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The Spring Bride (A Chance Sisters Romance) Mass Market Paperback – June 2, 2015
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“An enchanting spin on Regency tropes with the romance of pragmatic Jane Chance and dashing, disguised gentleman Zachary Black.”—Publishers Weekly
“Anne Gracie channels Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and fairy tales, most obviously Cinderella...and the result is an enchanting story in which the hero and heroine save one another...I ended the story with a lump in my throat, a smile on my face, and another Anne Gracie keeper in my hand.”—Heroes and Heartbreakers
“The main characters are vibrant and complex...the author's skill as a storyteller makes this well worth reading.”—Kirkus Review
Praise for Anne Gracie
“I never miss an Anne Gracie book.”—Julia Quinn, New York Times bestselling author
“For fabulous Regency flavor, witty and addictive, you can’t go past Anne Gracie.”—Stephanie Laurens, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“With her signature superbly nuanced characters, subtle sense of wit and richly emotional writing, Gracie puts her distinctive stamp on a classic Regency plot.”—Chicago Tribune
“Anne Gracie’s writing dances that thin line between always familiar and always fresh.”—New York Journal of Books
About the Author
Anne Gracie is the award-winning, national bestselling author of numerous novels including the Merridew Sisters Romance series, the Chance Sisters Romance series, and the Marriage of Convenience Romance series. She spent her childhood and youth on the move. The gypsy life taught her that humor and love are universal languages and that favorite books can take you home, wherever you are. Anne started her first novel while backpacking solo around the world, writing by hand in notebooks. Since then, her books have been translated into more than sixteen languages, and include Japanese manga editions. As well as writing, Anne promotes adult literacy, flings balls for her dog, enjoys her tangled garden, and keeps bees.
Top customer reviews
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Jane remembers little of her parents before they died because she was young, only six. She doesn’t remember their great love for each other as much as she recalls her life of poverty, fear and hunger. She and her older sister are now quite comfortable but still her earlier time of being destitute has shaped her view of what she seeks from marriage, which is a husband who can provide for her financially. Because Jane’s fears are very real, she accepts the marriage offer of a titled Lord who is rich, and dull.
Zachery Black is a titled gentleman who has walked away from England and more importantly his father and his estates. He has been a spy and is an absolutely interesting character, he is utterly charming. He meets Jane in a most unexpected way and they fall for each other from their first encounter. Oh, are they enchanted but all Jane sees is a ne’er do well and though she knows he is all wrong for her, Jane just cannot help her feelings.
Zachery rethinks his entire life plan after meeting Jane. He is enamored and finds himself wanting to be everything Jane needs. Problem is he has not been quite truthful with her. He has to go about wooing her and convincing her of his intentions.
Zachery and Jane are so wonderful together. They have lovely conversations and I always pictured them smiling when they were in each other’s presence. Theirs is a romance that is just overflowing with curiosity, affection, and sweet feelings. Jane knows she is getting way over her head with Zachery and she turns out to be much more insightful than expected. She matures and recognizes and overcomes her own fears to embrace a new life. Same for Zachery. Together these two have a lovely journey to a happily ever after.
At 16, Zachary Black had fled his home under dreadful circumstances. Even at that young age, he displayed the intelligence, honor and courage we would later see in the man. He has been a spy for England during the past eight years. Now a gypsy (Zachary) has returned to England to deliver an intelligence packet, expecting to leave England immediately. But. He learns a cousin is trying to have him pronounced dead and take Zachary's title and estate. On top of that, if Zachary is revealed to be alive, he faces a murder charge of the very woman he saved. So, our 'gypsy' is going to be a busy boy.
Stunningly beautiful, Jane was born an aristocrat but grew up an orphan in poverty. From a tender age, her beauty attracted predators. Now that she's grown, she's looking for a marriage in which she will feel safe. And she has no trust in those who admire her physical beauty. Character matters to her. And then she meets our 'gypsy'.
The story moved along at a lovely pace. The plot was interesting without a slew of rabbit trails that frequently drive me crazy.
It was purely by accident that I read this novel last and I'm so glad I did. It's, by far, the best and a joy to read.
Enjoy your reading! :)
A few plot issues:
The story felt like chapters were missing because it leapt around so much. For instance, Jane becomes betrothed but then there isn't a single mention of her fiancé for several chapters, as if all of the chapters with the fiancé were deleted. Then she builds up to her first ball, but the whole ordeal, is only vaguely mentioned.
