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You May Kiss the Bride: The Penhallow Dynasty by [Berne, Lisa]
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You May Kiss the Bride: The Penhallow Dynasty Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Description

In an unforgettable debut, Lisa Berne introduces you to the Penhallow Dynasty—men destined to marry, but hesitant to love.

Wealthy and arrogant, Gabriel Penhallow knows it’s time to fulfill his dynastic duty. All he must do is follow “The Penhallow way”—find a biddable bride, produce an heir and a spare, and then live separate lives. It’s worked so well for generations, certainly one kiss with the delectable Livia Stuart isn’t going to change things. Society dictates he marry her, and one chit is as good as another as long as she’s from a decent family.

But Livia’s transformation from an original to a mundane diamond of the first water makes Gabriel realize he desperately wants the woman who somehow provoked him into that kiss. And for all the ladies who’ve thrown themselves at him, it’s the one who wants to flee whom he now wants. But how will he keep this independent miss from flying away?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3514 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (28 March 2017)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #90,536 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
Livia isn't an interesting marriage candidate because she doesn't have a dowry. Her uncle has taken her in, but isn't happy with her presence, she wears secondhand gowns and other girls in society are looking down on her. When she makes a stunning appearance at a ball Gabriel Penhallow can't help himself and kisses her. Gabriel is an eligible bachelor, a rich member of the ton. Because they are being caught he now has to do his duty and marry Livia. Livia has no say in the matter and is being sent to the Penhallow residence to live with Gabriel's grandmother, who will prepare her for a life as a high society woman.

Gabriel just wanted to kiss Livia because he was impressed by her enchanting presence and now he has to marry her. The Penhallows have enough money, so it is of no consequence that she doesn't have a dowry. However, Gabriel finds the situation infuriating and doesn't want to have anything to do with Livia. He will do his duty, but he doesn't have to like it. Will he eventually start to appreciate Livia or is their marriage doomed before it has even officially started?

You May Kiss the Bride is a fun romantic story. I immediately loved Livia. She has a good heart and she isn't afraid to speak her mind. I liked that she's both fiery and caring, which is a great combination. She doesn't entirely belong in the world she has now unwillingly entered, but she tries to make the best of it and I admired her spirit and determination. Gabriel is a difficult man to live with because he doesn't show his feelings and he hides behind a cold mask. His cool façade is mostly an act, he's actually a kind man with a gentle nature, but he doesn't let anyone come close. There's so much chemistry between him and Livia that he can't stay away from her.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Livia Stuart isn't Gabriel Penhallow's type, but for some reason she somehow manages get under his skin. So much so that soon after meeting her he finds himself kissing her. Having no choice but to get engaged, Gabriel discovers there's no way he'll be able to stick to his plan of living separate lives after producing an heir. Can he find a way to prove to Livia that he's falling in love with her, or will the thought of becoming a Penhallow and all it entails make her run?

In the beginning, I struggled to get into this book. I thought the heroine was a brainless twit and the hero an emotionless robot due to their dialogue the first time they meet, but by the end I totally enjoyed this story. Because the more I read of it, the more I could understand why the hero and heroine are the way they are. They've never had tight family ties with both being treated like they are burdens, instead of people to be cherished by their loved ones. Can they both give each other the love they deserve?

As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories and everything they go through on their journey to happy ever after. Livia suffers the wrath of her frenemy, Cecily, because of what the woman believes the heroine does to her. How is Livia supposed to be everything Granny Penhallow expects her to be with the rumors going around about her? Will she be able to prove the rumors wrong? Then there's the hero's Granny who is tough on Livia, which made me feel sorry for the heroine. It's not her fault she doesn't know half the things she should know. If only her Aunt and Uncle could have been more kind and caring. Really, it's understandable why the heroine is so independent and determined to do everything she can to help those that need it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the hype and more! 1 April 2017
By Lost In A Book ... - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can't believe this was a debut! The voice was unique -- truly unlike anything I've read in historical romance! It was a polished, emotional, well-crafted read with complex characters. The heroine was so empathetic and likable. She hooked me in the first chapter. The flavor of the era was spot on, too!! I stopped everything and devoured the book in a day. I've already pre-ordered the next book. Lisa Berne is one to watch.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unoriginal and childish writing 10 April 2017
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Characters predictable and dull, plot silly. No spark or tension between H and h. Ridiculous misunderstandings and uninteresting character flaws keep H and h apart. Disappointing all around. Save your money.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 30 March 2017
By cj - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was so excited to get a hold of book from a new Avon romance writer. I was vastly disappointed. The writing seemed off or immature. The h/h were uninteresting and not likable. For a good portion of the book the h/h were separated while the book went down rabbit holes. When I finally got to the love scene it went by so quickly that I had to go back and make certain I was reading it correctly and that I didn't miss something.There was zero chemistry between the two. After the love scene I stopped reading as I was beyond frustrated. I rarely do not finish a book but this was one of them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First half dragged but second half was quite enjoyable 2 April 2017
By Debbie's World of Books - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I normally have a set list of historical romance authors I enjoy but since I've blown through their backlist and am waiting on new releases from them I've been trying to broaden my horizons to include new authors. When I saw this one offered for review it sounded intriguing so I decide to give it a try.

