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The Bastard

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,304 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
To some men honor is just a word...

Jeannette Boucher, a young French beauty from a family left penniless by the revolution, must marry against her will to save them all from ruin. But almost immediately after the vows are spoken, she learns that her old English husband is impotent—and in his desire for an heir, he plans to compromise her in the worst way. Determined to es
Paperback, 372 pages
Published December 10th 2011 by Brenda Novak, Inc (first published October 23rd 2011)
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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

The Bastard by Brenda Novak is an action packed historical romance, much of which takes place aboard the Royal Navy ship The Tempest. It’s the story of a bastard son, Lieutenant Crawford Treynor, whose life is the sea and greatest ambition is to Captain his own ship. It’s a tale of a young bride, Jeanette Boucher - now Lady St. Ives who, on her wedding night, learns exactly what a monster her new husband is. Her family survived the hell of the French Revolution but can she survive the hell that
NB: I received a free copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads program, but that has not affected the content of my review.

I curse this book for breaking my streak of writing reviews within about a day or so of finishing the books. This book has singlehandedly caused me to be six reviews behind, and counting. Grrrr.

Mostly I think this is because when I feel so apathetic about a book, neither really liking or disliking it, it’s hard to work up enough energy to actually sit down and think
I am a total sucker for HRs set on ships. Pirates are great, but naval officers are best. Must be something about the uniform, plus the rugged sea, or something equally spurious. Anyway, I really enjoyed this one, provided by netgalley.

There were two or three things about this book, which just made it for me, with one negative that knocked it down from a 5 star rating.

First off, what I loved:

- The amount of detail of a fighting naval vessel crammed into this book is really quite astonishing, and
Beanbag Love
A typical trope, bride running away from icky new husband who has icky plans for her and meets up with an unlikely hero. I don't mind such standard story lines, and Brenda Novak's writing is quite good for this genre, but there were real problems character-wise that just weren't overcome.

The heroine, Jeannette, is supremely irritating. She's constantly getting herself in trouble and putting other people at risk because she's too headstrong to listen when someone who has experience and knowledge
DNF on page 40 because WTF is going on and the writing is too warm for me. Skimmed through the rest really quickly, which only brought on more wtf-inducing scenes, including one where the hero freaking spanks the heroine.

Pass for me.

Not a clean read.
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-star
Freebie: December 28, 2011.

To sum it up: Jeannette Boucher, a young French beauty from a family left penniless by the revolution, must marry against her will to save them all from ruin. But almost immediately after the vows are spoken, she learns that her old English husband is impotent, and in his desire for an heir, he plans to compromise her in the worst way. Determined to escape such a fate, she stows away on one of His Majesty's frigates... But a woman alone is in constant danger.

To Lieute
The family virtually penniless after fleeing the French Revolution, Jeannette Boucher is married off to an older baron who wants an heir at any price - and since he's impotent he plans to *farm* Jeannette out to his friends to get the job done. Jeannette gets wind of the odious plot and flees into the dark and stormy night, poorly clad and with no funds and plans to make her way from Plymouth to London and take refuge with her English cousin who brokered the marriage in the first place (!!). She ...more
Dear Book,

It's not you, it's me. Honestly, you're a very entertaining and competent book, beautiful even. You're just not the one for me.

We didn't meet under the best circumstances. I was bouncing off another bad relationship and you, well, I suspect you were caged in your authors mind for far too long. Still, I was determined to make it work, and for a while I thought we might get along splendidly even if we weren't to be each others' true loves.

I did my best to tolerate the small quirks that
Dec 28, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
FREE on the kindle right now!
A matter of Grave Concern was one of my favorite books of Novak...but I knew this one was not going to be as fulfilling experience as that book. Too many obvious flaws to point out but two bothered me so much that it took the joy from the book...first was the unnecessary change in Trey's station..second was the fact that Jeannette and Trey almost made love several times in the book but in the end the author never wrote the love scene...she just ended the book abruptly. I hated that either you wr ...more
Jana at
First of all, let me just say that the title of this novel embarrasses me. Haha. I'm glad I had it on my Kindle so that nobody could see it! That cover is pretty lovely, though! Mmmmhmmm... Ok, anyways. On to the review!

