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Moonraker's Bride
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Moonraker's Bride

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  1,693 ratings  ·  288 reviews
Born in a Mission in China, Lucy Waring finds herself with fifteen small children to feed and care for. The way she tackles this task leads to her being thrown into the grim prison of Chengfu, where she meets Nicholas Sabine - a man about to die.

He asks her a cryptic riddle, the mystery of which echoes through all that befalls her in the months that follow...

She is brought
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Mass Market Paperback, 0 pages
Published June 12th 1978 by Fawcett (first published 1973)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,762)
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Hannah
Feb 16, 2011 Hannah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of MM Kaye and Victoria Holt
Shelves: 2011-reads, gothics
Rating clarification: 4.5 stars

Wow...how in the world did I miss this book back in the day? I can't believe it took me over 30 years to read this one.

Moonraker's Bride was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-L-Y wonderful. The kind of book you get that tingling feeling about by page 10 or so. The kind of book you stay up way past your bedtime reading and savouring. The kind of romantic suspense book that used to be so popular 30-40 years ago, and now can't seem to be replicated by today's crop of writers. It reminded
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Tadiana
Each of the three Madeleine Brent books that I've read is set in the 1800s and has a orphaned British heroine who has been immersed in a different culture, which has vastly affected her outlook on life. In Golden Urchin the MC has been raised by Australian aborigines, in Stormswift she has been kidnapped at age 17 and forced into marriage and then servant/slavehood in Afghanistan, and in this book the MC was born in mainland China to Protestant missionaries, orphaned at a young age and ends up t ...more
Dorcas
3 1/2 stars
NUTSHELL :
A young English woman is raised in China in a missionary home for girl orphans. Despite being white on the outside she is more Chinese than English. When money runs out and the babies in her charge are starving, Lucy sets off for town where she attempts to steal a brooch. The story takes off there. Prison. Marriage. Treasure maps. Caves. England. The boxer rebellion and an unwrapping of villains. Its all there.

I really really love Madeleine Brent's books but I didn't feel th
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Diane Lynn
Really close to 5 stars but just not quite there. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is one of the better books in the romantic suspense genre that I have read. Can be hard to find in some libraries, but well worth tracking it down. I love how this author, really a man, sets his books in exotic locations and somehow works England into the story as well. He also writes strong, smart, capable heroines.

Takes place just before and during the Boxer Rebellion in China. Lucy Waring, 17 years old and ve
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Tweety
Apr 04, 2014 Tweety rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Suspense and Adventure lovers
Recommended to Tweety by: Dorcas
Well! I don't know where to begin, this was just so good. 4 1/2, almost 5

Lucy Waring, is one of the most adorable heroines I have had the fortune to meet in a book. I liked her just as much as the Lucy Waring in This Rough Magic, (I read TRM and Moonraker's Bride within a day of each other or I'd never have noticed, unless I read Hannah's review)

I Love Lucy, her Chinese ways, sweet manners and how she was determined to do what was right, not what would please everyone else. (similar to the oth
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Amy Saunders
If you want a book that keeps your attention, this is it. I read this book over a weekend and could hardly stand to put it down long enough to eat.

Lucy is an English orphan in China around the turn of the 20th century. She winds up in jail for stealing and meets Nick Sabine, an Englishman condemned to death. After learning about her situation, he marries her in the prison and gets her out, sparing her a brutal punishment. She is then helped out of the country and sent to England, a foreign land
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Heather
The next best thing to a romance that gives you butterflies is one that warms your heart.

