Read The Stranger She Married by Donna Hatch Online

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When her parents and only brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor's prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man sheWhen her parents and only brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor's prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret. Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he'd thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer's attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart....

Title : The Stranger She Married
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781601543349
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 360 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Stranger She Married Reviews

  • Kathy * Bookworm Nation
    2019-04-14 23:57

    I decided to read this again for the 2015 Summer Book Trek and no matter how many times I read this, I always enjoy it. It’s become a favorite of mine, I love the characters and it’s a fun start to a great series. I love the Amesbury brothers. Truly, it's one of my very favorite series and one of the best regencies that I've read. Alicia has lost her parents and due to her uncle’s poor financial choices finds herself being sold off to the highest bidder. In order to protect her sister and save her family name, she has to marry and marry well. I really liked Alicia, she was easy to relate to. She is kind, loyal and smart. She has resigned herself to her fate and is trying to make the best of the situation when she meets Cole. They have an instant attraction, but despite their feelings for each other they cannot be together. Secrets and misunderstandings keep the two apart. Facing a deadline and unable to choose Cole, Alicia is forced to marry a reclusive stranger. I liked that Alicia stood up for what she believes in, even though she was clearly torn between the two men. I think the thing I loved most about Cole was that he was smitten with Alicia right from the start, he would clearly do anything for her. He definitely plays the role of “knight in shining armor” very well. You can’t help but like Alicia’s new husband as well. He is more soft spoken, kind and very patient. This is the kind of love-triangle I can get behind. ;) I had actually read the second book first, so even though I knew how things would play out I was still questioning myself when I read this for the first time. I loved how you’re never quite sure what is going to happen. The mystery added a lot to the story without being too overwhelming. Definitely recommend it to regency fans, or anyone who enjoys a sweet romance and lovable characters. I am so glad this is a series; I love the characters and love returning to this wonderful regency setting. Ms. Hatch is a gifted storyteller!ContentRomance: Clean, some kissing, very mild innuendo and closed door/fade to black intimacyViolence: MildLanguage: NoneReligious: None

  • Olivia
    2019-04-07 20:58

    I really want to like this book. It had many good comments from other readers of traditional regencies, so maybe my expectations were too high. I found too many inconsistencies in the story line. One moment, the heroine was hating the hero, then the next paragraph they were laughing together in the carriage. In another scene, the characters were eating dinner, then, all of sudden, they were out in the garden. When did they move? I just found many "huh?" moments like that. I found the heroine self-depreciating thoughts a bit over the top. Even when men would complement her on her looks or dress, she would put it down to them being "nice", this even after a description of the silk ballgown and curly rings of hair. Didn't she ever think she looked or felt even slightly pretty? I found the hero's behavior, because he couldn't help himself, to be eye-rollingly naive. He often asked himself why he was attracted to her. I wondered why, too. I think the author could have done a better job of bringing his feelings out, rather then leaving them vague.

