Lighthearted. Fun. Family-driven. These are words I would use to describe the Sabrina Jeffries books I’ve read, including To Wed a Wild Lord. Although not filled with intensity and passion that some books lay claim to, her books have a family dynamic that supersedes the romance on occasion, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. Just depends on what you’re in the mood for.
To Wed a Wild Lord is the fourth installment of Jeffries’s Hallstead Hall series, which focuses on the (scandalous?) Sharpe siblings. I question the scandal because it doesn’t really involve any of the children, but their parents. Although I suppose if there is a scandalous sibling, the hero of To Wed a Wild Lord, Gabriel Sharpe, would be it. Reckless, daring, and bold, Gabriel wagers on himself in carriage races to support himself and his dreams of raising Thoroughbreds for racing. Years ago, during a reckless. drunken wager with his best friend Roger Waverly, Roger loses his life, and Gabriel carries the guilt of his death with him. Roger’s family, his grandfather General Waverly and his sister Virginia, holds Gabriel responsible for Roger’s death. Virginia, who is just as daring as Gabriel, challenges Gabriel to a race, which Gabriel declines. But this puts Virginia in his sphere, and Gabriel decides to marry her to “help” her out of his guilt. Really, this is just an excuse because Gabriel is fascinated by Virginia, who challenges him.
The problem I had with this novel was that the whole blame for Roger’s death went on too long. I find it annoying when the heroine (or hero) repeats her hatred for the hero (or vice versa) throughout the novel, despite an intense attraction that flares up between them. It seems ridiculous, but Jeffries handled it well, for the most part. Virginia begins to have doubts early on about Gabriel’s culpability in her brother’s death, acknowledging that she doesn’t have the full story. And, really, these two characters are perfect for one another (as are their grandparents, Virginia’s grandfather and Gabriel’s grandmother, their burgeoning romance being a secondary story in the novel).
But Jeffries does something that I usually have a problem with. She focuses too much on the relationships between the main characters and their family members to the detriment of the romance between Virginia and Gabriel. Truth be told though, their families are interesting, and the dynamic with each is delightfully done, making me want to read the rest of the Hallstead Hall series. (To be honest, I have three of them on my Kindle, but I can’t remember them. Can’t be good, right?)
Another plus: All the characters have some sort of profession, even if Gabriel’s is racing, which he is using to start his stud farm. I dislike it intensely when members of the ton have no profession or responsibility; I don’t care how accurate it is. It makes them boring. Gabriel’s grandmother owns a brewery, while Virginia’s grandfather, a former general in the British army, runs a stud farm, so both characters come from hardworking backgrounds, despite their social status.
This is what I say: If you’re looking for some lighthearted fare after an intense book, To Wed a Wild Lord might be for you. It’s entertaining, if lacking in passionate intensity that you might see in other romance novels. But like I said, lacking intense passion isn’t always a bad thing, and in this case, it doesn’t hurt the novel too much. Maybe I’ll reread those other books on my Kindle to see if I can jog my memory on the Sharpes. We’ll see, I guess.
I have a couple more books to review, so I’ll post those soon! Until next time, enjoy the Sharpe family and their interactions each other as they try to solve the mystery of their parents’ deaths while falling in love!
Ta-ta, my friends,