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Dark Angel / Lord Carew's Bride (Stapleton-Downes #3-4)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,218 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh come two classic tales of love turned dangerous, set amid the splendor of Regency England—a time rife with passion, betrayal, and intrigue.

Jennifer Winwood has been engaged for five years to a man she hardly knows but believes to be honorable and good: Lord Lionel Kersey. Suddenly, she becomes the quarry of Lo
Mass Market Paperback, Reissue omnibus edition, 593 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by Bantam Books
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Dec 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In Dark Angel, Jennifer has been engaged to a man although she hardly knows but loves deeply for the past five years they’ve been engaged, as the engagement announcement t draws closer, she finds herself the object of a notorious earl’s attention Gabriel Fisher, the Earl of Thornhill. Gabriel is playing a game of revenge and using Jennifer as a pawn, but when the game soon becomes a game of love, one neither are winning to lose!

Like many Mary Balogh fans, it’s very hard to find books on her bac
Of the two, I definitely liked Lord Carew's Bride the most. Neither was an OMGWOW sort of read though. I'd give Dark Angel a 3 and Lord Carew's Bride a 4.

Dark Angel

Miss Jennifer Winwood is in town for her very first Season and positively vibrating with the excitement of it. Unlike other girls on their come out, though, she's not here to snag a husband. That was set for her five years ago, when she was 15, when her viscount father arranged her betrothal to a the heir to an earldom, Viscount Kerse
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
5 stars for Dark Angel
Dark Angel was great! Wow, I love how Balogh writes. I loved Heartless and then read More than a Mistress and loved that one even more - this one is a close tie to MTaM. She has such an amazing way of portraying different human emotions and she always makes me think - I actually feel like I learned something from this book - stuff I already knew but it's always good to have reminders:

1. Revenge is a huge waste of time and you risk hurting innocent people and possibly your
Miranda Davis
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Regency romance fans who like mature H/hs
Re: Lord Carew's Bride 5 stars
A great Balogh story about a woman's love affair with friendship. Samantha is a 24-year old Incomparable determined never to let love devolve to pain. She has remained unmarried after 7 seasons and intends to continue that way due to early disillusionment and secret guilt. Hartley is a brave, honorable man, crippled in an accident when six, who has lived a reclusive life, occupying himself with designing landscapes on his and friends' property. They meet on the grou
Carol Storm
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read DARK ANGEL when it first came out back in 1995, and though I enjoyed it I didn't really remember much afterwards. I heard a lot about LORD CAREW'S BRIDE over the years but never had a chance to read it till this great new paperback edition came out, combining both stories into one great package!

First thing to notice is that the two stories are so intimately connected that the packaging is much more than a marketing ploy. You can't really understand Samantha in LORD CAREW unless you read a
Jan 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
This rating is for 'Dark Angel' only.

UGH!! This book was so frustrating and I totally regret wasting my time reading it! The heroine wasted the whole book being in love and pining for another man that did not want her, but wanted her cousin instead. I don't even know why I kept reading?! I guess I was hoping that soon, soon the heroine will start to show some real interest in the hero and the real romance with her and the hero would move along, but no. It took her intended to disgrace her for h
Dark Angel - 4/5 stars
Lord Carew's Bride - 5 stars

I think one of the reasons that I enjoyed this pair of novels so much was the simplicity of the storylines. The author didn't need historical gimmicks -- spies, vampires, highway robbers, pirates, kidnappings, etc. These were just well written stories in a traditional Regency setting. I always appreciate it when my hero has a quizzing-glass in his hand and the heroine isn't jumping into bed in the first chapter with the hero. ;)

Lord Carew's Bride
Sarah Z
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dark Angel:

