When You Wish Upon a Duke by Isabella Bradford

Title: When You Wish Upon a Duke (Wylder Sisters #1)

Author: Isabella Bradford

Genre: Historical (Georgian England)

Raised in the Dorset countryside, Lady Charlotte Wylder doesn’t care one bit about well-bred decorum. The dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty would rather ride a horse than attend a stuffy ball. So when Charlotte learns that she is to leave immediately for London to wed the Duke of Marchbourne, a perfect model of aristocratic propriety, she is less than enchanted with her arranged marriage.
 
But to her delight, their first encounters are brazenly flirtatious, and their wedding night burns with passion. March’s broad shoulders and dark countenance make Charlotte want to rip every button off his waistcoast. She may even be falling in love with her new husband. Yet whenever their desire boils over, March reluctantly pushes Charlotte away. Will past secrets and present misunderstandings mire their marriage in scandal, or serve to strengthen a bond that is destined to last a lifetime?

When I first saw this book and that it was written by a debut author, I was very excited (I’m always excited about new talent). Then I found out that Isabella Bradford is a pseudonym for Susan Holloway Scott, a historical fiction and historical romance author I’ve never read before but who is great friends with Loretta Chase, and I was even more heartened.

Then I started reading. My excitement quickly disappeared, unfortunately.

I have two different perspectives on this book. The first is that this book may be enjoyed by other historical romance readers–namely, those who like very innocent-seeming characters and treacly sweet romance–but not for me. In that perspective, I can appreciate that Ms. Bradford is a good writer and can write a good story–only not one that I typically like to read. In fact, the greatest pleasure I received from this book was all the historical details in the author’s description of clothes and setting; and since I normally just gloss over these details, I’m not sure if this is a good sign.

From the second perspective, this book was simply difficult to get through. If it hadn’t been a review book, I most likely wouldn’t have finished it. It was not a page-turner; indeed, I found my mind drifting quite often, and many times I got distracted trying to figure out just how much longer I had to go until I reached the end. The hero and heroine are nice…and that about sums it up. There are multiple misunderstandings and mini-rebellions and, unfortunately, aside from a villain trying to seduce the heroine and the hero constantly lamenting how he treated his wife like a “whore” instead of a “proper lady” in the bedroom, there really isn’t much plot.

But again, I know there might be other readers out there who would enjoy this type of book. For me, sadly, I doubt I’ll be reading any of the other titles in this series.

Grade: D

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