Abigail Chantry is a governess, and has a deep love for children. Her parents died when she was young, and she and her sister Jane were left to fend for themselves. One day while out on her half day off, she is approached by a young woman, where she learns that her sister Jane was kidnapped and has being held prisoner in a brothel, and soon to be sold as a sex slave. Soon three women join forces and escape the brothel, and Now along with Abigail and Jane they have adopted two other women who are like sisters to them. Abigail knows that she will lose her position, so she leaves along with the three other women and they try to save money to go to Bath and have a dress shop. However their money has run out, and her sister Jane is sick, and needs a doctor. So out of desperation, she goes into a mansion, thinking it empty, and hoping its full of something she can sell to save her sister. After she climbs through a dark window, a old woman's voice startles her, and she learns about this bedridden woman whose servants treat her horribly and they are practically killing her with their neglect. So she decides to help Lady Beatrice who offers her home as sanctuary to Abigail and the three women she has taken in. Then after a few weeks, Lady Beatrice's nephew, Max, returns and fireworks start to explode between Max and Abigail, and a burning passion begins...
I have always adored Anne Gracie, and I was first introduced to this author months ago, when I read a review for this book, and I knew I needed to try this author. So I have read a few of her other books so far, and loved every one of them. When I was able to get my hands on Autumn Bride, I was so excited. The Autumn Bride is the first in the series, and it sets the stage for the series. The beginning of the book we see the background of the story, how Abigail, Jane and her two friends become like sisters, Then we see the meeting between Abigail and Lady Beatrice. Lady Beatrice is a charming and witty character, and you can't help but feel for her situation. Max has been away for many years, trying to rebuild a fortune that was lost by his father, and works in trade now. When he receives a letter from his aunt's friend, he grows worried and heads back to England, not knowing what he will find. When Max and Abigail first meet, I felt like the windows were going to explode, there was such intensity to their first meeting, and even though Max doesn't know what Abigail's true plan is involving his aunt, but he means to get to the bottom of it despite how she stirs his senses.
The characters in this story were fantastically amazing. In the beginning we see more of the sub characters and the introduction to the role that they play in the story. Abigail is at the center for the most part, and you begin to admire her as the heroine of the story. Abigail is strong, and will do anything to save her sister. She has a compassionate nature, and is very protective, especially when Max comes onto the scene. Max even though he has been gone, he has been working for years to rebuild a fortune that was lost in order to save his aunt. When he returns to England, his concern is only for her welfare, and knows that soon he will have to marry a woman he is bethroted to and has been ever since he made a deal to save their finances when he was barely out of school. Max is tough and protective, and fierce at times, but I loved the way he is with Abigail and he is the type of heroes you can't help but love because of his honorable nature. The side characters were zesty and lively.
Overall I had quite a fun time reading The Autumn Bride, and the engtanglements involved, and seeing how Max and Abigail come together in the end. A charming tale of love, emotion, adventure and a sense of fun. ADORED IT!!