Author: Christi Caldwell
Series: Scandalous Seasons #1
The Verdict: ★★
For: Lovers of regency romance, women who fight for what they want and war veterans who think they’re not good enough.
Genres: Regency romance, historical romance
Publication details: December 29th, 2011
Format: Kindle, 311 pages
Book Synopsis: Hopeless romantic, Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh, is tired of sitting with the wallflowers, waiting for her betrothed to come to his senses and marry her. When Emmaline reads one too many reports of his scandalous liaisons in the gossip rags, she takes matters into her own hands. War-torn veteran, Lord Drake devotes himself to forgetting his days on the Peninsula through an endless round of meaningless associations. He no longer wants to feel anything, but Lady Emmaline is making it hard to maintain a state of numbness. With her zest for life, she awakens his passion and desire for love. The one woman Drake has spent the better part of his life avoiding is now the only woman he needs, but he is no longer a man worthy of his Emmaline. It is up to her to show him the healing power of love.
My review: Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride was in my opinion not really worth the time it took me to read it. Harsh as it may be, but throughout this entire book all I thought was “urgh. Gag me with a spoon.” 311 pages of the same thought.
The story itself was set in Regency England with a twenty year old woman who has been betrothed to marry the Marquess of Drake for the last 15 years but he’s steadfastly avoided her like she’s got the plague. To the point of he enlisted in the army and fought Napoleon to get away from his betrothal.
Throughout the book, it was a series of situations that made me roll my eyes and what to slap some sense into Emmaline. She made up her mind to effectively start stalking her betrothed across London, attending every ball and function he attended in a misguided attempt to make him love her and want to marry her.
Love, if the man joined the army to avoid marrying you I don’t think he wants to marry you.
It was a forced betrothal between their two fathers who attempted to use the betrothal as a way of securing a dukedom. 15 years after the fact and the Marquess of Drake (who henceforth shall be known as Drake both in this review and in the book. The man’s name is Ashton though we hear that once in the entire book) has returned from the Penisula and is going about being a rake.
He’s in the gossip papers as being on the arm of a lot of women who are not his betrothed. He shows her a distinct disregard and flat out ignores her on more than one occasion, he looks at her as she is beneath him and is an out and out bastard.
Emmaline on the other hand is acting in every way but what a virginal Regency miss tends to act. She’s rude, far too forward and brazen; she’s also stupid enough to come between her betrothed and a Widow of questionable character.
So Emmaline chases him around trying to get him to notice her and he does everything he can to make sure that she doesn’t. But then, all of a sudden, he’s interested in getting to know the fiancé he’s abandoned to wallflowerdom for the past 15 years.
The writing style was decidedly jumpy and tended to appear quite jumbled; few spelling and editing errors which is a plus however, I just couldn’t get along with the characters.
She finally calls off the betrothal and begins to sort of move on with her life even though she fell in love with him in the first chapter. The first chapter!
But when he comes to his senses and realises that yes he does actually want to marry her despite avoiding her for so long – he starts to court her. She let’s him and what’s worse? Her mother and elder brother who hates the fact that Drake has abandoned his sister for so many years let’s him!!
There is nothing worse to me than a man who can’t make up his mind.
Overall, I didn’t like this story very much at all. It was okay but not something I’d read again or continue the series.