A Wicked Pursuit: A Breconridge Brothers Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 who’s not all what he 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 ...
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A Wicked Pursuit: A Breconridge Brothers Novel

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Overview

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 who’s not all what he 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 Wetherby, 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.

Praise for A Wicked Pursuit
 
“The appealing characters, the emotional growth of the hero and the lively dialogue turn what could have been a predictable tale into a delightful non-stop read. This is a fine start to a new trilogy.”RT Book Reviews
 
“This story is every bit as delightful as those by my favorite Regency authors: Lisa Kleypas, Sabrina Jeffries, Julia Quinn. . . . I will definitely be looking for the other books in the series!”Susana’s Parlour
 
“A bewitching tale of a most accidental match.”Shelf Awareness
 
“Isabella Bradford’s experience shows with her charming, witty tale. . . . Wonderfully crafted, the next installments are sure to please as this one most decidedly did.”Literarily Illumined
 
“Bradford pulls no punches, which makes the story all the richer. . . . Period details create a believable world that fully immerses the reader.”Heroes and Heartbreakers
 
“I loved seeing the quality of the story come through. . . . Overall a hypnotic love tale to overwhelm, excite, and endear you. A rare treasure!Addicted to Romance
 
“An awesome start to a new series and I can’t wait for the rest of it to come out. . . . I will definitely be going back and reading her Wylder Sisters series.”Historical Romance Lover


From the Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/27/2014
Bradford opens a Georgian trilogy, set in 1768, with this cloying bit of spun sugar. Charles “Harry” Neville Fitzroy, fourth Earl of Hargreave and eldest son of the Duke of Breconridge, decides to finally cease his wanton London ways and settle down in marriage. Miss Julia Wetherby, the loveliest maiden of the ton, is his chosen bride. On a whim Harry travels to her home in Norfolk, ring in hand, certain she’ll all but leap into his arms. Instead the coquettish Julia insists on a silly game of pursuit on horseback. The game ends with Harry thrown from the unfamiliar steed, breaking his leg and his pride. The airheaded ingenue panics. Fortunately, Augusta, her practical younger sister, takes immediate charge of the situation—and hapless Harry—while Julia flits off to London, unable to cope in a crisis. The ensuing romance between Gus and Harry is entirely predictable to everyone except the lovers, showing little promise for the series. Agent: Annelise Robey, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
“The appealing characters, the emotional growth of the hero and the lively dialogue turn what could have been a predictable tale into a delightful non-stop read. This is a fine start to a new trilogy.”RT Book Reviews
 
“This story is every bit as delightful as those by my favorite Regency authors: Lisa Kleypas, Sabrina Jeffries, Julia Quinn. . . . I will definitely be looking for the other books in the series!”Susana’s Parlour
 
“A bewitching tale of a most accidental match.”Shelf Awareness
 
“Isabella Bradford’s experience shows with her charming, witty tale. . . . Wonderfully crafted, the next installments are sure to please as this one most decidedly did.”Literarily Illumined
 
“Bradford pulls no punches, which makes the story all the richer. . . . Period details create a believable world that fully immerses the reader.”Heroes and Heartbreakers
 
“I loved seeing the quality of the story come through. . . . Overall a hypnotic love tale to overwhelm, excite, and endear you. A rare treasure!Addicted to Romance
 
“An awesome start to a new series and I can’t wait for the rest of it to come out. . . . I will definitely be going back and reading her Wylder Sisters series.”Historical Romance Lover
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345548139
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Series: Breconridge Brothers
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 3,430
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Isabella Bradford is a pseudonym for Susan Holloway Scott, the award-winning author of more than forty historical novels and historical romances. Her bestselling books have been published in nineteen countries and translated into fourteen languages with more than three million copies in print. Bradford also writes as half of the Two Nerdy History Girls, an entertaining history blog that is also on Twitter and Pinterest. She is a graduate of Brown University, and lives with her family outside of Philadelphia.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1



Wetherby Abbey, Norfolk

April 1768

Charles Neville Fitzroy, fourth Earl of Hargreave, was not by nature a moderate man. To him, if a thing was worth doing at all, it was worth doing completely, without hesitation or doubt, whether it was urging his hunter over the tallest fence or wagering the deepest stakes at cards.

