What the Groom Wants

Written by Jade Lee
Review by Audra Friend

The fourth book in Lee’s Bridal Favors quartet focuses on Wendy Drew, co-owner of a women’s clothing store. Forced to work at a gambling hall to repay her brother’s debt, Wendy attracts the interest of the powerful and sadistic owner, ‘Demon’ Damon. In the meantime, her childhood friend Radley Lyncott has returned from years at sea. Unbeknownst to him, Radley has become the unlikely heir to a title and an estate.

Radley’s rough ways shock both his new household staff and Wendy, who fends off advances from Damon while trying to understand her feelings for Radley. While the plot veers into the gothic more than once, it is delightfully dramatic, and Lee’s steady hand keeps the narrative bouncing along. The lovers face the usual obstacles, but the tension is heightened rather than lessened due to the bumps, while the sexual attraction between Radley and Wendy is balanced by Wendy’s pragmatic awareness of the sudden class differences between her and her childhood friend.

Those new to Lee’s series will not be lost, but those who wish to be surprised about the fate of Wendy’s friends will not want to start with this one. With the unique angle of focusing on the Regency-era working class, Lee’s newest is a diverting, fast read.