The Bad Luck Bride

The Bad Luck Bride

by Janna MacGregor
4.2 23

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Overview

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

All were shocked at the announcement of the “cursed” Lady Claire Cavensham to Lord Alexander Hallworth, the Marquess of Pembrooke, especially since she is already engaged to another unfortunate Lord. Perhaps she will make it to the altar this time with one of these fine gentlemen! —Midnight Cryer

No one is left breathless at the imperious pronouncement of her engagement to Lord Pembrooke more than Claire. She hardly knows the dangerously outrageous man! But after three engagements gone awry and a fourth going up in glorious flames, she isn’t in a position to refuse...

Alexander requires the hand of his enemy’s fiancée in marriage in order to complete his plans for revenge. It’s his good fortune that the “cursed” woman is desperate. However, what begins as a sham turns into something scandalously deeper...

“Full-bodied romance...with intelligence and heart."—Cathy Maxwell

"Captivating characters and a romance that sizzles."—Eloisa James

"Will leave you swooning."—Sabrina Jeffries

The Bad Luck Bride is the first in a new Regency romance series from Janna MacGregor!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250116123
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Series: Cavensham Heiresses Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 138,070
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers. The Bad Luck Bride is her first novel.

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The Bad Luck Bride 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
gaele 9 months ago
3.5 Stars Rounded As I started off, I was thrown by the development of the hero in Alex: vengeful, determined and more than a bit controlling, he was a character that I instantly found dislikable and while I appreciated MacGregor’s attempt to bring a deeply flawed and wounded character to redemption, I had reservations. And then I met Claire: constantly thinking of herself as cursed, with yet another engagement exploding in a most unusual way: with the rather mousey and innocuous introduction, I didn’t see compelling, and worried that Alex would be one who manipulated and reframed So the whole “curse” passed me by, unless one is referring to it in terms of social position, and there, Claire is cursed with being a woman at a time when her purpose in life is to marry well, and personal choice is not an option. So we move on and at about the 50% mark the story started to show great flashes of promise in the writing: complex ideas, a bit more character development and the backstories are slowly revealed and bring an option to find more depth in the characters than in my initial impressions. But, the continued “we’ll discuss this later” moments, combined with constant interruptions from others, all playing out against Alex’s continued manipulation of situations and Claire: lying to her, watching her to “help her” (ick) and never really listening just rubbed me wrong. Claire was equally to blame, whether the attention (when she got it) from Alex is what she wanted, or she was just so ingrained to be “married” that she was willing to convince herself that she felt love for him – I missed that connection or those moments from Alex that didn’t feel proscribed or convenient. And when Alex’s duplicity is discovered, and everything that Claire thought was solid dissolved into ash, she leaves - a completely understandable reaction and one that moved her from mouse to kitten. Of course, Alex has his epiphany and realizes he loves her beyond measure, but the damage done early on just didn’t seem to allow for this option to me. Sure, it’s fiction and meant to end in a happy ever after, love you forever moment – but with all of the twists, the deception and the bad behavior –I wasn’t convinced. As a debut offering, it showed promise, although it decidedly left room for improvement: a few plot holes and perhaps a few too many twists and interruptions as the couple’s connection should have been more palpable and believable, with Alex’s realization that his actions and behavior are in need of adjustment did not come soon enough, and I felt as though his realizations were too little and more about his losing than realizing his behavior pushed her away, and he needed to change that before making new attempts. Story flow was uneven, starting with a bit of a bang, the back and forth and twists dragged on – where I expected development and palpable emotions I didn’t find it, and the story didn’t really bring those moments where I needed to know what came next. There is promise here, as MacGregor can write a wonderful description, and does integrate historic norms and information with flair, her conversations are solid and the secondary characters did arrive with enough intrigue to know more, all good things when looking for a new author. I’m curious about the next book in the series, finding this one promising even as it didn’t feel as fully realized as I would have hoped. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for
thelonereader 16 days ago
