Author: Anne Gracie
Date of Publication: April 1, 2014
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: Award-winning author Anne Gracie delivers the second in her enticing new series about four young women facing a life of destitution—until a daring act changes their fortune and turns them each into a beautiful bride…
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?
Even though there's nothing spectacular about The Winter Bride, it's one of those novels that's just so fun to read that it's impossible not to love it. I couldn't help but get swept away in the romance between Freddy and Damaris and quickly found myself completely pulled in by the story. In my typical fashion I didn't start with the first one (when do I ever?) but I would recommend reading the first one in the series first, though I wasn't confused there were a few mentioned events that took place in the first novel.
I instantly loved Damaris, she was sweet and quiet but also a little sassy when she needed to be. I was fascinated by her back story and Gracie did a great job revealing just enough about her past to keep me turning pages to find out what the real story was. Damaris has been though a lot, I loved reading about her beginnings in China, her missionary father, and everything she went through to get back to England. Freddy's back story wasn't as exciting but I loved his personality and his reputation as a rake, though he does have his share of hardship in his past.
What really made this novel shine was the interactions between characters, especially between Damaris and Freddy's parents. Damaris wasn't afraid to say what needed to be said and I found myself laughing out loud at some of the dialogue between Damaris and Freddy's parents. I also adored the relationship between Freddy and Damaris, they were so cute together and suited each other perfectly. They both started off completely opposed to marriage but as the novel went on, and Freddy pulled out the charm, they both started to change their minds.
Plot wise there was nothing particularly exciting but I enjoyed it all the same. Though the synopsis talks about a "compromising situation" it took almost the entire novel to get there, and even then it wasn't really what I was picturing, but it worked all the same. Hands down the best part of the novel was the end when Freddy's protectiveness toward Damaris shines through. Freddy changed a lot as a character and the ending is what really highlights his change from a disreputable rake to someone Darmaris can truly love and count on, plus it was just adorable reading about how much the love eachother!
The Winter Bride is one of my favorite historical novels so far and I'm super excited to get my hands on the rest of the series. Fans of historical romance will no doubt fall in love with this one and I highly recommend it to new and old fans of this historical genre!