Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Bargain Bride Review

The Bargain Bride
By Barbara Metzger
330 pages
Copyright 2009
The Bargain Bride seems to be a promising title for a Regency novel about arranged marriage, but I’m not sure that Penny is such a good bargain. West gets a lot of money out of the deal but Penny is a very unlikeable woman. She is angry and vengeful about being unclaimed for 13 years although he is very beautiful. It is her beauty that causes West to fall in love with her and carry out the bargain making her the wife of a viscount. After a 13 year engagement and at the insistance of Penny’s rich merchant father they wed and set up housekeeping in London. In order to fulfill the bargain, the couple must launch Penny’s stepsisters into Society and find them rich and titled husbands.

Penny and West begin to fall in love as several things go wrong. West is called away to his country estate to find the arsonist who set fir to his stables and killed several of his prize horses. Penny becomes angrier at being abandoned for the second time and has a trying time finding suitable husband for her unattractive stepsisters, managing her unruly brother-in law, and fending off the advances of her money hungry step brother.

I liked the humorous dialogue and comic antics of the zany characters. I did not like the main characters. Penny was always angry and resentful and West was too bland and accommodating. There are too many unrelated things happening at once. The plot and subplots are easily resolved with very little suspense. Despite a bevy of comical characters and a budding passionate romance, I thought this book was rather boring and disappointing.

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