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The Rogue Files #3

The Duke Buys a Bride

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A bride wasn’t in his plans . . .

The last thing Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, expects to see after sleeping off a night’s drunken shenanigans is a woman being auctioned in the village square. Before he can think about the ramifications, he buys her, thinking he’s winning the girl her freedom. Instead, he discovers he’s bought a wife.

A duke wasn’t in hers . . .

Alyse Bell is almost rid of the shackles that bound her in a name-only marriage, but the day her friend promised to purchase her in a wife auction, he vanishes, leaving her to face a mob of unsavory bachelors intent on owning her body and soul. But the appearance of a wicked, wealthy stranger changes her path forever.

The road to ruin . . .

Marcus doesn’t know what to do with the impertinent chit who clearly isn’t duchess material! Insisting their marriage isn’t legitimate, they leave for his estate in Scotland, hoping to devise a plan to get rid of each other. However, on a journey fraught with misadventure, their attraction grows and Marcus realizes he’ll do anything to keep this fiery woman for his own.

368 pages, ebook

First published July 24, 2018

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About the author

Sophie Jordan

71 books8,078 followers
Sharie Kohler

Sophie Jordan took her adolescent daydreaming one step further and penned her first historical romance in the back of her high school Spanish class. This passion led her to pursue a degree in English and History.

A brief stint in law school taught her that case law was not nearly as interesting as literature - teaching English seemed the natural recourse. After several years teaching high school students to love Antigone, Sophie resigned with the birth of her first child and decided it was time to pursue the long-held dream of writing.

In less than three years, her first book, Once Upon A Wedding Night, a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Nominee for Best First Historical, hit book shelves. Her second novel, Too Wicked To Tame, released in March 2007 with a bang, landing on the USA Today Bestseller's List.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 419 reviews
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,077 reviews13.3k followers
August 9, 2021
I just really love how light and fun Sophie Jordan's historical romances are. I fly right through them and know I'm going to have a good time. Alyse was married off to an older man when her father died, but now she is being sold as a bride. Marcus is passing through town and sees a woman being sold, so he buys her to save her from ridicule and embarrassment. Little does he know, he's buying a bride. He feels responsible for Elyse, so he decides to take her to his estate in Scotland to be his maid. Most of this book takes place on the road, which was a lot of fun. Lots of the only-one-bed trope! I enjoyed how they fell for each other but, because of the class difference, they didn't want to give into that attraction. There was even a little kidnapping in here, which always makes things fun. Another fun romance in this series and I can't wait to continue on!
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,017 reviews12k followers
August 1, 2018
You’re a witch,” he muttered. “From the moment I saw you, I’ve been doing things entirely out of my character.”

After the way things left off with Marcus in The Scandal of It All, I was more than a little eager to get my hands on his book to see just how this man will redeem himself. While a lot of his behavior shows him to be almost a spoiled and entitled brat at times, still waters run deep, and you just know there's something underneath the appearance that he initially gives off.

After finding out his stepmother is in love with one of his best friends, he leaves everything behind and leaves his home. Waking up after a blackout bender in a town he doesn't remember arriving in isn't exactly in his plans. But then again, neither is rescuing a women from being sold like cattle for marriage in the town square. He can't resist purchasing her when he sees the look of abject horror on her face. But he never intends to truly hold up his end of the deal and be anyone's husband; merely purchase her freedom.

Alyse Bell has been stuck in a name-only "marriage" for years after the passing of her father when she was way too young. As his last deed before his passing, he arranged her contract with the man she's been living with in name only. She's essentially been his care-taker and nanny. The deal has always been that he will then sell at a wife auction to be purchased by her best friend. Only her friend is nowhere to be found when she needs him the most, leaving her to the mercy of the fates.

Marcus and Alyse are certainly an odd pair. Marcus refuses to acknowledge any chemistry between them. He runs hot and cold at the best of times, though his direct setting seems to be on cold. He passes off their "contract" as her being his housekeeper and nothing more, while fighting their connection at every turn. Admittedly, as much as I was looking forward to this book, it felt a little lackluster for me. Yes, the chemistry was there, but I also found the pacing to work against it. I enjoyed Alyse's spark and backbone, but Marcus left me feeling underwhelmed. I wanted to love him, but sadly I just didn't. His turnaround was too little too late for me, and while still satisfying, I couldn't help feeling like I needed more from this story to bring it to a 4 star read.

I still enjoyed it, but I didn't love it either. It was that middle of the road sort of feeling that had me feeling both satisfied...and not. I liked that we got a bit of closure with Marcus and his stepmother at the end, though I would have loved more of that as well.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Luana ☆.
508 reviews80 followers
July 2, 2021
I didn't like anything about this book. I thought it would be interesting but boy, was I wrong.

The previous books they talk a lot about family and trying to unite and solve their problems as a family but nothing happens here in a family way. We wait the whole time for him to start talking again with his BFF and stepmother but nothing. We were waiting since book one for him and his brother to forgive each other and start a new relationship, but nothing. Only talked to him when in need.

This book is basically about the couple spending a week or so traveling to Scotland and learning nothing about each other and annoying the reader with their lack of attitude. Not worth it. I thought this book would be the best of the series but sadly did not live up to expectations. I truly disliked the lack of family members. This was basically a standalone.

