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6 Reviews
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4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good!
As an avid reader of regency romance and disappointed by so many modern authors who think they need to add spice to their stories I was pleasantly surprised to find a story that relied on characters rather than too lurid descriptions of love making!
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't fall in love
I liked the initial premise very much - that the hero proposes from a sense of guilt, and that this is explicit from the start. That should set up an intriguing "Does he love me or is it just guilt talking?" situation. Unfortunately, that potential is not really explored.

There were some very nice touches, though, in the hero's sharing with his men the Letters...
Published 9 months ago by Georgiana Wickham


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good!, 14 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Substitute Bridegroom (Kindle Edition)
As an avid reader of regency romance and disappointed by so many modern authors who think they need to add spice to their stories I was pleasantly surprised to find a story that relied on characters rather than too lurid descriptions of love making!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't fall in love, 30 July 2014
This review is from: The Substitute Bridegroom (Kindle Edition)
I liked the initial premise very much - that the hero proposes from a sense of guilt, and that this is explicit from the start. That should set up an intriguing "Does he love me or is it just guilt talking?" situation. Unfortunately, that potential is not really explored.

There were some very nice touches, though, in the hero's sharing with his men the Letters from Home, the attitude of the servants in the Big House, and some gorgeously bitchy sisters.

The hero is Strong and Silent, and since he doesn't say much, and what he does say is often curt, it's very hard to understand him. His actions at the start of the book cause the heroine to be badly injured, but we don't see him ever apologise to her. The heroine writes to him constantly while they are apart, but it doesn't ever seem to cross his mind to write back. When his neglect is pointed out to him, he still doesn't provide any explanation for it. He jumps to conclusions on the flimsiest evidence (even when the evidence isn't really evident) and consequently treats the heroine badly. His eventual redemption is ... unconvincing.

So that all makes it difficult to emphathise much with the heroine who has fallen in love with a really not very nice man. By 3/4 of the book they have spent just two weeks together, most of it in the company of family, with little one to one conversation. I found myself rooting for her to put down the bitchy sisters, call the hero out on his appalling behaviour, do Something to assert herself, other than (view spoiler) But she didn't.

So, sadly, although the heroine fell in love, I didn't - and I do need to love the hero just a bit to love the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read, 21 April 2014
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This review is from: The Substitute Bridegroom (Kindle Edition)
Starting with a self centred oaf of a fiance dumping a lovely girl, going on to her marriage to a complete stranger who was unwittingly - and happily for her - the cause of said break up, and then progressing through a series of misunderstandings (mainly caused by his incapability to believe his wife) this has made a brilliant and entertaining read. I really loved the bit where, after having abused her dresser too many times, the Dowager Dutchess is going to be presented with a substitute who declares that if she is struck by her new employer, she will give like for like. Of course, all's well that ends well, but the enjoyment comes from a well constructed and well written story with lovely delicate splashes of humour. I really resented having to put it down to go to bed (and that was after 1 in the morning!).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clean Romance with Alpha Male/Scarred Heroine, 19 July 2014
This review is from: The Substitute Bridegroom (Kindle Edition)
Elizabeth Goldsborough, Beth, was what one would term a diamond of the first water among the London Marriage Mart. She had successfully brought the most eligible bachelor, Simon Bellgrave, up to scratch and then things went strangely awry. Two bored gentlemen decide to race through the countryside resulting in an accident whereby a piece of wood flew out and struck the lovely Elizabeth, scarring her face to the point she became offensive for the lightweights, such as her betrothed, to look upon. Not desiring to burden the dumb Simon with her otherwise lovely self, Beth called off the marriage.

However, her brother was not willing to "let sleeping dogs lie" and decided to travel to London and demand that one of those responsible for the accident - Captain Darius St. John - make things right as in the biblical adage - "an eye for an eye," "a tooth for a tooth," but in this case he wanted a "bridegroom for a bridegroom."

Captain Darius St. John wants nothing of a permanent relationship with any woman. His mother and two sisters were/are "ladies" but they were not women of virtue - not even close. His past experience with females has been such that he has absolutely no trust for any of them. However, he is a career soldier, a man with some honor and only home for a short period of time so decides to do everyone a favor and offer for the lovely lady with a scar. Unlike Simon Bellgrave, Darius has no problem looking at Beth's face - scar and all. Beth agrees to the marriage because she truly wants children and she believes this will be her only marriage opportunity. She doesn't count on falling in love with Darius.

Darius's issues with females contributed to my four star rating as opposed to five stars because he runs hot and cold in his marriage relationship due to his imagination running off with him as it relates to Beth's faithfulness. Beth has her own issues to the point, she was somewhat a wimpy, suffer-in-silence type of heroine. The story characterizes her persona as a compliant, somewhat emotionally "trod upon" wife. When misunderstandings would arise due to her husband's preconceived ideas about women, she would never question him or even attempt to get to the root of the issue. Instead, she would suffer in silence and go on loving. This reader wanted her to hit him over the head with something hard.

Nevertheless, there was a tremendous amount of chemistry during the times they came together. This part I loved - hence my willingness to rate the book four stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A find!, 17 May 2014
By 
C. Gore (Essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Substitute Bridegroom (Kindle Edition)
I was not sure of this, because so many books say "great Regency romance" etc and then its not. This is a cut above the average, clever plot, lots of humour and real romance. i have read a few of Dolan's books and they have all been very satisfying and still enjoyable on the re read,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hero unattractive, heroine a wimp, 28 Mar. 2014
By 
A. Martin "A Lady" (Bedale, North Yorkshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Substitute Bridegroom (Kindle Edition)
I would agree with a previous reviewer that the plot was more character based than most Regencies but the hero's violent distrust of women in general and the heroines wimpish submission to her Aunt's manipulation, even after her marriage, was frustrating.
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The Substitute Bridegroom
The Substitute Bridegroom by Charlotte Louise Dolan
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