The Bewildered Bride (Advertisements for Love, #4)
Ruth Croome, a Blackamoor heiress, was supposed to get married in a gorgeous wedding gown, made from her father’s exquisite fabrics. Instead, they eloped to Gretna Green and upon returning, their carriage was beset by highwaymen and she witnessed the murder of her new husband. Now, four years later, with a child, she wants to move on with her life. A marriage of convenience will do. Ruth already had a love for the ages.Adam Wilky is really the heir to the Wycliff barony—which he never told Ruth. Too much danger. So many secrets. When he was nearly beaten to death and sold into impressment, he thought Ruth had died, too. Ready for revenge, he finally returns and discovers Ruth alive—with a son who could only be his—and she is furious to discover he lied to her. Now it’ll take more than remembered passion if he hopes to win his reluctant wife back...Each book in the Advertisements for Love series is STANDALONE:* The Bittersweet Bride* The Bashful Bride* The Butterfly Bride* The Bewildered Bride

The Bewildered Bride (Advertisements for Love, #4) Details

TitleThe Bewildered Bride (Advertisements for Love, #4)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 12th, 2019
PublisherEntangled: Amara
ISBN-139781640638471
Rating
GenreRomance, Historical Romance, Historical

The Bewildered Bride (Advertisements for Love, #4) Review

  • Elodie
    January 1, 1970
    Be warned it is a heartbreaking tale of pain and resilience, a second chance in love and of healing.Warning trigger : past rapeI do not know about other readers but I felt like I was living Ruth and Adam’s story through their mind, like when you think by yourself.Not every thoughts well organized, more a succession of disjointed ideas and rambling feelings, everything in jumble like when you are confused, scared.I tried to clear all the confused thoughts from Ruth’s mind. I wanted to understand Be warned it is a heartbreaking tale of pain and resilience, a second chance in love and of healing.Warning trigger : past rapeI do not know about other readers but I felt like I was living Ruth and Adam’s story through their mind, like when you think by yourself.Not every thoughts well organized, more a succession of disjointed ideas and rambling feelings, everything in jumble like when you are confused, scared.I tried to clear all the confused thoughts from Ruth’s mind. I wanted to understand what has arrived to her to change her from a wild young woman to one suffering deep fears, afraid to live again.Now I have completed my read, in retrospective, Mrs Vanessa Riley did a beautiful job transcribing the post trauma stress disorders affecting Ruth.The beginning was a bit unsettling, with many ideas, events and talks going everywhere.I had to learn to understand Mrs Riley’s writing style, but it was just for a short time.I was heartbroken for what they both had to suffer. Adam, treats and physical violence when Ruth after surviving the attack that “killed” her husband, has to face belittling and talk as if she was a nobody or a liar. I sure think her family has its faults but they did not rejected her, their way of dealing with her pain was the cause a lot of heartaches but they did not rejected her as many family would have done in view of her odd circumstances.Adam has secrets, those same secrets torn them apart, nearly killing them both and changing them. Sure, now he is back and discovered his wife is not like he thought, he wants to win her back. But she is no more the young lovely woman he remembers. Time and difficulties have changed her. Worst, she does not recognize him. So he decided to court her, hiding who he is.He is stronger, and prepared, no more the young idealistic man from four years back. He knows the mistakes he made and he paid dearly for them but now he has to redeem himself in Ruth’s eyes as she was a collateral victim in his family feud.This is their second chance but will each one comprehend how much the other has changed, how much they suffered, the depth of their scars and wounds, visible or hidden.Is love enough to heal everything, to clear the mind of the nightmares haunting Ruth’s night and day?A poignant and touching romance of two souls drawn to each other despite time, pain and distance.I was granted an advance copy through Netgalley by the publisher Entangled Publishing, I also purchased my own copy, here is my true and unbiased opinion.https://m.facebook.com/42983013427283...
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  • Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsRuth and Adam have a very interesting and intense relationship, right from the start their lives are in danger. Watching the most horrific scene unfold right in front of her eyes, Ruth’s life is over, her heart is crushed. Waking up to find her nightmare continuing to play out, Ruth is determined to change her life and the life of her son. She quickly finds fate has one more surprise waiting for her, in the form of her husbands cousin, Wycliff. Revenge has never be so sweet for Wycliff, 3.5 starsRuth and Adam have a very interesting and intense relationship, right from the start their lives are in danger. Watching the most horrific scene unfold right in front of her eyes, Ruth’s life is over, her heart is crushed. Waking up to find her nightmare continuing to play out, Ruth is determined to change her life and the life of her son. She quickly finds fate has one more surprise waiting for her, in the form of her husbands cousin, Wycliff. Revenge has never be so sweet for Wycliff, avenging his father legacy and winning back his fearless, full of life Ruthy. Both characters pull the best out in each other, both are bold yet show restraint, they push ahead in life as the past continue to throw obstacles in their path.Ruth and Wycliff share a life changing experience that is felt through the pages, it had me wondering at times if I wanted to finish the novel, how could Ruth ever get her happily-ever-after, after that. Ms. Riley pulled through, she made the pages turn quickly and did not hold back on the sweet revenge Wycliff served. The romance Wycliff had to move slowly with, it was built over time, regaining trust and exposing old secrets. It is a second chance romance with two new people, that one night changed Ruth and Wycliff into people neither would recognize years later.A unique cast of characters add some flavor to the story, the older women who make snide remarks, the loyal sister, a caring mother and some in-laws looking to climb the ladder out of debters prison. Many twists and turns throughout the plot combine with the slow romance and sweet second chance at love will leave many readers satisfied with The Bewildered Bride.Review copy provided for a voluntary review.
