by Jade Lee
Series: Bridal Favors #3
Published by: Sourcebooks
Genres: Historical Romance
Grant Benton, Earl of Crowle, finally has the funds he always pretended to have, and what he wants now is a woman. That woman is Lady Irene Knopp, who spends her days helping debutantes plan their weddings. A recent widow, Irene longs for love again, but she's afraid to risk her heart, especially to the notorious Grant Benton.
What the Bride Wore by Jade Lee is the third book in the Bridal Favors series. I did not read the first two books and feel this works easily as a standalone. I enjoyed this romance which was filled suspense and heat. It appears that each of the tales deals with female friends and their individual love stories. Three-word review: sweet, original and suspenseful.
The tale begins when we meet Grant Benton, the Earl of Crowle. Thanks to his father the family have fallen on hard times and they are forced to sell off their un-entailed land. Determined to buy the land back he goes into trade, and here he meets Lady Irene Knopp. Their attraction to each other draws them together like moths to the flame. The tale that unfolds is filled with suspense and danger. As secrets are revealed we have to hope these two can find their happily ever after. I consumed this in two sittings and found myself caught up in this clever tale.
Grant is an aristocrat through and through and while he succeeds at his trade, he struggles emotionally. He feels shame, fears to become his father and often hears a voice in his head. He has one set back after the other and clearly wears his heart on his sleeve. Swoon-worthy and likable he was the perfect hero to this tale. Lady Irene Knopp was a complicated creature. She has a brilliant business mind and is compassionate and witty. While she is not a raving beauty her eyes twinkle with merriment and she blushes quite easily giving her a glow. She tends to speak with authority and seems to know her own mind although she has a tendency to over think things… Her flaws are quickly revealed as Lee peels back her layers and often Irene behaved like a child and I wanted to slap her. I enjoyed their banter and Irene’s dominance in the bedroom. The romance felt genuine and I was rooting for them even as I wanted to throttle them along the way. Irene’s friends are delightful and I would like to revisit book one and two for their romances.
What the Bride Wore offered something different from the standard troupes in this genre and I found it refreshing. Someone means to do them harm causing danger and this thread was suspenseful as Grant uncovered clues and tried to protect Irene. The romance took center stage and the complexity of the characters made things interesting and unpredictable. They both felt genuine and each made the other a stronger person. Lee delivers some heat and more than one tete-a-tete. The scenes are fairly detailed and parts heated the pages as they curled my toes but there were moments that felt awkward and silly. They were written in such a way that I found myself giggling, and snorting as tears of laughter rolled down my face. This did not affect my feelings towards the couple and to be quite honest it has entertained me long after I closed the book. I find myself giggling when I think about those scenes. I would so love to hear it on audio! The mystery and suspect turned out to be quite interesting with a twist at the end that set up the next book in the series. Overall this was a fun, fast-paced read that left me feeling entertained.
Fans of heated romance with a touch of mystery and suspense will enjoy What the Bride Wore and the Bridal Favors series. I do plan to pick up the other books in this series.
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