I am in doubt if I should give this book a 1 or 2 starts. Let's say it was a 1.5⭐
Profile Image for Ivy H.
855 reviews
July 27, 2018

That's what the heroine's thinking at the start of this novel when she discovers that all her dreams and hopes have been destroyed. Alyse, the 22 yr old heroine, is a peasant girl whose dying father had pledged her in a type of handfasting Scottish marriage to a 50 something yr old widower with 7 kids. This was a marriage in name only and it took place when the heroine's dad died when she was only 15 yrs old. Her dad had been the village's schoolmaster so she's educated/literate. Her husband, Mr. Beard, had only married her to save her and because he wanted someone to take care of his household and his 7 kids ! The downtrodden heroine was literally worked like a slave from the time she was 15 to the start of of the novel, when she's 22. Mr. Beard never had sex with her and she always slept in the same bedroom as his kids. At the start of the story, she's optimistic because her childhood friend Yardley has returned from the navy and is supposed to purchase her in a wife auction that's being held in the town. This tradition confused me but I was intrigued so it kept me reading the story.

Anyway, Mr. Beard is also anxious to end his handfast marriage to Alyse because his kids are now able to care for themselves and he's romantically interested in a widow called Mrs. McPherson. This old bat is threatened by the heroine's presence in the Beard home and is determined to see that the wife auction goes off successfully. The big problem that happens for Alyse is that Yardley, who had promised to purchase her as his wife in the auction, has gotten bridegroom anxiety issues and scampered off like a coward to London. The heroine is petrified because it means that a stranger will be able to purchase her in the auction and her biggest fear becomes a reality when the gross, toothless village tanner happens to place the highest bid ! Out of nowhere though, a new voice with a distinct English accent, bids 50 pounds for her and she's able to breathe a sigh of relief. That voice belonged to the H, Marcus. He's the Duke of Autenberry. Marcus didn't buy her for any sexual purpose and he certainly didn't want a wife. He felt sorry for her when he saw how scared she was and how nauseated she appeared when the village tanner seemed on the verge of winning the auction.

But that's about the only good thing Marcus did for the heroine for the first half of the story. After he bought her, his became boorish and bossy. Alyse wasn't even attracted to him at first because he had this full beard and there was the odour of horse shit all over him ! Lol. She thought he was this big, uncommunicative log of a man and he dismissed her as a mere serving class wench. He had his own familial issues from which he was trying to escape; he'd left London in a angry huff because he'd found his stepmother banging his best friend ! All he wanted to do for the time being was to journey onwards to his Scottish estate called Kilmarkie, that's located in the highlands. Alyse has no money so he offers to give her a job as the housekeeper at Kilmarkie. The novel started off on a high note but soon started to become a bit tedious in the middle. That's because the majority of the story dealt with the MC's journey towards Kilmarkie. He's on his stallion Bucephalus and she's on a ill mannered mule called Lil Bit. Marcus got me angry during this part of the story because he saw that Alyse had threadbare clothing yet he made no effort to purchase new items for her whenever they journeyed into a new village. And, the proud heroine preferred to suffer in the cold weather instead of asking him for anything.

I had to push myself to keep reading this middle part of the story because they seem to be going through the same cycle over and over again:

1. They travel from one inn to another while she talks and he grunts out monosyllabic replies.

2. They stay at rural inns and boarding houses where they end up arguing, because he keeps wanting to have sex with her while warning her that he'll never let her trap him into a real marital union.

3. She keeps lusting after him since he's shaved off the beard and is looking really hot. But she has low self esteem and thinks that she's only fit to be a servant, so she's despondent about their relationship.

Throughout the first 75% of the story, he doesn't even tell her that he's a duke. He revealed it only after they encounter the young highland laird of the McLarin clan. This guy saw them arguing in his woods and kidnapped the heroine in order to "save" her from the H. The McLarin laird was kinda hot ! I think he's gonna be the hero in the 4th novel in the novel. Marcus got really jealous and possessive after the McLarin laird kidnapped Alyse; that's what spurred him on to declare publicly that she's his wife and that he's the duke of Autenberry. I felt the story took too long to get to this point. I wished that the author had made the earlier parts a bit more exciting or sexy; I needed something to break the tedium of reading about the MC's chronological journey from one boarding inn to another. But, luckily, the last quarter of the novel was a vast improvement ! The MC's finally cosummated their relationship and Marcus realized that he loved her. Before he could tell her, she decided to pack up her tiny valise ( filled with her threadbare dresses ) and hotfoot it out of Kilmarkie House.

Marcus rushed after her and finds her at an inn with Yardley. That asshole had finally come to search for her. The H saw them talking and there was a huge misunderstanding since he thought she was in love with the idiot. Marcus loved her so much that he allowed her to go with the man he thought she had chosen, but he did have a goodbye gift for the upstart Yardley:

“Only there is one other thing I must do before I let you both go,” Marcus added.

“Oh?” She watched him, baffled at what he could possibly have left to do after that very dramatic destruction of her bill of sale.

“Yes.” He turned to face Yardley and with no worry, punched him squarely in the face. Her childhood friend went down hard. His hand immediately covered his spurting nose. Blood seeped out between his fingers.

“Wot was that fer?” his nasally voice cried out. Alyse gawked. Marcus stabbed a finger in her direction.

