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Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride

(Scandalous Seasons #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  3,428 ratings  ·  295 reviews
Hopeless romantic, Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh, is tired of sitting with the wallflowers, waiting for her betrothed to come to his senses and marry her. When Emmaline reads one too many reports of his scandalous liaisons in the gossip rags, she takes matters into her own hands.

War-torn veteran, Lord Drake devotes himself to forgetting his days on the Peninsula through an endle
Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 311 pages
Published December 29th 2013 by Christi Caldwell
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,428 ratings  ·  295 reviews

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Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
FOREVER BETROTHED, NEVER THE BRIDE is the first book I have read by Christi Caldwell and I was totally captivated by this charming, romantic, funny and poignant story.

Drake resents the fact that his future had been mapped out for him since he was a young boy. Desperate to escape the exacting expectations imposed by his father, he enlists in the army only to find himself caught up in the horrors of the Napoleonic war…a war that he can never forget.

He would never escape the war. His mind would fo
Mar 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Disappointing. I tried for 20% of the book and then skipped to the end to see if anything got better to make it worth wading through. After the 80% mark, all we get are a bunch of repetitive sex scenes. This was not what I signed up for and I do not understand all of the hype and popularity. The writing was simplistic, the hero was betrothed to the heroine and even though the betrothal wasn't his choice, it did not excuse him from cheating on her with an opera singer (I know this was a norm back ...more
Sara Reads (mostly) LOTS of Romance
DNF 40%. Here was my progression of thoughts during the book. I knew it would be a waste of time and this far in the book, I know there are other more pressing things on my tbr list. If y'all think I should continue and that the hero can redeem himself from what a fucking cunty asshole he is please encourage me to continue. Otherwise, I'm done with this book.

20.0% "A fifth of the way in and I still fucking hate this hero, he's literally the biggest piece of shit for no reason at all. He's petty
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Sometimes I wonder, am I from Mars?

Why? Because sometimes when I am reading, I wonder, who are these people who talk like this?

Drake in this book, despite being tormented, said things that just didn't fit into his characterization. The attempt to paint him as a tortured hero is not a complete failure but his "realization" that Emmaline is so very important to him and what he said just sounds like a teenage girl's fantasy.

I find it really interesting though, how the story managed to be interes
Lisa Kay
★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Loved the narrator, Tim Campbell. Definitely will listen to him again. Loved the hero & heroine, too. Nothing new here, but it is all so well done. Took my time with it by just listening in the car, but found myself looking forward to hearing the next installment; finally, started listening to it while I cooked. Fun and sweet. ...more
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
PTSD is a serious condition and I am empathetic towards the hero's suffering. However, it does not excuse his shameful behavior towards the heroine. There is nothing honorable about his attitudes or actions. She was humiliated over and over again by him yet she continued to be optimistic. Her nature is to forgive and she does so very easily but the sickening fact is that he never apologizes for the hurt he causes her.

Readers who want to know if he cheated during their lengthily betrothal: he mo
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
She was the second historical romance writer whose books I read after Delle Jacob.....there is two reasons this book worked for me.....Emmalines' letters and Drakes PTSD....I am a sucker for stories with love letters....and since I was raised in a war torn country I understand PTSD only too well....I remember when I was a little girl stuck in a bomb shelter I would imagine different scenarios in my mind...of someone who is searching for me...writing letters to me....someone who would rescue me f ...more
Inn Auni
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Note: I composed an awesome review if I said so myself. Only you guys would never know because it got lost in GR's Lost and Found section. But, I don't think it can be found again.

Just to point how lazy I am to type another awesome review, I'll just gave you guys the rundown of it in bullets:-
* The first half was awesome
* The second half was okay I guess. (At this point Emmaline was annoying and Drake was a simpering young lady)
* I was hoping for Sebastian's story next only to find out that his
Sawyer Belle
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it

There were so many beautiful things about this story that I wanted to rate it higher, but the snags I found just got to be too much to where they distracted me from the story.

Lord Drake went to war to escape a betrothal contract put in place when he was a child. When he returned from fighting Napolean's forces, he came back with a severe case of PTSD. Believing himself unworthy of a woman's love and also unwilling to put her in harm's way by marrying her (he thinks he'll have dangerous fla
R.C. Matthews
I absolutely adore Emmaline. It is a rare book, indeed, when I love the heroine even more than I love the hero. But so is the case with Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride. This story grabbed me from page one and kept me turning page after page.

