Audiobook review: Their Treasured Bride by Vanessa Vale
NOTE: I am behind and still reading my #TBRChallenge2023 book and will post that review this coming Saturday. Meanwhile, please enjoy this review of a book that I read last year. It also fits the “Love is Love” theme for June.
Let me be clear… the only reason I picked up this book was to fulfill the Romance Reading Challenge category of “Someone riding a horse on the cover.” (2022 Challenge) You would think it wouldn’t be that hard to find, but it is… There are lots of books with cowboys and horses on the cover, but not too many with people actually riding the horse. This book is straight up erotic romance, something I don’t really enjoy anymore, but I finished it because of the challenge.
Rebecca’s much older brother saves her from a horrible arranged marriage, taking her from England to the Western Territories of America. They are headed to the Bridgewater Ranch in Montana, a place that is safe for the men who all served together in some war in some region near Prussia. Rebecca’s brother dies en route, but wants to make sure she’s protected, so marries her by proxy to Dash McPherson. When Rebecca arrives, she discovers that things are a bit different on the ranch, and she’s not only married to Dash but Connor as well.
Their Treasured Bride is the story of Rebecca’s transformation from prim English lass to a well-loved woman. This isn’t a bad story, but I was annoyed with how it came about. Her husbands believe they know what is best for her (even though they just met her) and recognize that she wants to feel desire, but was raised not to enjoy sex or her body, nor to express feelings. So they “force” her to have sex with them over and over, and magically in less than 48 hours… she’s a changed woman. (insert eye roll)
The story is basically one well-described sex scene after another, which isn’t a bad thing if you enjoy lots of sex with little character development and story. While the sex scenes aren’t bad, I found myself disbelieving the contemporary feel of them. Now, I’ve never studied the sexual awareness of early American settlers, but this felt way too “50 Shades modern” than “Old West exploring sexual desire”. These men have an awareness and command, using terms and toys (butt plugs, lubricant), that come across as out of place for the time.
Narration: The entire story is performed by Ms. Stewart who successfully shifts between the first person POVs of Rebecca, Dash, and Connor. I appreciate how she uses the appropriate accent for narrating each POV: a proper London accent for Rebecca and Scottish brogues for the men. I started at 1.2x playback speed so that I could adequately understand the story; however, about halfway through the book, I up’d the speed to 1.6x because I found the story annoying and just wanted to finish it. Additionally, Ms. Steward alters all dialogue for gender and performs a wonderful array of accents including American, Scottish, and English.
In the end, Their Treasured Bride wasn’t a DNF but should have been a DNS (Do Not Start). If you enjoy erotic romance, then I recommend, but if you are looking for a solid story, don’t waste your time.
About the Book:
Rebecca Montgomery never expected to leave London and go to the American West, but this was how her brother saves her an impending marriage of convenience. She also never expected her brother to marry her by proxy to a trusted friend before dying on the journey. She quickly discovers that the Montana territory is a far cry from England, and so are the expectations of a wife at Bridgewater Ranch, for she’s married not just to Dashiell, but also to his friend and fellow Scot Connor MacDonald.
Dashiell McPherson never expected to find himself wed to a woman he’s never met, especially not a prim lady raised to believe her sexuality is something to be repressed rather than enjoyed. Can an inhibited woman accept not just one, but two husbands? It will take ample Scottish brash, a fair amount of brawn, and plenty of carnal persuasion to free Rebecca of her inhibitions and show her how treasured she is.
Author: Vanessa Vale
Narrator: Kylie Stewart
Series: Bridgewater Menage #4
Genre: Historical Western Romance, Erotic, menage
Audiobook Release Date: October 20, 2020
Publisher: Bridger Media
Length: 3 Hours; 11 mins
Source: free with Audible membership
Audio Speed: 1.2x up to 1.6x halfway
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)