Setting: 1815, Regency
Sophie Blake’s grandfather willed his fortune to the first of his granddaughters to marry a duke. Since her cousin, Deirdre, will seal the deal any day now, the quiet, bookish Sophie can sit back and enjoy her time with the only man she truly adores: Graham. No matter that the part charmer, part scoundrel has absolutely no designs on her! Sophie is content to engage Graham in lively conversation, beat him at cards. . .and probe at the darkness hiding behind his rakish smile.
Then Graham unexpectedly gains a title, an estate in near ruins and a mountain of debt. If there is any chance of survival he must find a rich wife—quickly. As his hunt for a bride begins, Sophie realizes that she isn’t even in the running. Suddenly no longer content to be a wallflower, Sophie gets a stunning make-over and becomes the belle of the ball. Lots of heads are turning…including Graham’s. But this beauty has secrets of her own. Will she be his salvation or seal his fate?
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This is the final book in The Heiress Brides trilogy, and was the best of the three for me. After the first two disappointed me, I was surprised when this one did manage to live up to expectations. Though it wasn’t as good as her latest, the plot was much more interesting and both hero and heroine were likable and their story was much interesting. There was even a surprising twist at the end.
Sophie Blake isn’t beautiful and this was refreshing. She was strong and independent and easy to relate to. I rooted for her the whole way through.
Graham was also a great hero. He was charming and the playful chatting between the two was sweet and I could really feel a connection between them. Though she does have an eventual makeover and turns into the most beautiful woman, it was nice to see that Graham did feel something for her before. I found them to be a great couple and they really suited each other.
The writing was great and this time I could really appreciate it as I loved the two main characters and rooted for them. There was even a short secondary romance which was sweet and intriguing.
This book really made me remember why I loved Celeste Bradley in the first place and was worth the read. If I had known earlier, I would have skipped the first two books just to read this one.
Sensuality Level: Hot-Explicit, detailed
Verdict: The only one worth reading in the series. Recommended.
Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5