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To Wed a Scandalous Spy

(Royal Four #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,276 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Lovely, high born Willa Trent was an orphan, raised by a local, somewhat odd family in the country, who want nothing but the best for their girl. So when she drags the unconscious man she accidentally hit with a slingshot home, they arrange a hasty marriage and pack the couple off with best wishes. Armed with a groggy husband and a new future, Willa's pie-eyed optimism has ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,276 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Preeti ♥︎ (Romance She Reads)
This one is riot!
A serious hoot!
As is the h!
I adored her silliness and her die-hard Pollyanna act.
She might try some readers' patience but I enjoyed every cheesy, corny moment she's on the page.

The H is serious-minded but never mean or cruel. The poor guy has a lot on his plate and mind- what with being branded a traitor and all.

And a moderately complex ow who gets a comeuppance only the reader gets to know.
But so satisfying!
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
At first I was puzzled: is Willa perheps a retarded child? Her way of thinking things was so very strange, like she was not in her right mind.

Slowly, as the story progressed, we get to see that she's actually very smart in her own way!

After a few chapters I started to really like her! The way he turn things on Nate with just words was hilarious and great! I was chuckling every time she compared somebody to an animal! And she was always right: I just could envision each pe
Jane Stewart
Aug 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: regency-romance
It’s ok if you’re looking for a light, fluffy, regency romance, but I wanted more depth and uniqueness of characters.

Willa is an orphan raised by locals in a small rural community. She is a jinx. Accidents happen to boys who get too close to her. She uses a slingshot to shoot a rock and misses her target. Instead she hits a hornets’ nest causing Nathaniel to fall off his horse and be knocked unconscious. She rolls Nathaniel away from the hornets and stays with him w
BJ Rose
Mar 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Willa Trent is "The Mishap Miss" of Derryton village, and is the main reason this book is so delightful. She doesn't understand why things happen to boys who've tried to court her in the past 3 years (broken limbs, etc.), but things are looking up: Nathaniel Stonewell, Earl of Reardon, is prostrate at her feet. I mean, really prostrate! The stone from her slingshot accidentally knocked down a hornet's nest, and the stinging that ensued panicked Nathaniel's horse, causing him to be forcibly dismounted in t ...more
Jul 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Country bred Willa Trent is an orphan and jinxed. It wasn’t enough every suitor she’s ever had has ended up with an injury of some sort as soon as he stepped closer to her. Now she’s maiming innocent bystanders as well. The only excuse she has for dropping the man off his horseback is the fact she had no idea slingshots were so very inaccurate. How was she to know that the stone she was planning of springing a poacher’s trap with will end up smashing the hornets nest?

Nathaniel Stonew
Sara Reads (mostly) LOTS of Romance
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cute regency, eccentric heroines

Nuff said

Full Review to Come
♥ WishfulMiss ♥
I was really hoping I could rate this at least a three, but overall the mystery plot, the characters and the romance was a "just Okay" two star rating for me.

Nathaniel, Lord "Treason" an alleged traitor/spy (who is actually working deep deep undercover as part of the Royal Four) gets knocked out while chasing after a real traitor in the middle of nowhere, wakes up to a find himself in the company of a very pretty but a little nutty country miss names Willa Trent. After compromising h
OMG. I loved this. Both the hero and heroine are fabulous - the heroine in particular. She's sparky, smart, buxom, well-educated, but earthy and totally likeable. The hero, bless him, doesn't stand a chance. The premise of a heroine who seems to accidently maim any potential suitor is hilarious, but the plot actually speeds up when it gets past this portion, which is probably what made me LOVE this book rather than enjoy it. The plot MOVES but the characters don't suffer for it. They remain cons ...more
Elis Madison
Willa is an orphan, raised in the town of Derryton by her mother’s former maid. She’s also jinxed—or at least everybody thinks so. Every man who has paid addresses to her has fallen to the jinx. Oh, they lived. Some might even walk again. But the well of suitors has dried up.

So when she uses a slingshot to spring a poacher’s trap (because that’s SO much more sensible than a long stick), and her rock goes astray, it hits a hornet’s nest. Which causes the hornets to attack a poor, innocent horse.
I didn't really read very far into this book. I'm not entirely sure of what it was about it that made me give up. Probably something with the writing a little too cliche to me or something. Or it could be with so many romances I've been reading that I just wanted something different. Whatever. It just didn't grab me at the beginning, for whatever reason, and I wasn't in the mood to go further.
3.5 stars
I really enjoyed this mainly because the heroine had the ability to surprise the hero at every turn. When everyone in his life had failed him, the heroine who didn't even know him or the truth had faith him and didn't believe the lie of him being a traitor. I loved how he tried to give her up but she wouldn't let him. Definitely going to go back and read the Liars series.
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
"His lips were hard and forceful at first, his beard stubble coarse against her face. He drove his tongue into her repeatedly, startling her and exciting her, and chewed roughly at her lips." loc.1056

Author: Celeste Bradley
First published: 2005
Length: 5839 locations
Setting: England, 1813.
Sex: explicit, sometimes not very gentle.
Heroine: "ample dairymaid" style (loc.1411)
Series: Book 1 of "The Royal Four". Linked to previous series "The Liar's Club".

