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Publisher's Summary

Guarded Hearts....
A French pirate of smoldering passions, Justin St. Briac will never marry. However, when his manipulative mother beckons him to her deathbed in Cornwall, he succumbs to her plea that he take a bride.
Mouette Raveneau, once the toast of the London ton, has been ruined by her dead husband's crimes. With two adolescent sons and no means of support, she reluctantly takes refuge in Cornwall.
A Pretend Marriage....
To grant his mother's dying wish, Justin devises an elaborate charade. Her days are numbered, after all, and soon he'll return to his life of unfettered romantic conquests and adventure in France.
But what if his mother isn't really dying? And what if he begins to enjoy the very thing he's avoided his whole life?
©2017 Cynthia Challed (P)2017 Cynthia Challed
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars

Schemes Could Go Worse!

This gracefully and eloquently written Regency read/listen, with a humorous plot kept me entertained as it reunites a dysfunctional family. Justin St. Briac has a complex about his mother, whom he sees as one who made his childhood miserable with her games of leaving the family, making his father run after her to bring her home. Marriage is not for him, even though his brother has a happy marriage. He’s more suited to one-night stands and unattachment. At 48 he is a man the women look at when he enters a room.

He’s called back home, not having been there for many years. His mother is dying. He doesn’t know if he should trust her. Is she acting as she had been so many times in his youth? He feels a bit of compassion for her and tries to do the right thing when her dying wish is for Justin to find a wife.

Rather than argue the point, Justin cooks up a scheme – pulls Mouette Raveneau into the scheme by promising her lots of money she can’t refuse. Her financial circumstances are left in tatters from her previous marriage and now at 36 she must look out for herself and two sons.

She accepts this whole charade with the caveat he will not consummate the marriage and use physical touching only to convince his parents they are truly married. But quite a few people know it is all a farce.

In the process of furnishing his rented home (which Mouette is very good at), they spend lots of time together…with interesting results.

It’s always a pleasure to add children and animals to the mix of a good story. Children speak their minds and express that which many adults feel inappropriate. I enjoyed both boys’ growing relationship with Justin and the surprising reaction Justin has to them. The dog, Robinson, found on the road, becomes very much part of the family.

The rental becomes a home. The make-believe world created by this scheme is starting to feel for real. Justin decides it isn’t so bad – being a pirate does have its excitement, but holding Mouette in his arms has a bigger draw. How can he turn a make-believe marriage into a real one?

Tim Campbell narrates most of Cynthia Wright’s work. I’ve come to enjoy his French-accented English, his voice impersonations of the male characters with varying personalities. His deep voice and the way he uses it pull out every nuance of Wright’s work. Campbell excels in dog barking! Robinson has dialog, too. Enjoy!

This stories of the Raveneaus and the Beauvisage, sometimes humorous, sometimes thought-provoking, and sometimes dangerous, will fill all your senses, quickening your heart with moments of passion. I highly recommend her work. It’s classic!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By MikeS on 01-27-18

Once again a brilliant combo!!

Cynthia Wright wrote a fantastic story and Tim Campbell hit it out of the park with the narration. I must admit I didn’t think I would enjoy a historical romance about someone my age. Boy was I wrong. I love the energy and tension between Justin and Mouette. Cynthia did a fabulous job. The story gripped me so much and I had to finish pushing a side everything else. When I was not listening I was thinking about the story. Tim Campbell truly brought every character to life with his very talented voice. I seriously think he could make a phone book sound interesting. I highly recommend this book!!!!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By DragonRose UK on 06-29-18


His Make-Believe Bride is a well researched, well-written story that captivated me from beginning to end. To read the book myself, which I have done, was a joy, but to have Tim Campbell narrate it brings the characters to life and makes the story even more enjoyable. His male characters voices are easily decipherable from each other, the children characters are sweet, the female characters are believable, nothing like an over the top drag queen lol, and the man even does a perfect 'dog' for goodness sake! All the emotion that the author puts into her stories is performed superbly by Tim and don't get me started on the bedroom scenes...somebody please pass me a fan! An audiobook can only be as good as it's author and it's narrator, and I believe that Tim and Cynthia are a perfect partnership.

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5 out of 5 stars
By L. R. Shear on 11-12-17

This is so magical and wonderfully sexy!

'This is the second Audio Book in the St. Briac brother's tales and it is an absolute delight. Cynthia Wright's wonderful romantic tale comes to life under Tim Campbell's rich and exotic accent full of French promise! His accent and voice coats the listener like warm melted chocolate and the story will make you smile all the way through. Cynthia's love story of an ageing, stubborn, sexy libertine, who has a poor belief in true love and trust due to his mother's antics is pulled into opening his heart because of the beautiful, clever and wounded Mouette. It is a delight to listen to this story unfold with the characters of past books in the series lending a hand to guide Justin St. Briac to finally open his heart. I think it is my favourite Rakes & Rebels so far. A triumph for Cynthia and Tim. Do not delay and start listening to it today... magical!'

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