Title: Enticing Her Unexpected Bridegroom
Author: Catherine Hemmerling
Series: Lady Lancaster Garden Society #4
Genre: Regency Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: Jan 25th
Sarah Jardin has been quite dreadfully in love with David Rochester her whole life. As the youngest of five daughters, her family and society neglect her. She’s outspoken, brash, and terribly ungraceful. In short, not at all a lady…until she’s taken under the benevolent wing of Lady Lancaster and invited to join the Young Ladies Garden Society.
But Sarah’s new life—filled with the mysteries and intrigues of high society—is interrupted by an unexpected scandal. Her scandal. In a moment of kindness, David comforts her…and they are discovered and forced to marry. Even as the newlyweds must come to terms with their new arrangement, they find themselves drawn into the investigation of a dangerous conspiracy.
With life and love on the line, their unexpected marriage will either end in rapture…or ruin.
Source: ARC from Entangled: Scandalous via NetGalley
On the whole I enjoyed this Regency romp, even if some aspects of the plot felt a little far-fetched. I love a good marriage of convenience tale, especially one that explores the awkwardness of married life after an unexpected ceremony. Although one thing that did confuse me here was why they married so quickly – an engagement would have been enough to quell any gossip and a decently prepared wedding would have only helped with that.
Regardless, this was fun. Sarah is really quite sweet, even if she is prone to speaking her mind without thinking and has all the grace of a baby elephant. Actually, I found her clumsiness a little confusing, because although she wasn’t raised to be a lady, she would have grown up in dresses and wearing appropriate shoes and nothing about her indicates she ran about everywhere. All that explains her clumsiness is the fact that she’s tall and wasn’t taught proper deportment. You’d have thought she’d have learnt to control her limbs at least a little along the way, if only out of self-preservation. If she’d had a form of mild dyspraxia or something I could have understood, but instead it’s just because she’s a lanky, untrained gawk, which seemed rather unfair to me.
Aside from that, I liked her. Despite having been ignored and underestimated her whole life, she’s actually quite smart, very loyal and nice. Her self-esteem issues were deep rooted and understandable, even if the constant refrain of how unloveable she was did verge on repetitive.
As for David, well, he was nice enough. A little oblivious at times and a touch self-important, but I liked how his view of Sarah slowly changed and how he always thought well of her, even if he was a touch patronising. Their relationship develops nicely and although there were times when I wasn’t entirely convinced about the shift in David’s feelings, overall it worked for me.
The plot itself is interesting, taking a sudden verge into unravelling a mystery that I didn’t quite expect. Some aspects of it were a little unlikely and some leaps of logic come out of nowhere, but it helped to keep things interesting, even if it wasn’t quite edge-of-your-seat excitement.
If you’re looking for an easy historical read with a touch of mystery and nice characters, mixed in with a marriage of convenience, then this fits the bill. It is perhaps a little underwhelming when it comes to passion, romance and excitement, but still enjoyable in a pleasant, undemanding way.
Enticing Her Unexpected Bridegroom is out January 25th!
Visit Catherine Hemmerling for more details.