3.5 stars. I love Mary Balogh's writing. I've read a bunch of her books and heard good things about Lord Carew's Bride. Of course I was thrilled to see that I got 2 books in 1 with this purchase! Dark Angel is the first book that tells the story of Jennifer Winwood and the second is Lord Carew's Bride about her cousin Samantha Newman. I'm giving Dark Angel 3.5 stars. It's your typical regency romance, nothing new or exciting here, but it's a sweet, enjoyable story. It took me a while
This book would have scored a much higher rating in my mind had it not been for the sex--or rather, rape--scenes toward the end of each novella, particularly the first. I do not care if "exercising marital rights" is historically accurate; doing so while your new bride is sobbing and thinks you publicly humiliated her in order to trap her into marrying you will DESTROY YOUR MARRIAGE. It will not "save" it!! Even the character himself admits it feels like rape. Yes, that's because it IS rape! You ...more
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha Poorman
Jul 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
i could not stay interested. A book has to be very boring for me not to finish it, and I abandoned this one a while ago.
Lissy Liz
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved both stories. Lord Carew just touched my heart with all his insecurities and being such a loving man.
Haya 2
Jul 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Was this book written by a 12 year old?
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Both were pleasant reads, but I think I preferred Lord Carew's Bride, even though the heroine was a tad too sweet for my liking.
Dione Sage
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Two short Mary Balogh stories in one book....I could not pass this up. I actually started reading this book a few days ago and just finished up tonight, I would have had it wrapped up a lot sooner if I didn't have to stop reading in order to function normally as a wife and mother...oh and then there were the last two days that I had to work. Conclusion, life sometimes has a habit of cutting in to my reading time! Hahaha, oh yes I can often get lost in a book and this little tempting morsel had t ...more
Holly Bush
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Two young women go to London for their first season. Jennifer Winwood, long engaged to a man she barely knows but trusts implicitly and her younger cousin, Samantha Newman, fresh-faced and naive.

In Dark Angel, Winwood is in love with her betrothed Lionel Kersey but has spent little time in his company, content to nurture her love with daydreams of married life. Arrive on the scene, the Earl of Thornhill, out to avenge a dastardly wrong that Kersey has committed against someone under the Earl’s
Another charming but untaxing novel from Balogh. This one has the wonderful Hartley Wade (Lord Carew) as the hero. I enjoyed both of the first two Dark Angel novels. Easy reading without the frustration of contrived plot or assembly-line characterization.

I particularly like the themes of both novels, which are deeper than the seemingly fluffy book would initially suggest. Dark Angel tackled Revenge- and how it is in the nature of revenge to corrupt and destroy the person seeking it, no matte
May 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to whomever or whatever force caused these early novels of Mary Balogh to be reprinted. They are delightful and full of the pitch and toss of the Regency Period. Arranged marriages, lost love, betrayal, false friendships, and the surprising honor of those considered to be "rakes" in society. These two stories embrace the experiences of cousins, Jennifer Winwood and Samantha Newsome, both of whom are presented to society at a "coming out" ball put on by Jennifer's father. She has been info ...more
overall 4*

Dark Angel
An enjoyable traditional regency. Well written, with engaging characters. The reader knows truths that the heroine does not, making the heroine's internal musings sort of pointless at times, not to mention redundant. The author would've been better off keeping the reader in the dark along with her heroine for at least part of the story.

Lord Carew's Bride
With a more complex and interesting heroine than in Dark Angel, Lord Carew's Bride was the better of the two books. The
Jul 26, 2010 rated it liked it
This was well-paired as a read together. Since Balogh first wrote these novels, romances in general have gotten longer - so two short novellas combined to make a good novel!

Enjoyable read - but due to the older styles, I feel that the stories wrap up a little too quickly and a little too neatly. But, it did stave off my rabid desire to read the last book in Balogh's Huxtable Quintet. :) If only Balogh could write even faster than she already does! What can I say? I am greedy for my favorite Rege
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the two books in this omnibus and only wish I had the third in the series at hand to contnue.