“For abandoning her. Do you know what could have happened to her had I not been there? The abuse and misery . . .” Marcus’s face twisted with rage. “You’re lucky I don’t haul you outside and give you the true thrashing you deserve. If you ever hurt or disappoint her again, I’ll come for you. And the next time, there will only be pieces of you left. Understand me, lad? Make her happy or I will end you.” Her stomach fluttered with a thousand butterflies at his words. Marcus turned back to face her. “If you ever need . . .” His voice faded as his eyes bored into her.

Sophie Jordan. The Duke Buys A Bride (Rogue Files 3) by Sophie Jordan (Kindle Locations 4025-4037). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Marcus was so stupid he didn't even recognize how much she loved him. He would've let her go with that stupid Yardley without confessing his true feelings for her. She hadn't wanted to go with Yardley; she just felt that she would be an embarrassing burden of a wife for a duke of the realm. These 2 MC's were lucky that the McLarin laird saw what was happening and told the H to go after his wife. That's when Marcus finally revealed the love that he had for her:

He dropped down on one knee and took her chilled hand in his.

“Alyse . . . Don’t leave me. Please be my wife. Because you want to be my wife. Because I want you to be my wife. Because I want us together and this life.” The cheering stopped. All sound disappeared.

“Because I love you. And I want to spend the rest of my life loving you. I may have bought you on that auction block that day, but it is you who owns me, body and soul.” She sucked in a ragged breath as though she had been struck. She didn’t say anything for several moments. Finally her flushed face crumpled, and a sob broke loose.

“But you’re a duke. I can’t be a duchess. I’m not a duchess—”

“You’re you. Be you. That’s all I want. I don’t want a duchess. I want a woman to love. I want you to love. We already have a home here. You love it. I know you do. I saw it in your eyes. I love it, too. We can make a good home here, a happy home here.”

“Yes.” She nodded, tears streaming down her face. A laugh burbled from her lips. “Yes yes yes yes.”

Sophie Jordan. The Duke Buys A Bride (Rogue Files 3) by Sophie Jordan (Kindle Locations 4080-4089). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

This was a nice story and I hope there's an upcoming novel with the hunky McLarin laird as the hero. I'm also curious about the first novel in this series because those MC's were given a cameo appearance in this story. That novel is While the Duke Was Sleeping. Struan and Poppy were such a wonderful couple that I'm definitely gonna put their novel on my reading list. However, I'm definitely not gonna be reading the second novel since that one deals with Marcus' stepmother and his best friend. I guess that particular story will be a treat for readers who like reading about older women and younger men. That type of couple dynamic doesn't really appeal to me.

There's no OW or OM involved in this story and no cheating. The heroine's friend Yardley had only kissed her a couple of times before she met the H.

This is the H, Marcus:


This is the heroine, Alyse:

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,403 reviews1,851 followers
June 20, 2018
The entire mess made him uncomfortable. He did not like to think of himself as a procurer of humans. Even if pity and altruism had motivated him.

THE DUKE BUYS A BRIDE was my least favourite of The Rogue Files so far. What starts out as an interesting concept -- a wife auction and the passing Duke who buys the girl to save her from embarrassment or worse -- kinda.. floundered. This might have also been made worse by some strangely modern phrasing infused throughout the dialogue but there just wasn't a whole lot of flow to this one.

Gentlemen did not fall in love with girls they bought on an auction block. Not in any fairy tale she ever read.

There is a long roadtrip-style journey complete with faking their relationship as true husband and wife in order to stay in overcrowded inns, or respectable boardinghouses, but the dialogue between them is never used in order for this unlikely pair to get to know each other. Mostly we see their relationship unfold through proximity, attraction, and exposition. It's really only when we finally do get to our final destination (almost) that things get fun. There's an run-in with a tried and true Scotsman and his clan, who happen to be the Duke's neighbours, that was seriously entertaining but all too brief.

"I always sleep naked."
"Not with me you don't."
"As this was the first time we slept together, I did not realize we had established protocol."

As far as the positives go, we get a chapter or two to reunite with book one's couple and resolve some of that leftover angst and drama, and Marcus actually manages to spend most of his time contemplating more than just the appeal of his fake-wife and housekeeper-to-be-except-of-course-she'll-end-up-as-his-wife; the oblivious and spoiled Duke has a lot of come to Jesus moments surrounding his privilege and wealth when faced with Alyse's serious lack thereof. So we do have some character growth, however the problem is.. nothing happens. With Marcus exiling himself to the far reaches of Scotland, none of his epiphanies are used in a society setting and therefore seem kind of pointless because, again, this is just one big inn-hopping adventure.. with delayed sexytimes gratification. And, speaking of which, I found the sex scenes really strange. I don't know how to describe why. Just that they were.

Again and again he had proved himself honourable. And she was sick of it. She wanted him to be a little bad. With her.

The ending, of course, opens up the possibility for further installments surrounding the characters and personalities in this extended family and I might pick up the next. Particularly if a certain sister is going to be thrown in the path of a certain Scottish Laird. That would be fun. Overall, however, I wasn't entertained enough by this one to recommend it.

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for Esther .
867 reviews203 followers
April 13, 2018
ARC provided by Edelweiss and Publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating for now is 2.5.

I found the characters to be okay, but not much depth. Story's pacing and development was average, at best.

