Title: A Wicked Pursuit
Author: Isabella Bradford
Series: Breconridge Brothers #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Source: eARC from publisher via NetGalley
In Isabella Bradford’s enthralling new trilogy, three noble brothers—London’s most scandalous rakes—are about to do the unthinkable: settle down. Harry Fitzroy, Earl of Hargreave, is the first to meet his match and lose his heart . . . to a lady he least expected.
As the eldest son of the Duke of Breconridge, Harry Fitzroy is duty-bound to marry—and marry well. Giving up his rakish ways for the pleasures of a bride’s bed becomes a delightful prospect when Harry chooses beautiful Lady Julia Barclay, the catch of the season. But a fall from his horse puts a serious crimp in his plans. Abandoned by Julia before he can propose, the unlucky bachelor finds himself trapped in the country in the care of Julia’s younger sister.
Harry has never met a woman like Lady Augusta. Utterly without artifice, Gus is clever and capable, and seems to care not a fig for society. After a taboo kiss awakens passion that takes them both by surprise, Harry realizes he’d almost given his heart to the wrong sister. While London tongues wag, he’ll use his most seductive powers of persuasion to convince the reluctant Gus that she belongs with him—as his equal, his love, his wife.
This is my first Isabella Bradford book and I’m so happy that I have another historical romance author whose work I can look forward to. She writes a tightly knitted story with characters who are as lovable as much as they are charming.
Harry, as the heir to a Dukedom, has everything going on for him. He’s wealthy, belongs to a very prominent and yet closed-knit family, handsome, and clearly at the prime of his life. When he decides to take a wife, there was not a more perfect choice than Lady Julia Barclay. So he sets himself off to visit her in her country house, only to have an almost fatal accident with a horse that confined him to the bed and confined him as a house guest at Lady Julia’s father’s house indefinitely. Gone was Lady Julia, who went back to London after seeing Harry, once, and learning that he may be crippled for life and afterwards her father, who went after Lady Julia to make her come back only to be persuaded otherwise. All that was left to attend to Harry is Lady Augusta, Lady Julia’s younger sister.
Lady Augusta, or Gus as her family and friends call her, is left with the task of seeing to the proper and efficient running of the house (which she has been doing for years now), making sure that their guest, Lord Harry, is well taken care of while he is recuperating from his injury (which is definitely a first) and will not find out that Julia had no less than abandoned him in the country house and jilted him even before he has even proposed.
I always enjoy reading about a seemingly plain-looking heroine (seemingly because the rest of the world and at times the heroine included would think her plain when she has her great qualities and a unique beauty to speak for her), which is a story that explores the different facets of beauty and what they might mean for different people. And I really like Gus. She’s straightforward, responsible, and caring. She might suffer a bit from having been overlooked for and overshadowed by her sister’s beauty but she knows herself and doesn’t sell herself short.
As much as I liked Gus’ conflict, it was really Harry’s that was the making of the book, not only as a personal struggle but as a conflict between our main couple. The many layers of this conflict, of Harry almost losing his life, almost losing his leg, of never being able to walk the same way again for the rest of his life, for the almost definite possibility of walking with the aid of a crutch or a cane, of the inescapable feeling of not being the man who you once were, these are what make this story so much more intriguing and at times heartbreaking. Because the accident was a turning point. And Isabella Bradford really did a great job in exploring the many consequences from this point forward.
I love the slow burn romance between Harry and Gus. I had time to learn more about them as individual characters before I got to see how they were together, even before they fall for each other. I really enjoyed reading about their thoughts and their feelings. And I loved that Isabella Bradford did not stop with the happily ever after ending. She brought us more of Harry and Gus after they got married, which was for me, a great testament to the strength of the relationship that these two characters have built.
About the Author:
Susan Holloway Scott is the author of over forty historical novels and novellas. Writing under her own name as well as Miranda Jarrett, her bestselling books have received numerous awards and honors. With more than three million copies of her books in print, she has been published in nineteen foreign countries around the world. Her most recent historical novels have been set in 17th century England, in the decadent, politically-charged royal court of King Charles II.
She is a graduate of Brown University, and lives with her family in a book-filled house outside of Philadelphia, PA.
Susan is taking a brief respite from historical fiction, and is currently writing historical romance as Isabella Bradford – Facebook users can visit Susan’s Facebook page for more info about her latest books.