The romance in this book didn't occur until well into the second half, but it was adorable and so worth the wait. I prefer my romance to be a little less in the background, but the rest of the book was interesting enough to make up for it. Lucy's adventures in China and as a transplant to England were entertaining. Of course, she was quite dense when it came to a certain person's character (who I had pegged
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Richelle
This book had pretty much every element that I really love in a good book: exotic settings, a strong female lead character, several great twists in the plot, a title that makes you think while you're reading the book and try to figure out the reason behind it, triumph over adversity, mystery, romance, adventure. Usually I think I'm doing good to get in two or three of those elements from a book, but Moonraker's Bride has all! I'd never heard of this book before and I guess it's out of print. Man ...more
Linda
Mar 16, 2008 Linda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Linda by: Vanessa H.
The pitch on the back of this book states, "The stranger she married that night was gone by morning. But for the rest of her days, she would be Moonraker's Bride." Now, who could resist a story like that? Moonraker's takes place in China right before the Boxer Rebellion. This is an amazing book well worth the time invested in reading it.
Connie
Moonraker's Bride was my first Gothic experience- read it when I was 12. I had enjoyed reading up to that point in my young life, but MB developed a deep and passionate love for books that has stayed with me since. It is THE book for me.
Jenna St Hilaire
The historical romance genre has never been a particular favorite of mine, but that may be because I’ve read the wrong type (i.e., too many bonnets.) Madeleine Brent—otherwise known as Peter O’Donnell, British mystery writer—caught my attention right away with teenage Lucy and her struggling mission home in China. This is the first Brent/O’Donnell novel I’ve read, but it shouldn’t be the last.

Lucy Waring is a unique heroine: English, but orphaned so young in China that she grew up generally thin
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Mojca
Apr 11, 2010 Mojca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of old-school gothic romance / mystery
Lucy Waring, an orphan living in a Chinese mission, is the only one who can take care of the fifteen children living with her. In order to provide food, she's forced to steal, for which she ends up in the prison, where she meets Nicholas Sabine, a man with only a few hours to live, his execution is coming up shortly.

Inside a prison cell the two struck a strange friendship that culminates with Nick's marriage proposal. Lucy, unable to deny a dying man, accepts. The next day, she's a widow.

She ret
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Zoe and the Edge
The heroine made the story but the plot was a little weak. I enjoyed the old-fashioned feel to it.

I like Lucy. She's English but she's grown up Chinese. She thinks like a Chinese and she behaves like one too even though she speaks English well. There's a bit of identity confusion because she's basically a half-breed. Looks English but acts Chinese. I found the added details of the way Lucy's brain works interesting. For instance, she has round eyes, which is ugly to the almond-shaped Asians and
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Alexis Lee
I'll always, always love these kind of books - the ones that play off romance and mystery while being set in an interesting period of time and culture, the ones that remind me of classics like Green Gables...but a little more grown up.
(What adds to the awesome - China! My gosh! :D)

This was a no-heavy thinking, feel-good, read - at its essence, a romance, even with it being set in China, exotic China. Its not a book which delves deeply into the historical setting, or Chinese society, or anything
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Heidi
if you're keeping a list of delightful books for both you and your daughter to read, add this one to the list. It's listed as a romance book but I think it would be much more appropriately labeled as a heroic adventure book. It has action and history and mystery. I spent time on wiki researching the boxer rebellion and anytime I spend extra time learning about historical context is a sign of an engaging read.
Erin
I would say a 3.5 stars. This book was recommended to me by my friend, Angie C. I do not really like romance novels, but this had an element of mystery, intrigue, and suspense. So I liked it. I loved the riddle, I suspected the hiding place of the treasure early in the book. I guessed the riddle, even before the characters did, which is so unlike me. I was confused about who the true evil guy was. Although that is what the author wanted me to be, confused. I was hoping that Nick would be the goo ...more
Rjeanne
I would have to give this book a 4.5 at least. It has been a while since I read it. It is worthy of being read again, and I will!
Aimee
I got this at our book club xmas book exchange, and I think I was the definite winner. It was such a fun read. Adventurous, interesting, just enough romance to keep it interesting, and rather unpredictable. I really enjoyed it.
Ramona
I relish the uneasy feeling you get as you try I figure out who the true villain is. Enjoyable read.
Karen (Book Light Graveyard)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kris
This book is out of print and I can't figure out why...it is a page turner and a great read! It has mystery, intrigue, romance, heartache...the works!!
The story of Lucy Waring, born in China to missionary parents. Her parents die shortly after her birth of typhus and she is raised by a nun who runs an orphanage for abandoned Chinese girls. As the nun ages and gets sick, Lucy is left with the burden of running the mission and caring for the children there. Definitely character building!
Lucy is f
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Meghann
This book is no longer in print so good luck finding it. My sweet sister-in-law gave it to me, as I do a "book club" with my sisters-in-law. This story is so great! So different from anything I've ever read, very refreshing.