Review to come closer to publication.
Profile Image for kris.
937 reviews186 followers
September 19, 2018
Marcus Weatherton, Duke of Autenberry, buys Alyse Bell at a bride auction and offers her a position as his housekeeper. They travel north together, grind up on each other, and fall into LURVE.


2. Marcus has half a bushel of angst that ends up getting dropped by the final chapters without any actual development and it's just silly and obviously a placeholder because a straight-forward hero...doesn't work? I guess? So add in daddy-issues and half-brother issues and some kind of looming bullshit about his step-mother macking on his bff and I guess you got ???

3. Alyse was so teeth-clenchingly ... simple? that I honestly don't know what to say about her. She was married at 15, but still a virgin. Watched her father die and served as a live-in housekeeper/nanny to her husband, but still totally warm and welcoming and thoughtful and kind. It's just boring heroine shorthand.

4. The plot has them sharing a bed their first three nights together in which Marcus sleeps naked IN SPITE of Alyse's obvious discomfort. Then, of course, they are able to find ALL THE BEDS THEY COULD EVER WANT so it's not an issue. But this level of plotty shenanigans to force intimacy like this is BULLSHIT and LAZY and DULL. Give me ACTUAL development for the love of life.


6. Sophie Jordan seems to be an author (for me) that has all the icing: decent covers, interesting blurbs, titles that aren't too ridiculous (OK sometimes they are VERY RIDICULOUS but what even is this genre so) but the content is just...underripe. It's not baked. It's not satisfying. And it doesn't want to probe the depths of the cliches it uses in any interesting ways—a HUGE draw of this genre, I think. Why else would we, the hungry romance consumer, read nine and a half million MoC books if not to see what else can be eked out of a formula we can solve in our sleep? Why else would there be forty seven trillion beauty and the beast retellings if not to examine how we forge connections with our opposites?

I know, absolutely, that I will be sucked in by a future Jordan blurb and give it a shot because maybe this time it'll land, but I also think future kris will be just as disappointed, in both Jordan and in herself.
Profile Image for Missy.
649 reviews
June 14, 2021

Not too bad. Similar to book 2 (The Scandal of It All), I don't think the H/h (Marcus and Alyse) truly got to know each other before they professed their love for one another (even though they were in each other's company for a week or so).

I was hoping to see Marcus make up with his half-brother Struan (hero from book 1 While the Duke Was Sleeping) in this book, but, unfortunately, that didn't happen. What a loss of opportunity for the author.
Profile Image for Starr (AKA Starrfish) Rivers.
945 reviews273 followers
July 30, 2018
Now I’m reminded why I Don’t usually buy Sophie jordan’s Books. This one was meh. The premise was interesting enough to try out and the sample started out with promise. Duke wakes up face down in horse shit. Girl getting sold on auction block... what’s not to like?

And then it went downhill from there. There no real exploration of why the Duke is running away, no real depth and insight into his past. The girl Is also meh. Aside from the duke being “beautiful” and th girl having generous bosom, not sure what else recommends the two of them and why they end up falling in love. Tho I get the lust part easily enough. BTW, no sex happens until 83% in!!!! That’s right ladies and gentlemen! 83%!!!!!

What else? Humor? Nope. Suspense? Nope. Character development I already covered. Nope. Hot sex? Not really. All in all, meh.

This will be the last time I buy her books. Wasn’t a satisfying use of my reading $.
Profile Image for Aou .
1,570 reviews133 followers
January 29, 2022
Actually, I read this few years ago and it was nice but not enough to reread again!
Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,845 reviews817 followers
July 28, 2018
This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

*May contain a few spoilers...be aware*

The Duke Buys A Bride is the third book in the Rogue Files series by Sophie Jordan. This story was one I was highly anticipating, first off the cover is what really drew me to it and the title was so tempting I just knew I had to have this and I was so excited down to the toes....to be given the ARC of this one from Avon Books. This is a story that is based on some real facts. I love that Sophie Jordan was able to tie in Bride Buying into one of her novels. Bride buying....was a REAL thing folks. In the UK...England, Scotland and Wales, you could sell your wife if you didn't want to go through a divorce and anullment wasn't an option. And unfortunately this happened up till the early 1900's. The date was a shocker for me but really happened. And Sophie Jordan puts her own delightful twist and boy
I had a fun time with this one.

Our tale begins with our hero, on the very first page, waking up to his face in muck...Literally. He is filthy and gross, and finds out that he was in jail this whole night because of some bar maid and he might have tore up the place a bit. Not the best place a Duke should be. Marcus, is the Duke of Autenberry and fleeing London and losing his best friend and feeling betrayed when his step mother and friend fall in love. So his plan is to go to his estate in Scotland and losing himself there where he seeks some solitude.

Alyse, lost her father and had to live up to the agreement her father made with the man that became her husband. She took care of his children and cleaned his home, and all these years she is still a virgin.  But he wants to marry another woman, and they come up with an agreement. She will put herself up to be auction, because she has a friend who will take her as his wife and they will have adventures and reside in London. But once she arrives and is put on the auction block, her friend abandon's her and she is forced to be the wife of someone else.

