The Spanish bride

Bride by Mistake - Anne Gracie

I read this book and wrote a review in December, but somehow I forgot to post it then, both here and on GR.

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I didn’t like this book as much as the others by this author. I still enjoyed reading it, but the number of irregularities kept me off-key, and some of the events of the story towards the end seemed artificial and unnecessary.

The plot develops along the usual regency romance lines. During the war on the Peninsula, then a nineteen-year-old lieutenant Luke Ripton, a charming, sunny-natured boy, married a thirteen-year-old Spanish orphan Isabella to save her from a hateful marriage. He delivers his new wife to a convent and leaves to continue with his war. He thinks he would either die in the war or annul the marriage after it ends.

When eight years later, now Lord Ripton, a hard and disillusioned man, applies for an annulment, his application is denied. He has no choice but to travel to Spain from London to retrieve his wife. After eight years of no communication, both of them are different people.

Their journey together from the Spanish convent to London constitutes the majority of the novel. Through some sad misunderstandings and funny situations, poignant encounters and painful memories, these two strangers learn to respect and love each other. In the beginning, both are lonely, hiding inside their protective shells. It takes the chemistry of love to dissolve the shells and warm their lonely souls, to show them that together is infinitely better than apart. To demonstrate that they can’t live without each other.

A sweet regency love story with a few sex scenes to spice up the narrative, it reads easily and swiftly, and the protagonists star throughout the tale.

Recommended despite its flaws.