There was no halfway with Harry—­for so he was called by his family and closest acquaintances—­not even when it came to love. He was nearly twenty-­four, an earl in his own right, and heir to his father’s dukedom as well. As everyone kept reminding him, it was time—­past time—­for him to marry and sire an heir of his own.

And so, with the same determination that he applied to everything else, he had decided on the most beautiful, most desired, and most perfectly suitable young lady available in Britain: the Honorable Miss Julia Wetherby. She had, of course, been in his orbit for most of the season in London—­the beautiful young ladies always were with Harry—­and she’d made it charmingly clear that if he chose to pursue her in earnest, she’d agree to be caught.

In the way of such matters, however, he’d only realized how perfect a wife Julia Wetherby would make after she had abandoned London for her father’s distant country house. He had come to this decision yesterday morning over his coffee, and he had left town as soon as his cup was empty and his carriage ready, stopping on the road just long enough to change horses. Julia would be his countess; there was no question or doubt whatsoever in his mind.

All of which explained why he was now here in this benighted corner of Norfolk, and why, too, he was reduced to standing to one side of her father’s drawing room while a small pack of country gentry paraded about before him. He didn’t know any of them, and they didn’t seem to want to know him, either, since it was obvious that he was tired and hungry and not particularly clean. He hadn’t known when he had arrived at the house that there would be some sort of party in progress, in honor of Julia’s older brother, the Honorable Andrew Wetherby, who was leaving soon for a tour of the Continent. While Harry was perfectly happy to wish Wetherby bon voyage, he hadn’t wanted to be part of this boisterous country celebration, and he didn’t want to have to pretend that he did. What he wanted was Julia.

“Where the devil is your sister hiding herself, Wetherby?” Harry said to the brother after the customary good wishes. The two were standing together, relegated to the area near the fireplace with the other unattached gentlemen. “She was told I was here at least a half hour ago.”

The Honorable Andrew Wetherby sighed in sympathy and held his glass out for the passing servant to refill. “Julia will show herself according to her own time, not ours. You’d best become accustomed to that, my lord.”

But Harry was not in such a jocular humor, not after his long ride on deplorable roads. He’d imagined this evening much differently. He’d pictured being welcomed warmly by Julia herself, and that she’d take him someplace where they could be alone together so he could surprise her with his proposal.

“I’d rather thought she’d be glad to see me,” he said, not bothering to hide either his disappointment or his displeasure. Perhaps Julia hadn’t been informed of his arrival; the young servant girl he’d told had been thoroughly flustered, a feminine response that he was so accustomed to inspiring, he hadn’t given it much thought. “I’m nearly of a mind to go upstairs to her rooms and flush her out myself.”

“If you do that, Lord Hargreave, then I can guarantee you will have a hairbrush hurled at your head for your trouble, or perhaps an entire vase of flowers,” Wetherby said with brotherly resignation. “French coquettes may enjoy being interrupted as they dress, but Julia prefers—­no, demands—­that none should see her until she is in perfect readiness. She’s always been like that, you know.”

Harry didn’t answer, because he didn’t believe it, not of Julia. He’d seen demonstrations of a certain petulance from her, to be sure, but that was to be expected of all great beauties, which Julia most certainly was. Beauties were entitled to imperiousness. But he’d never observed any ill temper to the point of vase-­hurling, and he was inclined to believe that this was more her brother’s exaggeration than any worrisome hint for the future.

But Harry did wish she’d show a bit more of the eagerness he himself was feeling, and again he drew his enameled gold watch from his fob to calculate exactly how long he’d been waiting. Poets claimed that absence made the heart grow fonder, but he didn’t want to be kept a minute longer from Julia than he must.

Forty minutes. He clicked the watch shut, tucked it back into his waistcoat pocket, and took a deep breath to calm himself. His sentimental father would call this time well spent, the price he must pay for the sake of love. Harry supposed Father was right, just as he supposed that he was in love with Julia. After all, who else was he supposed to be in love with but the woman he meant to marry?

All he had to do now was propose, if only she’d appear. There was, he supposed, a distant chance that she was no longer interested in him, a niggling, unworthy doubt that he quickly shoved away. Not his Julia, his golden goddess. Still, there was little wonder he was in such a state of perfect misery.

