second chance historical romance this proved to be, I really enjoyed reading it! Lady Lydia Barton is getting married to whomever will pay her father the most money. The arrangement is to save her family from the ignominy of losing their home to pay their growing debts but the man who seems most likely to be her husband is Lord Kelvedon, someone who makes her very flesh crawl at the thought of being near him! However, when a higher bidder offers she's faced with the dilemma of marrying a nobleman she abhors or the man who was their stable boy who she loved when she was sixteen but who was transported for stealing her mother's jewellery. Now he's returned to London, having been pardoned and making his fortune whilst down under. Why should he join in the bidding? Is he out for revenge, status or could it be love? This is a fantastic family drama where Lydia is the reluctant pawn being manoeuvred, despite her protestations, by both her father and brother. Owen Wolfe is by far the better character in every way! As the two get to know each other again, can love find a way to help them discover their HEA together? Just who framed Owen - and why? There's some detective work to be done, romance to be given a second chance and the guilty to be identified in this heartwarming read. I was gifted a copy of this book and this is my honest review after choosing to read it and throughly enjoying doing so.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Whitworth

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 💋💋 Really enjoyable, tense and gritty. The characters were wonderful and I really felt for both of them. The storyline really holds your attention and keeps you turning those pages , didn’t put it down till 2am and then it was in my head. Those sorts of books are wonderful and obsessive. Virginia is an artist at keeping you entranced in her worlds , this is one of those mesmerising journeys. Don’t miss it. I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to post this review

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I did enjoy this book, it had some very engaging characters and some despicable ones. The hero, Owen Wolfe, was all you could wish him to be. He was handsome, honourable and determined to clear his name. Lady Lydia Barton may have been young when the incident happened, but as she got older, surely she would have realised that the Owen she knew, couldn’t have done what he was accused of. She was well aware of the selfish character of both her father and brother. There are a number of events befor I did enjoy this book, it had some very engaging characters and some despicable ones. The hero, Owen Wolfe, was all you could wish him to be. He was handsome, honourable and determined to clear his name. Lady Lydia Barton may have been young when the incident happened, but as she got older, surely she would have realised that the Owen she knew, couldn’t have done what he was accused of. She was well aware of the selfish character of both her father and brother. There are a number of events before the truth is realised, I just wish the villain had more of a comeuppance. There are a number of interesting secondary characters in Owen’s partner and his wife. It was an entertaining read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elodie

    The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride Virginia Heath https://www.facebook.com/virginiaheat... Release date 06/16/2020 (paperback), 07/02/2020 (ebook) Publisher Harlequin Historical / Mills&Boon Historical Blurb : Marriage…

To the highest bidder Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride Virginia Heath https://www.facebook.com/virginiaheat... Release date 06/16/2020 (paperback), 07/02/2020 (ebook) Publisher Harlequin Historical / Mills&Boon Historical Blurb : Marriage…

To the highest bidder Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections, or dare Lydia hope that the charming stable boy she once loved is still within her ruthless, wealthy new husband? My review : Will they be able to erase the past for a future together ... I do remember when Mrs Virginia Heath asked in her readers group what were people’s favorite trope, enemies to lovers and marriage of convenience won the game. Not my favorite but I was curious how she would manage two archetypes that can be quite angsty. And sure there is plenty of tension and hurting words at the beginning, yet Mrs Heath being herself, she hopefully found a way to turn the table to narrate a tale of trust and healing. It was easier to love Owen first, as we know for sure he has done nothing and was only a victim. Lydia is too a casualty, she has been overlooked and duped for years, so her ire at Owen is understandable. What Owen went through was alas the today harshness many convicts had to face, still he rose from his ashes and became a better man with a goal. As a survivor, he could have been after revenge when he is only looking for the truth, to prove his innocence in the eyes of the only woman he has always loved. Lydia was so young when she first met Owen, only sixteen, he was even the first man to show her affection, so when things spiraled down, and were so perfectly staged, I can understand she saw betrayal before anything else. None of her male relatives have ever shown a modicum of reliability. When their path cross again so many years later, despite the sentiments still lingering behind their cynical and icy demeanor, they hide their wounds behind barbs and quips. Yet when life takes a new turn, and Owen steps in to rescue Lydia, how will they overcome the giant schism time, distance and sense of treason created. Mrs Heath’s talent resides in her way to turn table, to sketch fleshy flawed characters, to deflate tension when it has reached its peak without belittling her characters’ ire but also to serve justice in an unique way. 4.5 stars for this second chance romance. A special note for the supportive characters, Randolph and Gertie, I just adored them. I was granted an advance copy by the author, here is my true and unbiased opinion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Diane Peterson

