Sunday, January 8, 2012
An Improper Proposal
George Pembroke, Lord Sedgewick, was madly in love with his wife, Helene, and when she died giving birth to his son, Sam, he shut himself up and vowed never to love again. Two years later Sam is still not talking and everyone around him is telling George he should remarry and take more interest in his son, but he knows he is not ready. His sister's close friend, Sally Spenser, has been secretly in love with George for years and has expressed that through her dedication to the children he has semi-abandoned because they remind him of his wife. Finally, seeing, that he does need to do something for his children he agrees with his sister that he should marry Sally and proposes a marriage of convenience for the children's sake; a marriage that he has no plans to ever consummate. Sally knows what she is getting into but she hopes that there will one day be more to her marriage and she is excited that the beautiful little children she has come to love will be her own.
But many people do not believe that Sally is good enough for George, especially Sallys' childhood acquaintance, Rebecca Johnson, who vows to do whatever she can to make George regret choosing Sally over her. She enlists the help of one of her many low-class lovers, Ebinezeer, a stable-hand, to follow them to their country estate and wreak havoc. George and Sally grow closer once they move away from the city and George is removed from his fast friends, friends who encourage him to gamble and stay out late. Sally knows that George can go back to being the man he was when his wife was alive and her encouragement helps George become a better man and he starts taking an interest in his children again. That means he can't help but notice how much Sally loves them and how caring and kind she is and he is feelings he never planned on having again. It takes Rebecca's promised vengeance to force them to realize how much they each mean to each other and how neither of them want a marriage of convenience; they want a real marriage full of the love they have for each other.
Sally Spenser is a fun, outgoing woman with a very strong maternal instinct who sees the best that people can be and wants them to live up to their potential. She is supportive and loving of children who aren't hers and I admit I found it weird that she so completely accepted the children as hers. She came across as a little naive for agreeing to this marriage with a man that she loved and thinking that would be enough for her. A lot is made about her being insecure about her appearance and how George could never love her but then apparently his wife was similarly shaped to her so it seemed a little ridiculous. George was a man gripped by depression and while I liked that the book did not make his wife into a villain and he continued to love her even while falling in love with Sally, it was hard to admire a man who mired himself in gambling and vice while his children were starved for affection. He did make genuine attempts to improve himself during the course of the novel and in my opinion he succeeded and I do like when characters undergo some important development during a story.
Their relationship progressed from arguing over little things and being irritating to each other to falling in love in a very natural progression that very much impressed me. They spent a lot of time together, getting to know each other, falling in love, and working together to make each of them a better person. That was one of the best things about this book, and about romances in particular, when the characters each love the other so much that they want to become better people and that is certainly the case here. There is very little sex between them, and it is only at the end, and I did not find it particularly hot which was a shame because these two did seem to be so attracted to each other. The villainess side-plot was a little ridiculous and was wrapped up a little to quickly for my taste and I especially disliked how the bad girl was sexually active and really made to look like a slut and was denigrated for sleeping with people beneath her station. The worst part of this book, and it was a BAD part, was the writing; almost every page I found something completely ridiculous and lol bad and it really took away from my enjoyment of it.
Rating: An interesting romance between two people who were well suited for each other, but there was not enough sex and the writing was god-awful.