Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Their Reluctant Bride by Vanessa Vale

Title:  Their Reluctant Bride
Series:  Bridgewater Menage #6
Author:  Vanessa Vale
Publication Date:  February 16/16
Length:  196pgs
Genre:  menage
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Emily Woodhouse is a penniless, homeless widow thanks to her recently deceased husband. His gambling ways have placed her in a desperate situation. Faced with working off his debt in the basest of ways, she chooses instead to accept Tyler and Xander's unconventional marriage proposal. She won't be marrying one man, but two.

Tyler and Xander know instantly that Emily is the one for them. Not only does the widowed young woman rouse their protective natures, she knows of their customs regarding a two husband marriage. Despite the fact that Emily needs the safety they can offer, she isn't eager to remarry. She might be reluctant, but they will show her what it will be like with two men to cherish, protect and possess her.

But the past catches up with them in the most dangerous of ways. Only in facing the past can they forge a future together.


"You need a wife and Emily is perfect.”

“She’s just lost her husband. How could she be perfect if she’s clearly not interested?” I angled my head toward the direction she’d gone.

“Her husband gambled and drank to excess. While she never once confessed it, I believe he hit her. He was cruel to her at the very least. She is not the least bit sorry he’s dead. In fact, if she weren’t such a nice person, she’d be dancing on his grave.”

The idea of anyone hurting Mrs. Woodhouse made my hands clench. She was too small, too… dainty—even with her lush curves—to protect herself from the likes of a man Olivia described.

“Then she can find a man she truly likes this time around. She’s young, beautiful. She’s a catch for any man in town.”

Olivia grinned. “So you think she’s beautiful?”

“Any conscious man would think so,” I countered.

“Then you should offer for her.”

I sighed, exasperated. “Why?”

“Because you and Xander need a wife.”

I shook my head. “We do not need a wife.”

“I see the way you look at the couples at Bridgewater. Everyone’s happily married. It’s hard, I’m sure, for you to witness since no one else marries like we do. Like your parents. You want a marriage with Xander like all of us at Bridgewater. Admit it.”

“Of course I admit it. I won’t marry any other way.” I put my hand up. “That does not mean that our bride should be Mrs. Woodhouse.”

Olivia pursed her lips. “She has to marry.”

My brows went up. “Again, why?”

“The bank is taking the ranch. Debts, most of them I’m sure are because of her husband’s gambling. She has no place to go. No money. She’ll have to get a job and there are none, unless she wants to work on her back.”

“Olivia,” I warned.

“What? It’s true.” Olivia took a deep breath. “She’s going to have to marry. A woman doesn’t have any other options. It might as well be you.”

I frowned. “Is that a compliment?”

“Of course, it is. She deserves someone—or two someones—who will be good to her. I know you and Xander would be. Plus, I know her well and she knows about how we marry. I like her. Trust me, you’ll be well suited.”

I turned so I could look at the woman’s retreating figure. Well suited? I had no doubt we’d be very compatible in bed. She would be no hardship to look at. That did not make a marriage, but it certainly helped.

My Review:

What an enticingly descriptive tale! I enjoyed how this was not only an erotically charged and explicit tale, but also how the real relationship between the characters was developed. It was so much more than simply erotica. The dose of suspense on the side increased the action and intensity factor as well. I couldn’t look away. Vale’s novella is 2ell written and edited. The plot was well thought out. This novella was a complete story in and of itself that was next to impossible to put down.

The multiple POVs gave a well-rounded view of the relationship, kicking up the heat another notch. Emily’s situation broke my heart. Regardless of the historical correctness of her first marriage, no one should have to live through that. Her strength and loyalty shone through regardless, showing her endless strength of character. Xander’s alpha control shines throughout, making it easy to fall under his spell, while Tyler’s subtle insecurities were so endearing that I couldn’t help falling for him.

Is this a ‘new to me’ author that I’ll be watching avidly for more releases? You can bet your last dollar on it!

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