Marcus while riding on his way out of town, stumbles into the bridal auction and is shocked and appaled at what he is seeing. A beautiful young woman, being treated like a piece of meat especially in the way fellow men are treating her, like a slave. So Marcus, being the honorable man he is, offers for her. Marcus, has no plans to take a wife or become besotted like his brother or best friend but this is a woman in need of help or her fate could be way worse. He offers her a deal, protection and safety and she will see to his household as his housekeeper. Both Marcus and Alyse are both practical persons, so it seems like a reasonable agreement.
I don't doubt love. I was so young when my mother died I can't even remember her. At fifteen my father died and I married a man old enough to be my grandfather. I had to work his farm, raise his children, cook and launder for him. That same man sold me at auction. So I've seen things too, you know. I've seen ugly things and I still believe in love. Yourlife must have been very hard indeed for you to be such a non believer.

Alyse, at first, is shocked that this dirty smelling man is to be her husband. Oh boy, she didn't realize what she was getting herself into. On their first night on their journey, they stop at an inn, and after Marcus takes a bath, she gets a real good clean look at him, and is humbled by how gorgeous he is and starts feeling some self doubts. But she made a deal and will stand by it. But while on their journey, both Macrus and Alyse realize how much they are attracted to each other. And during a heated argument, tempers flare, hands fly and a angry yet passionate kiss is shared between them and the flames just rise between them along with the temptation.
Love makes fools of us all, big and little?

Marcus knows that he can't pursue this desire he feels for Alyse, but he wants her and he is slowly starting to fall hard for her. But Marcus is very cynical about life and is afraid to love and it isn't until Alyse becomes sick on their journey and he is forced to face up to his feelings for Alyse and wants her to be his wife for REAL. But he just might have to fight for her against crazy highlanders, his brother and even her previous suitor to prove to her his devotion and his heart....

This is a story that I was pretty excited for and it was so different than I was expecting. I have read auction stories before, however, I loved the tropes that come along with this story and it really fits just right with this pairing. We have a mix of "On The Road Adventure" and "Rags To Riches" which are both solid romance tropes to read. The majority of the book, there is quite a bit of traveling and adventure and even some kidnapping by some rogue highlanders (and boy I am really hoping the Laird is in the series because he was a HOOT!...such a scoundrel)

We also have the "Rags to Riches" trope. Our heroine, grew up poor and doesn't realize until the end that she is married to a Duke. She has no clue how to be a duchess and you see how she comes to terms with her new station. Alyse is such a sweet heroine but so STRONG and courageous. I loved her tenacity and determination. But she does have some flaws. The one aspect of her character I really didn't like was a scene where she slaps the hero. And yes he wasn't being super super nice, but they were in a argument and neither of them were pulling the verbal punches. And then she slaps him and boy that irked me. (I really hate heroine slapping the hero) I just didn't feel like it was justified at all. I am a bit forgiving since this is a historical romance, and the customs were a bit different back then. I was really intrigued when we meet Marcus half brother though, I still need to read the first book, but I loved him and Poppy. They were so darling, so I will be grabbing up book one NOW!! hehe
Gentlemen did not fall in love with girls they bought on an auction block. Not in any fairy tale she ever read.

The romance that builds between these two is soft and slow at times, they have some powerful chemistry, but they both deny what they feel for each other. Alyse is more ready to accept her feelings for Marcus, since she is open to love. However Marcus, is stubborn and cynical and brooding, so he takes WAY longer, but he proves himself in the end and boy the way the hero grovels, was so tender and sweet.

The Smexy times between these two was just so fantastic. I loved how much they connect in the bedroom and boy the hero really knows how to please his lady. He always puts her pleasure about his own and I really like that in a hero. And boy some of these scenes were much HOTTER than I was expecting but I gravitated towards it because it only added onto the intimacy that is slowly building between this pair.
He was there for her. He would always be there for her. He was the person she could trust even though he had claimed she should trust no one.

What really gives you the sastisfying feels, is the very end when these two face up to what their hearts and minds are in sync with and that sometimes you have to FIGHT for who you love no matter the cost to yourself and boy the ending in this book was so romantic and left me with huge amounts of happy feels and I closed this story with a happy sigh. A story that is filled with sensuality, adventure, being true to yourself and learning what loving someone else truly means and the sacrifice it takes ....TRULY MESMERIZING!


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Profile Image for romancelibrary.
1,087 reviews466 followers
March 6, 2023
After the events of the previous book, Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, is running away from London. He comes across a bride auction at a village (it's as horrifying as it sounds) and he ends up buying the girl to free her. But buying Alyse's freedom also means that Marcus bought himself a wife.

I've read so many historical romances before, but this is the first time I've come across a bride auction. Alyse and Marcus both agree that their marriage is not real. But Alyse doesn't have anywhere to go, so she accepts Marcus's job offer as his new housekeeper. We follow Marcus and Alyse as they travel together and stop at different inns on the way to his house in the Black Isle.

The story takes place during a short period of time. Alyse and Marcus met under strange circumstance, so it was fun seeing them travel together and get to know each other in the process. There are a couple of delicious only-one-bed scenarios that gave me all the butterflies and I devoured every single tense moment between Alyse and Marcus 🔥

On top of the only-one-bed galore, Marcus and Alyse share plenty of delicious hand moments, which is basically my kryptonite. When he traced her palm with his fingers to help her fall asleep after her nightmare? I swoooooned 🥺 Marcus was so unexpectedly sweet. I honestly didn't see this sweet side of him coming at all. But it makes sense since he has two younger sisters. I also love how Marcus declares he's not a messy sleeper, but he actually ends up being a total snuggler LOL.

