Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Wylder Trilogy by Isabella Bradford

I just finished reading the last in the "Wylder" trilogy by Isabella Bradford.  The only way I can describe or review them is together.  This is one group of books that must be read in order.  (I had checked out "When the Duchess Said Yes" first and it felt like I was the only one not in on the plot.)

Book One - When You Wish Upon A Duke - four out of five stars
Lady Charlotte Wylder has just turned 18 and her mother announced that her deceased father (an Earl) had an arranged marriage set for her.  She is to marry James FitzCharles, Duke of Marchbourne.  March meets his bride to be and is just crazy about her.  He sends he dragon of an Aunt and the workers at the dressmaker's out of the room so he can "talk" to her.  However, once they are married, March feels that he has to treat his wife as a lady in the bedroom and Charlotte (having been raised in the country) won't have anything to do with it.  It takes him a while, but March is finally able to understand that it is OK to enjoy his wife.

Book Two - When The Duchess Said Yes - four out of five stars
The second Wylder sister also has an arranged marriage.  Lady Elizabeth (or Lizzy as she prefers to be called) has an arranged marriage with one of March's cousin, the Duke of Hawkesworth.  Hawk's main goal is to get married to Lizzy (because he will loose all of his money if he doesn't), get her pregnant then return to Naples.  Hawk sees a beautiful woman at the opera and is attempting to find out who she is even before he meets his intended bride.  He is stunned to find out that his mystery woman isn't a courtesan but his intended.  Hawk and Lizzy fall in love.

Book Three - When The Duke Found Love - three out of five stars (due to feeling rushed)
The last Wylder sister, Diana, didn't have an arranged marriage set by her father because he died before he could arrange it.  Diana's family want her to marry boring Lord Crump and stay away from the last Duke cousin, the Duke of Sheffield.  Sheffield has caused a scandal with a married lady in France and the King wants him to marry Lady Enid Lattimore.  However, Lady Enid is deeply in love with Dr. Joshua Pullings, her brother's former tutor and a minister.  Diana's family doesn't want her to associate with Sheffield, but she accidently meets him at the park.  Diana is supposed to be the "wild" one of the Wylder sisters.  I found her to be a spineless wimp.  She doesn't stand up for herself and settles for a loveless marriage by getting engaged to Lord Crump.  When Lord Crump is called away on business for the crown (nothing thrilling, just inspecting mines), Diana agrees to move up the wedding date.  After Sheffield helps Pullings and Lady Enid elope, he is busted by his older cousin as having arranged the elopement.  Sheffield finally convinces Diana to marry him and they elope. 

I felt that this book was thrown together and not as developed as the other two.  It was like the author was meeting a deadline.  The worst part was the rushed and not completed ending.  When March catches up with Sheffield and Diana at an inn (after they are married), there is a reference to a loud, amorous couple in the room next door.  It turns out that it is the widowed Lady Wylder and the eldest of the Duke cousins.

While I enjoyed reading the Wylder books, there were some annoying things.  All of the Dukes have the same great-whatever grandfather, a King of England (it is never said whom the King is) and one of his four mistresses that he gave the title of Duchess to.  All of the Dukes use a shortened form of their title:  Marchbourne is March, Hawkesworth is Hawk. 

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