  • Julianna
    2019-04-17 22:40

    Reviewed for THC ReviewsI had the privilege of meeting Donna Hatch several months ago at a local event, and upon returning home, I looked up her website to find out more about her debut novel, The Stranger She Married. I was thoroughly intrigued by the synopsis and excerpt of the book I found there, and immediately put in on my TBR list, so when Ms. Hatch recently contacted me about reviewing the book, I was more than happy to oblige. The plot of The Stranger She Married is reminiscent of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss' A Rose in Winter, a classic romance novel that has been on my favorites list for many years. In spite of the similarities between the two books, Ms. Hatch still managed to keep me engrossed in her storytelling and often second-guessing what would happen next. The Stranger She Married is written in a more traditional regency style. Most of the story is of a rather low-key nature, and it is very character driven. It is also, without a doubt, a PG-rated romance, making it appropriate, in my opinion, for both younger and more sensitive romance readers. It has no curse words, minimal violence, and aside from a couple of passionate clinches, the love scenes are merely implied and take place off the canvas with no explicit details whatsoever. With its more subdued nature, I wouldn't necessarily characterize this as a passionate, heart-stopping romance, and I normally prefer my romances to have a bit more steam. Still, in spite of it not being quite like my usual fare, The Stranger She Married had a very appealing quality that made me like it a lot.I think that there were two key elements which contributed to my enjoyment. First, the settings of the Regency balls, parties, social events and even the quiet solitude of a country estate were so beautifully and vividly rendered, it truly made me feel like I had been transported back in time to that era. The author certainly seems to have a good grasp on the history of the period, which lent the atmosphere a wonderful air of authenticity. The other thing which truly impressed me was the dialog. I don't think I have ever read dialog that is quite so fresh, varied and robust to the point that it is not only woven seamlessly into the plot, but it almost becomes a living, breathing thing in itself. I have certainly waded through my share of vapid conversations in romance novels, but the dialog in The Stranger She Married is never boring or inane, instead I felt that it really gave the story more genuineness and depth. The author skillfully uses it to build relationships, and occasionally there was some sharp, witty bantering which brought a smile to my face. It seems to me that writing truly good dialog would be rather challenging, but in my opinion, Ms. Hatch has done a wonderful job with it here. In fact, my only minor quibble would be that it is formatted in a rather unusual way which I have not seen before. This made it difficult at first to discern who was speaking, but once I got used to the pattern, I didn't really have any further trouble with it.I also found the characters in The Stranger She Married to be an appealing bunch. There are essentially two heroes, cousins, Cole and Nicholas Amesbury who represent two sides of the same coin. Cole outwardly has a reputation as a charming and careless rake, but inside he has a heart of gold. He has tired of the social scene which he sees as nothing more than a marriage mart, and is quite taken by Alicia's looks and personality, which are so different from the other young women who typically pursue him. I loved his innate sense of honor and his desire to protect Alicia at all costs. The only thing about Cole that didn't quite ring true is that there was an allusion to dark things in his past which made him think of himself as something of a blackguard, but nothing ever came to light that made him seem like anything less than a gentleman to me. He also spent a good deal of time fighting his feelings for Alicia, which didn't really seem necessary given the direction the story took. Nicholas is the gentle, patient beta hero who mostly contents himself with simply spending time with Alicia. I loved how the author built their relationship through everyday things like talking, walking, playing games and sharing of knowledge. Nicholas, however, is a scarred man who is literally shrouded in mystery from head to toe. Then there is our heroine, Alicia, who finds herself in the confusing position of loving them both. Sometimes it seems like she is trying to have her cake and eat it too, but she is not unlike many Regency heroines who find themselves in the untenable situation of being a penniless orphan from a financially strapped noble family, wanting to marry for love but needing to marry for money. Alicia initially can't quite forgive Cole for his duel with her brother which ultimately left him dead, and by the time she is able to, circumstances have already forced her to marry Nicholas. I thought that Alicia could have stood out a little more, but then again, she was a wallflower. What I liked most about her is that she had the intelligence to realize that her family's deaths may not have been the accidents that they seemed, meaning that she too was in danger, as well as eventually putting the pieces of the puzzle together to discover the game that her husband was playing. There was also a nice group of secondary characters including Cole's matchmaking Aunt Livvy and his three brothers (only two of whom actually appeared in the story) who all have wildly varying personalities. All in all, I thought it was a very well-rounded cast.There were many things that I liked about The Stranger She Married, but one thing I thought could have been better was the murder mystery. To be honest, if the synopsis hadn't alluded to some danger and intrigue, I probably wouldn't have recognized the mystery for what it was until it was staring me in the face. There were very few clues and no red herrings to speak of, so I wouldn't have been able to even hazard a guess as to a suspect or motive. The answer to the puzzle is basically just handed to the reader on a silver platter. I like a little light mystery in my romances from time to time, but half the fun is in being given enough information to speculate about what's happening. Also, the denouement of the suspense was pretty cliched with the villain making one of those tacky deathbed confessions which I thought lacked finesse. Overall I felt that the mystery/suspense element could have been much stronger, and the general plot ideas could have been more original. In the end though, I found myself waffling a bit over my star rating, and if those two things had been a little better, the book probably would have earned keeper status from me. Otherwise though, I really enjoyed The Stranger She Married. The pacing was good, never lagging, and the story kept me engrossed and wanting to continue. Readers who like more historical ambiance in their Regency romances should find some pleasurable entertainment in this one. The Stranger She Married is the first in a planned series titled Rogue Hearts. According to Donna Hatch's website, the next book, Guise of a Gentleman, is due to be released sometime this summer, and although there are very few details about it yet, I strongly suspect that Cole's dashing pirate brother, Jared, will be the hero. In my opinion, The Stranger She Married was a good debut novel from a very promising and talented new author, and I definitely look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

  • Becca
    2019-03-20 19:51

    This was written really well, but I did not like the whole premise of this story. Kissing/falling in love with a man who is not your husband is cheating, even if the two men end up being the same person in the end. This story really disappointed me as it was written so well, I just couldn't get past her betraying her husband, even though she was cheating with her husband.

