Monday, March 24, 2014

Carla Kelly - The Admiral's Penniless Bride

Sally Paul is down to her last penny. As she spends it on a cup of tea--to stave off being at the mercy of the workhouse--the last thing she expects is an offer of marriage...from a complete stranger!Admiral Sir Charles Bright's seafaring days are over--and according to society, that must mean he's in need of a wife! Discovering Sally's in need of a home, he offers a solution.... They marry in haste--but will they enjoy their wedding night at leisure?

Comment: After being so well impressed by the previous books I've read by mrs Kelly, I was quite eager to try one more, because at this point I am convinced this author will do no wrongs. I really like her heroines and how they overcome situations and challenges to become something better or simply to survive.

This story tells the story of Sally Paul, a young widow who just got dismissed from a job she never had in the first place. Sally used all her money to travel and now she only has one penny left which she uses to pay for tea before going to the workhouse.
At the inn where Sally is having tea, is also Sir Charles Bright, a retired navy admiral. He wants a wife to keep his meddling sisters at bay but the women he proposed to apparently doesn't want to go with it because she doesn't show of. Feeling sorry for Sally's situation he starts talking to her and they agree on a marriage of convenience.
But no matter how distant they might want to be, it's not possible to be apart when the other grows to be everything you ever wanted...even with secrets to hide.

I really liked this story. Once more, the author didn't disappoint me and presented a wonderful story for my taste! I was really engrossed and riveted during the reading and it's amazing how easily I can be steered by the character's feelings and emotions while they deal with their issues and battles.

I liked Sally's character. It's no secret I have a preference for heroines who struggle in life but always maintain their morals and personality and when do things questionable it's always for a good reason. I didn't mind Sally accepted an offer of marriage without love because she was desperate, she didn't have anywhere to go or anyone to help her. Characters like Sally is why I keep reading romances.
Sally has a secret, though. On she realizes might ruin not only her marriage but the opinion her new  husband has of her. It won't matter their growing affection for each other or the life they're learning to build up together. So, at a point where their marriage is truly a love one, her secret is out and she can't do anything else but explain. However, Charles' reaction is a strong one, an impulsive one, because he loves and feels betrayed. After thinking a while he tries to solve things but that will take months.

Charles is a likable hero, he's not aggressive or domineering and he is a gentleman. He offered marriage for convenient reasons but with time he falls in love with this woman who had so many struggles and tragedies in her young life and now she becomes the person he loves the most. During the book he does things and acts in a way we can't help but love him for what he is. His character is irrepressible and not even his disability is an obstacle to love and to be loved back. 
Of course, there has to be some sort of opposition and his reaction to Sally's secret is out of control and really made me emotional. He regrets it but it provided quite the angsty scene.
In the end, there's a wonderful HEA but the best part is how they talk and apologize for omissions and work things out.

This is a lovely romance between two people that apparently are out of time to love. But the writer's talent together with an amazing plot on itself allows for a great story, full of nuances and little details that make the reader think every page is full of meaningful sentences. I loved the idea of reading everything closely and savoring each word.

I can't wait to read more by this author and will do so. As for this one, for me everything worked out really well and I recommend it to everyone who wants a solid and structured story not focused only on how great they are together in bed. Intimacy happens here, but with such meaning it's unlikely one feels distanced. Wonderful!
Grade: 9/10

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