The Bad Luck Bride is the worst book I’ve read so far this year. I didn’t enjoy a single percentage of it, and honestly, I knew a couple pages in that it definitely was not my type of read. Any normal person would have put down the book then and there, but for whatever reason, I rarely do not finish (DNF) books. Instead, I suffer through them and then complain about them on the internet. This book is a historical romance – you could probably tell by the cover – about a young woman named Claire who believes that she’s cursed because she’s had upwards of three broken engagements, and a man named Alex who decides to marry Claire because he wants to get revenge on Claire’s latest fiancé, Lord Paul. It sounds like any standard, enjoyable historical romance novel, but as soon as I began reading I began gagging at the cliché lines and emotions. Now, I love cliché when it’s done well, but with this novel, I felt like the author took two distempered, annoying characters and forced otherwise splendid romantic lines to come out of their mouths. Unfortunately, the bland and unexciting natures of the characters came through much too often to fool the reader. Believe it or not, there’s actually a difference between being an alpha male and being an awful person. Alpha males are usually featured in romances, but Alex was more of a man who manipulated people into getting his way and sought vengeance blindly. The vengeance, at least, is understandable. Who wouldn’t be distraught and half-crazed knowing that some man got his sister pregnant and ultimately led to her suicide? The manipulation and discomfiting personally, however, has no excuse. From the very beginning, he was manipulating not only Lord Paul but also his soon-to-be wife, Claire. He did things behind the scenes to make sure that things went his way, and personally, I find manipulations far more disagreeable than upfront hatred. Going further into his personality, it oftentimes seemed that he viewed Claire more like a status/position than as a person. He’d comment on how successful she was as a wife and such, and sure, he loved her in his weird way, but it was instalove, and a very author-directed instalove at that. Claire and Alex themselves had zero chemistry, and so their interest/affection for each other right off the bat was quite off-putting. I didn’t like Claire as a character either. I tried to like her because I felt bad about her past, but she was very whiny and she ran away from her problems a lot. And she thought she was cursed. And she liked the love interest, which yes, I hold against her. BUT let’s get back to that curse. I’d read some reviews for this book earlier, and I noticed that people were complaining about the curse not making sense. I thought they were exaggerating, but nope, the curse definitely does not make sense. Apparently, something terrible befell everyone who had been engaged to Claire at a certain point in their life, and Society went crazy with this and began calling Claire cursed. Soon enough, Claire herself believed this too – up to here, I’m fine. I don’t like that Claire believed this about herself, but at least it’s kind of rational. But then, in the book, Claire uses the curse as an excuse for everything. Thing aren’t going well between her and Alex – oh my, it’s the curse. Something minor goes wrong – oh no it’s the curse again. Read the rest at: https://lonereaderblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/the-bad-luck-bride-by-janna-macgregor/
Crystal61 7 months ago
This was a page turner for me. It definitely is a dark story with lots of ups and downs, breath holding, and tears. I fell in love with Claire's spirit and determination to marry. Alex was a dog until he proved his real feelings and worked hard to get Claire to see him as a better man. I did not want to put this book down, and I look forward to more from Janna MacGregor. I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and it is a selection of the Book Obsessed Chicks Review Team. This is my unsolicited review.
Lost-N-Love-N-Hopeless 8 months ago
Bad luck or just fate. There’s a time a place for everything. Maybe it just wasn’t her time to follow through on a marriage to the wrong man. Maybe things were just not timed right. Maybe there were too many obstacles in the way. Maybe she just needed one to fall in love with. Bad luck was just viewpoint of how you looked at the various situations Claire found herself in. Which leads us to the engagement of herself to the Marquess of Pembrooke while she was engaged to another. This was most certainly some kind of luck for her. Claire and Alex had some kind of start to their engagement. No courtship. No walk in the park. No handholding. Engaged. Married. Each step further allowed for a new layer of lies/deceit/misconception to be added to the rouse. Alex was not playing hero. He was doing this all to get revenge/payback. He did not take in to account the feeling of Lady Claire. There were many other things going on here but as the story progressed we see more of each Alex and Claire. We get to develop a relationship with them to understand them better as individuals and how they could work as a couple. This was not a wham-kinda-read. This was a read that took time and patience. Things came about just when it needed to. This was a learn to sit, crawl, walk, then run.
