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Dark Angel / Lord Carew's Bride (Stapleton-Downes #3&4)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,816 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh come two classic tales of love turned dangerous, set amid the splendor of Regency England—a time rife with passion, betrayal, and intrigue.

Jennifer Winwood has been engaged for five years to a man she hardly knows but believes to be honorable and good: Lord Lionel Kersey. Suddenly, she becomes the quarry of Lond
Mass Market Paperback, 596 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by Dell
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Lord Carew's Bride by Mary BaloghThe Temporary Wife by Mary BaloghReforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla    KellyMrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla    KellyThe Rake by Mary Jo Putney
Traditional Regency
9th out of 491 books — 219 voters
Love in the Afternoon by Lisa KleypasNine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLeanMarried By Morning by Lisa KleypasTen Things I Love About You by Julia QuinnTen Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean
Historical Romances of 2010
15th out of 82 books — 305 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,807)
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Mar 03, 2010 Rane rated it it was amazing
In Dark Angel, Jennifer has been engaged to a man although she hardly knows but loves deeply for the past five years they’ve been engaged, as the engagement announcement t draws closer, she finds herself the object of a notorious earl’s attention Gabriel Fisher, the Earl of Thornhill. Gabriel is playing a game of revenge and using Jennifer as a pawn, but when the game soon becomes a game of love, one neither are winning to lose!

Like many Mary Balogh fans, it’s very hard to find books on her bac
Of the two, I definitely liked Lord Carew's Bride the most. Neither was an OMGWOW sort of read though. I'd give Dark Angel a 3 and Lord Carew's Bride a 4.

Dark Angel

Miss Jennifer Winwood is in town for her very first Season and positively vibrating with the excitement of it. Unlike other girls on their come out, though, she's not here to snag a husband. That was set for her five years ago, when she was 15, when her viscount father arranged her betrothal to a the heir to an earldom, Viscount Kerse
5 stars for Dark Angel
Dark Angel was great! Wow, I love how Balogh writes. I loved Heartless and then read More than a Mistress and loved that one even more - this one is a close tie to MTaM. She has such an amazing way of portraying different human emotions and she always makes me think - I actually feel like I learned something from this book - stuff I already knew but it's always good to have reminders:

1. Revenge is a huge waste of time and you risk hurting innocent people and possibly your
Miranda Davis
Jul 08, 2014 Miranda Davis rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Regency romance fans who like mature H/hs
Re: Lord Carew's Bride 5 stars
A great Balogh story about a woman's love affair with friendship. Samantha is a 24-year old Incomparable determined never to let love devolve to pain. She has remained unmarried after 7 seasons and intends to continue that way due to early disillusionment and secret guilt. Hartley is a brave, honorable man, crippled in an accident when six, who has lived a reclusive life, occupying himself with designing landscapes on his and friends' property. They meet on the grou
Carol Storm
Nov 23, 2015 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing
I read DARK ANGEL when it first came out back in 1995, and though I enjoyed it I didn't really remember much afterwards. I heard a lot about LORD CAREW'S BRIDE over the years but never had a chance to read it till this great new paperback edition came out, combining both stories into one great package!

First thing to notice is that the two stories are so intimately connected that the packaging is much more than a marketing ploy. You can't really understand Samantha in LORD CAREW unless you read a
This rating is for 'Dark Angel' only.

UGH!! This book was so frustrating and I totally regret wasting my time reading it! The heroine wasted the whole book being in love and pining for another man that did not want her, but wanted her cousin instead. I don't even know why I kept reading?! I guess I was hoping that soon, soon the heroine will start to show some real interest in the hero and the real romance with her and the hero would move along, but no. It took her intended to disgrace her for h
Dark Angel - 4/5 stars
Lord Carew's Bride - 5 stars

I think one of the reasons that I enjoyed this pair of novels so much was the simplicity of the storylines. The author didn't need historical gimmicks -- spies, vampires, highway robbers, pirates, kidnappings, etc. These were just well written stories in a traditional Regency setting. I always appreciate it when my hero has a quizzing-glass in his hand and the heroine isn't jumping into bed in the first chapter with the hero. ;)

Lord Carew's Bride
Jan 18, 2016 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin H
Jul 05, 2012 Erin H rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rpo
I really enjoyed the story of Jennifer and Gabriel. I liked the idea of revenge and I thought the backstory was quite scandalous. I really enjoyed Gabriel as a hero. The author did a great job showing how Gabriel's feelings progressed throughout the story. Jennifer I thought was just a bit obsessed with Lionel. I understand why she felt the way she did about him, but at times I just wanted her to realize that she's supposed to be with Gabriel!
~Lord Carew's Bride~
Samantha was a heroine that I'm
Dione Sage
Dec 10, 2012 Dione Sage rated it really liked it
Two short Mary Balogh stories in one book....I could not pass this up. I actually started reading this book a few days ago and just finished up tonight, I would have had it wrapped up a lot sooner if I didn't have to stop reading in order to function normally as a wife and mother...oh and then there were the last two days that I had to work. Conclusion, life sometimes has a habit of cutting in to my reading time! Hahaha, oh yes I can often get lost in a book and this little tempting morsel had t ...more
Another charming but untaxing novel from Balogh. This one has the wonderful Hartley Wade (Lord Carew) as the hero. I enjoyed both of the first two Dark Angel novels. Easy reading without the frustration of contrived plot or assembly-line characterization.

