When John, Viscount Welford, proposed to Caroline Fleetwood, the only daughter of the Bishop of Essex, he thought he knew exactly what he was getting—a lovely, innocent bride.
Five years later, he knows better. The woman who ran to another man on their wedding night—after they’d consummated the marriage—is hardly innocent. Years spent apart while John served as a diplomatic attaché have allowed them to save face in society, but all good pretenses must come to an end. When Caroline receives word that her father is dying, she begs John to accompany her on one last journey to see him.
But there’s an added problem—Caroline never told her father that her marriage to John was a farce. As they play-act for others, Caroline is delighted to find she never really knew her husband at all. But can she be the kind of wife he needs—and does she want to be?
The Marriage Act by Alyssa Everett
I’m going to do something odd here, and review a book I’ve only read part of.
This book is getting fantastic reviews, and if it sounds appealing to you, you should definitely give it a go.
However, after days of having it partially read and sitting on my Kindle, I decided I couldn’t finish.
I think it says something good about the author that she made me like the hero so much. He is so happy to become engaged to the heroine:
He let his breath out in a whoosh. ‘Oh, God.’ He laughed, the reaction a combination of exultation and surprise. ‘I mean-do forgive me. I meant no irreverence, I was simply…You’ve made me very happy, Miss Fleetwood, Caroline.’ He could use her Christian name now.
He was going to dedicate his life to making her happy.
And yet she only agreed to marry him to make another man jealous. She didn’t intend to – or want to – marry him.
The argument can be made that she was still in her teens, but I remember being that age, and even that young you don’t do things that reprehensible! And then the story picks up again years later, and she’s upset he’s not friendly to her – after she ran away to another man!
I understand this is an excellent story, and that you have to get past how awful she is at the beginning.
However, the author made me like the hero so much, I didn’t want to finish a book where such a nice, excited man could be treated so badly by his wife, and then stuck with her (as this is Georgian Britain)!
Review copy provided by NetGalley.