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  • Kelsie Maxwell
    January 1, 1970
    The Bewildered Bride by Vanessa Riley is book four in her Advertisements for Love series. Though part of a series, this novel is a standalone, as are all the books in the series. Ruth Croome is a beautiful Blackamoor heiress. She abandons her childhood dreams of her wedding and elopes with handsome Adam Wilky. The couple is brutally attacked and each believes the other is dead. Adam is sold into impressment with the Navy but vows to return and avenge his wife. Adam returns under his real name, w The Bewildered Bride by Vanessa Riley is book four in her Advertisements for Love series. Though part of a series, this novel is a standalone, as are all the books in the series. Ruth Croome is a beautiful Blackamoor heiress. She abandons her childhood dreams of her wedding and elopes with handsome Adam Wilky. The couple is brutally attacked and each believes the other is dead. Adam is sold into impressment with the Navy but vows to return and avenge his wife. Adam returns under his real name, which he had never revealed to Ruth. They develop a friendship that could progress to the great passion they had before, if Ruth can be convinced to overlook Adam’s deception. There are interesting plot twists throughout, but the story lost my attention briefly at times. Nevertheless, The Bewildered Bride is a very interesting multicultural romance. The author not only tackles the subject of interracial relationships, she delves even deeper and broaches the highly sensitive subject of racial passing. Riley has done her research and presents an accurately detailed historical depiction. I rate this novel 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to lovers of romance, especially historical romance. I have already purchased and plan to read the previous books in the series. My thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    CW: sexual assault, lynching, anxietyRiley writes about the experiences of people of color in regency England. Too often these stories are all white, while England most definitely was not. As usual, she deals with issues of race in the time. Who will be accepted? What will life be like for a dark skinned woman married to a light skinned man? Which neighborhoods are lived in? Blackamoors were free and ran successful businesses and interacted with others. I really appreciate reading a full represe CW: sexual assault, lynching, anxietyRiley writes about the experiences of people of color in regency England. Too often these stories are all white, while England most definitely was not. As usual, she deals with issues of race in the time. Who will be accepted? What will life be like for a dark skinned woman married to a light skinned man? Which neighborhoods are lived in? Blackamoors were free and ran successful businesses and interacted with others. I really appreciate reading a full representation of the time. The latest from Vanessa Riley's Advertisements for Love series, begins with one of the most harrowing scenes that I've read in a long time, especially from an historical romance. Adam/Wycliff and Ruth are attacked a few days after their Gretna Green marriage, both beaten almost to death. It is brutal to be in the head of the victims.Then we are moved 4 years ahead, where Ruth is existing at her parent's home. Readers of Riley's The Bashful Bride, will recognize the Croome family. No one has believed Ruth's story, and don't hesitate to tell her so. The cruelty is breathtaking. They don't believe she was married or that her husband is dead. They believe her child is from either an "indiscretion" or from the brothel in which her father found her. No one believes her and the former wild child has folded into herself for her own protection. She also suffered an injury affecting her eye sight, leaving her more vulnerable and only increasing the anxiety that she has. Only Wycliff/Adam is not dead, he was pressed into the Navy by his evil relatives. He thought Ruth was dead. Now he has inherited the title and learned Ruth is alive. He wants her back, while still plotting revenge on those who attacked them. That's a lot. Ruth's family is just not sympathetic, so the reader is definitely on Ruth's side. The passage of time and physical changes of both main characters, leave it plausible that Ruth doesn't know Wycliff is Adam. And most of the story hinges on Wycliff trying to get Ruth to fall in love with him, and Ruth not knowing he is her husband. Wycliff's revenge is methodical and financial, not crazed vigilante. All of these things make sense, but for me, the narrative came to a snail's pace at time. I didn't lose interest, but it took most of the book to get to the reveal. On the other hand, the reveal happens organically, in a way that makes sense, when puzzle pieces fall into place for Ruth. And we do get to HEA, with several loose ends wrapped up.What Riley has done especially well is deal with issues of being believed. Ruth has struggled with this from the time of the attack. The people around her - her parents, her sister, her mother's friends - believe nothing she has said. She was attacked, beaten, raped and found in a brothel. Why do people only believe the worst of her, instead of believing she was a victim? How many woman have asked this very question? Ruth needs Wycliff to first believe her. Only after that can she move on and really open herself up to life with her husband again. This is beautifully handled. I really felt Ruth's emotions deeply. Believe women.This is a closed door romance. On the page, the connection is an emotional one. POV moves back and forth between the main characters, and between both first and third person narrative. I did not find it problematic or distracting. Even though it is book #4, like the rest of the series, it is a standalone. Even with recurring characters, one does not need to know their story whatsoever.I'm giving this one 4 stars. I received an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    Ruth Croome, a Blackamoor heiress, & Adam Wilky eloped to Gretna Green and upon returning, their carriage was beset by highwaymen and she witnessed the murder of her new husband & she was sent to a brothel. Now, four years later, with a child, she wants to move on with her life. A marriage of convenience will