Sunday 9 July 2017


The Bad Luck Bride 
The Brides of St. Ives #1
By Jane Goodger
Releasing June 13th, 2017
Lyrical Press

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In The Bad Luck Bride (The Brides of St. Ives #1) by Jane Goodger, for the third time, Lady Alice Hubbard finds herself about to be married, except this time her groom never shows up for the wedding. Finally ready to give up on getting married, Alice finds herself falling for her brother's best friend, Henderson Southwell, all over again; a man that's finally come back into her life after four years. However, there are circumstances that prevent her parents from agreeing to accept their relationship. Will Alice and Henderson be able to win her parents over, or will they never achieve their shot at happy ever after?

Although this story started off a bit slow for me, I really enjoyed it in the end, as the hero and heroine face some difficult obstacles on their journey to happy ever after; obstacles that illustrate how opposite they are because society accepts her whereas Henderson isn't accepted. The way this story started had me sympathizing with the heroine, although she doesn't seem too heartbroken by what happened. It seems her family is more concerned about her failed weddings than she is, and it's understandable why she feels the way she does in wanting to remain single after everything that has happened.

The dialogue was well-written, intense and enjoyable from start to finish due to the main characters back stories; the small dose of suspense that made me think Henderson might be in danger; the friendship Henderson starts with one of the secondary characters, which manages to help him a little towards being seen as the better man for Alice than the man she was supposed to marry; and the ending that had me liking the heroine more than I already did. Who knew she would be so devious, so she could achieve happy ever after with the man she was in love with?

Both the main characters were riveting due to their back stories and the fact that this story does encompass the opposites attract trope. The hero has so much guilt over what happened to the heroine's brother, but I liked that he finally found closure and realized that it wasn't his fault. Her brother's death would have happened anyway, because of a dangerous secret from the past that had dire consequences for those that knew. Moreover, I liked how confident and determined the hero was to achieve happy ever after with the heroine. She's the only woman he can see himself having a future with, and he won't give up until he's won her parents over, which wasn't easy. While the heroine, she's strong and brave in dealing with everything thrown her way. Walking down the aisle three times and not getting married makes  her the talk of the town, but I liked how she handled it and how the hero stuck up for her. I also liked that she didn't give in to the demands of her parents when it came to what she should do about the men in her life. No way could she marry the man she was engaged to.

Overall, Ms. Goodger has penned a really good read in this book where the chemistry and romance between Alice and Henderson was wonderful and the ending left me with a smile because of the decision Alice made, so there was no way her parents could say no to Henderson's wanting to marry her; and the decision her parents made that illustrate they choose their daughter's happiness over what people will say about Alice marrying someone unsuitable for her when it comes to society. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up nicely due to Alice and Henderson's surprise and how the project the hero is working on in India has come along. I would recommend The Bad Luck Bride by Jane Goodger, if you enjoy Historical Romance, the opposites attract trope or books by authors Callie Hutton, Mary Jo Putney, Caroline Linden or Christi Caldwell.


Welcome to St. Ives, the charming seaside town where even a down-on-her luck bride might find her way back to love . . .

As if being left at the alter for the third time isn’t bad enough, Lady Alice Hubbard has now been dubbed “The Bad Luck Bride” by the London newspapers. Defeated, she returns to her family’s estate in St. Ives, resolved to a future as a doting spinster. After all, a lady with her record of marital mishaps knows better than to dream of happily-ever-after. But then Alice never expects to see Henderson Southwell again. Her beloved brother’s best friend disappeared from her life soon after her brother’s death. Until now…
Alice is just as achingly beautiful as Henderson remembers. And just as forbidden. For the notorious ladies’ man made one last promise to Alice’s brother before he died—and that was never to pursue her. But one glimpse of Alice’s sorrow and Henderson feels a powerful urge to put the light back in her lovely eyes, one lingering kiss at a time. Even if it means falling in love with the one woman he can never call his bride . . .

If only her fiancé had died five minutes after the ceremony instead of five minutes before, Alice wouldn’t be in her current, unfathomable, situation.
A terrible thought, yes, but there was never a truer sentiment to go through her mind.
He was late. Her current and very much alive fiancé was terribly, horribly, embarrassingly late, and the vicar was giving her sad looks and the congregation was whispering, and Alice felt like she might scream for them all to just shut up. Harvey Reginald Heddingford III, Viscount Northrup, whom she actually liked (the first of her three fiancés whom she actually had liked) had apparently grown ice cold feet.
It wasn’t much of a surprise, actually.

