A Counterfeit Betrothal/The Notorious Rake
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A Counterfeit Betrothal/The Notorious Rake (Waite #2-3)

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  348 ratings  ·  59 reviews

Mary Balogh presents two of her classic Regency-era romances—seductive tales of ladies who are running away from love . . . and rogues who enjoy the chase.


Lady Sophia Bryant has no intention of marrying anytime soon. Her one desire is to reunite her parents, who have been estranged for fourteen years. Surely, if she happen...more
Published April 30th 2013 by Dell (first published 1992)
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Lady Wesley
This book contains two Mary Balogh novels from 1992, and thanks to Mary for making her backlist available in mass market PB and ebook format at a reasonable price.

As other reviewers have noted, A Counterfeit Betrothal actually features two romances. Lady Sophia Bryant, who has no desire to marry, persuades the rakish Lord Francis Sutton to pose as her fiance. Sophie's hope is that the attendant festivities will help reunite her parents, who have been separated for fourteen years. Everyone gather...more
Two books, so two ratings really.

A Counterfeit Betrothal: One Star Full disclosure, I only skimmed the last sixty pages of this book, because, by then, I didn't give a rat's ass about any of the characters.

Romance novels, by current definition, end on a happily ever after(HEA) note, so they really need to shine in characters and/or plot. Given this book's rather straight forward plot, we needed characters way less flat than Sophia and Francis, sorry, Lord Francis* turned out to be. They were for...more
The Counterfeit Betrothal 3.5/5.0 (C+)
I really enjoyed the wit and humor found in the romance between Lady Sophia Bryant and Lord Francis Sutton. They fake a betrothal to reunite Sophie's estranged parents. Sophie and Francis grew up together and have a history of arguing and hostility. Sophie is funny and Francis teases her to death. I love the way they play each other and end up together. This is a light and fun pair. On the other hand the romance between Sophie's parents is seriously painful...more
I only read a counterfeit betrothal. It is my first book by Mary Balogh having been recommended the story and told how funny it is I tried it. Now I normally enjoy historical romances they fill in when my normal fair gets to heavy. This was not the case with this one, instead of a enjoyable light romance I got a brain dead annoying character in Sophia that left me with absolutey no clue as to why Lord Francis would even like her let alone love her. I never once felt any love there at all. Sure h...more
Counterfeit Proposal
I will be honest and say I only enjoyed parts of this book. I found Sophia irritating from the start, I know she was only 18, but she hit all the TSTL buttons for me and I don't understand what Francis saw in her. On the other hand, I enjoyed Marcus and Olivia's story. It was nicely done and though I wanted to give both of them a boot on occasion, I could understand why they were so afraid to trust each other.

The Notorious Rake
I really enjoyed this story, Mary was a wonderful...more
Two books in one.

The Counterfeit Betrothal - Sophia wants to get her parents back together. They have been separated for years. So, Sophia has this brilliant idea, a fake betrothal. Surely approving a marriage and arranging a wedding will bring her distant parents together. There are 2 stories here. One is Sophia and her fake relationship with Francis. He was a childhood friend who treated her badly, and they still treat one another as though they were arguing children. The second story is about...more
Thanks to Librarything and the publishers for the early review copy of this book.
This is a re-issue of two of Mary Balogh's best loved novels, together in one volume.

The first novel is The Counterfeit Betrothal. This book was originally released in 1992, I believe. This is an ageless and timeless novel.

Lady Sophia loudly and proudly proclaims to a group of her closest friends that she will never, under any circumstances, marry. When pressed about this by her friends, she gives them the example o...more
4.5 stars
I absolutely loved this book. It was actually 2 books in one, which is a great way to do some older book, especially if they are a series.
The first book was just a funny story for me, Sophia thought one thing was going on but it was something totally different. Francis was just an adorable hero for me, he had that girl in his back pocket and I loved it.
The second book was a little more serious, but the characters were both older and had their own things going on. I liked Mary, her chara...more
Finished A Counterfeit Betrothal, interestingly enough 2 couples in conflict and how they move forward. Unfortunately I like my reads when 2 couples are involved to run more like 80/20, 50/50 split always seems to annoy me though a few authors pull this off well but in these earlier novels I don't believe MB does. If I'm constantly looking past the "couple" I'm reading, I'm inherently losing 50 percent of the pleasure.

Rating 3.0

To underline I only read CB, not NR. The rating only reflects that...more
Melissa J. Katano
A two-for-one republishing of some of Ms. Balogh's older novels.

A Counterfeit Betrothal is a two-for-one romance: Lady Sophia wants to bring her estranged parents back together, so she concocts a fake betrothal for herself and Lord Francis Sutton, a rake and the son of her parents' friends, a man she knows her parents won't want her to marry.

Turns out, her parents are so much against him, as they are against her marrying so young--even though she's a year older than her mother was when her paren...more
I had different feelings about the two books.

I found A Counterfeit Betrothal to be ok but didn't warm to any of the characters. A young woman tries to reconcile her parents by pretending to be engaged.

Her parents have been estranged for 14 years after her father went to a wedding alone, got drunk and was shamed into sleeping with another woman.

The young woman pretends to be engaged to a childhood frenemy - of course what is clear to the reader is that he has feelings for her and is using the f...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susannah Carleton
Two delightful stories, with wonderful characters and intriguing obstacles for the couples to overcome. In The Counterfeit Betrothal, a long-estranged couple are forced to spend a month together to celebrate their daughter's proposal, which is a sham, concocted with the hope of reconciling her parents. Her erstwhile fiancé, however, agreed to the proposed scheme in the hope of gaining her affections. Both couples find their happily-ever-after, although it is a rockier road for the older couple....more
I was given a copy of this book for review by the publisher through GoodReads First Reads.

