How did I get it: Pocket Books sent me a review copy. To Wed a Wild Lord comes out on November 29. It’s the 4th book in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series.
Why did I read it: Sometimes you just need a book where a Happy Ending is guaranteed. When I opened up the package this book arrived in, I just know this would be the perfect, pastel-colored Unicorn Chaser I’d been looking for.
How I would rate it: 4 out of 5 stars.
Drowning in guilt over his best friend’s death seven years ago, Lord Gabriel Sharpe, the Angel of Death, knows his only hope at redemption is a race against a shocking opponent.
Shrouded in darkness for the past seven years, the infamous racer Lord Gabriel Sharpe is known to accept every challenge to race thrown at him. When his next challenge comes in the form of his late best friend’s sister, Virginia Waverly, Gabe is shocked. Yet she presents just the opportunity Gabe needs–marriage to fulfill his grandmother’s ultimatum and ensure his inheritance. What he didn’t count on was needing her love.
Review: Although there was an element of silliness to the plot of To Wed a Wild Lord,* I’m a fan of Sabrina Jeffries’ lighthearted approach to Historical Romance. She has a great sense of what is important and what can be quickly glossed over. More importantly, Jeffries does a really great job of generating enough conflict to keep any given set of lovers apart for roughly 350 pages while avoiding the mistake of having anything too awfully serious or pressing going on in the background that might make it hard for a reader to focus on the main couple.
Because of this, I really liked both Virgina and Gabriel. I understood what was important to them and was really hooked on learning more about both of them. Just enough seriousness was given to each character in terms of their issues. Virginia was struggling to come to terms with her brother’s death and Gabriel was struggling to come to terms with death just in general. Their relationship was pretty steamy, which was nice. I wouldn’t say I was overly emotionally invested in the outcome, but I was happy to see them get together. They didn’t take very many steps backwards. They did change each other in small ways, but they definitely complimented each other in so many others.
I also didn’t feel like they took too long to get a better sense of who the other was or that they were creating problems where none needed to be, which was also terrific because it can be very frustrating to have simple misunderstandings take a long time to get resolved. Instead there was an ongoing investigation into the deaths of Gabriel’s parents, scenes of Virginia slowly learning more about Roger’s unfortunate accident, and plenty of scenes of both characters learning more about themselves and each other. I didn’t even mind not learning the full truth behind the deaths of Gabriel’s mother and father because I’m really looking forward to Celia’s book, A Lady Never Surrenders, which comes out on January 24.
The only downside to the book is that too many people were involved at any given interval in the courtship. More precisely, I really, really wanted Virginia’s relatives to take a hike after awhile whereas Gabriel’s brothers, sisters, and respective spouses grew on me. I wasn’t overly fond of Hetty, Gabriel’s grandmother for most of the book though. I appreciated that her sneaky main goal was to make all of the young-ish people in her care could find love in spite of the horrible way they lost their parents. I’m just not –nor will I ever be– a fan of the Noah’s Ark solution.
In conclusion, very good. If you’re in need of a light and fluffy as well as well-written Historical Romance, pre-order To Wed a Wild Lord or keep an eye out for it later in the month.
* Including but not limited to Gabriel being sort of like a proto-Nascar driver and his Angel of Death moniker. Both of which I enjoyed. It was just, you know, a bit dopey.