momof3boysj 9 months ago
When Alex seeks to avenge his sister's death by suicide by ruining a man, he chooses Claire to be his bride. Claire, desperate for a family of her own and looking to rid herself of the curse of broken engagements, agrees to marry Alex. Both are guilty of deceit and need to fully give of their hearts as they start to fall in love. Before it's too late. But secrets are revealed and trust is broken; can they find their way back to each other before it's too late. Will they choose forgiveness and love? A great debut novel! **I was provided a copy on netgalley
astroyic 9 months ago
Beautifully written story with passionate and complex characters that captured my attention with a great paced plot from beginning to end. This is a fantastic debut story by Janna MacGregor. Our couple have endured a past life filled with heartbreak and tragedy, but it is secrets and revenge that brings them together as a couple. Although their relationship started as an act of revenge, over time it turns into attraction, trust and love. As Alex and Claire start to let down their walls and help each other to face and heal their secrets and scarred past, Claire finds out about Alex's real reason for marrying her and she leaves. Will their love, strength and family values help these two find their HEA? You will have to read to find out. Fantastic Story, that was beautifully written, captivating, full of secrets, lies, heartache, second chances and love. Can't wait to read more by this new author! Loved it! Received an ARC through the publisher and NetGalley and voluntarily wrote this honest review.
sportochick 9 months ago
I love a book that can make me cry and in this book, I did several times. The author has the ability to present some scenes with and between Claire and Alex that just wring your heart. Overall I don't like people who are users and out for revenge but family love and pain I do. This book is a mix of both and as the story progresses you see the effects of how one affects the other. For me this book was very emotional because of Claire's fears, curse and how it affects her life and ability to love. But also for Alex who is so driven by pain as to seek a horrible revenge. Alex well he is another story. The reader will feel his pain even as he administers him revenge and you will feel a compassion for his reasons even if you do not agree. There is much about him that the reader will not admire but it is balanced for all the ways they will learn to care for him and his ways. Throughout this book, you will read firsthand how misunderstandings occur, how love is everlasting yet can bring great pain, but mostly you will see that there is always a chance for personal growth and forgiveness. I give this 4 STARS for showing how fears and hate can be overcome in a manner that is life changing.
Vijetha_Kumar 9 months ago
An amazing Debut! Will definitely include the author in my TBR shelf... Loved Alex and Claire!
gigiluvsbooks2 9 months ago
IS MARRIAGE A BLESSING OR A CURSE? A man of honor, Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, will not rest until he exacts revenge on the man who destroyed his family. Just one more piece must fall into place for him to succeed he needs to convince his enemy s fiancee, the tragically beautiful Lady Claire Cavensham, to marry him instead. Lady Claire s curse has always left her one misstep away from social ruin her past three engagements have gone awry, and now her fourth is headed in the same direction. . .until Alex, a man she barely even knows, shocks the ton and Claire by announcing their engagement. What begins as a sham turns into something deeper, and more passionate, than either Claire or Alex could have imagined. But when their secrets are revealed, will the truth behind their union scandalize them both or is their love strong enough to break the curse and lead them toward their happily ever after? Review: You have to feel bad for Claire when you here about her story. Four engagements broken from one thing or another, then losing her parents at a young age in an accident. You would think it would break her, but throughout she remains steadfast. Working for her charities and trying to let other's whispers get to her. The only thing that threatens her resolve and heart if Alex, Marquess of Pembrooke. Out to get revenge for his deceased sister, Claire comes into the middle of his schemes. Alex does quickly fall for Claire and knows he must tell her the truth about his deception, but it comes too late and the growing feelings are put to the test. I have not read this Author before and I quite enjoyed her writing. I thought that both Claire and Alex were complex and interesting characters. I came to care what was happening to both of them. There is a little intrigue, having to do with Claire's past and fears and also the truth behind Alex's sisters death. Now, there is some sexy times but it is not an overly erotic romance. It is the first in a new series, so I would imagine the series will only get better as it goes on. Wonderful historical romance! 4Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
Lindsey_Gray11 9 months ago
