Thursday, March 23, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Unexpected Love: A Marriage of Convenience Anthology


Around the turn of the century, matches were made for all sorts of reasons-whether to keep a family together or simply make ends meet. But love has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places! With four historical romance stories in one, this fun anthology will sweep you from the dance floors of aristocracy to the hearths of country living, leading to love through the most unusual circumstances.


Each of the stories in this anthology focuses on a marriage of convenience.  But beyond that each story is really different.  The first story is about Kate and Ambrose who decide to marry for mutual benefit.  Kate needs to marry in order to return to her beloved cottage.  Ambrose needs to marry in order to return himself to his uncle's good graces and have a chance to inherit Ashbrook Abbey.  But what neither of them expects is to fall in love, especially as Ambrose is a bit of a spoiled fellow.  I enjoyed watching both Kate and especially Ambrose change as they got to know and appreciate each other.  The only problem I have with short novellas like this is the story is over before you really, fully get to appreciate the characters.

The second story revolves around Letty and Daniel (despite what the blurb on the back says is Mae and David) who marry in order to save their niece and nephew from being taken away by Daniel's uncle.  But the two clash at first, but they find their common ground in the children. But when Daniel's uncle threatens to prove their marriage is a fraud, the two are forced to pretend they're in love.  But before long the pretense doesn't feel so much like a pretense.  It was fun to see Letty and Daniel get past their negative first impressions and start to admire each other.

Faye and Geoffrey meet under rather unusual circumstances.  Faye has been trying to keep ahead of the men she saw commit murder, but hasn't been able to shake them.  So her uncle arranges for her to marry Geoffrey.  Faye is a rather straight forward woman who feels like she has a curse of good intentions and bad timing.  Geoffrey doesn't really care who Faye is as long as he gets a chance to join the rangers, which Faye's uncle can arrange. But things don't exactly go according to plan.  Faye makes for a rather entertaining narrator.

In the last story, Percy and Fanny get married, but don't really like each other at first.  Percy's blind about which he is rather bitter.  Fanny has facial scars that bother her.  Add to that a conniving cousin, an attractive groundskeeper, and a valuable harp, and Percy doesn't know what to think about the changes in his life.  A nice twist on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.

All in all, this book was a nice read with some fun stories in it. 

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