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Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer: A Historical Romance Award Winning Author

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From shopkeeper… To officer’s wife With a scandal in her past, shopkeeper Henrietta Gardiner has become wary of men, including her friend’s brother, dashing officer Sebastian Fortini. When Henrietta is called upon to take in her three young nephews, Sebastian is on hand to help her, even offering a convenient marriage as a solution! Henrietta starts to realize her new hu From shopkeeper… To officer’s wife With a scandal in her past, shopkeeper Henrietta Gardiner has become wary of men, including her friend’s brother, dashing officer Sebastian Fortini. When Henrietta is called upon to take in her three young nephews, Sebastian is on hand to help her, even offering a convenient marriage as a solution! Henrietta starts to realize her new husband’s carefree exterior hides a more intriguing interior…but where will that leave their hasty marriage?


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From shopkeeper… To officer’s wife With a scandal in her past, shopkeeper Henrietta Gardiner has become wary of men, including her friend’s brother, dashing officer Sebastian Fortini. When Henrietta is called upon to take in her three young nephews, Sebastian is on hand to help her, even offering a convenient marriage as a solution! Henrietta starts to realize her new hu From shopkeeper… To officer’s wife With a scandal in her past, shopkeeper Henrietta Gardiner has become wary of men, including her friend’s brother, dashing officer Sebastian Fortini. When Henrietta is called upon to take in her three young nephews, Sebastian is on hand to help her, even offering a convenient marriage as a solution! Henrietta starts to realize her new husband’s carefree exterior hides a more intriguing interior…but where will that leave their hasty marriage?

46 review for Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer: A Historical Romance Award Winning Author

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: Regency Belles of Bath #2 Publication Date: 01/01/21 Number of Pages: 288 This was a most refreshing and welcome read – A gem among the many dark, intense, grim, and depressing books that seem to be releasing in abundance during this lockdown and COVID pandemic period. It is a delightfully well-written, romantic, well-plotted, and well-executed read. The characters are all wonderful – not a clinker in the lot of them. I am so very happy to have found and read this book! In the first book of Series: Regency Belles of Bath #2 Publication Date: 01/01/21 Number of Pages: 288 This was a most refreshing and welcome read – A gem among the many dark, intense, grim, and depressing books that seem to be releasing in abundance during this lockdown and COVID pandemic period. It is a delightfully well-written, romantic, well-plotted, and well-executed read. The characters are all wonderful – not a clinker in the lot of them. I am so very happy to have found and read this book! In the first book of the series, An Unconventional Countess, we met and got to know Henrietta Gardiner a bit, and we also learned a little about Sebastian Fortini though we didn’t actually get to meet him. Anna Fortini, Sebastian’s sister, managed their family-owned bakeshop until she met and married her hero, Samuel. When Anna married and became a Countess, she made Henrietta the manager of the shop. I tell you this only to give you a tad of the background – but – you don’t need any of it. This book is part of a series, but it can totally stand alone. Henrietta Gardiner is so grateful to have been made manager of Belle’s Biscuit Shop, the very best biscuit shop in Bath. She loves making the biscuits and she loves the new assistant, Nancy MacQueen, who is working with her. All is right with her world, except for her troubled brother, David, who has gone off the deep-end with drinking since he lost his wife. Henrietta does her best to help with her three young nephews, but she can’t be in two places at once. Henrietta is very, very leery of men. She doesn’t trust them and she has good reason to feel that way. In her experience, all men want to do is compliment her, flatter her, and seduce her without ever getting to know the real her. So, she discourages them, vehemently. Sebastian is feeling rudderless at the moment – and suffering from a great deal of guilt. He’s rudderless because his naval career is at an end – it seems they don’t need as many officers without a war. He feels guilty because his father died shortly after he had joined the navy and he couldn’t get home to help his sister and his mother run the shop and deal with all of the issues involved. With his mother incapacitated, he knew everything fell on Anna – and couldn’t be there to help. Well, that is all changed now because he’s back to help run the shop. Won’t Anna and his mother be surprised! They haven’t been able to communicate in over a year – no letters at all – so they have no idea he’s even coming home. After an arduous journey by stagecoach, Sebastian arrives at the bakery in the middle of the night. He knows his mother and sister are asleep, so he’ll just let himself in and then sleep in a chair until they awaken. He’ll be so excited to see their faces when they find him home! Except – when he steps inside, he starts tripping over things – so many things have moved – he’s making more noise than he wants, but … Then, as he approaches a door, it slams open and hits him in the face, and knocks him to the ground. There stands the most beautiful angel he’s ever seen – and she’s carrying tongs as a weapon – and … she’s NOT his sister. What is going on? After a number of shocking (to Sebastian) revelations regarding his sister’s whereabouts and status – as well as his mother’s – Sebastian isn’t sure where his future currently lies. The termagant intrigues him and he has friends with whom he wants to visit, so he’ll delay his leaving for another few days. Wise move dude. I loved seeing Henrietta learning to trust Sebastian – something that is so very hard for her. I also loved seeing Sebastian come to terms with his sister and his mother’s choices since he’d been gone – not to mention his growing regard for Henrietta. Both of these lovely people are just that – lovely. They are giving, caring, concerned for others, and so very supportive of each other. As I said earlier, this is a delightfully happy book and it was so very welcome in this time where most of the releases from authors I read seem to be filled with dark, grim, and intense things. Now, I cannot wait for the next book. I definitely recommend the book and hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elodie

    Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer Regency Belles of Bath Series #2 Jenni Fletcher https://www.facebook.com/JenniFletche... Release date : 12/29/2020 paperback, 01/01/2021 ebook Publisher Harlequin Historical / Mills&Boon Historical 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗯 From shopkeeper… To officer’s wife With a scandal in her past, shopkeeper Henrietta Gardiner has become wary of men, including her friend’s brother, dashing officer Sebastian Fortini. When Henrietta is called upon to take in her three young nephews, Sebastian is on hand Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer Regency Belles of Bath Series #2 Jenni Fletcher https://www.facebook.com/JenniFletche... Release date : 12/29/2020 paperback, 01/01/2021 ebook Publisher Harlequin Historical / Mills&Boon Historical 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗯 From shopkeeper… To officer’s wife With a scandal in her past, shopkeeper Henrietta Gardiner has become wary of men, including her friend’s brother, dashing officer Sebastian Fortini. When Henrietta is called upon to take in her three young nephews, Sebastian is on hand to help her, even offering a convenient marriage as a solution! Henrietta starts to realize her new husband’s carefree exterior hides a more intriguing interior…but where will that leave their hasty marriage? 𝗠𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 Will her fears and his guilt come between them ... I discovered the author’s in a Tudor romance bundle, so a regency story was surprising and I much loved the lighter tone of this story. The author offers here the perfect read for this end of a very peculiar year, or to begin the new one of a lovely note. Sebastian is quite surprised to have his nose smashed by his family home’s door upon his return home after a two years absence. But so much went on during this time. And while it is still his mother’s and sister’s house, they do not anymore reside in. Why his violent encounter with a piece of wood and an avenging angel. While he came here in hope to mend for his long leave, it now looks like he is no more needed. Until bewitched by the lovely Henrietta, he offers his help. Henrietta curses her beauty as it brought only misery to her life, letting men believe she is free game because of it. Why she is very wary of them. And the sweet officer landing on her kitchen’s floor upon their first meeting confuses her. He awakens feelings she buried but can she trusts him to not act like the others. But he is so kind and helpful. Their relationship began on a rough way and her distrust of men makes her keep him at arm length, but slowly Sebastian’s gentleness shows her there is more to this man than she first expected. Understanding her light, they walk around another on eggshells. Until fate throws them together. This cute tale will cheer up the atmosphere with its witty banters, sweet little boys, full of fun side-characters and a lovely couple who will have to learn about having faith in one another. A well deserved 5 stars 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 : onscreen open door lovemaking scenes. I have been granted an advance copy by the author, here is my true and unbiased opinion. https://www.facebook.com/429830134272...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a historical romance. I have to say lately historical romance as been hit or miss for me, but this one I loved so much. I really loved the Henrietta and Sebastian characters. They drove the story, and they made you want to keep reading to find out what will happen to them. There was small twists and turns during the book which made the book fun to read. I enjoyed the historical parts of this book as well, and I am so happy I give this book a chance. I was kindly provided an e-copy of thi This is a historical romance. I have to say lately historical romance as been hit or miss for me, but this one I loved so much. I really loved the Henrietta and Sebastian characters. They drove the story, and they made you want to keep reading to find out what will happen to them. There was small twists and turns during the book which made the book fun to read. I enjoyed the historical parts of this book as well, and I am so happy I give this book a chance. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Harlequin Historical/Mills & Boon) or author (Jenni Fletcher) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review about how I feel about this book, and I want to send a big Thank you to them for that. This book is schedule to be release on December 29-2020.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this a B+ at AAR, 4.5 stars Although this is book two in Jenni Fletcher’s  Regency Belles of Bath  series, I didn’t feel I’d missed anything by not having read book one (An Unconventional Countess), as the author incorporates everything I needed to know about the events of that story into this one.  Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer is a charming character-driven romance between two strongly characterised and attractive leads whose relationship evolves organically from a well-developed I've given this a B+ at AAR, 4.5 stars Although this is book two in Jenni Fletcher’s  Regency Belles of Bath  series, I didn’t feel I’d missed anything by not having read book one (An Unconventional Countess), as the author incorporates everything I needed to know about the events of that story into this one.  Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer is a charming character-driven romance between two strongly characterised and attractive leads whose relationship evolves organically from a well-developed friendship, and – another bonus for those, who like me, are always keen to read historicals featuring non-aristocratic characters – are a (former) sailor and a shopkeeper.  They do have some connection to the nobility, it’s true, but they are both people who work for a living. Henrietta Gardiner is the manager of Belle’s biscuit shop in Bath, where she was formerly the assistant to its owner, Anna Fortini.  Now that Anna is happily married – to an earl, no less (see book one) –  Henrietta runs the business with the help of Nancy, an outspoken, no-nonsense young woman who clearly has Henrietta’s best interests at heart – especially after Henrietta’s reputation was maligned when she was accused of trying to entrap a young man into marriage.  In fact, Henrietta’s beauty, combined with her status as a ‘shopgirl’, has attracted the wrong kind of attention once too often, and she is determined never to allow a man to mistake good manners for encouragement again; she’s decidedly wary of anyone who tries to compliment or sweet-talk her, and makes a point of dressing plainly to the point of dowdiness. Sebastian Fortini – Anna’s brother – has been away at sea for a number of years, and arrives home very late one night.  Not wishing to disturb anyone, he enters the shop using his key with the intention of sleeping in a chair – only to be hit in the face by an opening door and then confronted by a vision in a white nightgown wielding a pair of fireplace tongs.  Fortunately for all concerned, mistakes are quickly corrected, but Sebastian is rather disconcerted when he learns of all the changes that have taken place; he never received any of his sister’s most recent letters (for reasons we learn later on) so to find she’s married and has left Bath and the business comes as something of a shock.  Not only that, he’d come home – discharged from the navy after Trafalgar – intending to help Anna run the business, but now it seems he’s surplus to requirements at home as well.  The feeling that he’s free of family obligations, naval orders and commitments is one he hasn’t experienced in many years, and it’s one that fills him with exuberance… but now he’ll have to come up with a new plan for what’s next. Sebastian decides his first order of business is to travel north to see Anna and his mother, so he makes arrangements to travel the day after next… but changes his plans when he learns that Henrietta’s recently widowed brother has disappeared and abandoned his three young sons to her care. He fully appreciates Henrietta’s cool-headedness and her ability to manage the bakery, but he also sees she’s in danger of being overwhelmed, and I really liked the way he just steps in to help and support Henrietta without being all take-charge and ‘I know best’. Henrietta makes it clear that she is not interested in anything more than friendship with Sebastian, and even though he’s strongly attracted to her, he takes her at her word, even going out of his way to make sure she feels comfortable around him. The author develops a lovely, genuine friendship between them which is underpinned by the mutual attraction that’s been bubbling since they met. I loved watching their feelings for one another grow and strengthen, and the way Sebastian’s kindness and honourable nature gradually erase Henrietta’s distrust. I appreciated the way Ms. Fletcher has Sebastian explore and come to terms with his feelings of guilt over leaving home to join the navy, and she writes Henrietta’s nephews very well so they come off as real people rather than plot-moppets. I found the eleventh-hour conflict a bit contrived, but the knee-jerk reactions to it by both Henrietta and Sebastian made sense given what we know about them, and fortunately, the misunderstanding isn’t allowed to continue for very long. (The epilogue, for those who care about such things, doesn’t feature Sebastian and Henrietta at all, but is a chapter setting up the next book in the series.) There’s a well-drawn secondary cast, I enjoyed the gentle humour of the dialogue, and I loved Sebastian, who is the best kind of beta hero; kind and considerate, sexy without really knowing it and able to step up and do what needs to be done without being flashy or overbearing. Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer is a delightful romance between two decent, caring people who find, in each other, someone who helps them to work out who they really are and where they want to be in life. It’s a lovely, feel-good read with depth and emotional subtlety, and I’m happy to recommend it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn Lynch

