‘I have just announced our betrothal.’
The Marquess of Rawcliffe has always found his feisty childhood friend Clare Cottam enthralling. Forbidden by her strict father to pursue a relationship, he’s kept his distance. But the couple is embroiled in a heated argument that puts Clare’s reputation in danger, and Rawcliffe is forced to declare her his fiancée! It will be his pleasure to tame his independent, innocent bride…
I need to begin by saying this: don’t let the title put you off. I hate any romance title where the word “tamed” is used – it’s so bodice ripper era!
I enjoyed The Marquess Tames His Bride for a number of reasons. There were quite a few plot points that would have turned me off in the hands of a different author, but somehow Annie Burrows turned things around.
The hero has been in love with the heroine for years, but when he proposed she thought he was mocking her and was joking. She is ranked far below him, and has been emotionally abused by the men in her family her whole life.
Since then, he has disguised his hurt feelings by being indifferent and sometimes even unkind to her, so when they find themselves stuck in a socially disastrous situation and he announces they’re engaged, she thinks he’s mocking her all over again.
Now, I do NOT enjoy scenes where the heroine hits the hero. It’s a terrible double-standard. However, this is the only book I can think of where it seemed *almost* justified. I was not okay with it at first, but as we learnt more about the situation I softened a bit.
I am also not always okay with a hero who is unkind to the heroine for no good reason, but I think the author did a pretty good job of showing how mixed up both characters were. Both thought the other was repulsed by them. Sometimes a scenario like this can drag out for too long, but I think it was pulled off nicely here.
I also enjoyed the change of pace of the characters visiting a few out of the way places that took them away from other aristocrats.
Overall, this was not a story without its issues, but I really, really liked reading it, and found the author’s ability to create two flawed characters fascinating.
I think the hero redeemed himself at the end.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.