BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review of When You Wish Upon A Duke by Isabella Bradford

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Series: Wylder Sisters #1
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Format Read: digital galley
Buying Links:  Amazon     Barnes & Noble     The Book Depository

Book Blurb (from goodreads):

In a sparkling new series filled with irresistible charm and sizzling romance, award-winning author Isabella Bradford introduces us to the eldest of three Wylder sisters—unruly country girls whose passion for life leaves their London suitors breathless.

Raised in the Dorset countryside, Lady Charlotte Wylder doesn’t care one bit about well-bred decorum. The dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty would rather ride a horse than attend a stuffy ball. So when Charlotte learns that she is to leave immediately for London to wed the Duke of Marchbourne, a perfect model of aristocratic propriety, she is less than enchanted with her arranged marriage.

But to her delight, their first encounters are brazenly flirtatious, and their wedding night burns with passion. March’s broad shoulders and dark countenance make Charlotte want to rip every button off his waistcoast. She may even be falling in love with her new husband. Yet whenever their desire boils over, March reluctantly pushes Charlotte away. Will past secrets and present misunderstandings mire their marriage in scandal, or serve to strengthen a bond that is destined to last a lifetime?

Reviewed By: Bea

Bea's Thoughts:

I'm not a big historical romance fan; I glommed them in middle school and high school, but not so much since then. Every now and then though I do read one. The blurb for this one immediately caught my eye and the cover is lovely, despite the missing head (what IS with all the headless covers these days?) I'm glad I took a chance; I loved this book and I expect I'll be re-reading it. I'll definitely be reading the next book in the series.

Charlotte and March were engaged as young children but have never met. Charlotte's father died when she was young and they moved to the country. Charlotte has never even been to London nor has her mother ever mentioned an engagement so it comes as a shock to discover that she's engaged. But she determines to make the best of it and do her duty.

March has a tortured past, one that has affected his view on marriage and what is appropriate (well, this is a romance, one of them has to :D) but he too is willing to give the marriage a chance, especially after he engineers an early meeting with Charlotte. He's charmed, she's charmed and the adventure begins. Charlotte is young, a bit immature, but willing to learn and change:
She thought again of her mother, and how, whenever Charlotte and her sisters had quarreled, Mama had always insisted that they pretend they were one another, and see the quarrel through the other's eyes.

Perhaps that was her difficulty with March. Perhaps she had become so wrapped in her own unhappiness that she hadn't bothered to see his.

It takes March a bit longer to see things from Charlotte's perspective but he does seek advice. Both Charlotte and March are likable; they care about each other and about other people, they have a sense of humor, and are eager to try new things. Charlotte's main problem is that she's naive and ignorant of society; March's main problem is that he's too concerned with what society thinks.
No, there was more than that. They both must change. If only they could forget the others crowding round their marriage, offering advice and suggestions and criticisms. If only they could simply be March and Charlotte as lovers, and not the imposing duke and duchess.

"Oh, March," she pleaded softly. "Why can we not always be like this, without a thought for what others think or say? What does our rank or station matter if we love each other?"

He was listening closely, watching her with such intensity that it gave her courage to continue.

"My own husband," she said, reaching up to run her fingertips over his lips. "I only wish to please you, you know. I don't give a tinker's dam for what anyone else might think or say. You're all that matters to me, March. All."

"All?" he repeated, the single word full of wonder. 
"When You Wish Upon A Duke" is a love story. I know, that seems obvious since it's a romance, but so many romances these days have other themes or subplots: a mystery, espionage, subplots with other characters, etc. But in WYWUAD, it's all about Charlotte and March; their learning about each other, their courtship of each other, their ups and downs, their growth. There is a underlying thread about another man, the Marquess of Andover, and his interest in Charlotte which comes to a boil at the end of the story. Although it does help move the story along and sets up the the ending of the story, I didn't feel it was completely necessary.

If you want an emotional, rich, character driven love story, then you need to read "When You Wish Upon A Duke". As I said earlier, I will definitely pick up the next book in the series, "When The Duchess Said Yes".

I received an e-Galley from the publisher for review.


  1. I adore HF, its my feel good fiction go to This sounds like a wonderful series and you have no idea how badly i want to run and buy it..but i have been very bad lately..quite the addict in fact! So i will add to my list till I go off the wagon again..hehehe So glad you enjoyed it!

    1. hee hee Another book pushed!

      I *think* it may still be available on NetGalley if you find that you can't wait. :D

  2. Hi -new follower from Bookblogs. Saw your post for the above book. I love historical fiction and I'm also writing my first historical novel.
    This one sounds really interesting and it's one for the reading list -which is becoming rather congested lately -haven't got as much time to read as I would like.
    Best wishes

  3. Hi Suzy, I hope you'll enjoy it when you get around to it. I really liked, it made me smile, cry and laugh. Good luck writing your book!


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