Audiobook Review: THE BRIDE’S SECRET by Cheryl Bolen

Have you given too much to a partner, thinking he/she would honor a verbal condition of engagement, only to find you dropped cold? Our poor heroine has had this happyen and in this story suffers from those ill-fated choices.

The Bride's SecretTitle: The Bride’s Secret The Bride’s of Bath Series, book 3
Author: Cheryl Bolen
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Bath, 1818
Pages: 334
Published Date: May 28, 2011

Narrator: Rosalind Ashford
Length: 9 hours, 54 minutes
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Published by: Cheryl Bolen

The Brides of Bath Series (books 1-4 also in audio):
The Bride Wore Blue
With His Ring
The Bride’s Secret
To Take This Lord
Love in The Library
Christmas in Bath

Publisher’s Summary: Dare she hope her husband’s lucky star would shine on her?

Life had indeed smiled upon Lord James Rutledge. A former soldier, his life was spared when his captain took the bullet meant for him. Then, after the war, he inherited vast wealth and a title from an uncle he never knew. Now he has come to Bath to make amends to his captain’s beautiful widow and has won her hand in marriage. The lovely purple-clad, lavender-eyed widow’s gratitude toward James quickly blossoms into a powerful love. But will her husband still cherish her when he learns her dark secret?

The Bride’s Secret features what we all want from a love story – an adorable child, a brave heroine, a hero who loves her just as she is and loves her even more as she grows and changes, and a journey of the human heart. Don’t miss it!

©2002, 2011 Cheryl Bolen (P)2015 Cheryl Bolen

My Thoughts: Carlotta Ennis, we learned in book 2 had been a mistress to one Gregory Blankenship who is quite the rake and filthy rich. It was my intention to disfavor her, not because of being a mistress, but from outward appearance she was a women who took advantage. She had been a widow for six years losing her husband just after giving birth to their son. Not in good health and knowing nothing about rearing a child she had her son raised by her grandmother. She lived on very little each quarter, hardly making ends meet. In need of a husband she met Gregory. Now Carlotta was an extremely beautiful women and quite passionate and had fallen in love with his lordship. Before they had started this relationship she had told him she expected nothing less than marriage. She had been close to catching Gregory, but he suddenly fell in love with another.

Broken and devastated she walked away from her lover with little dignity. Her severance pay, so to speak, didn’t last forever. At the end of hope, Lord Rutledge, appears, and feeling he was responsible for her husband’s death on the battlefield (shows he’s one honorable man), pays her debts, sets her in a townhouse and sends for her six year old son. He, too, was extremely wealthy having just inherited his title. Carlotta thought she had played her cards well. She felt he was responsible for her husband’s death, so why not take advantage of that fact? Here I thought she was less than honorable.

Lord Rutledge had known Carlotta for he was in the same regiment as her husband Stephen when they were on the Peninsula. Lord Rutledge would not admit it allowed, but he had always admired Carlotta’s beauty. Feeling guilty for making her a widow, he searched her out, discovering her living in Bath.

Lord Rutledge had dreams of a family, settling down. He spent considerable time in the company of Carlotta after he procured her son for he was a lonely man, who had always had feelings for Carlotta. One evening, he blurted out he wanted to marry her, surprising even himself for he knew he wanted a love match and knew Carlotta didn’t love him. She may need him, but not love him. Immediately taking advantage, she acquiesced, next directing her efforts to get his lordship out of Bath as soon as possible before he hears the truth about her.

Carlotta fit in amazingly well at his country estate, Yarmouth Hall. She dare not entertain socially. However, during this time, Carlotta began to change. She admired and respected her new husband. But admiration and respect doth not a good marriage make!

Lord Rutledge hoped to get Carlotta to love him. Carlotta wanted to keep her secret being a mistress from Lord Rutledge, for she knew if he had known, he would not have married her.

Beware of secrets in a relationship. When found out their hurt will destroy everything good. Carlotta learned to love again. Lord Rutledge had succeeded in his quest. He had gotten his dream love match after all. Then the sky falls. All is broken. Nothing can be mended. I cried buckets here.

A story of love, yes, but it also was a story of self-discovery for Carlotta. She found self-worth and self-love, able to care for her son, bond as a mother should, interact with those who worked for her husband and felt needed and respected in her own right. She discovered she could love, and love passionately a man, who became much more than the means to comfortable living.

