I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Butterfly Bride by Vanessa Riley
Series: Advertisements for Love #3
Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC on October 22, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Romance
Source: Entangled Publishing
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Frederica Burghley wants to be married by Yuletide. Or else her father will set her up with one of his friends. The bonbon-loving illegitimate daughter of the duke wants to choose her own husband. Advertising in the newspaper seems like the way to go. But a sinister response, with threats against her life, leads her to enlist the help of her very handsome, dear friend Jasper Fitzwilliam, Lord Hartwell.
A father and widower, Jasper is not only tasked with keeping Frederica safe but also with helping his vibrant friend choose a suitable husband. The more he tries to keep the ever-surprising woman alive and find her a good match, the more Jasper realizes he cares for her. The two friends risk their lives for each other, so they should be able to risk their feelings for a chance at a deep and true love together. But he's not looking for marriage and she's not looking for convenience.
Frederica Burghley dreams of being married by Yuletide, but with no prospective suitors in sight, she takes out a marriage ad in the paper. Only her ad has garnered the attention of a killer. One who sends threatening letters exposing his desire to kill her. Jasper Fitzwilliam, the Viscount Hartwell, has been Frederica’s dear friend for the past year. He vows to protect his Butterfly from any harm. Jasper is attracted to the minx, but he is still in love with his deceased wife. He also has three misbehaving daughters he is raising and is not really looking to marry again. But, he can’t help himself from desiring Frederica even though he tries to deny the attraction he has for her. Plus, Frederica wants a husband who can respect her and grow to love her. That was not Jasper. Will Jasper ever be able to realize what he truly wants before it is too late?
The Butterfly Bride is the third book in the Advertisements for Love series and while it can be read as a standalone, I would probably suggest you start at the beginning of the series. Previous book characters do make an appearance in this story and at times I had a hard time following along especially since I never read the previous books. If this does not bother you then you can certainly read this story as a standalone.
Something that I do not see enough of in Regency romance books and found quite refreshing is a woman of color heroine. So, I was quite surprised when I began reading to see that Frederica, our heroine, is the product of a colored courtesan and the Duke of Simone. The Duke loved Frederica’s mother dearly and when she passed, he took on Frederica and claimed her as his illegitimate daughter. All Frederica wants is to be accepted and not thought of as Burghley the daughter of a courtesan. She wants a real marriage one that can grow into love. Now that her father, the Duke has remarried, her situation is even more precarious than before. So, Frederica is determined to go through her list of suitors from her ad to make the perfect match with or without Jasper’s help.
Jasper I had a love/hate relationship with. Sure, he is a good guy and he wants the best for Frederica, but he is constantly fighting his feelings for her and denying what he truly wants as he once had the love of his life and she was still in his mind and in his heart. So, I definitely took a little longer to warm up to Jasper. He has feelings for Frederica and fights them every chance he gets. Sometimes, I felt like it was a bit too much to read about how he felt while he was flirting with Frederica and then turning around and expressing what a great marriage he once had. I was pretty frustrated with jasper and wished he would make up his mind.
The pacing of the story started off really well and I found myself really enjoying the beginning, but the middle slowed down for me and I found myself skimming the story a tad bit. But, it also might just be me because I am not used to clean romances. The writing was superb and I had no issue with the writing whatsoever, but I do like a bit of heat in my romance and here is where I found it lacking. Again, this has nothing to do with the author’s writing style, just my personal preference. What can I say…I am a dirty dirty girl! *Gasps*
I loved the mystery aspect of the story and trying to figure out who wants to hurt Frederica while she searches for the perfect husband for her. I can honestly say that I had no clue who the culprit was although, I did have some ideas. When the reveal finally came I don’t think I was much surprised as this person was pretty creepy from the beginning.
The Butterfly Bride is a charming friends to romance story with a hint of mystery that will keep you guessing until the end. If you love a slow burn historical romance then you will love Frederica and Jasper’s story.