Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Moonraker's Bride” as Want to Read:
Moonraker's Bride
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Moonraker's Bride

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  2,225 Ratings  ·  336 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
Mass Market Paperback, 319 pages
Published June 12th 1978 by Fawcett (first published 1973)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Moonraker's Bride, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Moonraker's Bride

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

4.5 stars. It's the late 1890's, and seventeen year old Lucy Waring has lived in a mission home in China and has been immersed in Chinese culture all her life. She was born in mainland China to Protestant missionaries, was orphaned at a young age, and has ended up taking care of fifteen abandoned Chinese girls at a rural Christian mission, pretty much singlehandedly after the elderly Englishwoman in charge of the mission falls ill and dies. Lucy speaks English (though less well than Chinese) but
Sep 18, 2010 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of MM Kaye and Victoria Holt
Shelves: 2011-reads, gothics
Rating clarification: 4.5 stars 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
Feb 20, 2014 Tweety rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
3 1/2 stars
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
I liked it more than Tregaron's Daughter which I also couldn't stop reading. Adventure and romance set in China and England around the beginning of the 20th century. I have 3 more books by this author waiting and then what?
Amy Saunders
May 12, 2010 Amy Saunders rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
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
Linda Orvis
Mar 16, 2008 Linda Orvis rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Mar 08, 2012 Richelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tahsina Syeda
Nov 23, 2015 Tahsina Syeda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the very best Gothic romance novels I have ever read. And, believe it or not, this one was written by a man! XD ! I read this book when I was 16, which is a great age to wholeheartedly enjoy a Gothic romance.
Lucy Waring, like all Brent's heroines, is simply splendid and hilarious. She is my favorite thing about this book.

Jun 24, 2012 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-again
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.
Apr 05, 2017 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, wish-to-own
Very satisfying--Gothic enough that one can't be completely sure who to trust or what their motives are until near the end, yet romantic enough to satisfy. I know little of Chinese/British history to speak to the accuracy of setting, but I enjoyed it; it's defnintely out of the norm. The romance is clean and sweeet and reminded me just a touch of LM Montgomery's novel The Blue Castle. 4.5 stars
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
Alexis Lee
Aug 27, 2012 Alexis Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Aug 08, 2008 Mojca rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Dec 10, 2008 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 30, 2013 Meghann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Feb 22, 2015 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 15, 2014 Ivča rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mám ji na poličce už strašně dlouho a i když se mezi ostatními díly vyjímá asi jako pěst na oko, tak ji nedokážu z poličky odebrat :) Srdcovka mého dospívání už jen proto, že to není červená knihovna, jak by se mohlo zdát :) Parádní děj s několika nečekanými zvraty, přičemž mezi ten největší řadím fakt, že jsem teprve dnes zjistila, že autorčino jméno funguje jen jako pseudonym pro mužského autora... Některé knihy nás prostě nepřestanou překvapovat ani po 10 letech :)
Eirene Ritznore
Jan 23, 2013 Eirene Ritznore rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 23, 2009 Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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!!
Apr 01, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Dec 10, 2014 Kayli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a gem!!! Completely a junk-food read, but so very very enjoyable. A little melodramatic, but thrilling and a page-turner. In fact, I stayed up until 4 in the morning finishing it. I had to put 5 stars just because of how much fun it was to read, even though I don't know that I'll read it again.
Feb 21, 2011 Leanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Dec 04, 2014 Aimee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 23, 2008 Christin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christin by: Rachel C
I really loved this book as well as most books by this author. It is fun to read a romantic adventure that has a great female character. I loved the setting of the book and it was a really easy read.
Dec 24, 2014 Rjeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jules Kearney
Jan 03, 2016 Jules Kearney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-picks
Very good romantic mystery.
Sep 26, 2014 Ramona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I relish the uneasy feeling you get as you try I figure out who the true villain is. Enjoyable read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Watch the Wall, My Darling
  • The Property of a Gentleman
  • Secret for a Nightingale
  • Wildfire at Midnight
  • Window on the Square
  • Wings of the Falcon
  • The Tyrant (The Golden Chronicles, #3)
  • My Love, My Enemy
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
More about Madeleine Brent...

Share This Book

“When You don't know what to do, just do whatever comes next and go from there.” 38 likes
“Lucy, you're as transparent as a pane of glass, and there's not a speck of guile to be seen in you. Yet in a way you're a mystery to me.” 3 likes
More quotes…