Happily Bedded Bliss
Book 2 in the Rakes of Cavendish Square series
Author Tracy Anne Warren
Narrated by Charlotte Anne Dore
Published by TANTOR MEDIA
Publication date Mar 1, 2016
Running time 13 hrs
Print and Digital editions from Penguin Random House/Signet
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
When Lady Esme Byron happens upon a gorgeous naked man sleeping beside a secluded country lake, she can’t resist the impulse to sketch him. But when her highly improper drawing is mistakenly revealed at a party, she finds her once-pristine reputation in tatters.
Gabriel, Lord Northcote, may be a notorious rakehell, but he is still stunned to find himself accused of despoiling a duke’s sister—especially since he’s never set eyes on her. When Esme’s six irate brothers demand a hurried trip down the aisle, he has no choice but to comply. He thinks that he can forget about his inconvenient bride, but Esme Byron is no ordinary woman, and Gabriel is about to learn just how unforgettable she can be.
Contains mature themes. https://tantor.com/happily-bedded-bliss-racy-anne-warren.html
Idiotic Uncles and inveterate gossips try to cause havoc in the lives of both love interests in this story. Other than malice and avarice, Gabriel’s uncle has no justifiable reason to be the incredible a-hole he is. There’s absolutely zero hope of rehabilitating him, nor his wife. In short, Gabriel comes from a horrid family situation. If for no other reason than to annoy his nasty-ass uncle, he has lived as a libertine.
Esme, on the other hand comes from a loving, and supportive, if unconventional family. Her brothers and brothers-in-law are protective and her sister and sisters-in-law are supportive and encouraging. As she and Gabriel embark on this hastily arranged marriage she knows she’d always have a fall-back position with her relatives. There’s an occasional note of amusement.
Aside from the hysterical reason for their “special license” wedding, the rest of the story is mostly about the couple becoming a couple outside of the respecting each others space and producing children.
In Esme’s life her family is full of relationships wherein the couples are in love. So, she would certainly be more desirous of a love match instead of the arrangement she is forced into by society.
On the other hand Gabriel had no expectation of love. He never believed his parents loved him, only his late grandmother considered him worthy of love. And his uncle treated him terribly. In fact, his past experiences with his parents crazed relationship and his own failed love affair have him mired in his own past, and unbelieving in love. Neither does he believe in constancy.
In order for this couple to be happy, they have to overcome these internally imposed obstacles; those can be the hardest. But fortunately for Gabriel Esme does know of the positive force of love.
Esme is wiser in these matters than he is; sort of a Snow White in her ability to charm, understand and help wounded animals, even human males.
Charlotte Anne Dore’s hoarse narration of the book is competent if stiff and stilted in her enunciation and phrasing. She doesn’t have a huge range in the characters’ voices, they all sound as if she has a stuffed nose and sore throat; and perhaps she did.
I enjoyed the story, although I could have done without hearing of some animal cruelty on the part of his uncle.
WAYWARD NOTE: If even less than half of what we read in romance novels is true, it’s amazing the British upper classes did not advance the invention of artificial insemination much earlier. That’s not relevant to the book, but a wayward thought in consequence of reading it.
Artificial Insemination on Wikipedia:
The first reported case of artificial insemination by donor occurred in 1884: a Philadelphia professor of medicine took sperm from his “best looking” student to inseminate an anesthetized woman. The woman was not informed about the procedure, unlike her infertile husband. The case was reported 25 years later in a medical journal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_insemination