How to Lose a Bride in One Night
By Sophie Jordan
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Annalise Hadley can hardly believe how her life has changed. First her father found her and, despite her illegitimacy, transformed her from a nearly penniless seamstress into an heiress. Now, despite her limp and her dubious past, she is the bride of the handsome, charming Duke of Bloodsworth. But her wedding night is not the culmination of a fairy tale; instead, it is a nightmare that proves all too real. Her new husband, thinking he has been successful in his attempt to murder her, throws her into the river like the piece of trash he clearly thinks she is.
Owen Crawford’s year as a sharpshooter with the British Army in India changed him irrevocably. He harbors no resentment over his brother Jamie’s marriage to Paget Ellsworth, the vicar’s daughter Owen expected to marry. Indeed, Owen is pleased that they have found happiness together, but he feels removed from them. They don’t know the man he has become. He is a reluctant savior, but he can’t ignore the woman he finds on the riverbank, broken and burning with fever. Saving her seems in some way compensatory action for the lives he has taken.
Owen takes the woman to a gypsy camp where the tribe’s wise woman uses her skills to set Annelise’s broken leg and care for her other injuries. When Annalise regain consciousness, she feigns amnesia, claiming to remember only that her first name is Anna. Owen is skeptical of the amnesia, but he realizes there is truth in the gypsy healer’s claim that having saved Anna’s life, he is responsible for her. He decides to give her refuge in his London house until her recovery is complete and then give her money to make her own way. But the attraction he feels for Anna complicates matters. Owen is not ready for the complications or for the tenderness Anna evokes in him, but he will learn that opening his heart to the possibilities will not only allow him to protect Anna but also to conquer his own demons.
Anna, knowing that her husband is still a threat and terrified that Owen will return her to him if she reveals her identity and convinced that her father will do the same, maintains the fiction of her identity. Despite Owen’s gruffness and his avoidance of her, she feels safe with him. She also is determined to hold him to his promise to teach her the defensive skills in which he is expert, but there are no defensive skills that will protect her heart against the threat Owen Crawford, Earl of McDowell, poses to it. This time Anna’s salvation depends upon her trusting Owen enough to be honest with him and with herself.
The denouement seemed rather melodramatic to me, but Annalise and Owen are engaging characters, and watching these two damaged people experience the healing that love can bring to wounded hearts provided an emotional, rewarding read. This is the third book in Sophie Jordan’s Forgotten Princesses series. I had not read the earlier stories, but I had no difficult following Annalise and Owen’s story. I will admit to being so obsessive about series that I plan to read the first two novels Wicked in Your Arms and Lessons from a Scandalous Bride and the novella, The Earl in My Bed.
Are you obsessive about reading all the books in a series, or can you read one and forget the others?