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The Marigold Chain

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  53 reviews
England, 1666: the year when people who take prophecy seriously believe that the world is going to end.

For Chloe Herveaux, marriage to wild, unpredictable Alexander Deveril offers escape from a home she hates. For Alex, waking up with an epic hangover, the discovery that he has acquired a bride is an unwelcome shock. But while the marriage remains in name only, other force
Published September 5th 2012 by Stella Riley (first published January 1st 1983)
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4.08  · 
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 ·  228 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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I had a copy of this book in the early 1980s and remember it was one of my “go-to” reads. But it disappeared from my collection several years ago – I don’t know if I lent it to someone and didn't get it back, or inadvertently donated it to a local charity shop – but I’ve been looking to get another copy ever since. It’s been out of print, along with Stella Riley’s other titles, and second hand copies are few and far between and ridiculously expensive – so I was doing a happy dance when I discove ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Marigold Chain was my very first book by Stella Riley and I loved it from beginning to end, consequently it has a special place in my heart and on my keeper shelf. After my first reading, more than two years ago, its characters, both main and secondary, remain with me as clearly as if I’d just put the book down. I couldn’t have been happier when I heard a whisper that the supremely talented Alex Wyndham was to record it and waited with much anticipation for its release. And, oh my…but it was ...more
I’ve had time to digest this lovely novel and was finally able to put my finger on why exactly it needed “digesting” in the first place, as I'd mentioned

Basically, because it’s a sweet love story and from a talented writer, yet the same thing that might be its greatest appeal for others is the very thing that I needed to mull over to sort out mixed feelings. Because this is, at the core, a Francis Crawford of Lymond and Sevigny homage that, to me, wasn't done so well as it could've been.

Straight 'A's at AudioGals.

The Marigold Chain is one of Stella Riley’s earliest published works, and, as it’s a long-time favourite of mine, I’ve been waiting not-at-all patiently for it to make an appearance in audiobook format. I first read it in the mid-1980s and loved it; for me, it ticks all the boxes. A brilliant, gorgeous, sharp-tongued hero enters into a marriage of convenience with a practical, quick-witted heroine who doesn’t take any of his crap; set that against the backdrop of the p
Joanna Loves Reading
3.5 Stars

This was a buddy read with Jultri and Sam. Thanks ladies! Great historical detail, compelling characters, but the romance was very slo-mo and ultimately underwhelming. I did enjoy the story but wouldn’t pick it up for romance aspect.
Sam (AMNReader)
This was my second Stella Riley, and while I loved the Black Madonna (my first) in the end, the beginning was so heavily historical with so many characters I am not sure I could have done it without the buddy read.

For this, I decided to change course and use a narrator and read along or just listen. I also buddy read this one, but fell in love with Alex (according to my buddies, maybe this is unusual) immediately. I was also engaged in the book immediately. In fact, the way the storyline and ro
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clean
3.5/5. I find myself curiously uninspired, as I sit down to write my review for this book, which I think says something about the book itself. As a historical fiction, it is well written and well researched, which I have come to expect from this author. As a historical romance, it certainly disappoints. The romance was very slow to develop, and any hint of any romantic feelings was one-sided for about 2/3 of the book. For the first half of the book, they barely interacted even though they shared ...more
Bailed at 25%. I have absolutely no idea what I just read. It was all a jumble of people and dialogue that didn't make a lick of sense. Am I missing something? I feel like there's part of a book missing here. The first two chapters had about as much coherency as a bunch of court jesters slapping each other with water weenies and farting glitter.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

As usual, Stella Riley spins an exciting story, and Alex Wyndham brings it to life with luscious vigor. Although, I didn't find that the romance in this one was up to her usual standards. I'm not quite sure what was missing, but I didn't connect with the characters. The writing was stellar. The historical aspect was quite interesting, I think I just wanted a little more from the hero.

