Friday, June 8, 2012
Review: The Earl's Inconvenient Wife by Ruth Ann Nordin (4.5 stars, historical)
Full Description: Amazon
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Thoughts After Reading:
I've read several marriage of convenience historicals over the last few weeks, each of which were excellent in their own way. To Wed a Stranger was a fairly intense tale about two people who have given up on love, but find it anyway. Ruined by Rumor was a sweet romance about a hero's unrequited love turning into a happily-ever-after. And now, with Ruth Ann Nordin's The Earl's Inconvenience Wife we have a fun storyline that doesn't take itself too seriously. The hero and heroine are forced to marry after accidentally being found in a compromising position, and - when they stop squabbling - find that their partner isn't so bad after all.
The hero is an earl, and is another one of those heroes who takes his title too seriously. He is annoyed that his former fiance jilted him for a better title (a duke), and wants to find a new wife immediately so he can get on with finally having a heir. The heroine, meanwhile, is out for her first season. She seems like a good-hearted girl who's occasionally immature. She's also claustrophobic, and steps out on the balcony alone during a ball to get some fresh air. The hero tries - in a heavy handed way - to warn the heroine of the dangers of being outside alone. In the middle of their bickering, they get their limbs tangled up only to find themselves with an audience. They get married to avoid scandal, but the hero is angry at the heroine because he believes she tricked him into being compromised. The heroine, meanwhile, is unhappy about the whole situation. She was looking for a nice gentleman, and the last thing she wants is an uncaring husband. Their disagreements leads to some general silliness, such as the heroine going on a bit of a spending spree with her sister or dressing up as a groom in an attempt to "escape" to a different estate. The arguments would have gotten old, except the story was consistantly lighthearted and humorous enough to keep me entertained. Eventually things get sorted out, and there is a surprisingly touching resolution to tie things up at then end. The two love scenes don't take place til later in the story. They were moderately explicit, but still managed to add to the general humor because the hero was a virgin. He has to use advice from a book to introduce his wife to lovemaking, although he would die before admitting it to anyone :).
Ruth Ann Nordin's The Earl's Inconvenience Wife was not particularly thought provoking or deeply romantic, but I loved it anyway. It's a charming marriage of convenience novel: humorous and fun, yet with enough romance that made me rather satisfied with the ending. I would not hesitate to suggest The Earl's Inconvenience Wife to anyone looking for a lighthearted read.