Friday, May 09, 2014

Review: The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride by Victoria Alexander

The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride by Victoria Alexander
published by Kensington in April 2014
The bride and groom cordially request the presence of…

The bride’s sister, Delilah, the very proper widowed Lady Hargate, and Samuel Russell, the groom’s friend, a very eligible, slightly improper bachelor, at their upcoming wedding.

Lady Hargate and Mr. Russell, previously acquainted during one unforgettable night in New York City when caution—and clothing—were thrown to the wind will choose to pretend they have never met before.

The lady plans to avoid love and its complications at all costs. The gentleman intends to change her mind.

Guests are invited to enjoy the many diversions of Millworth Manor—delightful grounds, lavish drawing rooms, secluded corners—and the chance to discover that one night may have been only the beginning…
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Millworth Manor, Book #3

The Story: Delilah, Lady Hargate, cares about Society's rules, is very proper and a widow. In a word, she's the perfect person to act as a chaperone for her sister Camille, Lady Lydingham, and her fiancé, Grayson Elliott, on their trip to New York City. However, once in Ameria where no one knows her, where there are no expectations of her, Delilah starts yearning for adventure... and ends up having a night of passion with Samuel Russell whom she thinks is Grayson's associate's employee. One night is all she wants.

Neither think they will ever see each other again, until Sam, who is in reality Grayson's associate, comes to Europe for a business venture: the motorwagon. Since he's already in Europe, he decides to attend Grayson's wedding... and of course, crosses path again with Delilah. A quite unfortunate situation for Delilah who has decided to use Camille's wedding to start looking for potential husband candidates. Delilah knows what quality she wants: proper, a title, good connections and wealthy... Especially now that Delilah's own wealth is in question with the suspicious appearance of a heir. In no way is Delilah looking for love. Sam who has been burned romantically by a gold digger is quite disappointed by Delilah's list of criteria and is quite ready to step aside and not interfere.

But that's easier said then done. If only thoughts of that night would stop plaguing them...

My Opinion: Ever since I read What a Lady Wants, I've become an unconditional fan of Ms Alexander and her, one of my auto-buy authors :) Over the years, there's been some ups and downs... However, it seems to me Ms Alexander has found her sparkle again because I've really been enjoying her current series and The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride was no exception.

I liked The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride because it was focused on the main characters and their romance. Both Delilah and Sam were likable characters, even if Delilah was snobbish. It's hard to like snobs ^_^; but in this case, I thought it gave more credence to the time period the story was taking place in. Delilah wasn't mean or anything... Her snobbishness was just the result of how she's been raised; it's what she knew. In any case, Sam was confident enough not to let it bother him :) As for Sam, I really liked him... Just a good, solid man, someone you can lean on and who will have your back. I thought Delilah and Sam had really good chemistry together. The fact that they were trying to hide their affair from everyone provided some good banter and chuckles :)

There was almost no conflict in The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride. It was pretty much all about whether or not Delilah and Sam would follow their hearts and get together instead of listening to their brains telling them they had nothing in common. Sometimes that works, sometimes, it doesn't. In this case, I have to admit that half-way through, the story was a bit draggy ^_^; Especially given how rapidly and easily everything was resolved at the end. However, I liked it this way. I don't think Ms Alexander should have added a secondary romance or an intrigue because it would have taken away from Delilah and Sam. What I particularly liked is that I understood Delilah's reticence to follow her heart. It wasn't about Society's expectations or Sam's lack of titles... but because she had had her heart broken once and didn't care experiencing it again. I thought that it gave more depth to Delilah's character, showed a softer and more vulnerable side of her.

As for the rest of the book, it worked for me. I find that I really enjoy this time period for historical/regency romance... On the edge of modernity, where things are starting to change and happen :) Where people have to struggle with tradition and technology. It's really interesting. As for the supporting characters, they were all familiar, except for Delilah's best friend, and still likable. So it was nice to catch up with them and they appeared just enough. I particularly enjoyed Delilah's interactions with her sisters as they are trying to mend some fences. I love Beryl because she's so shocking :) And I had to laugh at Grayson's concern that Camille would remain bridezilla after the wedding LOL.

My Grade: B. I enjoyed The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride. It didn't have enough omph to be a wowzer, but it was a very solid read which I devoured. I'm really looking forward to the next book,  The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding, especially after reading the excerpt :)

5 comments:

  1. Nath, this historical romance sounds like a good read, but as you say, not great. I like Ms. Alexander too, and you know. . . sometimes that inner conflict works out just fine for me too. As a matter of fact, most of the time I prefer it to outside conflicts because it makes the romance more focused and intimate. Of course it all depends on the execution. I'm glad this one worked for you.

    PS: I need to read a few historicals. I will wait for your review of the Guhrke book before I make a decision.

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  2. Hilcia - I enjoyed it, Hils :) As I said, I've really been enjoying this series of Ms Alexander.

    And true, sometimes, it's nice to only have inner conflict. Much better than having a mystery or intrigue just for the sake of filling out pages ^_^; In this case though, I don't know...

    I'm hoping to review the Gurhke soon!

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  3. I haven't read any Victoria Alexander books for quite awhile. Maybe I should try this series. It sounds very good.

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  4. Jan - I'm enjoying it Jan :) so I hope you will too!

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