    Though I know author Jenni Fletcher better for her medieval romances, I’m absolutely loving this first Regency series of hers. Shying away from the aristocracy for the most part, Fletcher has introduced a series of heroines who work at Belles Biscuit Shop in Bath. This second book focuses on Henrietta, now the shop manager, and Sebastian Fortini, brother of Anna who was the heroine of the first book - but don’t worry if you haven’t read that one, everything is perfectly clear here and you’ll hav Though I know author Jenni Fletcher better for her medieval romances, I’m absolutely loving this first Regency series of hers. Shying away from the aristocracy for the most part, Fletcher has introduced a series of heroines who work at Belles Biscuit Shop in Bath. This second book focuses on Henrietta, now the shop manager, and Sebastian Fortini, brother of Anna who was the heroine of the first book - but don’t worry if you haven’t read that one, everything is perfectly clear here and you’ll have no problems figuring out who is who. Returning from years away at sea with the Navy, Sebastian and Henrietta get off to an inauspicious start when she assumes him an intruder, hits him in the face with a door and almost attacks him with a pair of tongs. Henrietta has had some very poor past experiences with men, being afflicted with too much beauty to be unmemorable. She’s erected defensive walls, and she has a lot more on her plate besides, with her grieving brother descending into drunkenness and leaving her to manage his three motherless sons. To his credit, Sebastian steps up to help without any expectations in return, and it’s easy to see how Henrietta falls for him. This is such a good series, and I’m really enjoying the clever way the next heroine in the series gets introduced (although with the reveal that she’s a duchess, Fletcher is obviously going back to the aristocracy for the next one). A genuinely delightful read and I’m happy to give this five stars. Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via the author.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Amber

