The Cavensham Heiresses #1
by Janna MacGregor
Published on May 2, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
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IS MARRIAGE A BLESSING OR A CURSE?
A man of honor, Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, will not rest until he exacts revenge on the man who destroyed his family. Just one more piece must fall into place for him to succeed he needs to convince his enemy s fiancee, the tragically beautiful Lady Claire Cavensham, to marry him instead.
Lady Claire s curse has always left her one misstep away from social ruin her past three engagements have gone awry, and now her fourth is headed in the same direction. . .until Alex, a man she barely even knows, shocks the ton and Claire by announcing their engagement. What begins as a sham turns into something deeper, and more passionate, than either Claire or Alex could have imagined. But when their secrets are revealed, will the truth behind their union scandalize them both or is their love strong enough to break the curse and lead them toward their happily ever after?
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I would have loved this book so much more if someone had simply explained to the characters what was going on and that this whole curse thing is nothing but ton gossip.
But there wouldn’t have been a story.
I don’t tend to enjoy romances where all the problems in the story could be easily solved with a single scene, usually involving the characters talking to each other. Instead, I watched Alex and Claire perform this elaborate dance of convincing each other and themselves that their relationship is the right way to go about things.
You have Claire, considered “cursed” because she has so many broken engagements in her past and each of her former husbands-to-be had something bad happen to them. She has a lot of demons from her past that make appearances throughout the book but they aren’t really explained until much later which made it hard for me to really get a good feel for her character. The secrecy behind them relied on her trust in Alex and detailing the events of her past so I get the why part of the secrecy but it drove me, as a reader, crazy and not in a good way.
Then there’s Alex and he’s a piece of work, stealing another man’s bride all for the sake of revenge for his dead sister. Not that he has any actual proof that this one man was the cause of all this harm, but it doesn’t stop him from really screwing this guy over in every way he can think of. So his entire relationship with Claire is built on the fact that he married her to exact his own revenge plans.
Yeah, that’s going to end well.
This romance was a lot of lust and steam but when it came down to moving past the physicality of it all these characters failed miserably. Building a marriage on lies doesn’t help, of course, and I never felt they really grew as a couple. I never rooted for them nor felt any sort of chemistry past the fact that they were attracted to each other. Their personalities just didn’t… click for me.
Despite my issues with the romance and characters, the writing was decent and I kept reading. MacGregor wove an interesting revenge story that I didn’t expect to find in the historical romance genre, at least not in the way she presented it here in The Bad Luck Bride.
As far as series goes, I don’t really have much interest in reading future books if they feature characters who can’t show any growth and move the story forward in a logical manner. All the conflicts in this book couldn’t convince me of the romance attempting to blossom, but since the writing was good there’s hope for the sequel and new characters. I have a feeling I know which couple is going to be featured next and they interested me far more, even in this book, than Alex and Claire so we’ll see. Can’t say I was a fan of this one.