FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Tasty Book Tours.
Series: Sir Arthur's Legacy #1
Publisher: Lyrical Press on September 1, 2014
Genre(s): Historical Romance (Adult)
Is anything sweeter than revenge?
In a family of remarkable people, ordinary Beatrice strives to prove herself worthy. When her family is threatened with losing everything, she rushes to London to save them. Unfortunately, she chooses as her savior the very man who will see her family brought low.
Garrett has sworn vengeance on Sir Arthur of Anglesea for destroying his life when he was a boy and forcing his mother into prostitution for them to survive. He has chosen as his instrument Sir Arthur's youngest daughter, Beatrice.
Can Beatrice’s goodness teach Garrett that love, not vengeance, is the greatest reward of all?
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
With a graceful mother, strong brothers, and a beautiful sister, Beatrice has always felt she’s just a little less than the rest of her family. But when danger looms while her father and brothers are away, she has the chance to prove herself worthy by dashing off to deliver the message that will save them all.
Garrett’s been waiting his entire life to avenge his mother. Were it not for Beatrice’s father, his mother might have kept her dignity, might have made a fruitful life for herself and her young son, might have lived. And now that Beatrice is falling for his charms and begging for his help, he finally has his opportunity for revenge. If only Beatrice weren’t so trusting and kind and selfless.
As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I love me some historical romance, but more often that not, I pass up the genre based solely on the covers. All the swooning women who can’t seem to keep their dresses up, the shampoo commercial guy keeping her from falling over as he sneaks a peek down her top while trying to look tough, apparently never realizing his own shirt is wide open and revealing his greasy chest… Yeah, I can do without all that. But just as Sweet Bea livened up the historical romance genre, it sports an atypical and altogether intriguing cover. I think I was half in love with the book before I even cracked the first page.
I actually put off reading this one for a little while because I’d recently gone through a string of less than stellar books, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to dive into something as heavy as historical fiction, romance or not. And apparently because I’m an idiot.
Sweet Bea might just be the best historical romance I’ve ever read.
Beatrice is imaginative and flighty and so naive it should be annoying, but it only serves to make her that much more endearing. Of course, that ignorance leads her straight into the arms of a man whose intentions are anything but noble, but the same innate goodness that has her running headlong into danger without any thought for her own well being is the very thing that has Garrett doubting his original plan. While his hatred for her father still burns hot, it’s not so easy to take it out on the daughter who seems to see only the good in everyone.
The word fun doesn’t even begin to describe their adventure. Beatrice’s wild imagination has her envisioning a heroic ride to London, where she warns her father of a plot against their family and saves the day. And of course, Garrett falls madly in love with her, and they live happily ever after. But instead, they find trouble at every turn along the way, not to mention a few stragglers to add to their party, and when any other noblewoman would be turning up her nose or turning her back on the unfortunates they come across, Bea’s naïveté makes her an unlikely and much needed savior.
Garrett tries to keep to his original plan, intent on breaking her heart and stealing her virtue to get back at her father, but when each scrape has him fighting to protect her, only to then see her reach out to people anyone else would say are below her, his conscience and need for vengeance are at odds. The silly girl he thought he could simply charm seems to be unwittingly charming him, and he goes from wanting to ruin her to wanting to see her safely away from anyone who could hurt her — especially himself.
It’s impossible to explain how entertaining, how funny and exciting, how simply wonderful the story is without walking you through the best parts — and that would be so unfair. The plot itself is simple enough — he sets out to hurt her, falls for her, and everything works out in the end. That much is entirely predictable. But the creative path the book takes to get there is a fascinating story in itself, with a very atypical heroine leading a wild charge with a rag-tag band of misfits, and a family reunion scene that is easily one of the most unexpectedly funny and sweet parts of the story.
For those of us that love historical romances, Sweet Bea is an exciting and entertaining ride through a time of knights and royal intrigue. But for those who aren’t as keen on going back in time, I think it will be a very pleasant surprise. The story has all the entertaining qualities of a contemporary romance with a quirky heroine, but it pulls it off on horseback and at swordpoint.