    4.5 stars Unexpectedly Wed To The Officer is book two of The Regency Belles Of Bath, a series of historical romances.  Henrietta is the manager of Belles Biscuit Shop; late one evening she confronts a man she believes is a burglar. However, he turns out to be Sebastian Fortini, the shop owner’s son who has returned from years serving in the navy.  After long months without communication between Sebastian and his family, he had no idea that his sister and mother no longer lived above the shop. With 4.5 stars Unexpectedly Wed To The Officer is book two of The Regency Belles Of Bath, a series of historical romances.  Henrietta is the manager of Belles Biscuit Shop; late one evening she confronts a man she believes is a burglar. However, he turns out to be Sebastian Fortini, the shop owner’s son who has returned from years serving in the navy.  After long months without communication between Sebastian and his family, he had no idea that his sister and mother no longer lived above the shop. With a broken nose and his masculinity threatened by a pair of coal tongs, Sebastian grasps that Henrietta is quite capable of defending the shop and his fears turn to admiration.  Henrietta has sworn off men after discovering that few can see past her pretty face and shop girl status, believing wrongly that she is easy to manipulate. But when she finds herself responsible for her three young nephews, she is grateful for Sebastian’s help to keep them entertained. With the shop being no place to raise energetic boys, Sebastian invites Henrietta and her nephews to accompany him to Yorkshire on a holiday where he reunites with his family. It’s a trip that he has concerns about as old family secrets and feuds test his loyalties.  My own family always benefit when I read about Belles Biscuit Shop as it gets me into the kitchen baking goodies. The same happened when I read the first book in the series. The opening burglary scene was amusing and introduced us to the characters straightaway which had me turning the pages eager to read more. Nancy, the shop assistant, is great fun, and her plain speaking no-nonsense characteristics made me enjoy her even more. I shall look forward to seeing more of her, hopefully in the next book. The romance is sweet and runs smoothly to a point, while Henrietta’s nephews were excellent secondary characters who helped to keep the pace of the story brisk.  I would happily recommend this to others who enjoy Regency style romances.   Warning! Reading this book may cause serious bouts of baking!  

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Good book. We met Henrietta in the first book of the series, An Unconventional Countess , as the heroine's assistant. Henrietta is a beautiful young woman who is also somewhat naïve when it comes to men, which gets her into trouble. At the beginning of this book, she has taken over running the biscuit shop now that Anna is married. After too many encounters with men who see her pretty face and shop girl status as a license to seduce, Henrietta has grown up quite a bit. Now she's wary of anyon Good book. We met Henrietta in the first book of the series, An Unconventional Countess , as the heroine's assistant. Henrietta is a beautiful young woman who is also somewhat naïve when it comes to men, which gets her into trouble. At the beginning of this book, she has taken over running the biscuit shop now that Anna is married. After too many encounters with men who see her pretty face and shop girl status as a license to seduce, Henrietta has grown up quite a bit. Now she's wary of anyone who tries to flatter or sweet-talk her and shuts them down hard. She's become very good at protecting herself, which is a good thing when she hears a strange man in the bakery late one night. Sebastian has been away with the navy for several years. Now that the war is over, there is no need for so many officers, and he finds himself adrift. After more than a year of no communication with his mother and sister, Sebastian decides to visit them at the bakery. Since he arrives late at night, he lets himself in with his key, planning to sleep in a chair until they awaken. Sebastian doesn't understand what happened when a beautiful stranger attacks him with a door and a pair of fireplace tongs. I loved that first meeting between Henrietta and Sebastian. The whole confrontation was amusing, especially once they figured out what was going on. I ached a bit for Sebastian, who was blindsided by all the changes in his family's lives. I liked Henrietta's sympathy for him and her willingness to help him, though that backfired a little the next morning. However, Sebastian is intrigued by Henrietta, and since he has friends he can visit, he decides to stick around a few days and see if he can get to know her better. I liked the development of the relationship between Henrietta and Sebastian. She has a good head on her shoulders and manages the bakery very well. However, she also has a brother who recently lost his wife and drowned his grief in alcohol. This leaves Henrietta to pick up the slack with her three young nephews, leaving her feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I loved how Sebastian stepped in and helped her take care of the boys. There are some great scenes with them and Sebastian, who connects with the boys very quickly. I loved watching all five spend time together. Sebastian finds a purpose for his days, Henrietta gets much-needed help, and both get to know each other. I liked seeing Sebastian's kindness and honorable nature ease Henrietta's distrust. The more time they spend together, the more feelings grow between them. When Henrietta's brother disappears, Sebastian invites her and the boys to go with him to visit his family. Both of them are a little unsure of what to expect, and I liked how they supported each other. I enjoyed following the steps leading up to their marriage, as it was easy to see how they felt about each other, even though neither realized it themselves. I loved their time at Gretna Green, where Sebastian once again showed his finest qualities. Sebastian and Henrietta just start to recognize their feelings when an unexpected arrival throws their lives into turmoil. I wanted to shake Sebastian for being such a bone-headed idiot and hoped that he would quickly get over it. Meanwhile, Henrietta finds her old fears coming back and thinks that he regrets their marriage. I loved that it was a conversation with Henrietta's oldest nephew that helped both Sebastian and young Peter get past their problems. I liked how the reunion between Sebastian and Henrietta gave them the chance to share their feelings and see their way to a future together. There was also an unexpected twist that affects that future. I hope to see more of them in the next book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Asha - A Cat, A Book, And A Cup Of Tea