**EDIT: When I read this, it was called The Bastard. Now it's Honor Bound! Much better!)**

The story was exciting! We enter the story right as Jeanette is marrying this ugly old man that she is really rather repulsed by. She's doing it to help her family, though. By marrying him,
Dec 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Where I got the book: e-galley from NetGalley.

Oh dear. What's a reviewer to do? I find myself in two minds about this, the first Brenda Novak novel I've read. I'm also not very familiar with the romance genre (I'm on a quest to understand genres I don't normally read) so I don't know if this novel is typical of the genre or typical of Novak or both.

Added to which, I was reading a galley and I don't know how much things have changed between the galley and the final version. So you may take all o
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction
Recommended to Kimberly by: Wendy
I doubt whether I would have known that this book even existed if not for a friend in one of my groups on Goodreads for saying how much she enjoyed this. So I resolved to get my hands on a copy and much to my utter delight the lovely people over at NetGalley had it available.
I LOVED this book! You probably already know that I love historical romances but if you didn't know it before than you certainly do now. This book had everything I like in a historical romance.
There was war, love, deceptio
I learn that this is the second historical outing by the author, and it shows in her eagerness. The Bastard is a jumbo gumbo pot of every single well-favored romance plotpoint imaginable. Whether it's cross-dressing - check. Adventure in high sea - check. Sea battle - check. Lots and lots of bodice rippings - check. Rape attempt - check. Duel at dawn - check. Cinderella-esqe ball scene - check. Anything else you could think of, there is a good chance it is featured in this book. And at the price ...more
Cecilia Robert
This book was a wonderful and delightful read, a true love story between a strong heroine, complimented by a strong Hero.

Lieutenant Trenor Crawford is an officer at the British Royal Navy and hadn’t had an easy time getting where he is. He mistrusts women as a result of his bitterness towards his mother who lead him to believe he is a bastard, never revealing who his real father was. He meets Jeanette dressed as a boy, who is running away from her baron husband after finding out on her wedding
Milena Benini
Dec 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This is actually a DNF. Chapter one introduced us to the titular bastard, and his mother, who had abandoned him at birth to avoid scandal, yet for some reason kept in contact with him, even though she obviously doesn't care for the -- by now -- young man. Most of the chapter was a boring infodump, presented through as-you-know-bobs of the worst kind, and punctuated by anachronisms.

In chapter two, a young French aristocrat gets married to a fat, old, villanous villain who does everything but twi
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Bastard' by Brenda Novak is a historical romance set in 1794. What a gripping read! The descriptions about life on board a navy frigate in the eighteenth century are very realistic (or as realistic as I would imagine – no I wasn't there to see for myself) showing how hard, dirty, smelly and dangerous life was. I loved how Brenda wrote the love story and how she developed the characters throughout.

Brenda Novak is known more for her romantic suspense books but I hope she continues with histor
Trish Jackson
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read this type of romance--the bodice-ripping historical story, but I enjoyed this one a lot.

What I found masterful was the way the characters fell in love. This author totally captured their every emotion, from dislike to frustration to annoyance, to acceptance, all the way through until they had to admit to themselves that it was love. But of course, there were some very valid reasons why they could never be together.

Anyone who enjoys romance should love this.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As members of the aristocracy, Jeannette Boucher and her family were forced to flee France because of the Revolution. A distant English cousin found a suitable husband for Jeannette and the story opens in the middle of her vows to Baron St. Ives, a man in his late 50s to Jeannette’s 18. By marrying him, she will be able to provide for her parents and young brother, Henri, as they work to create a life for themselves in England. On her wedding night, Jeannette discovers St. Ives unique plan for h ...more
Cialina (Muggle-Born)
Heroine: Jeanette is a feisty French woman who keeps her familial duties first. She’s kindhearted and compassionate and she does things for the good of others. I like that Novak chose to write her character’s dialogue without the accent spelled out. Sometimes, I do find it very distracting when authors write in an accent. I think that a constant reminder of Jeanette’s nationality was enough to make a point.

Hero: I love that Treynor is honorable right down to his actions. There were so many times
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-arc
This book was quite a departure from the other books I have read by this author. I enjoyed her foray into a different genre. I wasn't sure at first if I was going to like either of the two main characters, but I ended up enjoying both they and their story. The plot was compelling and kept me interested. I'll definitely read any other romantic historicals that Novak writes.