He checked his watch yet again, as if the minutes weren’t dragging by without her.

“Here’s Julia, my lord,” Wetherby said, smiling with more relief than pleasure as two footmen opened the doors for his sister. “She looks exceptionally fine, too.”

Harry looked up and agreed. She did look fine, very fine. The one thing Julia could do supremely well was make an entrance. She seemed to sail into the room, her smile graciously including everyone fortunate enough to be in her presence. She hadn’t powdered her hair, but had left its true color to gleam like spun gold, piled artfully high above a face as lovely as any goddess’s.

What lay below that face belonged to a goddess, too, as long as that goddess was Venus. Only three features of Julia’s gown registered in Harry’s brain: that it was emerald green, fitted her very tightly, and was cut very, very low in front. Not that he objected. She wasn’t his wife yet, and besides, no healthy young English male could gaze upon the bounteous display of her breasts above all that narrow-­waisted corseting and wish it otherwise.

Naturally he forgot the long, uncomfortable journey and his impatience, and when she came smiling toward him with her hands outstretched and her breasts quivering, he could think of only one thing. Well, perhaps two things, as she sank into a curtsey, but he wasn’t in a position to act upon one of them, not in her father’s drawing room.

“Good evening, my lord,” she said, her blue eyes sparkling up at him beneath her lashes. “My dear, dear Lord Hargreave! You cannot begin to know how much I’ve missed you!”

“Good evening, Miss Wetherby,” he said, acutely aware that he was grinning like a fool. He kissed her offered hand and used it to draw her closer. “I must speak to you at once, on a most urgent matter.”

She blushed and pulled back. “Not here, Harry, not with everyone watching.”

Ordinarily he loved to tease her and make her blush, but he was too impatient for that now. “Then let us go where they can’t see us.”

“Oh, Harry,” she said, her blush deepening. “You know I cannot do that, not with Father so near. Besides, it’s Andrew’s party, and I must be here for him. You—­you should say something more proper to me, such as complimenting my gown.”

“Your gown?” he asked, mystified.

“I’m so honored that you like my gown, my lord,” she said, purposefully raising her voice for the benefit of the others around them, especially her father. She pulled her hand free so she could turn before him, spinning her skirts.

“Isn’t it the most beautiful shade of green?” she continued. “My mantua maker says it’s called le vert de trèfles Irlandais. That’s ‘the green of Irish shamrocks’ in English. Don’t you like it?”

“Yes, yes, it’s nice enough,” Harry said, refusing to be distracted from his purpose by green silk and Irish shamrocks. “But that’s not why I’ve come all this distance.”

She stopped before him, slowly opening her lace-­trimmed fan one blade at a time, with a graceful precision that fascinated Harry.

“I suppose not,” she said breathlessly, her eyes sparkling over the top of the fan. “But exactly why are you here, my lord? I only just bid farewell to you in London, not a week ago, and now you appear here, in the middle of Andrew’s farewell dinner.”

“Julia, please,” said her brother Wetherby irritably. “Stop being so willfully dense. His lordship has come a great distance to converse with you, and the least you can do is step aside and listen.”

“You know I can’t do that, Andrew,” she said. “I’m supposed to be Papa’s hostess tonight, for your party. I can hardly vanish from the company.”

Wetherby snorted. “I doubt they’ll notice. You were already an hour late coming downstairs.”

“They would so notice,” Julia insisted, clearly wounded. “And who else would take my place? Gus?”

“Gus has too much sense to attend one of these infernal parties,” Wetherby said. “When I saw her earlier, she hadn’t even dressed for evening, the wise little creature. I wish I’d followed her lead and kept away, too. This whole party was your idea, anyway, not mine.”

“Who’s Gus?” Harry asked. He didn’t particularly care, but he did want Julia to begin talking to him again instead of Wetherby.

“Gus is our sister,” Julia said. “Half sister, to be more accurate. She’s much more . . . practical than I am. She doesn’t like pretty clothes or jewels or company at all, and I vow that she’d rather fuss about with the servants than enjoy the company of genteel people. You’d never know we were related.”

