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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Never A Bride by Amelia Grey

Never A Bride by Amelia Grey
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length(360 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Fern

Her name is on everyone’s lips . . .

When he left for America six years ago, the handsome Viscount Stonehurst never suspected that he would return home to England to find his lovely fiancé embroiled in the scandal of the decade. The woman he planned on making his wife has been kissing every man in London . . . except him!

But scandal doesn’t matter in search of the truth . . .

Engaged and then abandoned, Mirabella Wittingham is determined to find the man who drove her cousin to suicide, even if it means ruining her reputation and disgracing herself in the process . . .

When her plans go awry, Mirabella has no choice but to turn to her long-lost fiancé for help. But can she trust the man who deserted her so many years ago, or is he destined to fail her yet again?

As someone who enjoys a fantastic regency novel, I was extremely excited to dive into Amelia Grey’s Never A Bride. Having read the author's previous offerings, I knew I could expect intrigue, romance, well-developed characters, and a story I would thoroughly enjoy.

When the story begins, we are introduced to Miss Mirabella Whittingham. For the past six-years, she has waited for the return of her fiancé, Camden Thurston Brackley. Society has begun gossiping about his extended absence and, as there has been no correspondence from the man who sailed for America years before, Mirabella has decided she will remain unmarried for the rest of her life. It’s a good thing too, because Mirabella has located a diary that has shed light into the death of a close friend who lived under her father’s employ and took her life when she discovered she was pregnant and the father refused to accept responsibility. Armed with the knowledge she’s taken from the diary, Mirabella is determined to find the culprit named only “Prince Charming,” and bring him to justice. Her plan? To kiss as many men from her friend’s dancing card from the previous season as possible and search for the scar that the diary indicates exists on the man’s throat.

Unfortunately for our heroine, who believes her reputation is of no importance as she will never marry, Camden has just returned home. His family is in dire financial straits, meaning he must continue with the engagement. So it’s both awkward and embarrassing when she makes the acquaintance of her betrothed while in the embrace of another man. Considering that Camden’s last fiancé betrayed him and he’s sworn never to marry without trust, their relationship ends before it’s even given the opportunity to begin… or has it? Both Mirabella and Camden need something from each other and, as a ruse is created to fool society, assist Camden, and give Mirabella enough time to find the man she’s searching for, our hero and heroine soon discover that the greatest risk is one they never expect -- to fall in love.

I absolutely adored this story. The characters are beautifully developed, their chemistry is unmatched, and the story is written so superbly that you fly through the pages and are swept away. Although the mystery is important and provides necessary tension between Mirabella and Camden, it is done in such a manner that is very believable versus becoming draining or tedious. While I had a good idea of who Prince Charming was, that is only because in this sort of story you are given so many players and after a time it’s fairly easy to target the one who is always in the picture, yet, remains apart from it. This isn’t to say I was disappointed, but rather that the relationship between Mirabella and Camden remains the central focus -- as it should.

Fans of regency romance have to read Never A Bride. If you’ve never experienced Ms. Grey’s work, this is a perfect way to start.