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The Reluctant Bride

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Charlotte is forced into a marriage by her father. Six weeks later she is a widow. Now after the required mourning period she is emerging into a new life of her own choosing.

I had stopped reading this genre due to the fact there is always a formula that is followed. Recently I chose to try again. This is a nice book but it dragged on. I didn't care about the characters at all. I hoped for more substance and was disappointed it did not deliver.
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This is a story of a young widow Charlotte who after a short loveless marriage finds herself drawn to the Duke of Gresham. It is a very run of the mill story. There is nothing new about it with a hero, heroine and a villain thrown into the mix to try and make the goings on interesting. However, I found the characters to be quite two dimensional, with no chemistry between the two leads. It was difficult to finish the book. Just wish the author had fleshed out the characters more and the plot had more zing to it rather than one that has been hashed to death by now.
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This was an ok read but i felt it was too slow paced and was very predictable. I just could not get into it at all.
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The Reluctant Bride is a first time read by Natalie Kleinmann, new author to this reader.  The story is about Lady Charlotte who is forced by her father to marry a man who is older enough to be her father and one she barely knows and let alone does not love.  She however does grow to adore her husband's nature as he is a caring and thoughtful person...it is unfortunate that tragedy comes six weeks after their wedding and she becomes a widow. 
 
Sebastian, now the Duke who has taken over where her husband left off has a lot of pride and coldness, whereas Charlotte herself has now become a little prejudicial in her views against him.  Now that she is able to come out from under her mourning clothes, she breathes some resemblance of freedom, it is unfortunate that Sebastian holds her purse strings and another suitor has taken a fancy towards her.  

I thought the story was well-written but was a bit too slow for me.  It dragged in place where I would have liked the pace to be a bit faster.  The characters are relatable, enjoyable and puts you in the mind of a few of Jane Austen's novels.  Would I read another novel by this author...I would say yes.  Nicely written and comfy read for me.

Thank you to Netgalley and Sapere Books for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own.
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3.5 rounded up to 4

Charlotte is made to marry a man she barely knows and doesn’t love. This decision is made by her distant father for his own monetary benefit. After just 6 weeks into the marriage her husband dies in an accident. The story takes places at the end of the young widows’ mourning period.  

It’s much more chaste than some regency romances, more akin to Georgette Heyer, as well as using a more formal writing style. 

It is an enjoyable enough story, focusing on Charlotte and, to a lesser extent, her younger sister and their spinster cousin. Whilst the storyline is fairly predictable the main character is rounded and interesting. There’s no love at first sight lightening bolt moment, more a slow build of affection. Worth a read if you fancy some regency-era romantic escapism.
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Charlotte is a young widow, with a lovely sister and a useless father.  The Duke who inherited from her husband is Sebastian, a serious, handsome young man.  The story evolves around finding love.  We have some very nice secondary characters and one jerky villain.  I won't write a spoiler here!    I enjoyed the story, but would have liked to have experienced Charlotte and Sebastian falling in love.  I just didn't get swept up in their romance and that made me sad.  They are both such wonderful people, always taking care of others, so I thought there might be some passion..  Didn't see any.  But even tho I missed the passion, I loved the story and the people we got to know!
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I'm not entirely sure this was the book for me.

I liked the main characters but I found it was predictable and slow moving.

Definitely worth a read if you are a Georgette Heyer fan as it is similar to her style of writing.

2.5 stars.
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I received this book for free from Netgalley. That did not influence this review.

The Reluctant Bride by Natalie Kleinman is a pleasant, old-fashioned, squeaky-clean Regency Romance. 

Charlotte (now Lady Cranleigh) is a young widow. She’d been forced by her nearly impoverished father to marry an older man to rescue the family fortune. The man, the Earl of Cranleigh, was kind enough that she couldn’t hate him, just the circumstance. A few weeks into the marriage, the earl conveniently fell off his horse and broke his neck. Charlotte had to spend the next year in mourning although she wasn’t grieving. She weathers that and emerges ready to face the world, now essentially emancipated from her controlling father. She is also able to support her younger sister and the cousin who raised them after her mother’s death. So, life is good and she has no real desire to change things.

Charlotte enjoys her return to society and finds herself (and her sister and cousin) attracting the interest of beaus. One of these, Lord Roxburgh, is a stereotypical villain, who pursues her for her fortune and is willing to use foul means and fouler to obtain her. The other is her late-husband’s cousin, the duke of Gresham. He attends to her first out of duty (having inherited the late earl’s property and title) and then out of affection. 

The courtship progresses slowly. Charlotte is the last person to see Gresham’s interest and to recognize her own. The hero and heroine are kind, proper people. Gresham is a bit too perfect to make for an interesting character, and Charlotte, too, is fairly bland. The conflict is subdued, largely external, caused by Lord Roxburgh. Gresham has money to burn and is able to make the conflicts disappear with a degree of tact that eliminates any disagreeableness. The climax of the story introduces the real hiccough. I was a bit disappointed that it was an over-used plot element in the Regency Romance genre. Many of the plot elements in the book are familiar ones. And that’s OK since there are only so many available plots in the genre, so mixing and matching is typical. But there wasn’t enough originality in this story overall to bring it alive. The conversations were gently prim and muted, without witty banter. The few arguments seemed contrived and were quickly forgotten.

For those new to Regency Romance, the story is sweet and the characters entirely unobjectionable. The book is a fine addition to the genre. For those who read a lot of Romance and are looking for something cleaner and quieter, this succeeds. But if you read a lot of Romance and like variety, you may find this one treads too much familiar territory to stand out.
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THE RELUCTANT BRIDE by NATALIE KLEINMAN is an enjoyable historical romance novel which takes place in London, Bath, and at several English country estates.
After being forced to marry an older man to help her father financially, Charlotte, now the widowed Countess of Cranleigh, is pursued by several men, some of whom are more than like attracted by her fortune.
There is romance, intrigue and some suspense, against the backdrop of the British social scene during the Regency period. There is a definite Jane Austen flavour and we get a good idea of what life was like at that time, especially amongst the nobility.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Sapere Books. the opinions in this review are completely my own.
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A refreshing regency romance.

A wonderful little escape from today’s busy life.

This story follows the life of our heroine, her younger sister and cousin. With a nod at arranged marriages that for once doesn’t just slat them out of hand, we see our heroine quickly widowed and embarking on a single life.
The plots not complex and runs along themes I’ve read before, however, it has the benefit of being nicely written. Although the lead (Charlotte) has a mind of her own, it’s not just a case of a modern heroine at the heart of Regency England.
Alongside that, no obvious writing glitches- no walking round the block or needing headspace.
Nicely written.
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A very enjoyable, light-hearted read. Yes we all know all along what is going to happen and there weren't any surprises with any of the twists or turns, but let's face it we don't read this type of book to be on edge. The characters were all very nice and, although I'd say the story seemed a trifle long with things drawn out longer than needed, it's a nice way to spend a few hours
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Unfortunately DNF at 25%. While the premise seemed interesting. The writing style was just not for me.
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