“That’s unkind, Julia,” Wetherby said. “I’m sure there are plenty of days when Gus feels the same about you.”

But Julia only shrugged and took Harry’s arm, purposefully turning them both away from her brother.

“I’m so sorry I can’t listen to you now, my lord,” she said softly. “But I promised my father I’d spend the evening with his guests, and I can’t disappoint him. I didn’t know you’d be here, or else I would never have agreed. But you know how fathers can be.”

“That is true,” he said grudgingly. He did know how her father was: a bluff, blustering John Bull of a viscount that he would not want to cross.

She ran her jeweled fingers lightly along his sleeve, turning in such a way that she brushed those magnificent breasts against the side of his arm, as if by accident. It wasn’t, of course, and they both knew it. It was calculated entirely to tantalize Harry all the more. It worked, too.

“But I will make it up to you, Harry, I promise,” she said, lowering her voice again to a conspiratorial whisper. “Meet me tomorrow morning at the stables, and we shall ride out together, just the two of us.”

He liked the sound of that. It wasn’t quite as good as being able to take her away from the others this instant, but at least in the morning he’d be shaved and washed and fed, and generally more agreeable.

He covered her hand with his own, stilling her restless fingers. “What time shall I meet you?”

“Early,” she said, dipping her chin a fraction in a way that was filled with promise. “Before anyone else is about. Shall we say eight?”

“Eight it shall be.” He raised her hand to kiss the back of it, and she smiled. When Julia smiled like that, he could forget all the dithering country folk around them and think only of tomorrow, when he’d have her to himself at last.

At least he could until she pulled her hand away before his lips reached it, turning to wave merrily at two of her father’s guests.

“Oh, Lady Frances, do come here!” she called. “Please bring Sir John with you as well. I wish to present you both to one of my favorite London acquaintances, His Lordship the Earl of Hargreave.”

With that Harry felt himself toppling into the very depths of country hell, with no chance of escape, and there he remained through the rest of the night. By the time he finally was permitted to crawl into his bed—­a bed designated as the house’s “best,” yet still smelling of damp and disuse—­he had drunk far too much of the viscount’s indifferent claret for comfort. As a result, his sleep was not restful, and when he rose the next morning for his appointment with Julia, his humor was not nearly as felicitous as it should have been for such an important occasion.

Harry’s manservant, Tewkes, did his best to see that he was shaved and combed and handsomely dressed, and prepared his special restorative with beaten raw eggs. Harry had dutifully swallowed this concoction, swearing mightily at the foul taste—­which was part of its potency. He patted his chest to make sure that the plush box with his mother’s betrothal ring was tucked deep into his waistcoat pocket, ready to be produced at the proper moment, and then two minutes later checked again to make sure it was still there. Finally he headed down the stairs through the still-­sleeping house and out to the stables, his long-­caped greatcoat billowing behind him.

The driving rain that had made yesterday’s journey so unpleasant had stopped in the night, but puddles remained across the graveled stable yard, and water still dripped from the sodden eaves. Worse still, a thick fog had replaced the rain, a chill, wet mist that clung close to the ground, masking the tops of trees and the roofs of buildings.

The fog seemed to echo the thickness in Harry’s head, and if Julia were not waiting as his prize, he would have gladly retreated to his bed. Instead he persevered, his polished boots sloshing through the puddles to the stable.

And there, at last, like a golden fairy in the mists, was Julia—­soon to be his Julia—­warming her hands before a small brazier that the grooms had lit for that express purpose. She was dressed in a soft gray habit trimmed with a lavish amount of silver lace that sparkled in the light of the hot coals, and a charmingly foolish black cocked hat with a single curling feather. Though the habit covered her to her chin, the soft wool was so closely tailored to her body that her waist looked impossibly small and her breasts high and full, and he thought again of how perfect a wife she would be.

“Good morning, my lord,” she said, making a quick curtsey and deftly managing to keep her skirts from the puddles. The grooms and stablemen faded away, back into the shadows, giving them privacy. “And a fine morn it is, too, isn’t it?”

“It’s wretched,” Harry said, smiling as he held his gloved hands over the brazier to warm them. “Don’t pretend otherwise.”

