"an enjoyable regency with realistic relationship"
Cecilia Marchmont's father wagers her hand in marriage to
a marquis' son, Will Orbison. When Cecilia's father
looses, fourteen year old Cecilia and eighteen year old
Will are married in a rush before Will goes on his Grand
Tour. In fact, the marquis had to threaten Will with the
cancellation of his trip before he would agree to the
marriage. Both fathers say an annulment will be attained
should the couple be incompatible when Will returns. It
has always been Will's fondest wish to study art abroad
and he won't allow anything to get in his way. Cecilia,
who is chubby and going through an awkward stage is
immediately smitten with the broodingly, handsome Will.
However, she is crushed to overhear Will make disparaging
remarks about her and she vows to become elegant and
stylish. She dreams of making him fall for her and
getting her revenge by spurning him. It is five years
before the couple meet again, and Will doesn't know that
the enchanting woman at the masked ball is Cecilia.
Ceclia's plan fails because she falls for Will all over
again and Will falls for the woman at the masked ball who
calls herself Alice. The couple return to England
separately and encounter many trials to their marriage.
THE RELUCTANT HUSBAND was a charming regency romance with
likable characters. Cecilia and Will are very young and
inexperienced and neither of them wishes the other to know
their true feelings. Having been raised by an emotionally
distant father, Will has problems showing his feelings of
love. Cecilia is still upset by Will's previous remarks
and Will's missteps make the situation worse. Add the
couple's new duties and obligations to this and you have a
formula for disaster. I was pleasantly surprised when
Cecilia admitted her secret to Will almost immediately.
There was no long drawn out misunderstanding about
identities. I found it refreshing that Ms. Conway allowed
the couples' relationship to grow and mature in a
realistic way. If you like your traditional regencies
with kisses only, THE RELUCTANT HUSBAND might not be the
book for you. It has several sex scenes between Will and
Cecilia that are comparable to the sensuality level in the
average historical romance novel. All in all, THE
RELUCTANT HUSBAND was an enjoyable regency; I recommend it.
Reviewed by Marlene Breakfield
Posted April 22, 2004