Brides Trilogy #3
Narrated by: Anna Parker-Naples
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor Audio. This did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided.
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #AudioChallenge, #ShelfLove
After their strategic "marriage of commerce" three years ago, Rule quite forgot about Violet Griffin, the teenage heiress to a Boston manufacturing fortune. He simply spoke his vows, took over her father's business, and returned to England to resume his usual pursuits: high-priced wine, high-stakes gambling, and highborn women. Yet when Violet, now a sophisticated woman, unexpectedly appears at Rule's London town house, husbandly duties no longer seem so odious - he can't wait to take his stunning bride to their marriage bed. Violet, however, is not so easily led: She has her own ideas and is seeking an annulment to marry another. But as Rule attempts to win her over, someone else is determined to frame him for murder and keep him out of the way for good...
While there were a few things that didn't work for me quite as well in this final installment, I did enjoy Rule and Violet's story.
- Character Development - Rule & Violet
One common trait in all the Dewar brothers has been their loyalty to their family. Each brother made a promise to the father on his deathbed and each kept it. I thought it was interesting the way KMartin had Rule keep his promise and I appreciated that although he'd made some questionable choices, Rule did prove himself as loyal, honorable, and able to love. I've enjoyed the independent streak in all the heroines of this trilogy and Violet was nothing if not independent. Being American gave her a little leeway - very little - but she was smart and very determined. I admired her commitment to her values and her father's legacy.
- Plot & Sub-plots
Even though there were elements in the sub-plots that didn't work for me on the whole - specifically the reason behind Rule's determination not to fall in love and the angst between Caroline and Luke - the plots and sub-plots wove together well to create a compelling story. I think had Rule's reasoning for avoiding love been explored more thoroughly, it would have had more of an impact on his character. I feel that same of Caroline's and Luke's characters. If they'd been developed a bit more, they'd have had more depth. Because they lacked some depth, I felt the tension felt more contrived that genuine. I did appreciate the inclusion of the impending Civil War in America and how KMartin wove that element in. I also liked how she created the suspense even though I did figure out a portion of the mystery and the resolutions felt a bit too tidy.
Witnessing Rule work at winning over Violet was fun. Although she realized she'd given her heart to him early on, she still didn't make things easy for him. She wanted love and she taught Rule how to love - that he had the capacity for it despite his belief otherwise. I also delighted in watching Rule fall without ever realizing that was what was happening. KMartin once again gave us a secondary romance - this time between Violet's cousin, Caroline, and Rule's best friend, Luke. Neither felt they wanted marriage but after circumstances demand it, their fall was angsty yet heartwarming.
As I've mentioned previously, Anna Parker-Naples' range for male voices is a little limited and I continued to notice this in Rule's Bride. She also struggled with her American accents. However, her ability to do a range of British accents is amazing and even though those few things niggled at me, I still found her narration - her pacing, and her ability to convey the emotion required - to be brilliant.
My introduction to KMartin and Anna Parker-Naples was a pleasure. I'll be on the hunt for more from them both.