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Peek Inside The Bittersweet Bride

To protect her son, Widow Theodosia uses a newspaper ad to find a husband. Presumed dead, a former lover reappears. Any man could be her husband, except Ewan, even if she is denying their love.

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Widow Theodosia Cecil needs a husband to help protect her son. The former flower seller turned estate owner posts an ad in the newspaper, and no one is more surprised than she when her first love, the man she thought dead, reappears.

Ewan Fitzwilliam has been at war for six years. Now, the second son of a powerful earl is back but his beloved Theo needs a husband and will not consider him. She believes Ewan left her—in desperate straits—so she denies the feelings she still harbors for the handsome, scarred soldier. Theo and playwright Ewan must overcome bitter lies and vengeful actions that ruined their youthful affair. Theo must reveal her deepest secret in order to reclaim the love that has long been denied.

Each book in the Advertisements for Love series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

Series Order:

Book #1 The Bittersweet Bride
Book #2 The Bashful Bride
Book #3 The Butterfly Bride
Book #4 The Bewildered Bride


"The Bittersweet Bride charms, entertains, delights, and, best of all, satisfies my craving for a great happily ever after." - ​NYT ​Bestselling Author, Grace Burrowes

"A riveting, beautifully written, exquisitely detailed historical romance. Riley's characters are unique, realistic, and compelling, and readers won't want to put the book down before reaching Theodosia and Ewan's happily ever after." - Alyssa Cole, author of An Extraordinary Union

"This book wrapped my heart from page one and didn't let it go until long after I finished The End. Vanessa Riley is a true and unique talent you should not miss." - Laurie Alice Eakes, Author of True as Fate

"Infused with sumptuous historical descriptions and brimming with vivid, memorable characters, The Bittersweet Bride is a powerful and poetic gift for fans of Regency romance." - Lenora Bell, author of How the Duke was Won

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640634657
Series: Advertisements for Love, Book 1
Release Date: Jan 29, 2018
Page Count: 353
Imprint: amara next
Genre: historical, historical regency, multi-cultural
Tropes: accidental pregnancy, across the tracks, boy next door, forbidden love/off limits, overcoming odds, redemption, reunited lovers, second chance, secret baby

Select Featured Reviews

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By Robin December 18, 2017

The H/H of this book both came with fascinating backstories that almost make me want to see prequels for both of them. Everything they went through, individually, made for a very interesting road to romance for them. The secondary characters were also interesting, and would make me pick up the next ...more

By Frankie February 02, 2018

This is such a sweet and tender story of not just love at first sight but second chances, I haven’t read any of Ms Riley’s work before, but I very enjoyed this new romance and she is definitely an author who I would read again.

It is so lovely watching as Ewan and Theo start to get reacquainted agai ...more

By Toni January 27, 2018

The Bittersweet Bride is aptly name. There is a lot of bitterness in Theodosia’s life and I can’t say I blame her. The struggles she went through broke my heart and endeared me to her. I wanted nothing but happiness for her, but I wasn’t quite sure if Ewan was the answer.

Until I kept reading.

Poor Ew ...more

By Bec February 03, 2018

Theodosia 'Theo' Cecil will do anything to protect her son from those that wish to take him away from her. But the only way she knows she can protect him is to find a man to marry that can stand up for her rights. However, when Ewan Fitzwilliam, a man she thought was dead re-enters her life, Theo fi ...more

By Krystal December 22, 2017

This captivating novel of historical fiction provided well developed characters attempting to navigate difficult situations where desperate pursuit of their dreams threaten the integrity they hold as dear! ...more

By books are love February 04, 2018

Received in exchange for a honest review.

this was a good book. I enjoyed seeing the sassiness in Theodosia. She was independent and loving but also smart and understanding. She knew that in her situation and where she was she needed to protect her son at all costs. She went through a lot to get wher ...more

By Aki1713 April 17, 2020

Am Anfang musste ich etwas hineinkommen und es ist so ganz anders als die anderen Recency Romance Novels, die ich gelesen habe. Aber es hat mir wirklich gut gefallen. Ich freue mich schon auf die folgenden Bände. ...more

By Petula January 27, 2018

Widow Theodosia Cecil is so desperate to find a new husband, she is advertising for one in the paper. The reason is to protect her young son, and her home from her son's guardian. The man only wants control of her fortune and business. Because of her appearance and history, the man could easily take ...more

By Bhriv December 26, 2017

The Bittersweet Bride, written by Vanessa Riley, is book 1 of the Advertisements for Love series.
I've read other books by Riley and I'm sure this is my favorite by far!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it easy to follow and most engaging! My favorite characters were Ewan and Theodosia. Ewan wa ...more

By Maria December 22, 2017

"Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"
An engaging and entertaining story about second chances and lovers that overcome their resentment and reunite. I liked the writing style, the characters and their shared past. The way Ewan and Theo worked through their sorrow, bitterness ...more

