Tuesday 6 September 2022

Book Review: The Bachelor and the Bride by Sarah M. Eden

The Bachelor and the Bride by Sarah M. Eden book cover

AD* | London, 1866

Dr Barnabus Milligan has always felt called to help people, whether that means setting a broken bone or rescuing the impoverished women of London from their desperate lives on the streets as part of his work with the Dread Penny Society. Three years ago, he helped rescue Gemma Kincaid by secretly marrying her to protect her from her family of notorious grave robbers.

But six months after Gemma and Barnabus exchanged vows, she realized her love for her new husband was unrequited. To protect her heart, she left, telling Barnabus to contact her if his feelings for her ever grew beyond a sense of duty.

When Barnabus sends a letter to Gemma inviting her to return home, she hopes to find a true connection between them. But unfortunately, he only wants her help to foil the Kincaids, who have been terrorizing the boroughs of London, eager to gain both money and power. Heartbroken, Gemma agrees to help, but she warns Barnabus that she will not stay for long, and once she goes, he'll never see her again.

Yet as the couple follows the clues that seem to connect the Kincaids to the Mastiff, the leader of London's criminal network, Gemma and Barnabus realize they might make a better match than either of them suspected. Perhaps the marriage that had once saved Gemma's life might now save Barnabus—and his lonely heart.

But before the once-confirmed bachelor can properly court his secret bride, they'll need to evade the dangerous forces that are drawing ever closer to the hopeful lovers and the entire Dread Penny Society itself. 

The Bachelor and the Bride is a historical romance novel, set in London during the 1800s. It is the fourth book in a series and I do feel it would have been beneficial to have previously read the first three books prior to reading this one. Many characters and events are not well explained in the first part of the book, leaving the reader scrabbling for an explanation rather than being left to fully enjoy the story.

However, once you are familiarised with everything, the story does pick up and things become more interesting. The setting and dialogue are both perfect for the historical period, really drawing you into the story and immersing you in the characters' world.

The love story is between Dr Barnabus Milligan and his wife Gemma Kincaid Milligan. Barnabus and Gemma were first married as a means to help Gemma escape her family, rather than out of love. Throughout the course of the story, the two are drawn together and eventually, must confront the growing feelings they have for one another.

The romance is not central to the plot of this book, but it does play a key part in adding some much-needed lightness to balance the main plotline of murder, grave-robbers, and all the horrors of London's underbelly during that time.

Overall, this is a good book and I'd certainly be interested to read the next in the series in future!

Rating: 3 stars

The Bachelor and the Bride is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know if you're a fan of the series so far!

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