Thursday, April 3, 2008
The Bridal Quest by Candace Camp
First off, big thank you to Kimber An for inviting me to join the ever expanding Enduring Romance team. I'm excited about it. Why? Because I love, love, love romance. Any excuse to talk about it is a-ok with me.
Despite averaging about a novel a day, I can count the number of romance novels on my keeper shelf on my fingers. That's why I am thrilled and a bit shocked to be adding one already in 2008.
That novel is, of course, The Bridal Quest by Candace Camp.
The story doesn't sound all that special. A lady, having grown up with an abusive brute of a father, swears never to marry. A lord, having been abandoned on the streets, tries to leave behind his working class life and fit in with high society. To do that, he is looking for a wife.
Been there, done that, right?
Wrong. Every time my brain went on auto-read, Candace Camp gave it a jolt of the unexpected. Sure, Gideon, the hero has the ability to do real damage to any baddies but he also has a wicked sense of humor, constantly teasing his rather dour relatives. Sure, the heroine's sister-in-law is predictably selfish but she also parts with a prized possession to help the heroine.
And what I love most of all about The Bridal Quest is that I UNDERSTAND the immediate attraction between Gideon and the heroine Irene. It goes far past the flimsy physical explanation most romances give. Gideon is the only eligible noble to have seen Irene's not-so-dear departed father at his worst. Irene is likely the only eligible lady to have met Gideon first in his working class environment. They don't have to pretend with each other. They are comfortable. They show their true selves. They fall in love.
There are so many questions to be answered. What happened to Gideon's mother? Why didn't his father look for him? Who is the mysterious Dora? What is going on between the Duke and the matchmaker?
This book is the second in a series, the first being The Marriage Wager, but each book can be read alone. I know. I read The Bridal Quest first. The heat rating is sensual.