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Marriage of Mercy

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  508 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
From riches to rags, Grace has had to swallow her pride and get a job as a baker. But everything changes when she's the beneficiary of a surprise inheritance.Her benefactor's deal comes with a catch: give up her life of toil and live in luxury only if she marries his illegitimate son, a prisoner of war. It's an offer she can't afford to refuse. But her husband-to-be is dyi ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 281 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Harlequin (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Cecilia
May 06, 2012 Cecilia rated it it was ok
The premise is actually slightly different than the blurb describes: The heroine finds out that she has inherited a modest income and lifetime residence of a dower house on a marquis's land, in return for going to Dartmoor to bring home the deceased marquis's illegitimate son, who is an American POW. Her task is only to care for him and oversee his parole in the dower house, not marry him. The solicitor reveals that the deceased marquis had hoped that they would fall in love and marry, but it wa ...more
Kathleen
Jan 30, 2013 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Four solid stars for this historically interesting romance. I read the e-book version. The title is deceiving. There is NO marriage of mercy in this plot. No marriage at all, actually, but it is foretold in the last chapter. The publisher's synopsis is misleading, too.

This review is *mostly* Spoiler Free. I don't give away the main mystery.

Setting: England, primarily from 1814 to 1815. Dartmoor Prison and Quimby, a village in Devon, England, not too far from Exeter. The Napoleonic War is coming
...more
kris
Oct 13, 2014 kris rated it did not like it
There should be a hotline to call when a publisher (or author) commits a crime against their readers. Horribly expansive "preview" fillers, poor construction, book blurbs or TITLES that are liars that lie...

Grace does have to find a job as a baker after the death of her debt-ridden father. And she does end up in the will of a local member of the gentry, who does grant her parole-rights to his illegitimate son, a Captain in the American navy. And she DOES find the Captain and he DOES die and she
...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
2/5; 2 stars; C

Well, the writing was the high quality I've come to expect from Carla Kelly but the story fell flat for me. First and foremost, I think Harlequin screwed up in a BIG way with the title of this book and the synopsis. It made me think that the pages of the book got put inside the wrong cover. There was no marriage, even at the end, the main couple had yet to be married. There was no mention of marriage in the conditions of the inheritance. It was very strange.

My favorite aspect of
...more
SheLove2Read
May 02, 2012 SheLove2Read rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
What I liked: captivating writing and immensely likeable characters. No lords, ladies or surprise heirs here - the hero is a former indentured servant,now a common sailor, and the heroine is a bakery worker (although her father was at one time a Baronet). I also liked that the romance was slow to progress. Normally that might bore me but in this case it worked. The progression from tentative friends to lovers is sweet and satisfying.

What I didn't like was the cover - the characters look NOTHING
...more
Meggie
Just a FYI: the back cover copy (and the title, to be honest) have nothing to do with the actual plot. Ignore them!

So, Marriage of Mercy is pretty much The Lady's Companion, but with American prisoners and doughnuts and a ridiculous villain. I know, that sounds rather unlike TLC, but what I meant was that both books feature heroines who have slipped from the gentry into the working middle class--Grace in MoM more so than Susan in TLC, since Grace was working as a baker.

I love when regency-set n
...more
Jolene
Sep 03, 2012 Jolene rated it liked it
This book was not a standout for me, especially after reading "Miss Grimsley's Oxford Career," but it held my interest and there was some suspense (not a lot, mind you) to keep the reader wondering which background characters to trust. It was a good read on the whole, but the openly affectionate behavior of the hero and heroine in public (even before they fell in love) seemed out of place to me given the time period and setting. I do have one last snarky thought that persisted for the latter hal ...more
Liewen
I didn't think it was possible to be disappointed with Carla Kelly, but this one is clearly not one of my favourites. The plot ending is a bit silly and the pro-americanism -the story takes place at the end of the War of 1812- is really over the top. The main protagonists are nice but, if I liked their complicity and their banter, I could never feel THE spark between them.

Still, the writing is most enjoyable and the characters are finely sketched -this is a Carla Kelly after all-, thus the 3 sta
...more
Christina
Nov 16, 2015 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Great storyline but too many things wrong...

