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Confessions of an Improper Bride (A Donovan Novel Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Haymore
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

TWICE TEMPTED

Serena Donovan left London six years ago, her heart broken and her reputation ruined by devilishly handsome Jonathan Dane. Now, with her family's future in peril, she reluctantly agrees to return to England and assume her late twin's identity. The price? Marry a man she doesn't love and spend the rest of her days living a lie.

Jonathan Dane, Earl of Stratford, has become an incorrigible rake, drinking, gambling-and trying to forget Serena Donovan. Yet the moment he's introduced to the prim and proper "Meg", he recognizes the sensual young woman who captured his heart. Haunted by his past mistakes, he refuses to lose Serena again. But convincing her to trust him is no easy task. Claiming his lost love means exposing the truth and destroying the life Serena has sacrificed everything to rebuild. With the future of all the Donovans at stake, and their undying passion capable of triggering yet another scandal, how much will Jonathan and Serena risk for a chance at true love?


Product Description

Review

"Each time Ms. Haymore writes a book in this series I think there is no way to top the one I just finished. I started this latest one and realize she has done just that and has proven to me how fresh this series can remain. The characters of Becky and Jack are so full of life and longing just trying to make the right connection between family, relationship and future happiness while figuring out who to trust with all their secrets. This is a wonderful story and while I recommend reading the 1st two it is not imperative as Jennifer Haymore is a magician at connecting the plot from one book to the next-- but trust me you will have to buy the first two, they are that good." "The Reading Reviewer (www.marygramlich.com)""

Book Description

Rising star Jennifer Haymore's latest sensual historical romance launches a new series for the Forever list.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1232 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0446573140
  • Publisher: Forever; 1 edition (1 Aug. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FOT99LI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #417,476 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book, Definitely Pre-Ordering the Others! 27 Sept. 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The story begins with twin sisters Meg and Serena Donovan on board a ship home. Meg is on her way to marry her sweetheart, Captain William Langley. Serena, however, is in disgrace, after being caught with Jonathan Dane, the son of the Earl of Stratford. She'd hoped Jonathan had loved her enough to stand up to the gossip, but he'd coldly dismissed her. On their way, a storm brews on the ship, and Meg is tossed overboard, never to be seen again. Knowing Serena will never be accepted into society again, her mother tells Serena to lie and say Serena was the one who actually died. Her mother has also kept up correspondence with Langley, impersonating Meg, so Langley marries her, thus making prospective matches available to her other daughter, Phoebe, who is a teenager.
Serena aka Meg isn't happy with the lie, but realises she doesn't have much choice, as she wants to be accepted again, but doesn't want to hurt Langley. She begins to regret her lie, when she discovers he's still friends with Jonathan Dane, who's now the new Earl of Stratford. As Meg, she says Serena would be hurt, but Langley disagrees, saying he's a changed man. But the more she sees Stratford, the more she struggles to pretend to be her sister.

In the past six years since Jonathan had cruelly dismissed Serena, he's truly regretted his actions. His father had implored him to leave her or face being cut off. Since learning of Serena's 'death,' his life went downhill. He practically stuck two fingers up at his father, began drinking, gambling and womanising. Rumours start he even has a child with someone. He then tells his father before he dies he'll never marry, hating him for making him get rid of Serena.

But when Jonathan sees Meg, he struggles to believe it's actually her.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very good 28 July 2011
By Jen (Red Hot Books) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What a surprising gem this book turned out to be. It wrapped me up from the very beginning and I didn't want to put it down until it was over.

At just 18, Serena Donovan fell in love during her first season in London. But Jonathan was above her station. When the two of them were caught in the midst of a tryst, she was ruined in the eyes of society. And Jonathan turned his back on her. She was forced to set sail for her home in Anguila, with her twin sister Meg at her side. During a storm at sea, Meg went overboard and was never found.

Six years later, Serena discovers that her mother informed London society that it was she, not her sister, who died in that tragic accident. What's more, her mother has been corresponding with Will, the man Meg had been in love with. Will has believed he has been writing to Meg all this time and has now asked her to return to London to wed. Serena's mother insists that Serena go in Meg's place. If she marries Will, she can restore honor to the family and help finance a future for her younger sisters.

When Serena arrives in London, she comes face to face with Jonathan again. He's the only one who seems to recognize her for who she really is. Of course, this takes time to come out in the open. In the interim, Serena does her best to stay away from the man who broke her heart so completely all those years ago. But it's a losing battle.