Emmaline and Lord Drake have been betrothed since the tender ages of 5 and 13, respectively. As a future Duke, Lord Drake's father has always taken the power to chose firmly out of Drake's hands. His choice of bride. His choice of college. In a reckless m
I very, very rarely just link to another review (I think I've only done it one other time), but this reviewer basically said everything I thought was fortunate and unfortunate about this book, especially the deficiencies of the hero and heroine and the accurate and sensitive portrayal of PTSD (albeit from the Napoleonic War). Why reinvent the wheel? Here is her review:

Vania Nunes
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a book that caught my attention for the title. It is my first contact with the author and I confess that I enjoyed.
The story seems long because the plot doesn't have a depth of kind bring some great mystery, as a murder or a robbery to be revealed. The plot focuses on the couple and their struggle in winning a question imposed by their parents, and the participants, Emmaline and Drake, had different views on how to proceed with the original plan.

Emmaline is rich, daughter and now Duke's
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've never read anything by this author, but happened upon the book by chance at B&

The plot line seemed like something I would enjoy so I gave it a shot.

I was really impressed by just how much I fell in love with this tale. The characters were were very well constructed and written. There was plenty of angst, witty dialogue, drama, romance and wondering when the hell these two were going to get their HEA. I found myself unable to put the book down.

I will say that I hope this author
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride by Christi Caldwell is the first book in the Scandalous Seasons series.

This is the story of Lord Drake and Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh. They were betrothed by their parents when they were both young children with Emmaline being younger than him at just 5 years old. As they grew up Drake grew very resentful of his forced betrothal and in his desperation to prove his independence he joined the army and went to fight in the Napoleonic war. He came back a very changed m
Philippa Lodge
Jul 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm having a hard time assigning a number of stars to this book.

On the one hand, the plot is good.
(They've been betrothed since they were kids. The boy resented it so much he joined the army, where he got messed up mentally and physically in the Napoleonic Wars. When he gets back, he's such a mess and still resentful, that he never bothers to get around to visiting his betrothed, much less carrying through the wedding. Except when they start to get to know each other, they start falling in love
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
3 stars

The plot of this book really intrigued me so I began right away. Well, what can I say? Drake was a man who avoided marriage like the plague...he even joined the army to get away from Emmaline who was the ultimate do gooder, who could do no wrong. They were endearing but at times I was rolling my eyes with how quick they fixed their many, many problems. I also was mind-boggled when Drake appeared whenever she needed where did he come from!!?!?!?!?

I would have enjoyed this bo
I've given this a C- for narration and C+ for content at AudioGals.

The first book in Christi Caldwell’s Scandalous Seasons series, Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride has an intriguing premise and an engaging heroine, but while I did enjoy the story, there are a number of faults in the execution which made it impossible for me to rate it more highly. The same is true of the narration by Tim Campbell who is, apart from one rather large flaw, a very accomplished narrator and vocal actor.

You can
Vikki Vaught
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have read by Ms. Caldwell, and I truly loved it and can't wait to read more of her books. Great character, great pacing, and a great plot. I highly recommend this book to all historical romance readers. Happy reading!
Maggie Whitworth
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tracy T.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good book and narration by Tim Campbell (audible review)

I really enjoyed this story very much. I really liked Emmaline a lot. She was pretty, funny, witty, smart, strong and just a great heroine. I love strong female characters. Drake was awesome, handsome, and strong as well. Together they had great chemistry together. There were a couple of nicely written sex scenes, not graphic just very nicely written.

The story line and plot was great. I loved her "notes" to Drake at the beginning of ea
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is was such a delightful read, I laughed, smiled but also cried and hurt with Drake and Emmaline.
Their story was so overwhelming, two children destined by their fathers to be the future of their families struggling to overcome what was expected from them, each differently.
Emmaline spent her whole life waiting for her betrothed to come to her, but never he took a step towards her, instead he avoided her like the plague. In her dreams, she made him her perfect prince, until she had enough to wa
Nov 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, reviewed

4 Stars for Narration by Tim Campbell
2.5 Stars for Story

A simple story. It's a sweet tale but bland. Nothing about the characters or plot really stand out in a memorable manner. The exchanges between Em and her brother are more engaging than the ones between the Drake & Em. The sex scenes are unoriginal & boring. I wanted more depth to the characters than the feeble sex scenes that creep into the story towards the end.

