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4.0 out of 5 stars
A Convenient Bride (A School For Brides Romance)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 19, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed The Wife He Always Wanted (A School For Brides Romance) and decided to go back and look at previous books in the series. I'm not a fan of 'courtesan' stories so most of the books didn't sound like my thing but I did buy this one.

I was irritated by the h, who single-mindedly pursued the poor H. I think I was in favour of him getting away actually, until he slept with the h. He did the right thing by marrying her but then let her leave him. I hate this type of story line. When she discovered she was pregnant, she foists herself upon him and he has to acknowledge her. Honestly it was all a bit much. I do like my H's to pursue their h's and this one was a bit of a struggle.
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on June 16, 2014
Very good read, more of a mystery than I preferred but lovely twists and turns to keep me reading without stop!
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on January 19, 2013
The interaction between the heroine and hero was fun. I enjoy a happy ending book. Will read all of the books this author will write..
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on March 24, 2013
"A Convenient Bride" by Cheryl Ann Smith is one novel in the School for Brides Romance Series. I have also read "the Scarlet Bride". I thought this book was really very good and held my interest throughout. It was a fast read, maybe because I wanted to see how the end came out, so I stepped up the pace a bit.

Lord Richard Ellerby is in search of his sister Anne and Brenna Harrington is desperate to find a husband before her father and brother make her marry a man of their choosing and not hers. Lord Richard and Brenna's father are friends from way back. Richard stopped Brenna's coach, looking for Anne. This gives Brenna a great idea. She asks Richard to compromise her so that he has to marry her and she can escape the plans her father has for her. This would be so simple, if not for the fact that Brenna doesn't take "no" for an answer. That and the murders of young women in the area make for a very interesting story.

I would recommend this book. I enjoyed reading it very much and found it hard to put down. I received a free print copy of this book in return for my honest review from the publisher, Penguin Books and Night Owl Reviews. The opinions expressed here are my own.
You can read this review on my blog at [...], and on GoodReads.com at [...].
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Every once in a while I want to read a Regency romance so I went trolling through the Kindle offerings and found this novel from Cheryl Ann Smith, an author I have never read before. It seems that this is book four in a series called A School for Brides. That sounded interesting so I bought the book and began to read. First, the school for brides is actually a kind of half-way house for courtesans who don't want to live that lifestyle any longer but who need some help with their re-entry into society. So, as I gathered from this novel, a specific number of them are accepted by a non ex-courtesan to live together in a house in Cheapside, London to learn how to behave themselves well enough to meet eligible men wanting wives. After a certain amount of time there is a party where the women are matched up with the men, everybody vacates the house to move into their own permanent digs, and a new group of courtesans moves in. Implausible, probably, but I've read worse ideas in Regency novels before so I took a chance on this series. In case you are interested, the books are #1) The School for Brides, #2) The Accidental Courtesan (A School For Brides Romance), #3) The Scarlet Bride (School for Brides, No 3) (A School For Brides Romance), #4) A Convenient Bride (A School For Brides Romance), and releasing later in 2013, #5) The Wife He Always Wanted (A School For Brides Romance).

Lady Brenna Harrington is a willful, determined, feminist style of heroine who has been told by her father that it is time for her to marry. He has just the man in mind for her, but Brenna can't stand the thought of him so she sets out to get herself compromised so she will be unacceptable as a society bride. Lady Brenna is VERY young. Say, how about this good looking highwayman who has just stopped her coach? After he refuses to compromise her because he's not really a highwayman, just a friend of her father's on a search for his missing wayward sister Brenna still has a problem. Father Dear sends her to the school for courtesans for a week to find out how fortunate she is in the life she leads. Really? Now that's some tough love from a parent. Halfway through her week Brenna escapes and chases after Lord Richard Ellerby, the Viscount Ashwood as he continues on his way to Gretna Green trying to find that pesky sister of his. Brenna finds him, nature takes its course, and Brenna and Richard end up having to get married when they reach Scotland. He is, after all, an honorable man. Both decide the marriage was a horrible mistake, Brenna returns to London to find somebody else to marry so she can get an annulment, Richard returns to Beckwith Hall and all is sort of well until..............

