The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie

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On the eve of the London Season, Jane Chance is about to make her entrance into high society. And after a childhood riddled with poverty and hardship, Jane intends to make a good, safe, sensible marriage. All goes according to plan until a dark, dangerous vagabond helps her rescue a dog.

Zachary Black is all kinds of unsuitable—a former spy, now in disguise, he’s wanted for murder. His instructions: to lie low until his name is cleared. But Zach has never followed the rules, and he wants Jane Chance for his own.

If that means blazing his way into London society, in whatever guise suits him, that’s what he’ll do. Jane knows she shouldn’t fall in love with this unreliable, if devastatingly attractive, rogue. But Zach is determined—and he‘s a man accustomed to getting what he wants.

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Publisher and Release Date: Berkley 2 June, 2015

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: London, 1817
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars

Review by Jill

Jane Chance is ready for her first ball and ready for marriage. Her aspirations are simple. She’s not looking for love; she only wants a marriage in which she can feel safe and comfortable. With her refined and beautiful looks that’s not going to be a problem, and she soon has one of the wealthiest men of the ton offering for her. For eighteen year-old Jane, who grew up in poverty and has faced terrible hardships, nothing is as important as a secure and comfortable standard-of-living.

When kind-hearted Jane sees a dog being ill-treated in an alley, she goes to its rescue, but soon has the dog’s tormentors turning their attention to her. Then a tall, dark gypsy comes to her and the dog’s rescue. A former spy, Zachary Black has just arrived back in England after twelve years abroad. Having had no contact with his family all that time, he is soon to be declared dead. On top of that, he also faces a murder charge – he was accused of killing his stepmother twelve years previously, before his disappearance.

Set in London, 1817 this is the third in the Chance Sisters series. Previously, the four girls – Abby, Jane, Damaris and Daisy – had been taken under the care of the eccentric Lady Beatrice. Though the girls call themselves sisters, only Abby and Jane are related, and none are related to their ‘aunt’ Beatrice. The Spring Bride can be read as a standalone as plenty of background information is given on the sisters and on Jane particularly.

There’s nothing particularly new here, yet Ms Gracie delivers a sweet romance together with a mystery that is nonetheless very well-written, enjoyable and entertaining. Despite Zach being smitten pretty quickly with Jane, the romance builds slowly. And thankfully, for once in these historical romances, there are no anachronistic and jarring pre-marital sex scenes, that are simply out-of-place. I’m very much looking forward to Daisy, the little Cockney, and the former brothel maid’s story, in the final book in this series.

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