I received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.You May Kiss the Bride by Lisa Berne
Series: The Penhallow Dynasty #1
Published by Avon on March 28th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
In an unforgettable debut, Lisa Berne introduces you to the Penhallow Dynasty—men destined to marry, but hesitant to love.
Wealthy and arrogant, Gabriel Penhallow knows it’s time to fulfill his dynastic duty. All he must do is follow the 'Penhallow way': find a biddable bride, produce an heir and a spare, and then live separate lives. It’s worked so well for generations, certainly one kiss with the delectable Livia Stuart isn’t going to change things. Society dictates he marry her, and one chit is as good as another as long as she’s from a decent family.
But Livia’s transformation from an original to a mundane diamond of the first water makes Gabriel realize he desperately wants the woman who somehow provoked him into that kiss. And for all the ladies who’ve thrown themselves at him, it’s the one who wants to flee whom he now wants. But how will he keep this independent miss from flying away?
Gabriel Penhallow, is part of a long and noble blood line and knows that it is time to marry and have an heir. It is his responsibility and he never shirks in his responsibilities. He has been raised knowing what his future would be. His bride has already been picked out for him…Lady Cecilia. A woman of good birth and standing in society. But there is another that draws his eye, and while at a ball he finds himself embroiled in a scandal of his own making….being caught kissing this stranger out on the balcony a woman who has put him on a merry chase and the last woman he ever thought he would marry. But he always does the expected and right thing and agrees to marry her. Livia, has had to work for her own cousin, with her parents gone, she has no other means to support herself. She never imagined that she would end up the future bride of Gabriel Penhallow or enter a world she has no wish to enter. She fears losing the very core of herself in all the rank and duties of being a member of high society. Livia and Gabriel learn their way to desire and love even if there are some stumbling blocks along their path…
Gabriel Penhallow, is wealthy and arrogant. He has been raised to know his station and exceed expectations. But Gabriel isn’t all that he appears to be in many ways. He craves the freedom he once had serving in the military and traveling the world. He would rather face the French and stray bullets, than dealing with his picky grandmother and the responsibilities that he was born with. I will say that I never really truly loved Gabriel as our hero. He was a alright likable character but was way too high handed and arrogant for my liking. I really struggled with his character because of how he treats Livia in many ways. Even though he does have some redeeming qualities, I couldn’t quite love him like I wanted to.
Livia, was raised for the first part of her life in India. Her parents loved each other and detached themselves from society to be together. But then her parents died, and she had to return to England to her only remaining relatives who treated her like a servant. Livia, despite her treatment, still is good natured and patient, and resilient. I think what I really struggled with was how her character just slides during her “training” with Gabriel’s grandmother. All of her fire and personality practically dies and although it comes back it takes a while. It just didn’t really fit with the Livia we see in the beginning and later half of the story.
Plot and Story Line
You May Kiss The Bride is the debut novel of Lisa Berne through Avon. Now honestly, I was really drawn to the cover which is why I was so relieved to get an opportunity to review this for Avon. I don’t try new historical authors as much as I would like and even though this wasn’t what I was expecting I did enjoy this book for the most part, I just had a few things I struggled with especially in the first half. Now the second half really does improve the story, so I would recommend sticking with it, it proves to get better the more you read it. The first interactions between Gabriel and Livia were awkward. It felt a bit too off for the story, the angst was a bit too dramatic at times and this is where I really struggled. But for some reason I didn’t want to put it down, because even though I couldn’t stand the writing in the beginning, there was something about this couple that drew me in. I am so glad that I stuck with it because it did prove to be a wonderful story in the end and I enjoyed what evolves in the story.
Perhaps, at last, those long, lonely years could be swept away from her memory, from her spirit, like a cobweb brushed away, making space for—
For something new, something better.
Something to last a lifetime and beyond.
Love, laughter, family, home.
With Gabriel, ever and always, at the center of it all
And not just our couple here, but also the grandmother. Now the grandmother, she could be blunt and mean at times, especially in the beginning. But she was so funny to read, like really, she had me laughing so much in this book. And even though her character is pretty rigid in the beginning, she softens through the later part of the story which I loved seeing another side to her. This book though left me with a smile on my face for quite some time. And we get a lovely teaser for the hero for book two which I can’t wait to get my hands on because he was delicious and a Scot too, so yeah super thrilled to see what this new author has up for us next!!
I do love him, with all my heart and soul
What a gorgeous cover, I just LOVE the blue in this. Her dress is so so pretty, and I love the pose here, very gentle yet sexy, and the backdrop is a beautiful touch.
You May Kiss The Bride is a journey of ansty lovers that don’t know which way is up or down when it comes to love….intense, dramatic and sensual!!