The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor
Poor Lady Claire Cavensham has had what as an Aussie I'd have to call a pretty rough trot. She lost her parents in an appalling accident when she was only child - an accident she survived and pretty clearly is still suffering from the trauma of - and though then taken in by the not-at-all wicked uncle (which was a nice change) bad luck seems to have dogged her ever since, to the point at which she herself has started to believe she might be cursed.
Losing her fourth fiancé in five years (it feels a bit like the litany of Henry VIIIs wives at one point... died, disabled, disgraced, cried off) is more than bad luck, though Claire doesn't know it at the time. Her erstwhile fiancé Lord Paul angered the wrong man, and now Alex, Marquess of Pembrooke, is out for vengeance, which means taking everything Lord Paul once held dear.
Including Lady Claire...
I liked Claire a lot and I felt a great deal of sympathy for her, particularly the way that Alex avoided telling her the truth. There was a great scene where she called him on it, accusing him of never apologising or taking responsibility for his actions; I felt like applauding. Alex was really pig-headed, never willing to take anybody's word for their actions, and to really the whole mess he made of his marriage was his own fault. Certainly Claire was innocent of any wrong-doing.
There was a rather shocking reveal towards the end of the book which turned on its head a 'fact' we thought we knew from the beginning, a fact which had driven Alex's motivations to that point. I have to say that this 'fact' being what turned him around didn't please me; he needed to change not because of external factors, but because of his own understanding that he had mucked up in a pretty epic way.
The book is well-written and I'd probably read the second in the series because I liked Lady Emma and Alex's friend together, but I can't say it was really enjoyable. I'll give it four stars.
The Bad Luck Bride is available now. Yet again, however, it's a case of a publisher making the ebook the same price as the paperback. One of these things is not like the other, folks. No wonder big publishers are reporting declining sales of ebooks.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.