The Bad Luck Bride is the worst book I’ve read so far this year. I didn’t enjoy a single percentage of it, and honestly, I knew a couple pages in that it definitely was not my type of read. Any normal person would have put down the book then and there, but for whatever reason, I rarely do not finish (DNF) books. Instead, I suffer through them and then complain about them on the internet.
This book is a historical romance – you could probably tell by the cover – about a young woman named Claire who believes that she’s cursed because she’s had upwards of three broken engagements, and a man named Alex who decides to marry Claire because he wants to get revenge on Claire’s latest fiancé, Lord Paul. It sounds like any standard, enjoyable historical romance novel, but as soon as I began reading I began gagging at the cliché lines and emotions. Now, I love cliché when it’s done well, but with this novel, I felt like the author took two distempered, annoying characters and forced otherwise splendid romantic lines to come out of their mouths. Unfortunately, the bland and unexciting natures of the characters came through much too often to fool the reader.
Believe it or not, there’s actually a difference between being an alpha male and being an awful person. Alpha males are usually featured in romances, but Alex was more of a man who manipulated people into getting his way and sought vengeance blindly. The vengeance, at least, is understandable. Who wouldn’t be distraught and half-crazed knowing that some man got his sister pregnant and ultimately led to her suicide? The manipulation and discomfiting personally, however, has no excuse. From the very beginning, he was manipulating not only Lord Paul but also his soon-to-be wife, Claire. He did things behind the scenes to make sure that things went his way, and personally, I find manipulations far more disagreeable than upfront hatred.
Going further into his personality, it oftentimes seemed that he viewed Claire more like a status/position than as a person. He’d comment on how successful she was as a wife and such, and sure, he loved her in his weird way, but it was instalove, and a very author-directed instalove at that. Claire and Alex themselves had zero chemistry, and so their interest/affection for each other right off the bat was quite off-putting. I didn’t like Claire as a character either. I tried to like her because I felt bad about her past, but she was very whiny and she ran away from her problems a lot. And she thought she was cursed. And she liked the love interest, which yes, I hold against her.
BUT let’s get back to that curse. I’d read some reviews for this book earlier, and I noticed that people were complaining about the curse not making sense. I thought they were exaggerating, but nope, the curse definitely does not make sense. Apparently, something terrible befell everyone who had been engaged to Claire at a certain point in their life, and Society went crazy with this and began calling Claire cursed. Soon enough, Claire herself believed this too – up to here, I’m fine. I don’t like that Claire believed this about herself, but at least it’s kind of rational. But then, in the book, Claire uses the curse as an excuse for everything. Thing aren’t going well between her and Alex – oh my, it’s the curse. Something minor goes wrong – oh no it’s the curse again. I got so tired of hearing the excuse, and I guess I’m just not fond of Claire as a person.
I feel like I’ve been having the worst luck with historical romances lately – none of them have wowed me like they used to. WHAT IS HAPPENING, HR WRITERS? Anyways, this one takes the cake for HR I hate the most, and I gave this book one star (★). There were a lot of awful characters, the plot was super unnecessary, and I didn’t find anything in this book the least bit romantic. The tropes were there, but it felt like bad actors and actresses reading uninspired lines.