do. Ruth already had a love for the ages. Adam Wilky is really the heir to the Wycliff barony, which he kept from Ruth. When he was nearly beaten to death and impressed, he thought Ruth Croome, a Blackamoor heiress, & Adam Wilky eloped to Gretna Green and upon returning, their carriage was beset by highwaymen and she witnessed the murder of her new husband & she was sent to a brothel. Now, four years later, with a child, she wants to move on with her life. A marriage of convenience will do. Ruth already had a love for the ages. Adam Wilky is really the heir to the Wycliff barony, which he kept from Ruth. When he was nearly beaten to death and impressed, he thought Ruth had died, too. Ready for revenge, he finally returns and discovers Ruth alive & with his son and she is furious to discover he lied to her. This is the fourth book in the series & whilst previous characters make appearances it can still be read on its own. I found the opening of this book to be quite harrowing but it did set the scene for the rest of the book & explained the reasons Ruth had changed so much. Each time I read one of the author’s books it does take me a little while to get used to her writing style, which isn't the easiest. The flow of the book was also a bit haphazard. However strong characters saved it for me as did the storyline & I definitely wanted to read to see how this couple reached their HEAMy honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    This became an engaging read that I found it difficult to put down. I really felt for Adam and Ruth and the trials they went through. I did feel that her family ought to have believed her and should have been more supportive. The ugly face of racial prejudice is here in various forms. This isn’t a smooth passage for Adam and Ruth’s relationship, they both experienced traumatic times. There is also the matter of Adam’s revenge on his enemies and his missing sister, which doesn’t come without its This became an engaging read that I found it difficult to put down. I really felt for Adam and Ruth and the trials they went through. I did feel that her family ought to have believed her and should have been more supportive. The ugly face of racial prejudice is here in various forms. This isn’t a smooth passage for Adam and Ruth’s relationship, they both experienced traumatic times. There is also the matter of Adam’s revenge on his enemies and his missing sister, which doesn’t come without its dangers. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Nadine Keels
    January 1, 1970
    After an elopement and brief marriage, Ruth and Adam are attacked by highwaymen, the bride and groom each thinking afterward that the other is dead. Four years later, Ruth is considering a possible marriage of convenience to another man, especially for the benefit of her young son. Adam returns after years of impressment to find Ruth alive, but the danger around them and secrets between them begin to mount in The Bewildered Bride by author Vanessa Riley.I appreciate authors who can amaze me in l After an elopement and brief marriage, Ruth and Adam are attacked by highwaymen, the bride and groom each thinking afterward that the other is dead. Four years later, Ruth is considering a possible marriage of convenience to another man, especially for the benefit of her young son. Adam returns after years of impressment to find Ruth alive, but the danger around them and secrets between them begin to mount in The Bewildered Bride by author Vanessa Riley.I appreciate authors who can amaze me in little ways. It doesn't necessarily have to be big, blaring plot twists, but remarkable turns of phrase and gripping imagery can go a long way. This author's style keeps me on my toes.Now, I'll admit the unpredictable rhythm in parts of this novel made the emotional flow a bit difficult to follow at times, so I couldn't always make heads or tails of the characters. But the hero and heroine are interesting people who work well together for this story. Their romantic chemistry and physical relationship are prominent and intense but nothing R-rated.I particularly empathized with some of Ruth's frustrations over personal injustices and relished a moment leading to the climax where she truly stands up. However, I had to suspend my disbelief to go along with one of the major plot points that doesn't quite add up.Although I've not read any of the other novels in this series yet, this book stands alone just fine, and I couldn't resist it—not with that divinely grape, stunning book cover. And I "flew" through the entire read in a day. Quite a rare occurrence for me and novels of this length._________I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley for an honest review.
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  • aarya
    January 1, 1970
    2019 Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: Eloping C+ review at SBTB: https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/r...
  • Tia
    January 1, 1970
    It’s early morning and I’m without sleep. I had to finish this book! My rating is between 4.25 and 4.5.This story at its core is about resilience, second chance and revenge! Ruth’s endured unimaginable cruelty and disregard by others and her family. For four years she was taunted and slighted by her family and their friends. Ruth believed her husband was dead and he in turn believed she was dead as well. When they married Ruth did not know his real name or his true title. This is how things get It’s early morning and I’m without sleep. I had to finish this book! My rating is between 4.25 and 4.5.This story at its core is about resilience, second chance and revenge! Ruth’s endured unimaginable cruelty and disregard by others and her family. For four years she was taunted and slighted by her family and their friends. Ruth believed her husband was dead and he in turn believed she was dead as well. When they married Ruth did not know his real name or his true title. This is how things get confusing and Ruth feels betrayed.The sensitive issues of rape, abandonment and cruelty were handled quite well. Lord Wiley is my kind of guy. There’s not much I didn’t enjoy. I learned about Blackamoors. I actually googled to find more information.Again, this is a book I enjoyed and would highly recommend. Thank you to Entangled: Amara for the advanced eARC.