By Ebookitude December 25, 2017

Bittersweet is right! What a tear jerker, I absolutely loved Theo. Her journey was heartbreaking and triumphant. Ewen on the other hand, was cruel in the beginning, it was hard for me to understand the appeal. He seemed weak of character and not to bright, but he really showed up for Theo at the end ...more

By Maria January 29, 2018

This was a tear jerker, lots of angst and heartbreak! This is a second chance at love story. Full of twist and turns have you turning the pages, deceit, vengfullness and betrayal make this an amazing story. Keep your tissues at hand they will be needed before Ewan and Theo get their rightful happily ...more

By Tracy May 29, 2018

Ewan and Theodosia

This book made me think, feel, laugh and cry. Vanessa Riley displays a talent with words that evokes so many feelings and communicates the hurt and tragedy that comes from being othered and exoticized (yeah, I think I just made up that word). This series explores this all too real ...more

By Ann February 21, 2018

The Bittersweet Bride was an engaging read. The love story of Ewan Fitzwilliam and Theodosia Cecil had me at the edge of my seat.

Theodosia was strong and courageous, and my heart wept for her many times as I read. On the other hand, I shook my head at Ewan and his judgmental attitude. Even though I ...more

By Anna January 08, 2018

A second chance romance. While I enjoyed the journey with the heroine and all of the ups and downs, I would of preferred the hero not be so mean. While that did change it detracted overall from a wonderful story. The life journey was interesting, the charm, the ups the downs, the romance, the growth ...more

By Lauren January 28, 2018

Theo is between a rock and a hard place. With her beloved husband dead, and her mourning period nearly at an end, she knows she must marry again to protect her young son. The last thing she needs is for a ghost from her past to appear and bring back all her carefully buried regrets. Ewan – once beli ...more

By Lacey July 20, 2018

3.5 to be correct, but I'm rounding up since the things I liked outweighed the things I didn't.

This was a cute story that took a bit of time to get going. I liked our main couple, but they both could have saved themselves a lot of heartache if they just communicated. I really loved the supporting ch ...more

By Janet January 25, 2018

Widow Theodosia Cecil needs a husband to help protect her son. The former flower seller turned estate owner posts an ad in the newspaper, and no one is more surprised than she when her first love, the man she thought dead, reappears. Ewan Fitzwilliam has been at war for six years. Now, the second so ...more

By Cheryl January 31, 2018

Quite an unusual story as it involves an aristocrat and a woman of mixed race. Ewan, the second son of an earl comes across Theodosia when she is gathering flowers in his family’s flower fields. Although they are promised to each other, Ewan leaves for the army. There follows quite a gap of 6 years ...more

By Martha February 20, 2018

You know how when you read a book and you want to finish it, but you want to make it last longer at the same time? This was one of those reads.
The author does not have enough of her amazing novels out! I have loved each one that I pick up. These are not your typical "regency" romantic style books. ...more

By Patrica January 28, 2018

I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review.
The Heroine Widow Theodora Cecil is in great need of a hero to help save her and her young son from a greedy estate steward and her late husbands Matthew's family. Theo was a former flower seller and estate owner who places an advertisement in the ...more

By Meghan January 31, 2018

A lovely romance that was rather a breath of fresh air in the historical romance genre. I love it when authors branch out to touch upon other communities that existed at the same time that our favorite hero's and heroines did! The storyline followed some rather predictable tropes, but both the chara ...more

By Celia January 29, 2018

So many secrets

In six years, much will change in two lives, and I must not reveal all and spoil this story. Theodasia held close her secrets, Ewan had/has a tendency to react resentfully, instead of carefully analyzing the information under his nose. Throw in his two selfish parents, his still-griev ...more

By Catherine January 28, 2018

An enjoyable read that left me awaiting the next in the series. ...more

By Bryn June 18, 2018

Historical romance was my first love in the romance genre, and this is exactly the kind of book that got me hooked. Ewan and Theo are well-rounded, interesting characters with great chemistry and a lot of tension between them. The secondary characters -- Ewan's family, Theo's friends -- were strong ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.46 avg rating
Vanessa Riley

About the author

Award Winning Author

Vanessa Riley

Award winning, Amazon Bestselling author, Vanessa Riley, worked as an engineer before allowing her passion for historical romance to shine. A Regency era (early 1800s) and Jane Austen enthusiast, she brings the flavor of diverse, eclectic peoples to her stories. The author of Madeline's Protector, Swept Away, Unmasked Heart, The Bargain, and Unveiling Love, she has won the Beacon Award, the Colorado Award of Excellence, and placed in the International Digital Awards for her Regency romances. Vanessa Riley is a historical buff who has spent many years researching Regency society. During her undergraduate studies at Penn State, she gained a love of Western Civilization and took as many classes as she could while pursuing Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Her love of history has given her a passion for conducting precise research in architecture, customs, and rituals of the times. She lives in Atlanta with her career military husband and precocious child. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

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