This delightful historical romance combines engaging characters who superficially should be delighted by all that they have yet have emotional scars that make them afraid to lower their guard with anyone. Bella’s misconceptions about her groom are rivaled by his feelings of inadequacy with his own family and their journey to discover their respective truths is a delightful read. The author has done an excellent job of blending a series of events that could be considered to be cliches into a fresh story that epitomizes the romance and color that I enjoy about historical romances. Sebastian’s steadfast behavior and his gentle wooing of his bride does strain credulity a bit but definitely provides a portrait of an honorable gentleman and the variety of companions that Bella has surrounded herself with give insight into her character while providing intriguing secondary characters who hopefully will get their own stories told. I loved the gradual revelation of facts that caused one to look at various people in a new light and I was compelled to finish the story quickly because I became invested in all of the characters. I greatly enjoyed this author’s style and look forward to many more stories from her.
“Tempting Bella” by Diana Quincy is the second book in the ‘Accidental Peers’ series and part of the ‘Entangled Scandalous’ line of novels and follows the adventures of two people, Mirabella (Bella) Wentworth, daughter of a duke and Sebastian Stanhope, who were married when she was merely thirteen and he was a newly-minted adult of nineteen. Sebastian spends the time waiting for his child bride to mature learning how to manage the ducal estates, honing his physical prowess and gaining town polish but he is in no hurry to claim his husbandly rights for six long years. An inexplicable attraction to a beautiful stranger he meets threatens to overthrow all of his lofty ideals but his relief at discovering the truth of her identity is compromised by discovering that his long-neglected bride has no intention of being a biddable wife. Each of these opinionated individuals must learn to compromise and to reveal their true selves to one another if the arrangement that they have been forced into has any chance of becoming a meaningful relationship. Fortunately, neither lacks for tenacity. A sweet romantic read with just a hint of spice.
Mirabella can hardly remember the man she married as a girl. And it’s just as well. She feels nothing but contempt for the man who wed her for her fortune and promptly forgot she existed. The ton may call him "The Saint" but Bella knows better.
Forced to marry as a teen to rescue his family from certain ruin, Sebastian has been apart from his child bride since their wedding day. When he encounters an enchanting impish beauty at the opera, he’s is thrilled to find she is none other than his long-ago bride and he is more than ready to make her his wife in truth.
Too bad the beguiling beauty has no intention of coming meekly to the marriage bed.