    Content warnings: Secondary character is an alcoholic; mention of death of spouse/mother; parental neglect/abandonment; brief mentions of violence in war. The Regency Belles of Bath is a fun and fluffy series set around Belle’s, a wonderful biscuit shop in Bath. In the first book, An Unconventional Countess, Henrietta Gardiner was a naive girl who nearly got into a lot of trouble with a dashing rake; this book may take place only six months later, but she’s done a lot of growing up in that time, Content warnings: Secondary character is an alcoholic; mention of death of spouse/mother; parental neglect/abandonment; brief mentions of violence in war. The Regency Belles of Bath is a fun and fluffy series set around Belle’s, a wonderful biscuit shop in Bath. In the first book, An Unconventional Countess, Henrietta Gardiner was a naive girl who nearly got into a lot of trouble with a dashing rake; this book may take place only six months later, but she’s done a lot of growing up in that time, thanks to her brush with danger. She’s wary of men and their flirting, which puts her in a bit of a pickle when Sebastian Fortini (brother to our previous heroine, Anna) returns to the biscuit shop for the first time in years, and sparks feelings in her she was hoping to avoid. Sebastian, for his part, is baffled to find out how much has changed in his absence, and feeling rather directionless after leaving the navy, can’t help but be drawn in by the beautiful and kind Henrietta… As with the previous book, this is a sweet story that sticks to quieter stakes, really allowing the characters to get to know one another and help each other grow. A large part of the plot revolves around Henrietta dealing with her three nephews after her brother, David, who is struggling badly with alcohol after the death of his wife. At first, Sebastian resolves to give her a hand in the shop so she has time to look after the boys, but it’s wonderfully good fun to watch him come up with excuse after excuse to himself to stick around and spend time with her! There really isn’t much more to the plot than that, but that isn’t to say that it’s boring – actually, this is my favourite kind of romance, without the bells and whistles of mysteries or kidnappings or elaborate marital schemes. The characters are more relaxed, and if they’re well-written, which they are here, you get to see exactly what makes them tick and watch them grow into themselves through their interactions with others, rather than their responses to drama. It makes things very cozy and enjoyable – proper Sunday afternoon books. I loved both Henrietta and Sebastian. They’re both a little bit adrift – not unhappy, but not quite sure that this is where they want to be – and in each other, they find something that helps them to work out how life should feel. After Henrietta’s subplot in An Unconventional Countess, I thought her development here was spot on, as she learns to trust Sebastian; it made perfect sense that she was so averse to flattery and flirting, and I found her matter-of-factness with Sebastian about it very refreshing. For his part, he was the perfect gentleman, but more than that, he really seemed to understand why she was uncomfortable, and go out of his way to make her feel more at ease with him. Jenni’s heroes are just so wonderfully considerate, respectful, and kind – they really are the sort of characters I love to read about. It’s such a treat to read a historical romance where everyone is so emotionally literate and, well, nice! Normally in a historical romance I’m all about, well, the romance, and I don’t pay too much mind to the subplots, but here I found myself rather touched by the plot involving Henrietta’s nephews. I’ve been struggling a little to adjust to life with a baby, and I read this on a day I was feeling very down, but the love Henrietta has for those boys (and the way their plotline resolves – no spoilers) left me happy-crying and thinking about how much I love mine. It sounds silly, but sometimes it’s nice just to sink into a book filled with good feelings – it can help you get a handle on your own life! This is a real comfort read and one I can see myself returning to again and again. I’m really excited for the last two books in the series – I saw some hints in this one as to who we’ll be seeing fall in love next and I can’t wait! If you’re in need of a bit of escapism (and who isn’t, at the moment?) then this is definitely one you should preorder and spend Christmas Eve curled up with. Five out of five cats!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Scandal, romance and more feature in this delightful Regency novel full of humour, realistic dialogue and biscuits. Featuring an independent heroine who is trying to do her best as a businesswoman, aunt and defender of her shop, this book also introduces a naval officer who makes several discoveries about a woman who hates compliments. When Henrietta attacks a mysterious intruder, she little suspects that he knows a lot about Belles, the biscuit shop she manages with the redoubtable Nancy. Sebas Scandal, romance and more feature in this delightful Regency novel full of humour, realistic dialogue and biscuits. Featuring an independent heroine who is trying to do her best as a businesswoman, aunt and defender of her shop, this book also introduces a naval officer who makes several discoveries about a woman who hates compliments. When Henrietta attacks a mysterious intruder, she little suspects that he knows a lot about Belles, the biscuit shop she manages with the redoubtable Nancy. Sebastian is a hero who admits he has a lot to learn about people, especially a woman who is sensitive about her past. The responsibility for three boys is a sudden burden in this novel which looks at the complications of families in a different world, but one which has familiar echoes for many of us. This book is actually part of a series that tells the story of those women who work in Belles Biscuit shop, but there is no need to have read the previous book to enjoy this one; there are many references to characters in the previous novel, which are sufficient. This book is very much Henrietta and Sebastian’s story, full of the doubts, challenges and twists which make it truly entertaining throughout. I was so pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book. The book opens with Sebastian, brother of Anna, the absent shop owner, discovering that during his absence at sea over several years much has changed in the shop that used to be run by his family. After nearly breaking his nose, Henrietta allows him to camp in the downstairs room, only to be woken by her assistant Nancy conducting a similar attack on him, not knowing of his existence. He notices Henrietta’s extreme attractiveness, despite her attempts to dress down and her coldness, and he thinks about hurrying to see his family. However, his attention is taken by Henrietta’s three nephews, who soon claim him as an important figure in their lives, as their father is struggling with grief for his late wife. Almost despite herself, Henrietta begins to relax in the company of such a thoughtful and helpful man, but has such overwhelmingly bad memories of previous relationships and the gossip that they attracted that she resolves to pull back from any further involvement. It is perhaps when other people get involved, and a mysterious stranger appears to need help, that they discover that significant action must be taken. This book is truly a joy to read, especially as Regency stories hold a particular attraction at the moment. It is delightful escapism, and has some genuinely very funny elements, including Nancy who frequently lets fly with her observations and opinions concerning everything. The family theme works well, and there is much more to this book than a straightforward romance. It is well paced and flows well, as it represents many of the responses and actions of the two main characters. The dialogue is lively and well written, and strikes a contemporary tone, though it is never anachronistic. This is a lovely book for anyone who enjoys a gentle escapist read, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic historical fiction.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rose Blue

