I liked this book a lot--until the last part of the book where Jack and Arabella go to rescue his sister in Paris.
It did not seem to mesh with the rest of the plot. I would have preferred to see the two stay in London and work out their relationship. Instead, as another reviewer pointed out, Arabella almost becomes a saint at the end, and her almost single-handed rescuing of Jack's sister seems too contrived. She suddenly becomes Wonder Woman and risks her life twice in order to gain his full acceptance.
It just didn't ring true and seemed forced to me. It also seemed in total contrast to the tone of the rest of the book.
Up until that point I loved the book. Arabella was a great foil for Jack and I enjoyed their spats. Had Jane Feathers continued in that vein throughout the rest of the book, I would have given it 5 stars.
Jane F. is a good writer and it is clear that she is very knowledgeable about the history of that period, which I like. I will read more of her books. This is the first one for me.
Having been a Jane Feather fan for several years, I was suspicious of the reviews for this book.
The book was just what I expect from JF - believable characters caught in the social mores of their time, who grow up emotionally enough to make love and marriage work.
Jane must be a very wise lady -- I reread her books all the time, and am struck by the interactions between the main characters -- they are always so believable! Having been married for almost 20 years now myself, I appreciate the relationships between the main characters. I am always struck by how "fair" and "just" JF heroes are -- they rarely jump to conclusions, and always come around to respecting their heroine. In fact, that is what I think makes them so believable -- they all are able (eventually) to see how their love of the heroine completes them.
I look forward to reading Meg's story, coming next in this trio!
Some of my other JF favorite titles: 'Velvet' 'Violet' 'Accidental Bride' 'Silver Rose'
and other non-JF favorites: -- every book in the 'Outlander' series by Diana Gabaldon -- 'Time Traveler's Wife' by Audrey Niffennegger -- 'Enchantment' by Orson Scott Card -- most of the books by Julia Quinn
FYI, JF does a LOT of research. This book takes place in England during the same period as France's Reign of Terror, a period that JF has explored before. As a French history minor at university, I am always surprised at the correctness of JF's settings.
This book didn't disappoint a bit! It's a most delightful way to get a dose of history!
I enjoyed reading this book and felt it was well researched. The vocabulary was delightful in that the author used what was common in those times. So many authors shy away from the language even when trying to make everything else authentic.
I liked the passion of Jack and Arabella. I think the one thing that bothered me was that Jack changed his stripes too quick for my tastes. It just felt off and I would have preferred that he returned to his "wicked ways" and then worked through his feelings AFTERWARDS instead of coming to all the miraculous conclusions before doing anything.
Arabella was a bit too accepting of the truth as well but I can forgive that. She held no love for her brother but I would think that even if you don't love or like someone they are still family.
It sounds like I didn't like the book but that is far from the truth. I did enjoy it and I liked that the "happy ending" was tempered by a bit of real life sadness. It felt good to know that everything didn't work out perfectly.
I read this over a period of a couple hours and wanted to keep reading, despite being tired. :)
Jane Feather sometimes soars and sometimes disappoints. In this case, she's simply flawless. A classic theme of historical romance - innocent woman entrapped by a man bent on revenge - receives a surprisingly mature and original treatment.
I hesitated to read about another coldly calculating alpha male; these characters are great for setting up sexual tension and emotional conflict, but too often they remain cruel and heartless almost to the end, and are paired with heroines who seem to thrive on humiliation. In "Almost A Bride," the heroine is disarmingly wise and realistic, and her dignity begins to awaken at our alpha male's conscience before we can develop a serious dislike of him. He's appropriately arrogant, of course. The prospect of seeing him humbled by love is what makes such rogues irresistable.
It takes a deft hand to provide moments of lightness at the right time, in the right amount, to relieve tension without destroying it. With "Almost A Bride," Jane Feather reminds me for the first time of Christina Dodd, Connie Brockway and Judith Ivory - authors who can be trusted to lead me safely through the most wrenching romantic conflicts without plunging me into masochistic misery. (We all know love hurts. But it shouldn't frustrate us to the point where we throw the book across the room.)
"Almost A Bride" is a sheer pleasure to read, and irresistably sexy. Bravo.