Review based on an e-ARC from Netgalley.com.
A Wicked Pursuit is a Georgian-era (late 18th century, c. 1760s) historical romance, the first in Isabella Bradford’s new Breconridge Brothers series. The Breconridges are cousins of the heroes from Bradford’s Wylder Sisters series, and the Duke of Sheffield (from “When the Duke Found Love” and Harry’s cousin) makes an appearance here. A Wicked Pursuit is an excellent start to Bradford’s new Breconridge Brothers series. Like her Wylder Sisters books, A Wicked Pursuit is engaging, entertaining, and sweetly romantic as well as being well-written and comfortably paced. This is Harry’s and Augusta’s (Gus) story.
Harry, the heir to a dukedom, is smitten by Julia, Augusta’s beautiful and spirited (and rather shallow) half-sister, and visits her country estate intent on proposing to Julia. However, when Harry falls from his horse and is injured (due to Julia’s flirtatious, coy behavior), Julia abandons him. Augusta is pretty, though not beautiful, intelligent, kind and gentle. She is a woman of character and far deeper feeling than her sister. Gus, whom Harry was completely unaware existed before his injury, takes care of him and assists him as he recovers and learns to walk again. Harry learns to cherish Gus and to depend on her sweet and patient nature during his slow recovery and rehabilitation.
Although not a terribly original concept, this is very well done and a very nice read. I have mentioned before that I am sick of explicit sex scenes in books where the sex just takes away from the story, instead of advancing character/plot/etc., and here again I find the graphic sex scenes intrusive in a book based on a time with such stern social rules governing the behavior of unmarried females, however, Bradford writes the love scenes with sensuality and tenderness and they are lovely. I may prefer the traditional Georgian/Regency romances, but that is simply my preference. I can certainly enjoy reading a well-written sex scene, provided I don’t feel yanked out of the story by it. Bradford’s scenes are smooth and contain a tenderness and sweetness that is nice.
As always, it is lovely to see an arrogant nobleman discover the worth of others, and for an often overlooked woman to come into her own. Highly recommended, especially to fans of Bradford’s other series/books.