    As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-1rr Sebastian Fortini has returned home from his five year career as a naval officer. The last year has been a precarious one, and he was unable to receive or send any correspondence to his family. Thus, he is unaware that his sister has married and has left the family bakery in the capable hands of Henrietta Gardiner. Sebastian arrives late and attempts to quietly enter, hoping to catch some sleep without waking (he thinks) his family. Unfortun As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-1rr Sebastian Fortini has returned home from his five year career as a naval officer. The last year has been a precarious one, and he was unable to receive or send any correspondence to his family. Thus, he is unaware that his sister has married and has left the family bakery in the capable hands of Henrietta Gardiner. Sebastian arrives late and attempts to quietly enter, hoping to catch some sleep without waking (he thinks) his family. Unfortunately, Henrietta believes him to be an intruder, and manages to whack him soundly with the door, while preparing to defend herself and the shop. After they manage to get everything sorted out, Henrietta offers Sebastian a place to sleep for the night, and they agree to talk again in the morning. Sebastian is at loose ends with his career over, as he had planned to assist his sister and mother in the bakery. He decides to stay in town for a while, before he goes off to visit his sister, her new husband, and his mother. He spends a lot of time with Henrietta, and they get along very well after Sebastian learns that she doesn’t take kindly to compliments about her physical beauty. Henrietta has been burned twice, having lost previous employment due to men being smitten with her looks. Though she’s uncommonly lovely, Henrietta sometimes wishes she were plain. She has learned to quickly freeze out any man who shows a sign of flirtatiousness, but has come to count Sebastian as a friend, and, therefore, safe. Sebastian finds himself continuing to linger in town, and he knows it’s because of Henrietta. When her brother has a crisis, leaving his three young sons in her care, Sebastian steps up to help. His experience in the navy seems to have conditioned Sebastian to have the right touch with the boys, a balance of discipline and fun. UNEXPECTEDLY WED TO THE OFFICER is really a simple love story about two young people who are falling in love, but have to face their own doubts and life situations. Henrietta has built some walls around herself after her previous experiences, but she slowly learns to trust Sebastian, and to let down her guard. Sebastian has to come to terms with whether he’s ready to make a commitment, and what he wants to do for his future. They both have to deal with family issues as they travel from friendship to love. UNEXPECTEDLY WED TO THE OFFICER, without being paced too slowly, felt like a warm and comforting read, one that should appeal to readers who enjoy getting to know their characters in detail, and also those who enjoy friends to lovers.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    The second instalment of Jenni Fletcher’s ‘Regency Belles of Bath’ series picks up where book one left off as Sebastian Fortini returns home to discover Henrietta Gardiner has taken up residence in the family biscuit shop and that an awful lot of things have changed whilst he has been away in the Navy.  What follows is a beautifully told tale of friendship, romance and family all set against a gloriously vivid backdrop of Bath, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Gretna Green. Whilst the story does follow The second instalment of Jenni Fletcher’s ‘Regency Belles of Bath’ series picks up where book one left off as Sebastian Fortini returns home to discover Henrietta Gardiner has taken up residence in the family biscuit shop and that an awful lot of things have changed whilst he has been away in the Navy.  What follows is a beautifully told tale of friendship, romance and family all set against a gloriously vivid backdrop of Bath, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Gretna Green. Whilst the story does follow the conclusion of book one, this works well as a stand alone novel, and the reader is soon invested in what will become of Henrietta and Sebastian following their entertaining first meeting, and we follow the pair as they begin a tentative friendship which may lead to romance.  One of the strongest traits of Jenni Fletcher’s writing style is her ability to create strong, believable and likeable characters who spring to life from the outset and make an impression on the reader, and in Henrietta and Sebastian she has again succeeded in immersing the reader in this little corner of Regency Bath from the first page.  Indeed, by the time Sebastian decides that he really wants to see Henrietta again following their first meeting you are already rooting for him to convince her that they could be something wonderful if she could see beyond her mistrust of men.  The romance elements which follow allow their relationship to move from mistrust to friendship to romance at a pace which suits the characters and you cannot help but fall in love with the two as an unexpected sequence of events propels Sebastian to start considering the future. The secondary characters only add to the enjoyment of the plot, most notably Henrietta’s adorable nephews who steal the show in almost every scene and provide an amusing subplot as Sebastian’s equivalent of childcare is to offer training as Navy cadets, as well as bakery assistant Nancy and the mysterious Belinda who is not necessarily all she seems to be.  Whilst there is no appearance from Anna and Samuel, or the scene stealing Lady Jarrett from book 1 (who Jenni kindly informs me may be back for book 3!), there are also appearances from Sebastian’s mother and her extended family which provide a nice follow on for readers of the previous book. Without spoiling the plot, the second half of the story provides a delightful shift in Henrietta and Sebastian’s relationship and you really do care what becomes of them as the story progresses.  Through clever plotting and enjoyable characters this is the perfect book to lose yourself in during these uncertain times, and I look forward to book 3 and returning to these characters.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frankie (Chicks, Rogues and Scandals)

