I Thee Wed by Celeste Bradley
Signet: May 3, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher
I Thee Wed features a science-minded hero and heroine; however, despite an equal appreciation for scientific investigation, that does not mean that they are perfectly matched. While Orion Worthington is strictly logical when it comes to his experiments, Francesca Penrose embraces the more unexplained side of science. Since Orion has come on board as Francesca’s uncle’s assistant, their difference in opinion naturally leads to some heated confrontations. When antagonism turns to lust the pair decide to launch an experiment: one night together, then they’ll both be able to return to their work without any distractions. Needless to say, the plan goes awry and distraction abounds.
The romance between Francesca and Orion was delightfully witty and fun. I know some people are bothered by modernism in the historical romance genre, so I would suggestion approaching I Thee Wed with caution. Since I am not one of those readers, I found I Thee Wed to be a highly entertaining read. I particularly enjoyed Orion more logical tendencies and his complete befuddlement when confronted with the vibrancy of Francesca. Francesca is flighty and spontaneous but she remains a scientist and has no trouble giving Orion a piece of her mind or some of her Italian cooking if all else fails.
Despite the more zany elements of the novel (i.e. Orion’s family) there were some flashes of seriousness that tempered the more unbelievable elements. Specifically, I liked the fact that both Francesca and Orion felt out of place in their families. In Orion’s case, he feels that he wants more structure and less clutter that has every been present in his family life. He loves his family but he doesn’t always understand them. Francesca, who is half-English and half-Italian, has come to England because he Italian family has always claimed that she was too English. Now that she’s arrived in England, she finds that she doesn’t fit that mould either. The basis of the romance between these two is the fact that they feel at home when they are with each other. With Orion, Francesca feels that she’s found someone that appreciates and understands her mind; she even fits right in with his insane family. And in Orion case, he seems to come out of his shell around Francesca and embraces the family traits that he had previously repudiated. So, there’s more to the romance than lust, much as the hero and heroine would have liked to have thought overwise.
My one little quibble has to do with a choice Orion makes close to the end of the novel. Orion chooses to hide something from Francesca all in the name of “protecting her”. Sigh. Personally, I could have done without Orion’s protective tendencies. For the majority of the book, Orion demonstrates that he thinks of Francesca as an equal and he throws that believe out the window when he makes this decision that’s going to impact Francesca. Orion’s reasoning for this was weak and it was a bit of a let down in an otherwise really fun read. I suppose I can’t have it all, and it’s not as if folks done make dumb calls outside of a romance book (clearly I’m expecting perfection in the historical romance genre!).
I Thee Wed is the first book by Celeste Bradley that I have read and it was a great introduction to the Worthington family. I didn’t feel like I was missing out too much, but it does convince me that I should check out the first three books in the series. Future books also promise to be highly anticipated; the Worthingtons are unconventional and I want to read more about them!
The historical romance genre is full of scientist heroes and heroines and I love them all. There’s something about an awkward hero or heroine that is so inherently endearing. Here are just a few that I’ve enjoyed and that I think will appeal to those who have read I Thee Wed.
Her Sudden Groom features an astronomer as a hero. He’s kind of awkward as is his courtship of his secret scientist heroine, Caroline. If you’re looking for a gentler read, this one fits the bill.
For a read that matches the same witty and zany tone of I Thee Wed, I would recommend Sarah MacLean’s One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. While the hero and heroine are technically scientists, they are mathematically inclined and I figure that’s close enough.
My final recommendation is Elizabeth Essex’s A Scandal to Remember, which features a heroine that is a botanist. This one will particularly appeal if you felt for Francesca’s cousin, Judith. See my full review here.