    Virginia Heath just plain writes really good stories. This one is her enemies-to-lovers, marriage-of-convenience story that was requested by her readers. Stable boy Owen Wolfe and Lady Lydia Barton have a very messy past. After a young love romance Owen is accused of stealing and is transported. When he returns to England years later, a rich man, Lydia still has feelings for him, but can't get past her sense of betrayal. When Lydia's father wants to marry her off to pay his debts Owen steps in a Virginia Heath just plain writes really good stories. This one is her enemies-to-lovers, marriage-of-convenience story that was requested by her readers. Stable boy Owen Wolfe and Lady Lydia Barton have a very messy past. After a young love romance Owen is accused of stealing and is transported. When he returns to England years later, a rich man, Lydia still has feelings for him, but can't get past her sense of betrayal. When Lydia's father wants to marry her off to pay his debts Owen steps in and makes a better offer. Complicated emotions abound in this story. Owen and Lydia have to overcome some deep-seated beliefs and reexamine their own feelings of attraction and hurt. There are some great lessons in here about trusting your instincts and family may not always have your best interests at heart. True family are those who really love you. This was a wonderful romance with two terrific characters. I loved it. (P.S. I've always loved the name Lydia for a romance heroine.)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I do not read a lot of regency romance stories, but I make an exception for Virginia Heath. Her stories sweep me up into the Regency time period and I love how the heroine gets her happily ever after, the hunky hero shows her what love really is, and the corrupt and evil members of the ton who have held them back get their comeuppance. I read this story throughout the day, finishing it before I could go to sleep. Lady Lydia Barton is up for auction, no I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I do not read a lot of regency romance stories, but I make an exception for Virginia Heath. Her stories sweep me up into the Regency time period and I love how the heroine gets her happily ever after, the hunky hero shows her what love really is, and the corrupt and evil members of the ton who have held them back get their comeuppance. I read this story throughout the day, finishing it before I could go to sleep. Lady Lydia Barton is up for auction, not publicly, but everyone knows. Her father will give her hand in marriage to whoever will pay the most. The family is deep in debt, in danger of being evicted from their home and possibly ending up in a debtors prison. The man who seems most likely to be her husband is Lord Kelvedon, someone who disgusts her. He is also know to be a lech and rumour has it he beat his previous wife. When a higher bid comes in, her father agrees, but her brother is not happy. It turns out that this man is someone the family abhors now, but when she was sixteen, Lydia loved him. When he was only eighteen he had worked as a stable boy for the family for a year. He stole her mother's jewels and ended up being sent to Australia, a penal colony. He has returned, made something of himself and is bound to prove that he was innocent of the crime ten years prior. Once the wedding occurs, Lydia has to reconcile what her new life will be with Owen Wolfe. This was an amazing second chance romance. I am so glad I did not live during this time. The noblemen were not very honorable and often rather disgusting. Just being born noble, does not make you noble. Owen, born poor, raised in an orphanage, then sent on a ship to a penal colony all by the time he was 18, should not have been as noble, honest and upright as he was, but he was a much better man than Lydia's father or erstwhile suitor. I always enjoy the chemistry between the main characters her Virginia Heath's books. Their dialogue and even their smoldering looks brings on the heat. The secondary characters of Randolph (Owen's partner) and his wife, add much to the story and help to move the romance along. There was a mystery as well, who framed Owen and who the real thief was, that also added to the story. I loved seeing how Lydia came out of her shell and took her blinders off where her family was concerned. Owen is a swoon worthy hero and I loved that they finally get their happily ever after. I recommend this one to those who enjoy historical romance, specifically during the regency time. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn Lynch

