Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Mini Reviews: His Convict Wife and The Convict's Bounty Bride By Lena Dowling
I actually didn't realise this was the second book in this convict romance series - though both are only novellas and you can definitely read this one without having read the first, but certain references made more sense once I did read the other. This book focuses on Colleen Malone, an Irish convict forced into prostitution who gets pregnant and then manages to get virtuous settler Samuel Biggs to marry her. Samuel is still grieving the death of his first wife and wants Colleen more as a housemaid than an actual partner, but Colleen wants to pass her baby off as his, so she has other ideas. I quite liked Colleen's tenacity and the tension between her and Samuel, and the ups and downs of their relationship made for a pretty entertaining read. This is my first foray into romance set in colonial Australia, so I don't know if it's common in the genre, but one thing that put me off a little bit was Samuel's uptightness and slightly controlling behaviour at times. Aside from that he was pretty swoon-worthy.
The Convict's Bounty Bride by Lena Dowling
This story actually comes before His Convict Wife, focusing on ex-convict James Hunter, who becomes Samuel Biggs' employer in the later book. James made a deal with a noble family to take the blame for a crime committed by their son in exchange for their daughter's hand in marriage. This is news to Lady Thea, who has no interest in marriage and only wants a career. James decides to show her how good being his wife could be... you can see where this is heading. This novella was half the size than His Convict Wife and there wasn't a great amount of development of the characters and their relationship. The insta-love was pretty unbelievable and I just wasn't invested in their story. Also the whole premise, and the inevitable outcome, left a really bad taste in my mouth.