Title: The Autumn Bride
Series: Chance Sisters, Book 1
Author: Anne Gracie
Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality Rating: Mild
Source: review copy from publisher via NetGalley
Published: February 5, 2013 by Berkley Sensation
Governess Abigail Chantry will do anything to save her sister and two dearest friends from destitution, even if it means breaking into an empty mansion in the hope of finding something to sell. Instead of treasures, though, she finds the owner, Lady Beatrice Davenham, bedridden and neglected. Appalled, Abby rousts Lady Beatrice's predatory servants and—with Lady Beatrice's eager cooperation—the four young ladies become her “nieces,” neatly eliminating the threat of disaster for all concerned!
It's the perfect situation, until Lady Beatrice’s dashing and arrogant nephew, Max, Lord Davenham, returns from the Orient—and discovers an impostor running his household…
A romantic entanglement was never the plan for these stubborn, passionate opponents—but falling in love may be as inevitable as the falling of autumn leaves...
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Great characters and light-hearted plot with a PG romance that didn’t have the intensity I like.
The Set Up: Governess Abby will do anything to save her sister and friends from destitution, including sneaking into a rich house to steal. Little does she expect to meet Lady Bea, a firecracker old woman being abused by her staff. Abby liberates Lady Bea who in turn rescues Abby and her friends. But neither expects Lady Bea’s nephew Max returning to England and trying to separate them. Max is paying the price to save Lady Bea from financial ruin and it includes betrothal but he can’t resist the charming Abby.
Why I Read this Book: Loved the synopsis.
What I Liked: I simply adored these characters. Abby is the caretaker of the group but her beautiful sister Jane and her two friends, Daisy, a Cockney maid, and Damaris, a destitute missionary’s daughter, are fun too. They have a stellar bond together to form their own family as they support and love each other. Lady Bea is salty, pushy and pure fun too. She uses her age to say whatever she likes. I loved the scene where Bea is making up a story how the girls are related to her because it showcases her delightful character. Abby also rescues a (gay IMO) couple, Featherby and William, to help run Lady Bea’s house and this ragtag group becomes their own family and I loved this.
What I Also Liked: This is a light and fun book. Sure, Lady Bea’s servants neglect and abuse her but Abby fixes it, just as she fixes her sister’s situation. The plot revolves around who is trying to hurt Abby and her sister but it’s more the backdrop of the story and doesn’t intrude upon the social dynamics of the hodgepodge family or Abby and Max’s gentle romance. This story has lots of humor and a light heart-heated atmosphere of Lady Bea and Abby creating a family of many different people.
What I Didn’t Like: Max and Abby’s romance isn’t intense in any way, not emotionally or sexually. They’re fairly uncomplicated people who just need to reach a little bit to make a relationship work. They don’t have a lot of emotional conversations and their physical relationship is limited to two kisses until the final pages when they have glorious, euphemistic lovemaking. I suppose this fits with the gentle, meandering tone of the book but I like my romance to be way more intense than this one.
IMO: This romance won’t wow readers but the characters are interesting enough that I may read future installments in the series and think other historical fans may too.