I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Ever since his father coldly rejected him in front of his peers, Nick has closed himself off from any semblance of love. He devotes himself to his business and stays clear from any marriage market shenanigans.
Blaming herself for not helping her dear friend Lena, Emma is determined to never marry and provide women with an opportunity to be at least somewhat self-sufficient.
Nick and Emma have danced around a friendship for years but when reputations are on the line, they find themselves forced into a situation they never wanted. Or so they thought.
Second in the Cavensham Heiresses series, The Bride Who Got Lucky stars Nick and Emma. They were introduced in the first and while the author starts us off from a situation that developed there, new readers would still have no problem starting here. You'd miss how Emma’s cousin and husband came together who are featured here but otherwise the author does a great job showing how Emma and Nick's friendship started to develop.
With a deep sigh, he lay on his back and draped an arm across his forehead. His other rested beside hers.
She dared to slide her hand over his, and he wove their fingers together. Her fear gradually receded little by little like the outgoing tide.
What I loved the most about this story was the beginning friendship that Nick and Emma shared. Right off the bat they captured me with their sensual tension that blazed from their back and forth conversations and crackling physical closeness. They danced around each other beautifully in the beginning that had me highly anticipating their journey. The resolve came much too quickly for me as their relationship started full steam ahead at around the 30% mark and fairly soon rushed to a higher sexual degree. I was settled in for a more gradual build and was a bit disappointed in how the heroine became pretty sexual and drove the focus to bedroom scenes instead of teasing tension filled hesitant touches. The bedroom scenes were well written but they became the focus for too long and took away from their friendship and the plot that brings them together.
"Sometimes, if you're lucky, a woman consumes you."
Nick was a pretty great hero, he gives Emma a book!, and the opening prologue where his father crushes their relationship provided a solid base for his contained, bury the pain personality. He had moments of sexiness and caring but also paled a bit in comparison to the deeper flushed out Emma. Emma feels deep guilt over not being there for her bestfriend when her husband was abusing her. This leads to her having a fear of marrying (an often used trope but felt real and believable here) and wanting to open a lending bank to women. Her thoughts and feelings she relays and conversations she struggles to be understood in will have you joining in with her frustration. She's a believable regency feminist who is fearful and angry about what happened to her friend and how she doesn't really have any recourse for justice or protect herself from the same fate.
While I liked all the themes and relationships happening here, there was also a bit of a disjointed feel to all the storylines. I couldn't help but feel that a feminist heroine box was being checked and the heavy sexual tone and number of sexual scenes not only disappointed me in the lack of time given to a more tension filled build-up, it also seemed to overly cover up the justice for the bestfriend thread. The heavy emotion from domestic violence and how it affected Emma and the women of the time doesn't get its due and the danger from the villain wasn't able to be fully felt because of how it is pushed to the side, in what seems to be, in favor of more sex scenes.
The writing veered at times to flowery, I would have liked more tension build-up, and the ending was a bit too pat. However, the author's ability to write great chemistry between her leads and such wonderful multifaceted relationships between family members and friends will definitely have me continuing on in the series. She has introduced a couple secondary characters that I can't wait to see how their story unfolds.
His darkness gave way to her, like the night to the day.
She had found him and brought him home.