I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: My Lord's #3
Published by Self published Genres: Historical Romace
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Consummate rake, Lord Richard Craven, has his heartbroken when the woman he loves is forced into an arranged marriage to a violent brute. To make matters worse, circumstances force him to marry Lady Madeline Knight--a woman he views more like a sister-only for fate to play the cruelest of tricks. Shortly after his wedding his former lover is widowed, and Richard learns she could be pregnant with his child.
Madeline Knight thought she was doing the right thing when she saved Richard Craven from his lover's irate husband. Now her silly schoolgirl crush has left her married to a man who's in love with another woman. Consumed with guilt over trapping Richard, she tries her best to be the perfect wife and win his heart. Failure is not an option. For if she fails she loses everything, she loves him too much not to set him free...
While Richard and Madeline confront the reality of their marriage, Madeline's life comes under threat. A family enemy is set on revenge. Will Richard learn the truth of his heart, and what is truly precious to him, before the unknown enemy destroys their world?
I was raised on historical romance novels and it is still my favorite subgenre. Give me the ball gowns, mansions, lords and ladies, and I’m a happy woman. But give me a marriage of convenience between the hero and heroine and I’m practically giddy.
That’s how I felt when I began reading Invitation to Passion by Bronwen Evans and I just got happier and happier as I lost myself in this engrossing tale of friendship turned to love. I could not have asked for more from Ms. Evans. Her tale gave me everything I would want or need in a romance. A heroine head over heels in love with a man who doesn’t yet return the love? Check. A hero who is handsome, charming and caring? Check. A villain you love to hate? Check. A forced marriage to avoid scandal? Check. Passion and drama with some suspense as a bonus? Check. A happy and satisfying ending? Check and double check.
Once I began reading, I could not put the book down. I found myself sneaking off at work to just get in one more chapter. I stayed up late reading because the need to find out what would happen next far outweighed the need for sleep. Let me tell you that every dark circle under my eyes was well worth it.
Madeline and Richard have been friends ever since Richard rescued a young Maddy from a bunch of bullies. They maintained their friendship through a series of letters that are unveiled throughout the book. Maddy slowly fell in love with her white knight but had come to accept that he would never be hers. That is until the night that she stepped in to help save him and inadvertently compromised her own reputation forcing the two to get married. But what would happen to their friendship now that they were husband and wife.
While it was no surprise that Richard would eventually fall in love with his beautiful wife, I still enjoyed the journey that he took to get to that point. Though I must confess that I sometimes found myself shaking my head at some of his stupid antics that he resulted from his misplaced notion that he was protecting his wife.
Ms. Evans provided the reader with believable characters that drew my sympathy and respect. Despite the times, Maddy was not a wishy-washy female. She was smart and independent and willing to do whatever was necessary to protect the man she loved. Richard was a compassionate and caring man who wasn’t in the least bit the typical arrogant man that you see in many historicals. He wasn’t perfect and made many mistakes, but only because he cared too much.
Even the secondary characters were interesting. I loved the relationships that Maddy had with her brother and his wife, as well as the one between Richard and his twin brother and his wife. The friendship between the men, and the one between the women was so authentic and just added another layer of enjoyment to the book.
As if all the romance and passion wasn’t enough, Ms. Evans provided us with suspense and drama that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could read. I completely lost myself in the world she created.
Invitation to Passion is the third book in the My Lord’s series. I have not read the other books in the series but had no difficulty following along. Of course, I will have to go back and read those books because I am so intrigued now as to their stories. However, this is not the first historical by Ms. Evans that I have read. She has impressed me with her writing ability and I am excited to have a new go to author for when I need that historical romance fix.