The Winter Bride

( 11 )

Overview


~"Delightful....A romantic winner." --Kirkus   
Four young women face a life of destitution—until a daring act changes their fortune and turns them each into a beautiful bride.  In
The Winter Bride, a compromising situation leads to an unexpected wedding and delicious temptation....

Damaris Chance’s unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice ...
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The Winter Bride

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Overview


~"Delightful....A romantic winner." --Kirkus   
Four young women face a life of destitution—until a daring act changes their fortune and turns them each into a beautiful bride.  In
The Winter Bride, a compromising situation leads to an unexpected wedding and delicious temptation....

Damaris Chance’s unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice Davenham, convinces her to make her coming out anyway—and have a season of carefree, uncomplicated fun. 
When Damaris finds herself trapped in a compromising situation with the handsome rake Freddy Monkton-Coombes, she has no choice but to agree to wed him—as long as it’s in name only. Her new husband seems to accept her terms, but Freddy has a plan of his own: to seduce his reluctant winter bride. 
Will Damaris’s secrets destroy her chance at true happiness? Or can Freddy help her cast off the shackles of the past, and yield to delicious temptation?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/24/2014
Gracie continues the charming seasonal saga of the four Chance sisters (introduced in The Autumn Bride), family by choice rather than blood, with this thoughtful and tender Regency. Miss Damaris Chance (formerly Tait), a missionary’s daughter, has a well-earned “abhorrence of marriage.” The Honorable Frederick Monkton-Coombes wants to present a fiancée to his cold and distant parents to avoid their matchmaking schemes. Freddy and Damaris enter into a business arrangement: she will engage in a faux betrothal in exchange for ownership of a cottage that will allow her to be self-sufficient. Freddy’s cultivation of his rakish reputation has developed his wooing skills, which are put to the test when his friendship with Damaris evolves slowly into romance, despite both parties’ hurts and vulnerabilities. Gracie gradually expands the setting without overwhelming the reader by sending Damaris and Freddy to his family estate, separating them from Damaris’s benefactor and Freddy’s business partners, while setting the scene for the next two seasons. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Gracie charms and entices with this launch of the Regency-era Chance Sisters series. . . . A deep, rich story that will leave [listeners] starry-eyed." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Library Journal
★ 04/15/2014
Keeping an eye on his honeymooning best friend's elderly aunt and the three Chance sister "nieces" is the last thing footloose bachelor Frederick Monkton-Coombes wants to do. But his mother insists that he marry for the sake of the succession and threatens him with a house party full of marriageable girls to make sure that happens. Fortunately, Damaris Chance does not plan to wed either, so a false betrothal in return for a country cottage seems like the perfect solution. Then the pair are trapped together during a storm, and the game changes dramatically. VERDICT A pretend engagement devolves into a forced marriage when plans go awry in this exquisitely written, perfectly plotted story that features deeply wounded but resilient protagonists and introduces an intriguing, most unconventional new character. Gracie (The Autumn Bride) lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-06
Neither Freddy Monkton-Coombes nor Damaris Chance is interested in marriage, so Freddy convinces Damaris to enter into a fake engagement to get his mother and a horde of marriageable young ladies off his scent. What could possibly go wrong? It's 1816, and Damaris has a new lease on life. Leaving her past behind, she's landed on her feet, living in the home of her informally adopted aunt, the aristocratic Lady Beatrice, along with her sisters-of-the-heart, collectively known as the Chance sisters. But she knows marriage isn't in her future, thanks to some horrible luck and a blackguard sea captain. Determined to make enough money to buy a small cottage and live on her own terms, she's quietly taken a job painting pottery. But somehow Freddy has learned her secret, and he's not pleased, since it involves wandering through less-than-safe neighborhoods at ungodly hours of the morning, and he's promised his dear friend Max—Lady Bea's nephew, now married and honeymooning with the eldest Chance sister—that he would keep an eye on the household. After Damaris and Freddy share a frank conversation regarding their shared antipathy toward marriage, Freddy asks her to play the role of his fiancee, since his mother is putting pressure on him to pick a bride. In return, Freddy promises her the cottage she's always wanted. But as they spend time together, they learn each other's deepest secrets and most ardent desires, and suddenly marriage doesn't seem quite so atrocious. Gracie continues her Chance Sisters series with another delightful, emotionally complex romance. Freddy and Damaris are each textured characters, combining well-hidden wounds with a determination to thrive in spite of them, which makes them perfect for each other once they break through to trust and understanding. A romantic winner, with Gracie's typical witty charm and sweeping emotion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452617831
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Series: Chance Sisters Series , #2
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Gracie is the national bestselling author of The Autumn Bride, Bride By Mistake, and The Accidental Wedding. She lives in Australia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ~Reviewed by SUZANNE & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    ~Reviewed by SUZANNE & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    Damaris Chance never wants to marry and her past has ensure that she never will, all she wants is a secure future where she doesn’t have to rely on anyone but her self. Freddy Monkton-Coombes never wants to marry, but it seems if he doesn’t find someone, his parents will find someone for him, whether he likes the girl or not. So Freddy comes up with the perfect plan, a fake engagement to the one woman in England who genuinely doesn’t want marriage and the one woman that Freddy can’t stop thinking about; Miss Damaris Chance.