The night before he’d seemed…off. Distracted. Overly nice. Guilty. That’s when the first niggling feeling of doubt touched her but she forced herself to ignore it. Certainly three men couldn’t leave her at the altar. Though to be fair, Bertram Russell, her second ill-fated fiancé, was ousted by her enraged father long before she’d set foot in the church. Bertram had been found out—not one week before their planned nuptials—to be a complete fraud. He made ordinary fortune hunters seem like innocent children dabbling at seducing marriage out of highly placed, rich women.
One dead. One fraud. One very, very late.
This could not be happening again. She stood in the vestibule with her father and sister, dread slowly wrapping around her like a toxic fog, making it almost impossible to breathe. As she waited for her groom to make an appearance, knowing he would not, Alice vowed she would never, ever, be put in this position again. When she saw Vicar Jamison coming toward the spot where she stood with her father, Alice knew it was over. She couldn’t seem to gather the energy to cry and in fact had the terrible urge to laugh, something she sometimes did at the worst possible moment. Actually, other than feeling a bit off kilter and extremely humiliated, she felt nothing at all. Certainly not heartbroken.
"Lord Hubbard," the vicar said, giving her father a small bow. "It may be time to address the congregation."
Her dear, dear, papa looked at her, his eyes filled with sorrow. "I think I must."
Alice nodded and pressed her hands, still holding her silly bouquet, into her stomach. God, the humiliation. This was far worse than Bertram and, well, poor Lord Livingston was deemed a tragedy, not a humiliation. People at least felt sorry for her when her first ill-fated husband-to-be dropped dead waiting for her to walk down the aisle. Just five more minutes and she might have been a widow, and a widow was a far better thing to be than a jilted bride.
It was all her sister’s fault. Christina had been fussing with her gown, fixing something in the bustle, insisting that Alice would never get the chance to be a bride again (what a lark) and everything must be absolutely perfect for that most important day when Alice would have become a baroness. And then Lord Livingston died, right then, right as he walked toward the front of the church. Dropped like a stone without warning and was dead before he hit the hard marble floor with a sickening thud. Instead of Lady Livingston or Lady Northrup, she was still Miss Hubbard and it looked like she would be Miss Hubbard for the rest of her days.
Christina stood, eyes wide with horror, as their father walked slowly to the front of the church. The large room became deathly quiet, and Alice turned, grabbed her sister’s arm, and walked out the front door of the church. She couldn’t bear to see the pity in their eyes, nor the tears in her mother’s. Certainly Mama had never suspected her eldest daughter would once again be abandoned by her groom. Thank God they’d decided to get married in London and not St. Ives, where the villagers would have likely gathered to celebrate her marriage. No one was about except for the normal crowds.
"I’ll murder him," Christina said feelingly when they reached their carriage. The startled footman hurriedly dropped the steps and then handed the sisters into the carriage, which was meant to carry the happycouple to their wedding breakfast.
Alice tore off her veil then gave her ferocious sister a weak smile. "I think he was in love with Patricia Flemings."
"No!" Christina said with the conviction of someone who cannot accept the fact that anyone could choose a Flemings over a Hubbard. Their father, Lord Richard Hubbard, was the third son of the fifth Duke of Warwick, and though he held no title, his connection to the great duke had put their family firmly in the lofty realm of the ton. Christina adored working "my grandfather, the Duke of Warwick" into as many conversations as possible, no matter what the topic. At eighteen, Christina was looking forward to her first season and was no doubt wondering how this latest wedding debacle with her sister would hurt her chances of making a good match.
Alice realized she was officially a hopeless case, and would no doubt become the terrible punch line to jokes told from Nottinghamshire to Cornwall. You’ve heard of Alice Hubbard—or is it Miss Havisham? Charles Dickens had done her no favor by portraying a jilted bride as such a bitterly tragic character. Alice didn’t feel bitter, at least not at the moment, but she suspected she could not escape the label of ‘tragic.’ Now she would have to hide away for a time at their country estate in St. Ives, which wasn’t such a sacrifice, as St. Ives was her favorite place in all the world. Perhaps in her elder years she could be chaperone to her sister’s beautiful daughters. She would be known by them as "my poor spinster aunt who never found love."
Three fiancés and she had hardly tolerated any of them, never mind loved them. She’d only loved one man in her life but he, of course, did not love her. And that, perhaps, was the most humiliating thing of all.

Jane Goodger lives in Rhode Island with her husband and three children. Jane, a former journalist, has written seven historical romances. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, walking, playing with her kids, or anything else completely unrelated to cleaning a house.

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1 comment:

  1. I like the cover to this book and it sounds good. Historical Romance isn't a genre I read a lot of, but i may read this.