Published by St Martin's Paperbacks on December 30, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
HERE COMES THE GROOM
As a notorious member of the Heirs' Club, Bray Drakestone can't resist a challenge from one of his well-heeled colleagues-especially when it involves money and horses. But the friendly wager takes an unexpected and deadly turn. Bray is forced to agree to marry one of his challenger's five sisters-sight unseen. Now gamblers all over London are placing bets on whether Bray will actually go through with it...
THERE GOES THE BRIDE
Miss Louisa Prim, the eldest sister, doesn't care a whit what the reckless rogue at the Heirs' Club promised her brother-she has no intention of marrying the future Duke of Drakestone. Bray, however, sees her rejection as another challenge. He bets that the fiery Miss Prim will not only agree to marry him, she will propose to him! With four sisters behind her, Louisa knows she can't lose. But why does her opponent have to be a divinely handsome scoundrel? And so sweetly, irresistibly seductive...
Two years ago, Bray Drakestone entered an illegal curricle race with Nathan Prim. Tragically, that race ended in Nathan’s death, but not before he wrenched a very public promise out of Bray to marry his eldest sister Prim. And for two years, Bray has managed to put off doing just that. But one day Bray receives a hastily penned note from the Prim sisters’ uncle – he’s gone off to the Continent and has transferred guardianship of all five Prim ladies into his care – from his fiancee Louisa right down to six year old Bonnie. Miss Louisa Prim is well aware of the Duke’s promise to marry her, but she wants absolutely nothing to do with the brutish scoundrel. But when her Uncle intervenes and puts Louisa and Bray into the same room, sparks fly and both Louisa and Bray must fight to control their instant attraction towards the other. Though Louisa may have an easier time given Bray’s declaration that he will not ask her to marry him, but shall wait instead for her to ask him!
Bray is precisely what you’d expect from a sterotypical ton marriage – his parents’ marriage was a loveless arrange match and as a result, Bray is cold, arrogant, and full of confidence in his position in life. While normally such characteristics would be a great turn off (and they were in the beginning), as Bray begins to spend more time with Louisa, these qualities soften to reveal the loving, honorable man underneath. He still struggles with some things, such as how to accept a gift instead of giving them or how to temper his pride, but you can see he is making a concerted effort to change.
It is very clear from Louisa’s thoughts and actions that she was raised by a vicar. Her nickname is “Miss Prim and Proper” and she well deserves it. While this does not prevent her from engaging in illicit activities with Bray later in the book, she does, in the beginning, have very strict viewpoints on matters such as cursing (“oh good lord” does count!) and family. Louisa has been mother to her younger sisters for many years after the death of their parents and later their brother, so she has a large heart and great maternal instincts. It was easy to forget that Louisa was the Prim girls’ older sister instead of their mother. The bond between the girls was sweet and runs deep.
I loved the scenes with Louisa and Bray getting to know each other and especially the scenes that put all of the Prim girls and Bray into one room (or carriage!). The dynamic between all of them is all at once comical, heart-warming, and oh-so-relatable. There were some parts of the novel that were a bit repetitive, but overall I thought this was a very enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more by this author.