    What a lovely and gentle love story this is, firstly let’s have a look at that gorgeous cover; go on…isn’t it luscious? It doesn’t exactly match up to how I saw Henrietta and Sebastion in my head while reading, but that’s just my view, I still love it though and it does work really well with the romance surrounding our leading couple. Another thumbs up to the art department! Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer is the second book in the marvellous; Regency Belles of Bath mini-series, even though you c What a lovely and gentle love story this is, firstly let’s have a look at that gorgeous cover; go on…isn’t it luscious? It doesn’t exactly match up to how I saw Henrietta and Sebastion in my head while reading, but that’s just my view, I still love it though and it does work really well with the romance surrounding our leading couple. Another thumbs up to the art department! Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer is the second book in the marvellous; Regency Belles of Bath mini-series, even though you can very easily read the books as stand-alone’ my personal opinion would be to read the first; An Unconventional Countess first, not that you will be missing anything crucial from the overall story but I do feel that to get the full Belles of Bath experience you should read them in order. Again, just my opinion, you may feel differently! Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer picks up more or less where the previous one finished, now Henrietta is in charge of Belle’s, she is trying to get on with her life as an independent woman in charge of her own fate, when all of a sudden a sexy, dishevelled, twinkly-eyed Officer bursts through the back door and turns everything topsey-turvey. Sebastian Fortini has finally come back home after years sailing the seven seas in his majesty’s Navy, he naively expects everything to be as he left it, for his sister to be as she always has been behind the counter of their families biscuit shop, alas our dashing hero has another thing coming when he walks through the door of the place he has called home only for a fierce baker to whack him in the nose with his own back door. Some welcome home, hey Sebastian? Who is this feral and incredibly beautiful woman, who is currently threatening him with a pair of tongs? I really, really liked Sebastian he is every inch the charismatic, seductive rogue which we all look for in a Regency, but there is another side to him which I thoroughly liked getting to know, yes he is a bit of a cheeky chappie with a seductive glint in his eye, but he is also compassionate and caring with a sort of lonely aura which was very endearing and makes you fall in love with him all the more. I really felt for Sebastian, his frustration at not knowing where he is going now that his navy career is more or less over, he feels as though he at sea without a paddle. The Navy has made him the man he is, it has taught him so much and now he is feeling a little redundant. Plus there is the all-consuming guilt that has been hanging over him since leaving home, the guilt of not being there when his father died, the guilt that he was away when his mother and sister needed him, and the guilt that Anna; his sister had to deal with everything which was thrown at her. My heart really went out to him, he is adept at hiding his true feelings, but Henrietta soon sees through his cheeky persona and meets the frustrated, I liked how Henrietta and Sabastian’s romance develops throughout the book, true theirs is essentially a marriage of convenience and they didn’t exactly start off on the right foot, but once married they learn from each other, the progression of their blossoming love story feels very natural, it isn’t rushed they soon realise that they are more in sync with each other than first thought. Sabastian not only reveals his own issues regarding his loss of the career he loved and the unspoken guilt which wells up within beneath the surface, but he also proves to his new wife that all men aren’t only out for all they can get from a woman, I love how he shows her respect and slowly gains her trust and in doing so she finds new confidence I think she was lacking. I absolutely love the opening, it is such a hoot, I did laugh out loud quite a few times – who’d have thought that I mild-mannered baker could be so lethal? 😉 It’s a great scene, I love that all parties meet on the first page, even if there is a lot of crossed wires and nose crunching. It sets the relationship between Sebastian and Henrietta up nicely for lots of embarrassed and witty banter, plus red hot blushes when Henrietta spies some muscular, tanned chest – not that was looking! I love love, love the wit and banter between Henrietta and Sebastian, add into the mix a selection of charming secondary characters and a beautifully tender romance and you have all the ingredients of a genuine heart-warming, sparkly, atmospheric love story. Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer is a lovely little story all about two people who aren’t completely happy and in need of a little love, but find that much deserved happiness in the arms of each other. I enjoyed the more sedate pacing, it’s not a whirlwind it’s more like a stroll through the park which allows you to really get to know our couple.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emma Barnes

    This is the second book within the Regency Belles of Bath series by Jenni, though they can be read as standalone novels. This is the story of Henrietta and Sebastian and is told over 26 Chapters (+Epilogue). Readers beware though this book is so easy to get sucked into as you will not want to put it down. This book is full of some misunderstandings between the characters which ends up for an interesting story. To begin with it does seem like the attraction is one sided, I won't tell you who but This is the second book within the Regency Belles of Bath series by Jenni, though they can be read as standalone novels. This is the story of Henrietta and Sebastian and is told over 26 Chapters (+Epilogue). Readers beware though this book is so easy to get sucked into as you will not want to put it down. This book is full of some misunderstandings between the characters which ends up for an interesting story. To begin with it does seem like the attraction is one sided, I won't tell you who but as the story progress's the reader discovers the truth. What's brilliant about this book is that it will suck the reader in and grab their attention from the very beginning. It is interesting and intriguing leaving readers wanting to know what happens. Readers will find themselves invested in this story but not only that they will find themselves invested in the other characters, wanting to know their stories. The readers will be left with the urge to read the first one in the series, especially if they like me haven't read it yet. The first couple is mentioned in this book a few times which just helps that urge to grow. Overall I completely loved this story and will be purchasing the first book as soon as possible. From my reckoning I believe there is at least one more story in this series, though I am hoping for more, especially a certain set of characters that you will meet in this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rach