I have mixed feelings about the book because the first half dragged and dragged to the point where I was debating putting it aside and not finishing it. But since I had accepted it for review for a blog tour I pushed through and actually was pleasantly surprised that it did pick up. The second half was enjoyable and once Granny got sick and had the personality change upon recovering I thought it was a pleasure to read. I do wish the first half had been trimmed down or at least had the same charm as the second half.

I felt sorry for Livia for having to be such a doormat to a lot of the characters but I never truly connected with Gabriel. It would have been nice to see more of his personality beyond the stuff Penhallow "mask" he wore most of the time. I felt like we saw more growth in character from his grandmother than we did from him and his personality change was much more abrupt.

Being a debut author I'm hoping some of this will be smoothed out in her next book because they included an excerpt at the end and it sounds like it's going to be a fun read. So while I can't say this debut book blew me away I am looking forward to trying the author out again when the next book releases.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful debut, Lisa Berne has created a couple that we follow through their journey of self-discovery 29 March 2017
By L. Ringsby - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
A delightful debut, Lisa Berne has created a couple that we follow through their journey of self-discovery and learning what truly matters in life. While they share the loss of their parents and being orphaned that is where the similarities end. She is taken in grudgingly by an aunt and uncle and money is scarce and affection and attention are nonexistent. He becomes the ward of his grandmother who while she takes an interest in his life, it is to dictate and orchestrate.

Livia Stuart is the recipient of charity from one of the MOST annoyingly narcissistic girl I am very glad never to have met in person, the Honorable Miss Cecily Orr. She is talked down to and required to say thank you for the privilege of being treated poorly. She knows what she does not want, but doesn’t dare to dream. At 18 she knows that her prospects are all but non-existent and tries not to think about it too hard.

Gabriel Penhallow has enjoyed the carefree life of a man of leisure and was a member of the Diplomatic Corps. He views marriage as a duty and has allowed his grandmother to choose his bride. He is confident in his world, of his income and that everyone is thrilled to be seen by him and near him.

The first meeting of our couple brought a smile to my face. He is lost and assumes she is a simpleton servant and talks down to her. Livia has had enough of sanctimonious people so she plays along and sends him on a very merry chase with directions that take him a good two hours instead of the 20 minutes it would have taken had he used manners and not been a bit of a bully.

The bulk of the story revolved around Livia and Gabriel getting to know each other after they suffer a scandal and become betrothed. His grandmother runs roughshod over Livia trying to turn her into a vapid debutante. He avoids her because she makes him start to examine his long-held thought that Penhallow’s are superior and he is in charge in their relationship. Livia just wants to be loved and wanted for herself. She is happiest in the country and we see her become confident and start to dream of what could be.

I enjoyed the book, but am still not sure of Gabriel’s actual status, he is always addressed as Mr. Penhallow. It is never mentioned but he has substantial holdings, many tenants and other family members that he is responsible for. It is mentioned that “the Penhallows came to England with the Conqueror, you know, and it is said that the Conqueror bowed to them.” Also, there seemed to be some confusion with Cecily’s status- when we first met her she was the daughter of the Right Honorable Viscountess Glanville, then her status is elevated later in the book to daughter of an earl. Having read historical romances for a good while, this confusion and lack of information kept popping into my head as I was reading and it bothered me enough to subtract one (1) star from my rating.

The moments where we have Livia and Gabriel in the same room are pleasant, but too infrequent. There seem to be places where a conversation would have helped the story along instead of just “listening” to their thoughts on the situation. I enjoyed the times where we saw Livia taking Gabriel to task for his arrogance and sometimes lack of interest in their relationship. The very fact that he was willing to let his aging grandmother choose his life partner was alarming, arranged marriages of the times aside. He had opportunities to speak up for himself and to defend Livia but chose to remain silent.

The secondary characters are priceless. Grandmother, Mrs. Penhallow, is a piece of work; arrogant, rude and so incredibly full of her own self-importance that she sees nothing wrong in bullying Livia and talking down to her. Then we have the Right Honorable Lady Granville who reminds me of Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice. These women are an over the top example of the Ton and its belief that they are superior to everyone not within their circle.

Yes, the road to the HEA was at times arduous, but the whole was delightful. I look forward to Gabriel’s cousin Hugo’s story. He is charming, a bit clueless at times, but has a good grasp of what matters and doesn’t take life too seriously. I do not know who else is part of the Penhallow Dynasty however, I look forward to meeting them and watching them fall in love and find their “one.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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