Delamere, Jennifer. A Bride for the Season. New York: Forever, 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1-4555-1891-3. Print List Price: $8.00.
James is probably one of my favorite characters from this series, and I couldn’t wait for it to be his turn to find romance, and even without looking ahead to the blurbs, Delamere makes it very obvious from book one that she has something in the works for him and Lucinda, even if they don’t know it yet.
Upon getting to know James, my fondness for him did not diminish, though I was surprised given his happy-go-lucky, and often immature, demeanor, to find out that he confirms his age to be thirty-seven (he indicates he was born in July 1816, and the story begins in July 1853).
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Lucinda, but I quickly came to identify with her, due to her awkwardness in society and her love of books and concern for the less fortunate. I also love that she and James are able to bond over photography, and reading about the process that went into taking a photograph back then fascinated me.
The bride-swap that occurs at the end was something I expected, almost as soon as James approached Daniel about courting Lucinda, but the way James and Daniel end up confessing their love was a surprise, and a delightful one, as someone who did a bit of Shakespeare in high school. And while I did want to throw Emily off a cliff (or a number of other “accidental” fatalities) I was happy to see it work out the way it did.
Delamere, Jennifer. A Lady Most Lovely. New York: Forever, 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1-4555-1896-8. Print List Price: $8.00
After thoroughly enjoying the first installment of this trilogy, as well as her latest release, I decided to order the other two in the series. And , while I did enjoy this one, and it was a good story, I felt that it wasn’t quite up to par with An Heiress at Heart.
Tom is a great hero, and very much representative of the times he was living in, where working class people found success, while many of the “old-moneyed” and titled folks simultaneously disdained them and came to see the benefits of marrying them to save their declining estates or cover their debts. We also see especially at the beginning, that he often lets his impulses get him into trouble, such as starting a physical altercation with someone at his own wedding without thinking about how that will be perceived by others in society.
I didn’t dislike Margaret, but I had a hard time finding anything likable or memorable about her, aside from the fact that she’s supposedly beautiful. She does grow up a bit by the end, but I didn’t really understand why Tom ended up falling in love with her.
The plot also felt a bit too easily wrapped up. I expected Denault and/or Spencer to pose more of a threat, especially when they are seen together at the wedding, but the most threatening it gets is that all of Tom’s and his sister’s secrets are exposed, and there isn’t a climactic confrontation.
But I was glad to see that Geoffrey and Lizzie are happy, and that Lizzie gives birth partway through the book. Plus, James continues to be an affable rake, generating a little too much excitement on my part to read his book.
Delamere, Jennifer. An Heiress at Heart. New York: Forever, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-1-4555-1893-7. Print List Price: $5.99
This is a book that I had wanted to read for a while, in part due to the simple fact that it was an inspirational, clean romance that released with a secular publisher, which I had until recently viewed as a bit of an oxymoron, at least these days. And based on some of the reviews I perused on Goodreads, the author or her agent’s choice to submit this series for publication with Forever/Grand Central Publishing led to this author reaching an audience that she would not have normally reached, those who are used to the often pejoratively named “bodice-ripper.” However, Delamere has since switched to the inspirational publisher Bethany House with her new series, a decision which might be more ideal for the intended target audience for her books, but again leaves a void for those who are looking for sweet romances at a cheap price in mass-market paperback.
As for the story itself, I adored it. Lizzie is a wonderful heroine, who despite her past mistakes, has a good heart. All she really wants is to have a family, since her indiscretion separated her from parents when she had to flee to Australia, and they have since died. But what really won me over was the hero. For a start, I think we need more clergymen heroes in romance, as well as more baron heroes, and he is both. But more than that, he is an honorable man who “refused to take up the dissolute and careless lifestyle that many of his peers were living.” (48)
It seems like way too many historical romances present the idea that a dangerous rake can be reformed, but this book is more realistic in the fact that that is rarely the case. James is a rake, but he is a charming one with at least some semblance of a moral code. Meanwhile, we have his old friend, Freddie, who is described as “ungentlemanly and dangerous,” (188) and meets a bad fate in the end, due in part due to this excessive living.