There's too much unnecessary and repetitive narrative. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love internal narrative and find it essential to character development, but this book does not have good internal narrative. What's interesting is one of my chief criticisms with the first two books is that there wasn't enough internal narrative to get to know the characters, so when internal narrative appeared in this book, I couldn't help but chuckle, because it was as if the author was trying to do what she lacked in the first two books, but failed at it this time around. For instance, there’s entire chapters of characters lying awake at night punching pillows and dreaming of each other for pages and pages and page.. and more pillow punching. The narrative was repetitive in each of these narratives without developing characters or plot. A nice summary of the multiple pages of internal narrative would be: I want him. Pillow punch. I don't want him. Pillow punch. But I want him. Pillow punch. No I don't. Pillow punch.
The murder mystery plot had a promising start but was brushed off even within the first presentation of it. The whole synopsis is built around the hero being wanted for murder, yet it was no big deal from the get go. It doesn’t even come up again until the last chapter or two. This should have been a much stronger element of the book, otherwise the synopsis feels like false advertising.
The family reunion felt botched. There’s no rationalization of why Jane suddenly wants family, and all of the issues are swept under the rug with tea and biscuits. I definitely didn’t buy the grandmother’s story, especially when she showed no compassion and seemed to be more interest to associate with the girls after their advantageous marriage. I realize we are meant to find it a heart warming reunion with a tidy explanation, but it wasn’t built believably.
I would have been fine if maybe she'd gotten to know her betrothed and realized self respect is worth more than money. I would have been fine if the hero had tried to court her. But instead she's doggedly determined to marry the other guy's money, and the hero wants her to marry him for his money. It's all just so unromantic. Her desire for safety and security can all still be made clear, but somewhere it'd be nice to actually see some romance. Jane coincidentally doesn't break off her engagement until she learns the hero is titled. It would have been a more convincing romance if she had decided before knowing his title and fortune that love and self respect was more important, so she chooses him over the betrothed only on that account. And then surprise bonus that he ends up wealthy and titled. Instead she makes it clear from start to finish she only wants wealth.
The potential villain in the story never turned out to be a villain, which was another plot point brushed under the carpet with tea and biscuits.There was all of this build up to him being a possible stumbling block in the plot, but much like the fiance, he just never really appeared in the book, as if the writer forgot about those characters, deleted their characters, or got bored with writing the book so didn't bother.
A few character issues:
Jane's character has a promising set up but she doesn't quite pull it off. She comes off seeming more like an empty headed Barbie doll who can’t seem to do anything in the book but cry. The descriptions of her left much to be desired, and I'm not sure if it was laziness on the writer's part or just annoying characteristics of the heroine. For instance, there was so much mention of Jane shaking that I wondered if she had Parkinson's. She would see the hero and shake. She would see her fiancé and shake. She would read a letter and shake. She would stand in a ballroom and shake. Along similar lines, there were several inconsistencies, such as one minute she's telling him her reticule is a cosh, and then the next he's explaining to her what a cosh is because she acts like she doesn't know the word.
The hero is a real head scratcher. He knows Jane’s a fortune hunter but he pursues her anyway, never mind that she makes it clear she wants nothing to do with him to the point that she sends back his letters ripped up, but he's determined that she chooses his fortune over the other guy's fortune. He doesn't try to woo her or win her over or even court her yet rationalizes to himself that she must know he has a fortune comparable to the other guy so she can decide which fortune she wants more. Not romantic.
The fiancé doesn’t have a role in the story. We don't get to see them interact, which would have been nice--why even bring him into the story if he isn’t going to appear in it? He was very much a non-entity, which is a shame because he could have been a stronger element who helped her overcome her internal conflict.
Jane acts in boldly improper ways (which is bad enough), but then is shocked that people find her behavior improper. Throughout the book she has inner hissy fits that people could dare think her behavior improper. I’m not entire sure which was more annoying—her behavior or her assumption that her behavior wasn’t improper (when it most undoubtedly was culturally and historically improper).
While I recognize that this is part of a series, and those who have read the first two books will be familiar with the secondary characters, none of the secondary characters really do anything for the plot. They feel extraneous and end up cluttering the scene. It would have worked better just to mention them briefly as being on holiday.
A few additional issues:
The dialogue is way too modern. It read like a 21st century YA novel to be honest. Much too modern.
While the jokes were funny at first, it was the same type of jokes over and over again.
The wedding was far too Victorian, way ahead of its time historically speaking. A little more research of Regency weddings would have been useful so there aren’t elements of it that don’t yet culturally exist.
Comma splices galore.
The love scene wasn't quite as gratuitous as the one in the first book, but it was still a bit pointless by the time it arrived. Instead of shoving in a love scene after the plot has ended just for the sake of having a love scene, make it a sweet romance and be done with it. Better to have no love scene than a forced one for the sake of having one.
Most recent customer reviews
(The Chance sisters, Book #3)
Jane was going to have a season.Read more
The Spring Bride is the third installment in Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters series, and while this book can stand alone, the other books in...Read more