    Lady Lydia Barton is getting married… to the highest bidder for her hand. Her father is desperate for a quick influx of cash to pay his debts, and his daughter’s hand in marriage is a valuable asset. Lydia’s opinion on the matter is not sought. The front runner is an old, piggish Marquess who horrifies her, but he’s pipped at the post by a man who might be worse, Owen Wolfe. Owen and Lydia have a history of the worst sort… she was sixteen and he eighteen when he was caught stealing her mother’s Lady Lydia Barton is getting married… to the highest bidder for her hand. Her father is desperate for a quick influx of cash to pay his debts, and his daughter’s hand in marriage is a valuable asset. Lydia’s opinion on the matter is not sought. The front runner is an old, piggish Marquess who horrifies her, but he’s pipped at the post by a man who might be worse, Owen Wolfe. Owen and Lydia have a history of the worst sort… she was sixteen and he eighteen when he was caught stealing her mother’s jewels, convicted and shipped off to Australia. Now he’s back, inexplicably successful and wealthy, running an exclusive gentlemen’s club. Owen does come across, at times, a bit too good to be true. Considering the horrors he’s endured, he’s really astoundingly chill about getting his revenge. I know I’d be holding a grudge, but he doesn’t really seem all that worried about anything except Lydia knowing he was innocent. There was a vast class divide them back then which is now bridged by his having money and her father needing it, but there’s a bit of a frustrating lack of explanation as to just how Owen managed to learn to move pretty seamlessly in high society. I really enjoyed his friendship with Randolph, a major side character who has dwarfism. Married to a normal woman and with 3 (later 4) kids, Randolph is a charming breath of fresh air, and it’s nice to see a dwarf character portrayed as a romantic hero in his own right, even as a side story. Although this book looks as though the conflict is going to be internal between the protagonists, it’s actually the external forces which threaten their happiness the most, and the exploration of these makes for an intriguing story. I admit I saw the villain reveal coming a mile off, but then there were a very limited number of potential candidates, and it still carried a big emotional impact for Lydia when she discovered the depth of betrayal. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read from a top-notch author who really knows how to do her research. The description of the prison hulks and the life of a convict in Port Jackson, while not dwelled on, were gut-wrenching, and one can only imagine the horrors that so many endured. I very much enjoyed this and I’m happy to give it five stars. Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via Rachel’s Random Resources.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nina Silva

    An enemies to lovers historical romance story that’s guaranteed to make you swoon… I did! One thing I absolutely have to say about this novel is that it has piqued my interest in the transfer of condemned criminals from England to the Antipodes. I’d never really thought much about that piece of history before. From the brutal ocean voyage, which gives Owen flashbacks and makes him weary of small spaces to the relative ‘freedom’ prisoners were offered as there was simply nowhere for them to escape An enemies to lovers historical romance story that’s guaranteed to make you swoon… I did! One thing I absolutely have to say about this novel is that it has piqued my interest in the transfer of condemned criminals from England to the Antipodes. I’d never really thought much about that piece of history before. From the brutal ocean voyage, which gives Owen flashbacks and makes him weary of small spaces to the relative ‘freedom’ prisoners were offered as there was simply nowhere for them to escape to, this novel offers an intriguing peek into the history of the penal colonies there. Speaking of Owen, he’s quite a dashing hero whose desire to be more, do more and earn more respect is quite a driving factor. He’s proud, a touch arrogant, loyal, determined and underneath it all vulnerable and loving. All these elements are on display depending on with whom he interacts and all these parts make for quite a rich character. Lydia is a sweet heroine. Admittedly, I expected her to have a far more compelling reason for believing Owen would be guilty and found myself wondering if she was in fact good enough for him! That said, the intricacies and ugliness of her family are certainly brought out and it becomes easy to understand how she was so desperate to believe in her loved ones at the expense of almost all else. How she learns to apply that loyalty to people who actually deserve it is delightful. There is a little mystery to be solved in the truth behind Owen’s supposed crime. Who really committed it and why? The resolution of that situation is quite satisfactory and very entertaining. Supporting characters are charming in the form of the vertically challenged Randolph and his larger than life wife, Gertie. Their vibrant personalities contrast and complement Owen and Lydia perfectly. Overall, a delightful read that teaches a history lesson even while tickling your heart.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gmr

    Right from the start, the chemistry between Lydia and Owen is SO obvious, despite the years that have passed and circumstances that have changed between them. Kicking things off at a public affair, allowed us to see their snipey flirtatious ways in action from the word go, and yet...you also caught a glimpse of the golden heart beneath Owen's bravado. His namesake may say wolf...but when it comes to Lady Lydia, he's more of a pup...just don't go saying that out loud because he'll deny it at rath Right from the start, the chemistry between Lydia and Owen is SO obvious, despite the years that have passed and circumstances that have changed between them. Kicking things off at a public affair, allowed us to see their snipey flirtatious ways in action from the word go, and yet...you also caught a glimpse of the golden heart beneath Owen's bravado. His namesake may say wolf...but when it comes to Lady Lydia, he's more of a pup...just don't go saying that out loud because he'll deny it at rather high volumes and I must say I agree with his business partner's wife, Gertie, if one must yell about it, it's probably not a truth. Lady Lydia was definitely sold the short end of the stick in SO MANY ways, and you get a notion right from the beginning that despite the events that separated them, they are still tethered at heart. Really though, with his good guy streak seen in action, it was very hard to believe Owen did what he was accused of...and even though Lydia likes him to believe she believed everyone, I don't believe she ever truly did...she just couldn't bear her heart to be broken all over again if it did in fact prove true. Let's just say all things are revealed in good time...and though surprising in some ways, in others it was more a confirmation. All in all, another FABULOUS read from an author who is most definitely on my auto-buy list. **ebook received for review; opinions are my own

