Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas (Fitzhugh Trilogy #3)
Released: October 2, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
David Hillsborough, Viscount Hastings has loved Helena Fitzhugh for most of his life. When he was just a kid, he would make fun of her, pull her hair, the types of things boys do when they like a girl but are not mature enough to process their feelings. The problem is, as Hastings got older, he never stopped making fun of her. He loved her so much and was so afraid of his feelings, he would rather put her down or anger her to get a rise out of her, than own up to how he really feels.
Helena can’t stand Hastings and his snide remarks. Instead, her attentions have wandered and secured on an Andrew Martin. The problem is, Andrew is already married. He is not happy in his marriage, but he is married nonetheless. This doesn’t stop Helena and Andrew from meeting secretly and sharing kisses. While they consider what they are doing an ‘affair’ (and by all accounts it is) they never have sex, fearing the consequences. Hastings discovers Helena sneaking into Andrew’s room one night at a house party, and while he is disappointed and sad that she is doing this, he also alerts her family that she may not be acting appropriately, hopefully helping her keep her free from being ruined. But drama ensues when Andrew’s wife sets Helena and Andrew up to be caught. Hastings swoops in to save the day (somewhat, with a forced engagement to Helena), but later that day when Helena gets hit by a carriage and loses her memory, Hastings may have a fresh start with the woman he loves.
I’ve been anticipating Hasting and Helena’s story through both of the previous books (although this can be read as a standalone). Hastings is so – sarcastic and for appearances so cocky and arrogant, but when we get his POV in this book, oh - it kind of breaks your heart. He is so in love with Helena and he has some really romantic moments as he lusts after her in this book.
Except he didn’t go to his room. Instead he took himself to an alcove that allowed him a limited view of her room – unrequited love meant staring at closed doors, imagining otherwise. A faint light still shone under her door;she was probably reading in bed.
Just a few more pages.
Hampton House, her childhood home, had been of a modest size. When he’s visited, he’d had a room three doors down from hers. Every night, her governess would come around and urge her to turn off her lamp. Invariably, she would answer, Just a few more pages.
And when the governess had left, he would slip out of his own room and peer at her door until her light was extinguished at last, before he returned to bed to stew anew in lust and yearning.
When Helena gets into a carriage accident, she goes unconscious for days. Hastings is beside himself Again, as she lays there unmoving, his romantic side overtakes him:
He took hold of her hand. “Come, wake up. Tell me to keep my hand to myself. Tell me to get out of your room. Tell me to – “
This time he could no longer hold back his tears. And with them came words that he’d never been able to say to her his entire life. “I love you, Helena. I have always loved you. Wake up and let me prove it to you.”
Oh Hastings. This starts to bring us to the point in the book I had trouble with. I’m not a huge fan of amnesia storylines. When Helena wakes up, she doesn’t remember who Hastings is. So of course, she sees him fawning over her, and loving her, and she doesn’t remember the heartache he caused her for all those years. She also doesn’t remember Andrew Martin. But we all know where this story is headed. The conflict when she starts to remember is so predictable. I just didn’t like the second half of this story. I wish they had fallen in love under different circumstances. And the end was so rushed, once Helena realizes she is truly in love with Hastings, we have no time to explore this. Great start, disappointing ending for me.