At the Bride Hunt Ball is Olivia Parker's debut novel, and the first of a series. When I first looked at the cover, I figured it was from the 80s or 90s...imagine my surprise to see it is only a couple of years old! Cheesy romance covers never die, my friends.
The story is a good one. Gabriel, a Duke and determined bachelor, decides to hold a massive house party full of eligible women (handpicked by him, of course) so that his younger brother can choose a bride and continue the family line for him. There are all kinds of events for the women to show off their skills (from tea parties to archery) and even interviews with Gabriel! Madelyn Haywood is one of the ladies, pushed to succeed by her crazy social-climbing stepmother. She thinks the whole thing is ridiculous and that Gabriel's brother is a fop - and of course, she is completely correct on both counts. The entire ordeal is absolutely hilarious. Catfight like its 1899, people.
Too bad she can't quite convince herself that Gabriel is completely ridiculous too. Cue fireworks and super hot chemistry.
Seriously, I couldn't get enough of the interactions between Madelyn and Gabriel...but I couldn't get enough scenes with everyone else either! Most of the side characters are so caught up into the whole bride hunt ball scheme that you can't help but laugh at how ridiculous they are. Then, some, like Gabriel's brother and Madelyn's step-mother you just want to slap.
The plot is hilarious (admittedly I might've found it even funnier than the author intended) and the characters are great. I loved the chemistry between the MCs and the way they interacted with everyone else as well. Definitely a historical romance worth picking up!
So - don't let the horrendously cheestastic and old fashioned cover put you off. If you're a fan of historical romance, get a copy of this and enjoy the story! I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series (which is already released). The plot looks equally ridiculous so I know I'll have a good time.