There was so much raw emotion in this book. Serena's anguish over her past is palpable. She is such a sympathetic character, because you can see how trusting and in love she once was. Her shattered self esteem is crushed even more as she is forced to sublimate herself to take on her "good" sister's persona. But she does it for her family... for her remaining sisters who would have no future otherwise. She struggles with the lies she must tell and fights her own heart to stay away from Jonathan... even after he reveals that he knows who she is. And even though it would be easy to hate Jonathan for all he put Serena through, you can see the depth of his grief at her loss --and the honesty in his love for her now.

It was really very good and makes me want to find more from Jennifer Haymore. Almost 5 stars.
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disagree entirely!! 15 Aug. 2011
By cindy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was soooooo disappointing to me with a story line so far fetched that I eventually skimmer through the last few chapters.

I absolutely loathed this hero.
He correctly labels himself a 'coward' after dismissing and distroying the reputation of his 'love' and then spends the next six years further debasing himself bedding anything in a skirt. This so called 'hero' didn't discriminate either....bedding everything from virgins, barmaids, hookers and married women...(maybe even trousers)...after all he couldn't keep it in his pants...yet he carried no STD's and never fathered a child. Riiiighttttt!!!! ..and we are expected to find something redeeming in his character. What exactly was there to 'love' about his character? What was there to admire about him? He had no honor or integrity and suffered a severe case of immaturity and selfishness right up to the end of the book.

Honestly.....I am so tired of authors telling the same sad story of the 'hero' drinking, gambling and whoring his way through women....and the fact that the heroine never even questions whether he might carry disease is just way to over the top! I ask you....what woman wants to be with a man that has bedded a dozen women never mind hundreds...(as the authors would have you believe.)

This book is headed for the garbage bin....what a terrible waste of time and money!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Confessions of an Improper Bride is a beautiful and enticing romance..." 25 Jun. 2012
By M. Nix - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Serena Donovan's first trip to London was six years ago. One season among London's ton had her falling in love and promptly getting her heart broken. She was forced to leave London under a cloud of disgrace. Unfortunately, her life was about to get more dire as Serena was forced to watch her beloved twin Meg fall overboard on their way home to Antigua.

Now Serena is back in London posing as her twin sister Meg. Serena's mother is hoping to restore the family name by marrying her off to a titled man as Meg. The only problem with this scenario is the one man that left Serena heartbroken seems to know the secret that she's keeping.

Jonathan Dane has one regret; he let the woman he loved be disgraced and that led to her death. Jonathan let his family tell him what to do all those years ago and the woman he loved died because of it. Jonathan has vowed to bring disgrace to his family name as vengeance against his loss. However, when Meg Donovan comes back to London to marry his friend, Jonathan cannot escape the feeling that Meg is truly his Serena. And if that's true Jonathan will do whatever possible to win the heart of the woman he loves and make her his forever.

Confessions of an Improper Bride is a beautiful and enticing romance. Serena is quite the complex character. She led with her heart once and was destroyed. Now she is determined to do the right thing for her family regardless of her feelings. Her struggle with her feelings regarding taking on the identity of her deceased twin Meg is a powerful plot. I can't get enough of Jonathan. Of course, I was deeply upset with him for the decision he made the first time around with Serena but he does his best to correct past wrongs here. The depth of his feelings for Serena is what makes this story so compelling. Jonathan is unwilling to watch the woman he loves leave him again. And there is something so romantic about the fact that he can see through Serena's disguise as Meg. He truly knows his lover. Confessions of an Improper Bride is a wonderful start to what is sure to be a lovely historical series featuring strong female characters.

Reviewed by Miranda
For Joyfully Reviewed
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You say I can trust you, but can I believe you? 4 Aug. 2011
By Mary Gramlich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Serena Donovan lost her reputation and her twin sister Meg the last time she encountered London and Jonathan Dane. Jonathan said he loved her but when pushed to acknowledge their relationship after being caught chose to cut her instead. Now Serena posing as her late sister must come back to face the devil himself and make right what went completely wrong last time.

Her mother created a scenario where Serena had died not Meg and pushed Serena to be Meg and go through with a marriage to a titled man. Though Serena is appalled to think she will now be in London pretending to be her sister, assuming the role of a future bride she will do so to preserve her family's good name and ensure her younger sisters have a chance to snare husbands. Serena will make this work or she will die trying.

However, when faced with Jonathan Serena has a hard time keeping up the façade, especially when Jonathan tells her he knows she is Serena not Meg. He admits he was the cruelest of men for what he did to her before but now he is the Sixth Earl of Stratford and he can right the wrongs, bring Serena back into his life, and give her a title as his wife. But can he make up for the lies he has told, clean up the life he has let go to waste, and take Serena away from his best friend the man she is to marry? What a tangled web Jonathan has web all by himself and now he is stuck in it and has no idea how to get out of it.