4.5 Stars! Lady Claire Cavensham’s bad luck started with the death of her parents in a violent carriage accident when she was a child. It followed her throughout her life and made another lethal appearance with the death of her first fiancee only a month before their wedding. Now on the brink of announcing a betrothal for the fourth time, Lady Claire’s curse appears again when the bridegroom ends the engagement. Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembroke, believes Lady Claire’s fourth fiancee, Lord Paul, is the reason for his younger sister’s suicide. He will stop at nothing to ruin Lord Paul, including marrying Lady Claire himself. When Alex comforts Claire the night Paul breaks their engagement, they are found in a compromising position and announce they will be wed. This debut novel from Janna MacGregor is a fantastic ride through a thrilling romance. It has all the best elements needed for success, witty dialogue, heart wrenching backstories, and charismatic characters. Alex is driven by grief, but that grief brings him the greatest gift of all, Claire. Even though I would never approve of the way Alex deceived Claire, it comes from a place of utter devotion. I love Alex’s transformation from grief stricken brother to besotted husband. Claire has her own transformation that is utterly mesmerizing. Her curse is so ingrained in her that it takes an epic event to bring her out of her despair and except the love before her eyes. This novel ranks high with seasoned romance authors and I am ecstatic to read what is to come in this series. MacGregor has a cavalcade of developed secondary characters, but I’m hoping Claire’s cousin, Emma, is the next lady to find love. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
JoRead 9 months ago
First of all, call me shallow but that cover has something that would definitely beckon me to pick it up from the shelf and at least see what the story is about. At the beginning, Alex had no idea what Claire looked or what she was like because they had only met briefly and that had been a few years prior. Nonetheless, he proposed and was immediately drawn to her fragile and sweet demeanor. They both understood their union was out of necessity and agreed that just like many other marriages of the time, theirs could be based only on affection if not everlasting love. And affection was given, in fact, affection was given too much too soon in my opinion. Supposedly, Alex’s motives were based on a wrong made to his family. However just days after they met again he was already thinking of protecting her, and not only because of his personal motives or out of honor but rather because of the feelings she stirred in him ~ really? That quickly? After that there were all kinds of romantic moments that obviously cemented the romantic aspect of the story still I wish their love would have been fleshed a bit more. Also, Alex’s behavior was confusing in general. He was supposed to be a man of honor and yet he was manipulative, jealous, and revengeful, oh, and add to that a bad friend. In the end, he finds a way to find redemption for all his wrong-doings but man, did he take his sweet time to get there. As for the story itself, there were a few plot holes that I’m sure will be filled in the next book in the series but I thought they should have been explained here. I also think the two different arcs (Claire’s bad luck and Alex’s revenge) overlapped each other in a way that it got distracting at times. Not to mention that I feel there was a lot of telling when there could have been more showing, especially at the beginning of the book. And one thing that bothered me to no end was that one of the characters was being referred to as Lord Paul by his so-called long-time friends when his full name was Lord Paul Barstowe, second son of a duke. Ok, I shamelessly admit it, I’m a nitpicker, and for that reason I cringed every time they called him that. I know! I’m a petty and I know it :/ In short, I did enjoy the book but I didn’t love it. It had its good moments, particularly when it came to Claire’s life and complex characters. If a reader is not as demanding as me when it comes to their romantic stories and plot lines I’m sure they will be able to enjoy it even more. *** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***
BuckeyeAngel 9 months ago
Lady Claire Cavensham has found herself engaged to Lord Alexander Hallworth, the Marquess of Pembrooke. It’s quite shocking, considering she’s engaged to someone else. Unfortunately, she’s already had 3 bad engagements and her 4th one seems to now be ruined, so she must continue on with it and hope this one will allow her to finally get married. As part of his revenge, Alexander has forced his enemy’s fiance to become his. Unfortunately, this sham of a marriage seems to be changing into something real. This was a pretty good story. I really liked that there was some meat to the characters, making it more than just a light-hearted historical romance. It covered things that aren’t usually in this genre of book I liked all of the interactions between the different characters. I really enjoyed the plot. I look forward to reading more from this author. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
DebDiem 9 months ago
The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor is my first book by this author. What a fantastic surprise. Ms MacGregor has penned a well-written book. Her characters are absolutely amazing. If this is Ms MacGregor's debut, I can't wait to see what she gives us going forward. Alex and Claire's book is loaded with drama, action, a bit of suspense and just the right amount of sizzle. The Bad Luck Bride is a fantastic read from start to finish and I look forward to reading more from Janna MacGregor in the future. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.
