Happily Bedded Bliss by Tracey Anne Warren
Publisher & Release: Penguin Group, March 1, 2016
Time and setting: 1818, England
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Length: 363 pages
Heat Level: 2 Flames
Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns
When Lady Esme Byron happens upon a gorgeous naked man sleeping beside a secluded country lake, she can’t resist the impulse to sketch him. But when her highly improper drawing is mistakenly revealed at a party, she finds her once-pristine reputation in tatters.
Gabriel, Lord Northcote, may be a notorious rakehell, but he is still stunned to find himself accused of despoiling a duke’s sister—especially since he's never set eyes on her. When Esme’s six irate brothers demand a hurried trip down the aisle, he has no choice but to comply. He thinks he can forget about his inconvenient bride but Esme Byron is no ordinary woman and Gabriel is about to learn just how unforgettable she can be.
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I have been a fan of Tracy Anne Warren since I read the Husband Trap years ago. Her romances are light-hearted, yet have an underlying compelling story. Happily Bedded Bliss is the second book in her Cavendish Square series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The story is fast-paced and grabbed my interest from the first scene and kept me vastly entertained until the happy ending. Me. Warren’s turn of phrase gives this book and very authentic setting. Her vivid descriptions dropped me into the country world and also took me to the balls of the ton. This is a true delight to read.
Lady Esme is a wonderful heroine. I fell in love with her from the start. While Esme is the youngest of the Byron family and has been pampered and coddled by her brother, she quickly adapts to the situation her scandalous drawing causes. When things do not go smooth, she digs her heels in and does not give up. I loved her determination to win Gabriel’s heart against all odds.
Gabriel is my kind of hero. While a rake, he is still honorable to the core. Although he has every reason to distrust love, he finds himself drawn to Esme. His fear of giving his heart pulled at my heart-strings. It’s obvious that he has fallen head over ears in love with her, but he fights his feelings. He wants to trust her and admit his love, but his past holds him back. I loved the part where he accepts his love for her.
I want to say, it has been a while since I have read a romance where the couple are so right for each other. The chemistry between Esme and Gabriel is so strong, and not just in the physical way. They not only become lovers, more importantly, they become friends along the way.
I listened to the audio version performed by Charlotte Ann Dore. I struggled with her narrative because she articulates to such a degree that at times it came across as quite stiff. She reads word for word, more concerned with her pronunciation than what is going on with the characters. Fortunately, the dialogue is so sparkling and well-written, I was able to still enjoy the story immensely.
If you enjoy a light-hearted, yet emotionally-charged romance with enchanting characters, then you will love Happily Wedded Bliss as much as I did. I highly recommend this excellent example of a Regency love story. Happy reading!