Review: Lady Charlotte’s First Love by Anna Bradley

Lady Charlotte’s First Love by Anna Bradley
Series: The Sutherlands (# 2)
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Pages:  250
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

 

 

From spirited young woman to reckless widow, the beautiful Marchioness of Hadley remains a force to be reckoned with. But beneath her antics lies a broken heart . . .

Since her husband’s tragic death, Lady Charlotte Hadley has embarked on a path of careless behavior and dangerous hijinks from which no one can divert her . . . until suddenly, her first—and only—true love reenters her world. Their fiery romance was so scandalous Charlotte had no choice but to marry another, more suitable man. Surely now they are both free to pick up where they left off . . .

Julian West has returned to London a hero after making a name for himself in battle at Waterloo. Every woman is vying for his attention—except the one who stole his heart. No matter, Julian has other obligations. But when Charlotte’s sister, Eleanor, charges him with protecting the widow from ruin, what ensues is another kind of battle—one that leads a chase from London’s bars and brothels to the finest country estate as Julian and Charlotte untangle a host of secrets, regrets, and misunderstandings. For could it be that the love they’ve forced themselves to forget is exactly what they need to remember? . . .

 

Review:  I’m a sucker for regency romance, toss in the whole concept of a second chances and a relationship that was love then hate–and I’m a goner.

I was immediately sucked into this book. It had everything that you could possibly want for this sort of trope. An intriguing backstory, a great leading man, a complicated woman who you literally have no clue whats happening with until the very end, and a great FULL story where any reader will feast and feast and feast.

With all of that being said, around 30% into the story all I kept thinking was, they are they both so hateful? He mentions being traumatized but really it turns into more of a revenge against Charlotte than his past sins. There were a lot of motivating factors behind both Julian and Charlotte and most of the time I one hundred percent understood where the author was taking it.  But then things would take a turn, I’m assuming in the effort to throw the reader off (lets be honest all authors, myself including, want to set the bar higher after a first book in a series).  Suddenly I’d find myself going, “wait, why is he being such an A-hole when in the last chapter he was trying to get her to fall in love with him again?”

And she did the same thing, Charlotte was very much the ice queen who had good reason to keep Julian at arms length. When things came to a head I went oh good yes FINALLY they are going to communicate. And then, bam, he goes off on a tantrum and lets be honest, as an author I totally got it.  As a reader I was like but whyyyyyy? Was it necessary? I’m not entirely sure. Did it make the story….different? More deep? Intense? Yes to all of the above. I just had a very hard time getting back into the story and believing that Julian really did want to make things work, the things he said, the things he did, and the things that took place between them after all of the heaviness of the past almost felt like too much.

It was superb writing.
Amazing development.
Maybe I just wasn’t in the right place because I was so shocked that certain things were being said or took place by either character. And maybe, just maybe, thats the mark of an insanely good author—I hated her, I loved her, I hated her again, and then when my toddler woke up I was like YOU SLEEP! THAT IS WHAT TWO YEAR OLDS DO! 😉

All that being said, it was an amazing story that sucked me in even when I got angry and wanted to slam my phone against the wall and or re-write something b/c it made my heart hurt too much to read the words, to see the effect they had on either character.

All in all, an incredible regency romance that is NOT your usual romance, that will most definitely have you staying up until two a.m. cursing this author as you drink an entire pot of coffee.

Well done.

 






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