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  • Smitten
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsThe story opens up where Ruth and Adam have eloped. They are on their way to his family’s house but a potential danger is lurking around, forcing them to try to get to safety quickly. They never make it as both Ruth and Adam are brutally attacked.Years later, Ruth is still struggling over her loss. Her family doesn’t believe she ever married anyone as she didn’t send word when she got eloped. They believe she was sleeping around and she became pregnant. She is really treated horrible by 3.5 StarsThe story opens up where Ruth and Adam have eloped. They are on their way to his family’s house but a potential danger is lurking around, forcing them to try to get to safety quickly. They never make it as both Ruth and Adam are brutally attacked.Years later, Ruth is still struggling over her loss. Her family doesn’t believe she ever married anyone as she didn’t send word when she got eloped. They believe she was sleeping around and she became pregnant. She is really treated horrible by her family. Ruth is deadest on proving that her deceased husband is not a figure of her imagination.She embarks on a journey with her sister and discovers that Adam has “family” and little does she know, she never really knew her husband. Wycliff/Adam is shocked to see Ruth again. He must pretend to be someone else in order to protect her. He kept many secrets and they almost cost him their lives.This story is definitely a mix bag for me. I truly enjoyed reading about people of color during a time when their stories are not emphasized. Ruth and Wycliff experience so many traumas to get to their HEA. The beginning of the story lured me in with the brutal description of their separation. The author really stayed inside each character’s head so it was a lot of pain to absorb right away. Once Ruth meets Wycliff/Adam things start to turn for her. She is a bit shocked that she finds another man outside of her “deceased” husband attractive. Wycliff still believe it is dangerous and he won’t reveal his identity yet. However, seeing that Ruth has suffered and is very scared of the outside world, it fuels him to hurry to seek vengeance on those who hurt them.The mystery element is the best part of the story. From the beginning of the story, I wanted to understand what was truly happening. The author unfolded everything gradually. The romantic tone is muted against the mystery backdrop. The author writes in a strange way as if the characters are telling the readers what is occurring and not letting them see the events unfold. I think this makes it hard for me to stay in the flow of the story.As they discover their love for one another, drama picks up as the bad guys are still around. Wycliff is not the man he used to be and handles this situation very well. I was happy for Ruth and Wycliff.~ Samantha
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  • Sissy's Romance Book Review
    January 1, 1970
    The Bewildered Bride by Vanessa Riley is book 4 in the Advertisements for Love Series. This is the story of Adam Wilky and Ruth Croome. I haven't yet read the previous books yet so for me this was a standalone book. Ruth and Adam had marred but instead of a big wedding they had eloped to Gretna Green. But then they were set upon and Ruth became a widower...or so she thought. In addition she found her self with child. When she returned home it was under the whispers of her story that didn't settl The Bewildered Bride by Vanessa Riley is book 4 in the Advertisements for Love Series. This is the story of Adam Wilky and Ruth Croome. I haven't yet read the previous books yet so for me this was a standalone book. Ruth and Adam had marred but instead of a big wedding they had eloped to Gretna Green. But then they were set upon and Ruth became a widower...or so she thought. In addition she found her self with child. When she returned home it was under the whispers of her story that didn't settle in with the town. Knowing that she would never love another but she would have to go on somehow without him and with the rumors that swirl around her. Adam was set upon but not killed but he was sold into imprisonment. Now he finds that Ruth didn't die and there is a child. Ruth to is shocked by the turn of event with her feelings torn...but can they get back to their happy ending with danger so near to them?Enjoyed their story!
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  • Samantha Brody
    January 1, 1970
    Revenge plots + hidden identities are some of my favorite tropes, so this had my flavor of catnip written all over. It was refreshing to see such little time spent on the mechanicals & plotting of revenge, though I do wish a bit more space has been spent on rebuilding Ruth’s relationship with her family/the effects of being revealed to having been telling the truth.MASSIVE TW: reference to trauma of gang rape (assault is not shown on page), repeated reference to attempted lynching of main ch Revenge plots + hidden identities are some of my favorite tropes, so this had my flavor of catnip written all over. It was refreshing to see such little time spent on the mechanicals & plotting of revenge, though I do wish a bit more space has been spent on rebuilding Ruth’s relationship with her family/the effects of being revealed to having been telling the truth.MASSIVE TW: reference to trauma of gang rape (assault is not shown on page), repeated reference to attempted lynching of main character (violence shown on page in one brief scene in chapter 3)
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  • Suzette
    January 1, 1970
    This is a bittersweet story. Adam and Ruth are treated to horrible injustices because of their race. They however fight back. They have to fight to rebuild their love and marriage. They have to fight the physical scars as well as the emotional ones that come from the abuse they suffered. The author does a wonderful job of telling this tale of love, loss and redemption. You will love the characters and root for them every step of the way to their joyful end.