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl M-M

    It has a wee bit of a Heathcliff and Cathy vibe to it. Owen, the lowly servant, is wronged and returns on a more equal standing to those who got rid of him in the first place. He returns with intention of getting revenge. He wants to know who betrayed him and the girl he once loved is one of his targets, although one could argue that he actually tries to save her. Lydia isn't exactly lucky when it comes to family. They just consider her a valuable commodity. Something they can auction off to the It has a wee bit of a Heathcliff and Cathy vibe to it. Owen, the lowly servant, is wronged and returns on a more equal standing to those who got rid of him in the first place. He returns with intention of getting revenge. He wants to know who betrayed him and the girl he once loved is one of his targets, although one could argue that he actually tries to save her. Lydia isn't exactly lucky when it comes to family. They just consider her a valuable commodity. Something they can auction off to the highest bidder. She is disgusted by the thought they are willing to sell her off, but perhaps more so by the fact Owen is eager to buy her as if she were a valuable racehorse. Heath excels at good old romance with the vibe of a bodice ripper, but with more emphasis on the emotional attraction, as opposed to pure physical gratification. The relationship and love story develops slowly and builds upon the nostalgia and bonds the two main characters have. Their relationship is combative and there is a fair amount of rejection. It's exactly what romance readers enjoy - the cat and mouse game of love. Take a little, give a little and ultimately it becomes a battle of wits - of minds refusing to acknowledge what they both want the most. *I received a courtesy copy*

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Lydia Barton is essentially being sold off to pay her family’s debts. The vile Lord Kelvedon is the only contender, that is, until childhood sweetheart, Owen Wolfe, sweeps back into her life to claim her. Owen and Lydia were in love when they were young, even though she was the daughter of the house and he was a stable boy. However, Owen has only just returned to London after serving seven years in the penal colonies for a crime he did not commit. He’s now the owner of a gaming hell and he “wins” Lydia Barton is essentially being sold off to pay her family’s debts. The vile Lord Kelvedon is the only contender, that is, until childhood sweetheart, Owen Wolfe, sweeps back into her life to claim her. Owen and Lydia were in love when they were young, even though she was the daughter of the house and he was a stable boy. However, Owen has only just returned to London after serving seven years in the penal colonies for a crime he did not commit. He’s now the owner of a gaming hell and he “wins” Lydia in a game. While she doesn’t believe he is innocent of the crimes he’s accused of, she forgives Owen, seeing the boy he’d once been in the man she is coming to love. Virginia Heath always produces a solid story, but I had a hard time getting into this one. While I always enjoy Virginia’s characters, I especially loved Owen but had a hard time with Lydia. She was so certain and unyielding about what she “knew” had happened ten years ago. I have to say, though, I do love enemies-to-lovers, especially in self-made men stories, and The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride really delivers in this respect!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid former groom Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage to an aging lecherous Marquis. Until Owen makes her father a counter offer for her hand. Marriage of convenience, second chance & enemies to lovers three tropes that I love & wonderfully incorporated into this engrossing read. I loved Lydia who was strong & loving but I adore Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid former groom Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage to an aging lecherous Marquis. Until Owen makes her father a counter offer for her hand. Marriage of convenience, second chance & enemies to lovers three tropes that I love & wonderfully incorporated into this engrossing read. I loved Lydia who was strong & loving but I adored Owen who stormed back into Lydia’s life after being transported when they were teenagers. Owen not only survived life on the other side of the world but returned stronger & a self made man who managed to retain his integrity & honour. I was totally engrossed from cover to cover & immersed in the road to their HEA. Whilst I loved Lydia’s outing of the villain I'm not as generous & wanted him to suffer far, far more. I also love the historical facts which the author includes in her books, the picture she built of the prison hulks was chilling. A very well written book, with strong characters & extremely well paced story. My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sharyn

