Monday, February 16, 2015

Susanna Fraser - A Marriage of Inconvenience

Left orphaned and penniless as a young child, Lucy Jones learned to curb her temper, her passions, and even her sense of humor to placate the wealthy relatives who took her in. She became the perfect poor relation--meek, quiet, and self-effacing. She clings to her self-control because she can control nothing else.
James Wright-Gordon also lost his parents at a young age. But he became a wealthy viscount at fifteen and stepped into full control of his fortune and his birthright as a parliamentary power broker at twenty-one. At twenty-four, he is serenely confident in his ability to control everything in the world that matters to him.
At a house party in the summer of 1809, James quickly discerns Lucy’s carefully hidden spirit and wit and does his best to draw them out. After being caught in a compromising situation, they are obliged to marry. But can two people whose need for control has always been absolute learn to put love first?

Comment: I decided to read this book after seeing some good reviews and the blurb also seemed interesting. I was very interested in seeing how the author would solve the apparent difficulty we see on the blurb and how everything would turn out to be.

This is Lucy's story. She's an orphan and has been living with wealthier relatives since her childhood and now one of her cousins proposed marriage for reasons she isn't told. But her deepest desire has always been to marry Sebastian, the most friendly or her cousins. Lucy knows she owes her living to her family so she is very self controlled to not be mistreated.
James Wright-Gordon is a rich young man, very clever and dedicated to his family. He also likes to control everything around him because he is decent and takes his obligations seriously. 
These two meet at a wedding party and although both say they aren't interested in the other, they are forced to marry after a compromising situation which tells the reader but not them the reality of them falling in love. Can they compromise again to be happy?

This book has many situation that seem well studied to make the story more suitable for the time when it is set. Many social and cultural references also seem to exist to better situate the era and the customs of that time. Not that this is wrong, but if one thinks the careful detail the author must have taken with the serious telling of this story, it's also surprising how some little things don't seem to be as well achieved, in terms of plot, as the writing details portray.

For the most part, this book has all the necessary elements to make a compelling story:
- Naive young woman trying to be good and saying yes to things without fully understanding them;
- Mysterious guy looking out for himself somehow;
- New possible love interest everyone sees is perfect for heroine but themselves;
- Heroine's family mistreating her;
- Hero's sister falling for bad guy;
- Hero and heroine forved to marry, marriage difficulties but communication actually mattering and solving what it needs;
- Hero's sister not paying attention to obvious clues around her;

From this moment on, the plot takes some twisting paths I thought weren't the best ones. gain, not that it was bad, but it just didn't seem to come from the same careful writing of the first chapters. The execution wasn't overall bad, but I admit it had some situations, some passages where things didn't go as smoothly as one would expect.

The main couple's romance started sweet and ended perfect but somewhere in the middle there's the solving of a problem which I found surprisingly well done, all things considered, but then it all went to ruins when the hero reacts badly to a detail. I mean, they are controlled characters, in love, respectful of the other, well balanced people and then he reacts that way, it seemed out of character. Thankfully all was solved and the HEA happens.

There are secondary situations that are obvious setting up for the sequel, but again I thought some things seemed a bit forced, because it looked like it had to go that way, and not differently. All would be good if the way things happen didn't seem to be oriented a different path originally...but again, this is perhaps just my own perspective.

All in all, a good romance, many cliché situations, I still think thins was a worthy and god enough attempt on a proper romance. At least I never felt like putting it down, so it was very engaging.
I'm planning on reading the sequel soon.
Grade: 7/10

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