"Courageous as the Lion
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My first Celeste Bradley book. I hope all the others are as good as this.

Two memorable characters — especially jinx-minx Willa with her passion for Linnaeus and her irrepressible sexuality. The story is competently covered in the Goodreads summary, so I'll mention just a few weaknesses in an almost perfect Regency romp.

Alas, not even Ms Bradley can avoid slipping into anachronistic vocabulary and phrases. The saga of the Royal Four pushes the book close to the dividing li
Fani *loves angst*
4.5 stars

Celeste Bradley's books are my comfort food. I always know what to expect from them (= a little humor, some mystery and an emotional love story) and she doesn't fail to deliver. I really, really liked this one and I'd even go as far as to say I loved it. I didn't like a few things in the end though and couldn't understand why the heroine didn't talk of her past to the hero sooner. But then, there would be no drama if she did, I guess.
Still, a very enjoyable book with l
Dec 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book at the right time. It was the perfect amount of romance and humor that I needed to help remind myself why I love romance novels in the first place.

Now a days, with so much books about vampires and super tortured hero and heavy reading, I'm so glad I came across this book. I love the two main characters - Nathaniel and Willa.

I love Willa! She goes after what she wants, and that's to "copulate" with Nathaniel. ;) :)
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a book. I stayed up half the night reading this book because I couldn't put it down.
Just loved Willa. Wish there were more heroines like her..
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hurray!!! It was good! :) :) :)
May 01, 2017 added it
"time does take the edge off the blade"
An ok read, but for the most part not that interesting. Disappointing because I was looking forward to reading Nathaniel's story after his introduction in the Liar's Club series.
Carre Gardner
Jun 06, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: the brain dead
I notice that, inexplicably, the average rating of this book is 3.87 stars. In fact, if there were a half-star option, I'd award it here, but only because the author spelled all the words in the title right.

After Jennifer reviewed "The Pleasure King's Bride," I felt honor-bound to pull out a review on this old favorite, since I know she's particulary fond of it. *snort*

I picked this up in an airport once, years ago, when I was facing a long flight and felt the need for some Mind Ca** ...more
Sara ♥
Jun 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Didn't have as much time to read this weekend as I thought I would...

I really quite enjoyed this book. Willa was a really interesting heroine. Strong-willed, stubborn, and a bit too bold to be proper. I love how she stood up to Nathaniel and supported him even when he was being a tard-face. Nathaniel was a nice character as well. He had some issues, but I loved seeing him lean on Willa for support. Fun times. Cute start to a series!
Danette Steward
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bradley-celeste
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the first Celeste Bradley story I have read. I am duly impressed. I absolutely loved Willie (the heroine) and Nathaniel (the hero). Their characters were real, witty, and engaging, creating a story that was a joy to read. Ms. Bradley's writing is such that when a "steamy scene" was introduced it actually seemed to detract from the story, it was so good that they just weren't needed!
Head in the clouds
Refreshing, funny and sweet - and damn sexy to boot. A top HR of 2015!!
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: absolute-faves
I love this so much. I adore Willa and Nathaniel. They're so funny and aodrable together :)
Gillian Brownlee
May 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: trashy-romance
This really wasn't that good of a romance novel. The word choices were questionable, and the plot was too complex for a book of this type. It was a good laugh, but otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it.
Avid Booker
Jul 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People Who Like Actually Like Spy Novels
I had trouble rating this a 2 or a 3. So I'll settle for a 2.5

I didn't hate this book. It was not as bad as The Bride or Four Nights with the Duke, but it just didn't hold my interest. It honestly got really really really boring. I didn't care for the espionage background and the fact that since it's a series, it wouldn't be figured out until you read the books. I don't want to read the other books, I don't care to. Don't really care for much in this book BUT it had it's moments. ...more
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story was far fetched, plot was lost in the story. Insta love galore.
Yet, I still found this story entertaining.

Willa Trent is a country spinister with a mysterious background and bad luck when it comes to men.

Nathaniel Stonewell, Lord Reardon, is part of a secret group that protects the Crown. He has publicly declared himself a traitor in hopes of ferreting out the ringleader of a group that is blackmailing the Crown.

Nate's chase brings him to small Derryton where he is une
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Hi, my name is Celeste Bradley and I write "brain chocolate." That is, I write fun and sexy escapism is for hardworking women everywhere. We deserve a little man-candy, too!

Reviewers like to say I write about misfit heroines getting the man of their dreams. Maybe that's true, but don't we all feel like misfi

Other books in the series

Royal Four (4 books)
  • Surrender to a Wicked Spy (Royal Four, #2)
  • One Night with a Spy (Royal Four, #3)
  • Seducing the Spy (Royal Four, #4)