    I loved Lady Lydia and Owen, as well as Owen’s friends that he met in Australia when he was transported there for a crime he didn’t commit. Owen tried to be cold and mysterious when he finally returns to England after he was given a full pardon, but as his friend Randolph says, Owen has a nauseating habit of being noble and kind. Even though Lydia’s family were the one to get him transported for stealing when he was a stable boy in their household, he just can’t seem to stay away from her. For h I loved Lady Lydia and Owen, as well as Owen’s friends that he met in Australia when he was transported there for a crime he didn’t commit. Owen tried to be cold and mysterious when he finally returns to England after he was given a full pardon, but as his friend Randolph says, Owen has a nauseating habit of being noble and kind. Even though Lydia’s family were the one to get him transported for stealing when he was a stable boy in their household, he just can’t seem to stay away from her. For her part, Lydia wants nothing to do with Owen after he broke her heart by deceiving her. She thought he loved her as much as she loved him but he was just using her to get access to her family’s jewelry and valuable items. Thus they are at an impasse until Lydia’s father decides he needs money to pay the family debts and offers Lydia’s hand in marriage to the highest bidder. I definitely needed MORE of Owen and Lydia at the end of this book. I wish there would have been a few more chapters so I could have spent more time with them, and Gertie and Randolph and Cyril.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa C

    Amazing story. Amazing characters. Amazing relationships. All this combined with the most endearing hero, Owen Wolfe, I've read in a long time. Owen has so many reasons to be bitter and twisted, and yet he's not only kind and considerate, but loving and forgiving, too. Lady Lydia Barton, has also not had an easy go of it, what with her cruel father, her weak brother, and the love of her life being taken away from her, but she also manages to do her duty, keep her smile, and continue to love. You Amazing story. Amazing characters. Amazing relationships. All this combined with the most endearing hero, Owen Wolfe, I've read in a long time. Owen has so many reasons to be bitter and twisted, and yet he's not only kind and considerate, but loving and forgiving, too. Lady Lydia Barton, has also not had an easy go of it, what with her cruel father, her weak brother, and the love of her life being taken away from her, but she also manages to do her duty, keep her smile, and continue to love. You are not going to want to put this book down, and yet want to read slow so that you can stay with these characters for as long as possible. Ms Heath's writing just gets better and better. 10 stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gwessie Tee

    Another amazing and beautiful novel by our author Ms Heath, I most definitely very highly recommend this book for all who love historical romance, adventure, a journey of twists and turns you become enthralled by in support of our Hero and heroine on their way to their HEA.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hisgirl85

    3.5 stars. Predictable and enjoyable, but a bit formulaic for me right now. The delight and charm mixed with emotions and real charcters never hit home for me like the previous Heath books I've read. Still, well plotted and paced with interesting and flawed characters. I liked it. 3.5 stars. Predictable and enjoyable, but a bit formulaic for me right now. The delight and charm mixed with emotions and real charcters never hit home for me like the previous Heath books I've read. Still, well plotted and paced with interesting and flawed characters. I liked it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    GG

    What a wonderful romance. I liked Owen before I liked Lydia. This was a case of the bad guys (Lydia's father, brother, fiance) were really bad guys. And Lydia,, listening to either her head or her heart, chose to believe them about Owen. Owen may have been out for revenge but it didn't last long and his love for Lydia was the impetus for all his actions. All his good qualities began to shine and made him even more attractive. Lydia only seemed to see his past and his lack of title. There were oc What a wonderful romance. I liked Owen before I liked Lydia. This was a case of the bad guys (Lydia's father, brother, fiance) were really bad guys. And Lydia,, listening to either her head or her heart, chose to believe them about Owen. Owen may have been out for revenge but it didn't last long and his love for Lydia was the impetus for all his actions. All his good qualities began to shine and made him even more attractive. Lydia only seemed to see his past and his lack of title. There were occasions where I wanted to shake her, so she could see how magnificent Owen truly was. It took Lydia a lot longer to recognize her true feelings. Getting there was quite a ride. I loved the side characters - Randolph, Gertie, and Slugger. In truth I would have liked an Epilogue to see things a few years along. This book came free from the author for a honest review. And it is.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Amber

