Welcome to the one day blitz for The Stranger She Married by Donna Hatch, hosted by Irresistible Reads Book Tour! This is my first blog tour post, so bear with me please. :)
About the book:
Genre: Historical Romance
Blurb: The Stranger She Married, book 1 of the Rogue Hearts Series, is a sweet Regency Historical Romance with a hint of intrigue and a happily ever after.
When her parents and only brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor’s prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.
Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he’d thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer’s attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger of all, a danger to her heart.
The Stranger She Married has a Cinderella theme with a charming viscount who is not all that he seems, and a sweet heroine who is kind and loyal to others despite her own desperate situation. Alicia Palmer first meets Viscount Amesbury at a ball, where she was modest and delightfully genuine.
"A playful smile hovered over the corners of his mouth. 'You are a fortune hunter?'...
'I am'." (pg 23/408)
Alicia knows she is no match in fortune, beauty, and position for Amesbury, yet she cannot forget him, and neither can he. While Amesbury plays the charming gentleman to the ton, he is actually a reprobate (to which he admits) and cynical and jaded with regards to women. Alicia was like a refreshing breeze for him, an intrigue that he can't figure out. Except, she might have a reason to despise him, for after the death of her parents and twin brother she is left at the mercy of her greedy uncle, and Amesbury shot her twin, Armand, in a duel. Amesbury knows he only shot Armand in the arm, so how did he die from the wound? And will this matter prevent Alicia from ever fully trusting him?
The novel employs the scarred hero trope, though this is more original than many others, as Amesbury has such hidden depths that they are slowly revealed through his action and dialogue throughout the novel. He is more than he seems, though he never puts on a mask of cynicism, but rather general bonhomie that is indifference and boredom. Contrary, Alicia is a straightforward character, one without deceit and reveals every emotion clearly on her face. Precisely because of that it is clear how Amesbury can fall in love with her, but it takes her much longer to understand his heart.
With delicious dialogue and stunning characterization, I highly recommend this book to all fans of historical romance. The plot is fast-paced and abound with intrigue, yet it is the characters whom we fall in love with as they fall in love with each other and learn to look beneath the surface of events and people. A delightful read!
*Review copy provided from Irresistible Reads Book Tour, but written of my honest opinion
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