    What a gem of a book! Captivated from the very first page by a "meet cute" that will knock you right off your feet ;-) I adored it 🥰 Henrietta was such a delight - an exceptionally beautiful woman who resents her looks for the kind of attraction it brings, and Sebastian - sawoon!! He was so ruggedly handsome and so not a gentleman and yet very much a gentleman. Sorry, but he is! I loved their interplay. Sebastian teasing Henrietta out of her carefully constructed shell, and Henrietta teaching him What a gem of a book! Captivated from the very first page by a "meet cute" that will knock you right off your feet ;-) I adored it 🥰 Henrietta was such a delight - an exceptionally beautiful woman who resents her looks for the kind of attraction it brings, and Sebastian - sawoon!! He was so ruggedly handsome and so not a gentleman and yet very much a gentleman. Sorry, but he is! I loved their interplay. Sebastian teasing Henrietta out of her carefully constructed shell, and Henrietta teaching him how to enjoy a new and very different kind of life to a sailer in the Navy. The sudden family that was thrust upon them and how it brought out the best in each, the "magic" of the wealth they find, not just monetary but in love too... Jenni Fletcher casts you under her spell and doesn't let you go until the very end...and then some, as we get an insight into the next in the series and I cannot wait for it! I haven't read the first book in the series and it certainly didn't spoil my enjoyment of this one, but I WILL be going back to read the first now. Anna and Samuel are sure to be just as much of a joy to read ❤️

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Wenger

    Naval officer Sebastian returns from sea to find that his sister has married, and their mother has reconciled with her aristocratic relatives. They've gone north and left the family's home and bakery business in the care of Henrietta, a beautiful young shopkeeper. Sebastian knows he should go north to be with his family, But somehow, he can't bear to leave Henrietta behind. When her grieving brother places his sons in her care and then disappears, Henrietta isn't sure how she'll manage. She hire Naval officer Sebastian returns from sea to find that his sister has married, and their mother has reconciled with her aristocratic relatives. They've gone north and left the family's home and bakery business in the care of Henrietta, a beautiful young shopkeeper. Sebastian knows he should go north to be with his family, But somehow, he can't bear to leave Henrietta behind. When her grieving brother places his sons in her care and then disappears, Henrietta isn't sure how she'll manage. She hires another worker for the bakery, but there isn't room in the house for everyone. Falling for her and wanting to help, Sebastian suggests she travel north with him and take the boys with her, until they figure out what to do next. She hesitates, wary of his motives. She's accustomed to men coveting her for her looks without a thought to the person inside. Can she trust Sebastian with her heart? I love this author's voice. The novel is a delight from the very beginning. The characters are fun, and the tone light. The story is a romantic escape that left me wearing a smile. Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    Absolutely love this series. Can't wait for the next one. Absolutely love this series. Can't wait for the next one.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Review to come! Absolutely loved this one and looking forward to book 3 in this series!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Harlequin Books

    Categories Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Regency Romance Miniseries Regency Belles of Bath (Book #2)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Harlequin Historical

    Categories Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Regency Romance Miniseries Regency Belles of Bath (Book #2)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jo Shaw

    This is the second book in the Regency Belle’s of Bath series by Jenni Fletchers. In the first book An Unconventional Countess (see my review here) reference was made to Sebastian Fortini, the brother of Anna, although he was away in the Navy. Henrietta, the heroine in Book 2 became manager of the biscuit shop previously run by Anna Fortini. The first meeting between Sebastian and Henrietta was so amusing. I adored the way Sebastian kept coming up with excuses so he could stay near Henrietta, and This is the second book in the Regency Belle’s of Bath series by Jenni Fletchers. In the first book An Unconventional Countess (see my review here) reference was made to Sebastian Fortini, the brother of Anna, although he was away in the Navy. Henrietta, the heroine in Book 2 became manager of the biscuit shop previously run by Anna Fortini. The first meeting between Sebastian and Henrietta was so amusing. I adored the way Sebastian kept coming up with excuses so he could stay near Henrietta, and he was such a kind and honourable man, just perfect to ease her distrust of men, because of previous experiences. I loved the subplot involving Henrietta’s brother and her three young nephews, and the way in which their storyline was resolved. I didn’t think I could love this book as much as I loved the first book but this was such a delightful feel-good comfort read that I think I fell in love with Henrietta and Sebastian almost as much as I fell for Anna and Samuel in Book One. This fills me with so much excitement for Book Three which is coming very soon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eirini

  22. 5 out of 5

    Damaskcat

  23. 4 out of 5

    Traci

  24. 5 out of 5

    Myra Wardhana

  25. 5 out of 5

    Margaret R Jones

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  28. 4 out of 5

    Caroline B

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pheonix Fanfiction

  31. 5 out of 5

    Patrice

  32. 5 out of 5

    Andy Mcclure

  33. 4 out of 5

    karen

  34. 4 out of 5

    Lori

  35. 4 out of 5

    Tina

  36. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  37. 4 out of 5

    GG

  38. 4 out of 5

    TMR

  39. 4 out of 5

    Madel

  40. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Aucoin

  41. 4 out of 5

    Kelly_Instalove

  42. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  43. 4 out of 5

    Addie Yoder

  44. 4 out of 5

    Kit

  45. 5 out of 5

    Rosangela

  46. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (Rae)

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