A Wicked Pursuit by Isabella Bradford

March 25, 2015
I love you. No, I love you. I really love you - and, I really love you - love - love - love.

I remember the old days when there would be only one time the word love was ever used in the entire romance book and that was usually on the last page. Some older books didn't even mention the word. I am not advocating returning to those days, because there was always a little voice in the back of my head that kept asking "yeah, but does he love her?" However in A Wicked Pursuit "I love you" was said at least a gazillion times and I found myself saying "oh, no not again." While I did find the use of the word love in this story to be a little irritating, I also thought that it showed even though a couple have admitted their love for each other there were still some stumbling blocks along the way to true happiness.

A Wicked Pursuit is the first in the Breconbridge brother series and yes, I read the second one first. I was familiar with the characters of Augusta Wetherby, aka Gus, and Harry but it was interesting to see their story. I wasn't as fond of A Wicked Pursuit as I was of A Sinful Deception, but it was a pleasant read.

This story has a ton of selfish people who our step-all-over-me heroine has to put up with. You know, I liked Gus in A Sinful Deception and I liked her in this story; however, I really want her to tell everyone where they can jump. At least in this story Harry's father's not there to insult her. She just has a self-centered, mercenary sister - Julia; and a father who takes Gus for granted while at the same time pandering to Julia's wants. Gus knows Julia is the beautiful one and has grown up with a huge I'm-the-ugly-one complex. She considers herself plain, but she is the glue that has kept her family together. She is the one who does the work, manages the household, makes sure everything is running smoothly. I did get tired of her making excuses for Julia. Julia, by the way, is the one our hero Harry wants.

Harry is young. He's 24 in this story and I have to say he's a really young 24. I found his character quite immature. He has fallen for the narcissist Julia and has gone to the Wetherby household to propose marriage. While there, the ignorant, cruel Julia puts him on a maniac horse he can barely control and then for some reason hides from him. Then for some reason she jumps out at him making him lose control of the horse. He is thrown from the horse, hits his head and breaks his leg - severely breaks his leg. Julia instantly runs off, leaving Gus to clean up her dirty work. While Harry is unconscious and fears of moving his horribly mangled leg are discussed, Julia leaves for London. Julia's father charges after her, leaving Gus alone and unchaperoned with an unconscious man who has a broken leg. Thank goodness for Harry's valet, cause I kept wondering how certain things that are done in real life would happen, since romance characters don't generally mention them. You know what I mean - those bathroom things.  Anyway, when Harry wakes up, he wakes up to plain Gus not beautiful Julia. Of course Gus covers for Julia, because Gus is unworthy. It doesn't take long for Harry to fall under Gus' charming spell and soon he's in love with her. However, that doesn't stop him from being a self-indulgent young bonehead. He invites a trio of string instrument players and some friends to the Wetherby household without asking for anyone’s permission. He also doesn't seem to care how much of a disruption all of this has on the household and how much work Gus has to do. While Gus does show an occasional temper, in my opinion she didn't show enough - she is almost a saint, just accepting everything that everyone is dumping on her.

After some I love you’s and a visit from Harry's father, they get married. This part of the book had the feel of added pages about it. Because the couple has said they love each other and married, there still needed to be some kind of conflict to fill in the remaining pages. This time everything shifted to Harry's leg. He went into a "poor-me-I'm-half-a-man" mode. My thought on that was, "you have to be kidding me. You have a limp because you're one leg is shorter than the other and you're poo-hooing." His reaction was wayyyy over the top for what his injury was. And, then he had the nerve to say he wouldn't be able to dance because of his shorter leg - I thought OMG are you serious, put a wad of paper in your shoe for Pete's sake.

This isn't a bad book. It's just filled with selfish characters and an almost doormat heroine. It was a slow-paced story without too much conflict; in fact there wasn't too much to the story at all.  The use of "I love you" was overwhelming and took away some of the much-needed tension from Gus and Harry. Even though she was a bit of a doormat, I kept rooting for Gus. I just hope in the third book Gus slugs a few people.

Time/Place: 1768 England
Sensuality: Warm/Hot

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