I looove Marcus and Alyse so much. They're hands down my favourite hero and heroine in the series so far. Alyse is so patient, sensible, strong, and suspicious. She doesn't trust easily and I found that so relatable LOL. Her thought process was very similar to mine, so I really related to her on that aspect. To my surprise, Marcus nurtures Alyse's suspicious nature and tells her not to trust anyone, including himself. He even gives her his dagger so she can feel safe around him, especially during the nights when they are forced to share the same bed. What. A. Man. 😩

One thing that bothered me was...why didn't Marcus just hire a carriage? That was definitely a plot hole LOL. But I'm glad we got to see Marcus interact with Struan since their relationship is so strained. It was nice revisiting Poppy and Struan. I wish we had a scene with Marcus, Ela, and Colin. I really wanted a reconciliation on page 🥺 I'm hoping we get to see them interact in Clara's book, but I don't want to get my hopes up.

Surprisingly, this is my favourite book in the series so far. I honestly did not expect to love Marcus and Alyse so much. It's rare to come across romance novels where I love both the hero and heroine equally. I would like to move to Marcus's house so I can live close to the ocean and see dolphins everyday.
Profile Image for ChasingLeslie.
354 reviews51 followers
May 2, 2023
This is the third book in The Rogue Files series. For, me it was a 4.5 star read. I love the forced proximity trope and the idea of the wife sale was very intriguing. The heroine is strong and resourceful, the hero a bit of a sulky bear. I liked the characters and enjoyed the build up. The conflict at the end was a little much but it’s clearly a set up for the next book.

Tropes: Auctioned/Gambled/Sold, Class Difference, Road Trip, Forced Proximity, Only One Bed, Opposites Attract

Steam: 4
Profile Image for Seffra.
721 reviews73 followers
July 30, 2018
3 stars

I really enjoyed the story and where the characters ended up. Our heroine was so awesome. She was dealt awful cards and I loved her fighting back. I did enjoy reading her character.

Okay, while this book had a really good storyline and characters, I felt that it lacked emotion. I couldn't connect to the characters and I felt so distant from the story. I really enjoyed the events of the story but I couldn't see myself in it. I couldn't find one part of it that allowed me to connect.
Profile Image for Sissy's Romance Book Review .
7,852 reviews16 followers
July 28, 2018
The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan is book Three in The Rogue Files. This is the story of Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry and Alyse Bell. I have read the previous books (and Loved them!) but feel this is easily a standalone book if you want to do so.
Alyse lost her parents when she was young and her father had made a agreement with his friend who had several children but no longer a wife to take in his daughter, Alyse. So to fill that promise she 'married' him and helped raised his kids. Now those kids are all grown up so their marriage is to come to a end..and to do so she was to be on a wife auction block which her childhood friend, Yardley was going to come and 'buy' her for a wife. But the day of the auction, she learns that Yardley as up and left town. Upset she tries to talk her 'husband' out of such a auction but he won't change his mind. Marcus is in that small town after a night of drinking that lead him to be arrested he is told to leave the town, but he happens upon the auction and 'buys' Alyse.
This starts their adventurous story that you won't be able to put down...loved it!

Profile Image for Christa Schönmann Abbühl.
913 reviews17 followers
June 7, 2020
I feel a tiny bit mean for only giving the three stars. The story just did not captivate me. I stayed kind of outside, and had to force myself to finish it. I am afraid what worked against it was me reading a different book with a similar storyline at the same time. And I liked the other one better.
Profile Image for Stevie Girl Reads.
118 reviews14 followers
August 4, 2020
I had to abandon this book at chapter 15. It just wasn’t capturing my interest. I liked the premise for it and the story line but something about this author’s writing is just boring. I have tried a few other books by her and nothing really stands out. It’s sad because her books all have good story lines.
Profile Image for Hannah B..
803 reviews1,078 followers
July 31, 2021
✨A thorough exploration in beds of the “only one” variety✨

I really enjoyed getting to see Marcus transform from the version we saw in While the Duke was Sleeping. I always like semi-unsavory characters getting their redemption arc. Besides, look at the cover!!!! Sophie Jordan covers just don’t miss.

I wanted the story to delve a little further below the surface, since Marcus was a little bit of a marble statue. He had callused hands but we never really got the reason. I loved how Alyse was so angry he was so pretty. I also liked how he never pretended to make her think he was meaning to buy a wife to have a wife. He didn’t make her suffer that thought and that was a great character moment for Marcus.

Reading this was an odd experience because this was technically “light” in the sense that there wasn’t much strife or struggle, but it also wasn’t funny or breezy. There was still enough angst and wit to be charming, but it lacked that final five-star something.

The pre-ending got a little exhausting, since both were extremely intent on denying each other. But then the tune changed and it was all wrapped up with a pretty bow. I don’t even think Alyse even got to say any word besides “yes” before the book was over. I would have liked to see her admission of undying, ardent love as well. I also wanted to see Marcus tell Struan and Poppy how he came to know Alyse as well as his entire coma story. I think it could have been a source of comic relief and character growth.

