The Luck Of The Bride by Janna MacGregor
At the end of this book, I had to look back at the title in puzzlement, because I honestly couldn’t figure out why on earth March Lawson might be considered lucky. Orphaned and left to look after her siblings before she ever gets a season in London, the neglect of the family by their guardian has made it necessary for her to work on the farm as well as scrimp and save every day just to put food on the table.
When their old guardian dies and a new one inherits the position, March appeals to him for assistance. Told to apply to his solicitor (who never answers, for reasons which are never explained) she eventually has to take matters into her own hands and access her own trust fund with a forged signature, just to make sure her family has enough to eat.
I couldn’t believe anyone had the gall to accuse her of embezzling from HER OWN TRUST FUND, and especially not to feed her family. Once Michael was fully apprised of the situation, I couldn’t believe he kept throwing it in her face. Pretty is as pretty does, and while Michael might resemble Michaelangelo’s David - a fact referenced constantly by March - his actions speak for themselves, especially when he is so ready to believe the worst of March even after getting to know her.
There were a few anachronisms in the writing, such as ‘aka’ and ‘gotten’ which threw me out of the story, and other things which were never really explained, such as how March several times referenced herself as being on the larger side when she and her family had been struggling to get enough to eat. March was self-sacrificing and certainly wouldn’t have eaten at the expense of the others.
Michael’s dyscalculia was the most interesting part of the plot, but his anxiety over it felt overdone. Dukes don’t get cut out of the line of succession for such minor issues and his constant panicking that he could be ruined if March found out was annoying. March’s potential illegitimacy was a much more serious issue and yet he just brushed that aside, which made absolutely no sense. His choice to take the word of those he barely knew over March’s felt like contrived drama to eke the story out a bit longer, and her easy forgiveness of him when he finally acknowledged he’d done the wrong thing was frustrating in the extreme.
I really liked March and her family; her brother Bennett was probably my favourite character in the story. Michael, however, was another story, as was his brother. The two of them behaved like the worst kind of entitled males, expecting everyone to jump to their every whim no matter what the circumstances. Yes, Michael had a few moments where he did the right thing, such as telling the suitors for March’s sisters they would need to speak to her, as head of the family. For me, the bad outweighed the good in the way he treated March herself, without respect most of the time. I didn’t feel as though he was a good match for her and I didn’t want them to end up together.
Two stars, for too much contrived drama and a hero I didn’t like most of the time.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.