This book has a great summary/title/cover, that has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with what the actual book is about. There is no marriage, not at all. Notwithstanding the misleading title and summary, the storyline is fairly good and interesting. The supporting characters add depth and humor. But there are bedroom scenes which disgust me and completely ruined the book. Ugh the story could have been great without those! I'm frustrated cause I've read books
...more
Ƥʋиʏα [Punya Reviews...]
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miki
Sep 03, 2013 Miki rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Bennet
Oct 17, 2016 Elizabeth Bennet rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the romance that unfolded in this story. Robert and Grace are so cute together. When Grace's father dies she is forced to take a position in a bakery to keep herself a float. Ten years pass and Grace has done well for herself and made friends along the way. One in particular friend leaves her in his will upon his death. This takes her to Dartmoor to parole a POW into her care. The scene and images tore at my heart. The conditions in the manner they were forced to live in and unf ...more
Gaile
This book took out like a tornado for me and I read it in record time.
It takes place in England during the French and American wars. The War of 1812 as America calls it has imprisoned many American sailors at Dartmoor Prison. Gracie, born a lady but experienced a downfall is now a Baker's apprentice. She develops a friendship with Lord Thomson who names her in his will provided she releases and takes care of a prisoner from Dartmouth. This has quite a complex plot. Nothing is what it seems nor a
...more
Karyn Gerrard
Jun 26, 2012 Karyn Gerrard rated it really liked it
3.5 stars out of 5 rounded up to 4

I agree with others, title is lame and blurb misleading. Also the cover was ill conceived and didn't fit the story. Carla Kelly deserved better than this. Well written as always, no one does naval romances like Carla. A sweet romance with interesting characters, I would have preferred a little more heat. Regardless, I was caught up in the narrative and Rob was engaging as an American POW granted parole through a twist of fate and left in the care of the heroine,
...more
Laura
Jan 14, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok
This book just dragged for me. SPOILER ***I was shocked that a woman in that day and age from her station in life would sleep with someone she was not married to. Not really believable. I found myself skimming chapters wanting things to move faster until more than half way through. Not her best work, far from it!
Jeri
Jun 03, 2012 Jeri rated it really liked it
I really liked the characters and relationship. The plot was ridiculous, though ...
Amy
Jun 22, 2017 Amy rated it really liked it
Through strange circumstances a young woman is forced to choose one prisoner to save from Dartmoor Prison (the people are fictional but the place was real). The woman then spends months nursing him back to health while surrounded by an intricate and slowly unfolding plot.
The romance was sweet enough but the history of Dartmoor was rather darkly fascinating.

Violence, some language, sex.
Rylee Black
Jun 13, 2017 Rylee Black rated it liked it
Shelves: regency, carla-kelly
I love Carla Kelly books, but this one is my least favorite so far. The characters were lovable and endearing as always. The thing that bothered me was the amount of very descriptive sex scenes. I did not find them tasteful and they lowered my respect and love for the characters. The story was missing the authentic and sweet ending. If you love Carla Kelly this is one you could skip.
Carmen Bon Temps
May 21, 2017 Carmen Bon Temps rated it really liked it
3,5*, una historia conmovedora, se sufre un poco por los dos y la intriga se mantiene hasta el final. El héroe es un tipo excepcional.
Sophia
Jul 02, 2012 Sophia rated it really liked it
I adore Carla Kelly and thought that I'd read all her books until I stumbled upon this one. I couldn't believe my luck. I glanced at the blurb, but honestly? It didn't matter; its a Carla Kelly after all.

Before I get to my summary of the story and my thoughts, I just have to toss out there something that occurred to me as I read the book. For some odd reason, the title has nothing to do with the story and the blurb, very little. I put that out there for you to know in case that makes a differen
...more
Susan
First let me say that I enjoyed the book. However, Harlequin really messed up with the backcover blurb and the cover art. There was no marriage required and the people on the front don't match the story at all. Grace had befriended the local elderly Lord Thomson. When he died he left her a small inheritance (not enough for the "luxury" stated) and asked that she assist in the paroling of his illegitimate son who is an American prisoner of war. When she goes to the prison (a horrible place) the y ...more
ROMANTIC HISTORICAL REVIEW BLOG
Review by Lady Blue At Romantic Historical Lovers: http://romantichistoricallovers.wordp...

Reviewed by Lady Blue

Grace Curtis has slipped. She readily admits this, and any number of her former friends are willing to tell her, lest she forget. She formerly led a relatively privileged life, but her widowed father, too prideful and blind to see he needed to economize, died penniless and debt ridden. So, at age eighteen, Grace was forced from her home with nothing and nowhere to go.

She approaches Mr.
...more
Teri-k
Jan 01, 2017 Teri-k rated it really liked it
Terrible Cover...
Misleading Title...
Description that makes you wonder if they actually read the book...

