Review of “Secrets of a Wedding Night” (Secret Brides #1) by Valerie Bowman

Bowman, Valerie. Secrets of a Wedding Night. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012. 

Mass Market Paperback | $7/99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1250008954 | 340 pages | Regency Romance

4.5 stars

This is my first book by Valerie Bowman, and it will not be my last. She manages to take some tired tropes, like the virgin widow and a couple with deception between them, and make them into something entirely her own. Big Misunderstandings can make or break a book, and Bowman does it with the right touch so there is an understanding of both characters’ perspectives of the situation.

I love that Devon, despite having a bit of a wild youth, is presented as a mature hero who actually cares about others, unlike many of his peers who start off the book as self-concerned ne’er-do-well rakes. But I could also understand why he presented that facade and the lie about being poorer than he was, as he didn’t want to be pursued just for his money.

Lily is someone who I liked and sympathized with sometimes, but I do feel that her backstory could have been fleshed out more, especially since she presents herself as being so cold and sometimes overly controlling. It is understanding why she urges her sister against making the same mistakes she almost did, but I felt like there wasn’t a lot of consistency with her past to justify her ending up in her current situation. I would have liked to get more than just her basic descriptions of her father’s or husband’s behavior, as I don’t think either was described well enough to justify her cynicism.

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