Avon, Jul 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1809 England most of the Ton considers twenty-nine years old Lady Diana Fordham as a spinster with no chance of marrying. Her peers have shelved her, but her enormous dowry makes Diana still a fine catch for anyone short in the pockets. However, Diana does not want a spouse, as her heart was broken years ago by a man she still loves.
Her father frantically announces that a rogue has kidnapped his daughter taking her to Gretna Green. Most of the aristocracy cannot believe an old maid like Diana can be abducted so they ignore Lord Fordham's rant. However, some reconsider when he announces the man who saves Diana will marry her.
The Marquis of Templeton, known as the "Temple" of foppish good fashion, is upset because secretly he loves Diana. However he rationalizes that he must not act on his feelings because of the danger of his profession as a spy that might place his beloved in danger. The Foreign Office orders a reluctant and irate Temple to insure that Diana is rescued and safely married. When he catches up to her he finds an incredibly brilliant counter move by a strategist who makes Napoleon look like a bonehead as the clever ploy shakes his heart to the core.
STEALING THE BRIDE will steal the hearts of Regency romance readers due to the final desperate fling of the heroine. Diana is a strong individual who knows what she wants. The audience will feel some frustration over Temple allowing his childhood demons to interfere with a relationship with Diana. Still this is a fun historical that fans will appreciate.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner