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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie

The Winter Bride (Chance Sisters, #2)
The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie
Publication date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Penguin
Series: The Chance Sisters #2
The Winter Bride is a laughter-filled journey into the world of experimental Chinese swimming pigs, enchanting the hearts of readers and making them yearn to read the story over and over again. Intrigued? I hope so.

Confirmed bachelor Freddy Monkton-Coombes has a deep aversion to marriage, responsibilities, and muffins – the eligible misses of marriageable age who seek to entrap him in marriage. His best friend, Max, had married one of the Chance Sisters in The Autumn Bride, and asked Freddy to look after them along with his elderly Aunt Beatrice while he’s on his honeymoon. Appalled, Freddy reluctantly agrees, and that’s where his troubles began. He has no problem dealing with the charming Jane and Daisy Chance, but Damaris Chance is a different matter.

Damaris Tait became Damaris Chance in a chain of events detailed in The Autumn Bride. She had grown up in China with her missionary father, and escaped to England upon the death of her father and the burning of their mission. What she endured during her travels is her deepest secret, and also the one which convinced her to never marry, despite her deep yearning for security and a husband to care for her. When Freddy is driven to near insanity by the ploys of his mother to marry, he concocts a crazy scheme of a fake betrothal with the only girl who doesn’t want to marry – Damaris. Yet, as their fake betrothal continues, why does Freddy suddenly want to make it real? And more importantly, can he convince Damaris to tell him the shadows of her past?

This is an amazing piece of work that animates not only Freddy and Damaris, but every secondary character, making them lovable and realistic. But really, Freddy and Damaris take the cake here. Damaris is a quiet, pleasant girl of hidden talents (she is a skilled painter of china) and hidden dreams. Being a foreigner, her life in China was harsh and even more that her father condemned her for being of bad blood, giving no love to her. She is caring, considerate, and even more astounding, she has mettle. For her escape to England, she walked hundreds of miles in China, and after all she’s endured, no one is more deserving of happiness than her.

 Freddy, whether he knew it at first, is exactly the type of person Damaris needed in her life. His infectious humor both charms and unsettle her, just as she unsettles him with her knowing eyes that peer deep into his soul. He is a chameleon and does the practiced rake very well, pretending that his brother’s death doesn’t affect him still, pretending that his parents’ insults don’t harm him, and pretending that he is a complete wastrel when he’s a successful businessman. There is so much hidden in Freddy, and it takes Damaris a few days to realize, while his own epiphany comes years after. But it was well worth it.

Freddy and Damaris lived their lives in parallels, neither belonging, hurt by their family, and both seeking a truer love. Most of all, they truly understand each other.

“You know your fear is both false and illogical, but you fear it anyways.”
 She stopped dead and looked at him, her eyes wide with surprise. “You do understand,” she breathed, so softly it was almost lost in the fog. (Pg 50)

There is so much to commend this book and Anne Gracie’s writing. Some parts made me shed tears; others had me laughing until my sides hurt. Anne Gracie is a superb writer who takes you on a beautiful journey of two amazing character’s path to love, filled with joy and laughter, and an unquenchable happiness when the “dragons” are defeated. 

I highly recommend this book, but advise readers to read The Autumn Bride first. If the tagline in The Autumn Bride was muffins, then the tagline in this is the experimental Chinese swimming pigsI cannot wait for Jane and Daisy's books, for they will undoubtedly wow me as well. Fans of Jane Austen will no doubt enjoy a selected quote at the beginning of each chapter, providing relevant wit to this amazingly charming story. Read to find out about the pigs! :)

*My hearty thanks to the publisher for this review copy; yes, it’s an honest review

Rating: 5 butterflies~ I looooved this book!

Dear readers, if you liked or found this review helpful, I would REALLY appreciate your giving a vote for my review on Amazon. It helps other readers see my reviews and I hope that will in turn help them better decide in buying a book.

1 comment:

  1. I loved the Autumn Bride & am looking forward to reading The Winter Bride. Thanks for the great review!



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