Miss Lucy Jones has little hope to marry. Orphaned as a child, almost consigned to the workhouse, she and her brothers now live on the charity of their aunt and uncle. Lucy has learned to curb all of her emotions in order to perfectly please her aunt and give her brothers the best chance possible for success in life; she knows she’s destined to be a companion for the rest of her days. At a house party for the marriage of one of her cousins, Lucy accidentally runs into James Wright-Gordon, Lord Selsley, and his sister. She’s immediately drawn to Lord Selsley, but her cousin has just asked her to marry him, throwing all of her expectations to the wind. When she’s accidentally compromised by Lord Selsley, she finds herself as the lady of consequence, a position she’d never foreseen, with a husband she isn’t sure how to deal with.
There were so many things I liked about A Marriage of Inconvenience! I was surprised by how delightful it was. The writing was fairly simplistic, but the story itself was a really fun read. It actually kept me up past my bedtime, for once making use of my lighted Kindle case, as I kept on reading to try and get to the end of the story. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how it would end, as all romance novels end more or less the same, but I genuinely was enjoying myself.
Carina Press is meant to be experimental and so far I’m really liking what I’m reading, in that a lot of times the characters behave in ways they never would in a ‘traditional’ romance. I’m going to risk the spam bots and say that one of these was the couple’s approach to the bedroom. Unlike in a normal romance, where everything is hunky dory, this couple has a bit of trouble. Naturally it’s unrelated to their actual physical compatibility, but I can’t remember if I’ve ever actually read a romance where things didn’t go smoothly (when both of the people involved wanted them to). Refreshing!
Lucy is a wallflower, like many romance heroines; she fades away into the background next to James’s sister and her own beautiful cousin. Still, she obviously has appeal of her own, and just needs to gain the confidence to seize her position in the spotlight. James, in contrast, is already a powerful man, with a fast-track political career and a lot of influence where it counts. He needs an assured wife, not a wealthy one, but he isn’t really looking when the book starts. He doesn’t have the immediate need to possess Lucy forever and ever. Instead, their marriage is truly inconvenient – he doesn’t get the wife he thinks he needs and Lucy is thrown into a situation she isn’t entirely ready for. They’re both ill prepared, not at all madly in love, but are forced to reconcile with each other and actually grow fond of each other in the end.
There were a couple of downsides – as I mentioned earlier, the writing is fairly simplistic. It’s just a vehicle to move the story along. And there was a plot twist towards the end that I found more or less unnecessary; it was obviously foreshadowed and made James and Lucy realize some things about their relationship, but their reactions to it didn’t really fit with their characters.
Overall, though, A Marriage of Inconvenience was a truly delightful read and would be a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. Recommended.
I am an Amazon Associate. I received this book for free for review from Netgalley.