WHAT THE BRIDE WORE may be purchased here.
WHAT THE BRIDE WORE
Grant Benton, the Earl of Crowle, has been working in trade, in order to restore the lands, which his father lost. Because he is responsible for some of the problems his family faces, Grant has no contact with his family, while he works to restore the family fortunes. Grant calls himself Mr. Grant and takes on the persona of a tradesman. Grant meets Lady Irene Knopp, buyer for a dress shop, when he makes the last transaction for his needed money. Unfortunately, Grant learns, because of the many improvements that have been made to the land, he can't afford it. Disappointed, Grant decides to return to his aristocratic life and he meets Irene, whom he can't stop thinking about. When Grant and Irene are attacked, Grant makes it his purpose to investigate the attack and protect Irene.
WHAT THE BRIDE WORE is a very entertaining historical romance with wonderfully eccentric characters and a nice mystery. Ms. Lee has a way with words, and I found myself enthralled from the very beginning. Grant is not the ordinary hero, but this reader couldn't help rooting for him. Grant has been fighting the voice in his head, which he calls his "madness" for a very long time and has worked himself to the bone for five long years, only to have the rug pulled out from under him. Luckily, Grant finds a new purpose in helping Irene, which helps keep him from his former dissolute ways. Grant isn't a perfect hero, but his foibles make him all the more lovable. Irene is a widow, who fell into a decline when her husband died. It is only after she is offered the position as purchaser, that she snaps out of her stupor. Irene is hesitant about giving her heart, and she refuses to stop working, because it gives her a sense of purpose. Irene doubts, that Grant and she can be married, because of societal expectations. There are some great secondary characters, as well. I particularly liked Mr. Morrison, a Bow Street Runner, who is a brilliant detective, but whose social graces could use some work.
All in all, WHAT THE BRIDE WORE is a keeper for me, which I highly recommend. I will be reading Ms. Lee's backlist and looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
NOTE: I received this book in return for an impartial review.