I didn't like this book. I couldn't even finish it! After having the book for almost a year, and taking almost 6 months to start it, I finally have to throw in the towel.

The characters in the A Counterfeit Betrothal (Sophia/Francis and her parents) didn't make any sense to me, nor did their motivations. I understand Sophia wanting her parents back together, but staging a betrothal to someone she 'hates' wi...more
A Counterfeit Betrothal is a fantastic story - it would have gotten 5 stars if it had been by itself. Lady Sophia and Lord Francis are the perfect couple, and have been since they were kids tormenting each other. When Sophia gets the crazy idea to pretend to be betrothed to him to try and get her parents back together after 14 years apart, he's more than happy to help with her scheme. But things take an interesting turn when they realize they may actually like each other. God forbid either admit...more
This book is a reprint of two old regencies of Mary Balogh's.

THE COUNTERFEIT BETROTHAL has two romances--that of a young woman who pretends a betrothal to a childhood friend, and that of her parents, who have been estranged for 14 years. The primary story and romance is that of the parents. It's a story of growing up, learning to forgive, and having the courage to face your fears and disappointments and take a risk that maybe, love can survive through the greatest regrets and despair. Of accept...more
There are indeed two intertwined stories in A Counterfeit Betrothal, very different in their emotional level. The younger couple is lighthearted and it’s a pleasure to see their childhood love/hate relationship changing to friendship and long-term affection, mixed with constant quarreling for good measure. Francis is absolutely delightful, I thoroughly enjoyed the non-stop banter between him and Sophia. It takes a while to realize that beneath his carefree attitude there’s a very clever mind wit...more
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads and Mary Balogh for a chance to read this book.

A Counterfeit Betrothal/The Notorious Rake is a two in one book. I’ll separate the books separately below for review.

The first book - A Counterfeit Betrothal:

A Counterfeit Betrothal is a regency romance story that follows Sophie Bryant and her plot to reunite her parents. Sophia's parents were separated since she was four. She wants to get them back together and devises a plan wi...more
Cherie Jensen
A Counterfeit Betrothal:

I liked Francis, the hero, a lot. He was personable and witty. The heroine, Sophia, acted her age, 18. This meant that she was sometimes a bit frivolous. They spent a lot of time together but always as friends and always teasing each other. I never was able to take her seriously. But apparently she was just the person for Francis. Not a bad story, but not a page turner either. The better story was the one between Sophia's estranged parents although Olivia was annoying fo...more
This book destroyed my Balogh can do no wrong belief. It also ended my habit of buying bundled reprints. The publishers are clearly trying to make a dime off their old failed lists. They stick a bad book with a "good" book.
Case in point: "A Counterfeit Betrothal" dragged on forever, with the flighty Sophia (no wisdom there) dragging Simon into her bizarre plot to reunite her parents until he lamely declares he had planned it all along. What a loser.

I gave up on the second book: "The Notorious Ra...more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
in one release. Both are re-releases of book that were out of print. I liked both stories . The Notorious Rake follows a familiar pattern but A Counterfeit Betrothal is a little different from other historical romances.

There are two story lines in The Counterfeit Betrothal. Lady Sophia and Lord Francis are the two main characters in one line and Olivia and Marcus, Lady Sophia’s parents, are the main characters in the second line. I enjoyed the dual nature of the story. All along I felt Lord Fran...more
Lori Kurochkina
This was my first book by Mary Balogh. From the back of the book, both stories sounded like they could be great, light love stories. I was really disappointed that the first story focused more on the parents story and hardly any time on the young couple that were faking the betrothal. I felt that the author could have done so much more developing the characters and it could have been a great love story. The Notorious Rake was also a disappointment. To me, the characters bickered and fought throu...more
Cardyn Brooks
Mary Balogh consistently writes about complex adult characters with an impressive degree of emotional intimacy that resonates as essentially true in terms of vulnerability and relatable imperfections. Reading her very early titles reinforces respect for her writing talent.

A Counterfeit Betrothal contrasts Sophia and Francis's fake/not fake comic-relief courtship with Olivia and Marc's more poignant saga. Both relationships are fully developed and entertaining.

The Notorious Rake is a typical tale...more
I only read 'A Counterfeit Betrothal' and thought it was very cute in the standard Mary Balogh style.

The Notorious Rake didn't seem very appealing to me so I didn't bother with it.
As usual, I like Mary Balogh. Something about her style of writing appeals to me. I do love the reissue of these older books.
Polly Watson
Yes, another Mary Balogh book. I like these ones that are published with 2 books in one. Both of these books, A COUNTERFEIT BETROTHAL and THE NOTORIOUS RAKE, follow the same pattern as every other Balogh book. There isn't anything new other than the stories themselves. They're still fun to read and still provide me enough entertainment that I don't regret purchasing the book or reading it. And, yes, I'll probably read the whole thing (both books) several times--as I typically do with Balogh book...more
Sharon DeVault
Really enjoyed both of these books! The connected stories in The Counterfeit Proposal were excellent, and Edmond's backstory was so sad.
I feel bad to say of all the reprints of older Mary Balogh books that have so far been published, these two were the hardest for me to read. I can tell you exactly why too: several times in the narratives the main characters say the most hurtful things that even _I_ would feel sullied by them. That said, i still finished both tales, and i will still give them three stars. There was a profound turn of phrase in both books that i appreciated. And both stories were tackling dark subjects, and did i...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Mary Jenkins was born on 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high-school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curl...more
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