To Bed the Bride by Karen Ranney

To Bed the Bride (All for Love, #3)To Bed the Bride by Karen Ranney

Tracy’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: All for Love #3

Release Date: November 26, 2019

Be warned, the ending of this review might be spoilerish!

Eleanor Craig inherited the Hearthmere Estate and world famous stables in Scotland when she was only 11, her father’s will states that she is to live on the estate and grants an allowance to her uncle if he agrees to move to the estate until she reaches her majority. Eleanor loves the estate and longs to carry on her father’s legacy, but when her uncle dies the year before her 18th birthday, her aunt moves her two children Daphne and Jeremy along with Eleanor to London, where she quickly marries, Mr. Hamilton Richards, a very rich man. Her aunt makes a deal with Eleanor’s solicitor, instead of living in Scotland, Eleanor will spend one month a year at the estate and live with her Aunt Deborah and her family. Eleanor would rather be in Scotland, but family was very important to her father, so she goes along with her aunt’s wishes.

Finally her visit to Scotland arrives, but this year, she will only have 2 weeks, she is recently engaged to Michael Herridge, the Earl of Westcott and he demands she cut her visit short. Eleanor isn’t sure why Michael chose her, but her family is ecstatic and for the first time since she began living with them, she feels loved and important. She hopes that Michael will want to live part of the year in Hearthmere, but doesn’t count on it and therefore is determined to make this visit memorable. And memorable it will be, she is out riding when her horse is surrounded by sheep and she has words with the “shepherd”– the very handsome and arrogant shepherd. The next day she is awoken with news of a gift – the shepherd has given her a puppy. Determined to return the dog, she tries to find him and when she does a few days later, returns the puppy, who she named Bruce. She has tea with him and learns his name is Logan McKnight and he is not a shepherd. She ends up enjoying her time with him and when she leaves, he gives her a sweet, chaste kiss. But duty calls Logan back to London and he leaves Bruce with her once more, he also gives her his London address and asks her to write with news of the puppy. She sees his carriage departing and wonders who it is, she is shocked to learn Bruce is back and that despite planning on writing to Logan and putting him in his place, she is not unhappy about this turn of events.

She returns to London with Bruce, her fiancé is not happy about it and makes her keep the dog out of his sight. She is beginning to have doubts about marrying Michael, but will not upset her family, but that doesn’t stop her from thinking about Logan. She thinks of him so much that when she sees him at a political dinner hosted by her step-uncle Hamilton, she thinks she is imagining him. But he is very real and clearly upset to see her. Logan is an up and coming MP in the Commons and is attending the dinner thinking that Hamilton might be a campaign supporter, he is shocked to see Eleanor, who he hasn’t stopped thing of since he left and upset that she is engaged to Michael, who he dislikes immensely. He keeps the fact that they have met secret, but when he departs (after pissing off Hamilton and Michael) he arranges to see Eleanor later.

They meet the next day in the park and their friendship grows by leaps and bounds, at the same time, her relationship with Michael begins to turn ugly. Logan knows that seeing her each day is only drawing out the enviable heartache and tells her he can’t see her anymore. She agrees, but is heartbroken. Weeks pass and when Michael demands she get rid of Bruce, she writes to Logan and begs for help, which he offers without pause. But he tells her, he can’t see her, she tempts him into dishonor. She tries to abide by his wishes, but when things turn ugly with Michael, she breaks her vow and goes to Logan. But misunderstanding and unspoken words will tear them apart and may well keep them apart forever.

(Warning this might be spoilerish)

I thought this was a good story, I can’t give it 5 stars because in my mind Eleanor cheats on her fiancé, I just can’t like that, regardless of her feelings or intentions, she didn’t break with Michael before she started a physical relationship with Logan and cheating is cheating. Otherwise, I loved the story, I loved the slow progression of their relationship, the secondary characters (esp. his housekeeper Mrs. Campbell) were great, her family and fiancé were cringe-worthy villains whose treatment of her actually shocked me, Bruce was adorable and I thought the ending was great – I personally would have liked an epilogue or at least one more chapter since the end did seem a little to abrupt. But overall, it was a good story and even with the “sort of” cheating, I would recommend this book. It is the third book in the series, but they are all standalone titles and can be read in any order.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher.*

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Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

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