    4.5 stars The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride is a Regency style historical romance. Lady Lydia Barton’s family are desperate; they plan a marriage contract for Lydia to pay off their multiple debts. Their only choice is an odious lecher - the Marquess of Kelvedon would certainly have enough money to clear the family debts and, sadly, Lydia’s family care little that he would be a dreadful husband for her. Owen Wolfe spent seven years in a penal colony for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he owns a high en 4.5 stars The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride is a Regency style historical romance. Lady Lydia Barton’s family are desperate; they plan a marriage contract for Lydia to pay off their multiple debts. Their only choice is an odious lecher - the Marquess of Kelvedon would certainly have enough money to clear the family debts and, sadly, Lydia’s family care little that he would be a dreadful husband for her. Owen Wolfe spent seven years in a penal colony for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he owns a high end gambling hall in London, but he began life as a stable-hand. Lydia Barton’s impending nuptials interest him, enough for him to put his own offer of marriage on the table. Now there is a choice: an old man with bad breath and a wandering eye, or an ex-convict. I liked the dark brooding and mysterious Owen Wolfe; his years spent in the Antipodes were an unusual theme for this genre. I also enjoyed the sub-characters who were part of his ‘new family’; they were a fun and lively mix. Lydia and Owen’s relationship had several expected highs and lows, but they still managed to add a fresh feel to the story arc with their surprising responses to situations. I liked this and read almost all of it in one sitting; a very easy book with which to escape for a few hours.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gayle

    Virginia Heath is an excellent cupid. Wow, this one was intense. The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride is absolutely an entertaining read with terrific interesting characters. Lydia and Owen are amazing. They faced brutal odds of ever winding up together and it was a rocky road, but (spoiler alert) loves wins. I loved it. Wonderful secondary characters. Fabulous writing. This is a standalone novel which was actually very refreshing to me. Favorite heroine line: "I just delivered a _____, Owen! I am co Virginia Heath is an excellent cupid. Wow, this one was intense. The Scoundrel's Bartered Bride is absolutely an entertaining read with terrific interesting characters. Lydia and Owen are amazing. They faced brutal odds of ever winding up together and it was a rocky road, but (spoiler alert) loves wins. I loved it. Wonderful secondary characters. Fabulous writing. This is a standalone novel which was actually very refreshing to me. Favorite heroine line: "I just delivered a _____, Owen! I am completely aware how it got there." Favorite hero moment: He smiled at her - beamed, in fact. " He didn't ____." ( This whole scene is amazing) Favorite side characters: Cyril, Gertie and Randolph. Everyone is good at giving advice. Favorite awkward moment: Innkeeper giving the couple "sage" marital advice. So good.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Good second chance love story that also includes enemies-to-lovers and a marriage of convenience. Ten years earlier, Owen was a stable hand at sixteen-year-old Lydia's family home. Lydia was charmed by the boy who gave her the affection she craved, and Owen by the girl who saw him as a person worth knowing. They carried on a secret romance until the day Owen was accused of stealing her mother's jewelry. Heartbroken by the evidence, Lydia stood by as Owen was convicted and sent to the penal colon Good second chance love story that also includes enemies-to-lovers and a marriage of convenience. Ten years earlier, Owen was a stable hand at sixteen-year-old Lydia's family home. Lydia was charmed by the boy who gave her the affection she craved, and Owen by the girl who saw him as a person worth knowing. They carried on a secret romance until the day Owen was accused of stealing her mother's jewelry. Heartbroken by the evidence, Lydia stood by as Owen was convicted and sent to the penal colony in Australia. Seven years later, Owen returned to London, pardoned of his crimes. A self-made man, he and a friend own a high-end gambling establishment. He spends the next three years making money and doing his best to irritate Lydia. The story opens at yet another society ball where they encounter each other. Lydia uses a cold and snarky attitude to disguise the fact that she is still attracted to him. Owen mockingly congratulates her on her upcoming marriage to Lord Kelvedon, which is the first she's heard of it. After confronting her father, she's horrified to learn that she's been essentially sold to the marquess to settle her father's debts. I liked Owen. Though he works hard to convince Lydia that he's an unrepentant scoundrel, and himself that he doesn't care what happens to her, it is obvious that he cares very much. It was fun to see Owen's partner, Randolph, call him out on his self-deception. Owen convinces himself that offering for her himself is purely business, even though he can't keep his mind off of her. I had a little harder time liking Lydia at first. Even though she claimed to love him at the time, her acceptance of his guilt indicated otherwise. It took me a while to realize that her constant reminders of his guilt were her way of protecting herself from falling for him again. I enjoyed the rekindling of Owen and Lydia's romance. Sparks flew at their encounters, their overt antagonism a cover for the attraction both continued to feel. Though he denies his feelings, Owen makes her father an offer he can't resist. I loved how Owen protected Lydia from her father's desire for revenge. Once he and Lydia are married, they have to find a way to live together. I ached for Owen because the best Lydia can do is put her belief in his guilt to the side with a "truce" when all he wants is her to believe in him. I hurt a little for Lydia, too, because Owen dealt with his feelings by avoiding her altogether. It was fun to see the guilt over that finally get to him, and they start to spend some time together. I loved the event that sparked the admission that they both want more from their marriage. At the same time that Owen and Lydia finally admit their feelings for each other, Owen receives unexpected information in his investigation into his past. He debates the wisdom of telling Lydia, who is dealing with her father's death. I ached for Lydia, who has an unpleasant conversation with her brother and an eye-opening one with Owen. I loved Owen's realization that his love for Lydia is more important than the results of his investigation and the effect it had on her. The ending was fantastic. I especially enjoyed seeing Lydia take control of her future. I also can't say enough about Owen's partner, Randolph, and Randolph's wife, Gertie. I loved how well Randolph knew Owen and his ability to call Owen out on his self-deception. I liked the way that he and Gertie supported Lydia when Owen was an idiot. Gertie's marriage advice to Lydia was great, including the backstory of her marriage to Randolph. One of the best scenes in the book was when Owen and Lydia delivered Gertie's baby. She had me laughing out loud with her demands toward the end of her labor.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rose Blue

