Review of At the Bride Hunt Ball by Olivia Parker
So, this was a really sweet romance. It’s one of the first books if I’ve read in a long time where I wasn’t chasing the page count. I barely looked it. I wasn’t constantly checking how long til the next chapter or the end of the book. I was content just read and be in the story until it was done.
The description of this book is a bit deceiving, in my opinion. It describes the hero, Gabriel, as a rake who doesn’t want to marry so he can continue pursuits of pleasure. Which is not at all true. He has an entirely different reason for not wanting to be married that actually makes a lot of sense and makes him somewhat endearing. The description also says that the heroine, Madelyn, believes he is a slave to passion, but in reality it’s more that she thinks he’s the typical aristocratic scoundrel who takes what he wants and doesn’t care about anyone else. Gabriel being in pursuit of pleasure or a slave to passion isn’t really what motivates him at all.
That’s not to say this book isn’t passionate. The sexual tension in this book is one of the best I’ve read. They don’t have their first real scorching kiss until page 177 and I didn’t miss it one bit. There are so many other wonderful and sweet moments before then that form this great crescendo towards the end. Each interaction between them is tension building.
These two are certainly attracted to each other right from the start, but they truly develop deeper feelings before the sparks start to fly. And once they do, my god are they incredible together. That kiss on page 177 is one of the best this-sexual-tension-is-killing-me-and-I-can’t-take-it-anymore-so-I’m-losing-control moments I’ve ever read. And from there Gabriel’s inability to keep a reign on his desire is palpable. Only it’s no longer just the throes of lust at this point. It’s the madness of falling head over heels in love with someone.
Did this book have the best dialogue? No. It wasn’t super witty or humorous. But what is said it important and the book is an enjoyable and quick read. I found none of it boring or dragging. What is so great about it is that it’s simply these two falling in love. There’s not trite, manufactured drama, no villain out to ruin the heroine, no big miscommunication, no one forcing them into a relationship they don’t want, which makes it a pleasure to read.
I would recommend this for those times you want a light-hearted, quick-read, with a dreamy duke, an imperfect heroine, and a love story that will make your heart race at times and feel happy at others, and finally when you’re done, feel content to have read it and move on without too much effort leaving it behind.