Publish Date: November 22d
How I got this book: From the Publisher
Like everything daredevil Gabriel Sharpe does, pursuing Virginia Waverly is a high-stakes game. Ever since her brother Roger died racing Lord Gabriel, Virginia has yearned to take her revenge on the reckless lord by beating him at his own sport. But when she challenges Lord Gabriel to a race, the hellion who has always embraced his dark reputation as the “Angel of Death” counters with a marriage proposal!
Gabe knows Virginia’s family is in dire financial straits—why shouldn’t she marry him and solve both their problems? She claims to be appalled by his proposal, but her response to his kisses says otherwise. So when the two of them begin to unravel the truth behind Roger’s death, Gabe takes the greatest gamble of all, offering the cunning and courageous beauty something more precious than any inheritance: true love.
I got this blurb from the author’s website HERE.
Thanks to Pocket we have one copy to give away. Details are at the end of this review.
I have been a fan of historical romances ever since I read my first two romances; A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodwiss and The Bride by Julie Garwood so when I find an enjoyable historical romance author I tend to try to read everything I can get my hand on by them. Sabrina Jeffries is one of those authors that I know I can pick up and spend a few hours in a different world. I was browsing in a bookstore when I first spotted Ms Jeffries’ books. She tends to write series so my OCDness wouldn’t let me just pick up an book and get started, I had to find the FIRST book. She had just released The Truth About Lord Stoneville, which happened to be the first book in her Hellions of Halstead Hall series. I decided to give it a try and thoroughly enjoyed it. This enjoyment resulted in my adding the next books in the series to my wish list so I was really excited when we were offered the opportunity to review To Wed a Wild Lord, book four of The Hellions of Halstead Hall.
The basic premise of the series is a family of five children whose parents died under suspicious circumstances. After the sudden deaths of their parents, their grandmother raised them. Then one year she got fed up with their less then socially appropriate behavior so she laid down the law. All five had to get married within a year or they would lose their inheritance. So far three of the siblings have met their grandmother’s ultimatum.
Lord Gabriel has decided that since he feels at fault for the death of his best friend, Roger, and the subsequent gradual slide into genteel poverty for his sister that he can kill two birds with one stone. Marrying Roger’s sister would keep her from encountering any of the unpleasantries that occur when you are reduced to living off of a distant relation’s charity or working in one of the few professions available to a gently reared-noblewoman who has fallen on hard times. That marriage would also satisfy his grandmother. Noble as Lord Gabriel’s plan was, he failed to take into account exactly how Virginia Waverly felt about him.
I think it takes a very delicate balancing act to turn enemies into lovers without veering into “I hate your guts, I wish you would die, I love you forever,” and giving the reader whiplash as the emotions abruptly switch between opposite end of the spectrum. Yes I have heard people say that love and hate are merely different sides of the same coin but I need a transition between them if I am going to feel that the emotional connection between the characters is believable. Ms Jeffries hit that balance perfectly.
The interaction between Lord Gabriel and Virginia gave both the characters and the readers a chance to get to know them and who they were without the trappings forced on them in polite society encounters. The slow emerging of facts behind Roger’s death also forced not only Lord Gabriel and Virginia to look at Roger as a whole but forced some of the supporting cast members to examine how personality traits and a series of seemingly unconnected conversations can result in a life changing event.
Ms Jeffries made her main characters work for their Happily Ever After (HEA). As I continued to read it was fascinating to watch the shift between Virginia demanding that Lord Gabriel make all the changes to Lord Gabriel refusing to accept Virginia unless she also grew and risked rejection of her internal self. I enjoyed watching the character growth on both sides because I felt it drew me deeper into the story.
I recommend that if you are going to read this series that you start with the first book because part of my joy came from seeing the changes in Lord Gabriel and his siblings as the year progressed. There is also the underlying theme of solving the murder of their parents and each book contains developments in that case. I also think there is some hinting towards the final relationship that would be missed otherwise. I give To Wed a Wild Lord a B+.
As I mentioned earlier, thanks to Pocket we have one copy of To Wed a Wild Lord to give away. The winner will be announced on Monday the 21st. To enter leave a comment talking about what you enjoy most in a series that involves siblings. Good luck!
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