This was an audiobook. Alex Wyndham was exceptional as usual.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars for the story. Alex and Chloë were not my favorite characters; I never really connected with them. Giles on the other hand would be a hero I’d love to see a book written for. 5 stars for Alex Wyndham’s narration which is no surprise. 😉😈
What if Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond and Philippa had a baby with Georgette Heyer's Friday's Child and that baby was set in Restoration England (does that sentence even make any sense? It does to me).

Seriously, this book is perfect. The gorgeous, enigmatic, quote-loving hero who keeps everyone at a distance and the pragmatic, smart, fierce heroine remind me of Lymond and Philippa (not as good as the originals, of course, but then who is) and the whole 'newly married couple adjust to each other while
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

A lovely historical romance that takes place in London, specifically right before and during The Great Fire. The Marigold Chain was indeed a pleasurable discovery. I loved the setting, the detail, the time period, the slow burn of the romance. That said, I do wish the romance had been more focused and overt.
Marguerite Kaye
This was a very difficult book to grade, but overall I think 3.5 stars.

First of all, what I really liked. Most importantly, the hero and heroine and the chemistry between Alex and Chloe, which was amazing. He was brilliantly done, and I really admired Ms Riley for having the guts to create such a very flawed man, and for sticking to her guns in keeping him true to his character right to the very end. Though underneath it all, unfailingly loyal, Alex could be arrogant, ignorant, hurtful, spiteful
Kate Sherwood
Didn't do much for me. Too much political history (battles, etc.) for what I was expecting, but I like straight-up historical fiction usually, so I don't think it was the non-romance stuff that put me off.

Really, for me, it was the hero. I was warned about him (wherever I found this book mentioned said something about the hero being an asshole, but maybe it was okay b/c he was an asshole to everyone, not just the heroine), but he was still too much.

I just didn't think he had the redeeming charac
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, well-researched and intelligent romance set in the reign of Charles II (1660-1685). The hero is a brilliant but bitter man who wins the heroine in a dice game (but she, being present, agrees as she considers him a better bargain than the cousin who wagered her). The heroine is the only person who can match the hero in wit and repartee; their arguments range from delightful screwball to considerably more dark and cutting remarks.

The hero does resemble Frances Crawford of Lymond in many
Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
Whenever I pick up a book by Stella Riley, I anticipate reading an engrossing, well-written story with diverse, in-depth characters, witty dialogue and a meticulously researched historical setting. The Marigold Chain definitely fulfilled all my expectations.

I admire Ms. Riley for creating such a flawed and fascinating hero. Alex is unpredictable, provoking, intolerant and not even his friends are immune to his acerbic tongue.

“You can chew on my failings till you choke – but not here. I don’t wan
Shira Glassman
The Marigold Chain by Stella Riley is joining my short list of fiction with incredibly misleading blurbs that do a "hmmmm" job of actually selling the book. It's not that it's wrong, but at its heart, this thing is a romantic comedy. A romantic comedy with a heart of gold, full of spying and political intrigue, and the kind of soft spot for found family that tugs at my soul.

I definitely don't get comedy from the blurb, but it's the madcap elements of this--for example, the heroine tossed in the
Zel Polev
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex is such a complex hero. I love how smart and courageous he is and at the same time marvel at his power and distance from the mere mortals. He lives under his own rules and he is the master of himself.
Easy to fall in love with but very hard to love.
Cloe is even stronger, never down, nothing takes her from her path and so very honorable.
She falls for the unattainable Alex, they end up married after a night of licor and gambling (her step brother literally gambled her) but she means nothing t
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As my copies of the out of print Marigold Chain by Stella Riley has long since crumbled away due to over-reading, I was overjoyed when I saw Ms Riley would be re-releasing it (and others from her back list) on kindle. I re-read the Marigold Chain this week and thoroughly enjoyed it all over again.

Set around the time of the great fire of London, the Marigold Chain tells the story of clever, determined and loyal Chloe, who is gambled away by her dissolute stepbrother. The man who wins her is Alex
Marsha Lambert
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Marigold Chain by Stella Riley was recommended to me by a friend. The first book I have read by Riley but it certainly won't be my last. The story is set in the mid 1600's England and written splendidly by the author as to draw the reader in from page one. I was so engrossed in the tale that I read the book in one day.

