Tag: Once Upon a Bride

Guest Review: It Only Takes a Kiss by Wilma Counts

Posted April 4, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: It Only Takes a Kiss by Wilma CountsReviewer: Tracy
It Only Takes a Kiss by Wilma Counts
Series: Once Upon a Bride #2
Also in this series: My Fair Lord (Once Upon a Bride #1)
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Best friends since their schooldays, Henrietta, Harriet, and Hero are wise and witty young ladies, embarking on the sometimes bumpy road to happily-ever-after, each in her own brilliant way...

Hero Whitby has harbored long-buried fears since a devastating attack by two young men of the privileged class. Now, while her peers aspire to husband-hunting, Hero pursues her passion to be a doctor, working alongside her father, a respected Devonshire physician. But when a badly beaten stranger is carried in to his practice, Hero is stunned by her reaction. Over three days of tending to the man, along with her instinct to heal, she finds herself intensely drawn to him.

Robbed and left for dead for highwaymen, Alexander Sterne has no memory of his past as a soldier in Wellington's army—or as a carousing playboy. But as he becomes aware of his surroundings and the plight of the locals, Alex realizes only he can break the corrupt hold of an evil land steward. And when Hero's tender kiss awakens him from sleep—and restores his identity—he knows that he must regain not only his strength but a newfound compassion...which can only be ignited by Hero and a meeting of hearts that may heal them both.

Hero is considered on the shelf and as such is living with her doctor father in his place in Cornwall.  She wants to be a doctor herself and has learned almost everything she needs to know from her father.  She’s woken up one night by locals who found a beaten man by the side of the road.  He is completely built, and Hero can’t help from noticing how beautiful his body is (how unprofessional, Hero!).

The man eventually wakes up and doesn’t remember his past.  When he returned from the war he had pretty bad PTSD so that might be a good thing.  He eventually remembers and figures out that he is the third son of a duke and was arriving in Cornwall incognito.  He was to check the books of the land steward of his very own holdings.  Because the land steward isn’t on the up and up, they attacked the “bookkeeper” and left him for dead.

The land steward turned out to be a very bad guy and was threatening to evict people from the land if they didn’t help him with his smuggling ring – this included part of Hero’s family.

I liked this story. I found the whole smuggling/land steward/amnesia story really worked for me.  I thought that Counts did a great job with all of that. She wrote a story that kept my attention and I wanted to keep reading.

Unfortunately I didn’t feel as strongly about the romance in the story.  While I liked both Hero and Alex, I wasn’t feeling it between them.  Hero knew Alex by reputation, since he’d never actually been to that particular holding since he’d inherited it.  She knew the owner was a drunkard and a rake, and thought him the lowest of lows.  When she found out that Alex was the owner, she was pissed.  Of course, Alex had lied to her, but still, she should have listened when he’d said he’d changed.

In the end I found the book to be satisfying, but not as satisfying as I thought it would be at the beginning.  I was disappointed that the second half of the book wasn’t as good as the first half.  I still think it’s worth reading if you like smuggling stories.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Once Upon a Bride

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: My Fair Lord by Wilma Counts

Posted October 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: My Fair Lord by Wilma CountsReviewer: Tracy
My Fair Lord (Once Upon a Bride #1) by Wilma Counts
Series: Once Upon a Bride #1
Also in this series: It Only Takes a Kiss
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: October 17th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Well-bred, well-dressed, and well-read, Henrietta, Harriet, and Hero are best friends who have bonded over good books since their schooldays. Now these cultured ladies are ready to make their own happy endings—each in her own way . . .

Lady Henrietta Parker, daughter of the Earl of Blakemoor, has turned down many a suitor for fear that the ton’s bachelors are only interested in her wealth. But despite the warnings of her dearest friends, Harriet and Hero, she can’t resist the challenge rudely posed by her stepsister: transform an ordinary London dockworker into a society gentleman suitable for the “marriage mart.” Only after a handshake seals the deal does Retta fear she may have gone too far . . .

When Jake Bolton is swept from the grime of the seaport into the elegance of Blakemoor House, he appears every inch the rough, cockney working man who is to undergo Retta’s training in etiquette, wardrobe, and elocution. But Jake himself is a master of deception—with much more at stake than a drawing room wager. But will his clandestine mission take second place to his irresistible tutor, her intriguing proposal . . . and true love?

Henrietta, in a disagreement with her half-sister, agrees to let her pick out a man from the docks so that Henrietta can turn him into a gentleman.  The stakes are high as if she loses Henrietta, or Retta as she’s known to her family, has to hand over her favorite horse.

The man that Retta’s sister picks ends up being the third son of Duke who is undercover.  Since Retta’s household is under suspicion of handing sensitive information over to the French, Jake takes the chance to get inside the Parker house.  Retta knows that something is not quite right with Jake as he learns extremely quickly, plays the piano and states quotes from philosophers.  She wants to win the bet so she brushes off her misgivings.  Jake is enthralled with Retta from the start but knows that he has to play his part til the end.  He just didn’t plan on falling in love with his teacher.

This was a take on the old the My Fair Lady story.  Teach a lower class person to be one of the nobility and fool the masses.  Only Jake was fooling the Parker’s all along as he was actually nobility already.

The story was cute and I liked Jake but I never felt a connection with either Retta or Jake and didn’t see the connection between the two of them either, I’m sorry to say.

The spy part of the book was more than a bit confusing but in the end was very simple.  I think the author added things in to make things exciting but it felt like filler and, imho, was unnecessary.  It dragged in places and I found that frustrating.  Overall a decent read but not wonderful for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Once Upon a Bride

three-stars


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