Having a marriage of convenience story is a tried and true plot device and one I’ve seen plenty of. I tend to enjoy them, as they can give some unexpected results from time to time. There’s always something to be found in those stories, especially if it adds in the idea of getting over a lost love (that of course wasn’t the right person in the first place). This book has those things and and perhaps a few surprises along the way.
Ian Sutcome is looking for a bride with money so that he can save his estates and settle his father’s debts. He feels like he is a stud on the market, though goes through with it so that he can have his home and attempt to have some semblance of order. After a few horrifying meetings, Ian is drawn to Hannah Leeds, who does agree to marry him, though he doubts her reasons, but sees his fatted calf and runs with it.
Hannah feels she’s not worthy of love after she’d been abandoned by a boy in her neighborhood who paid her some attention, but couldn’t go through with marrying her in the end. She’s resigned to her marriage to Ian, and does try to make the best of it, but can’t get past the one betrayal in her past.
As Hannah comes to care for Ian, Ian doesn’t want to risk his heart and does what he can to keep his distance, but still use the money Hannah brought to the marriage to make things right with his finances. The course of love never did run smooth, and there are obstacles in the way before Ian and Hannah can make things truly work out for them.
The whole story is told with a detachment that could be planned, but it ends up never making the characters worth really rooting for. Hannah just floats through her life, when she’s left by her young beau she just lets things happen to her. When Ian comes along she goes with it because it’s just there for her to do. She doesn’t seem to know herself well enough, much less Ian, to let herself try to make lemons into lemonade.
This could be a good story, but I’ve seen it done so much better, and with much better emotional draw that the detachment and near apathy in the parts of this one make it rather unmemorable. I will say too that I read this book quite a few months ago and don’t remember much more of the details, besides a rather nasty and petty scene from a ball that could have taken out of life due to the spite that’s capable in human nature.
It was just an average read that didn’t have many memorable features and not enough emotional pull even try.
A bride to save his name . . .
Unless he finds a wealthy wife—and soon—Lord Ian Sutcombe will lose everything. Left deeply in debt by his foolish father and greedy stepmother, his only hope is to marry for money.
Stung by a suitor’s cruel betrayal, Hannah Leeds, daughter of a prosperous merchant, wasn’t sure she’d ever love again. So when her father arranges her betrothal to the handsome lord, she agrees.
It was no more than a marriage of convenience. They would honor and obey, but never love . . . until a simmering passion exploded into a sizzling affair. Now, with Hannah socializing with members of the ton and another man out to win her heart, Ian will do everything in his power to show Hannah she is his ecstasy, his desire fulfilled . . . and oh so much more than a bride for his convenience.
Read an excerpt.