Reviews: The Bedding Proposal & Happily Bedded Bliss by Tracy Anne Warren

The Bedding ProposalThe Bedding Proposal by Tracy Anne Warren
Book #1 in The Rakes of Cavendish Square

Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
ARC Provided by Penguin

Synopsis from Goodreads: Lord Leo Byron is bored with the aristocratic company he keeps; he needs a distraction, preferably in the form of a beautiful new female companion. So when he sets eyes on fascinating and scandalous divorcée Lady Thalia Lennox, he’s determined to make her intimate acquaintance. But the spirited woman seems to have no intention of accepting his advances no matter how much he chases—or how hard he falls….

Once a darling of Society, Thalia Lennox now lives on its fringes. The cruel lies that gave her a notoriously wild reputation have also left her with a broken heart and led to a solemn vow to swear off men. Still, Leo Byron’s bold overtures are deliciously tempting, and, for the first time, she finds herself wondering whether it just might be worth the risk to let the attractive rake into her life—and her bed…

Angie’s Review – 5 Stars – A+

I can’t say enough good things about this book. The Bedding Proposal was so chock-full of emotion I found myself fighting back tears more than once. Thalia and Leo were absolutely wonderful characters, the writing and build up in this book stellar.

I want to start off by saying that I read a lot of books including a hero who is seeking a mistress. He finds the woman, falls immediately in love with her, and thus begins his pursuit to take her as a bride. But this book actually went there. Leo was in search of a mistress, and only Lady Thalia Lennox would do. It takes quite a bit of coaxing on Leo’s part, but he eventually wheedles his way into Thalia’s bed with no promises. Leo was very charming and easy going—just fun to read about because he enjoyed his life the way it was. Thalia was very likable, if a bit stand-offish. It’s obvious from the beginning she has her secrets. I desperately wanted to know her history and what led to her public shame, but after hearing it, I almost wished I hadn’t. It was so devastating, and it was a wonder she was able to extend Leo even the tiniest bit of trust.

This book had a few things that bothered me – there was a husband/wife conversation that felt a bit awkward and something at the end that felt like it happened merely for convenience. But you know what? I couldn’t even take a star off because the rest of the story was so beautiful. For some reason, it always guts me when a hero is brought to his knees, and Leo definitely was in The Bedding Proposal. While there was some heavy subject matter covered in this book, there was also a lot of laughter and fun along the way. If you’re a fan of historical romance and haven’t read this book, it needs to be on your to be read list!

I switched back and forth between print and audio for this one, and I loved the audio! The narrator was wonderful, and I will definitely be looking for more books that feature her as the reader.

Rating: 5 Stars

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Happily Bedded BlissHappily Bedded Bliss by Tracy Anne Warren
Book #2 in The Rakes of Cavendish Square

Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
ARC Provided by Penguin

Synopsis from Goodreads: When Lady Esme Byron happens upon a gorgeous naked man sleeping beside a secluded country lake, she can’t resist the impulse to sketch him. But when her highly improper drawing is mistakenly revealed at a party, she finds her once-pristine reputation in tatters.

Gabriel, Lord Northcote, may be a notorious rakehell, but he is still stunned to find himself accused of despoiling a duke’s sister—especially since he’s never set eyes on her. When Esme’s six irate brothers demand a hurried trip down the aisle, he has no choice but to comply. He thinks he can forget about his inconvenient bride but Esme Byron is no ordinary woman and Gabriel is about to learn just how unforgettable she can be.

Angie’s Review – 3 Stars – C

After finishing the first book in this series, I was so excited to read Happily Bedded Bliss. Unfortunately, this one didn’t live up to its predecessor. The first thing that that struck me was how many secondary characters there were. A bit of research indicated that most of these people had books of their own that were part of another series, and I do think if I’d read that series I’d have been able to keep them straight here. But as it was, it was very confusing. It also felt like it took a while for the story to get going.

The premise is very fun – a young lady forced to marry a handsome stranger simply for possessing a naked drawing of him when they’d never met. He, in fact, wasn’t even aware she existed. There were parts I liked – when Gabriel forgot himself, it was almost as if he saw Esme as a chance to atone for the wrongs he felt he’d committed (thought I think they were more perceived wrongs than actual ones,) and at those times he was very kind and considerate. But it seemed that whenever he started to think, Gabriel got trapped in his own head and couldn’t find his way out. His past was sad and I felt for him, but I felt like just a little more of a push and he could’ve made it over the hurdle. He just couldn’t bring himself to try. Esme was an OK heroine – there was nothing particularly remarkable about her. But she was a kind person and tried to be there for Gabriel even when he wasn’t being very nice to her. It was at the end when Esme chose to be dishonest with Gabriel and withhold information from him that I found I couldn’t like her anymore.

I did have a hard time with this story – it just didn’t seem very solid plot-wise, and things seemed to fall apart at the end without being put back together in a satisfactory manner. While this one was a miss for me, I do enjoy this author’s style of writing and will be sure to read the next in the series.

Rating: 3 Stars

Series Reading Order:
1. The Bedding Proposal
2. Happily Bedded Bliss

Thank you to PENGUIN for providing copies of these books in exchange for an honest review.

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