REVIEW: The Secret Wedding by Jo BeverleyWednesday, May 27, 2009 13:00
Ah, faithful reader, you know that old saying “No good deed goes unpunished”? Well, Christian Hill, Viscount Grandiston learned that lesson early. At the tender age of 15 (!!), just as his regiment was getting ready to sail to Canada to fight in the French and Indian War (15!!), he learned that a fellow soldier planned to run off with a student from a local girls’ school and marry her for her money. So, of course, Christian rushed off to save her from the evil lieutenant’s clutches.
For his trouble, Christian ended up taking his first life (the lieutenant was not agreeable and drew his sword) – and married to Miss Dorcas Froggett (yikes, the name!) – her aunt burst in just as the sword fight was over and made sure her niece was not compromised in any way. Yup, Christian saved the girl from ruin…just not quite in the way he planned.
After the ceremony (Christian had enough wits about him to use a different first name, at least), Miss Froggett was taken away by her aunt and Christian returned to his barracks. A few days later he sailed off to war, putting his unexpected wedding behind him like a bad dream. A few years later, Christian received word that his young bride had passed away.
Little did Christian realize that his bride, Mistress Caro (wise girl, now using her middle – and much more attractive – name) Hill was also receiving word that her husband had been killed. And now the plot is afoot, faithful reader. We’re off and running. There are so many twists and turns, I won’t even try to condense it down for you. Let’s just say that no one is as honest as they should be or shares information when they should.
Instead I will talk about how much I enjoy Jo B’s Georgian era novels – I have loved them since I first read My Lady Notorious, years and years ago. The Mallorens have a special place on my keeper shelf so I was very glad to see Rothgar and Diana show up to help things along in this book. Best fairy godmother and godfather ever!
An interesting bit of information about this off-shoot series set in the Malloren world is that for this trilogy, Jo B is using roughly the same set up for each series – two people, both not quite what they seem, meet at an inn and have a road-trip adventure that leads to love. What could be better than that?
If you enjoy lively, fast-paced romps through the English countryside – with a side a Malloren-style machinations to help love along – give this book a try. It stands alone well enough, although reading the first book will give some extra background on Christian. I, of course, recommend reading all the books set in the Malloren world. )
When is a rake not a rake? When he’s seducing his wife? Home from a decade of war, Christian, Major Lord Grandiston wants to enjoy bachelor pleasures, but his father is wooing a rich woman on his behalf. Embarrassing, when he might already have a wife. Is Dorcas Froggatt alive, and if so, will she be his salvation or an even worse burden? He heads north to the industrial town of Sheffield to find out, but soon he’s on the run from the law with a woman who’s nothing but trouble, especially when they’re joined by a very peculiar cat.
Read an excerpt.
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