Friday, September 21, 2012

HR Review: When You Wish Upon a Duke by Isabella Bradford

When You Wish Upon a Duke (Wylder Sisters, #1)

When You Wish Upon a Duke 
by Isabella Bradford
Book #1 in the Wylder Sisters series
Historical Romance

In a sparkling new series filled with irresistible charm and sizzling romance, award-winning author Isabella Bradford introduces us to the eldest of three Wylder sisters—unruly country girls whose passion for life leaves their London suitors breathless.

Raised in the Dorset countryside, Lady Charlotte Wylder doesn’t care one bit about well-bred decorum. The dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty would rather ride a horse than attend a stuffy ball. So when Charlotte learns that she is to leave immediately for London to wed the Duke of Marchbourne, a perfect model of aristocratic propriety, she is less than enchanted with her arranged marriage.

But to her delight, their first encounters are brazenly flirtatious, and their wedding night burns with passion. March’s broad shoulders and dark countenance make Charlotte want to rip every button off his waistcoast. She may even be falling in love with her new husband. Yet whenever their desire boils over, March reluctantly pushes Charlotte away. Will past secrets and present misunderstandings mire their marriage in scandal, or serve to strengthen a bond that is destined to last a lifetime?


Lady Charlotte Wylder learns she is betrothed to the Duke of Marchbourne the day before she has to leave for London to prepare for her wedding. She's been raised in the Dorset countryside and is less than thrilled at the prospect of leaving her carefree lifestyle for the trappings of London society, not to mention a prospective husband she's never met. Lord Marchbourne, or March as he's called, is a bit anxious himself to see this young woman he's set to marry and orchestrates a chance encounter to get a glimpse. This first meeting sets off an attraction that brings delight and consternation to them both.

This is the first book in the Wylder Sisters series and it doesn't suffer the foundation-laying pains you might normally encounter. The complete focus is on Charlotte and March and their developing relationship. It was refreshing to find they really liked each other at the onset and the attraction was passionate. Charlotte was delightful, even if she seemed more mature than you would have expected of an 18-year old, and was a perfect foil to March's staid and somber personality. The ensuing conflict was interesting without being too contrived and the advice given to the couple from those close to them made it that much more intriguing. The secondary characters were well developed and added just the right amount of flavor to the story.

I loved Charlotte and March and their romance. The writing is extraordinary and entrenched in the history of that era, from the fashion to the venacular and to the societal norms. This is my first time reading this author and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series and any other books in the works.

(I received an ARC from NetGalley)


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