Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Bridal Season by Connie Brockway

My first Brockway title but definitely not my last. I had Bridal Favors on my TBR list (based on a blurb I saw somewhere I think). It was entirely by accident that I picked up The Bridal Season at my local UBS. Close one. Had I not stumbled on this one, I would have read the series out of order and planets would have realigned.

With the dazzling storytelling that has become her trademark, the author of the acclaimed McClairen’s Isle trilogy sweeps you back to Victorian England ... to a glittering world of titled society and scandalous secrets ... in the enchanting story of a woman who lives by her wits — and who commits the most startling indiscretion of all: She falls in love....

Letty Potts has gotten into a few fixes in her twenty-five years, but this is her worst predicament yet. A petty schemer by necessity, the struggling music hall performer has decided to go straight.

But after narrowly escaping the wrath of her partner in crime, she finds herself at Paddington Station with nothing but the gown she’s wearing ... and another woman’s train ticket clutched in her hand.

Now masquerading as the redoubtable “Lady Agatha,” of Whyte Wedding Celebrations, Letty arrives in the backwater burg of Little Bidewell, where she is to arrange the nuptials of a young society bride.

Amid the dizzying whirl of pre-wedding festivities, nobody suspects Letty’s secret ... except the sensual and aristocratic Sir Elliot March.

A war hero who has forsworn love, Elliot senses something decidedly amiss about this outspoken young woman. Yet she awakens a passionate yearning he’d thought was lost to him forever.

Soon a desperate masquerade embroils them both in a web of scandal and danger as Letty’s past catches up with her — threatening their lives ... and a love without peer.

I loved this book. Letty was a refreshing departure from the well-born ladies found in most historical romance. In both thought and dialogue, Brockway allows Letty’s color to bleed through the constant charade. She is absolutely hilarious, always keeping the genteel around her off kilter. It helps that her charade occurs amidst the more backward, podunk variety of England’s gentry. To these people, her slip-ups appear nothing more than eccentricity. Their collective naiveté is almost as entertaining as her smart mouth.

There are exceptions of course. The older folks play the dumb like a fox roles and their feigned ignorance is both sweet and funny. Then there is Elliot, the local magistrate. He is immediately suspicious. When his cursory investigation of her yields nothing, he relaxes enough to fall hopelessly in love with her. As love is blind, I had little problem with the fact that Brockway does not clue him in until Letty herself confesses her sins. And on that, I can’t say enough about how much I loved the way Brockway concluded this story. Letty’s confession and subsequent trial. So well done. And her refusal of Elliot’s proposal. Fitting. The end of the book? So worth it.

The pace of The Bridal Season is much more relaxed than the blurb suggests. Brockway devotes much of the story to its characters and romance. The element of danger presents itself very near the end and serves to bring about the HEA, instead of prolonging it beyond toleration. This is what won me over completely.

And again, the ending is fabulous. So, so worth it.


  1. I loved this one too! Brockway's sense of humor just works for me. Bridal Favors is very good too (and FYI they're not really very related series-wise, so the planets probably would have remained in position had you read them out of order! *g*)

  2. Thanks Jennie! What about her first series? The McClairen's series? Start to finish on those? Or do they stand alone?

  3. I haven't read the McClairen's series yet, though I have the first one TBR. I'm actually also someone who is rather picky about reading series in order. (I think most romance readers are!)

  4. Thanks Jennie! I'm planning on reading this series as well. In order too. *g*

  5. I have one of her books in my TBR. I forget the name of it though.
    I'll get to it one of these days.

  6. I'm really glad I found her Chantal. When I'm in the mood for a good historical, I have few authors I can count on to deliver. With Brockway, I've just added one more.


Have you read it? What do you think?

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