The Spice Bride (The Emberton Brothers #1)


Richard is both the head of his family and its shipping business. He's lost his third ship in a year to the French and he can’t afford to lose another. His busybody mother, used to running things since his father fell ill, has hatched a plan—behind his back—that could save everything, but Richard is the sacrificial lamb. Grace is longing to return to her father's plantation in India. On the return voyage after completing boarding school in England her father sees a business opportunity. What better asset to bargain with than his daughter?  Neither Richard nor Grace is happy, but at least one of them is willing to try for the sake of family.


Unusual for an historical, Richard is not direct aristocracy, though high enough on the social ladder. He is a decent and genuine man, occasionally giving in to his mother a bit too easily when she connives behind his back, even if she’s right. Grace’s personality flip flops, and her age is not given until later in the story (her youth being partially the reason behind her tears) but sometimes her behavior is written as if she is older, sometimes as if she is younger. There appear to be missing scenes. Attitudes and behaviors toward each other have no basis in the written events of the story, but seem to make sense to the characters—as if they know the reason, but readers don’t. The plot, though excellent, is driven by misunderstandings and drama created by a spoiled, melodramatic teenager. Richard is a gem; his mother, though conniving, is wonderful and does know best, and the story of two strangers who marry within weeks is sure to make readers smile. 


Julie York