She laughed, and the warmth of her smile banished the remaining chill of the morning. It was cozy and intimate standing here with her, watching how her breath came out from her lips in little clouds. Her cheeks were rosy, and tiny blond wisps had escaped from beneath the foolish hat to dance around her face.

“You are looking quite handsome this morning, my lord,” she said, eyeing him up and down, and from her smile she clearly approved of what she saw. “How fortunate I am to have such a manly squire to ride with me.”

“I am entirely your servant, Miss Wetherby,” he said, feeling as if the very air between them crackled with desire. If she’d been any other woman, he would have seized this opportunity and kissed her, but because she was going to be his wife, he was determined to be respectful. It wasn’t going to be easy; he was much more accustomed to beautiful women obliging him however and whenever he wished. A future wife was different from a mistress, though, and he would force himself to wait until after she’d accepted his proposal, no matter how powerful a temptation she might be.

Likely she knew it, too, from the seductive way she turned to glance out beyond the dripping eaves.

“The weather’s not so very bad, my lord,” she said. “And it’s a proper morn for Norfolk.”

“That does little to recommend Norfolk to me,” he said, resolving that, once they were wed, they’d never return to Norfolk again. “We don’t have to go riding, you know. I can speak to you just as easily in your father’s drawing room, and we’d both keep dry.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it, my lord,” she said, adjusting her hat to dip a fraction lower over one eye. “You’ve told me yourself that you always begin your day by riding in the park, and I couldn’t possibly disrupt your ordinary morning routine.”

He smiled, liking how she peeked coyly from beneath the hat’s brim. “Today is different, Miss Wetherby. There is nothing ordinary about it, because you are sharing it with me.”

She smiled, too, and glanced over her shoulder to the grooms before she leaned forward over the brazier, lowering her voice to a husky whisper.

“That is exactly why I wish to ride, my lord,” she confessed. “Because if this day is all I pray it shall be, then it must be perfection, and I don’t wish us to be disturbed by Papa, or some busy parlor maid.”

“Not at all,” he murmured. So she did understand why he was here, the dear minx. God knows she should. Hadn’t she been leading him along through an entire London season of well-­chaperoned dinners and balls and operas?
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The start of a new series this is the first story that surrounds

    The start of a new series this is the first story that surrounds the three sons of the Duke of Breconridge as they win and lose at love.  Starting with the eldest son, and heir to the title Harry is a bit of a spoiled prat: self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing and shallow.  Of course, this is not an unusual archetype for a first son in the Georgian era, and Harry is drawn cleverly, with a chance to grow and change as the story progresses. 




    His duty is to marry, and marry well: enriching the looks, bloodline and purse of the Dukedom, and his choice is the toast of the season: Lady Julia.  




    Julia is everything a prospective bachelor of the time would want, and utterly devoid of any qualities that are endearing.  When Harry is injured in a fall, and left to recuperate at Lady Julia’s family home, it is her younger sister who steps in to nurse and entertain the former suitor. 




    Augusta or Gus was a heroine that I found hard to appreciate. While there were moments where her brains and determination made her a clever character, her inconsistent behavior that vacillated between stridency with Harry and obsequious deference to her parents’ lack of respect or affection was confusing.  And, for his part, Harry was just as confused.  




    Gus had some growing up to do: in the shadow of her elder and beautiful sister she often was relegated to Cinderella status by the entire family, and her reaction to the discomfort made her interactions with Harry feel unbalanced.  She has one major trait in her favor, however, she is truly kind and goodhearted: wanting the best for everyone. And when they finally realize the connection between them, absolutely nothing will move her from his side. 




    Set nearly entirely out of London, the historical detail keeps the reader firmly grounded in late 18th century England.  The writing style is beautifully rounded, and while I had some issues with the characters, never once did I want to put this book down.  Fast paced with a sweetly developed romance that is a surprise to everyone BUT the reader,  this was a great start to a new series and I look forward to more. 




    I received an eArc copy from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Harry and Gus are great together.

    Very good read. The characters in the book were likeable and made the story come to life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Delightful story! A nice twist on the typical novel!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Historical Novel

    I find I enjoy the historical novels more.

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

    enjoyable

    enjoyable

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    Recommend

    This is a fun novel to read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    Cute story......................................................

