STORY: A marriage most inconvenient…
After losing his first love in childbirth, Nicholas Alden knows with a great certainty that he must never be a father. But to be a husband is a very different matter—mandated by South Australian society, necessary for his family name. So when he meets beautiful social climber Charlotte, he believes he has found a wife he can keep at arm’s length. He is terribly wrong.
Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Charlotte hopes Nick can prop up her reputation long enough to secure a suitable match for her beloved cousin. She assumes that is all she can ask of her new husband—until they succumb to a night of uninhibited passion. Her heart is won in his embrace, but he doesn’t know the truth of her scandalous parentage. If he did, all would be lost.
Still, somehow, Charlotte dares to hope that her match of convenience could become something more. It is a reckless gamble, but the prize—a marriage of blazing lifelong desire—is one worth any risk…
REVIEW: Nicholas (Nick) is the son of Mr. Alfred Alden, a wealthy man. Nick’s mother passed away some years earlier. Nick’s father is urging him to get married, start a family, and assume the duties of the family business. Nick is afraid of having children. His mistress had delivered a deformed baby that died at birth and she with him. This makes Nick think that any other child of his would not live and could also be deformed. As a deterrent to marriage, he tries to come across as a man who prefers men to women.
The lovely Charlotte is running out of time. A young woman who is gifted with the ability to settle into society is actually nearly penniless with the responsibility of her cousin, Sarah, for whom she also needs to find a husband.
One evening, Charlotte is walking in the garden at a soiree and sees Nick sitting on a bench. She tells him she is in trouble and needs his help. With that, she screams, which bring everyone running. It is assumed that Nick has compromised her and they are immediately betrothed. Nick doesn’t fight it because he assumes that she is pregnant which suits his needs by providing an heir that does not have his “damaged” genes.
After their marriage, Charlotte moves into Nick’s home with his father and brings Sarah with her. Even though there is now money to use to introduce Sarah to society, Charlotte’s talent at sewing allows her to change her own dresses around making them look completely new. She pin money she receives is secretly being used for a home for unwed mothers that Sarah is running.
Thinking that her husband has no desire for her starts to bother Charlotte and she longs to seduce him as he is so very handsome. He feels the same way because his wife is lovely and admired by so many. Since by now he realizes that his assumption that she was pregnant when they married is incorrect, he still knows that he cannot allow himself to risk impregnating her. In addition, he begins to wonder if she is having an affair with a friend of theirs.
The story is good, somewhat complicated and I wish it had not been fed piecemeal to the reader. To read a novel when you are totally lost at times while the author “hides” what I consider to be important facts can be frustrating. That is the reason I could only give this book three stars.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
Connie for b2b