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Moonraker's Bride

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  2,615 ratings  ·  385 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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 1st 1973 by Souvenir Press
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4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,615 ratings  ·  385 reviews

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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) bu
Sep 18, 2010 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 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
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
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
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?
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Couldn't stop reading up till the last 50 to 100 pages when the China expedition began. Then I started getting bored. I know, kinda weird and embarrassed when in the middle of one-shotting another you daydream about the next meal time.
Amy Saunders
May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 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 16, 2018 added it
Shelves: want-to-re-read
Really liked this way back in high school when my grandma recommended it (and back then I probably would have given it 4 Stars) so I'd like to read it again to see if I still like it. 😀
Alexis Lee
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Madeleine Brent's books all follow a certain pattern, but it is an intriguing and enjoyable pattern indeed! The heroine always has an unusual background outside of ordinary society. She is usually thrust into that society and the story becomes a "fish out of water" story, and then usually it becomes incumbent upon her to return to her origins to solve the mystery/rescue or become reunited with the hero. Off the top of my head, some of her heroines have been circus performers, raised by aborigine ...more
Heather *Awkward Queen and Unicorn Twin*
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
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sabrina Michel
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I came across this novel in a book called "A Gothic Treasury". It has elements of Gothic, yet lots of adventure. In the 1899 China of the "Boxer" rebellion, no less. The twists and turns are fun and the characters are almost all beautifully done. The only drawback, for me, is that it was a condensed version and that always makes me feel feel as it I might have missed interesting details. I might read the unabridged version again - it really did seem just a little bit a bit too short.
Tahsina Syeda
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.

The Daydreamologist
My first thoughts after finishing this:

This was so sweet.
I can't believe it's actually written by a man.

Though I'm not saying for one moment that men can't write as good as women;they can,and they've proved it numerous times,too. It's just hard to associate sweet with
Jun 24, 2012 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.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Now, this was a great read! Much more gripping than any other gothic novel-- heck, any novel, period-- that I've read in a while, and with a thrilling, emotional romance that I actually cared about, for a change. Moonraker's Bride was an absolute treat to read. I could deduct some small fraction of a star for minor quibbles, but this one is easily rounded up to five stars.

Is it sexist for me to admit that I was ever-so-slightly skeptical when I learned (before starting the book) that Madeleine
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
A good gallop of a read. What’s more it was a gift made of a favourite book; so that’s special. 😀
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
Aug 08, 2008 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
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I cannot believe how much I loved this book. I have a soft spot for well-written gothic a la 1960's when they had editors and educated writers and this was just more than I could have ever hoped for. At first I was turned off by the idea of China but I'm so glad that this idiocy did not keep me from reading. Holy cow. WHAT A BOOK!!!!!! What I loved most about it was the strength of the female character. I genuinely liked her. REALLY LIKED HER. And that just, well, come on. Doesn't happen. She's ...more
Dec 10, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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!
Great little book with a bit of everything (adventure, mystery, intrigue, history, heroics and a refreshingly squeaky clean underlying romance). The actual writing was more straightforward and less poetic than I like but the character development and story were good enough to keep me glued. It was fun to find out after the fact that the author is a man and Madeleine Brent is a pen name. He could have fooled me (he did!) A fun start to summer reading.
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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!
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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
“When You don't know what to do, just do whatever comes next and go from there.” 43 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
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