    Cute story...........................................................
    Can the earl find happiness with the plain jane sister after his dream girl dumps him.?  I don't want to give anything away but it does have a HEA.  Nicely paced story though her father seems a bit of a dumb twit.   Nice story. easy read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2014

    I really enjoyed both characters. They are interesting, charming

    I really enjoyed both characters. They are interesting, charming and fun together. It isn’t an action-packed or drama-filled story. Instead it’s a slow burn – two people getting to know each other and slowly falling in love, discovering some truths about themselves and about each other. 

    Full review available at Romantic Reads and Such on wordpress.

    (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2014

    A Wicked Pursuit, by Isabella Bradford, is the first of a new se

    A Wicked Pursuit, by Isabella Bradford, is the first of a new series, The Breconride Brothers. And what a great first it is! The authors research of the country setting in late 18th century Georgian England reveals great knowledge of the time period and subjects throughout the book.
    The hero, Harry Fitzroy – Earl of Hargreave, is your typical arrogant, self centered, rake of the ton who always gets his way in whatever he wants and whose main focus is to find the perfect wife he deserves. The lady he decides upon is Lady Julia Barclay, a beautiful self-centered, wanted by all, shallow society’s sweetheart. Little does he know just how shallow she is. But he is blind to it all. He sets out for the country following Lady Julia to win her and make her his perfect wife, without a thought of his proposal being denied.
    Lady Julia, flirty and shallow as usual, engages him but thwarts him at every turn. Harry has a terrible accident, falls from his horse before he can actually propose. There is no way Lady Julia is going to deal with a hurt Earl as she, according to her, is way more important than any now not so perfect man. She leaves immediately and returns to town, without even waiting to see if the Earl is taken care of.
    Lady Julia has a half-sister few know about, and although not a classical beauty, is pretty Lady Augusta Barclay or Gus for short, is a genuine kind hearted, hard working, taking care of her family, and very over-looked wallflower who prefers the country to the high society ton of town. She takes care of the estate and runs the family household, taking care of everything and everyone.
    It is Lady Augusta who steps in, as always, and takes charge. She directs everyone as to what needs to be done to help the Earl as he lies near death after the accident which breaks his leg. His pride suffers as others must help him and he wants none of it. His recovery is hard and long, and after, with Gus’s help, learns to walk again leaves him with a limp.
    After long trials he begins to understand that beautiful self-centered and shallow people are not so perfect after all and may not be what he really needs to spend the rest of his life with. He begins to see reality with Gus’s tenderness, loyalty, and genuine feelings.
    This book is a light read must read sexy romance. The book does contain explicit but extremely tasteful love scenes. It is a kick-back lazy afternoon entertaining read that leaves you with a satisfied happy feeling. This is a first in what seems to be a great series!!! I would recommend this as well as any other book this author has written.


    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 who’s not all what he 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.

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  • Posted February 26, 2014

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    This story will go into my collection of favorite authors and bo

    This story will go into my collection of favorite authors and books. Isabella has a marvelous plot for a wonderful book. It was nice to read a story without spies or wars or deaths. Harry, a Duke's son, came home with Julia who he wants to marry. He meets her plain sister Augusta. Harry gets tossed from his mount and breaks his leg in 2 places. Julia and Gus have to decide who and how they care for Harry. No spoilers here. You must read the book. Does Harry marry? Are the parents OK with the idea of marriage? There are lots of plot diversions to keep you guessing until the end. Give the book a chance and enjoy!

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  • Posted February 26, 2014

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    A Wicked Pursuit is a fun, exciting, entertaining historical rom

    A Wicked Pursuit is a fun, exciting, entertaining historical romance. 

    As the heir, Duke of Breconridge must marry. Harry, the Duke has his sights on Lady Julia Barclay...a fair beauty and pleasant company. When he goes to her family's estate to propose, he is gravely injured.

    Lady Augusta Barclay, Julia's sister, takes up the reins of Harry's care when her sister can't afford his injuries. Harry quickly learns to depend on Augusta (Gus) for support and companionship during this long rehabilitation. He also sees just how shallow Julia truly is. 

    While society gossips about Harry, Julia and Harry's injuries, Harry is tucked away with the sister he'd like to know more. Now he just has to convince Gus.

