Review & Excerpt: The Bride Takes a Groom by Lisa Berne

Posted May 3rd 2018 by The GingerSnap in Blog Tours, Excerpts, Giveaways, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review & Excerpt: The Bride Takes a Groom by Lisa Berne


The Bride Takes a Groom

Review & Excerpt: The Bride Takes a Groom by Lisa Berne
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Author: Lisa Berne
Series: The Penhallow Dynasty #3
Publisher: Avon
Release date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Pure Textuality PR

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Star rating:
Heat rating: two-half-flames

Lisa Berne’s Penhallow Dynasty continues with a pair of star-crossed childhood friends who meet again years later—and find love where they least expect it...

Katherine Brooke may be a fabulously wealthy heiress, but she’s trapped, a pawn in her parents’ ruthless game to marry her into the nobility. Then Captain Hugo Penhallow—so charming, as handsome as a Greek god—comes into her life once more, and suddenly she sees a chance to be free.

As a Penhallow, his is one of the highest names in the land, but still his family is facing ruin. So Katherine boldly proposes an exchange: his name for her money. But only if Hugo understands it’s merely a practical arrangement, and that she’s not surrendering herself entirely.

Back from eight years in America and determined to give his younger siblings a better life, Hugo agrees. He’s never fallen in love, so why not? Yet neither of them guesses that this marriage will become far, far more than they ever dreamed of.


The GingerSnap’s review

It is a well-known fact that I love me some historical romance, especially when it involves heroines doing the wooing; marriages of convenience that involve hot, hot sex; and strong family dynamics. Therefore, this book checked every box for me.

I’ve been in a major reading slump lately, so I’ve been having trouble sticking with novels that are too detailed or involved. Therefore, this book was perfect. Despite Hugo’s huge family (which includes one hilarious parrot named Señor Rodrigo), each character had their own distinctive personality, making it easy to tell apart all his siblings. I also loved how obvious Hugo’s affection for his family was. He will do absolutely anything to help them, and despite his mother’s difficulty handling the family finances, he doesn’t admonish her– rather, he just sets out to make things right so she no longer has to carry such a burden. He also keeps his siblings in mind, and sends them gifts whenever he spots something he knows they would like. After years of these kids not receiving gifts or enjoyable trinkets due to financial constraints, this is especially sweet. Dudes being nice to their families is ALWAYS nice to read.

Hugo’s open, honest love for his family and, later, for Katherine is in direct contrast to Katherine’s emotional personality. She’s aloof, a little cold, and is reluctant at first to show Hugo how she really feels. This was a great role reversal from the usual hero-heroine dynamic we often see in historical romance novels, and I was all for it. This book is also a great reminder that men can be emotionally intelligent and women can struggle to understand and express their emotions– emotional intelligence isn’t a gender-specific thing, people!

Also, let’s talk about the sex scenes in this book. They are so. freaking. hot. The hottest thing? Katherine initiated their first time having sex! CAN THIS HAPPEN MORE OFTEN IN ROMANCE PLEASE?

Katherine also has an abiding love of chocolate and books that I think many of us can relate to. She pays her maid to sneak her sweets and versions of Shakespeare that aren’t edited for the sensitive minds of ladies, and for this, she is automatically one of my favourite heroines.

My only two complaints about this book are:

  1. Not enough sex scenes. Give me more sex scenes!
  2. Katherine doesn’t know the term ‘penis’ or ‘balls’ and has to ask Hugo what he calls his ‘manhood’ and his other bits. Now, she did attend a girls’ school for many years, and there’s no way in hell her society mama would have spent any time educating her about what goes on beneath a man’s smalls, but HOW has she not heard, somehow, in passing, by eavesdropping, in the street – SOMEWHERE – what the male genitals are called?

But all in all, this is the book you need in your life, whether you’re in slumptown like me, or just looking for a feel-good romance that will make you calm, happy, and in need of some chocolate (which I am munching on while I write this).

I would recommend this book to…

Lovers of joyful historicals that leave you feeling like you’ve just meditated for 3 hours, petted a cat and been gifted a lifetime supply of chocolate chip cookies



Oh, damn, her heart was hammering hard within her, as if it were a caged animal trying to burst free. To combat it, to bring herself back into coolness,

into her mind she summoned an image, a certain passage from one of her hidden history books, this one about the ancient Romans. Cornelius Tacitus had written in 97 A.D. about the Sitones, a tribe in northern Europe which was believed to be a matriarchal society. Among the Sitones, Tacitus said, the women were powerful; the women chose their mates.

It was a wild, a radical idea back then—disapprovingly had Tacitus commented upon its harmful effects—and it still was, of course, seventeen hundred years later. Even in this modern era, in which civilization had evolved with things like the printing press, steam engines, inoculations, gas lights, the Encyclopædia Britannica, and Herschel’s great telescopes, women were still supposed to demurely sit around, waiting for some man to ask her to be his wife.

But an hour ago, Hugo Penhallow had unexpectedly strolled into her parents’ drawing-room, and maybe, just maybe, they could effect a trade to their mutual benefit. It was not, to say the least, a romantic proposition, but it had been a long, long time since she had indulged in girlish dreams of love, a soulmate, happily ever after.

And here, right in front of her, was an opportunity to escape Brooke House.

So to Hugo she said, in a voice that was only a little bit breathless:

“Marry me.”


About Lisa Berne

Lisa Berne read her first Georgette Heyer book at fourteen, and was instantly captivated. Later, she was a graduate student, a teacher, and a grant writer — and is now an author of historical romance, with her first three books set in Regency-era Britain. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.



Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a fan bundle containing the entire Penhallow Dynasty series in paperback, a charm necklace, and a signed postcard from the author. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 5/4/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.

Enter to win!

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