Happily Bedded Bliss by Tracy Anne Warren
Series: The Rakes of Cavendish Square #2
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: March 1st 2016
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When Lady Esme Byron happens upon a gorgeous naked man sleeping beside a secluded country lake, she can’t resist the impulse to sketch him. But when her highly improper drawing is mistakenly revealed at a party, she finds her once-pristine reputation in tatters.
Gabriel, Lord Northcote, may be a notorious rakehell, but he is still stunned to find himself accused of despoiling a duke’s sister—especially since he's never set eyes on her. When Esme’s six irate brothers demand a hurried trip down the aisle, he has no choice but to comply. He thinks he can forget about his inconvenient bride but Esme Byron is no ordinary woman and Gabriel is about to learn just how unforgettable she can be.
Lady Esme is out and about trying to find some new item in nature to sketch. When she goes to her favorite spot on a neighbors land she finds a naked man swimming. She’s shocked but then when he heads to the grass and promptly falls asleep she’s intrigued by him and sketches him. When the sketch is discovered in a roundabout way Esme’s brothers assume the worst – that she’s been compromised. Fortunately, that’s not true but since the Byron’s were having a house party and there were many people around when the sketch was discovered the Byron’s have to hurry and try to make the upcoming scandal disappear. The best way to do that is to force Gabriel, the naked subject of the sketch, and Esme marry asap. Gabriel’s not thrilled about the marriage but he knows it must be done. Esme is even more stubborn when she finds out that her brothers are forcing her but eventually she concedes that this is the best way to avoid scandal.
Now Gabriel’s parents were a pair. They were either madly in love or fighting. The fighting eventually won out and both parents ended up cheating on each other. This did not end well and they both died at his father’s hand. Gabriel and his brother were then raised by an abusive uncle and to Gabriel this proved to him that there is no good in people. His parents showed him that marriage is a mistake and that he can’t let himself love anyone because it leads to grief and devastation.
Gabriel and Esme spend an idyllic time at one of his estates for about a month. Unfortunately, one of his friends mentions how happy he is that Gabriel found love and Gabriel didn’t like that at all. He then practically exiles Esme to his family seat and takes himself off to London. Esme isn’t sure what she did wrong but she knows that she has to work hard to get back the wonderful man she saw in him and so she takes it upon herself to do what needs to be done in order to get the family she’s always dreamed of.
This was a very sweet book. Warren always does a great job of pulling the reader into the story and keeping them on the edge of their seat to see what happens next. I honestly wasn’t sure how she was going to get Esme and Gabriel to see eye to eye but she managed it, and in a way that made me sigh with happiness.
Esme and Gabriel were so good together and even though he was an ass in more than a few parts of the book the reader knew that it was just him trying to protect his heart. For such a young lady Esme was very strong-willed and determined and I loved that about her. For all her strength she was still very kindhearted and she was a really great blend of strength and softness.
I hadn’t read book one in this series but this book stood well on its own. If you love a good scandal turned forced marriage turned love story then this is a good one for you.
Rating: 4 out of 5