Tuesday, May 2, 2017

NetGalley REVIEW - The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses, #1) by Janna MacGregor

The Bad Luck Bride

(The Cavensham Heiresses, #1)

by Janna MacGregor
Release Date: May 2nd 2017
St. Martin’s Books
Historical Romance

The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heriesses, #1) . . . Bad luck or just fate. There’s a time a place for everything. Maybe it just wasn’t her time to follow through on a marriage to the wrong man. Maybe things were just not timed right. Maybe there were too many obstacles in the way. Maybe she just needed one to fall in love with. Bad luck was just viewpoint of how you looked at the various situations Claire found herself in. Which leads us to the engagement of herself to the Marquess of Pembrooke while she was engaged to another. This was most certainly some kind of luck for her.

Claire and Alex had some kind of start to their engagement. No courtship. No walk in the park. No handholding. Engaged. Married. Each step further allowed for a new layer of lies/deceit/misconception to be added to the rouse. Alex was not playing hero. He was doing this all to get revenge/payback. He did not take in to account the feeling of Lady Claire. There were many other things going on here but as the story progressed we see more of each Alex and Claire. We get to develop a relationship with them to understand them better as individuals and how they could work as a couple.

This was not a wham-kinda-read. This was a read that took time and patience. Things came about just when it needed to. The was a learn to sit, crawl, walk, then run.

All were shocked at the announcement of the “cursed” Lady Claire Cavensham to Lord Alexander Hallworth, the Marquess of Pembrooke, especially since she is already engaged to another unfortunate Lord. Perhaps she will make it to the altar this time with one of these fine gentlemen! —Midnight Cryer

No one is left breathless at the imperious pronouncement of her engagement to Lord Pembrooke more than Claire. She hardly knows the dangerously outrageous man! But after three engagements gone awry and a fourth going up in glorious flames, she isn’t in a position to refuse...

Alexander requires the hand of his enemy’s fiancée in marriage in order to complete his plans for revenge. It’s his good fortune that the “cursed” woman is desperate. However, what begins as a sham turns into something scandalously deeper...

“Full-bodied romance...with intelligence and heart."—Cathy Maxwell
"Captivating characters and a romance that sizzles."—Eloisa James
"Will leave you swooning."—Sabrina Jeffries
The Bad Luck Bride
 is the first in a new Regency romance series from Janna MacGregor!
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Alex smiled in earnest. “I would never allow you to be humiliated in front of society. I’m trying to help you.” Somehow, he had to convince her of that fact, then the idea of marrying him would be much easier to accept.
She blinked rapidly, then turned back to him and, for an instant, appeared startled to see him there. “That’s very gallant, my lord. Truly, thank you for the effort. But I must leave.”
This night could not end with her escaping, so he tried another tactic. “You need to protect your Wrenwood estate and your wealth from lechers who would feed upon your vulnerability. Not to mention stop that ridiculous curse.”
“I have two.” She held up two gloved fingers.
“Two? Two what? Curses?” No one at his club had uttered a peep about another curse.
“Estates. I have two estates, Wrenwood and Lockhart.” She returned his stare.
Her answer was unexpected, but his business experience had taught him to show nothing. The report from his private investigator had not mentioned additional properties. Thoughts were percolating if she chose to disclose this information.
A razor of lightning split the sky. She flinched and took a step closer to him, but her reaction had nothing to do with him. It was the storm.
Her gaze darted to the exit of the alcove, then she returned her attention to him. With a slight shrug of her shoulders, his evening jacket fell into her hands. She offered it to him. “My lord, good night.” Outside their hideaway, the voices of a man and a woman floated in the air.
Alex put his hand on her shoulder to prevent her escape. “Will you give me some assistance? I seem to have lost my valet.” He quirked an eyebrow. “Besides, if you leave now, whoever is out there will see us.”
She ventured a halfhearted grin and held his jacket in two hands. With a little persistence, he wrestled his way into the evening coat. Her hands smoothed the material across his shoulders and back, causing a pleasant sensation to cascade through him at the slight touch.
Claire took several steps toward the pathway. In a flash, he moved beside her and grasped her elbow. When he brought her close, something flared between them as he gazed into her haunted eyes. Whether the desire to keep her next to him was passion or the need to protect a vulnerable woman made little difference. He pulled her into the shadows and brought his mouth to her ear. “Wait until they pass.” The warmth from her skin beckoned.
A flash of lightning lit the gardens and the alcove.
With a gentle hand, he pushed her against the wall and stood to the side so he blocked her body from view.
A clap of thunder cracked as if the sky were breaking. It rolled into a loud rumble that refused to die.
“Please.” Her whisper grew ragged as she struggled for breath. In one fluid motion, she pulled the lapels of his evening coat toward her. She buried her face against his chest and pressed the rest of her body to his, almost as if she sought sanctuary inside. “Don’t leave me.” Her voice had weakened, the sound fragile, as if she’d break into a million pieces.
“I won’t. I promise.” Alex pulled her tight. One hand sank into the soft satin of her skirts while the other slid around the nape of her neck to hold her close to his chest. It was the most natural thing in the world to hold her. Her body fit perfectly against his.
With the slightest movement, she pulled away. Her eyes wildly searched his. For what, he couldn’t fathom.
He lowered his mouth until his lips were mere inches from tasting her. Madness had consumed him. All he wanted was to kiss her thoroughly until she forgot her fear—until she forgot everything but him.
Her breath mingled with his, and the slight moan that escaped her was intoxicating. Nothing in his entire life felt as right as this moment. He bent to brush his lips against hers.
“Pembrooke? Have you seen Lady—”
Claire leaned back and released his lapels. Without her warmth, he experienced a sudden loss of equilibrium. He turned with a snarl to greet the intruders.
Immediately, Lord Fredrick Honeycutt and his sister, Lady Sophia, took a step back as their eyes grew round as dinner plates.
The first to recover, Honeycutt announced, “I see you found Lady Claire.” He bowed his head slightly, then lowered his voice. “The Duke of Langham is looking for his niece and is directly behind us.”
A sense of wariness flooded Alex’s mind when Claire’s uncle strolled forward and came into sharp focus. As he stood, his feet spread shoulder width apart, the duke’s presence commanded everyone’s attention. His visage held the hint of a smile, but the two large fists resting by his sides were the real barometer of his mood. “Claire, are you all right?” The affection in his voice was at odds with the fury flashing in his eyes.
Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.
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Author Info
Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers. The Bad Luck Bride is her first novel.

