Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Review: At the Bride Hunt Ball -- by Olivia Parker

Imagine being one of seven young debutantes chosen to participate/compete in a two-week long process, all for the purpose of winning a proposal from a young man who doesn't want to get married in the first place. It was the event of the London Season, and Lord Tristan Devine was the prize. His older brother had declared that he had no intention to ever marrying and therefore it was Lord Tristan's duty to marry and produce an heir so that the title and lineage would be secured. Miss Madelyn Haywood did not want to be included in the "game" and when it appeared she was to receive one of the coveted invitation, ran for her life. She would have found a way to turn down the invitation were it not for her concern over her best friend, Miss Charlotte Green. Thus Madelyn and Charlotte made their appearance with five others and the "games" began.

Lord Tristan was one of those young men who think that women are there for their unending pleasure and have no intention of preventing the young ladies of London and surrounding environs from being exposed to his physique and his technique as a lover. Only the pressure of his older brother, the Duke of Wolverest, is forcing him to "play along." When the two weeks are up, his chosen bride will be announced at the Bride's Hunt Ball. Madelyn does all she can to prevent any attachment between Lord Tristan and Charlotte, believing with all her being that Charlotte's infatuation with the young lord is ill-advised and likely to lead her to misery. Charlotte is truly a "wallflower" and believes this is her last chance at happiness. In the meantime, the duke is quite taken with Madelyn, but he is suspicious of her care and interference with Charlotte. His past experiences has siphoned off any trust that he might have in women in general. Only his sister, Lady Rosalind, has kept his faith and holds his trust.

By Olivia Parker's own admission, this is the beginning of a series of "light-hearted Regency romances." And that is just what this book is- light-hearted, fun, and easy to read. The setting in a country estate provides opportunities for a goodly number of characters to be woven into the story and taken out without much ado. The conflict is between the duke and Madelyn whose caring nature and actions are suspect, but who is drawn to the duke and he is attracted to her. There are some passages that are very comical and readers who enjoy doing so will have fun visualizing some of the scenarios. Madelyn is a klutz and gets into trouble which requires that the duke be "saving" her repeatedly. The attention of some of the "contestants" veres from Lord Tristan to the duke before all is said and done, and several contestants are told to leave. All the characters are multi-dimensional and well created. Madelyn is caught between her attraction for the duke, her worries over Charlotte's well-being, and her aunt's manipulations. It is altogether a busy cast of players and full of fun and good cheer.

Regency romance fans will enjoy this book as it is reminiscent of Georgette Heyer's style and story. It is a good read and won't take forever to get through it. I give this book a 4.25 out of 5 rating.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

I really liked this one. I thought that the Duke and Madelyn were great together. Glad you liked it as well.