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  • Sharon Tyler
    January 1, 1970
    The Bewildered Bride is the fourth book in the Advertisements for Love series by Vanessa Riley. I have not read any of the previous books, but believe that they can all be enjoyed as stand alone reads. This book is currently scheduled for release on August 12 2019.Ruth Croome, a Blackamoor heiress, was supposed to get married in a gorgeous wedding gown, made from her father’s exquisite fabrics. Instead, they eloped to Gretna Green and upon returning, their carriage was beset by highwaymen and sh The Bewildered Bride is the fourth book in the Advertisements for Love series by Vanessa Riley. I have not read any of the previous books, but believe that they can all be enjoyed as stand alone reads. This book is currently scheduled for release on August 12 2019.Ruth Croome, a Blackamoor heiress, was supposed to get married in a gorgeous wedding gown, made from her father’s exquisite fabrics. Instead, they eloped to Gretna Green and upon returning, their carriage was beset by highwaymen and she witnessed the murder of her new husband. Now, four years later, with a child, she wants to move on with her life. A marriage of convenience will do. Ruth already had a love for the ages. Adam Wilky is really the heir to the Wycliff barony—which he never told Ruth. Too much danger. So many secrets. When he was nearly beaten to death and sold into impressment, he thought Ruth had died, too. Ready for revenge, he finally returns and discovers Ruth alive—with a son who could only be his—and she is furious to discover he lied to her. Now it’ll take more than remembered passion if he hopes to win his reluctant wife back.The Bewildered Bride is a book that takes an honest look at the racism in England's past, and adds so much emotion, corruption, and danger that there is rarely a page that did not have me wondering who would make the next misstep. Ruth has been through hell, and no one seems to believe her. So she deals with the remarks and just strives to make the best life for her son. Adam is finally making things right after the betrayal of family and thinking Ruth dead for four years. The journey of them finding their way together again, despite the danger and deceptions is harrowing but extremely well written. I have to say that I really enjoyed the realism of the family dynamics and especially the final confrontation. I thought the sensitive subjects in the story (rape, abuse) were very well handled and I liked the support and hope that it offers readers through its handling.The Bewildered Bride is an emotional ride, well worth the read.
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  • Book
    January 1, 1970
    I almost put down this book after reading the first couple of pages as I didn't like the first person POV of the heroine. But I am glad that I kept at it as this book was definitely a gem. Here is a content warning before I start my review. This book contains mention of violence and sexual assault. As I read through the story, it gets intense and binds you in the suspense. The characters are really well written. Ruth and Adam are in no ways perfect as characters but their romance is absolutely p I almost put down this book after reading the first couple of pages as I didn't like the first person POV of the heroine. But I am glad that I kept at it as this book was definitely a gem. Here is a content warning before I start my review. This book contains mention of violence and sexual assault. As I read through the story, it gets intense and binds you in the suspense. The characters are really well written. Ruth and Adam are in no ways perfect as characters but their romance is absolutely perfect. The horrors that both of them go through made my heart bleed. It is a well written story that completely draws you into the struggles that Adam and Ruth go through in re-acquainting themselves with each other after four years of tragic and horrific separation. The only thing I didn't like about this book is how the author kept going from a first person POV for heroine to a third person POV for the hero. I wish she would have stuck to just one style as it sometimes made my head spin. But having said that, I have to say that in no way does it take away from this intense and beautiful love story. * I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review*
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  • Lena
    January 1, 1970
    This is a wonderful and riveting tale of second chances. The author has a wonderful narrative style and the dual first-person POV might take a little to get used to, but it's done wonderfully and it gives great insights in both characters.Adam and Ruth's story is full of hardship, sorrow and suffering. Being apart for four years, and thinking the other one is dead, they had to do what was needed to survive. When fate brings them back together, they are two different people and coming to terms to This is a wonderful and riveting tale of second chances. The author has a wonderful narrative style and the dual first-person POV might take a little to get used to, but it's done wonderfully and it gives great insights in both characters.Adam and Ruth's story is full of hardship, sorrow and suffering. Being apart for four years, and thinking the other one is dead, they had to do what was needed to survive. When fate brings them back together, they are two different people and coming to terms to that as their love unfold is beautiful. I adored Ruth's character and hidden strength and the challenges she faced in life for her race and her disability and how she conquers her fears in the end. And Adam's powerful persona and how much he fights to deserve her love again.I definitely recommend this story but I'll add content warning for references of sexual abuse/rape..
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  • Belle Calhoune
    January 1, 1970
    The Bewildered Bride by Vanessa Riley is a gem of a book. For lovers of Historical and Regency romance, you will find yourself transported back in time to a different world. The hero and heroine, Adam and Ruth, are passionately in love, and despite racial differences, decide to marry. Then the nightmare begins as their lives are sidetracked by a shocking act of violence and treachery. What I most enjoyed about the book was the fact that the hero and heroine aren't instantly granted their fairyta The Bewildered Bride by Vanessa Riley is a gem of a book. For lovers of Historical and Regency romance, you will find yourself transported back in time to a different world. The hero and heroine, Adam and Ruth, are passionately in love, and despite racial differences, decide to marry. Then the nightmare begins as their lives are sidetracked by a shocking act of violence and treachery. What I most enjoyed about the book was the fact that the hero and heroine aren't instantly granted their fairytale. They have to fight through pain and tragedy and separation in order to find their way back to each other. Riley manages to infuse so many tender touches throughout the novel and I truly felt as if I was in the heads of Ruth and Adam as they love, grieve, rage and rejoice. A great read by a talented storyteller.
