Thursday, 16 January 2014

Review: The School for Brides by Cheryl Ann Smith

Series: School for Brides #1 
Author: Cheryl Ann Smith
Published: 5th April 2011

Cheryl Ann Smith debuts a sensual new series starring a beautiful spinster who rescues ladies of the night from lonely fates. But then the tables are turned as night brings a surprise she never imagined—and a proposition she can't refuse...

Miss Eva Black spent her life concealing her mother's past as a courtesan. Now a spinster, her beauty hidden away under a dour disguise, Eva spends her days schooling courtesans to be suitable wives. But one vengeful duke does not appreciate Eva stealing his mistress and transforming her into a lady. His vengeance won't be satisfied until he seduces Eva into becoming what she detests most: a courtesan.

Nicholas, the Duke of Stanfield, is furious with this woman who frees courtesans from bondage. His revenge? Upend Eva's world by buying her debts and striking a scandalous bargain: She must serve as his mistress' replacement. But he doesn't expect her to be a woman of such beauty and secrets—or to have a past that not only endangers Eva herself, but everyone whose life she has so intimately touched.

This was the 2nd book where drama-llama had an important role, they were even one after the other. When reading historicals there is the expectation of suspending disbelief, but with this book… let’s just say that my suspending wasn’t enough.

After reading the title you start asking yourself what this could be about: young debutants maybe? Well, it couldn’t be more beside the truth. The story is about a spinster daughter of one of the most renowned courtesans teaching them about how to become respectable ladies so they can marry, she even presents them with suitors. She is a match-maker who gives deportment lessons(I know, right?). One of the ladies was the mistress of our hero, and he, feeling cheated, comes looking for her. You can’t imagine his surprise when he finds out what happened. He is a duke who doesn’t know the meaning of the word no so he blackmails our virginal heroine into taking the place of now-married ex-mistress.

The book could have been a great romantic comedy, unfortunately there were some overdone parts. Eva, our heroine, protest too much and then from one minute to the next becomes a whole new person. The scene that portraits this the best is where she(she even had multiple clothing layers and chemises) goes to his townhouse and insults him and tries to be as obnoxious as possible to make him change his mind; the moment when he kisses her(yes, in the middle of arguing) she becomes a new person, she almost strips herself and throws herself into his bed(she doesn’t, but there wasn’t much more till that).

Besides the undecided heroine, we have the asshole hero. Everyone knows I like an asshole that changes, or not, but I like the type who puts the heroine first and listens to her, not the type that’s charming with everyone else and is a heel to the heroine and wants her only for sex. Our Nicholas was in the 2nd category. Case in point: there was a part where Eva came to him for help and he couldn’t even bother to pay attention to her, he just imagined fucking her on every available surface!

The writing was good, I liked how the author set the scenes and her character descriptions, I just didn’t like the main characters :D The secondary ones were better…  I would have rated it higher if there wasn’t such a big lack of communication. Everyone had a hidden motive in this book! I felt most of those were there just to add more drama.    

In the end it was ok, but not one book that I will ever re-read.


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