Sunday, February 23, 2020

Review: The Bachelor by Sabrina Jeffries

The Bachelor by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Duke Dynasty, Book 2
Publisher: Zebra
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781420148565
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible
Sabrina Jeffries Reading Order

Lady Gwyn Drake has long protected her family’s reputation by hiding an imprudent affair from her youth. But when her former suitor appears at Armitage Hall, manhandling the heiress and threatening to go public with her secrets, it’s Gwyn who needs protecting. Her twin brother, Thorn, hires Joshua Wolfe, the estate’s gamekeeper, to keep her safe in London during her debut. As a war hero, Joshua feels obligated to fulfill the assignment he has accepted. But as a man, it’s torment to be so very close to the beauty he’s fought to ignore…

With handsome Joshua monitoring her every move, Gwyn would prefer to forget both the past and the parade of money-seeking bachelors at her coming out. But Joshua is unmoved by her attempts at flirtation, and the threat of blackmail still hangs over her. With danger closing in, Gwyn must decide which is the greater risk: deflecting a scoundrel’s attempts to sabotage her—or revealing her whole heart to the rugged bodyguard she can’t resist…

A vibrant lady and a wounded war hero are a match just waiting to happen in The Bachelor. After seeing sparks fly between Gwyn and Joshua in the first Duke Dynasty book, I couldn't wait to read their story. The result was a bit of a mixed bag for me.

At thirty, Gwyn would definitely be on the shelf (even as the daughter of a deceased duke and sister of three current dukes) if it weren’t for her fortune. But Gwyn has a secret she believes might keep her from the love she dreams of and when her past comes back to haunt her in the form of a blackmailing villain, it’s clear she’s in over her head. Help comes in the form of Joshua Wolfe, a wounded war hero determined to regain his position in the military even though he’s injured. Gwyn is bright and lively, but secretly vulnerable and Joshua is grumpy, hurting, and unhappy with his current place in the world. They’re clearly begging for a wonderful love story and I did like them together. Their romance ticked all the boxes, but there was a bit of the usual Sabrina Jeffries magic missing in their story.

Gwyn’s former suitor who is now blackmailing her adds an edge to the story. Malet is a villain worth loathing and I wanted to see Gwyn free of him. There’s an added twist to the Malet storyline to further draw Joshua into it that I’m not sure was absolutely necessary, but I was game to go along with it if only to see our protagonists bring Malet down. But the tension Malet brought to the story had nothing on the push-pull between Gwyn and Joshua. Joshua doesn’t want to be attracted to Gwyn and she doesn’t care for it when he runs hot and cold. Class differences aren’t really an issue; Joshua may be the impoverished cousin of a duke, but since that duke is Gwyn’s half-brother (and Joshua’s sister is married to one of Gwyn’s other half-brothers) nobody has to worry about their family approving of the match. And speaking of their muddled family tree, the family dynamics at play in The Bachelor were a delight. The love, frustration, and interference siblings bring is on full display in this book and adds depth to the story. I loved watching Gwyn and Joshua interact with their family members, so even though this book was just an ok read for me, I really cannot wait to read the next Duke Dynasty book.

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.