BookReview4you 9 months ago
'The Bad Luck Bride" by Janna MacGregor is book One in "The Cavensham Heiresses" series. This is the story of Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke and Lady Claire Cavensham. Alex sister died pregnant and unmarried. Alex feels that his one time friend Lord Paul is to blame. With that knowledge Alex has taken it to seek revenge against him. With buying up all of Lord Paul's 'vowels' and moving forward to now take his future bride. Lord Paul's future bride is Claire. Claire feels she has been cursed because each time she gets engaged it seems to end with several different issues with the groom. Now she is engaged to Lord Paul who is a friend of sorts. But now that engagement is going down hill quickly and Alex has stepped in. Claire doesn't know all that Alex is up to or what he has done. Alex is having trust issue with Claire...can these two work things out? Will Alex get over his revenge quest? "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
nelriv 9 months ago
Received an ARC for my fair review for netgalley. Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, is out for revenge, on none other than his best friend. He has read the letter that his sister had left when she committed suicide, and could not believe his friend caused her to get pregnant and then left her destroyed, so he vows to destroy him. Unfortunately, he goes after the one person that had nothing to do with this Lady Claire, and while he does destroy his friend causing her to get another betrothal cancelled, and she was already dubbed cursed. So he advises her to marry him, so that she wont be tainted anymore. They do end up falling in love, but he never let her know why he was so adamant to marry her, and she is hurt. So she leaves him, and then the truth comes out, on what really happened to his sister, and he is heartbroken, and now he has so many people to make up for.
SissyLu 9 months ago
The Bad Luck Bride was a fairly decent debut novel by Janna MacGregor. You have a jilted man of honor who is furious with a man he thought his friend and you have the target, the individual who he will use to get back at said friend. The premise to begin with left me scratching my head because I felt disconnected from the beginning. Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, is on a mission to destroy the man he once thought was his friend because of a horrendous and cold act, because he's out to destroy him he focuses his attention on the fiancee of said removed friend, Lady Claire Cavensham and seeks to woo her. She has endured many engagements and surely one more failed engagement will ruin her! Ahhh, this book as a whole did not succeed in grabbing my attention or even ensnaring my affections for any of the characters right off the bat. While the book was well written [or enough so,] the characters just didn't appeal to me, I didn't find myself liking any of them immediately. There were some quick developments in the early chapters that also didn't sit well with me, too fast - too soon - and without reason that left me blinking. All of these feelings were carried through the book in various situations. However! I am extremely picky when it comes to Regency Romances, I will be the first one to admit that and it takes just the right formula in just the right way to ensnare my attention as well as my affections. So, I think by and large this is mostly a 'me' thing because the premise is interesting enough, the characters are [in general,] likable enough and it was a lovely enough book, too. I think if you're like me, and you take your Regency Romance seriously, and you demand a certain formula then you'd have the same views as me [maybe!] Generally speaking, it's a nice read!
Hfowler 9 months ago
The story starts off a bit slow but the conflict and plot are well developed, and the reader is pulled into Claire and Alex's complicated relationship. The emotional turmoil and struggles the couple has to face to have their happy ending draws the reader in and you can't help but feel for Claire. Alex definitely digs himself a big hole and he has a lot to atone for in order to win Claire's trust back once all of his secrets are revealed. I very much enjoyed their story. The characters were strong, the plot was compelling, and the development of the relationship with its highs and lows kept me turning the page. I very much enjoyed the book and recommend to any who loves a great historical romance.