Upside: Tim Campbell was good! He made the story more app
Feb 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF, I had to stop reading after two chapters. The whole thing just didn't work for me.

And of course, this was something I picked up on sale without reading the sample.
When whill I ever learn?

Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Read it in three hours. Light literature, but still satisfying. Gives some angsty feels, but doesn't crush your soul. I appreciate that.

Drake was a typical broodish, hard-ass of a hero. I love the brooding hardasses! I found the development of his feelings for Emmaline to have been paced well. His issues were described thoroughly, and given a respectable amount of page time to help us understand what he experienced and felt. His side characters could've used a little more personal detail, but t
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Passionate Story-Captivating Hero Whose Heroine Saves Him Right Back!

Lady Emmaline and Lord Drake had been betrothed by their parents since she was five and he was thirteen. Right or wrong- it was done, and their lives were changed forever. For her, it meant her life was tethered to a golden-haired 'prince' who must have found her lacking, for he never came to claim her. As a result, Emmaline's first three seasons passed without the usual pomp, posies, poems, and courtships that her friends were
Mar 18, 2015 rated it liked it
When I first began reading this book, I never thought I would finish it, much less give it more than two stars. However, I decided to pick it back up and press on mostly because I saw so many favorable reviews. The further I got into the book, I realized it was definitely not going to be a book I would truly enjoy. The character of Lord Drake was simply too cut and dried, to put it bluntly. Emmaline came across as a little dingbat at first, but eventually I actually fell a bit in love with her o ...more
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a gift. I believe this would be the second book of Christi Caldwell that I have read. I must admit she has done it again and wrote a very good book. I really have yet came across a bad written historical romance. I found this book different from the other stories lines which kept me turning the pages. :)

*** May Contain Spoiler ***

Lord Drake and Lady Emmaline are really a perfect couple they both just do not know it.

Lord Drake who suffers from post war nightmares and tr
Debbie "Buried in Her TBR Pile"
I usually have a problem with modern character behavior/dialogue in a historical romance. This one was done well but a young lady during the regency era would not have been so bold in language with her brother (a Duke) or her betrothed, etc. Of course, her intervention in the mistreatment of others and weekly work at a hospital for wounded soldiers has been done quite a bit (a classic heroine character trait in many books by Dame Barbara Cartland years ago.)

I did appreciate that Emmaline wanted
Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"

Forever Betrothed Never the Bride is the story of the Marquess of Drake and Lady Emmaline Rose Fitzhugh. Drake and Emmaline have been betroth since she was 5 and he was 13. To escape his fate of a marriage of convenience Drake enters the war with France.After 3yrs away fighting the war Drake has returned home and is suffering from PTSD and has night terrors. Emmaline has been waiting a total of 15 years to married Drake and decides its is time to bring him up to scratch. She devises
Feb 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2015-books
FOREVER BETROTHED, NEVER THE BRIDE has me mixed on how to rate and review. I feel this is an easily forgettable book. I was hoping it would have a beauty and the beast feel to it, but I think the story dragged out too long for a steady progression to be felt.

For 15 years, since she was 5, Emmaline has known she would marry Lord Drake. But in those 15 years he has avoid her, gone to war, and messed around with other women.

Approaching her 21st birthday, Emmaline is tired of waiting. She wants lo
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 02, 2015 09:03AM  

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USA TODAY Bestselling author CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Judith McNaught's "Whitney, My Love!" for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather ...more

Other books in the series

Scandalous Seasons (6 books)
  • Never Courted, Suddenly Wed (Scandalous Seasons, #2)
  • Always Proper, Suddenly Scandalous (Scandalous Seasons, #3)
  • Always a Rogue, Forever Her Love (Scandalous Seasons, #4)
  • A Marquess for Christmas (Scandalous Seasons, #5)
  • Once a Wallflower, At Last His Love (Scandalous Seasons, #6)
“How odd, to have a mother, a father, a brother and frequent visitors, and yet still be lonely…I” 3 likes
“I can give you the love I feel that was slowly kindled and cultivated, just like the flowers you tend.” 3 likes
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