Lady Charlotte’s First Love by Anna Bradley
Barbara’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Sutherland Sisters #2
Publication Date: 10/3/17
What an emotionally wrenching ride to reach a Happily Ever After! Toward the end of the first book in the series, Lady Eleanor’s Seventh Suitor, you got an inkling of the issues that permeate this book. There are multiple issues but you could discern them from the first book’s story. This book deals with the aftermath and reactions of each of the main characters. You really do need to read the first book in order to gain a full appreciation for and understanding of this story. I liked these characters in the first book but somehow couldn’t come to like or be invested in them in this one. They are broken individuals and remain that way through the majority of the book – well, maybe the whole book except for perhaps the epilogue. There is a lot of melodrama.
Recap from the first book: Charlotte Sutherland was madly, deeply, passionately in love with Julian West. They had an intimate relationship until she overheard something that made her believe that he had pursued her only because it made things easier for his cousin Cam to pursue her sister. That is true, to a point. Julian did start pursuing her for that reason, but he came to love her as much as she loved him. When she announces her engagement to another man, Julian heads off to war.
A year later Julian returns from the war, except he isn’t the same Julian who left. That Julian was joyous, happy, humorous and loved life. This Julius is hard and joyless. This Julius is Captain West.
Charlotte is leading a frenetic life in London. She is courting scandal at every turn and each thing she does is more outrageous than the last. She hates to be alone. As you read the book, you’ll find out the reasons for this.
There is a new character introduced in this book and I really liked him. His name is Devon and he is an Earl. He knew all of Charlotte’s secrets and pains and helped her deal with them – he also wanted to marry her. He will be the hero in the next book and that one looks like it will be a good one. Maybe not quite so dark and angsty.
I find this review a bit hard to write without including spoilers – which I won’t do. I have a number of concerns and questions around the book and the plot and the characters, but they all hinge on those spoilers as well. The bottom line is that I liked both of these characters in the first book and was disappointed in them in this book. I did enjoy the story but don’t pick it up looking for a lighthearted, happy read because you won’t find it here.
“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”
About the Author: Anna Bradley has been an avid reader, writer and book junkie since childhood, when she pilfered her first romance novel and stole away to her bedroom to devour it.
Before she became a writer she worked with a rare books library featuring works by British women writers from the 1600’s through the Regency period. Here she indulged in her love of stories, fondled smooth, leather-bound volumes to her heart’s content and dreamed of becoming a writer.
She writes steamy historical romance (think garters, fops and riding crops). She lives with her husband and two children in Portland, OR, where people are delightfully weird and love to read.