etoile1996 9 months ago
everyone whispers about lady claire cavensham's curse, she's the bad luck bride after all. she's had three engagements and no marriages. orphaned at a young age it's almost as if anyone she cares for is destined to meet an unfortunate end. so she's hoping this fourth engagement is the charm, except before she even has a chance to announce it her fiancé cries off. uncertain how to handle the sudden reversal of fortune claire is about to panic when lord alexander pembroke swoops in to save her. he announces their engagement when it appears that she's been compromised. and claire realizes that she has very little options if she doesn't want to be a social pariah. what claire doesn't know is that the responsibility for her sudden jilting can be laid at lord pembroke's feet. and when she has occasion to doubt moving forward with their marriage, alexander makes some social maneuvers to ensure her cooperation. it sounds really sinister and he really is being kind of a presumptuous jerk, but he has his reasons for behaving the way he does. he really does believe that he is doing his best for her. he is concerned for her safety. he cares for her. claire doesn't really want alexander to care for her. she doesn't want to care for him. because as ridiculous as it sounds, what if she really is cursed? alexander doesn't believe in curses. he makes a lot of mistakes and he has to make up for them. but he loves claire. he just has to prove it beyond all reasonable doubt. this is the first in a new series, and i can't wait to see where the series goes next. i believe we'll see the story of claire's young cousin next. and her potential hero may just be her perfect match. **the bad luck bride will publish on may 2, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/st. martin's press in exchange for my honest review.
Lokithor 9 months ago
After reading The Bad Luck Bride it's hard to believe this is the authors first published book. Janna MacGregor has given us a polished, intricate and entertaining story. Our heroine Lady Claire Cavensham is a wonderful character. She has suffered many past traumas, she still has the ability to look on the bright side of life. Claire is by no means perfect, which makes her all the more likable. However, her strength, loyalty, and giving nature warms the heart and makes the reader love her. Alex, the Marquess of Pembrooke is also a well-developed character. As our hero, he eventually makes the grade. The story begins with all of his actions being driven by revenge. In that respect, Alex was calculating and outright deceptive. He can be forgiven for this lapse as he quickly begins to truly care for Claire. When revenge is no longer Alex's only motivation, he is dashing, caring, and charismatic. The relationship between Claire and Alex was rushed, but still felt natural and was very enjoyable to read. Their chemistry felt real, their pain honest and their love strong. It was refreshing to read a novel in which both the H/h are normal people with real problems and faults. Hopefully, there will be many more books in Janna MacGregor's future for us to enjoy.
TamWindsor_69 9 months ago
With this debut novel, MacGregor shows she has industry "staying power"! Clair and Alex are two dysfunctional people -- each for their own reasons. Claire seeks to break the "curse" of failing to make it to the altar multiple times in a row. Alex seeks revenge against the childhood friend who he holds responsible for his sister's death. Together, they try to help each other lay to rest the demons of their respective pasts. But, their road to personal peace will not be an easy one, and each must learn to trust the other, if they are to succeed. This was a heart-warming tale about healing and new beginnings featuring complex, likable and sometimes charmingly-exasperating characters. The story is smartly-written and has an engaging and fast-moving plot. It is definitely "un-put-downable". *I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley & St. Martin's Press in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Dorchester - 1811 Alexander (Alex) Hallworth, Marquess of Pembroke, is preparing for a duel with Lord Paul Barstowe, the second son of the Duke of Southart. The two men had been best friends. Alex’s youngest and unmarried sister, Alice, has killed herself because she was carrying a baby. Paul claims Alice had pursued him and that it must be Paul’s baby. Nicholas St. Mauer, the Earl of Somerton, has arrived to stop the duel. When Paul flees, Alex vows to take everything from the man. London - 1812 Alex has just informed Paul that he has bought his vowels after which Alex demands Paul give him the deed to his home, Willow House, in Dorchester and he must give up his engagement to Lady Claire Cavensham, niece of Sebastian, the Duke of Langham. Paul claims that, like Alice, he has compromised Lady Claire too. If Paul refuses, Alex says he will sell his debts to someone else. But Paul agrees. Now, as his final jab at Paul, he will ask for Claire’s hand. Rather than see her in person, Paul breaks off their engagement via a note to Claire that arrives just as their engagement party is to begin. It is the fourth time this has happened to Claire and it is known among the ton as the Lady Claire Curse. Trying to flee the room and her humiliation, she sees Alex who offers her his assistance. Knowing what has happened, Alex suggests that she announce that she has broken the engagement. But before she can do that, Claire and Alex are discovered in the garden in a compromising position at which time Alex announces their engagement. Claire has some emotional scars left from a devastating carriage accident that killed her parents. Alex also has some secrets he is hiding. Will those two virtual strangers be able to make a good marriage? This is a good book, however, some of the plot is a bit convoluted which makes it a bit difficult to follow at times. I did not care for Claire as I felt she was too weak. Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