  • Laura
    2019-04-17 23:56

    I reread this book...within 24 hours. Devoured it. These characters and the romance sucked me in once again! Donna is a master of writing romance. I found both Cole and Alicia extremely likable while also having weaknesses. The pacing was fantastic; never a dull moment. I cannot compliment this book enough!

  • Nalu.chan
    2019-04-04 20:59

    SPOILERS AHEADI don’t know if you could call that a spoiler, since it is quite obvious, but I’ll warn anyway.I had mixed feelings about this book. Although entertaining, there were somethings that got me irritated – and it was mainly the MC’s behavior.Let’s begin with Alicia – the self-deprecating main heroine. In spite of her constant put down on herself, she did not annoy me, since, to me, her behavior can be explained by the fact that several people call her plain, causing her to have very low self-esteem and not a very good sense of herself. So, contrary to many readers, that part of her personality didn’t bother me too much; what really got me was her behavior with Cole, while she was married with Nicholas.Let’s forget about the fact that they were both the same person (Nicholas and Cole), because, despite that fact being known to the reader, it was not known to the MC. So, during all the time she flirted with and kissed Cole, we can say that Alicia was entertaining an extra-marital affair with another man – and not any man, her husband’s cousin and best friend.So, to me, she cheated. It doesn’t matter that it turned out that both men were the same, she cheated by principle in light of the fact that she didn’t know they were the same person.Don’t get me wrong, but I don’t enjoy reading love stories that come from affairs. First, because I think that if you want to be with someone else, all you have to do is end your current relationship and start anew, instead of hurting the other person so deeply by betrayal. For god’s sake, break ups are already hard, so the person doing the breaking up should do the courtesy of not making it harder by cheating and, in consequence, belittling the other person. Second, if a relationship already starts like that – with deceit – I think that bores bad for the future of your new relationship (how do you know that the person, who was capable of betraying his/her former partner with you, won’t do the same?).I know that, in Victorian era, my first predicament would be impossible since divorce and separation were things that ruined a woman forever. However, Alicia made her choice of marrying the masked stranger, and so should harbor the consequences of said choice. She could, at least, try to make her marriage work, instead of flirt and giggle every time her husband cousin comes by (and I was further aggravated by her later attempt to make it work, by I’ll discuss it later).I also thought that it was callous of the author to include scenes where Alicia indulged in her platonic feelings for Cole by kissing him and embracing him. By his point of view, I thought strange that Cole was so intent on making her fall in love with him without considering the fact that Alicia was in fact cheating on her husband (because, once again, she didn’t know that he and Nicholas were the same person). How could he trust a woman who so easily conceded to another man flattery and attention? (At this point, I should observe that the MC didn’t give me the impression that she wouldn’t behave in the same way with any man that paid attention to her – I was not convinced that Cole was special, especially since she later begins developing feelings for her husband when she realized that he did care about her).Another pet peeve I had with this book was Alicia’s feelings for her husband. Yeah, we get to see that he treats her well, and is kind and gentle, but up to one point, she was never able to get past his masked form enough to see those qualities. Then, her uncle dies, she fights with Cole and suddenly has a revelation that she loves her husband!I was completely baffled because, in the earlier chapters, she was singing praises to Cole, comparing him to her husband. Apart from her feelings of obligation to make her marriage work (and that only comes from the fact that she thinks that, if he casts her away, Cole, the rake, would never marry her), we are never given signs that she starts to care for her husband, only that she pities him and his appearance. If the author had made her MC choose to spend some time with Nicholas, instead of Cole, her “love” for her husband would have been more plausible. Instead, she spent all that time with Cole, while in London, and only suffered a pang of guilt for ditching her husband for his cousin.Seriously, to me, the MC seemed shallow (since she always concentrated on Cole’s look), needy (she starts developing feelings for every man that gives her attention) and kinda oblivious. And, at last, I was completely annoyed by her reaction when she found out Cole’s ruse. I thought that she would get angry, throw things at the wall, or at least eat the man alive for making her look like a fool. Instead, all we get is a stupid “oh, well, he did it for love” reaction from her and she completely puts everything behind her.Seriously, I love my husband, but if he pulled something like that on me, I would give him the trashing of his life and then, only after making him grovel like a dog, I would forgive him – even if I knew he did it out of love, I would still make him grovel.Alicia was extremely blasé about it! The least I expected was a little revenge, like her pretending she didn’t find out and tell Cole that she loves Nicholas, instead of him, and that she chose him. Come on!! Not even that little prank!So, while I thought this book had some interesting parts, overall it got me completely annoyed (especially the fact that Alicia ALWAYS sang praises to Cole’s look was every freaking time they met – it got boring soon), and I don’t know if I would give it more than 3 stars.

