The Book Worm: Review: Substitute Bride

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: Substitute Bride

substitute bride, noelle adams, book review


For more than two years, Rose has been the nanny for James Harwood's daughters. She adores the girls, but she tries to maintain a professional distance with James—no matter how attractive she finds him. However, when his engagement falls apart and he starts to look at her differently, Rose no longer sees him only as her boss.

James isn't the kind of man to fall for his nanny, so he doesn't know why he can't stop thinking about her in very wrong ways. He's determined to resist, to keep his life simple and to find an appropriate substitute for his wife who died.

But with a manipulative ex-fiancée, two precocious daughters, Rose's interfering Southern grandmother, a short-lived fake engagement, and feelings that won't be denied, nothing remains simple for long.

Genre: contemporary romance

Publishing date: August 2015

Offensive content: there is mature content in this book, in the form of a couple of sex scenes.

Substitute Bride is the second book in the Beaufort Brides series by Noelle Adams. Book one is Hired Bride (read my review here) and features Deanna, the oldest of the three Beaufort Sisters. Substitute Bride follows the story of Rose, the middle sister. 

I read this book in just two days and while I liked the story, the plot is far from original since the nanny-falls-for-widowed-man-raising-children-on-his-own has been used almost to exhaustion in the book industry. There are even an evil step-mother (or almost step-mother) and a manipulating mother-in-law thrown in for good measure. 

In book one, once you got past the weak reason that prompts Deanna and Mitchell's fake engagement, you were in for a sweet, entertaining story. In book two, while the engagement never really sounds that fake, there's so much predictability it becomes...well, a bit boring. I kept hoping for an unusual twist, but there was none. 

There was also no reference to the years the family spent in London, which is strange given that at the end of book one Rose had just returned from London. Since book 2 almost immediately follows book one, I expected to see this mentioned somewhere in the story. I kept wondering what kind of relationship James had with his fiancé (the first one, aka evil-almost-step-mother) while he was in London. A long distance relationship would have helped explain why she was not close to the children, instead of chalking it all up to her evilness. I searched and there is not one single reference to London in the text.

I still enjoyed reading this book, it's a sweet romance and accounts for a couple of entertaining evenings, but it doesn't stand out in any way. It has a fairly high rating over at Amazon, and perhaps if I wasn't used to reading so many romance novels, I would rate it higher too. But in this case, I'm awarding it only three stars for the sheer lack of originality. 

Still, I'm curious about Kelly's story. Kelly is the younger sister and her story hasn't been published yet, but I'm sincerely hoping the author can find a more original plot for book three. 

Have a wonderful week,

the book worm, book reviews


  1. Interesting! Thanks for sharing this review! I'm visiting you from Literacy Musing Link Up. Blessings

  2. I love romance novels - so I enjoyed reading this review.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I know it's hard when it's a genre you enjoy to read the same used plot and concepts. Thanks for sharing with #theCozyReadingSpot



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