Jo Beverley. Reading one of your novels is like wrapping myself up in a cozy blanket and sipping some hot cocoa and marshmallows while snuggling up with my teddy bear. They are just comfy, cozy, feel good reads. I really liked this story. When I pick up one of her books, I Ahhhh When I pick up one of her books, I know that I can almost always just lose myself into the experience.
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An Unwilling Bride follows the evolution of an arranged marriage as it becomes a love match. Two strong people manage to find a way to love each other.
A follower of Mary Wollstonecraft, she believes in equality for women, which in her mind precludes marriage. Unfortunately, she is not going to be allowed to remain unmarried: the Duke of Belcraven discovers that Beth is his illegitimate daughter and decides that she must marry his heir so that the Belcraven line can continue.
But he uses powerful weapons of threats and intimidations, so eventually they agree. Beth is an interesting character. As her confusion grows, she becomes more so. Beth has a lot of adjusting to do. Raised as a commoner with a sharp mind, she has many beliefs about marriage and the aristocracy, none of which is flattering. She moves into the Belcraven home and finds her new life oppressive.
Lucien seems at first to be quite a rake. While he does have a fun-loving side, he turns out to have a strong character as well. He attempts to comfort and be pleasant to Beth before she almost destroys their early relationship. Watching as they try to accept the marriage and each other was like watching a dance.
This conversation colors their every succeeding encounter, despite her attempts to right what she said. She aptly describes their early relationship as quicksand. Even when they try to be pleasant to one another, it deteriorates into a quarrel. The blossoming of their friendship and love is sweet to watch. Beth and Lucien are far too strong as characters for that to happen. One of the Rogues falls in love with her, and I want to find their story if they have one.
The duke and duchess round out the cast, and even they have a small romance. This seems like an accurate, well-researched glimpse of Regency society.
An Unwilling Bride