The Bachelor and the Bride (2022)

About the Book

BookThe Bachelor and the Bride

SeriesThe Dread Penny Society #4

Author: Sarah M. Eden

Release Date: September 6, 2022

Genre: Victorian-era Romance, Suspense

”A plethora of secrets and a thrilling mystery makes this fresh take on arranged marriage a treat.” —Publishers Weekly

”Centers on a heroine’s unrequited love with lots of twists and turns.” —Library Journal

London, 1866

Dr. Barnabus Milligan has always felt called to help people, whether that means setting a broken bone or rescuing the impoverished women of London from their desperate lives on the streets as part of his work with the Dread Penny Society. Three years ago, he helped rescue Gemma Kincaid by secretly marrying her to protect her from her family of notorious grave robbers. But six months after Gemma and Barnabus exchanged vows, she realized her love for her new husband was unrequited. To protect her heart, she left, telling Barnabus to contact her if his feelings for her ever grew beyond a sense of duty.

When Barnabus sends a letter to Gemma inviting her to return home, she hopes to find a true connection between them. But unfortunately, he only wants her help to foil the Kincaids, who have been terrorizing the boroughs of London, eager to gain both money and power. Heartbroken, Gemma agrees to help, but she warns Barnabus that she will not stay for long, and once she goes, he’ll never see her again.

Yet as the couple follows the clues that seem to connect the Kincaids to the Mastiff, the leader of London’s criminal network, Gemma and Barnabus realize they might make a better match than either of them suspected. Perhaps the marriage that had once saved Gemma’s life might now save Barnabus—and his lonely heart.

But before the once-confirmed bachelor can properly court his secret bride, they’ll need to evade the dangerous forces that are drawing ever closer to the hopeful lovers and the entire Dread Penny Society itself.

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My Thoughts

OH. MY. WORD! Best book ever!

I say this a lot about many of the books I read, but I really, really enjoyed The Bachelor and the Bride by Sarah M. Eden. From page one, I was hooked and did not want to put this book down. I have loved every book in this totally unique series, but The Bachelor and the Bride is my favorite to date. I loved the awesome way Eden utilizes the marriage-of-convenience and unrequited-love tropes. It felt fresh and unique to this story. As with her other stories in this series, the suspense in The Bachelor and the Bride is perfect. In fact, by the end I was totally holding my breath while I furiously turned pages. I just had to know how things would work out. And the ending…oh my goodness, it’s the best. All the cool reveals, the cliffhanger, it’s enough to make a reader cry out (which I did and scared my kid, hehehe)! I cannot wait for book five so I can see where Eden will take us, readers, next.

Life is hard. In some cases, gruesomely hard. We humans don’t get to pick how we come into this world or who our families are. But we do, ultimately, get to decide if we allow hardship to turn us to the dark side, or towards what is good and right. There is a brilliant moment when Gemma considers this topic — how hard her life is. She comes to a brilliant conclusion: “…Being slowed by the difficulties of life but not stopped by them. There was shocking clarity in that. Not being loved by the man she adored, having her family hunting her, needing to wait to make good her escape…it all slowed her. But she didn’t mean to let it stop her” (loc. 4171). I love this clarity. Yes, life is hard. Yes, it can kick the pants off you. If you let it, it can get you so down you give up. But we don’t have to let the difficulties of our lives win. We get to choose every single day how we allow things to affect us. We can choose to see the slow-down of hardship as a blessing and not a curse. In the slow-down we can process, we can find a good friend and confide in her, we can make choices. We can choose NOT to give up on life and the goodness that is available as long as we are willing to do the work of finding those good things. We can choose to fight. We can choose to love and forgive and try again. We don’t have to let hardships take us out. I really love this message and feel it is more relevant today than ever before.

The Bachelor and the Bride is a seriously outstanding story. I so want to read this book again and again, and I truly look forward to the next installment. If you are a fan of fantastically written Historical Suspense, then purchase a copy of this book immediately. You won’t regret you did.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishing, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

2 thoughts on “The Bachelor and the Bride (2022)

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