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Friday, September 22, 2017

Review: The Reunion by Sara Portman


Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Kensington Press (September 26, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: An inconvenient engagement turns a marriage of convenience into so much more in this sparkling new series from award-winning author Sara Portman . . .

Lady Emmaline Shaw’s reputation was irreparably damaged when her fiancé, John Brantwood, disappeared immediately after their engagement four years ago. Since then, she’s grown from a shy, uncertain girl to a woman who knows her own mind. And what she knows is that London society holds nothing for her.

Rumor has it that John ran off to war and died in battle. Now, as the new Duke of Worley, his shocking resurrection throws the ton into a tizzy and makes him one of England’s most sought after bachelors—except that he’s already engaged.

John needs a wife capable of smoothing his beloved sister’s introduction into society. But though Emma happily grants him his freedom, her fiery beauty and resilient spirit hold him captive. In fact, John has no intention of letting her go. Her fate is now in his hands, but will her heart be safe there as well?



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I had such high hopes for this story, and to be honest, they story itself wasn't entirely lacking. It was the characters and certain plot points that missed the mark. 

One of the things that was hardest to get through were the seemingly one-dimensional characters. We have John, our Hero who runs off to save his mother and sister leaving no thought to how his actions would be perceived by the ton, nor how they would hurt his betrothed (even if she wasn't what he intended at the time). He is, quite plainly, the stereotypical Hero of these novels, he "sacrifices" himself for his family, going so far as to take a wife he doesn't even know in order to "pave the way" for his sister. Oh, and he's got some series "daddy" issues too. The kind that take a whole book to resolve, when frankly, anyone with half a brain could see they were just ridiculous. 

Next we have Emma, his reluctant wife. Poor Emma is adamant that she will not marry John. Not after the way he spoke to her on their one meeting four years ago, not after the way he waltzed back into her life and began trying to manage her with high-handed tactics. Until, of course, she finds there is something it it for her. Originally, I admired her backbone. The way she stood up to John, and the way she held her head high when around some of the most notorious gossips. Somewhere along the way, we lose that Emma. She becomes a shadow of her former self, mooning over her husband and lamenting that he's not around. Thankfully, she does re-appear near the end of the story, but by then it was a little too late. 

Then we move on to our secondary characters, his sister Charlotte, who acts like a petulant child, refusing to even consider all that her brother has done for her. Instead she purposely misses appointments, lashes out at her brother and is downright rude to Emma. To be honest, you couldn't have paid me to deal with a shrew like her. 

Finally, the whole arc with John's friend Hugh. The abhorrent way he behaved should never be used as an excuse for being infatuated with someone. That is what you would expect from children who didn't know any better, but certainly not from adults of marrying age. 

It isn't all bad however, the author does seem to have a competent style when writing things out, allowing the reader to visualize the places they visit. And there are times (such as the fair to name just one) that they story moves along with purpose and without any of the overused plot points so often found in historical novels of late. I do think the ending, while a bit predictable in some aspects, did tie the story together nicely.

Overall, I am sure this story will still appeal to those who enjoy a decently written historical romance novel. I would give this author another chance. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                  The Reunion is available from Amazon.com


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