Feature book: The Spring Bride
This is the third instalment in what is a fabulous series about four sisters and a wonderful lady, who has helped the sisters overcome hard times. Jane was very young, only six years old, when her mother and father passed away, leaving her in the care of her older sister Abby, who was twelve at the time. They struggled to live, even eat, and keeping warm with a roof over their heads. But Jane is a beauty. Eventually the girls end up in an orphanage until Abby leaves to become a governess. Years later, Jane is sent to be a companion to an older lady but doesn’t make it there. After being kidnapped she finds herself in a brothel where she meets Damaris and Daisy. With their help and help from Abby, all three girls escape and form a strong bond and become sisters. They meet Lady Beatrice and life starts to look up. But Jane decides that when the time comes for her to marry, she will not do what her parents did and marry for love. She needs to marry to have a roof over her head, food always and be warm—no love for Jane. When there is an offer made for Jane from a wealthy lord, who collects all things beautiful, she accepts, sure that a marriage to a wealthy lord will save her and any children they have from ever going hungry or being cold. They will always be safe and love will grow.
Zachary Black, as he is known now, grew up with a cruel father, but he is the heir to an earldom. Zach doesn’t remember his mother, and Zach’s father remarried to Lady Cecily, who he is also cruel to. So at the age of sixteen, Zach helps Cecily escape and leaves England himself for four years, getting by with the help of his school friend, Gil. Zach becomes a spy for England for eight years. He is the master of becoming who he needs to be, travelling the life of a gypsy all over Europe, gathering information for the Crown, not even bothering to return home when he hears about his father’s death. Then Gil insists that Zach return the latest information himself to England. He informs Zach of problems, regarding his claim to the earldom and of the murder charge hanging over his head. Zach is now determined to clear his name and claim what is his by rights.
When Zach meets Jane while she is trying to save a poor dog from some thugs in a dirty alley, there is an instant spark. But as Zach is dressed as a gypsy, Jane is nothing but polite. She never shuns anyone that is lower than her station—after all, Jane has been in that position. She is always willing to help, listen and understand. This is such a beautiful story, as Zach and Jane learn more about each other. With Caesar the dog playing a big part in their union, this is a story that will have you in tears, laughing out loud and smiling throughout. Naturally we will catch up with Lady Beatrice, Abby and Max, Damaris and Freddy and Daisy, which is always a bonus. This is a story that should not be missed. Ms Gracie writes heroes that will stay with you forever. This is definitely a book that will have you up till the wee hours of the night and be put on the keeper shelf.
Reviewed by Helen S
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. ARRA members who leave a comment by 26 August 2015 will go into the draw to win a copy. (The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Deb K.)