The Bad Luck Bride
Book 1, The Cavensham Heiresses
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All were shocked at the announcement of the “cursed” Lady Claire Cavensham to Lord Alexander Hallworth, the Marquess of Pembrooke, especially since she is already engaged to another unfortunate Lord. Perhaps she will make it to the altar this time with one of these fine gentlemen! —Midnight Cryer
No one is left breathless at the imperious pronouncement of her engagement to Lord Pembrooke more than Claire. She hardly knows the dangerously outrageous man! But after three engagements gone awry and a fourth going up in glorious flames, she isn’t in a position to refuse...
Alexander requires the hand of his enemy’s fiancée in marriage in order to complete his plans for revenge. It’s his good fortune that the “cursed” woman is desperate. However, what begins as a sham turns into something scandalously deeper...
“Full-bodied romance...with intelligence and heart."—Cathy Maxwell
"Captivating characters and a romance that sizzles."—Eloisa James
"Will leave you swooning."—Sabrina Jeffries
The Bad Luck Bride is the first in a new Regency romance series from Janna MacGregor!
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
The Bad Luck Bride
I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley.
I liked the beginning of the story. I did find it a bit hard to connect to Alexander and seeing him as a hero. Both the Alexander and Claire are flawed and the way in which they're flawed, especially the hero makes for a bit of a heavier read. There were some twists in this story.
This story is different and although I didn't connect with the characters as well as I typically do, it is a well-written story and I know that this book will appeal to some readers.
finding this one promising even as it didn’t feel as fully realized as I would have hoped.
3.5 Stars Rounded
As I started off, I was thrown by the development of the hero in Alex: vengeful, determined and more than a bit controlling, he was a character that I instantly found dislikable and while I appreciated MacGregor’s attempt to bring a deeply flawed and wounded character to redemption, I had reservations. And then I met Claire: constantly thinking of herself as cursed, with yet another engagement exploding in a most unusual way: with the rather mousey and innocuous introduction, I didn’t see compelling, and worried that Alex would be one who manipulated and reframed So the whole “curse” passed me by, unless one is referring to it in terms of social position, and there, Claire is cursed with being a woman at a time when her purpose in life is to marry well, and personal choice is not an option.
So we move on and at about the 50% mark the story started to show great flashes of promise in the writing: complex ideas, a bit more character development and the backstories are slowly revealed and bring an option to find more depth in the characters than in my initial impressions. But, the continued “we’ll discuss this later” moments, combined with constant interruptions from others, all playing out against Alex’s continued manipulation of situations and Claire: lying to her, watching her to “help her” (ick) and never really listening just rubbed me wrong. Claire was equally to blame, whether the attention (when she got it) from Alex is what she wanted, or she was just so ingrained to be “married” that she was willing to convince herself that she felt love for him – I missed that connection or those moments from Alex that didn’t feel proscribed or convenient. And when Alex’s duplicity is discovered, and everything that Claire thought was solid dissolved into ash, she leaves - a completely understandable reaction and one that moved her from mouse to kitten. Of course, Alex has his epiphany and realizes he loves her beyond measure, but the damage done early on just didn’t seem to allow for this option to me. Sure, it’s fiction and meant to end in a happy ever after, love you forever moment – but with all of the twists, the deception and the bad behavior –I wasn’t convinced.
As a debut offering, it showed promise, although it decidedly left room for improvement: a few plot holes and perhaps a few too many twists and interruptions as the couple’s connection should have been more palpable and believable, with Alex’s realization that his actions and behavior are in need of adjustment did not come soon enough, and I felt as though his realizations were too little and more about his losing than realizing his behavior pushed her away, and he needed to change that before making new attempts. Story flow was uneven, starting with a bit of a bang, the back and forth and twists dragged on – where I expected development and palpable emotions I didn’t find it, and the story didn’t really bring those moments where I needed to know what came next. There is promise here, as MacGregor can write a wonderful description, and does integrate historic norms and information with flair, her conversations are solid and the secondary characters did arrive with enough intrigue to know more, all good things when looking for a new author. I’m curious about the next book in the series, finding this one promising even as it didn’t feel as fully realized as I would have hoped.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
A New Author To Watch!
Beautifully written story with passionate and complex characters that captured my attention with a great paced plot from beginning to end. This is a fantastic debut story by Janna MacGregor.
Our couple have endured a past life filled with heartbreak and tragedy, but it is secrets and revenge that brings them together as a couple. Although their relationship started as an act of revenge, over time it turns into attraction, trust and love. As Alex and Claire start to let down their walls and help each other to face and heal their secrets and scarred past, Claire finds out about Alex's real reason for marrying her and she leaves. Will their love, strength and family values help these two find their HEA? You will have to read to find out.
Fantastic Story, that was beautifully written, captivating, full of secrets, lies, heartache, second chances and love. Can't wait to read more by this new author! Loved it!
Received an ARC through the publisher and NetGalley and voluntarily wrote this honest review.