Sabrina Jeffries’ ‘The Bachelor’ Addresses Social Issues That Are Still Relevant Today [REVIEW]

Rose
Can love blossom in a garden of secrets? (Photo courtesy Canva)

He is a wounded soldier confident no woman can ever love him. She is a lady willing to pay to keep a secret hidden. But when a sinister villain from the past emerges from the shadows to threaten their future, will they learn to trust one another long enough to thwart their betrayer? Or will each of them prove to be their own worst enemy? Find out in Sabrina Jeffries’ second Duke Dynasty novel, The Bachelor.

Sabrina Jeffries' THE BACHELOR
Zebra

Lady Gwyn Drake is resilient and strong willed, and there is little that ruffles her feathers, until an old suitor shows up at Armitage Hall intent on blackmailing her. Unwilling to let a secret from her past threaten her family’s revered standing in the community, she agrees to pay him off until the estate’s gamekeeper, Joshua Wolfe, stumbles upon their clandestine meeting and intervenes on her behalf.

Gwyn’s twin brother, Thorn, hires Wolfe to accompany his sister to London for her belated debut to society. At 30, she is nearly an old maid by Regency standards, but a girl has to come out sometime! Wolfe, a wounded war hero with a less than pleasing personality is loathe to accept the commission, but he also can’t stand the thought of the blackmailer getting his grubby paws all over the heiress, or worse yet, kidnapping her altogether.

Wolfe’s constant attention proves problematic for Gwyn, who is eager to slip away and deliver payment to her foe undetected so she can be done with the whole matter once and for all, and all without her family becoming any the wiser. The more time Gwyn and Wolfe spend together, the more both realize their mutual attraction. Yet can a gamekeeper and a duke’s sister ever make a life together? To do so means they must both learn to trust the other with well preserved secrets and their own hidden pasts, but only after they figure out how to vanquish the miserable blackmailer once and for all.

The Bachelor proves once again why I always enjoy reading Jeffries’ work. Although she pens historical romances, she incorporates deeply emotional themes and social issues that are still relevant today. In this case, she addresses how wounded warriors are viewed by society once they return from the front and why men and women are governed by different standards and rules, however unjustly.

Gwyn is a strong woman who feels she must keep secrets and succumb to societal norms unless she wants to become a pariah among the ton, even if her twin brother can get away with worse behavior without anyone ever batting an eye. Jeffries pairs her with Joshua, who is powerful in stature, despite a severe leg injury and what we now would call post-traumatic stress disorder, and yet he still yearns to be a viable member of society regardless of his impairments.

Watching how these two characters come together and gradually reveal their private fears and emotional burdens is both touching and inspiring. Jeffries shines a light on these characters’ differences, and yet demonstrates that with a little empathy and understanding, we can touch the hearts of others and forge lasting relationships if we are willing to put in the work.

If you are going into Bridgerton withdrawals after you binged the series’ first season, you will love the Duke Dynasty books. Jeffries’ characters are charismatic, flawed, and authentic. Most of all, she fuels her plots with loads of adventure, suspense, humor, and heart. As such, The Bachelor makes for a very pleasurable diversion which I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Although it can be read on its own, I do urge you to begin reading the Duke Dynasty series at the beginning (with Project Duchess) because there is a mystery that is woven throughout the books you’ll want to follow. Happy reading!

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Sabrina Jeffries
Sabrina Jeffries
(Photo by Jessica Blakely, Tamara Lackey Photography)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sabrina Jeffries is the NYT bestselling author of over 50 novels and works of short fiction (some written under the pseudonyms Deborah Martin and Deborah Nicholas).

Whatever time not spent writing in a coffee-fueled haze of dreams and madness is spent traveling with her husband and adult autistic son or indulging in one of her passions—jigsaw puzzles, chocolate, and music.

With over 9 million books in print in 20 different languages, the North Carolina author never regrets tossing aside a budding career in academics for the sheer joy of writing fun fiction, and hopes that one day a book of hers will end up saving the world.

She always dreams big.

To learn more, visit SabrinaJeffries.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

THE BACHELOR
By Sabrina Jeffries
288 pp. Zebra. $7.99

Purchase The Bachelor direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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