Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Sent
Damaris Chance’s unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice Davenham, convinces her to make her coming out anyway—and have a season of carefree, uncomplicated fun.
When Damaris finds herself trapped in a compromising situation with the handsome rake Freddy Monkton-Coombes, she has no choice but to agree to wed him—as long as it’s in name only. Her new husband seems to accept her terms, but Freddy has a plan of his own: to seduce his reluctant winter bride. Will Damaris’s secrets destroy her chance at true happiness? Or can Freddy help her cast off the shackles of the past, and yield to delicious temptation?
This is a heartwarming historical romance that is beautifully crafted with interesting characters, tortured souls that need mending and a love that develops quietly between the hero and heroine.
Frederick Monkton-Coombes, otherwise known as Freddy is in a predicament, his best friend Max has asked him to watch over his Aunt Bea and her nieces while he is on his honeymoon with Abby. Abby is the sister of Daisy, Jane and Damaris and Max feels responsible for them. Freddy being a carefree rake is not too happy with the arrangement but he would do anything for his friend.
Damaris Chance is one of the nieces who along with the other three escaped from a brothel and broke into Lady Beatrice’s residence, since then Lady Bea has claimed them as nieces and has taken them under her wing. Damaris has lived almost all her life in China, her parents were missionaries but when her mother died she was left with a disinterested father who did not have much to do with her, she has had a very lonely existence. Her father was killed eight months ago and she finally found her way back to England, however it was a horrifying experience and has scarred her on men forever.
Because Freddy’s mother wants him to marry and is planning an ambush when him with “muffins” at a party in December, he and Damaris plan a fake betrothal; she will get a cottage in the country out of the deal and be able to live her life in peace. While the two visit his parents, Damaris is amazed by how cold and unfeeling they are toward him, it is apparent why Freddy is the way that he is, but during the visit Damaris can only take so much before exploding and telling them off, which promptly makes her feel that she must leave. Unfortunately leaving puts the two in a precarious situation that makes the fake betrothal real.
This is an emotional romance that finds the hero and heroine hurting from pains that run deep, beginning in their childhoods. The two must overcome their pasts to accept the love that will heal them both.
Freddy is a perfect hero, not overly alpha yet oh so likeable. He portrays a devilish rake; but instead of turning the ladies off he has the mothers and daughters fawning over him, believing they can redeem him. He has turned his small inheritance into a fortune with the help of his two friends Max and Flynn as he never wanted to use his parent’s money. He has perfected the mask of indifference and it is so sad when it falls in place while visiting his parents, you can just feel the hurt the must overcome him as they barely look at him, and when he talks about the portrait and his brother, there are big tears. I love how Damaris treats him and reacts when they are together, and oh what a champion she becomes!
Damaris is very quiet, trying to be as insignificant as she possible can; all she wants is to live a simple life where she can paint to support herself. She was treated like a stranger by her father and has always felt the sting, it is interesting that both Freddy and Damaris suffered similar indifferences and have similar views of life. I love how they heal each other and build each other up. The two are wonderful together, the romance comes slowly even though there is the initial attraction between them as they work from allies to friends to lovers, it is so emotional.
Her sisters are fun and engaging as is Max, they add depth to the storyline and I look forward to reading each of their tales. I am very intrigued with Flynn and wonder what his future role will be? I love the ending and how Freddy comes to Damaris rescue and the outcome with his parents; it was a little too perfect, but loved it all the same. This is easily a standalone with characters and situations from the first book that are relevant but the author introduces you to pertinent details without problems. This should definitely be on your reading list if you enjoy emotional historical romances with heart.
I give The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie 4.25 stars!