Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet).
If historical romance is your go-to read, you can’t go past Anne Gracie. Her latest novel, The Spring Bride, affirms her reputation as a romance storyteller to curl up with … well, not Gracie herself, but her books! Here’s the blurb:
On the eve of the London Season, Jane Chance is about to make her entrance into high society. And after a childhood riddled with poverty and hardship, Jane intends to make a good, safe, sensible marriage. All goes according to plan until a dark, dangerous vagabond helps her rescue a dog.
Zachary Black is all kinds of unsuitable – a former spy, now in disguise, he’s wanted for murder. His instructions: to lie low until his name is cleared. But Zach has never followed the rules, and he wants Jane Chance for his own.
If that means blazing his way into London society, in whatever guise suits him, that’s what he’ll do. Jane knows she shouldn’t fall in love with this unreliable, if devastatingly attractive, rogue. But Zach is determined – and he’s a man accustomed to getting what he wants.
The Spring Bride is the third in Gracie’s Chance Sisters series. Set in Regency England, this story focuses on beautiful but practical Jane (sisters Abby and Damaris have by now been married off). Well, she’s mostly practical (she has a heart for rescuing animals and, as it turns out, a soft spot for Zach that could get her in trouble). However, she’s more mature and insightful than any 18-year-old I know. Zach reminds me of Jack Sparrow (minus the bad breadth and probably a lot cleaner) with his gypsy-like lifestyle, rascally smirk and disdain for authority.
Romantic, funny and with a heart-fluttering happy ending, The Spring Bride is a great read for those times when you just need to kick back and curl up. It kept me entertained as sensibility was traded for sensuality, a convenient marriage was traded for love and the heat built up as the lovers drew closer. Overall, it’s a light read, but I love how Gracie has filled the book with female characters who challenge the societal norms of the times.
Do you need to read The Autumn Bride and/or The Winter Bride before this? Not really. It does explain the background a little more, but The Spring Bride is a complete story in its own right.
Available from Penguin Books Australia (RRP $29.99). An unedited manuscript was made available by Penguin Books Australia.