  • Kristen
    2019-04-18 18:35

    1/20/17 - I thought I had read this before. It came out with a different cover on kindle so it kind of threw me. I had forgotten a lot of it but remembered the just of it. Enjoyed it again the second time. I wish I had been able to read a little cleaner version. Lots of lust and the below mentioned stuff. 3/12/13This is my first full length Donna Hatch book, and I must say I really enjoyed it. I kept second guessing myself the entire time...(are they or aren't they???) Great romance, great suspense, great writing, great characters. Can't wait to read more in this series. Moral Note: The only reason this is a 4 instead of 5 stars, there is a lot of talk of past mistresses, being a rake, etc. Nothing detailed, but too much of it for my taste. Pretty clean language, just 2/3 son of a motherless goats at the very end. Mild violence.

  • Heather
    2019-04-15 21:45

    Really good!! When a book makes me feel giddy throughout the day in between reading it, then it's a 5 star read for me, and that's what this was. Donna Hatch has a way of making you fall in love with her male characters! I found myself wanting the heroin to overcome her fears of her scarred husband and let him into her bed,(She married out of neccesity, not love. She doesn't know him and she is scared of what disfigurement he may have behind his cloak and hood). But at the same time, I wanted her to NOT consumate her marriage so she could have Cole! I loved them both! This story just had so many good things in it...I loved the tension and banter and longing in this story, and I love that it was still clean.

  • Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
    2019-04-03 20:54

    Wow. The Rogue Hearts series came highly recommended and this first book did not disappoint! There are vibrant characters who are flawed enough to be realistic but not unlikeable. The difficult circumstances provide impetus to push the action forward in unpredictable ways. I had my suspicions about the mysteries unfolding, but was uncertain enough to be kept guessing. I felt like Cole and Alicia fell rather quickly for each other in the beginning which made their attraction seem superficial or based on physicality, but as the story progresses they are able to appreciate each other for deeper reasons. I thoroughly enjoyed this clean but passionate romance and can't wait to read the next brother's story!(Thank you to Loving The Book for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

  • Katie W
    2019-03-29 21:57

    Alicia is a girl who has suffered many loses recently--the death of her twin brother, the deaths of her parents, and the loss of the family money. Her uncle basically forces her to marry by the end of the month to save the remaining family members from the debtors prison. A rogue steps in and offers marriage and she refuses, since he's the man who killed her twin brother, so he arranges for her to marry his cousin. A touch of mystery, full of romance, and set in 1818 England. Loved it!

  • Seema Khan
    2019-04-02 02:05

    I wanted to like this book so much! But alas! that is not what has happened :( The premise was good but I found the actions unethical. Cheating on your spouse is cheating even if you are cheating with him! The heroine is pitiful. The saving grace is Cole and a little bit of his sibling camaraderie.

  • Kimber
    2019-04-08 17:36

    A girl in my neighborhood recommended this book since I liked Edenbrooke. So I got on the waiting list at the library for it. I have to say, when I picked it up at the library and saw the cover, I was a little embarrassed. Yes, it is a regency romance novel. It's "clean," but I still can't decide how much I liked it. There were some things that really bothered me about it, and I don't even think I liked the two main characters that much, and there was a little too much drama. Here's the summary from Amazon.When her parents and only brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor's prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret. Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he'd thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer's attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart.

  • Englishrose
    2019-03-31 20:38

    A mixture of romance and mystery, this story is intriguing. Though many factors may seem unrelated or conflicting at first, the author does a wonderful job of tying everything together satisfactorily. Alicia is a strong character that really pulls you into her emotions, problems and personal conflicts. Cole is a noble and determined character who you just have to love. A little slow to start, the ending is exciting though I felt that it was perhaps to easy once you saw all the pieces. Twists and developments keep you turning the pages and wondering just how it will end. Great introductions to the main characters of later books. Good read - can't wait to read the next one!http://cleanromancereviews.blogspot.com

  • Heidi
    2019-03-22 22:04

    I was torn on whether to give this book a five or a four because there were a few things that I didn't like in the plot. (Can't say what it was because it would give things away:)...but having said that, I still actually loved the book....I and had a very hard time putting it down and I can't wait to start the 2nd in the series!

