Sunday, January 27, 2008

An Unwilling Bride by Jo Beverley

On with the Company of Rouges and their misadventures! This is the story of Lucien, the biggest catch of the group since he will eventually become the Duke of Belcraven.

Lucien, Marquess of Arden is told by his father that he is actually not his son and therefore is not heir to the Dukedom. To keep the dukedom in the Deveraux line the Duke insists that Lucien marry the Duke's illegitimate daughter Beth Armitage.

Beth is a teacher at a lady's finishing school and has no idea of her heritage. She would have liked to refuse the Duke's 'suggestion' that she marry his son but he has threatened the school and it's Mistress so she reluctantly agrees, but before she takes her vows she is determined to let the Marquess know of her reluctance.

Lucien has always been a good son and a responsible peer so it's sad that he is actually so alone in this book. Beth who is put in the situation with him shows no mercy and makes a difficult task worse by edging him on and giving him reason after reason to doubt her.
She keeps opening her mouth and screwing up her chances to have a decent relationship with Lucien who shows all signs of being a gentlemen and ready to do his duty by her (except for a scene at the end when his temper gets the better of him). Beth just appears to want to bite off her nose to spite her face!

I found that the story didn't really have a high point or otherwise a low. There was a part of danger where Lord Deveril makes an appearance and threatens Beth and Blanche (Lucien's ex-Mistress) but even that was more of a blimp on the radar, not something I would call a climax.

Regardless, the book was entertaining and I would say more satisfying than the first since you really liked Lucien alot and you see how someone can fall in love with him. It was also lovely to revist the Rouges again. These character are ones you just need to get to know and it's a pleasure to see them find their happiness.

Grade: C
Format: Audiobook


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