Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Bittersweet Bride (Review)

Widow Theodosia Cecil needs a husband to help protect her son. The former flower seller turned estate owner posts an ad in the newspaper, and no one is more surprised than she when her first love, the man she thought dead, reappears.




Ewan Fitzwilliam has been at war for six years. Now, the second son of a powerful earl is back but his beloved Theo needs a husband and will not consider him. She believes Ewan left her—in desperate straits—so she denies the feelings she still harbors for the handsome, scarred soldier. Theo and playwright Ewan must overcome bitter lies and vengeful actions that ruined their youthful affair. Theo must reveal her deepest secret in order to reclaim the love that has long been denied.
The Bittersweet Bride
Advertisements for Love #1
Vanessa Riley
Pub Date: 1/29/18
Entangled: Amara
Genre: Romance
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

In my experience, historical romance has never been as diverse as Vanessa Riley's The Bittersweet Bride. Theodosia Cecil is a widowed, former flower girl, now the owner of a successful flower farm. Because of her late husband, Matthew Cecil, Theo is left with a home and money to care for herself and her son for eternity. Still, she faces resentment and unfair treatment because of her background and skin color. This is especially so when it comes to Ewan Fitzwilliam.

Ewan and Theo fell in love, but his family were completely against the relationship. Off Ewan goes to war and a mix up sends false notification of his death. Theo was the only one who didn't know he actually survived, but she's still left with a baby on the way and no place to call home. Fast forward six years, Ewan and Theo are reunited and Theo is looking for another husband to stand as protection for her son.

The set up of the story is spectacular with bold characters and colorful landscape. The one thing that holds me back from absolutely loving this story is the slow build up and repetitious dialogue that never really evolves from Theo and Ewan talking about their past. It is a point of contention between them, but it's never taken further or explored in deeper context. On the other hand, Theo's friends offer enlightening conversation that paints a wide view of the society Theo lives in and her character.

Out of tragedy comes hope for a better future for Theo and her son. She is one fierce heroine who knows what she deserves and you'll be rooting for her all the way. Vanessa Riley offers readers a romance that will appeal to fans of Alyssa Cole and Beverly Jenkins!
*ARC provided in consideration for review*
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