    I really loved the first book in this series The Autumn Bride, it was heart warming, funny and although not particularly original story wise, it didn’t stop me loving it. And although I have enjoyed this the second book in the Chance Sisters series it didn’t have the certain spark that made me consume the first book.

    I think the problem I had wi this book was that it was very slow to start, the first three quarters of The Winter Bride plod on fairly slowly and at times I was a little bored. However, it did start to grow more interesting towards the end when more exciting events are set in motion, it is just a shame that everything had to wait till that point to get moving.

    I did, however, like Freddy and Damaris, they were a sweet couple and although both their “mysterious” pasts were fairly easy to predict and therefore not that mysterious, I was still vying for them. I liked the way that although from the very beginning there was always an attraction between them, that their relationship seemed to grow through friendship and then exploded into something more, which is far more gratifying than instalove.

    Although I found this book a little bit unoriginal, there were no real surprises, that didn’t stop me from enjoying it and I will definitely continue to read on to find out what happens with the rest of the Chance girls.

    * ARC provided by Publisher

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2014

    Raised in China by her strict missionary father, Damaris Chance

    Raised in China by her strict missionary father, Damaris Chance now resides with her "Aunt Beatrice" and "sisters" in Berkley Square in London. Her Aunt's son, Max, just married one of her sisters and they are off enjoying their honeymoon. In the meantime, Damaris, her Aunt, and sisters are being looked after by Max's friend, Freddy Monkton-Combes. Or as his business partner Flynn likes to call him: "Hyphen-Hyphen." But it's not all smooth sailing for Freddy as he is constantly hounded by "muffins" bent on leading him to the alter, Aunt Beatrice's mischievous schemes and gossip-filled stories, and one Damaris Chance sneaking out of the house at the crack of dawn.

    Damaris' cool and collected outward demeanor shields a deep sense of insecurity and fear of abandonment. She pushes herself to maintain a certain degree of independence and self-sufficiency through her work painting popular Chinese designs onto pottery for the London masses. This independence is challenged when Freddy catches her sneaking out of the house earl one morning and insists he at least accompany her to the pottery to protect her from the ruffians that frequent her path. Thus begins Damaris and Freddy's slow seduction.

    Neither Damaris nor Freddy have any interest in marriage. Both are plagued by guilt from their past that makes them believe they are not worthy of love or marriage. But they begin developing a friendship during their daily walks to the pottery and soon Freddy proposes a fake betrothal that will get them both something they desperately need. From there, it is simply a matter of time before love develops and Freddy must convince Damaris to make their fake betrothal a real one.

    The romance in The Winter Bride is sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy. I think Damaris and Freddy make a good pair because they compliment each other very well. But there are times where the story becomes a little too boiler-plate, particularly towards the end. It was a slow start, a decent middle, and sort of tripped at the end into the realm of cliched. But it was still an enjoyable read with a fantastic cast of secondary characters and sharp dialogue that will keep you laughing til the end.

    I did knock off a half star for the following spoiler and trigger warning: [spoiler] Damaris's big struggle with relationships and marriage is that she was raped for months on the journey from China to England. I hate rape in romance novels for a multitude of reasons that I will not go into here. I took off the half star because there was no warning that this was a part of the story and such plot devices leave a sour, bitter taste in my mouth. It isn't described in detail or anything, but the fact that it happened plays a significant part in shaping Damaris' character and her reactions to Freddy. [/spoiler] I don't like giving spoilers in my reviews, but because it also carries such a heavy trigger warning, I felt it best to include it here as a warning to others.

    Aside from that issue, I did enjoy The Winter Bride. I think it would be helpful to read The Autumn Bride (Chance Sisters #1) before reading this book, but I understood enough of the family dynamic to roughly figure out what happened before to lead up to the story presented now. Damaris and Freddy were a fun couple and I especially loved their interactions with Freddy's parents. Overall, a solid book with an array of spitfire secondary characters. Recommended with reservation due to the trigger warning, but I do think it is worth checking out the rest of the series.

    Originally posted at Plot Twist Reviews [dot] com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2014

    Good book-funny

    I enjoy the author's writing because the sense of humor is very much like my own. At times it is smart alecky. The characters are flawed but still lovable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2014

    ..

    .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    An enjoyable, entertaining and comical novel that will have you

    An enjoyable, entertaining and comical novel that will have you laughing out-loud!