Balogh's style is more earnest than my usual regency fare (I lean towards the light and witty regency romps) but I enjoyed them nonetheless. I like the idea of following the secondary characters as the series progresses while getting glimpses of what becomes of the previous protaganists. I'm really looking forward to Francis' story in the next entry.
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3/5; 3 stars; B

Both these stories were written with Mary Balogh's high standard of excellence in style, pacing, etc. They are not as good as some of her more recent books (IMO) but still worth a read. Balogh is good at characterization and she did an excellent job of creating a high functioning sociopath who wrought havoc on the lives around him. Kersey/Rushford was probably the strongest character in the two stories even though he was a truly horrible human being.
Susannah Carleton
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Two very different, but wonderful stories of love found unexpectedly. Dark Angel is a story of betrayal (in several forms), an attempt at revenge that goes awry, and a young lady saved from ruin by an honorable man believed by the ton to be I acquainted with the word. Lord Carew's Bride, the second book in the quartet, is a tale of an unlikely friendship that deepens into an abiding love.
Feb 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed these two books and it was a fairly quick read. I was more smitten by the second book, Lord Carew's Bride more. It was just... sweet. I found myself more smitten by the "beast" Hartley than the other gorgeous hero. In the scenes with Lionel, I just wanted to push him off the balcony or something. These books were a fun and sweet read.
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
These were my first Mary Balogh books. Lord Carew's Bride was one of the sweetest, most romantic things I have ever read. Dark Angel was also lovely and had a lot to appreciate, too. How could this not be a five-star bind-up? I'll remember it for a long time to come, that is for sure. Now, to glom her backlist slowly and avidly!
Lady Wesley
Apr 04, 2012 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lady Wesley by: Miranda Davis
These reissued books from the 1990s are rather short, sweet stories that focus almost exclusively on the two couples (plus one villain) and their intertwined lives. Nothing spectacular. I like Mary Balogh a lot, but these two are not among her best.
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mary-balogh
Both books were pretty good for short books.
I would give 4 stars for Dark Angel and 5 stars for Lord Carew's Bride.

Both are great stories by Mary Balogh and have Lionel as the vilan. In the first one he is betrothed to Jenny since childhood but wants to get out of the engagement, so he uses her cousin Samantha, pretending to love her and reverts his enemy's (Gabriel) revenge against himself, forcing him to marry Jenny.

Luckily for Gabriel and Jenny, what was a convenience and honor match ended up in live admiration and respect, but Gabriel
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This 2-in-1 book was the version I read but I felt very differently about the two novels within it.

Dark Angel - I would give this 3 stars, maybe less. The writing was excellent but I couldn't stand the heroine. She was just what I like to call TSTL - too stupid to live. She was also one of those utterly innocent ingenue's that are so sickly sweet and then so utterly devastated by anything even slightly underhanded (even though the hero's actions actually saved her life big-time) that I just coul
Laurie Sand
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-time-faves
Dark Angel is a fun though forgettable read--buxom heroine and dark, dangerous hero, a marriage of convenience, attraction against all get the idea. Lord Carew's Bride, on the other hand, stands in a class apart in my mind. A book that at once rises above its humble Regency Romance origins while remaining true to the heart of true romance: telling a story that is both timeless and unique, about people who are both ordinary and one-of-a kind, while dwelling on the intertwined semiotic ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 20, 2015 06:37PM  
  • It Happened One Night
  • Marrying The Royal Marine (Channel Fleet, #3)
  • Don't Tempt Me (Fallen Women, #2)
  • If His Kiss Is Wicked (Grantham, #3)
  • Lessons in French
  • Have You Any Rogues? (Rhymes With Love, #2.5)
  • Hazard (Company of Rogues, #9)
  • Gareth: Lord of Rakes (Lonely Lords, #6)
  • His at Night
  • The Rake (Davenport, #2)
  • The Perfect Waltz (The Merridew Sisters, #2)
  • The Secret To Seduction (Holt Sisters Trilogy, #3)
  • To Marry an Heiress (Daughters of Fortune, #2)
Mary Jenkins was born in 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curl ...more
More about Mary Balogh...

Other Books in the Series

Stapleton-Downes (7 books)
  • The Ideal Wife (Stapleton-Downes, #1)
  • A Precious Jewel (Stapleton-Downes, #2)
  • Dark Angel (Stapleton-Downes, #3)
  • Lord Carew's Bride (Stapleton-Downes, #4)
  • The Famous Heroine (Stapleton-Downes, #5)
  • The Plumed Bonnet (Stapleton-Downes, #6)
  • A Christmas Bride (Stapleton-Downes, #7)

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