  • Angie Cornelison
    2019-04-08 22:04

    Absolutely LOVED this one! I love a good romance. This one did not disappoint! It even had a great mystery to it, which made it even better. If that was even possible. This is one I'll be rereading soon!

  • Kristina
    2019-03-25 22:52

    Rating: 4 stars. I really liked this story. I read the book twice within a short period of time, as I do with most books I thoroughly enjoy. I liked it the first time but even more so the second time around. This book reminded me very much of two Marcia Lynn McClure books, "The Highwayman of Tanglewood" and "Shackles of Honour".Alicia Palmer and her younger sister Hannah live with their uncle Willard and his son Robert, since the death of their parents and their brother Armand. Due to their uncle's mismanagement of the estate, they are in financial ruin. Alicia must marry a wealthy man to secure her family home and keep her and her family out of debtor's prison. Time is of essence and her choices are limited.She meets and falls for the handsome viscount Lord Amesbury (Cole) and wishes she had the freedom to choose a husband as attentive, gentle and kind as Cole. Then she finds out he is the man responsible for shooting her brother during a duel which eventually lead to his death. Appalled at this finding, she tries to shun her feelings for him. Cole is instantly besotted with Alicia and her honest, caring and dignified manner. He is bewildered and distressed when he learns that Armand died from the superficial gunshot wound administered by Cole, and he feels responsible for his death.Cole wants to save Alicia from a loveless marriage and financial ruin, so he proposes to her. She rejects him and opts for a marriage to Cole's distant crippled cousin who hides his disfigured face behind a mask. Her new husband treats her with respect and gentleness and although she fears him at first, she starts to warm towards him. Cole won't give up on Alicia and relentlessly pursues her whilst she is married to his cousin. Alicia finds herself feeling guilty and torn, as she develops feelings for both men.The mystery, suspense and romantic moments in this novel make it a page turner. Some of the storyline is predictable but it is still worthwhile reading if you love regency romances. Even though she is married to one man and in love with another, it is still a clean read. Cole's brothers, Grant and Jared make an appearance towards the end of the novel. They are just as handsome and charismatic as Cole and I am eager to read their stories in the next few novels in the "Rogue Heart's" series.

  • Mary - Buried Under Romance
    2019-04-11 01:05

    For full post please visit Buried Under RomanceThe Stranger She Married has a Cinderella theme with a charming viscount who is not all that he seems, and a sweet heroine who is kind and loyal to others despite her own desperate situation. Alicia Palmer first meets Viscount Amesbury at a ball, where she was modest and delightfully genuine."A playful smile hovered over the corners of his mouth. 'You are a fortune hunter?'... 'I am'." (pg 23/408)Alicia knows she is no match in fortune, beauty, and position for Amesbury, yet she cannot forget him, and neither can he. While Amesbury plays the charming gentleman to the ton, he is actually a reprobate (to which he admits) and cynical and jaded with regards to women. Alicia was like a refreshing breeze for him, an intrigue that he can't figure out. Except, she might have a reason to despise him, for after the death of her parents and twin brother she is left at the mercy of her greedy uncle, and Amesbury shot her twin, Armand, in a duel. Amesbury knows he only shot Armand in the arm, so how did he die from the wound? And will this matter prevent Alicia from ever fully trusting him?The novel employs the scarred hero trope, though this is more original than many others, as Amesbury has such hidden depths that they are slowly revealed through his action and dialogue throughout the novel. He is more than he seems, though he never puts on a mask of cynicism, but rather general bonhomie that is indifference and boredom. Contrary, Alicia is a straightforward character, one without deceit and reveals every emotion clearly on her face. Precisely because of that it is clear how Amesbury can fall in love with her, but it takes her much longer to understand his heart.With delicious dialogue and stunning characterization, I highly recommend this book to all fans of historical romance. The plot is fast-paced and abound with intrigue, yet it is the characters whom we fall in love with as they fall in love with each other and learn to look beneath the surface of events and people. A delightful read!*Review copy provided from Irresistible Reads Book Tour, but written of my honest opinion

