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Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: How to Lose a Bride in One Night by Sophie Jordan

 How to Lose a Bride in One Night by Sophie Jordan
Publication date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: Avon Romance
Series: Forgotten Princesses #3
Goodreads | Amazon

Sophie Jordan's The Forgotten Princesses series features the illegitimate daughters of wealthy Jack Hadley, and Annalise is the "princess" this time. I find this novel to be weaker amongst the others in the series, but that could be due to the lack of much concrete action in the story (as opposed to tremendous tension and suspense). Nonetheless, Owen and Annalise are captivating characters and their romance is passionate, thrilling, and enchanting.

Annalise has lived a hard life working as a seamstress before she met her rich father. But despite her new wealth and betrothal to the Duke of Bloodsworth (what a forbidding name!), Annalise still felt herself to be a crippled ugly duckling, undeserving of her new fortunes. Her fears were further confirmed when her husband attempted to murder her on their wedding night, after which she was rescued and helped by Owen Crawford, the Earl of McDowell. As Annalise and Owen get to know each other and fall in love, Annalise began to put Owen before herself, attempting to sacrifice herself for his happiness. The recovery period for Annalise's injuries took the majority of the book; her journey from stranger to friends and finally lovers with Owen creating a poignant and gripping romance in the midst of internal conflicts. While the tribulations within the story are not so much due to plot, this is ultimately a character-driven novel where inner demons are battled and hidden courage found.

Annalise and Owen are truly wonderful characters with their own dynamics and troubles. Throughout this book, Annalise has grown out of her timidity into a strong and self-assured person, willing to fight for her love. Owen had come back from war a changed man; he lost her previous joyfulness and became solemn and taciturn, choosing to remain a shadowed beast and believing himself undeserving of Annalise's love. The transformation these two experiences - Annalise helping Owen reconcile with his brother and he teaching Annalise to defend herself - is the best part of this novel.

While the story's resolution seems a bit too fortuitous, the storytelling and character complexity place Sophie Jordan among the ranks of my favorite authors.
All in all, this book is a must-read for anyone loving some ample character growth mixed with a dash of adventure and intrigue!

Rating: 4 tulips 

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