Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

As promised for my Saturday, April 23rd post, today I am reviewing New York Times, USA Today, and international bestelling author Monica Murphy’s latest release The Reluctant Bride, a contemporary romance.

Title: The Reluctant Bride
Series: N/A
Author: by Monica Murphy
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dangerous Press
Publication Date: April 19, 2022

Blurb: Everyone’s for sale, including me. One moment I’m the forgotten daughter of one of the most wealthy families in the country, and the next I’m the blushing bride in an arranged marriage. My fate is sealed in my wedded union with a complete stranger.

In public, Perry Constantine is the life of the party. Easygoing. Adored. In private, he’s brooding. Dark. Angry. But so am I. It’s a contest of wills to see who will break in the bedroom first, and while I try to remain strong, I find myself craving the very man I swore to hate.

My husband.

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There is a lot going on with this novel.  I’ll start with the arranged marriage.  There’s a reason for it.  The wealthy Lancaster family want to increase their power and money, and even form an alliance with the less rich and less powerful Constantine family, all because of another family—the Morellis.

The patriarch of the Lancasters is a true brute.  Evil.  He’ll do anything to increase his wealth and power and thinks nothing of selling off his daughter for a price to the Constantines son Perry.

Naturally, both Perry and Charlotte don’t want the marriage, but neither have a say, because they are at the low end of the food chain in their families.  Their jobs are to simply take orders, and Perry doesn’t take orders lightly.  As for Charlotte, the abuse she’s endeared (I won’t say by who) keeps her mouth shut.

Except for some exposition in a few scenes that slowed the pacing, the author kept this book on track and moved it at a good speed.

The hero Perry starts off a little on the immature side.  He does his ranting and raving, he doesn’t want to give up his freedom, naturally, but he eventually kowtows to his mother and older brother.  I must say Perry grew on me.  At first I was thinking, “Hmm, he’s just not my type of hero,” but I kept in mind his young age, and a couple of selfless heroic things he did had me hooked.  Don’t let his foul mouth fool you. There is a hero hiding inside of Perry.

Charlotte is a wonderful heroine.  I was rooting for her from the get-go.  Damn she is likeable.  She’s had it tough in her rich and powerful family.  I really felt for her, and I kept my fingers crossed, hoping she’d run away, or do something to escape the clutches of her father and bail on a forced marriage.  But it was Perry who wheedled and cajoled Charlotte into letting down her walls that years of abuse have kept her locked in.  Well done, author.

I must say I really enjoyed Charlotte and Perry.  They possessed great sexual chemistry.  But what I enjoyed even more was the way the connected on a deeper level.  By the end of the novel I was convinced these two belonged together; however, the book does end on a cliff-hanger, something I had no idea about since the author failed to give a heads up anywhere in the blurb.

The book is a great start to this new series the author has created.  As I said, there is more going on than meets the eye, and I am sure the second novel will do more revealing of what’s happening behind the scenes, and it left me also wondering if Perry and Charlotte will get their wedding.

The writing is strong, the characters (even the secondary and minors) all have their own voices and personalities.  So if you don’t mind cliff-hangers, do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy.  I can easily see why the author is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author.  She has created an exciting new series.

Have you read The Reluctant Bride?  If so, do you agree with my review?  If you haven’t read the book, would you be willing to now?

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