    With a past that is sordid and humiliating, Damaris has no hopes of marriage. All she wants is a small little cottage somewhere and just enough income to make sure she never has to go homeless or hungry again. She has no desire to have a season, knowing that she could never marry, but Lady Davenham convinces her to have one just for fun and to experience a carefree life, if only for a short time. But when her “brother-in-law” Max and his new bride Abby, leave for their honeymoon, he asks Freddy Monkton-Coombes to keep an eye on Aunt Bea, Damaris and her sisters while they are gone. Which means that Damaris and Freddy will be forced to spend time with each other despite their desires to remain far away from each other. But Freddy takes his role seriously and soon discovers that he can’t seem to keep his feelings for Damaris in check. When his mother decrees that Freddy must marry to ensure the succession of the family title, Freddy decides to make a deal with Damaris and they become betrothed, but in name only. If they can convince everyone that they are well and truly betrothed then Damaris will finally get her own cottage. It’s all she’s ever wanted, so why does the thought of breaking the pretend betrothal with Freddy seem like the wrong thing to do? Damaris finally has what she’s always wanted…..or does she?

    Love this book! From Freddy’s unhappy and tragic childhood to Damaris’ life as a missionary’s child and her story of escape, the characters in this novel are so rich, so well written, with thorough background stories that make it such a touching story. I loved the fire and passion of Damaris’ character. Her witty banter with Freddy and her candid conversations with Freddy’s parents will have you laughing out loud and cheering her on! Freddy’s sweet, caring, yet haunted personality makes him such a wonderful hero. I loved the way Damaris fought for what she knew was right, despite how she felt or how others thought she should behave. Freddy’s actions at the end of the novel to defend Damaris’ honor was so touching and so well-intentioned that you couldn’t help but pray for a happy ending. This is truly a story of redemption and second chances, of finding yourself, despite all the obstacles that life throws at you. Definitely a novel I will read again and again.

    Rating: 4.5

    Heat Rating: Mild

    Reviewed by: AprilP

    Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Refreshing!

    A refreshing story about hurt, pain and love. Two people from different worlds come together perfectly! A refreshing series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Anne Gracie's second book in the Chance Sisters series, The Wint

    Anne Gracie's second book in the Chance Sisters series, The Winter Bride continues the tale of four women who found themselves fighting for their own survival in one way or another. Though they are not all real sisters, they have a deep bond and readers will love the interaction between them. Gracie is well known in the historical romance genre and readers know to expect a well written and creative novel with each of her books. From muffins to pigs, this book is a real gem with strong characters and enough humor to make the readers sides ache. A great second book in the series.

    What I liked:

    Anne Gracie has a way with writing that is both complex and entertaining. Her heroes and heroines are often not typical of the time period she writes about. She gives the reader anomalies in situations and in characters. She throws a few curves and readers often find that those curves are what makes Gracie's books so amazing. The Winter Bride is no exception to the rule. We often find heroes that have an aversion to marriage for one reason or another and we have one in this book as well. But the difference is, the heroine doesn't want to marry either. She simply wants a cottage in the country where she can live and paint to her heart's content. In Regency times, that was just unthinkable. And it makes all the difference in this book.

    Damaris isn't your typical Regency heroine for a lot of reasons. She grew up in China where her father was a missionary and she doesn't have all of the charm and decorum that most debutantes have. After many harrowing experiences she makes her way to England and by 'chance' gets a second chance at life and love. I thought Gracie did such a great job with her. She had been throw so much, that Gracie could have made her really jaded and bitter, but she didn't. Damaris was kind and loving and the perfect compliment to Freddy.

    Freddy wasn't exactly what he seemed either. He makes a grand show of appearing to be a rake who doesn't really care about anyone or anything, but in truth he is a successful businessman, who is scarred from the past. For all his aversion to marriage and his wastrel seeming ways, he has a good heart. He is just afraid to give it away. I loved Freddy's humor and thought he was the perfect hero. A little dark, but not brooding and he knew when to laugh and to make others do the same. There were side splitting moments with him and teary moments. He was such a contrast in emotions. A great all around character.

    Gracie uses humor to her advantage in this one and readers will quickly be drawn in. She takes two characters that have suffering a lot and brings them together where they heal and comfort and protect each other. It might be all set up by a fake betrothal which Freddy concocts to get out of finding a bride, but it turns into quite a romance. Readers will love it when the main characters are shocked to realize that maybe marriage isn't quite so bad an idea.

    What I didn't like:

    There were moments when this one dragged a wee bit, but not too much. I felt like it took an inordinate amount of time for them to get down to business if you know what I mean. I think things could have progressed a bit more quickly and still been just as interesting.

    Bottom Line:

    This is a very good addition to the series. It has moments of levity and a lot of humor. Readers will laugh and cry with these characters and truly enjoy their happy ever after.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2014

    Disappointing sequel

    This Chance Sisters sequel focusing on Damaris lacks the character depth and plot surprises that kept the reader engaged in the first book of the series Autumn Bride.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 11, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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