The Bridemaker Mass Market Paperback – 29 Nov 2002
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"A marvelous storyteller!"--"Romantic Times"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Hester Poitevant, dull, drab widow, has carved out a successful niche business of her own. She assists those young ladies of Society that need a little extra polish to find acceptable husbands in the Ton. She has been so successful, she has been dubbed "the Bridemaker". But Hester is full of secrets - she is not what she appears to be at all. When her favorite student falls for the scandalously inappropriate (as far as her family is concerned) Adrian Hawke, Hester steps in and asks him to back off. Their encounter shocks them both in it's intensity and ferocity - they argue and sparks definitely fly! But why was their encounter so heated? And why did he almost kiss her?
Deciding that Hester embodies everything that is wrong with Society he decides to expose her for the prissy snob he thinks she is. But when he runs into Hester in an unguarded moment, he sees that behind her drab widow facade is a beautiful young woman who would outshine her students. He becomes increasingly intrigued and vows to unravel all her secrets. Bit by bit he tears away at her facade (and at her will to resist him!) and discovers that he and Hester have more in common than anyone would think.
This story did have a few slow spots, but once the sparks began to fly between Adrian and Hester I couldn't put this book down! Their relationship is intensely passionate and enjoyable to watch. I enjoy Rexanne Becnel's writing style and would recommend this book highly!
Rexanne Becnel is guilty of portraying her characters with modern sensibilities in this Regency-era romance but it is a guilty pleasure as we indulge ourselves seeing Hester and Adrian in a forbidden tryst. They break the molds of the society while Hester is given a refreshing point of view of her cherished virginity by her astute friend and mentor Verna. The uncompromising characters reveal their dimension through several stunning revelations of secrets such as Hester's birthrights and an elopement.
Hester is enigmatic while Adrian is dark and brooding - and the handsome couple sizzles with palpable chemistry. Ms. Becnel has bestowed upon us entertaining Regency that strives to be passionate as it is elegant through the glittering balls and swooning waltzes. The banters and sharp humour; the trysts at Vauxhall is positively scandalous - yet utterly irresistible as the outrageous duo. All these allude to Ms. Becnel as a Regency maverick - sashaying in style.
Her current class includes reticent and overweight Dulcie Bennett, whose mother and brother are obnoxious. Dulcie finds American businessman Adrian Hawke quite attractive, but her family snubs him as being born on the wrong side of the sheets. Hester knows he is using Dulcie to get at her brother and begs Adrian to not hurt her student who she cares for way beyond a fee. Adrian misinterprets Hester's pleading, feeling she thinks he is beneath her. As he tries to uncover the secrets of Hester, Adrian falls in love. However she cannot afford love with anyone as her mother has a reputation that makes Hester beneath Adrian.
THE BRIDEMAKER is a warm Regency romance starring two delightful lead characters who "inherit" baggage way beyond their years. The story line is loaded with joy as Adrian begins to peel the rose. Each time he thinks he has completed his mission, a new petal needs unwrapping including the identity of the late husband who know one recalls meeting. Dulcie is a fine person who proves that nature protects the kindhearted from the nasty though her mother and brother are more caricature snobs than family. Rexanne Becnel makes reading fun with this tale and her other pleasant "Maker" novels.
Hester Poitevant's task is to mold unattractive young women -- to reshape them into appealing brides. She is exceptionally good at her calling and is the "season" phenomenon. Hester Poitevant is a very attractive female, but has chosen to hide behind a dreadful facade. This false pretense allows her to remain concealed in life's background.
Adrian Hawke is the "season" allurement. He is an American, very attractive, very wealthy, and very unavailable. Furthermore, his allure stems from his parents' scandalous romance.
I liked both Hester and Adrian. Hester is a confident woman. She set out to run a successful venture and she achieved her goal. She is strong-minded and will not allow any person, male or female, to browbeat her. Adrian is his own man, he refuses to heed to society's strict rules and it is this carefree attitude that produces great reading fun.
If there is one area of concern, the first 100 pages simmered, but the story finally ignited and boiled to the end.
Grace Atkinson, Ontario - Canada.