London is the same headache it was before for Serena but this time she is also trying to keep her sister Phoebe out of trouble, stay away from Jonathan, and pretend to be in love with Will and success is not very achievable. The draw to Jonathan is outweighing her duty to Will and her sister is one hot mess of hormones that no adult knows how to handle.

During this decoy realizes that in some ways, she is the naïve girl that left London in a scandal but a woman who wants to make an adult decision about marriage based on love. She has doubts about Jonathan but the passion that drew them together before is stronger than ever and the lust is as equally out of control. Jonathan promises love and respectability but can Serena believe him and risk everything on his word again?

This new series is fresh, exciting, and quite devious with reputations at stake, subterfuge in place and passion running rampant. I love Jennifer Haymore's books as they always keep you guessing about what is going to happen next and how this will all turn out. You think you know and then she throws you a curve ball you did not see coming.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for lovers of angsty romances 11 Aug. 2011
By Fani - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Serena Donovan met Jonathan Dane 6 years ago when she first came to London. She was an impoverished Irish peer's daughter and he, the second son of a rich earl. Though they fell instantly in love with each other, his family didn't approve of the match and when they were caught in a compromising position, Jonathan chose to bend to his father's threats and cut her off instead of marrying her. Completely ruined, Serena left London with her twin sister Meg but while on board of the ship that was carrying them to their home in Antigua, Meg fell overboard. Serena's mother, rather than have the disgraced daughter alive, told everyone that it was Serena that died and Meg who lived.

Now, 6 years later, an offer of marriage from Meg's old love and suitor, Captain Langley, has arrived from London. The family's destitute, so Serena is to take Meg's place and marry Captain Langley in Meg's place, in order for her other sisters to later be introduced -and married- into London's high society. For the shake of her sisters Serena agrees with the plan, but finds it too difficult to go through with it when she finds out that Langley's closest friend and best man to be, is no other than Jonathan Dane, the current Earl of Stratford. Jonathan is surprised to find himself attracted to Serena's twin sister, which he had never noticed in the past, and feels ashamed for wanting his best friend's betrothed. But soon, he starts wondering if the woman he's lusting after isn't Serena after all, the woman he loved and thought he'd lost forever. Serena thought she was completely over Jonathan after his horrid betrayal, but being close to him, she can't deny that the old flame is still there. Still, can she forgive how he once betrayed her or forget what she must do for her sisters' shake?

The good:
-The writing was excellent, emotional and moving; the characters fully developed and even though I had trouble forgiving Jonathan in the beginning, I came to deeply sympathize with him, the more truths about the past incident came to light. Haymore obviously knows how to pull the reader's heartstrings and lovers of truly angsty, agonizing reads, will probably appreciate these lovers' stony path to happiness.
-I liked that Serena, realistically, didn't immediately forgive and forget Jonathan's behavior upon seeing him again, but it took her a long time to get over what he did to her.
-I also loved the fact that we 'saw' a big part of the story from Jonathan's eyes, this way actually seeing how sorry and ashamed he trully was for his old rejection. It's another thing to be told he was sorry, and another to actually see it from his POV. Plus, with what he did in the present to help Serena and what extra details we get for what happened 6 years ago, I'm happy to say, I was able to completely get over any grunge I held for him.

The bad:
-There was a secondary romance between Serena's sister Phoebe and a young rake, that was too conveniently similar to what happened to Serena and Jonathan in the past, to be easily swallowed. Besides, the lack of depth in that story arc -and I'm glad the focus stayed on the main couple, mind you- made the young rake's turn of heart, a little too fast and sudden to be believable.
-My other problem were the last 30-40 pages. A lot of things I didn't like occured in them, all in once, thus somewhat diminishing my overall enjoyment of the book.
-For starters, it got too sweet and cheesy. I read more declarations of undying love in 2 pages than I usually read in an entire novel. Of course, since I'm not a fan of sweet romances and lovey-dovey phrases, that which threw me off, is probably a plus for most other romance readers.
-The way that the writer got rid of Serena's/Meg's betrothed was completely unfair to him and utterly unpalatable to my taste.The easy solution, is not in this case, the best one:(
-My last and most important peeve about the ending, is that by the number of times that Serena doubted Jonathan's love for her after their reconcialiation, I have much difficulty in imagining a real HEA for them, where each one is secure in the knowledge of the other's love. The author didn't manage to make me believe that the wound left by Jonathan in Serena's heart was finally healed by the book's end, a fact that made me put the book down with a sense of unfullfillment.

All in all, this was a very nice emotional, even angsty story of love between two people who have never stopped loving eacg other. I'll look forward to read other books by this author but I strongly wish the ending was different; it would then get a 4.5 rating from me. As it is though, I have to take a full star just for the ending, so I'd say it's a 3.5 leaning on 4 stars for me.
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