January 29, 2018

Review: The Bittersweet Bride by Vanessa Riley

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: The Bittersweet Bride by Vanessa RileyThe Bittersweet Bride by Vanessa Riley
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC on January 29th 2018
Genres: African American, Fiction, Historical, Multicultural & Interracial, Regency, Romance
Pages: 200
Format: eARC
Widow Theodosia Cecil needs a husband to help protect her son. The former flower seller turned estate owner posts an ad in the newspaper, and no one is more surprised than she when her first love, the man she thought dead, reappears. Ewan Fitzwilliam has been at war for six years. Now, the second son of a powerful earl is back but his beloved Theo needs a husband and will not consider him. She believes Ewan left her—in desperate straits—so she denies the feelings she still harbors for the handsome, scarred soldier. Theo and playwright Ewan must overcome bitter lies and vengeful actions that ruined their youthful affair. Theo must reveal her deepest secret in order to reclaim the love that has long been denied.

The Bittersweet Bride is an apt title for this new historical romance by Vanessa Riley set in London that follows widow Theodosia Cecil and her one time love, Ewan Fitzwilliam.

Theo is recently widowed and needs a husband to not only protect her son but her fortune. She places an ad in the paper in hopes of finding a worthy candidate. Imagine her surprise when she walks out of a store after gathering her latest correspondence from potential husbands and sees her presumed dead lover, Ewan.

Theo and Ewan were together six years prior to the events in this book. Ewan thought Theo to be a golddigger after listening to his vengeful father. Theo thought he was dead and is shocked to see him after all these years.

These two obviously had a lot of love for each other despite all the lies and past hurt they both endured. They were very stubborn though and admittedly, I wasn’t very fond of Ewan. He constantly put Theo down and never seemed to be able to fully forgive her. Many times throughout the book, I wanted to scream at him: “Either you forgive her or you don’t, make up your mind!”

Theo was definitely the shining star in this novel and showed herself to be a strong and capable woman regardless of prior circumstances, hence why I thought the title was so fitting.

This was my first read by Vanessa Riley and I enjoyed her writing style and was interested in the plot with these solid characters. However, I thought it was a rather slow build up and became quite repetitive in the beginning.  It wasn’t until I got about halfway through the book that I felt the storyline really start to move.


Overall, The Bittersweet Bride was an engaging novel with characters you either love or love to hate.

About Vanessa Riley

Vanessa Riley worked as an engineer before allowing her passion for historical romance to shine. A Regency era (early 1800s) and Jane Austen enthusiast, she brings the flavor of diverse peoples to her stories. Since she was seventeen, Vanessa has won awards for her writing and is currently working on two series. She lives in Atlanta with her military man hubby and precocious child. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

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Natalya Muncuff

Natalya Muncuff

Natalya is an Account Manager by day and writer by night. When she is not adding to her enormous book collection or stationery supply, she is somehow keeping track of 55 television shows. You can follow her rantings and occasional sparks of brilliance on Twitter @NatalyaMuncuff.
Natalya Muncuff

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