  • Laura
    2019-04-07 00:35

    Okay, so this is a ROMANCE novel. Not a “bodice ripper”romance novel. Think of a combination of “Beauty and the Beast” and “You’ve Got Mail” set in Jane Austin’s England and you have some idea of this story. Alicia Palmer is a twenty-something young woman of marriageable age who because of the financial reverses suffered by her family finds herself in the unenviable position of being basically auctioned off to the highest bidder in order to keep what’s left of her family from going to debtors prison. Two unappealing suitors have agreed to pay off the debts of Alicia’s uncle if she will but choose one of them for her husband. Alicia has no desire to be “hitched” to either one of these totally unappealing gentlemen. Enter the very wealthy, very attractive and very appealing Lord Cole Amesbury. He becomes both acquainted with Alicia’s plight as well as attracted to her person. Alicia is equally attracted to Lord Amesbury but finds him to be totally unacceptable as a possible spouse most particularly when she discovers that he is the man who shot her twin brother in a duel. Even though Lord Amesbury took pains not to shoot to kill, the minor wound he did inflict eventually resulted in the death of Alicia’s brother. Cole desires to save Alicia from the fate that she so nobly is willing to face. He offers to marry her but she turns him down flat. So, rather than take her to wife himself, he arranges for her to marry his somewhat deformed cousin who wears a cloak and mask to cover his imperfections. Cole and Alicia are fun protagonists in this tale. In addition to their complicated relationship we also have the elements of a murder mystery. As Cole becomes more familiar with the details and events in Alicia’s life he begins to suspect that the death of her brother, the carriage accident that killed both of Alicia’s parents, and the numerous mishaps that Alicia experiences maybe the result of a campaign by someone to destroy Alicia and her remaining family. Altogether a fun read with a little bit of passion tossed into the mix. A very pleasant means by which to launch my first ever experience with E-books and my new E-reader.

  • Donna Weaver
    2019-04-02 22:48

    WHAT IT'S ABOUTWhen her parents and only brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor's prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he'd thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true.When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer's attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart. MY TAKEI found myself totally captivated by the characters in this story. I thought about them and the storyline often when I wasn't able to listen to the audiobook.There does come a point, about halfway through, when Cole acted in such a way that I completely lost all sympathy for him. It was a real struggle to like him for a long time after. However, by the time I got to the end of the story and understood what motivated the words he said, he had redeemed himself. Somewhat. There are some great twists in the story. The major one I'd figured out early on but Hatch managed to convince me that I hadn't, so I was pleasantly surprised after all.4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

  • Lilmissmolly
    2019-04-05 17:37

    I just finished listening to The Stranger She Married by Donna Hatch and I'm glad I did! Not ever having read or listened to one of her books, I wasn't sure what to expect. What I received was an entertaining few days (the audio is 12 1/2 hours) filled with realistic characters and great dialogue. The story centers around Alicia Palmer whose parents and twin brother recently died within a few weeks of each other, Now living with her uncle who is facing financial ruin due to no fault of own (it was refreshing that the uncle didn't gamble or drink away the family's fortune). Alicia needs to find herself a wealthy husband to save the family when all she really wants is a love match. She chooses to marry a man she has never met - a scarred war hero with a generous heart and gentle demeanor. After receiving word that her uncle also dies under suspicious circumstances, Alicia and her new family begin to suspect someone is out to eradicate her entire family. One of my favorite scenes is when our heroine decides to finally consummate her months-long marriage. The author let my own imaginations fill in the details behind the closed door of the bedroom. Books too often provide many salacious details that make me uncomfortable so I end up skipping them. Thankfully this was sweet and made me fall in love with the hero even more!I listened to the Audible version of this book narrated by Tanya Mills who did a good job. I recommend listening to this audiobook at 1.5 or double speed. Once the recording is sped up, you can differentiate voices and discern different tones and tempo in the performance. I received a copy of this audio in exchange for an unbiased review.

