Not to be outdone by her sisters’ marriage-producing scandals, quiet and withdrawn Madison Banks quickly finds herself walking down the aisle to a man who has secretly loved her for years.
Her groom, however, has no idea how to show his new bride that he truly loves her and following a bungled wedding night, finds himself in a position to either win his wife once and for all or lose her forever.
Can he prove himself worthy of her? Will she accept his love? Or will jealousy and past insecurities tear the pair apart?
We have all read historical romance where the hero and heroine struggle in their journeys toward one another with various winsome and adversarial scenarios being the norm. Here we have the hero and heroine beginning the story marrying. The bride is British but has been raised in America, and the groom has secretly loved her for years and is overwhelmed at finally succeeding in making his secret love his wife. Yet in his arrogance and elitist sense of himself and his social station, he knows almost nothing about this woman, what she has experienced and where are her sensitive areas, the hurts she has endured, the needs she brings to this marriage. And wrapped in his arrogance, he manages to cut his new bride to the core, drive her away to her relatives, and force him into a situation where he has to eat his latest helping of “humble pie” and find a way to seduce his bride and win her heart.
This is a fun story in many respects as it takes the main characters through a variety of settings, is a very down and dirty education for a husband who thought he knew it all, and a journey of growth and inner strengthening for a woman who is sorely in need of confidence and a healthy sense of self. She needed her husband’s support, not his cutting and destructive criticism. So each of these people must take the time to really get to know one another, to become friends before they can really learn to love one another.
This is a love story that has some twists and turns, a stalker, surprises that will keep the reader wondering what will happen next, and two lovers who can’t sometimes find a way to effectively communicate. Readers may get a bit tired of their waxing and waning sort-of relationship, and yet that is at the core of the story–the way real relationship often take two steps forward and three steps backward. It is that quality that gives this historical novel a greater sense of realism than many have. It is what makes this love story the kind that keeps readers moving forward and not willing to miss where these two lovers go. I hope you will enjoy this novel as much as I did. It is published by a small publishing company, but many good books manage to delight the public that aren’t the production of one of the big publishers. It is a jewel and the third in a delightful series. It is really worth reading.
I give it a rating of 4 out of 5
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.