The story line flowed seamlessly with well fleshed out characters. The main male character Alex Deveril is a man with flaws but nothing that can't be overcome with the love and
Fiona Ellwood
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another re-read, I had the paperback edition then discovered it had been published on Kindle. I wanted to see if it had been revised as the other Stella Riley novels had.

I enjoyed it, it is nice to read something easy and familiar, and I do like the characters, even though they are obviously copies of Francis and Philippa (Lymond Chronicles). I'm waiting for "The King's Falcon" to come out later in the year, and I don't suppose that Stlla Riley is going to go back to this book, but I do wonder w
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stella Riley skillfully blends history with romance in her novel, The Marigold Chain. She begins with Chloe meeting Alex Deveril and his friends by chance when her young ward was almost trampled by a horse. Chloe questioned within herself that fact she loved him at first sight, but later confirmed what her heart already knew when he kissed her by chance. As luck would have it, Chloe’s step-brother offered her hand in marriage as a debt in a game of dice. She was given an out, but still chose to ...more
Justyna Małgorzata
I've got a very mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, we've got a plot set in an interesting period of Britain's history (it made me google the info to learn about those times - and fashion, too!), with a variety of characters and unusual romance. On the other, there is HIM. The hero. Alex. I cannot quite decide if he's just a d*ck or if he's suffering from a kind of personality disorder (borderline? sociopath?). I mean for all I read, I couldn't force myself to like him, I found him t ...more
Barb in Maryland
4 1/2 Stars for this excellent story set in London during 1666.
So many plot points done so well--including (but not limited to) bride won during a dice game(!), marriage of inconvenience, hero with an attitude, bright heroine who copes, treason, the plague, the great fire, viperous mistress, loyal friends, sea battles, and court intrigue.

I loved our heroine Chloe, who was making the best of her marriage. She was bright, stood-up for herself when necessary, had a life of her own and made friends
Lightning Review:

- Felt more Historical Fiction that Historical Romance -- although interestingly the romance is very much the center of the story

- Takes place during The Restoration, a period very much not explored in Hist-Rom

- Reckless, Brilliant, Angsty, hero Alex starts out kind of an asshole -- not in a Romance Novel Hero asshole way, just as a general asshole. But then he gets complex and has layers and you start thinking about him and you start to like him. Good, deep characterization wit
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again a historical romance read...the only reason i actually picked up this book was because it was free on my kindle store and i was glad i did. This book had an interesting storyline - where the heroine (chloe) is won because of a bet between her nonsical brother and the charning alex. Chloe is not one to twiddle her thumbs all day and decides to start her own business which i loved because it showed modern day aspects found in todays women (yes i know shes not real) and her headstrong feature ...more
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. I have now read all of Stella Riley's books available on Kindle & this would be my least favorite. Slightly above average but, for me, not as good as all the others. Based on other reviews, I already expected the hero to act like a jerk, at least initially. perhaps because I expected rude behavior, I didn't find him that offensive and for the most part, I liked him. I also liked the heroine Chloe. It was the story itself that bored me at times I guess. But it is Stella Riley, one ...more
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first discovered this author when I picked up a copy of A Splendid Defiance back in 1985 and fell in love with Justin Ambrose. Then I found The Marigold Chain and again her magic worked but this time I discovered Alex. Wow!
The working in of the Second Dutch War to create the spy story was totally engrossing and I cried when Danny died. The chase through London was really exciting and brilliantly researched - I know 'cos I've got a map of 17th century London.
I just loved the whole book and am
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Romance Book Budd...: August 1 / Marigold chain by Stella Riley 62 7 Aug 12, 2018 09:24AM  

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Stella Riley trained as a teacher in London and now lives in Kent, England. She enjoys amateur dramatics, salsa,belly-dancing, reading and travel.
After a break in her writing career, she has now published her back-catalogue [or as much of it as she intends to re-release!] as e-books.
The Marigold Chain, The Parfit Knight, The Mesalliance, A Splendid Defiance, The Black Madonna, Garland of Straw