I will say though, Sophie understands the assignment when it comes to the sex scenes. Slow burn until the sleeping situation was absolutely, unavoidably meddling and no amount of self-control could combat the sleep cuddles. Nature will find a way. The first law of nature obviously being, two people trying to deny attraction asleep in the same bed will, without a doubt, wake up ensconced within each other’s errant limbs.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 🌶🌶🌶.75/5
Profile Image for Jenn (The Book Refuge).
1,706 reviews2,517 followers
June 8, 2020
So I have actually heard of this practice before, the Bride Auctions were a practice that could circumvent getting a divorce which was nearly impossible back in the day.

I was also excited to see Autenberry redeemed and possibly catch a glimpse of Struen and Poppy again. However, one thing I am coming to learn about Sophie Jordan is that she likes to take a very long time in her build ups. I don't have a problem with that. I like a good build up. However, than I like a few more pages enjoying the rewards of said build up. In 3/3 of Jordan books I have read so far, she has them get together on the last page. It is just such a c*ck block. I like the couple to get to enjoy their labors a bit before the curtain.

I know this is a taste preference, but it is an honest one and it is something that makes me hesitate to pick up another one of her books. Because I know I won't be satisfied.

Hmmm.. not as fun as I was hoping. Very rushed ending. I'm beginning to see that as a pattern with Sophke Jordan. Lots of teasing build up and then, boom. Over.
Profile Image for Maika Medici.
465 reviews15 followers
June 22, 2020
Aventidue anni Alyse Bell si ritrova a dover cambiar vita e cognome per la seconda volta. Un matrimonio inconsueto vede la fine in favore di uno a “sorpresa”.

“- Venduta! – esclamò il banditore. Quella terribile parola le si ripercosse nella testa come un’eco. Era stata venduta al mercato come un capo di bestiame. Come una schiava.”

Bell, Beard e poi? Come in un vero scambio di compravendita, il bene – in questo caso la moglie – viene trasferito mantenendo le stesse caratteristiche. Quindi la giovane dovrà assolvere appieno a tutti i doveri coniugali. All’inizio sembra un gran piano, conveniente per le parti: il vecchio Beard coronerà il sogno d’amore con una vedova del paese e Alyse si vedrà finalmente tra le braccia di colui che crede in qualche modo di amare. Ma spesso i sogni restano tali, perché devono fare i conti con la cruda realtà, vestita di codardia. Colui che deve acquistarla per iniziare una nuova vita insieme è scomparso, e deve affidarsi al nuovo, misterioso e puzzoloso acquirente.

“Alyse alzò lo sguardo aspettandosi di trovarsi di fronte Weatherton, ma non era lui. Questo uomo era più giovane, con fisico possente che riempiva il vano della porta, e così bello che Alyse sbatté le palpebre quasi pensando di aver visto male. Aveva la mascella squadrata, il naso aquilino, e una bella bocca con il labbro inferiore leggermente più pronunciato, come se avesse appena baciato una donna.”

Una continua sorpresa quella sorta di nuovo marito, come lo è stato apprendere che una volta arrivati alla meta prestabilita, sarà indipendente, con un lavoro ben retribuito. Ma chi è costui, cosa nasconde sotto le spoglie di un angelo protettore?

Un investimento, un acquisto avventato con conseguenze per niente valutate, preso dall’indignazione nel vedere una donna alla mercé di uomini con la bava alla bocca. È con lo stupore in volto che ritroviamo o conosciamo per la prima volta Marcus. Un uomo molto diverso dal primo volume, dove sembrava destinato – inizialmente – al ruolo di coprotagonista per poi essere oscurato dal fratellastro maggiore. Il duca di Autenberry fugge, con rabbia e indignazione. Scappa da quella famiglia peccaminosa che è stata in grado di procuragli solo vergogna e dolore. Ora mi chiedo, il giovane londinese che era una volta, avrebbe comprato una femmina per toglierla da una vita grama?

Ma la prima donna, la vera eroina del romanzo è Alyse. Ragazza istruita – nonostante l’apparenza -, ma che ha dovuto sottostare in tutta la vita al volere degli uomini. Un padre amorevole – scomparso prematuramente – in punto di morte l’affida ad un caro amico, che non ha esitato per una gonnella diversa a metterla in pasto ad un pescecane qualunque.

Completamente diversi i protagonisti, uno ignora il passato e le origini dell’altro, ma la voglia di riscatto è il motore che li spinge ad andare avanti. Ricominciare dimenticando ciò che li ha fatti soffrire è l’auspicio di entrambi. In un lungo viaggio fatto di imprevisti, soprattutto per il cuore, impareranno a capire le proprie priorità tra un battito impazzito e quello successivo. Alyse scoprirà per la prima volta l’amore, Marcus imparerà a farlo non solo per i piaceri della carne! Una consapevolezza che metterà in discussione il passato del Duca, ma soprattutto i legami lontani. Ricordate la fine di Scandali e Desideri? Assolutamente da recuperare tutta la serie.

Perché dovreste leggere “Una moglie all’improvviso”? Perché non si smette mai di apprendere cose nuove su un passato troppo remoto, nel caso specifico la vendita di una moglie; perché con la Jordan non si ha mai una storia simile all’altra, è sempre pronta a donarvi il colpo di scena al momento opportuno; perché ama narrare di amori impossibili, che abbattono le etichette in favore del cuore, donando sempre quel pizzico di speranza; infine perché il pepe che aggiunge è necessario a movimentare la storia, scaldando ancor più il cuore di ogni lettrice.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,710 reviews701 followers
July 24, 2018
There’s something about this series that keeps me reading.