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  • Debra Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Ruth Croome, a Blackamoor heiress, eloped to Gretna Green with her beloved, Adam Wilky, and thought her life was perfect until they were attacked on their way home to London. Ruth witnesses her husband's murder and was brutalized before being sold to a brothel. Now four years later, Lord Wycliff shows up on her parent's doorstep claiming to be Adam's cousin. Against her better judgment, Ruth feels attracted to Wycliff and struggles with feelings of guilt for betraying Adam's memory. Secrets surr Ruth Croome, a Blackamoor heiress, eloped to Gretna Green with her beloved, Adam Wilky, and thought her life was perfect until they were attacked on their way home to London. Ruth witnesses her husband's murder and was brutalized before being sold to a brothel. Now four years later, Lord Wycliff shows up on her parent's doorstep claiming to be Adam's cousin. Against her better judgment, Ruth feels attracted to Wycliff and struggles with feelings of guilt for betraying Adam's memory. Secrets surround Wycliff and Ruth is in for the shock of her life the more time she spends with him.This was a difficult story to read, but Ms. Riley handles sensitive part of the book with great care. Ruth's eyesight was always poor, but a severe blow to the head during the attack has left her almost blind, not to mention, fearful of even going outside. I was rooting for Ruth to overcome her fears although some parts of the book dragged on too long for me. I get that Ruth is struggling, but I didn't want to be reminded of it in almost every chapter. I also thought her mother was cruel in the way she responded to Ruth once she came home. Wycliff's character tries to be everything that Adam was not and I did like the clever way he ruined his enemies. All in all, this was a compelling story, but I'm not sure I'm ready to read anymore deep and emotional stories from Ms. Riley.I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.
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  • Martha
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness, this is regency romance like you haven't read before. Romance between a married couple that one of them doesn't know they are married? Well, I can't give away more of the story, but tell you, this one is worth reading. I loved it.
  • Bhriv
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! Just Wowed by this one! Have lived this whole series, but adore this one!Where’s my Adam? Loved how Riley showed us the feeling Ruth had after They were attacked and coming back from the years of being called a liar. Strong woman! Loved how Adam tried to win her heart again. Truly a must read!
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  • REGENIA
    January 1, 1970
    Another great one!I couldn't put it down. Another great story! This book fits beautifully with the rest of the series. Bravo, I say!
  • Izzie d
    January 1, 1970
    It's okay.A bit choppy in parts.Mystery over the events during the separation esp concerning the heroine.No intimate scenes with anyone other than the Hero and heroine.HEA.
  • Emmalita
    January 1, 1970
    I received this as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Vanessa Riley writes diverse romances set in Regency and early Victorian England. As she says on her website:Yes, Black People existed in the Regency.In London there were over 10,000-20,000 that lived in London during the time of Jane Austen. The number has been estimated to be as high as 30,000 across England, Scotland, and Ireland. So with less than 28 dukes during that time period, who are you more likely to run into, a I received this as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Vanessa Riley writes diverse romances set in Regency and early Victorian England. As she says on her website:Yes, Black People existed in the Regency.In London there were over 10,000-20,000 that lived in London during the time of Jane Austen. The number has been estimated to be as high as 30,000 across England, Scotland, and Ireland. So with less than 28 dukes during that time period, who are you more likely to run into, a duke, or a person of color who found love?Content warnings: rape, physical violence, racismRuth Croome Wilkey is a single mother and the daughter of a wealthy merchant specializing in fabrics. The Croome family is black. Ruth eloped to Scotland with her husband, Adam Wilkey, who passed for white. After a few days of wedded bliss, Ruth insists they return to London so she can assure her family she is well. Along the way, they are attacked and each assumes the other was murdered. Adam was sold to the Navy and Ruth was sold to a whorehouse.Four years later, Ruth is back home with her family and her young son. Her diminishing vision and trauma from the attack have made her reluctant to venture out of the house. On top of that, no one believes her. They think she ran off with a man, was abandoned and ended up in a whorehouse. Her family and friends think Adam Wilkey is a fiction. She has no proof of the marriage because her husband took the record of the wedding out of the registry and tore it in half. Half went into Ruth’s trunk and half was mailed to his father. Tired of living in her parent’s house and living with the knowledge that no one believes her, Ruth has advertised for a husband and is on her way to becoming engaged to a barrister. Unexpectedly, the trunk she took with her on her elopement is returned with half the wedding record. Ruth decides to venture to her father in law’s house to see if he has the other half of the record. When she arrives, there is a man with a whip evicting the former tenants. That man is her long lost husband, but because she doesn’t recognize him, he claims to be her husband’s cousin.I think Ruth is a great character. She is struggling to overcome trauma and make a life for herself and her son. She has survived almost four years of even her family thinking she is at best crazy and at worst a liar. She is down, but not out. She deserves a partner so much better than Adam, who never seems to learn the right lesson. In this case, I think the right lesson was, don’t lie to your partner about what’s happening and who you are. Adam lies to, or withholds the truth from Ruth repeatedly. When they eloped, he didn’t tell her who he really was or about his enemies. She was making decisions with out crucial information. When he returns and she doesn’t recognize him, he lies more. His lie doesn’t keep her safe, but is does inflict emotional damage. Adam insists to himself and others that he has grown and changes, that he is wiser, but mostly he seems to double down on his previous mistakes.My issue may well not be your issue. I enjoyed Bewildered Bride enough that if secrets/secret identities don’t bother you, you should give this a read. I liked it enough that I’m interested in reading more of Vanessa Riley’s books.
