Welcome to red wine and books! Where an avid lover of all genres shares with you her opinion on some of the best (and not so great) stories she reads.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Review: Lady Charlotte's First Love (The Sutherland Sisters #2) by Anna Bradley


Print Length: 250 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Press (October 3, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: From spirited young woman to reckless widow, the beautiful Marchioness of Hadley remains a force to be reckoned with. But beneath her antics lies a broken heart . . .

Since her husband’s tragic death, Lady Charlotte Hadley has embarked on a path of careless behavior and dangerous hi-jinks from which no one can divert her . . . until suddenly, her first—and only—true love reenters her world. Their fiery romance was so scandalous Charlotte had no choice but to marry another, more suitable man. Surely now they are both free to pick up where they left off . . .

Julian West has returned to London a hero after making a name for himself in battle at Waterloo. Every woman is vying for his attention—except the one who stole his heart. No matter, Julian has other obligations. But when Charlotte’s sister, Eleanor, charges him with protecting the widow from ruin, what ensues is another kind of battle—one that leads a chase from London’s bars and brothels to the finest country estate as Julian and Charlotte untangle a host of secrets, regrets, and misunderstandings. For could it be that the love they’ve forced themselves to forget is exactly what they need to remember?


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is one of those "book two in a series" stories where you technically don't have to have read the first in order to be able to understand and enjoy this one, but it will give you more of an in-depth back-story between Julian and Charlotte if you do. 

That being said, this is not your average historical romance. To begin with both Julian as well as Charlotte are deeply flawed. They are NOT the same people we met and enjoyed in book one. Julian has just returned from experiencing firsthand the horrors of war. He has to live with the things he has seen and the choices he has had to make. I would go as far as to say he experiences a form of PTSD. And what does he come home to? A world where people look upon him as a hero (something he does not see himself as) while they beg to hear stories he would rather not talk about. Charlotte is no longer the young girl who was completely smitten with Julian either. She harbors some dark secrets herself, including the fear that she was the cause of her husband's death. 

Unfortunately for Charlotte, no one seems to think to ask her what she wants, or even takes a good long look into what she does to try and figure out the why of it. They just attempt to order her about because they "know what is best for her". Thankfully, even if his original motive is a bit misguided, Julian does eventually see Charlotte as she is, and even more, who she is now. And even then, they still have to fight for their happily ever after. And that fight ventures into some pretty dark places.  

Overall, I am sure this story may still appeal to those who enjoy a well written historical romance novel that deal with some "darker" topics. 

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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                        Lady Charlotte's First Love is available from Amazon.com

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