The book really did have some interesting reading times interspersed with some I-want-to-pull-my-hair-out times. Richard thinks of Brenna as troublesome, stubborn and outspoken; he views these as negative traits. She thinks they are all positive traits because they show her as a free thinking, independent woman. He is long suffering because of a dark tragedy in his past, she can just be a twit. Once Brenna makes her way to Beckwith Hall she and Richard can proceed through the courtship rituals most couples participate in before marriage but with the advantage of allowing themselves (or withholding from themselves) the delights of sex. A bargaining chip, so to speak, used by Brenna who is almost always the instigator of the physical side of their marriage. In the middle of all this we find two unmarried women ensconced at Beckwith Hall with designs on marriage to the Viscount because they didn't know he was secretly married to Brenna and suddenly there comes the additional plot of a serial killer on the loose. Whew, it all got to be a bit much at times. Brenna is an extremely contradictory character. Many times she admits to herself that her mother or father would never have forced her to marry the unwanted old suitor, yet she goes to such unusual extremes to make sure she doesn't have to marry him. She was also sweet and naive and completely disingenuous, so her character is all over the place. Almost as if the author couldn't quite decide what Brenna would be like on any given day.

The book was interesting and yet lacked depth of character for me. Not one single Ahh,yes! moment. The mix of romance and mystery added some sorely needed adventure and plot tension and yet the culprit was much too easily spotted if you are a mystery novel fan. There are sexual interludes between Brenna and Richard, but they are mostly short and rather vague in their descriptions. That is either good or bad, depending on your personal preferences. This entire School of Brides series centers around the Harrington family and I cannot say my interest was piqued by meeting central characters from previous novels. I don't expect I will continue on with the series even though I enjoyed this book on certain levels.
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on March 12, 2013
I really wanted to like this book-I enjoy regency stories and love a feisty heroine. In this aspect the story didn't disappoint. The hero- too- was a typical regency hero, all full of good intentions and fighting his attraction to the heroine. The author had evidently done heaps of regency historical research, and while I'm not an expert on this, I believe she did a fair job of creating a feel for the period. The story was an amiable romp across country, a heroine wanting/needing to find a husband before her father married her off to an intolerable bore, and a hero suffering guilt and a totally understandable emotional conflict that prevented him from committing himself to marriage. So far so damned fine.

But what let the book down and totally blasted out of the window any trust I had for the author was the obvious and regrettable lack of research about life in England in general. Sure, the book is written by an American, published by an American publisher and, I presume, targeted at American readers- but if an author is going to write about a time that occurred (rather than in the future) and a place that exists (England)- she must familiarise herself with a good understanding of the kind of things that happen there.

England does not have Fall. We have autumn. We have had autumn for a very, very long time.

There have never been wild raccoons in England. A quick google search shows that these animals are indigenous to North America. Having spent most of my life (37 years born and bred) in England this single insertion - 'There may be rats or raccoons in here' completely ruined my faith in the book.

We also don't have candy, maple syrup or otherwise- certainly we didn't in 1806 or whenever the story was set. We have sweets. Lollipops, toffees. Candy is something that came in towards the end of last century as the globe became smaller and US terminology caught on, but the vast majority of people say 'sweets.' The first time I ever saw maple syrup on the shelves of anywhere other than Harrods was around 1988. So I'm doubtful a Lord of the manor would have been handing maple syrup candy out 200 years ago.

Finally- in England we NEVER say 'gotten'. I got, I have got...never gotten.

It's a shame, because the story had the bare bones of a damn fine read if only the author could have employed liberal use of a search engine to question her usage of Americanisms.
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