ARC Review: The Bride Goes Rogue by Joanna Shupe

The Bride Goes Rogue by Joanna Shupe
The Bride Goes Rogue
Joanna Shupe
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: May 24, 2022
Series or Standalone: The Fifth Avenue Rebels
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 5 Stars


Joanna Shupe hit it out of the park with her third installment in the Fifth Avenue Rebels series. The Bride Goes Rogue is, quite possibly, the hottest book Shupe has ever written. Shupe perfectly balances the steaminess with compelling characters and a charming romance that gave me all the emotions. I already know this book will be one of my top favorites of the year, as I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time while reading it. 

Katherine Delafield always knew she would marry Preston Clarke as their parents arranged an engagement when they were kids. Now, she’s just waiting for him to actually propose. After a year or so of waiting and planning the perfect wedding, Katherine approaches Preston – who has no desire to acknowledge the engagement or move forward with it. Angered at living her life for someone else, Katherine decides to take matters into her own hands and sample all the excitement New York City offers. Preston has no desire to follow his father’s plan for him. And part of that is that Preston will never marry Katherine. However, when a mysterious lover at a masquerade turns out to be his would-be fiance, Preston and Katherine’s resolve begins to crumble as they start to see each other in a new light.

You’ll love this book if you’re a fan of:

  • Enemies-to-lovers
  • Masquerades
  • Sexy carriage trysts
  • Dirty talk
  • A good grovel 
  • Sexy nicknames

Despite Katherine and Preston starting off on the wrong foot, the sparks quickly fly between them at a masquerade where they show up in complimentary costumes and don’t realize who the other is. Even when they find out who was behind the mask, they cannot seem to stay away from each other, no matter how much they claim to not want to be around the other. The physical attraction jumps off the page, but their relationship goes far beyond that.  Even though they claim they’ll have an affair with no feelings involved, we all know that won’t work. Both Preston and Katherine were in denial of how deep their feelings ran, and I loved how both of them handled the realization that they were in love. Preston does screw up their relationship a bit with his business rivalry with her father, but, man, Shupe delivered on the grovel and redemption with a fantastic grand romantic gesture. I loved that Preston immediately knew he screwed up and how he made it up to her made me swoon. 

The romance delivers on the emotions, and it also brings the fire. The sex scenes in this book were off the chart. Holy moly, were they hot. From the role-playing and nicknames at the masquerade to THAT CARRIAGE SCENE, this book delivered on the sexiness. And I loved that the sex scenes weren’t just thrown in to add spice, but they played an important role in advancing character development and the plot. Katherine finds her voice and independence by embracing her desires. Preston doesn’t shame her and encourages her to go after what she wants – both in the bedroom and outside.

When it comes to the characters, I adored both Preston and Katherine. I will admit, the opening of the book had me a little wary of Katherine. She was so starry-eyed and innocent, with her main desire wanting to be a wife. However, Katherine quickly showed she had backbone and ambition. I loved how she turned the anger from Preston’s rejection and funneled it into her passions and going after what she wants to do. The Katherine at the beginning of the book is not the same one at the end of the book. I love watching a female character go through the journey to find her voice and power like Katherine did. 

I really enjoyed Preston and found him a very layered romantic hero. While I would have liked him to put aside some of his perceived vendetta against Katherine’s father, I understood why he felt the way he did. His relationship with his own father was complicated, and what happened to his friend Forest bubbled up a lot of guilt and mixed emotion. He was hurting at the beginning of the book and didn’t even realize it. Katherine helped light a spark in him and gave him something else to focus on. When he realized he messed up, he would do anything to make it better. While he claims he’s some monster, he’s his own worst enemy. This man would do anything for those he loves – an admirable trait. He tunnels that drive and ambition that turned him into a top businessman towards winning back Katherine, and I loved it. 

We see some familiar faces outside Katherine and Preston, including Kit and Alice from The Lady Gets Lucky. Nellie also plays a substantial supporting role in this book, helping to guide Katherine through her affair and looking out for Katherine’s heart and feelings. Nellie is the type of friend you’d want in your corner, and I cannot wait to get her and the Duke’s story next. Speaking of the Duke, we see more of him as he forms an incredibly sweet friendship with Katherine.

This is a true friends-with-benefits turned love story, yet Shupe made it feel new and fresh. I loved watching the different acts of Preston and Katherine’s relationship play out as I was never sure what direction Shupe would take the story next. I adored the journey she takes these characters on to get them to their happily ever after, and I loved finding out the role Katherine’s father played in the whole scheme. I also loved that Shupe once again took us outside of New York City for a bit. In the previous two books, we spent quite a bit of time in Newport, but this time we visited the Adirondacks, which was really fun.

This book gave me all the feelings, and I couldn’t stop smiling while watching these two fools fall in love. I adored every minute while reading it and was counting down the hours until I could pick it up again. This will definitely be a top book of the year for me, and I definitely recommend you pick it up. 

As this is book three in the Fifth Avenue Rebels series, you may be wondering, can I read this as a standalone? I recommend you read The Lady Gets Lucky before reading this one, as something that happens in that book has a pretty profound impact on Preston. However, I think you can skip The Heiress Hunt (book one) – it’s my least favorite in the series, and it overlaps with book two, so you’ll get enough of the gist of what happens without really missing anything. 

Thank you to Avon/Netgalley for the ARC. All thoughts, ideas and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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