I particularly like the themes of both novels, which are deeper than the seemingly fluffy book would initially suggest. Dark Angel tackled Revenge- and how it is in the nature of revenge to corrupt and destroy the person seeking it, no matte
This book would have scored a much higher rating in my mind had it not been for the sex--or rather, rape--scenes toward the end of each novella, particularly the first. I do not care if "exercising marital rights" is historically accurate; doing so while your new bride is sobbing and thinks you publicly humiliated her in order to trap her into marrying you will DESTROY YOUR MARRIAGE. It will not "save" it!! Even the character himself admits it feels like rape. Yes, that's because it IS rape! You ...more
May 29, 2010 Judith rated it it was amazing
Thanks to whomever or whatever force caused these early novels of Mary Balogh to be reprinted. They are delightful and full of the pitch and toss of the Regency Period. Arranged marriages, lost love, betrayal, false friendships, and the surprising honor of those considered to be "rakes" in society. These two stories embrace the experiences of cousins, Jennifer Winwood and Samantha Newsome, both of whom are presented to society at a "coming out" ball put on by Jennifer's father. She has been info ...more
overall 4*

Dark Angel
An enjoyable traditional regency. Well written, with engaging characters. The reader knows truths that the heroine does not, making the heroine's internal musings sort of pointless at times, not to mention redundant. The author would've been better off keeping the reader in the dark along with her heroine for at least part of the story.

Lord Carew's Bride
With a more complex and interesting heroine than in Dark Angel, Lord Carew's Bride was the better of the two books. The
Elaine Mcdonald
Apr 06, 2014 Elaine Mcdonald rated it really liked it
Shelves: mary-balogh
Both books were pretty good for short books.
Jul 26, 2010 Virginia rated it liked it
This was well-paired as a read together. Since Balogh first wrote these novels, romances in general have gotten longer - so two short novellas combined to make a good novel!

Enjoyable read - but due to the older styles, I feel that the stories wrap up a little too quickly and a little too neatly. But, it did stave off my rabid desire to read the last book in Balogh's Huxtable Quintet. :) If only Balogh could write even faster than she already does! What can I say? I am greedy for my favorite Rege
Re-visiting this one while waiting for the other Balogh book, something Enchanting. I probably read it the same time as I first read Dark Angel by Balogh, since the re-print edition has both together in a single volume.

I remember really liking this one the first time, and I can see the elements of that still: The shy, injured hero and the beautiful, disillusioned heroine. Yet, as with some others I've recently re-read (I'm thinking of Beverley's Lord Wraybourne's Betrothed), there are a number
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3/5; 3 stars; B

Both these stories were written with Mary Balogh's high standard of excellence in style, pacing, etc. They are not as good as some of her more recent books (IMO) but still worth a read. Balogh is good at characterization and she did an excellent job of creating a high functioning sociopath who wrought havoc on the lives around him. Kersey/Rushford was probably the strongest character in the two stories even though he was a truly horrible human being.
Aug 23, 2015 Muriel rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the two books in this omnibus and only wish I had the third in the series at hand to contnue.

Balogh's style is more earnest than my usual regency fare (I lean towards the light and witty regency romps) but I enjoyed them nonetheless. I like the idea of following the secondary characters as the series progresses while getting glimpses of what becomes of the previous protaganists. I'm really looking forward to Francis' story in the next entry.
Susannah Carleton
Jun 24, 2014 Susannah Carleton rated it really liked it
Two very different, but wonderful stories of love found unexpectedly. Dark Angel is a story of betrayal (in several forms), an attempt at revenge that goes awry, and a young lady saved from ruin by an honorable man believed by the ton to be I acquainted with the word. Lord Carew's Bride, the second book in the quartet, is a tale of an unlikely friendship that deepens into an abiding love.
Aug 16, 2014 Liane rated it liked it
Shelves: romaaance
3.5 - 4