  • Lisa(Bookworm Lisa)
    2019-04-17 00:39

    Alicia is in an unenviable position. She has to marry to bail her family out of debtors prison. She is a fortune hunter, but the fortune she hunts is not for her own benefit.Cole tries to stay as far away from eligible young ladies as he can. He doesn't want to get married, but there is an honesty about Alicia that captures him. He can't stay away. This is how the story begins for The Stranger She Married. Lies and secrets bind Alicia and Cole, but at the same time they are pulling them apart. Cole shot Alicia's brother in a duel that ended in death. Alicia can't trust him, but at the same time she can't stay away from him. She marries a scarred stranger behind a mask hoping to find peace and save her family.I enjoyed the story. Part of the story line reminded me of a book that I read as a teen. I kept comparing them and it distracted me from this story. Donna Hatch did a great job at executing her plot and story. The pace was steady and the characters enjoyable. I liked that Cole Amesbury did not conform to society. He has brothers, and they have stories. I look forward to reading more about this unique family.

  • Anna Dye
    2019-03-21 17:40

    Do you long to dance with Mr. Darcy or flirt with Mr. Ferrar? Do you fantasize of regency bad boys like rakes, highwaymen, and pirates? Do you swoon at the sight of a man on horseback or engaging in a duel?Then this book is for you. A sweet, yet sensual regency romance. You will find love, devotion, shallowness and all the haunting beauties of that time, in the pages of this book. Donna does an excellent job portraying this romantic era with all its bows and bustles. Alicia’s family has died in mysterious ways and she is left in care of her uncle, who has lost her entire inheritance. Poor and destitute, she sees no other choice but to accept the marriage proposal of a scarred baron who wears a mask. Though he scares her somewhat, his kindness and devotion soon win her over. It is he who realizes that Alicia and his family are being killed one by one and that she is next. Powerful and beautiful, this book will keep you enthralled to the end.

  • Rachel
    2019-04-19 22:36

    I am amazed at how the act of reading helps me as a writer. When I read well written books, I want to be a better writer and I try to incorporate new writing techniques. I think it was Nicholas Sparks who said the best way to be a better writer is to read, read, read!I’ve heard of Donna Hatch’s book, The Stranger She Married, for at least a year now and am just barely getting around to reading it. I am so sorry it has taken me so long! I really missed out on a great story for a very long time! Donna Hatch is not only a gifted writer but a master storyteller. Her story is full of adventure, intrigue and deception! What better elements are there for a romance book? I am thrilled that I finally own this book!

  • Chrissy
    2019-04-05 00:37

    There were times I would have rated this five stars. And then there were times when I would have rated it two stars. So I settled for three starts :). The writing was great. I enjoyed the mystery aspect. The romance part bugged me. I knew the "secret" because of some spoilers on goodreads, but even then, it was uncomfortable for me at times. I am glad the heroine's conscience kicked in but I wish it had sooner. But I do love other stuff by this author so I am going to read the second book in this series with high hopes. And it's not like was a "bad" book, I just wished it didn't cross the lines for me after they were married.

  • Anna
    2019-03-22 18:57

    Were I not an incurable (and mostly unrepentant) end-reader I am not sure I could have finished this book. Even knowing how it came out, the behavior of the two main characters at multiple places in the story made me very uncomfortable. Alicia was generally a sympathetic character in other areas of the book and I could not help but like her, Cole I had more trouble with. I may still read others in this series as they don't seem to have the same "love triangle" situation that made me so uncomfortable here, so perhaps I could better appreciate them.

  • Donna Hatch
    2019-04-12 19:55

    Torn between a disfigured war hero with the heart of a poet, and a handsome libertine who may not be all he seems, impoverished Alicia must marry by the end of the month. Despite a murder threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger of all … to her heart.

  • Melissa
    2019-04-13 01:02

    Well not one of my favorite Hatch books. I loved the romance and the tension and the characters but the story line bothered me. It is not something I can write about without giving the story away. This is an adult romance with adult themes and Romance without the sex scenes. Her writing reminds me a little of Lynn Kurland who is one of my favorite authors.

  • Callie
    2019-04-02 00:36

    I really enjoyed this book! It was a quick entertaining read that had everything between fighting, word play, romance, deception. I couldn't put it down once I started, I had to find out if I was right in the end. It was so good I just got #2 to the series to read.

  • Donna Hatch
    2019-04-13 01:49

    This book is the re-edited, re-released version of the original The Stranger She Married published in 2008. This version also has a new cover, but the story is, essentially, the same as the original version, just improved.

  • Deborah
    2019-03-21 01:54

    LOVED this book! I read it a while ago and I guess I forgot to review it. I thought the characters were great and I think this author is amazing. I can't wait for the other brothers stories. Kath, which brother do you think is the hottest?? ;-)