The Autumn Bride (Chance Sisters, #1) by Anne Gracie
Series: Chance Sisters #1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: February 5th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
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Anne Gracie is “always terrific,”* and now the award-winning author delivers a brand-new series about four young women on the verge of destitution—until a daring act changes their fortune and transforms each of them into a glowing bride…
Governess Abigail Chantry will do anything to save her sister and two dearest friends from destitution, even if it means breaking into an empty mansion in the hope of finding something to sell. Instead of treasures, though, she finds the owner, Lady Beatrice Davenham, bedridden and neglected. Appalled, Abby rousts Lady Beatrice's predatory servants and—with Lady Beatrice's eager cooperation—the four young ladies become her “nieces,” neatly eliminating the threat of disaster for all concerned!
It's the perfect situation, until Lady Beatrice’s dashing and arrogant nephew, Max, Lord Davenham, returns from the Orient—and discovers an impostor running his household…
A romantic entanglement was never the plan for these stubborn, passionate opponents—but falling in love may be as inevitable as the falling of autumn leaves... *Mary Jo Putney
Abby is an orphan and is a governess. She’s shocked when she’s on her way back to her employers house one day after her half day off and is stopped by a woman saying that she knows Abby’s sister and she’s come to Abby for help. It seems that Jane, the sister, was on her way to be a vicar’s wife’s companion when she was drugged and kidnapped and taken to a brothel for auction. Abby gets her out in time along with another girl, Damaris who helped Jane and Daisy, the cockney girl who worked at the brothel (as a maid) and had gotten Abby.
After Abby has to leave her job the four girls are living together and trying to survive. They try to get jobs but it doesn’t work out and when Jane gets sick Abby gets desperate. She’s seen the house next door and there’s a window open and no light ever goes on in it. She thinks to climb over, get into the house and steal something that she can then sell to help Jane. When she gets to the house she finds nothing of value to steal and a little old lady in the bedroom who is slowly dying from neglect and starvation. Things happen and next thing you know Abby and the girls are living with the little old woman, Lady Beatrice Davenham, and there’s lives have changed considerably. The girls consider themselves sisters and Lady Bea tells everyone they’re her nieces.
Lord Davenham has been away for 9 years when a letter about his aunt has him heading back to England. He finds the girls and of course assumes that they are the ones that are hurting his aunt. Matters get worked out but the trust isn’t high between the girls and Max – especially with Abby. Abby and Max have an attraction to each other but Max promised himself in marriage to a girl 9 years ago and now he has to honor his word and marry her – even if he wants Abby.
The majority of this book, for me, was taken up with Abby, her sisters and Lady Bea. That was actually A-Ok with me as I liked the five of them so very much. Lady Bea had pluck and she wasn’t afraid to tell people what she thought. Now she did get taken advantage of and had hit a low spot but with the Chance sisters help she was able to get back on her feet, so to speak, and flourish.
Max and Abby’s relationship, if you can call it that took a back seat for me. Max and Abby weren’t together very often in the story and that a bit frustrating. He saved her at one point and they kissed but other than some small talks and a few heated looks there wasn’t much too it. He was running all over doing this and that and I’m sad to say that while I liked their characters I didn’t feel the connection between the two of them.
As I normally like Gracie’s books so much I will be reading the next book in this series to see what happens next.
Rating: 3 out of 5
You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place