    A Wicked Pursuit is an utterly charming romance. Harry's character development is marvelous to watch, while Gus's inherit character strength was bloody brilliant. Although I had a hard time with the female lead being named Gus, it was quite fitting for a character that masterfully handles everything that comes her way. This delightful story is a sure fit for the historical romance lover in us all.

    I received this ARC copy of A Wicked Pursuit from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication February 25, 2014.

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    This is book 1 in the Breconridge Brothers series, which is conn

    This is book 1 in the Breconridge Brothers series, which is connected to her Wylder Sisters series.

    The Earl of Hargreave, Harry Fitzroy, heads to the country to finally propose to the beautiful Julia Barclay. Once there, they go on an early morning ride where Harry will finally get his chance to propose. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned and Harry is thrown from his horse. Having broken both bones in his leg, Harry is forced to convalesce at the Barclay home.

    Lady Augusta, Gus, has always been in the shadow of her beautiful sister. But when Harry is injured, it is Gus and not Julia that steps up to make sure that his recovery goes smoothly.

    Julia has run back to London and Gus must make excuses to Harry. Forever the one to look after everything, Gus does her best to entertain Harry while he recuperates. As Harry spends time with Gus, he realizes that he almost proposed to the wrong sister. He would have been miserable with Julia.

    As he sets out to win the heart of Gus, he remembers how he became injured and is angry at himself. Because of his antics, he can not be the husband he would like to be for Gus. Can Gus convince him that he is good enough just as he is?

    I really enjoyed this story. Gus was the ugly duckling that turned into the swan with the love of Harry. 

    When Harry is introduced, I felt he was kinda of an @$$. When he was injured, he started inviting all these people to Gus's home and having a bunch of things delivered, including his dogs. I was a little taken aback by his high-handedness, but then thought about how the son of a duke would have been raised. As a future duke, everything would have been catered to him and his every wish fulfilled. Then he realized that his feelings for Gus were more than just friendship and his actions made me fall in love with him. He wanted Gus to see herself as he saw her, not as she had seen herself her whole life

    This is an awesome start to a new series and I can't wait for the rest of it to come out. This is the first book of Bradford's that I have read and I was impressed with it. I will definitely be going back and reading her Wylder Sisters series.

    Thanks go to NetGalley and Ballentine Books for a copy of the book in exchange on an honest review.

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    **Provided a copy by NetGalley for an honest review*** I was so

    **Provided a copy by NetGalley for an honest review***

    I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! I absolutely loved it. I have to say, Harry & Gus are my new favorite couple. Their story was
    so special and really touches my heart. The strength that both of the characters show is amazing. I loved that we got to meet both of the
    families as well since they were so important to both of the main characters. The supporting characters were very well written, they
    were whole but didn't take over the story. Julia and her drama were even put in the proper place and I was so glad to see how the
    relationship between Julia and Gus played out. I would recommend this book VERY highly to any fan of historical romances.

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

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    A sweet and lovely historical romance, A Wicked Pursuit was a wo

    A sweet and lovely historical romance, A Wicked Pursuit was a wonderful book. I really enjoyed reading it and I totally loved it.

    Gus was a wonderful heroine. She was strong in her own quiet way. She was determined and loyal to her family (even when they didn't deserve it *coughJuliacough*). I really liked her. She was a genuinely kind character and I thought she was great.

    Harry was also great. He was a bit arrogant at first but, as the book went on, we see his true nature. He was sweet and utterly devoted to Gus. He struggled with accepting his new limp caused by his accident and I thought that made him a strong, more realistic character. I absolutely adored him.

    The romance was super sweet. Gus and Harry were wonderful together.  When they fell in love, nothing was going to stop them from being together and, when they met challenges, they both stood by each other. And, the attraction between them was constant. I thought they were wonderful together.

    The plot was okay. It was really the only weak point. It was a bit slow, so I wasn't able to get totally hooked. But, it never dragged and I was kept interested the entire way through. I really enjoyed the story and I thought the ending was sweet.

    A Wicked Pursuit was a fantastic historical romance. I really liked this book. The romance was very sweet and the story was truly enjoyable. Romance lovers, this is a book you have to read.

    *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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    Posted June 14, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

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