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  • MrsMascara
    January 1, 1970
    This is a hugely difficult review to write because I am so torn. It was really fantastic to read a historical romance that was set in England in the 18th Century.I really struggled with the writing style though, it felt very disjointed and didn’t flow, and I found it really difficult to get immersed in the story at the beginning. I also thought there were many Americanisms throughout the book, that would not have been used in England, these felt jarring to me.I did really root for the heroine th This is a hugely difficult review to write because I am so torn. It was really fantastic to read a historical romance that was set in England in the 18th Century.I really struggled with the writing style though, it felt very disjointed and didn’t flow, and I found it really difficult to get immersed in the story at the beginning. I also thought there were many Americanisms throughout the book, that would not have been used in England, these felt jarring to me.I did really root for the heroine though, Ruth Croome is a black woman living in Spitalfields, and heiress to her father’s fortune acquired in the textile business. She eloped with Adam Wilky four years before, and as they returned to London they were attacked and brutally separated. Ruth bears huge scars from her ordeal, physical and mental, including impending blindness and a fear of being outside. She had a son after she believed Adam had died, and she lives at home, suffering the disbelief of friends and family and taunts about her virtue and her mind. Tormented by the judgment she experiences in her father’s house, she is seeking a marriage of convenience when Adam, now Baron Wycliff, returns. He hadn’t told Ruth he was heir to a barony, or his real name, which he hated, and when he was attacked and impressed into the navy, he spent four years away, believing Ruth was dead. He is the son on a white man and a black woman, but he passes for white, and he is back in London so secure his inheritance and to take revenge on his uncle and cousin who were responsible for the attack. He also wants Ruth back. He decides to masquerade as Adam’s cousin, and tries to woo Ruth again. Ruth slowly ( very slowly- the book is very long!) opens up to Adam, and he finds out the truth of what happened to Ruth - violence, assault and physical and mental abuse. Ruth finds the strength to trust Adam, and stand up for herself, and is altogether admirable in awful circumstances. Adam is honourable, but so angry, and he struggles with accepting what has happened to Ruth, and although he acknowledges Chris as his heir, his paternity and his way of dealing with Ruth are conflicted at first. Hugely physically altered he has grown into a muscular man, when he was very skinny, and his beard and other physical changes, together with his deep rough voice serve to make him unrecognisable to Ruth. He keeps the deception for far too long, and when he finally confesses, Ruth, understandably finds it difficult to forgive him.I loved the plot and the story, but found the style very difficult to read, I also though the book was over long.I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book and all opinions are my own.
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  • Nadine
    January 1, 1970
    Overall: 3.5 stars for a unique storyline and setting and the complex, traumatized hero & heroine who sooo much deserved their second chance.CONTENT WARNING: physical assault, rape, forced labour, and mental health issues caused by the former. We meet the hero and heroine while they are being made to leave an Inn they spent their Honeymoon at after eloping. Soon afterwards both go through life-changing events that make both of them believe the other one had been murdered. Fast forward 4 year Overall: 3.5 stars for a unique storyline and setting and the complex, traumatized hero & heroine who sooo much deserved their second chance.CONTENT WARNING: physical assault, rape, forced labour, and mental health issues caused by the former. We meet the hero and heroine while they are being made to leave an Inn they spent their Honeymoon at after eloping. Soon afterwards both go through life-changing events that make both of them believe the other one had been murdered. Fast forward 4 years, the once high spirited and life-embracing heroine is now a single-mom and suffering mental, physical, societidal, and emotional consequences including what, I guess, we would now call symptoms of PTSD. Our hero had spend the past years on a Navy ship enduring forced labour. Finally back on dry land and plotting his revenge under a new name, he recognizes the wife he thought dead still being alive. He seeks her out to protect her and win her over again - as he's not identifying himself for her own safety. He's pretending to be a relative of the hero she thinks dead. With the plot thickening towards the end of the book, and both discovering how much they care for each other, there's a lot of actual English history reflected on the pages that I don't come across too often in other historical romances. Learning about Mulattos and Blackamoors during the Regency times, rape charges, debtors' prison, etc. I found this very intriguing aspects of the book. Having read the previous book in the series, I come to love the storylines and historical circumstances covered by the author, that often other authors do not cover. Overall, this book took a bit of time for me to get into. I sometimes found the flow and storyline a bit off, with the switch between 1st POV for the heroine and 3rd POV for the hero difficult at the beginning. The plot and suspense sped up towards the end though, and I was intrigued how both could overcome their complex past and current feelings. It was shocking and frustrating that basically neither main character had anyone supporting them or even believing them. In case of the heroine, her own mother and sister kept putting her through hell as they simply believed lies and not the truth their traumatised daughter/ sister had endured. The book can be read as a stand-alone but I'd recommend to check out the other books of the series too. Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read the book before publication. This review is based on my own opinions.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 8/15/19.The Bewildered Bride is a sloooooow moving/slow burn second chance romance (though only one character actually is aware of their second chance status for 80% of the book!) that has a whole lot going on besides the romance. Revenge. Secrets. A hidden identity. Tragic and often-horrific pasts. A fatherless child who may or may not be illegitimate...So. Much. Going. On.Ultimately, The Bewildered Bride had a very sweet ending, but goodness, it took so Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 8/15/19.The Bewildered Bride is a sloooooow moving/slow burn second chance romance (though only one character actually is aware of their second chance status for 80% of the book!) that has a whole lot going on besides the romance. Revenge. Secrets. A hidden identity. Tragic and often-horrific pasts. A fatherless child who may or may not be illegitimate...So. Much. Going. On.Ultimately, The Bewildered Bride had a very sweet ending, but goodness, it took so much to get us all there. Adam kept his true identity hidden from Ruth way longer than he should have--I lost count of how many times she thought goodness, this [add in a thing about the baron here] reminds me so much of Adam! or his [fill in aspect of his person/personality here] is just like Adam's! Seriously, it was near constant, and soooo frustrating. She also did an awful lot of waffling between wanting to be with him--he made her feel so safe and protected!