Review: The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides, Book 6
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance The Legendary Lord Cover
ISBN: 9781250072597
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

THE MAKING OF A LEGEND

When Christian Forester, Viscount Berkeley, flees the stuffy ballrooms of London for his Scottish hunting lodge, the last thing he expects to find ensconced before his fire is an incredibly beautiful woman. But the plight of lovely young Sarah Highgate, who has run away from an unwanted betrothal, inspires an eminently practical exchange. He’ll safeguard her reputation with the ton while she advises him how to best attract a proper bride

As the undisputed belle of the season, Sarah has enchanted plenty of suitors. Still, she isn’t interested in marriage, especially not to the pompous bore her father has chosen for her. But her hasty escape seems reckless now that she’s estranged from her family and has no one to count on besides Christian. Turning the luckless lord into such a catch has another unplanned consequence for Sarah: Has he run away with her heart?

Christian Forester, Viscount Berkeley, is always the groomsman, never the groom. After helping a number of his friends find happiness, Christian is determined that next season, he will be the one walking down the aisle. Imagine his shock when the belle of the season, Lady Sarah Highgate, practically falls into his lap… Or rather, his Scottish hunting lodge. Sarah’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, but for once Christian isn’t uneasy around a woman and it’s not too long before it’s all too easy for him to imagine Sarah as his. There’s just one problem: she’s engaged to another man.

Sarah has been raised to do one thing: marry well. But the announcement of her betrothal a narcissistic marquess leaves her feeling like the walls are closing in around her. On impulse, Sarah flees to Scotland and winds up in the wrong house. Fortunately for her, Christian is a gentleman, and when he agrees to help save her reputation she offers to make him the most sought-after bachelor in London. But the longer she’s around Christian, the more Sarah regrets her decision… Because the new “catch of the season” has already caught her heart.

Valerie Bowman has a light, effervescent style that makes the pages of The Legendary Lord fly by. It’s a fast-paced, engaging story that I hated to put down, even when reading it a second time. I was so excited to see Christian get a book of his own. He’s long been a good friend to many a Playful Brides protagonist and it was time for him to find a love of his own. He and Sarah hit it off immediately, and the unconventional setting of the first part of the book means they get to know each other far better than they would have had they been in London. Both Christian and Sarah are kind, likeable people who charmed me from the start. They’ve got natural chemistry and the scenes with just the two of them (not including an adorable dog) in Scotland made it easy to fall into their burgeoning romance, which made me eager to see them end up happily married.

It wouldn’t be much of a story if there were no obstacles in Sarah and Christian’s path, and to me, this is where The Legendary Lord faltered slightly. The obstacles in and of themselves were understandable. Once they return to reality (aka London), there are the problems of Sarah’s engagement, her strong sense of duty, and the fact that Christian isn’t one to make waves. But my pet peeve in romance is a hero and heroine who are mostly passive when it comes to getting their happily ever after. It bothered me a bit that I felt like – if it weren’t for their friends (Lucy Hunt in particular) – Christian and Sarah would never have ended up together. On the one hand, their actions (or lack thereof) did give others a chance to repay Christian for the kindnesses he’s done them, and I appreciated that. On the other, I wanted to see Sarah and Christian fight a bit harder for each other because it was a bit unsatisfying to feel like things could have very easily gone a different way if not for Lucy and co.’s interference. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed The Legendary Lord. Ms. Bowman’s writing never fails to entertain me and I was thrilled to see Christian finally find love. I cannot wait to see what comes next in the Playful Brides series, for there are a few characters whose stories I am dying to read.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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