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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Review and Giveaway - Never a Bride by Amelia Grey

Can a woman trust a fiancé who has abandoned her for six years? Can a man trust a betrothed he finds kissing another man?  Never a Bride by Amelia Grey.

Never a Bride

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Reprint edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402239785
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402239786
Genre: Historical Romance

My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Her name is on everyone’s lips . . .
When he left for America six years ago, the handsome Viscount Stonehurst never suspected that he would return home to England to find his lovely fiancé embroiled in the scandal of the decade. The woman he planned on making his wife has been kissing every man in London . . . except him!

But scandal doesn’t matter in search of the truth . . .
Engaged and then abandoned, Mirabella Wittingham is determined to find the man who drove her cousin to suicide, even if it means ruining her reputation and disgracing herself in the process . . .

When her plans go awry, Mirabella has no choice but to turn to her long-lost fiancé for help. But can she trust the man who deserted her so many years ago, or is he destined to fail her yet again?
I really liked the concept of this story although I didn’t feel it quite made top of the line in execution. Still, a good paced, sensual, easy read historical romance.

Mirabella determined that the best way she can find the rouge who ruined her cousin is to allow certain men to kiss her while she checks for a telltale mark. I liked Mirabella’s character but she is almost too reckless and too flippant about her reputation as she tries to find the seducer she seeks. Perhaps she really thinks she is on the shelf since her fiancé, who never even met her, has been gone six years.

Viscount Camden Stonehurst set off to America not just to avoid an unwanted betrothal but to get away from a scandal from a prior betrothal and also to make his own fortune. He returns to a family summons with a threat that the engagement will be broken because of his delay.  He would not particularly care until he discovers that his family desperately needs the marriage settlements. As a result of his first lost love Camden doesn’t trust women and is only looking for a biddable wife. He isn’t inclined to risk marriage with a strong-headed, independent young woman, no matter how enchanting.  Particularly he isn’t going to go through with wedding a girl he catches kissing at the first social event he attends hoping to meet her.

The pair agree to pretend to continue the engagement for the sake of their families. The subterfuge creates an opportunity for some fun bantering and for friendship and romance to develop. I loved their first meeting which occurred before they knew who each other was. That created an air of mystery and an elemental attraction. Unfortunately, even there, Mirabella was reckless with her behavior.

The whole kissing and reputation scandal seemed to not ring right to me - maybe because it doesn't match the blurb.  It would be bad enough that the young bucks were talking in the clubs about a girl they kissed in the garden but to get caught in such a situation by her chaperon and her fiancé seemed a bit too contrived.  Her investigative kissing had only been going on for a few weeks before Camden’s return and it apparently never became a full blown scandal.  Yet there were hints in the gossip sheets, the talk among the men and snubs by some of the respectable matrons.  I suppose it was just on the brink of becoming exposed when Camden returned to put an end to her kissing forays.  Although that didn’t end some of her other adventures.

The story moved along well with a lot of charm in the relationship. I liked how sweetly honest and open Mirabella is in her encounters with Camden and I really liked how Camden succumbed to the intelligence and natural innocence of Mirabella. All in all this is a solid romance read if not completely enchanting for me.

Thank you to Sourcebooks for this book to read and review.

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