How to Lose a Bride in One Night (Forgotten Princesses, #3) by Sophie Jordan
Series: Forgotten Princesses #3
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: July 30th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
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He saved her life...
When Annalise Hadley is tossed over the side of her honeymoon barge, the newly-minted duchess knows she's been left for dead -- for her husband's only interest is in her vast dowry, not her muddied lineage. However, she didn't count on a savior. Especially not an honorable, sinfully intriguing earl who will tempt her to risk everything—again.
Now he will seduce her heart and soul
A man with his own demons, Owen Crawford, the reclusive Earl of McDowell, is enchanted by the mysterious, courageous woman he rescued. He will help her heal, teach her to protect herself, and then send her away—so that she’ll never see he’s far from the hero she believes him to be.
But days and nights alone prove that some secrets are meant to be discovered...some desires are too powerful to resist…and some wounds can only be healed by love.
Sophie Jordan is one of those historical romance writers that just seems to hit a home run most of the time. Her literary batting average is right up there and she has done it again . . . written a story that is creative and different yet is filled with the color and pageantry that marks good historical romance fiction.
The hero is a quiet, reclusive man with secrets to hide, the kind that are rooted in hurt and regret. The heroine is a quiet and caring woman who has lived a life on the edge of poverty most of her years until found and claimed by a father who is massively wealthy as well as ambitious for himself and his offspring. So with a hefty dowry to be had, Annalise Hadley attracts and marries a duke, one that is in the upper echelon of polite society. What she didn’t know was that he couldn’t bear to look at her, smoozed and courted with warm words and warmer smiles, carried out the con to the nth degree, and then proceeded to attempt to murder her. He would have succeeded had it not been for a plucky woman who refused to die and a man with a heart of honor and integrity buried underneath all his personal wounds.
This is a story of how two people who the world would just as soon do without kept on keeping on, both of whom had within them the will to survive even though that survival was fraught with pain and remembered hurt by those who should have loved them best. Anna wanted her father’s love more than anything. Her heart was bruised to find out that he wanted a duchess in the family more than he wanted her as a person and a daughter. Owen just wanted to be left alone but inheriting an earldom made that virtually impossible. And then there were the gypsies, full-fledged Rom who lived as social outcasts but who had their own code of honor and whose deeply imbedded knowledge of healing–physical as well as emotional and psychological–came to the aide of Anna and Owen.
I guess it’s difficult for me to believe that someone like the duke would do what he did on the one hand, and on the other it is not difficult at all. This story is the kind that brings the reader into close contact with evil is some of its purest form, a lukewarm paternal love that wasn’t strong enough to even get to know the object of that affection, a troubled heart that wants to love deeply and for life, and the tender caring of a woman who has been abused by life almost from the beginning. It is a slice of life that may have been set in distant times but which could easily be translated into contemporary settings, for the politics are very familiar, the family dysfunction like so many present today, and the sense of loss and disappointment felt by a woman who just simply wants to be valued for who she is.
I think this is a very entertaining read but it is also a thought-provoking one as well. The tension between Anna and Owen builds relentlessly throughout the story and the sense of crisis is there as well as Anna realizes that she must face her erstwhile bridegroom and her possibly disappoint father when she shows up very much alive. It’s a tremendous read and one that romance fiction lovers will find captivating. I don’t think you want to miss this one.
I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.