The Reluctant Bride by Beverly Eikli

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The Reluctant Bride by Beverly Eikli

Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: A mismatched couple enter into a marriage of convenience, but deeply buried secrets threaten to destroy any chance of romance.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: September 2013
Publisher: Choc Lit
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1781890868

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Scarred soldier Major Angus McCartney cuts a lonely figure as he rides toward Micklen House bearing tragic news. He knows that his presence will be unwelcome and that the report he must deliver will devastate the entire household, especially the beautiful, unobtainable daughter of the family whom he has secretly been in love with for many years. Surely she will forever associate him with the bombshell that brought her world crashing down. There seems no way that she could ever love him the way that he loves her.

Emily Micklen is a woman overwhelmed with grief. With her fiancé dead, she will have no choice but to give up the bastard child that she is carrying. Her family will disown her and she will be ruined. She has nowhere to turn.

Two desperate individuals form an unlikely marriage alliance as a way to escape the inertia of their lives. But can a marriage work when the bride is clearly in love with a dead man? The fact that she spends her wedding night reading her dead fiancé's love letters does not bode well for a happy ever after.

So begins The Reluctant Bride, a tale of love against the odds. However, the book has hidden depths and what starts out as a historical romance soon develops into an exciting spy thriller set against the backdrop of post-revolution France.

The characters are well developed and have great depth. The two protagonists both have personality flaws and their fair share of secrets and baggage to overcome. At the start of the story, Emily is haughty, proud and indiscreet and Angus seems to be a simpering weakling in her presence, but as the story develops they become more likeable, creating a real emotional connection with the reader. The villains of the piece, of whom there are many, are truly malevolent and Emily’s treacherous half-French family are the very definition of dysfunctional!

Eikli writes about relationships extremely well and is also adept at writing awkward scenes, such as when Angus’ brother and his doxy make an impromptu visit to his home, only to be greeted by a heavily pregnant Mrs McCartney. The air is laden with tension as the respective characters sit in silence, sizing one another up. It was a guilty pleasure to read.

The Reluctant Bride is a complex love story served up with a generous helping of intrigue, history and action. There are plenty of tender moments amidst all of the excitement, suspense and deception, making this book a deliciously indulgent treat with something for everyone to enjoy.

Other Choc Lit books that I have enjoyed include Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor and Close to the Wind by Zana Bell

Buy The Reluctant Bride by Beverly Eikli at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Reluctant Bride by Beverly Eikli at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Reluctant Bride by Beverly Eikli at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Reluctant Bride by Beverly Eikli at Amazon.com.


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