Narrator Rosalind Ashford continues to entertain with her thoroughly proper Regency voice. Ms. Bolen writes with a Regency voice while Ms. Ashford is perfect for the telling.

cheryl-bolenAbout the Author (bio from Cheryl’s website

Cheryl Bolen is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen Regency-set historical romance novels. Her books have placed in several writing contests, including the Daphne du Maurier, and have been translated into 11 languages. She was named Notable New Author in 1999, and in 2006 she won the Holt Medallion (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent) for Best Short Historical Novel. Her books have become Barnes & Noble and Amazon bestsellers.

A former journalist who admits to a fascination with dead Englishwomen, Cheryl is a regular contributor to The Regency Plume, The Regency Reader, and The Quizzing Glass. Many of her articles can found on her website,, and more recent ones on her blog, Readers are welcomed at both places.

Cheryl holds a dual degree in English and journalism from the University of Texas, and she earned a master’s degree from the University of Houston. She and her professor husband are the parents of two sons, one who is an attorney, and the other a journalist. Her favorite things to do are watching the Longhorns, reading letters and diaries of Georgian Englishmen, and traveling to England.

Cheryl’s Writing Awards

My Lord Wicked ~Winner Best Historical Novel in the 2012 International Digital Awards

Christmas at Farley Manor ~ Winner 2012 Best Historical Novella (Hearts Through History RWA chapter)

With His Lady’s Assistance ~ Finalist, 2012 International Digital Award for long historical

The Earl’s Bargain ~ Finalist, 2012 International Digital Award for long historical

One Golden Ring ~First Place,  Best Short Historical, Holt Medallion Contest, 2006 Third Place,  Best Historical, Texas Gold, 2006

The Counterfeit Countess ~ Honorable Mention, Daphne du Maurier Award for Historical Romantic Mystery Suspense, 2006 Fourth Place,  Best Historical, Texas Gold, 2006

An Improper Proposal ~ Third Place,  Best Historical, Texas Gold, 2005

With His Ring ~ Finalist,  Best Historical, Texas Gold, 2003

A Duke Deceived ~ Notable New Author Award Winner, 1999 Holt Medallion Honorable Mention, Best First Book, 1998

Journalism Awards

Houston Press Club: 1st. place, series 2nd. place, features 3rd. place, spot news reporting 3rd. place, headline writing
Texas Community Newspaper Association: 2nd place, series 2nd. place features and have been translated into almost a dozen languages.

About the Narrator: Excerpt from interview with Joanna Penn.

You can find the complete interview by following this link:

Rosalind, tell us just a bit more about you and your background as a voice talent and narrator.

Rosaline AshfordWell, back when the Earth was cooling, I took Dramatic Arts in college and university, and then moved to this country, to New York. I really started with theater, but I’ve done film and TV, and then I just fell into radio and voice work. And I actually narrated my first book on radio, for Books for the Blind, back in—dare I say—1980, so I’ve been reading books aloud for a few years! I took a break, did other things with my life, and then came back into the business about three years ago, I think it is now.

I had continued to do voice work, commercials, radio, TV, e-Learning courses, and now that everything is digital, it, it really doesn’t matter where you’re located, so I do work for the European market, I do work for you, and you’re in London, authors that could be anywhere in the world. So, my background is extensive. And I have to say that narrating audiobooks is perhaps the most challenging of all the types of performing I’ve done. It’s also the most rewarding.

Note:  I found when I listened to the recording at 1.25 speed, the narrator’s speech was more comfortable to listen to.  At regular speed, it seemed drawn out and heavy.

About eileendandashi

I am a lover of books, both reading and writing. 2018 marks the beginning of my own journey from writer to published author. This blog will showcase various authors' thoughts on the elements of novel crafting, and my attempts to find my voice in writing. While journaling this journey, I hope to encourage others to follow their dreams. Book reviews continue as I have the last four years, only making time for my new pursuits.
This entry was posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Regency Romance, Romance and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Audiobook Review: THE BRIDE’S SECRET by Cheryl Bolen

  1. Cheryl Bolen says:

    Thank you so much, Eileen, for so thorough a review. You are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Audiobook News & Reviews: 08/29-09/01 | ListenUp Audiobooks

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