--and not trusting him at all and pushing him away. All part of being a "bewildered bride" I guess? The alternate first person POV (Ruth's) and third person (Adam's) was a bit disconcerting; I never did fully get used to it.The drama with Adam's relatives, who were the villains of the story from start to finish was solid, though, and kept me turning the pages to find out just how many evil deeds they were capable of and how and when they would finally get their due. They did not disappoint, either in their villainy or in their comeuppance. ;)This is the 4th book in the series, but it worked just fine as a standalone. It's not at all obvious who here might have even been in previous books (Ruth's sister, maybe?) so going into it not knowing anything about the rest of the series books wasn't an issue at all for me.Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
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  • Amy Alvis
    January 1, 1970
    Ruth is ready to move on with her life. After eloping, getting beset by highwaymen and losing her new husband, she is happy to have a marriage of convenience so that her young son will have a father. Just as she seems to have it all figured out, Adam comes into her life. Adam is a "cousin" to her late husband and has made it his mission to make sure that she is taken card of.Adam can't believe that his wife is alive! ll of these years apart, he has morned the loss of her. But she doesn't recogni Ruth is ready to move on with her life. After eloping, getting beset by highwaymen and losing her new husband, she is happy to have a marriage of convenience so that her young son will have a father. Just as she seems to have it all figured out, Adam comes into her life. Adam is a "cousin" to her late husband and has made it his mission to make sure that she is taken card of.Adam can't believe that his wife is alive! ll of these years apart, he has morned the loss of her. But she doesn't recognize him. Adam doesn't look the same after working on a ship and has a much different voice from the damage the highwaymen inflicted on him. She also didn't know that he was heir to the Wycliff barony. He needs to keep her safe from the same men that attacked them before. He wants his wife and his life back and will do anything.With Adam keeping his identity a secret, Ruth can't help but compare the baron to her late husband. What will she do when she finds out they are one in the same?I really enjoyed Adam and Ruth's story. The pain that these two went through, both mentally and physically, just breaks your heart! They were quick to get married the first time and they really didn't know one another well. It was enjoyable watching the fall in love all over again, proving that they didn't rush things the first time around. This is my first book by Riley, but it won't be my last. I need to go back and read the rest of the series!
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  • Ashtin
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first time reading Vanessa Riley, and I really enjoyed this book. The Bewildered Bride is the fourth in this series, but it does well as a stand-alone. It was refreshing to read about the diversity of England during the regency era, so I'm looking forward to reading more from this series. However, I'm not a fan of a fake identity plot, and this book did not change my mind on that. Only a few days after their elopement, Ruth and Adam are attacked on their return home. They are separat This was my first time reading Vanessa Riley, and I really enjoyed this book. The Bewildered Bride is the fourth in this series, but it does well as a stand-alone. It was refreshing to read about the diversity of England during the regency era, so I'm looking forward to reading more from this series. However, I'm not a fan of a fake identity plot, and this book did not change my mind on that. Only a few days after their elopement, Ruth and Adam are attacked on their return home. They are separated, both badly injured, and think the other is dead. A few years later, they find each other again. However, Adam does reveal to Ruth his true identity, letting her believe he is Adam's cousin the Baron of Wycliff. He's determined to win back Ruth's love before she is betrothed to someone else. However, Adam's secrets and enemies mean they have a lot to overcome before they can be husband and wife again. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced reader's copy in exchange for my review.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. That doesn't seem like quite the right word to use, as parts of the plot are heartbreaking, but I truly liked this book. I found this portrayal of Black life in London during the Regency era fascinating--these are untold stories, and it's important to finally hear them. I haven't read many romances that deal with the issue of passing (Beverly Jenkins' Forbidden is a notable exception), and it was fascinating to see that explored in this era. My only problem with this I really enjoyed this book. That doesn't seem like quite the right word to use, as parts of the plot are heartbreaking, but I truly liked this book. I found this portrayal of Black life in London during the Regency era fascinating--these are untold stories, and it's important to finally hear them. I haven't read many romances that deal with the issue of passing (Beverly Jenkins' Forbidden is a notable exception), and it was fascinating to see that explored in this era. My only problem with this book was the choice to switch between a first person narrator (the heroine) and a third person narrator (who spoke from the hero's perspective). This choice did not work for me at all. This was the first book I'd read by this author, and in spite of my complaint about the narration, now I am excited to go back and read her previous work. I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley. All my opinions are my own.
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  • LianaReads blog
    January 1, 1970
    A second chance interracial love story that will keep you wanting more and more from this couple.It's been a while since reading a historical romance and i wasn't disappointed in this new to me author and story. Like many marriages, not everything goes planed and the couple has to overcome so many twists and turns throughout the story, some things may trigger some readers but they needed to be said as real-life can be even worse than the fictional one.Good writing, great characters and overall a A second chance interracial love story that will keep you wanting more and more from this couple.It's been a while since reading a historical romance and i wasn't disappointed in this new to me author and story. Like many marriages, not everything goes planed and the couple has to overcome so many twists and turns throughout the story, some things may trigger some readers but they needed to be said as real-life can be even worse than the fictional one.Good writing, great characters and overall a great story that shows how love can overcome any obstacles if it's meant to be.
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