def618 9 months ago
What a wonderful first book! I couldn’t put it down. It’s not a light story as it has complex characters who have some personal demons to overcome. The hero, Alex, Marquess of Pembroke is suffering from his younger sister’s suicide. He blames his former friend Lord Paul and is planning to ruin him. Lord Paul is to announce his engagement to Lady Claire Cavensham, the wealthy only child of the late Duke and Duchess of Langham, and Alex is going to prevent that announcement and marry her himself. Lady Claire has been engaged several times but something always goes wrong. She doesn’t love Paul but wants a family of her own and believes they could learn to love. When he doesn’t show at the ball she’s attending she hides in the garden to be found by Alex. When they are discovered together Alex announces his plan to marry her. I do not want to spoil this book by revealing too much of a complicated plot. Claire agrees to marry Alex as he will not interfere with her charity work and she is attracted to him. However, when she discovers the extent of his manipulations she leaves him. There is a HEA but you must read this book to learn about their healing and reconciliation. It’s a keeper. The secondary characters are interesting and I hope her cousins, his sister and his best friend get stories of their own. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me this ARC.
CathyGeha 9 months ago
The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor The Cavensham Heiress #1 This romance is based on the idea of one man seeking revenge against the man he perceives to be the culprit in his sister’s suicide. The steps Alex Hallworth, Marquess of Pembroke, takes to bring his onetime friend, Paul, to his knees have repercussions that reverberate into not only the two men’s lives but the lives of others surrounding them. In an attempt to help Paul’s fiancé Claire Cavensham while at the same time working his revenge…well…Alex sets Claire up in such a way that she must marry Alex…though neither are in love. So begins a long drawn out plot with spying and miscommunication and avoidance of weighty or intimate topics or any real soul searching that might have led to a HEA much earlier BUT as is true of such stories there must be angst and drama and secrets shared and loss and separation and pain before all can be set to rights. What I liked: * The costumes * The atmosphere * The caring shown by Claire’s family * Some of the twists and turns What I didn’t like: * Revenge concept – especially since Alex did not fully research before he implemented the revenge * The lack of chemistry between Alex and Claire * Lack of character development for Alex (little background if any) and the other men in the story. * Spice – I didn’t particularly find Alex or Claire to be interesting people with quirks or spirit or humor or…anything like that. So…I didn’t stop reading the book. And, as it is a debut novel, I can say that I believe this author has talent and will grow as she finds her way. She has the skill to develop characters I would want to call friends. I hope to see her growth in storytelling when I read book two in the series. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 3 Stars
HeyerF4n 9 months ago
Machinations, Curses and Romance 4.5* Lady Claire is an orphan, her parents having died in a horrific carriage accident whilst she was a child but she is not without family; living with her uncle, her aunt and three cousins but even they can't protect her from rumour. The gossips of the ton delight in saying that Lady Claire is cursed and it is unhealthy to think of marriage to her. Her first fiancé died of a fever, her second was in an accident involving his horse and had his leg amputated, her third fled the country after killing his lover's husband (the night he proposed to her) and now her fourth is facing financial ruin. Alex Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke is consumed with revenge against his former friend Lord Paul Barstowe, the second son of the Duke of Southart and thinks the theft of Paul's betrothed will be a fitting denouement regardless of how that may affect Lady Claire. The story deals with the fallout of his decision to break their engagement and his subsequent marriage to Claire; having concealed his actions. An enjoyable book with believable and engaging characters which gave me a good read, I dropped half a star as I couldn't make 'head nor tail' of Emma's actions in the last chapter. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.