I've read a few other books by this author and I get the feeling that her publisher doesn't quite know what to do with her stories. They are historical, Regency-type romances, but they're also unusual. In this book our heroine is left penniless when her father dies, but she has the courage to go to the local baker and offer to work off what the family owes in exchange for room and board. Thus s
...more
Aspoon
Jul 21, 2014 Aspoon rated it did not like it
I have mixed feelings about this book...on one hand I loved the knowledge of history within the story...it didn't realize a lot of the things mentioned in this book happened so I found myself looking things up and further reading about historical events during 1812-1815. So Kudos to the author for that...on the other hand...the romance side was lacking and I didn't feel a romantic/sexual connection between the characters...actually it would have been better off if they were brother and sister... ...more
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
This book is different than I thought it would be. The synopsis and title made think it would e a different story. I enjoyed the book, just wondering who wrote the synopsis and came up with the title?

Grace went from riches to rags. She was forced to leave her home after her father's death, with no family to turn to and nowhere to go. She showed her fortitude and ingenuity when she offered to work for a baker whom her father owed money.

Ten years pass, she did well with her life and made friends b
...more
Patsyann
Dec 21, 2011 Patsyann rated it it was amazing
This book is wrapped around (IMO) a pretty intense romance. The heroine was a strong woman who accomplished a lot - the hero was a smart-alecky person who challenged her. But they fell in love anyway and that was the best thing about the book.
I did not like the ending. Even though hero and heroine got together in the end – the last couple of chapters, depicting their separation, was hard to read. Man’s inhumanity to man is sometimes hard to read about. The heroine’s reaction to it, mirrored what
...more
Elizabeth
Another wonderful historical novel by Ms. Kelly. Engaging characters with minimal focus on the aristocracy. The heroine, Grace, grew up the daughter of a Baronet, but when he died leaving her penniless, she indentured herself in a bakery to pay off his debts and vowed not look back at her old life. All she hoped for, if it could be called that, was to save and by the bakery some day when the owners retire.

She befriended a local Lord, despite his crotchiness. When he passed away, much to the dis
...more
Wollstonecrafthomegirl
May 05, 2015 Wollstonecrafthomegirl rated it it was amazing
I am utterly baffled that this book has such a low average rating on Goodreads because it gave me All The Feels. Obviously Carla Kelly is a genius and I she hasn't written a bad book. This one is no different. Our heroine, Gracie, is a gentry daughter who has 'slid' and is now a baker's assistant. Our hero, Rob, is an American POW who is paroled to her care. More plot than I ordinarily like and more plot than Ms Kelly ordinarily deals in, but she makes it work so well. I rarely cry at novels, ma ...more
Melissa
May 01, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it
Liked the book. Must warn you it has adult/erotic content. Not much, only two scenes really, but I was under the impression that it was a "clean romance" book. Guess I should have read all the tags, hmm? I don't know if this is a different Carla Kelly than the one that does clean romance, or if there is one who writes both. Either way, you won't be surprised as I was.
As others on here have mentioned, the title and synopsis on the back have very little to do with the book. There is no marriage o
...more
Amanda
Aug 01, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: historicals
I always read the back cover or inside flap of books to get the main idea of the book. I must say with this book, for the first time ever, I want to find this books editor and shake them and ask if they even really read the book. Even though some of what is on the back is the synopsis for the story, there are major details that are wrong. I thought the editor's job was to edit the book, but it seems this day in age they are just getting paid to spit out books. Really, why are publishers wasting ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 22, 2015 07:48PM  
  • Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick
  • Married to a Stranger
  • Regency Christmas Wishes
  • Lady Elizabeth's Comet (Clanross, #1)
  • The Lady Forfeits (Copeland Sisters, #2)
  • Fallen Angel
  • My Fair Concubine (Tang Dynasty, #3)
  • A Loyal Companion
  • The Rake to Ruin Her
  • One Unashamed Night (Wellinghams, #2)
  • A Question of Impropriety
  • Never Stay Past Midnight
  • Beauty and the Scarred Hero
  • Taken by the Wicked Rake (Regency Silk & Scandal, #8)
  • A Regency Christmas Carol
  • Back to the Good Fortune Diner
  • Unmasking the Duke's Mistress (Gentlemen of Disrepute #1)
  • The Sergeant's Lady (The Arringtons and Wright-Gordons, #2)
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Although Carla Kelly is well known among her readers as a writer of Regency romance, her main interest (and first writing success) is Western American fiction—more specifically, writing about America's Indian Wars. Although she had sold some of her work before, it was not until Carla began work in the National P
...more
More about Carla Kelly...

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