The Unforgettable Hero by Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides
Released: February 2, 2016
Reviewed by Sheena
Sweet and sexy is the optimum mix when it comes to historical romance and Valerie Bowman meshes the two beautifully. The Unforgettable Hero is a dreamy novella where fantasy and romanticism collide and the result is a fun and flirty ride!
Cecelia Harsourt is dodging a most unwanted marriage with a distant cousin (yikes) and is hoping her romance novel is her ticket to escape her fate and earn financial and social freedom. Disappointed and bewildered when her novel is rejected because it is a pithy, romance novel (can you imagine!!!), Cecelia (Cece) is struck by a carriage! Lieutenant Adam Hunt was honorably discharged from the army and is looking to make his own way in the world. He is sort of ‘lost’ and aimless yet determined to live outside of his decorated and highly favored brother. His fortune takes a turn when he rescues Cecelia when she is struck by the stagecoach. Poor Cecilia, the accident has her head scrambled and she fancies herself her own book heroine, Lady Magnolia. The stars align and Adam comically takes on the role of her novel’s hero. This is unique and more than a little fascinating so I totally took the bait.
Cece is twenty years old and without a suitor or proper prospect in sight. Her parents died the year she was set to come out and ever since she and her sickly younger sister, Mary, were under the none so tender care of her aunt and uncle. The later of which was set to force her into a marriage with her first cousin Percy. Mary is so soooo sweet and positive and supportive that I just want to hug her through the pages. She is also very sickly and in need of medicine that Cece is determined to buy for her. There is a lot riding on the success of Cecelia’s writing, and so far she is laser focused on saving both their skins.
After her accident, Adam, takes Cecelia home to care for her in her fragile state. As luck would have it, Maggie/Cecelia is the daughter of an Earl and she has a betrothed, the handsome and brave Duke of Loveridge! I found it hilarious that Adam so seamlessly adjusted to his new role as Duke. It was easy to forget that these were two absolute strangers who were doing little more than playacting! Maggie was the epitome of a damsel in distress and Adam her handsomely fearsome lover and protector. This is definitely Maggie’s story but I found the most interesting perspectives those of Adam as he transformed to be the man she needed. A gentle woman under his protection in his household gave him the sense of purpose that he was looking for. I enjoyed how Adam’s house hold staff and family also got in on the act, perpetuating the farce while in the background they worked to try to figure out who she really was. The little bouts of hysterics that Maggie/Cece would be on the cusp of if they did or said something to confuse her was priceless. I totally read this novella with a smile upon my face.
If I had to point out an area that gave me trouble- it would have to be with the ending. The resolution while predictable, was rushed and that is even judging by a novella’s standards. I also had the nagging feeling that this couple needed a little more time to make their HEA really resonate. That is always the rub for me in stories when characters fall in love but there is a question of identity. Did they really, really come to fall in love? Meh, it is a testament to the author that though I have these concerns, they were mitigated enough that I only had concerns in passing and they did not get in the way of any reading enjoyment.
Light, fluffy and fan yourself sexy, Valerie Bowman has this style that draws you in, the humor is first rate and the story telling plays like a little stage play in my mind. The Playful Brides series is one of my faves in a genre chock full of Sir, Duke and Lady romantic tales. What sets it apart is the witty dialogue, evolving plots and sexy humor. If you have not already, I absolutely recommend you give this series a try. The Unforgettable Hero was not at all forgettable as far as historical novels go. It was the perfect novella, witty and whetting my appetite for more! A fun little treat in an even more fun series, I know this is a novella I will read again!