The writing is a bit more simplistic than what I'm used to, but it didn't bother me, considering it WAS written in 1973.

If you can get your hands on a copy of this book, I highly suggest you read it!
Melissa
4.5 stars if I could!
What a fantastic story! It's been a little while since a book has caught my attention so completely. I didn't want to put it down. I had to know how it was all going to play out. I loved the characters and was so intrigued by the mysteries surrounding each of them. Loved how everything intertwined and fit together. This is a book I know I will love to read again!
Amy
One of my new favorites and reminds me of The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I was a little worried by the slow, overly descriptive start, but within 50 pages the intrigue was full blown! The main character had gotten herself into a mess of conflict. The complexity of the story and the emphasis on action propelled the plot and took this “romance” novel to a gratifying level.

I especially enjoyed the combination of English and Chinese culture and how the main character seemed to be a misfit in
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Courtney
Why is this book out of print?!! It's such a great story - like a cross between The Goose Girl, Rebecca, and the Scarlet Pimpernel (kind-of). I love the way he narrates - loved the characters and surprises. It has mystery, romance, suspense. I think I'll start passing it around to my friends if they promise not to lose it. Thanks to my sister for discovering it!!
Eirene
I love Madeleine Brent. However, this book has got to be up there with one of my favorites. It is magnificent- the scope is astounding. I also happen to love stories that incorporate the backdrop of tumultuous events, which, in this case, was the Boxer Rebellion. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Leanne
Ran into this title when I was re-reading an old journal of mine. Apparently I loved this book when I read it as a 16 year old. I'm disappointed that our library system doesn't carry it and a used copy runs $25 from Amazon. Ebay even has a copy for $1004.11. Wow, I don't remember being THAT good!
Jennifer
This book was strange, and not in a good way. I think I'm in the minority in finding the book boring, even if (in theory) the plot should be exciting. I agree with the other reviewers who found Lucy to be too perfect, especially in her "I'm nothing special, sir" way of acting. Also, it's got the creepy subtle, "Isn't it cute how the Chinese peasants are afraid of foreigners and the little English girl thinks she's ugly because she has round eyes, but she's really the most beautiful person around ...more
Anne Sexton
Very disappointed! Based on review, I thought it would be great. But I grew kind of disgusted with it as I got toward the last fifth of the book, and sped-read the last part. Problems? Well, Lucy Waring has no weaknesses - she is a super girl. Boring. Cardboard characters (the female Greshams are the wicked stepmother and stepsisters), incredible/unbelievable coincidences, dangerous situations Lucy escapes from with either luck or her incredible superness, and many more. There was no credible ch ...more
Sakura Yue Michaelis
Trust Madeleine Brent to have the reader hook at the first line. It has all the elements of a Gothic I love to read (and the kind that is so hard to find nowadays). A young, brave English girl, who seems to be alone in the world and goes to live in a Manor and whose life is constantly in danger, mostly because of a hidden treasure. This summary is completely incomplete, because it is so much more. But these are the elements that always catch my attention first.

I consider an important point that
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Madeleine Brent is a pseudonym used by Peter O'Donnell.

Peter O'Donnell was born on 11 April 1920 in Lewisham, London, England, UK. He was interested in writing as a child, and began writing professionally at the age of 16. During World War II he served in the Royal Signals Corps, and was stationed in Persia, Syria, Egypt, the Western Desert, Italy, and Greece. After the war, he worked as a comic s
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