Jeannette Boucher feels that she has no choice but to marry a man forty years her senior. Her family has escaped and been lef
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I read The Bastard by Brenda Novak, I found it to be an intriguing story. The book begins with the marriage of a young French woman (Jeannette) to an older English man. She is informed after the ceremony by her young brother that her new husband intends to sell her virginity to the highest bidder in order to acquire an heir. She decides the best course of action is to run away. Due to some very interesting circumstances, she ends up aboard a frigate (military boat) dressed as a young boy. To ...more
4.5)THE BASTARD by Brenda Novak is an exciting historical romance set during the French Revolution and Regency England. It is welle written depth and details while the characters while capture your heart and have you turning pages. While Lietenant Crawford Treynor may have been born a "Bastard" he is a gentleman. It is a Navy Officer,honorable,and a born leader. Jeannette Boucher,is a young French immigate whose family if penniless and she must marry an English husband to save them from ruin. Bu ...more
Andrea (Cozy Up With A Good Read)
Originally posted on Cozy Up With A Good Read

So this is my first romance novel, and the words I have are "Oh My" (continuously). I thought I would try out a romance novel and this one peaked my interest, being classified as a historical romance. I am sorry I did not delve into romance novels earlier. I admit, I could not put this book down! This novel had romance, action, and crime.

Lieutenant Treynor... can I just say yum!! Who wouldn't want a handsome, yet rugged sailor to be their 'knight in s
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Something about the cover and the title turned me off from this book. I was also bit worried that the author normally writes mysteries and thrillers which aren't my cup of tea. For some reason or another, I picked up this book and I'm very glad that I had a chance to read it.

The heroine, Jeannette, did seem a bit foolhardy at first, but I got over that quickly as she proved that she had courage and devotion to her family. Lieutenant Treynor had honor and feeling. It was a wonderful stor
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dec-11
I loved this book and couldn't put it down.
I found the story to be fast paced and intriguing.
I adored the two main characters and how their relationship progressed from start to finish.
This novel contains romance, action and a battle at sea.
After reading this historical romance I hope Ms. Novak plans to continue writing in this genre.

Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, galley
As historical romances go, it was alright. It was fast-paced and a rather quick read. I don't usually go for at-war or military leads in books, but I'd heard such good things about this book that I had to give it a shot.
Agnes (BeaderBubbe)
I am not fond of reading romance novels that are set in the 1700s. But this book surprised me and I really enjoyed reading about the adventures of Lt Treynor and Jeannette. When Jeannette is forced to marry a elderly baron in order to give him heirs, at the wedding she finds out he is impotent and plans to have his friends impregnate her.

So she runs away and hooks up with a ship going to England and there begins her adventure from trying to hide as a boy, become involved with the Lieutenant and
~* 3.5 Stars *~
Romance on the High Seas

The French Revolution stole much from Jeannette Boucher and her family. She had little choice but to marry well to lift her family out of the shame-and-grit-filled gutters of destitution. Her new husband is a wealthy Baron, respected and old, but she accepted her duty. Until she finds out her aged husband is also impotent and plans to give other men the use of her body so he can beget an heir.

Sick with fear and dread, Jeannette flees, intent on meeting back
Interesting idea, I liked the details about the ship. Seems rather far fetched & all the situations resolved themselves in a ways that I was never in much suspense. Entertaining but not something I will re-read.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jul 20, 2015 04:12PM  
  • With this Kiss
  • Blood and Treasure (Romancing the Pirate, #1)
  • Across a Moonlit Sea (Dante Pirates, #1)
  • Texas Hold Him
  • To Seduce a Rogue (Southern Heat, #1)
  • California Caress
  • An Unforgettable Rogue (Rogues Club, #2)
  • Lord of Devil Isle
  • A Ravishing Redhead (Wedded Women Quartet, #2)
  • Silver Storm (Raveneau, #1)
  • To Seduce an Earl (Seduction, #1)
  • Her Christmas Pleasure (The Merry Widows #2)
  • Released (The MacKays #1)
  • The Renegade and the Rose (Renegade, Rebel and Rogue, #1)
  • Soldier of Fortune (Rakes and Rogues of the Restoration, #2 )
  • The Pursuit of Pleasure (Dartmouth Brides, #1)
  • The Bride Wore Spurs (Inconvenient Brides, #1)
  • Heart of a Knight
It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a
More about Brenda Novak...

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