The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie
Series: The Chance Sisters #3
Also in this series: The Winter Bride
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
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On the eve of the London Season, Jane Chance is about to make her entrance into high society. And after a childhood riddled with poverty and hardship, Jane intends to make a good, safe, sensible marriage. All goes according to plan until a dark, dangerous vagabond helps her rescue a dog.
Zachary Black is all kinds of unsuitable—a former spy, now in disguise, he’s wanted for murder. His instructions: to lie low until his name is cleared. But Zach has never followed the rules, and he wants Jane Chance for his own.
If that means blazing his way into London society, in whatever guise suits him, that’s what he’ll do. Jane knows she shouldn’t fall in love with this unreliable, if devastatingly attractive, rogue. But Zach is determined—and he‘s a man accustomed to getting what he wants.
Jane Chance’s two older sisters are married to the men that they fell in love with. Of course those sisters want her to find love as well, but that’s not what Jane wants – at least that’s what she tells herself. Her parents came from good families but each of their families wanted them to marry other people. When they chose love over their families they were both disowned. Jane grew up knowing her parents were in love but they were destitute. Jane wants children of her own and as much as she appreciates that her parents were in love she wants to raise children with the security of knowing that they will never have to worry about where they will sleep at night or if they’ll have enough food. To this end Jane accepts a marriage proposal from a man that will give her the security she craves. She doesn’t love him but maybe she will grow to love him in time.
Zachary Black has returned to England, after 12 years, at the behest of his best friend. He finds that his cousin is on the cusp of having Zach declared dead. He can easily prove who he is but finds out that when he does he will be arrested for a murder that he supposedly committed 12 years earlier, but did not. He’s been a spy for his government for the past eight years and has had to blend in constantly so when his friend tells him that he needs to lie low so that no one will recognize him he stays in his gypsy disguise.
While in disguise and out walking in London Zach saves Jane from some street thugs. She was in an alley rescuing a dog and the thugs turned on her. Zach is mesmerized by Jane so when she asks him to walk the dog to her house he accepts. From then on every day that Jane walks the dog in the park by her house Zach is there waiting to walk with her. He loves talking to her and he soon discovers he has feeling for her. Unfortunately he has this whole murder thing hanging over his head and then he finds out that Jane is engaged. He decides that he needs to do whatever it takes to get the woman he loves to be with him but there might be too many obstacles standing in his way.
The Spring Bride is a relatively simple story but so very sweet I just loved it. Yes, there was the murder charge hanging over Zach’s head and the ease which he believed it would be cleared didn’t exactly pan out, but other than that there wasn’t a whole lot of angst in the book and I really appreciated that.
Seeing Zach and Jane getting to know each other and seeing their feelings for each other grow just warmed my heart. Yes, Jane was stubborn at times but I understood her fears that had to do with safety and security. She really wanted the whole package – the love and the security – but was too afraid to let herself hope for that. Because of that she believed that accepting the proposal of Lord Cambury – who was a bit of a jerk – was the right thing to do. Even when she finally figured out that Cambury wasn’t who she wanted to marry she let him down very nicely and I admired her even more.
Zach was a wonderful hero. He was an intelligent man who had been blindsided by a woman and I loved seeing him felled by Jane. He had a good heart and I admired his strength as well. He’d been abused as a child but he had become a good, honorable man who definitely did not take after his father.
Overall the book was a lovely romance and one I very much enjoyed reading.
Rating: 4 out of 5