Jen's Reviews > A Marriage of Inconvenience

A Marriage of Inconvenience by Susanna Fraser
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May 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-romance
Read from May 05 to 12, 2011

The first half of this book is amazing. I mean, it was so amazing that it could've been any book from any major publisher out there: Avon, Pocket, Grand Central, Kensington. Surprisingly--or maybe not so surprisingly--it comes from Carina, the digital-only Harlequin imprint. I was hooked from the first page.

Lucy Jones is a compelling character. Mild mannered and meek on the outside, inside, she possessed an iron will and a backbone many women would be envious of. She keeps a tight rein on her emotions even when she'd rather speak up, and usually, she's keeping the best interests of her younger brothers in mind. Who wouldn't admire a young woman who's been treated as a "less than" her entire life and continues to sacrifice for the overall good of her family? So when Lucy's cousin Sebastian Arrington asks for her hand in marriage, in my mind, I was screaming, "No!" But of course, Lucy says yes.

After her engagement to Sebastian, Lucy's family must travel to attend the wedding of Sebastian's sister, Portia, to Lord Almont. But Sebastian's mother has asked them to keep the engagement a secret, so Sebastian and Lucy agree. But while Lucy enjoys the solitary pursuit of drawing in the outdoors, she meets our hero, James Wright-Gordon, Lord Selsley.

From the beginning, I couldn't help but like James as well. He's lighthearted, caring, and gentle...but he's also a vain and proud man as well as a little arrogant. And he's exactly what Lucy needs to bring her out of her shell. As their attraction grows, Lucy's feelings about her secret fiancé and her "friendship" with James become conflicted. All the while, we have the underlying subplot between James's sister Anna and Lucy's cousin Sebastian.

What I most loved was the author's ability to pull me in one direction one moment and then drag me in another on the next page. Without giving too much away, by the end of the book, I wanted to throttle James for his stupidity and Lucy for her unwillingness to rock the emotional boat. The ending was somewhat anticlimactic, which was disappointing, but I also understood why the author wanted to wrap the book up nicely. With such an emotional tug-of-war up until the middle half of the book, I was somewhat hoping for an explosive ending. I didn't get that, but I did shut it with a contented sigh.
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