Saturday, February 11, 2012
Trouble at the Wedding
Miss Annabelle Weaton is determined to marry into the aristocracy and has no illusion that her marriage will be one for love. Her father abandoned her and then left her a fortune on his death so she has no trouble catching an impoverished lord who's willing to sell his title to save the family coffers. The Earl of Rumsfield provides the perfect into a society that regards her as white trash because of her Mississippi background, but her uncle is determined to stop their marriage. He enlists the help of Christian De Quesne, the Duke of Scarborough. Christian has his own troubled past after his first marriage ended with his wife's suspicious death after he had abandoned her for the majority of their marriage. However, he is in need of funds and finds Rumsfield a pompous ass so he sets about undermining Annabelle's dedication. Sparks fly between them and Annabelle's confidence wavers about her upcoming marriage as she sees Rumsfield's arrogance and imagined that there might be passion and romance out there for her.
Christian does not plan to ever marry again but he cannot deny that there is something special about Annabelle and during a secretive late night out he knows he must stop the wedding at any cost. But when his actions lead to the end of Annabelle's plan to be accepted by society his family is there to force him to do the right thing. He knows that he will make a terrible husband so their engagement is only until Annabelle is settled into society and she can discretely break things off and save both their reputations. Their false engagement forces them to spend quite a bit of time together though and Christian finds himself confiding in her about private things he had thought long forgotten. As he watches Annabelle move seamlessly through the murky waters of London society he is forced to confront his feelings and realize that he doesn't want to risk losing Annabelle forever. And Annabelle discovers that being accepted by society is not worth giving up on the possibility of true love and together they must work to achieve what they want and find love.
Annabelle's motives were well explained and I admired that she went after what she wanted but it was impossible not to recognize how awful, unrealistic, and plain mercenary. That made it very difficult to like her or really respect her as she was so out of touch with her own needs and it took her so long to realize that her expectations were not really what she wanted. Her dismissal of her family's concerns seemed out of character for someone who was so family oriented and her naive assumption that she would be accepted by everyone after a wedding were more unlikeable traits. Christian's obsession with not getting married became old very quickly and while I liked that he was able to feel guilt over his own actions I thought that it was overdone and was a poor excuse for dragging the book on past the point where it should have been over. His motives were questionable at best and his actions to get the wedding cancelled risked her reputation and showed his carelessness. However, Christian and Annabelle did have quite a bit of chemistry between them and the lust was very obvious.
They spent a lot of time together, lots of arguing and refusing to admit their feelings for each other of course, but for a couple with such explosive attraction there is surprisingly little release as the there is very little sex and it is not that hot at all. They had a lot of fun together, they could be honest with each other and since both of them had different views on society it was really interesting as they each came to see things from the other's point of view and really showed how they would work so well together as a couple. There is very little realism in Annabelle's complete acceptance by society just because Christian claims they are engaged and I was a little taken aback by how his own family encouraged the match. She really was not ton material and I guess I am just over society matrons being blown away by American frankness. As usual Guhrke has a very fun and enjoyable pace and a great, easy to read writing style which I always find a pleasure to read, even when the book itself is not that engrossing however I am a little tired of reading the same story from her over and over.
Rating: Two characters I found unremarkable in a plot that was just a little too familiar and while it was easy to read it was rather bland; nothing wrong but nothing special.