    As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-1hq Owen Wolfe is now a successful businessman, and part owner of a gaming club, but his current good fortune was hard won. Orphaned as a boy, Owen became a stable boy for the Earl of Fulbrook’s household. He fell in love with the earl’s daughter, Lydia, and she returned his feelings. They met secretly at every opportunity, enjoying their flirtation, until it all fell apart. Owen was accused of theft from the family, and the evidence was found i As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-1hq Owen Wolfe is now a successful businessman, and part owner of a gaming club, but his current good fortune was hard won. Orphaned as a boy, Owen became a stable boy for the Earl of Fulbrook’s household. He fell in love with the earl’s daughter, Lydia, and she returned his feelings. They met secretly at every opportunity, enjoying their flirtation, until it all fell apart. Owen was accused of theft from the family, and the evidence was found in his own room. With the solid testimony of an earl and a witness against him, Owen was convicted, and sentenced to be deported to Botany Bay. After seven years of hard labor, a heroic act earns Owen a pardon from the governor. He returns to England with his friend and business partner, Randolph, where they open their club. Owen is anxious to see Lydia, but has his hopes dashed to learn that she fully believes he is the thief he was convicted of being. Lady Lydia Barton’s heart was broken ten years ago, when the young man she loved and believed in stole her sickly mother’s jewelry. Lydia had been prepared to wait until she was of legal age and then marry Owen, as she knew her self important father would never permit such a match. She saw the jewelry found in his room with her own eyes, so she’s sure of his guilt. When Owen was convicted, she spent months recovering from the betrayal and pain, then decided to move on and try to forget him. She never married, and now Owen is back, but she has no place in her life for a lying thief. Then her father tries to marry her off to an elderly lecher. Then Owen steps in with an offer her father can’t refuse… Owen proposes a marriage of convenience, one that will benefit him and his business because of Lydia’s social standing. Eager to leave her hateful father’s household, Lydia consents, and the wary couple weds, agreeing to call a truce regarding the theft. Unknown to Lydia, Owen has been desperately searching for evidence that will prove his innocence. Also unknown to Lydia is the fact that all of Owen’s talk about a convenient marriage was a cover for the fact that he never stopped loving her. As Lydia begins to see the man Owen is now, their relationship starts to thaw. Eventually, Lydia decides that she wants a real marriage and children, and Owen is only too happy to comply. The physical attraction that Lydia and Owen felt back then is still burning strong, and it seems as if they may have taken the first steps toward a happy future, but fate steps in once again to muddy the waters. Owen is one amazing hero! Despite everything he endured, and despite Lydia’s lack of faith in him, he proves himself to be a better man. He returns good for evil, he forgives, and he treats his new wife with respect, generosity, and tender care. I love the strong, kind, and truly superior man he is. Lydia has more heartbreak and betrayal to face before she can move forward with Owen, but she shows what she is made of, too. This couple has great chemistry, as well as a genuine love which lasted from the time they were teenagers, and endured despite the separation and testing. THE SCOUNDREL’S BARTERED BRIDE is a lovely romance which also has great secondary characters and plenty of heart. The happy ever after is so satisfying, though it took a decade to get there. Owen and Lydia deserve all the happiness that the future has in store for them. I recommend this book to historical romance lovers, especially those, like me, who enjoy a great second chance at love story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jéssica

