Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
The Bedding Proposal (The Rakes of Cavendish Square #1) by Tracey Anne Warren is your typical historical romance set in the Regency era. But Warren can really pen a great historical romance by using great dialogue and an atmosphere or tone you would expect. The chemistry between the hero and heroine is also well done. These are likable people who respect and care for one another, not only as lovers, but as friends. Unfortunately the end sputters because of a hand of god type action that removes all roadblocks for the main couple’s HEA and made me roll my eyes.
Leo is a respected member of the Ton, a rich lord with too much time on his hands. His brother, on the other hand, likes to work and welcomes the life of a common man, although he’ll always have money to keep him comfortable. Since Leo is a bachelor, he’s always searching for a new mistress. He decides on Lady Thalia, a divorced lady who isn’t welcome in society since her husband accused her of being unfaithful and divorced her for the shameless whorish slut that she is, just because he says so. Leo spots Thalia at a party, and is smitten. He assumes since she’s divorced and has experience in the bedroom, she’ll welcome him in her bed. But Leo has his work cut out for him because Thalia isn’t interested in this egotistical, lofty handsome lord who expects women to fall all over him.
Thalia is 31, going on 32. She has to live within her means, which is more middle class because he ex-husband left her with nothing. She had a horrible marriage, complete with abuse and hate from her then husband for reasons that are explained later in the story. Thalia feels so alone because society assumes she wronged her husband. Her two close girl friends from childhood try to support her, but their husbands don’t because Thalia is considered a fallen woman. But she does the best she can by running a household with dedicated servants, a beloved cat, and some hobbies such as reading. She’s first offended by Leo because she knows what he wants from her. She denies him at every turn. but he’s tenacious and won’t give up. There’s something special about Thalia he admires, and she’s unlike any woman he has gone after. Soon enough he breaks down her defenses after she gives him a merry chase. These interactions are enjoyable and very funny. He offers friendship with the possibility of more, which she accepts. She assumes he will grow bored of her, but he doesn’t. They do become friends in truth, and then become more.
When Thalia and Leo become lovers, it’s like both are reborn. They enjoy each other’s company and conversation, not just sex, although the love scenes are hot and steamy. They build a connection that lasts months. Everything is moving along swimmingly, but then Gordon, Thalia’s ex-husband enters the pictures, and that’s when things become very complicated for the main couple.
The Bedding Proposal is a mature romance because Leo and Thalia are mature, independent people. It also has a slight May/December trope because Leo is 25 to Thalia’s 31. Leo is charming, endearing and sweet. Thalia is the same. You root for these two because they’re perfect together. The angst and tension comes in the form of Thalia’s former marriage to a despicable man, who’s as one-dimensional as you can get. Why does he want to cause Thalia such pain? The reason is weak and not explored. Also the drama surrounding him and Leo and Thalia feels tacked on. The way he’s resolved is something I expected would happen more than half way through. When it does happen, I shook my head by the ridiculousness of it all because it was such an easy way out, just thrown in to cement a HEA for Leo and Thalia. Because of this, I had to lower my grade because it was a poorly written device done time and again.
The Bedding Proposal shines the most when we see Leo and Thalia happy together. If you can get past the weak resolution with Thalia’s ex-husband, then you should enjoy The Bedding Proposal.