A hero emerged from the stables and reached London’s fanciest ballrooms, after a little detour to the Antipodes.
The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride by Virginia Heath is a lovely cross-class, second-chance, enemies-to-lovers historical romance.
Title: The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride by Virginia Heath
Publication Date: Harlequin Historical (July 1, 2020)
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Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections, or dare Lydia hope that the charming stable boy she once loved is still within her ruthless, wealthy new husband?
From the Publisher’s Blurb
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Owen Wolf made it. He went from a poor stable boy to a powerful man received, even if reluctantly, by London’s most prestigious families.
He had enough money and power to get all his wishes. The only thing his money could not get him was the respect of Lady Lydia Barton.
Owen and Lydia had not always been enemies. They quite liked each other back when Owen worked for Lydia’s father. But when Owen was accused of stealing her mother’s jewels, Lydia did not defend him, and he was transported to the Antipodes.
Years later, he was back in London, and she was about to marry a horrible man twice her age.
I love a cross-class romance, especially with a good dose of angst and repressed love.
My heart hurt for Lydia. She was so neglected by her family and so unloved. All her efforts to please were turned against her in the cruelest of manners.
Owen is my kind of hero. Self-made man, confident, but not in matters of the heart, loyal, sweet, and always so thoughtful and chivalrous.
There are some villainous side characters to create enough opposition without being overly dramatic or taking the focus out of the love story.
But not all side characters are villains. Randolph and Gertie are the kind of friends everyone wishes to have. He is a dwarf that runs a gaming hell. Both he and Gertie were simply adorable.
The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride is lovely, uplifting, and entertaining.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep.