The Bewildered Bride by Vanessa Riley

Regency Fiction

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

4 Stars

Purple book cover shows an interracial romantic couple in Regency period clothing, including the heroine's long purple gownThe Bewildered Bride by Vanessa Riley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After an elopement and brief marriage, Ruth and Adam are attacked by highwaymen, the bride and groom each thinking afterward that the other is dead. Four years later, Ruth is considering a possible marriage of convenience to another man, especially for the benefit of her young son. Adam returns after years of impressment to find Ruth alive, but the danger around them and secrets between them begin to mount in The Bewildered Bride by author Vanessa Riley.

I appreciate authors who can amaze me in little ways. It doesn’t necessarily have to be big, blaring plot twists, but remarkable turns of phrase and gripping imagery can go a long way. This author’s style keeps me on my toes.

Now, I’ll admit the unpredictable rhythm in parts of this novel made the emotional flow a bit difficult to follow at times, so I couldn’t always make heads or tails of the characters. But the hero and heroine are interesting people who work well together for this story. Their romantic chemistry and physical relationship are prominent and intense but nothing R-rated.

I particularly empathized with some of Ruth’s frustrations over personal injustices and relished a moment leading to the climax where she truly stands up. However, I had to suspend my disbelief to go along with one of the major plot points that doesn’t quite add up.

Although I’ve not read any of the other novels in this series yet, this book stands alone just fine, and I couldn’t resist it—not with that divinely grape, stunning book cover. And I “flew” through the entire read in a day. Quite a rare occurrence for me and novels of this length.

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