These two romance novels were not big on plot - in fact their story lines were fairly straightforward. What Balogh is big on is character development or evolution. So it was a pain, truly, to have to endure the cluelessness or naivete of her heroines (Jennifer and her starry-eyed devotion to her betrothed who is practically a stranger to her; Samantha and her blindness to the nature of her feelings for Hartley). But they were necessary - they were what made the story - and perhaps the end
Feb 26, 2010 Pton rated it really liked it
I enjoyed these two books and it was a fairly quick read. I was more smitten by the second book, Lord Carew's Bride more. It was just... sweet. I found myself more smitten by the "beast" Hartley than the other gorgeous hero. In the scenes with Lionel, I just wanted to push him off the balcony or something. These books were a fun and sweet read.
Aug 11, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
These were my first Mary Balogh books. Lord Carew's Bride was one of the sweetest, most romantic things I have ever read. Dark Angel was also lovely and had a lot to appreciate, too. How could this not be a five-star bind-up? I'll remember it for a long time to come, that is for sure. Now, to glom her backlist slowly and avidly!
Taylor Grace
Oct 30, 2014 Taylor Grace rated it it was amazing
I love Mary Balogh. I joked with a friend that I would happily read her address book as long as she wrote it. It’s a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea. Anything that’s got her name on it is an automatic-buy for me. She’s really that good.

This book is no exception. Best of all, there are two stories in it so you get double your pleasure for the price of one. In the first one, we meet Jennifer Winwood who gets caught in the middle of a long standing feud between two men. I agonized for h
Lady Wesley
Apr 09, 2015 Lady Wesley added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lady Wesley by: Miranda Davis
These reissued books from the 1990s are rather short, sweet stories that focus almost exclusively on the two couples (plus one villain) and their intertwined lives. Nothing spectacular. I like Mary Balogh a lot, but these two are not among her best.
Lita Bouquard
Jan 04, 2014 Lita Bouquard rated it really liked it
Probably 3 and half stars but I find myself thinking about the great character Wade Hartley so quiet- Lord Carew in the 2nd book so many times after reading, that I went higher. The 2 stories are companion pieces with Samantha Newman featuring in both. Dark Angel has Samantha and her cousin Jennifer going to London as young women about to make their debut. Jenny is 20 and has a handsome fiance of 5 years she has seen but doesn't really know. She is so eager to marry the beautiful Lionel Lord Ker ...more
Oct 10, 2015 Faye rated it it was amazing
I especially liked Lord Carew's Bride but I will read anything by Mary Balogh. Her characters are not perfect and usually not particularly beautiful or handsome. This makes them real to me and I can relate to them on an emotional level. She develops her characters until I feel something for them and become involved in the story. Even though I know there will be a happy ending, I still enjoy the tension that develops when things are not going well and there doesn't seem to be a happy resolution. ...more
Sheila Melo
Dec 17, 2015 Sheila Melo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked the Heroes but the Heroines Drove Me Crazy

This book contains two novels from the Stapleston-Downes series (number 3 and 4 in the series).

DARK ANGEL: Jennifer Winwood has been unofficially engaged to Lord Lionel Kersey for five years. Finally, her dream of marrying Lionel is coming true. They are to be married within months. Jennifer knows Lionel is honorable and she has loved him for years. Just when things seems to be going right for her, she meets Gabriel Fisher, Earl of Thornhill, a rak
Karyn Gerrard
Jan 02, 2013 Karyn Gerrard rated it really liked it
I hadn't read either of these stories before. Mary Balogh is one of my absolute favorites, she is really one of my first historical romance reads a few years ago, I haven't looked back as far as romance is concerned!

Mary's books are what all Regencies should aspire to be, the authenticity of the speech and emotions are astounding. And her heroes are beyond compare.

The thread that hold these books together are the two heroines, cousins, Jennifer and Samantha. And the villain, a Golden God called
Two historical English aristocracy romance stories in one book.

So after having her season pushed back twice, Miss Jennifer Winwood is finally in London with her widowed father so that she can finalize her five year unofficial betrothal to Lord Lionel Kersey. This is a family arranged match and they have only met a few times and never alone so they are practically strangers. Which is a good thing because Lord Lionel is not a good person and will make a terrible husband, although he does
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 20, 2015 06:37PM  
  • Marrying The Royal Marine (Channel Fleet, #3)
  • Have You Any Rogues? (Rhymes With Love, #2.5)
  • If His Kiss Is Wicked (Grantham, #3)
  • The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2)
  • Lessons in French
  • It Happened One Night
  • The Bargain (Regency #1)
  • Hazard (Company of Rogues, #9)
  • The Perfect Waltz (The Merridew Sisters, #2)
  • The Secret To Seduction (Holt Sisters Trilogy, #3)
  • Last Night's Scandal (Carsington Brothers #5)
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
More about Mary Balogh...

Other Books in the Series

Stapleton-Downes (7 books)
  • The Ideal Wife (Stapleton-Downes, #1)
  • A Precious Jewel (Stapleton-Downes, #2)
  • Dark Angel (Stapleton-Downes, #3)
  • Lord Carew's Bride (Stapleton-Downes, #4)
  • The Famous Heroine (Stapleton-Downes, #5)
  • The Plumed Bonnet (Stapleton-Downes, #6)
  • A Christmas Bride (Stapleton-Downes, #7)

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