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Publisher's Summary

Certain that no man wants a bluestocking for a wife, Miss Jane Lowndes is careful to wield her books and her spectacles as weapons against matrimony. Convincing her ambitious mama that she's content to stay a spinster is easier said than done, however. It's a good thing that Jane is not above a bit of manufactured scandal if it will keep her from the altar and the argumentative, contrary Lord Garrett Upton....

With the war over, Garrett is determined to enjoy his bachelor's life while he can, even when it means attending a celebration of a friend's wedding - and suffering Jane's notorious disdain. But when a masquerade ball leads to a mistaken kiss, he's surprised to learn that Jane's bookish exterior hides a truly passionate soul. When two very headstrong people are determined to remain unattached, can love lead to a happy ending?

Contains mature themes.

©2015 June Third Enterprises LLC (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Bowman keeps her prose and characters fresh and interesting; her book is an entertaining renewal of a classic plotline and well worth reading." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tracy T
  • Jacksonville, FL USA
  • 12-15-17

Enjoyable story.

This was an enjoyable story. I really liked Jane. She was smart, witty, sarcastic and funny. I liked Garrett too. He was handsome and mysterious. They had some good chemistry that was real and genuine. There was also a very nicely written sex scene.

The story line and plot was pretty good. There was some fun antics done by Lucy and crew that made you LOL. There was a couple surprises you didn't see coming and a lot of fun moments.

I am bummed that the first two books in this series are narrated by someone else that I cannot stand to listen too, and believe she should only ever narrate childrens books. So I listen to them. Sigh....

As far as the narration, Justine Eyre did a good job. She does a pretty good job on the male voices, and her reading voice is nice. I can listen to her and enjoy the story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Love hate friendship

Jane was a bit on the intelligent side of life. She was a wallflower with strong friends and a bit of a competitive streak. She had a on going thing with Lord Garrett Upton. Garrett was the one man that could push her buttons every time he came in the room. For years they had this little game going. Was it really over the play Much a Do about Nothing or something more.

I loved watching Jane become more than the books she carried. I in turned loved watching as Garrett became the man that I thought he was from the first book of the series. It was enjoyable. He was a man that was scarred by one event and was set to pay for it for the last ten years. There was someone willing to take advantage of his misfortune.

Watching these two come together and then they realize the threads holding them tight was just so fun. Jane does have backbone.

Justine Eyre will always be my go to for the narration of historical romance. She brings so much life and joy to the characters and its almost like watching the play before my eyes. She nails the accents, diction, clarity of gender and rich full character identities.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hooray for bluestockings!

I love bluestockings! This was quite entertaining with good characters. Much better than the preceding book.

Isabella is a wonderful villain.

Narration was good. Justine Eyre can be a bit "breathy" but, overall, does a good job.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as the first two books

Book 3 of Playful Brides series. The story focuses on Jane, the spectacled bluestocking bookworm of the three ladies. If you've read/listened to Book 2, then you get to read about Cass and Julian's wedding in this book.

I like the first two books more than this one. Perhaps it was the narrator who didn't make this book as enjoyable as the first two books for me. She's not the same narrator from the first two books and was slow. I had to increase the speed to 1.25x. Unfortunately, I couldn't do anything about the tone of her voice.

Some parts of the book reminded me of a daytime Soap Opera, another reason why I didn't enjoy the book as much as the first two. Lady Langford's plans to keep Garrett and Jane apart and her blackmailing Garrett into marrying her was just too much. Just like the previous two books, I felt this book dragged a little as well.

My favorite character from all three books is definitely Lucy (heroine of Book 1). She had a smaller role in this book compared to Book 2, but it's always a pleasure to read about her meddling in her friends' lives. There is a Book 4, however, I don't have plans on buying it and listening to it. You should definitely the books in order since each book makes references from the book before it. For example, the name Patience Bunbury (from Book 2) makes another appearance in this book!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susynne
  • hartland, VT, United States
  • 05-07-15

A perfect 3rd installment!

I really liked this book... it didn't need to be so long... not by half. Yet the time literally flew by. This works well as a stand alone novel but I highly recommend you listen to the series in order... (Each book gives away the one before!)

The characters aren't all fluff, the heroine is flawed in her own way and the hero has much to work out on his own. All the characters have distinct personalities which are easy to get to know... kind of like making friends. There is humor and heartache and many facets to spark and shine.

Dare I hope to see Daphne's story arrive to audible soon? I have much enjoyed the three to date. Altho' I hope they choose another narrator.

NARRATOR : Justine Eyre is not one of my favorites. Her style of delivery makes getting going with the listen a little rough until I stopped hearing her and just heard the story. Quite often I noticed the male voices.... they just seem much older than they are. All in all not bad, just not one I rush to listen to. I often choose one with a different narrator first... depending on whose work is available. (I have almost all the historical romances other than early american) I see many a review saying this narrator ruined a otherwise good book. I personally don't feel that strongly.

CREDITWORTHY? : yes... BUT listen to the sample to hear the narrator first.

HEAT FACTOR: Slightly steamy.... appropriate to the story, not graphic, but still quite 'warm'.