    By now, and after more than ten books written by Virginia Heath that I have read, I assume you all know how much I love this author's writing and storytelling. Still, I'm naive, because every time I start one of Virginia Heath's new books I think to myself "Will she surprise me with this story?" I'm saying I'm naive because I still ask that, as if ten-plus books later and getting surprised every time wasn't enough to know I WILL BE SURPRISED! Okay, I know you are possibly questioning my sanity by By now, and after more than ten books written by Virginia Heath that I have read, I assume you all know how much I love this author's writing and storytelling. Still, I'm naive, because every time I start one of Virginia Heath's new books I think to myself "Will she surprise me with this story?" I'm saying I'm naive because I still ask that, as if ten-plus books later and getting surprised every time wasn't enough to know I WILL BE SURPRISED! Okay, I know you are possibly questioning my sanity by now, but let me tell you something so you understand why I loved this book. When I first started my journey through the wonderful genre of Historical Romances, I fell in love with it thanks to three authors, one of which was Virginia Heath. It was thanks to her and other lovely ladies that write this genre that I found that I enjoyed tropes more than I thought about. One of those tropes was the "Marriage of Convenience". In this book we have that exact trope. As we follow Lady Lydia Barton and her impending arranged marriage, through the romance scenes and all the tension that makes my heart fill with excitement, I fell in love with the characters. I was very invested in the story from start to finish, wanting to learn more about the characters and their pasts. What made them who they were and the relationships they had. I always love the characters in Virginia Heath's because they feel real and part of our reality. From the brilliant descriptions, to the fantastic plot that made me curious and excited at each turn of a page, Virginia Heath captivated me in yet another wonderful escape through time and space. Overall, if you love historical romances, like I do, and marriage by convenience and enemies to lovers tropes are your cup of tea, this book if meant for you. [I want to thank Rachel, at Rachel’s Random Resources, and Virginia Heath for the eCopy of this book and for allowing me to join in the fun and being a part of the blog tour with my honest review of the book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.]

  30. 5 out of 5

    booksofallkinds

    *I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley. One of the best historical romances that I have ever read, THE SCOUNDREL'S BARTERED BRIDE by Virginia Heath is a must-read for all romance fans. Lady Lydia Barton has loved before many years ago but she was duped by the young Owen Wolfe who stole from her family and broke her heart. Now he is back and as handsome and charismatic as ever but with a hard edge, and she hates the fact that her heart still skips a little when she is near him. But that i *I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley. One of the best historical romances that I have ever read, THE SCOUNDREL'S BARTERED BRIDE by Virginia Heath is a must-read for all romance fans. Lady Lydia Barton has loved before many years ago but she was duped by the young Owen Wolfe who stole from her family and broke her heart. Now he is back and as handsome and charismatic as ever but with a hard edge, and she hates the fact that her heart still skips a little when she is near him. But that is of no consequence as Lydia is being bartered off in marriage to an old and lascivious lech so that her feckless father and beloved brother can save their estate. How will she ever bear it? But when Owen unexpectedly offers more for her hand in marriage, Lydia finds herself married to the man who broke her heart and he is still maintaining his innocence. Could she possibly be mistaken about what happened in the past? Owen may tell others that marrying Lydia will open up new doors for his successful business but deep down he knows that he has never gotten over what happened between them, and how she betrayed him when he needed her the most. But as he gets to know the woman that Lydia has become, he is in danger of losing himself completely and he cannot let that happen, not when she still believes him to be a monster. With stunning characters that I completely fell in love with, excellent historical detail, and sizzling tension that will make your heart beat faster, THE SCOUNDREL'S BARTERED BRIDE by Virginia Heath is the kind of story that sucks you in instantly and I didn't come up for air until I had read the last word. Lydia is a little naive but that is realistic, and I loved her sense of openness and willingness to look beyond society and all of its rules. Owen is a wonderful main character who has suffered greatly and it was magnificent to watch him open himself up to Lydia and achieve everything he has ever wanted from his life against those who tried to take it all away from him. THE SCOUNDREL'S BARTERED BRIDE has everything you could want in an excellent romance and I cannot wait to read more from Virginia Heath who has fast become one of my favourite authors in this genre.

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