26 September 2015

First Season / Bride to Be - Joint Review

First Season / Bride to Be
by Jane Ashford

What they say: Two classic Regency romances by beloved bestselling author Jane Ashford celebrate the adventures of a London Season

Widowed Lady Anabel Wyndham was married right out of the schoolroom and has never before experienced the delights of a London Season. She's dazzled by the attention of the fascinating Sir Charles Norbury, a man whose touch seems to melt her very soul, but a notorious rake. She's drawn to handsome friend-of-the-family Christopher Hanford and the comfort and serenity he offers. But how does one choose between two such charming suitors? Anabel is finding that love is so much more dangerous the second time around.

Emily Crane is the toast of the ton-and she couldn't find it more tedious. Until she encounters the darkly sensual stranger whose life she once saved and the London Season becomes infinitely more exciting. Recently returned from the wilds of South America, Lord Richard Sheldon has only contempt for tiresome London chits, but he finds himself stunningly intrigued by the dauntless Emily Crane. When the two become embroiled in a budding scandal and are forced into an engagement, they discover a passion more dangerous than any killer...

Coming 6th Oct from Sourcebooks - ISBN: 9781492630944


I received a copy from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: What's better than one historical fiction story? Two of course! Jane Ashford has revamped and bundled two of her earlier historical stories into this special edition.

First up is First Season: Here we see young widow Anabel Wyndham finally getting to have her elusive first season in society. She was married young and didn't get to have a season before her husband died, so she is experiencing everything for the first time.

Anabel is torn between the ultimate catch, the until-now-unobtainable and fashionable, Sir Charles Norbury, and family friend, Christopher Handford. I had a clear favourite from early on but I appreciated the switch up...

I liked hearing from Anabel's children but it did make it a little confusing at times and I would have preferred a little more from the main three characters involved and less about the more secondary characters - BUT I understand why this approach was needed to assist with certain revelations. I also would have liked a more decisive decision from Anabel. 

I liked the slight adventure/thriller element because I felt it added some fun drama and action to the plot.

(3 Stars)

I actually liked book two, Bride to Be more: This book focuses on Emily Crane as she finds herself forced into London society and the brutal marriage market.

As the daughter of two forward thinking artists, Emily has had a rather turbulent upbringing and hasn't had a society season. She first meets Richard Sheldon, Baron Warrington in unusual circumstances and is confused when she realises who he is at a later date.

Emily and Richard find themselves involved in numerous dramas and intrigues, including a fake engagement and a murder plot. I really liked their banter aka arguing, and found them hilarious together.

I kept waiting for Richard to realise that Emily was not only right, but the right one for him. The secondary characters were fun and really added to the development of the plot. I'd love to read more about the rest or their respective families!

(4 Stars)

Average 3.5 Stars in my Sky!


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