the reluctant bride

After the death of her fiancé, Captain Jack Noble, Emily Micklen finds herself in the worst possible situation.   Major Angus McCartney is the bearer of bad news when he informs Emily of Jack’s death.  Angus has loved Emily since he saw her at the Regimental Ball.  He despaired that she belonged to such an unworthy man as Jack.  Fate lays Angus’ dearest wish at his feet when he’s provided the opportunity to save Emily from destitution.  Will Emily ever see Jack for what he was and Angus for the man he is? 

What about Emily’s French relations?  How do they play into the secret missions Angus has been assigned? 



Wishing you all the happiness for which you are prepared to strive towards in your new life.   

This line struck such a chord with me because it sums up Emily’s situation so succinctly.  When her mourning has eased off will she let go of the past?  When will she discover that the only thing noble about Jack was his name? Emily is laboring under the misapprehension that Jack Noble was a good man, wallowing in grief for a faithless man while spurning the worthy Angus.  The loyalty to a dead man Emily employs to distance herself from Angus is wasted effort and undeserved.  However, Emily does acknowledge that she owes much to Angus as slowly she comes to value the worth of a real man, but has her realization come too late?  One of Emily’s finest traits is the ability to admit when she’s wrong, once she recognizes it of course.  This and the fact that she never came across as mean spirited or vindictive is why I was able to like her even when she wasn’t necessary likeable.

 Angus, while being the embodiment of the qualities ascribed to a hero, isn’t totally blameless in Emily’s misconception.  Unwilling to hurt the woman he fell in love with two years prior he lies to Emily regarding the circumstances surrounding Jack’s death.  Some months after his last meeting with Emily, Angus allows his brother to persuade him to check on her.  When he discovers Emily’s tenuous position he finds himself returning to offer her marriage.  When Angus first saw Emily on the arm of Jack at the Regimental Ball he fell hard and fast.  Never entertaining the thought he would ever have his heart’s desire he leaps at the opportunity to save her and possibly win her love.  However, the lie he told her unfavorably colors her perception of him.  It’s only one of the many barriers between them.  These are two of my favorite quotes that reflect how deeply Angus feels for Emily.

‘This won’t always be where we live nor will this coarse woollen great coat be your only comfort. One day I will buy you silk and cashmere and you will know I love you and perhaps even be glad for it.’

 ‘It’s not as if you married for love.’

‘My dear Emily, I married where I thought I might find it.

 Truly sigh worthy.  Who wouldn’t love Angus?

 When Major Woodhouse recruits Angus for spying missions against Napoleon his absences allow Emily to reflect and grow up.  Angus’ absences also reveal skeletons that jeopardize not only any chance he and Emily may have at a happily ever after but England and her security as well. 

 In THE RELUCTANT BRIDE you won’t find detailed descriptions of clothing, glittering ballrooms, the thinly veneered elegance of the Ton, or witty bantering between the hero and heroine. 

What you will find is a realistic, exciting, and deeply satisfying love story that effortlessly sweeps you back in time and holds you in its grip until the last page.  

4 stars

Anyone else read it?  Care to discuss?