22 June, 2017

A #Review of Barely a Bride by Rebecca Hagan Lee

Pages - 303
Publisher -  Amber House Books, LLC
Published -  July 7, 2015
Sold by -  Amazon Digital Services LLC
Series -  Free Fellows League, Book 1
Genre -  Historical Romance, Regency
Language - tame
Sexual Content - extensively vulgar
Narrative -  3rd P

Can a lady tempt a Free Fellow to surrender his heart?
As a founding member of the Free Fellows League—a group of four gentlemen who signed a pledge to never wed when they were lads—Griffin, Viscount Abernathy, swears that he will put off marrying as long as possible. But when he is suddenly called off to war, he has no choice but to obey his father’s wishes and find a wife…
Just days later, he marries the lovely Lady Alyssa.
For a man committed only to his freedom, she seems a perfect—and perfectly undemanding—bride. Intelligent and self-sufficient, Alyssa craves her independence just as much as Griffin loves his. But as the irresistible attraction between them flourishes with every look and touch, they discover there is something they desire even more than a loveless marriage of convenience—the passion they find in each other’s arms… 

Not my cup of tea.

It wasn't horrible, and it wasn't outstanding.

A woman of means would rather spend all her time mucking stalls and composting her flower beds than gussying up and flitting about with the ton.

A grown man staunchly adheres to a boyhood pact between a few close boarding school chums to never, EVER succumb to the wiles of a female and end up married.

The woman's parents want her to wed a Duke and become a Duchess in order to raise their standing in society while the woman has no desire to become a duchess and lose out on her chance to continue doing what she loves.

No, she has her sights set on a Viscount at the very least, and low and behold, in walks our Hero, who just happens to be 1) a Viscount, 2) Handsome, and 3) in need of a woman to help him produce an heir.


And so it begins... the (non-existent) courtship, her having to plan for a wedding that needs to occur in about a sen'night... and he, with a bit of a conscience, is on his way to join a regiment sent to fight against Napoleon's army.

She doesn't care and neither does he because as luck would have it, they are both getting what they desired out of life.

She's just got to grin & bear it during sex with a man she hardly knows, and he has to amend the boyhood pact to mean 'never fall in love' with a wife.


Hold up a sec, though.

I mentioned his being attractive, right?

HE WAS GORGEOUS, so what's there to fear or loathe about the sex act, eh?

(ahem) I mean, what's there to loathe about having to produce an heir as part of the bargain of saying I DO?

An entire chapter, and then paragraphs upon paragraphs of copulation occurred to give me the impression she had no issues with bedding a somewhat stranger with zero romance skills and with zero courting or getting-to-know-you.

The Duke antagonist spent about 3 paragraphs being antagonistic, and then everything shifted gears and he was this really great guy who wanted to help out instead of muck up the works.

There were no real antagonizing issues in this story, but the author did go into more graphic detail about the war's aftermath on our returned Hero.

I thought that part was overly sappy, utterly 21st Century, and childish.

But, it seemed the author felt obligated to make the Heroine look like a bad-ass, selfless do-gooder (despite her previous selfish inclinations) by knowing precisely what was wrong with her husband and exactly how to handle it so that everything (again) worked out just fine.

On the PLUS side

Although it wasn't our privilege to really get to know these two well or watch them establish a true love connection, the two leads still managed to intrigue and interest me.

I liked her for her no-nonsense sensibilities and an ability to make something from nothing.

I liked him because he was charming, extremely wealthy, and very devoted to his boyhood friends.

The two together did somehow make an ideal match, but it would have been so much more ROMANTIC had they actually pursued one another in a breathtaking if not dodgy romance.

Also, I'm beginning to notice a pattern here, but the chapters after He goes off to war and She writes to him, those were probably the novel's saving grace.

It was at this point that the two made a real connection, got to know one another more, and slowly but surely fell in REAL love.

This is the third novel I've read with Letters in them, and I always enjoy those moments most.

I gave it 3 Stars at Goodreads/Amazon, and of the 224 Reviews (to-date), only 24 were bad.

It wasn't poorly written but type-o's did begin to occur in later chapters.

Very predictable, which makes for a boring read.

Very far-fetched, which just means two people falling madly in love w/out the benefit of meeting formally, continuing to see one another and chatting, his saying/doing things to woo her heart, and her weighing the pros/cons of a relationship with someone 'beneath' her social standing.

Creative license, yes, but I don't believe it was proper or even acceptable for an Earl's daughter to wed a lowly Viscount, or for a daughter to decide whom she'll wed regardless of social standing or parents' wishes.

Also, very PC for a Regency Romance novel, and why I didn't really care for it.

However, I am probably going to check out more of this author's work and see if she has the stuff her fans seem to think she possesses.

If you are interested, this is a series of 5 in the “Free Fellows League”


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