Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Review: The Wicked Rebel by Mary Lancaster

Title: The Wicked Rebel
Series: Blackhaven Brides
Author: Mary Lancaster
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: October 18, 2017
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing

At eight-and-twenty, Lady Arabella Niven is gentle, sickly, and firmly on the shelf. Having disobliged her father by refusing her last chance of marriage, she has been sent in disgrace to Blackhaven with two domineering aunts. Her one wish is to be left alone in a quiet cottage to write books on history.

However, everything changes when she tries to rescue a naked man apparently drowning at sea. Thus begins an odd, fun friendship that quickly becomes passionate. For Captain Alban, the hero with a shady past, is rebellious and unconventional by nature.

Marriage between such a man and a duke’s daughter is inconceivable, and yet Alban’s feelings for her drive him to face his past in order to create a new future that would be unendurable without her.

Oppressive family, neglected children, fortune hunters, past loves, and old crimes all contrive to keep the pair apart. But when danger threatens Alban, it is the duke’s gentle daughter who rides to his rescue.

My rating:

Lady Arabella Niven, the youngest daughter of the Duke of Kelburn, is exiled into Blackhaven for not accepting the man her father had chosen for her. One day she's taking a boat ride alongside the shore, when she goes to the rescue of a supposedly drowning man.

Yet Captain Alban is far from drowning and the two strike a strange friendship that quickly blossoms into romance as both discover they can finally be themselves when the other is around.

But their love is star-crossed, since she's the daughter of a duke, while he's only a lowly sea captain...Or is he?

This was the best story in this series so far. The romance was solid on both parts, the supporting cast was a hoot (especially Bella's two aunts), it was lovely seeing Kate and Tris again), the suspense, though rather faint, struck the right notes.

I loved the two protagonists; Captain Alban with all his mysteries, idiosyncrasies and impeccable sense of honor and the sickly (it was all stress, mind you), quirky Arabella. I admit she started to get a little annoying in her incapability (or was it unwillingness) to stand up for herself, especially with that ass she had the misfortune to call a father and her smothering aunts, but as her true self slowly emerged, I (almost) forgot that particular character flaw.
Alban's don't-care-what-anyone-thinks-about-me attitude brought out the fighter in Bella, while her gentle nature smoothed out his harsher edges and showed him what he could have if he stopped being stubborn about it.
These two, utterly opposite characters, came together rather perfectly and created a sweet romance that brought a genuine smile on my lips. They were super cute together.

The rest of the story more-or-less paled in comparison to the two and their quest for a future together, but the tempo was spot-on with barely a lagging moment here and there, the supporting cast provided a good backdrop, the action scenes were intriguing, the humor was added at the right moments...

A very good read.


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