The Bridal Quest is Book Two in the Matchmakers Series.
The beginning sets the stage of this romance for the lovers giving them both a commonality. Neither come from ideal family situations, which really helps me relate to them. One, Lady Irene Wyngate has declared she will never marry and have such a life and the other Gideon, the Earl of Radbourne, must marry to keep his family off his back and maintain appearances.Irene has made herself undesirable by being plain and practical. But this is the very thing that attracts Gideon to her. Having spent his life raised as a commoner her frankness is quite refreshing to him. And his rudeness does not offend her as it would a more genteel Lady.
She agrees to help him learn the ways of his birthright but with the clear understanding she will not marry him or any other man and lose her freedom. But is she really free? She is forced to live in her childhood home with her brother and new wife. Her father’s past deeds squandered most of their resources and his selfishness left no preparation for Irene and her mother.
After a few days and lessons Gideon is introduced to several prospective brides. Dances, dinners and chaperoned outings begin to take place but the heat continues to rise between Gideon and Irene. Though she still refuses to marry anyone! And she thinks that he only wants a figurehead and not an equal in a wife.
Finally it’s too much to bare and Irene gives in to Gideon but after a lovely group outing a horrible truth comes to light putting to question whether she will truly ever get married to anyone.
The story builds slowly but once it takes off it soars. The characters are very relatable. I find myself in Lady Irene with her plainness and practicality. And her wanting to be sure that she was not treated poorly or inferior. We all want someone to love us for us no matter who we are.