I liked Alyse and Marcus well enough. She’s smart and underestimated. He’s stoic and has no idea he’s actually a marshmallow inside. There are a few other characters, but no one really stands out. Of course it was cute seeing Poppy and Struan.

Plot wise it was okay. There’s a lot of traveling and those scenes were not used for them to have any sort of conversation. The push and pull and lack of communication was at an all time high and that’s what bums me out. There is so much potential between Alyse and Marcus, but it’s wasted.

Overall, I liked it, but was also disappointed. I really liked the characters and wish they could have been given a better chance than the repetitiveness this story had.

**Huge thanks to Avon Books for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Lauren.
2,273 reviews162 followers
April 27, 2021
The Duke Buys a Bride
3 Stars

After the lackluster first installment in the series, I had decided to DNF the rest. However, this book fit into a particularly difficult category in the Seasonal Reading Challenge, so I decided to give it a chance.

Although Marcus and Alyse have good chemistry and their romance has its satisfying moments, the story plods along with no actual plot to speak of. Marcus and Alyse get to know each other as they travel north to the Black Isle and it is never clear why they fall in love other than being in close proximity. They have virtually nothing in common, and it is difficult to accept that Marcus, who behaves like an arrogant arse for much of the journey, actually comes to care for a peasant girl he bought at auction.

There is also a disappointing lack of closure to Marcus's conflicts with either of the couples from the previous books. It would seem that Sophie Jordan has missed a great opportunity here for resolution.

On a final note, the audiobook is read by Carmen Rose who also narrates the Lady Darby series under the name Heather Wilds. As a fan of the latter, the narrator's voice sounded very familiar and a quick Google search revealed the information.

The next book focuses on Marcus's sister, Clara, and his Scottish neighbor, Hunt, but the premise does not sound all that appealing. I might listen to the audio if it fits into another challenge.

Profile Image for Tracy DeNeal.
369 reviews19 followers
July 27, 2018
Marcus and Alyse

Worth the wait! I loved this slow burn marriage not marriage love story. The powerful arrogant Duke has finally met his match.

Sophie Jordan portrayed the arcane custom of wife selling in such vivid detail. The shame, the humiliation and utter powerlessness of a woman was so real.

This looonnnngggg road trip novel worked for me on all levels. I felt the couple's growing closeness over time. It felt real and authentic. Alyse Bell was sensible even though she was in possession of a romantic heart. She was the perfect foil for Marcus.

I hope Clara is set to find her HEA with the cheeky Scotsman on the neighboring estate. Now wouldn't that just be the thing?
Profile Image for Crystal.
492 reviews30 followers
September 6, 2018
First time ive read from this author but it was recommended by other authors i love! So i gave it a try and i really liked it. I mean ima sucker for historical romance. Also i was so into this book i would forget to blink and my eyes would start burning lol oops? Oh Marcus hes like what kind of sick place is this that they allowed wives to be bought like an object. I loved their banter and how he would get annoyed when she kept tryna make conversation lol also i didnt read the other books before this so i hoped i wouldnt be clueless about things that went on before. Which im glad i got filled in though as the story went on. Let me tell you that this book had some steamy scenes like woah i was like fanning myself and looking around making sure no one saw my reaction lol. Also loveee that it was in Scotland i mean thats my fave place. I just loved Marcus and Alyse and that ending had me blubbering like i cant with these feels. Also ofc im in public when this happens ugh lol i really liked the little quotes on top of beginning chapters. Also very excited to read the next one about the Laird lol that should be really good.
Profile Image for Lisa (Remarkablylisa).
2,253 reviews1,813 followers
February 20, 2019
This book was super fluffy. Follows my favourite troupe of woman being sold off in an auction only to be rescued by a man who wants nothing to do with her but because of close proximity they get to know each other super well in MANY ways. Too bad the characters weren't as developed. Not much about their back stories or why they were who they were. Not much drama or conflict. They just snuggle a lot in cabins and they're sweet. Overall, still loved it. The ending was too fast though lol but I'm trash so I am game
Profile Image for Leigh-Ayn.
461 reviews9 followers
July 25, 2018
Really enjoyed this book as the Marcus and Alyse journeyed through Scotland. I will admit that I wondered how Marcus would go as he was such a toffee nose hahaha
but he has honour and cares just doesn't show the caring often.
Alyse was lovely. She just wanted to go to London to find a library. She was dealt a rotten deal in life and my heart broke for her but she was strong and fierce.
I can't wait to read Clara's book next!
Profile Image for Tracey.
399 reviews23 followers
August 10, 2020
This is an entertaining, well-written, steamy, historical romance novel. It has likable, engaging characters, a bride auction, a heart-warming romance, and a happily ever after ending.
It is an excellent addition to Ms. Jordan's outstanding "Rogue Files" series. Each novel can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone.
Profile Image for Shae.
2,629 reviews301 followers
April 10, 2021
I'm beginning to believe that I am just not the right person for a Sophie Jordan book. I am consistently underwhelmed and feel the books are lacking and average. It's nothing personal towards the author, I just think that she and I need to break up.
Profile Image for Kelly Elliott.
Author 101 books6,166 followers
June 11, 2020
Another amazing book by Sophie Jordan! I'm loving this series!
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