Bestselling author Valerie Bowman sets the stage in Regency England for her Playful Brides series, where couples' misadventures on the way to the altar are witty, romantic romps based on some of the world's most beloved plays. The sixth charming entry, The Legendary Lord, is inspired by George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.
THE MAKING OF A LEGEND…
When Christian Forester, Viscount Berkeley, flees the stuffy ballrooms of London for his Scottish hunting lodge, the last thing he expects to find ensconced before his fire is an incredibly beautiful woman. But the plight of lovely young Sarah Highgate, who has run away from an unwanted betrothal, inspires an eminently practical exchange. He’ll safeguard her reputation with the ton while she advises him how to best attract a proper bride…
As the undisputed belle of the season, Sarah has enchanted plenty of suitors. Still, she isn’t interested in marriage, especially not to the pompous bore her father has chosen for her. But her hasty escape seems reckless now that she’s estranged from her family and has no one to count on besides Christian. Turning the lucklesslord into such a catch has another unplanned consequence for Sarah: Has he run away with her heart?
The Legendary Lord is the sixth installment of Valerie Bowman's Regency-set Playful Brides series.
Bowman's sixth 19th-century Playful Brides tale (after The Untamed Earl) is a sweet and fulfilling snowbound romance. Lady Sarah Highgate has run away from London and the betrothal her father has secured for her, only to land in the part of the Scottish Highlands. After she and her governess lose their way, they wind up at the cabin of Christian Forester, Viscount Berkeley. When Sarah and Christian are snowed in together with no chaperone, she agrees to help him find a wife as he tries to concoct a plausible tale about her disappearance from London. Neither counts on their mutual attraction, which continues to grow when they return to London even though Sarah is still engaged to a man she dislikes. Enjoyable characters from earlier installments fill the pages as they try to figure out how to unite Sarah and Christian. The relationship begins as a friendship, and readers will love watching it develop into intense attraction and love.
Sweet, wonderfully developed and clever
Sarah Highgate is all things desired in a regency-era daughter, but one: she has no interest in marrying the one man her father deems worthy. She’s always demurred to his wishes in her desire to please, but can’t stomach the thought of marrying this man. To that end, she runs away, intending to hide in her father’s hunting lodge until he agrees to her wishes.
Christian, Viscount Berkley, has been unlucky in his determination to find a wife. Introverted and lacking in confidence, he’s not enjoyed his time in London, and wishes to retreat and regroup. Heading for his hunting lodge in the highlands, he’s certain he can reformulate a plan. But everything turns topsy turvy when he discovers his lodge has an occupant, one that has mistaken it for her father’s property.
These two are so sweet! Sarah is possessed of the knowledge and charms that scare Christian so, and he wishes no harm to come to her. Unfortunately, while she is safe in his care, her reputation will be unalterably damaged if they are discovered. He cannot, however, return her safely home as a storm has broken, and they are locked in place.
Sarah is everything that Christian needs: patient, kind, intelligent and generous. She’s not overawed by his title, nor dismissive of his reserve. He’s able to ask for her help, as his logic dictates, ignoring her obvious charms and beauty as ‘above him’, not to mention her betrothal (however undesired) to a Marquis. This is a slow and gradual courtship, one that opens Sarah’s eyes to the potential of a marriage with love, and Christian’s to the possibility that the right woman needs for him to stand and speak for her, no matter his own fears.
Sweet, wonderfully developed and clever: the story mixes the gradual revelations of a relationship to the couple, while showing them both how to speak for, and stand for what they truly want. A wonderful installment in the series, sure to bring a smile.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Ms. Bowman never disappoints!!!! Wonderful story. Buy it now and don't put it down!!