MacGregor, Janna. The Bride Who Got Lucky. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2017.
Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1250116147 | 362 pages | Regency Romance
Janna MacGregor’s Facebook group has recently started doing monthly readalongs for her books, likely in anticipation of her next release in February. And while I did not participate in the first one for and don’t know about my commitment to the upcoming ones, I consider this one to be my favorite of MacGregor’s books, so I longed to do a reread. And while there were one or two elements that I felt more critical of this time around, I find that my enjioyment has not wavered.
Emma, for example, is a great heroine. One of the major (mostly unjust) criticisms leveled at many hitorical romance authors is that their heroines feel “too modern,” and MacGregor provides context for Emma’s beliefs by referencing thinkers of the time, like Mary Wollstonecraft and Jeremy Bentham. And while Emma does sometimes feel a little “tropey” in the sense that heroines can be (she mentions being “not like other women” on p. 133), she is still incredibly likable and relatable to bookworms like me, also showing her dissatisfaction with the way Regency society (and the legal system as it was throughout a lot of history) allows women to be subject to their husbands, even if they are prone to violence.
Somerton is an absolutely wonderful hero, and is just as swoonworthy the second time around I love how much he cares about Emma, in spite of the fact that his past has made him reluctant to open up to or become close to anyone. And the fact that he ends up taking up her cause to help avenge her deceased friend, and the way he ultimately goes about it, is wonderful.
And having read all the books currently out (more or less, anyway), it’s great to look back at the ways certain character developments were foreshadowed. Aside from the obvious (meeting March, the heroine of book three and the beginning of Lord Paul’s redemption arc), I remember being excited to see for Will’s story upon first reading this one, given his and Emma’s particularly heated interaction, and now having read his book, I can also appreciate his growth as a character.
Reading this again has reaffirmed my love for this book. This is, in my admittedly biased opinion, one of Janna MacGregor’s best books based on the characters alone, and the book from her backlist I would recommend to all newcomers to her work.