What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year? 
I try to be realistic about writing goals. I wish I could churn out a book every couple of months, but that’s not possible with my job and family. But if I can get two full-length stories done a year, I’ll meet my goals. Thus, making me a very happy camper!

Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you?
Writing for me is something that I work at constantly. I read writing books so my craft improves, but I also read a lot of fiction.  I’m a pretty disciplined person. On Sunday, I’ll plan my word count for the week. Each day, I try to achieve my goal. It’s the easiest way I know to meet my deadlines.

Do you have a character that you have been working on for a long time that still isn't quite ready, but fills you with excitement to work on the story?
Oh, I’m so delighted you asked this question. The heroine and hero I’m working on right now have “waltzed” around my thoughts for a couple of years. Finally, I’m writing their story, and I love them. I don’t want to say too much, but they’re characters from my first book, The Bad Luck Bride.

If you could spend one-week with 5 fictional characters, who would they be? 
Besides my own characters, I’d love to spend the week with Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Lucius Felton from Much Ado About You by Eloisa James, Jonas Merrick from Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed by Anna Campbell, Simon Bassett from The Duke and I by Julia Quinn, and finally, Sebastian St. Vincent from The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. Every one of these characters is a little haughty with a pinch of pompous but underneath, they’d do anything for their true love. Can you imagine the drama if those five got together?  Oh, and BTW-those five books are on my keeper shelf!

Where would you spend one full year, if you could go anywhere? What would you do with this time?
That’s an easy one. I’d go to the UK. I spend the entire year researching the Regency era from one end of the island to the other.

Can you share you next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details? 
Oh, I’d love too. The next story in The Cavensham Series is The Bride Who Got Lucky. It features Lady Emma Cavensham and Nicholas St. Mauer, the Earl of Somerton. Happy in his self-contained world, the earl meets his match when he must venture forth into society if he wants to protect the reputation of a family friend, Lady Emma. She finds the earl attractive, but has no intention of ever being under a man’s thumb-even one as wickedly charming as Somerton. It doesn’t take long until these two are the talk of the ton.
He would do anything to protect her. Even marry her… 
The son of a cold-hearted duke, Nicholas St. Mauer isn’t one to waste time in society…or open his own heart to anyone. But driven by honor, the reclusive Earl of Somerton feels obliged to keep a watchful eye on Lady Emma Cavensham. She possesses a penchant for passions unbecoming a woman that finds Nick in constant peril of losing his well-structured solitude. She even dared kiss Nick once—an utterly unladylike, and delightful, lapse…
 Emma can’t deny the appeal of the earl’s attention, and occasional affection, but she has no need for a man. There are worse fates than spinsterhood, as Emma knows too well. She still mourns the loss of her dear friend Lena, and is determined to prove Lena’s husband responsible for her death before he lures another innocent woman into a brutal marriage. But as Emma pursues her prey, a compromising moment upends all her plans. Now, with gossip swirling and her reputation in tatters, Nick may be the only man brave enough to join in Emma’s cause...and fight for her heart.  

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