The Autumn Bride
Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013
Chance Sisters #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley
Governess Abigail Chantry will do anything to save her sister and two dearest friends from destitution, even if it means breaking into an empty mansion in the hope of finding something to sell. Instead of treasures, though, she finds the owner, Lady Beatrice Davenham, bedridden and neglected. Appalled, Abby rousts Lady Beatrice’s predatory servants and—with Lady Beatrice’s eager cooperation—the four young ladies become her “nieces,” neatly eliminating the threat of disaster for all concerned!
It’s the perfect situation, until Lady Beatrice’s dashing and arrogant nephew, Max, Lord Davenham, returns from the Orient—and discovers an impostor running his household…
A romantic entanglement was never the plan for these stubborn, passionate opponents—but falling in love may be as inevitable as the falling of autumn leaves…
What Ang is talking about:
What I love about an Anne Gracie novel is her understanding that strong, well written characters and complex plot lines are just as enjoyable in a romance novel as they are in other fiction. She delivers both in The Autumn Bride. All too often I feel like authors of romance novels dumb down the storyline and rely too much on the sex to sell the book. Gracie understands that a well placed, well written kiss or a heated look can do as much, if not more than all the heaving bosoms on the planet to get your attention, build the romance of the story and strengthen the relationship between the characters. And she does a wonderful job of illustrating this in The Autumn Bride. The tension between Abby and Max is felt from the moment they meet and continues through the entire storyline adding beautifully to the sweet ending.
Another thing I throughly enjoyed about this book were the characters. All of them, main and secondary were colorful, fun, engaging and wonderfully written. Aunt Bea is so well written she almost steals the story in a few places, and the sisters add an element of sweetness and loyalty to the novel that strengthens the themes woven throughout. While Featherby, William and Freddy add unexpected flavor and color. I loved them all and am excited to read the upcoming stories of the other sisters.
I had only a couple minor complaints which brought the overall rating down. First, I felt like the scene in Bath was out of character for Abby. Despite her trust of Max, I felt like her previous experience would have kept her from “anticipating her vows,” but I couldn’t complain about the way the scene was written.
Second, I felt like the ending was hurried. We had so many interesting insights into Abby and Max throughout the novel that at the end I felt like we were just thrown into the country, anticipating a wedding without getting to see the prep work and the enjoyment that Abby would have received during the process. This disappointed me. I wanted to experience that journey with her.
Despite the above issues I found this novel to be a quick paced, page turner that was funny, insightful and explored beautifully the theme of home and how often times we find our place in the most unlikely circumstances with the most unexpected people. It was a perfect introductory novel for this series, and for the first time in a VERY long time I find myself looking forward to the adventures, mishaps, journeys and self discovery that will take place as the other novels in the series come out. I’ve not doubt that the Chance Sisters and Anne Gracie will continue to deliver.
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)