Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What I've Read This Week

What I've Read This Week . . .

Marry in Haste by Lynn Kerstan -- Regency Romance
sequel to Celia's Grand Passion and Lucy in Disguise.

This story is about Diana Whitney, the shy friend of Lucy from Lucy in Disguise. When visitors come to Candale, Diana retreats to Lakeview, the residence of Colonel Alexander Valliant, James and Kit's brother. Alex has been away in the army for six years so Diana assumes that she's safe from strangers at Lakeview. One night she hears a housebreaker and hits him over the head with a frying pan. When she discovers that the housebreaker is none other than the homeowner, she wants to retreat. Unfortunately for Diana, the local gossips have already started to talk so Alex offers marriage to Diana. Diana refuses to marry anyone because she feels that no one will ever look at her and not see her scar. Diana's uncle and Sir Basil have other plans though and Diana is forced into a marriage of convenience with Alex. Alex is gruff and scary and has ghosts from his past that he refuses to acknowledge. Diana is shy of her appearance and refuses to be seen by strangers. Aided by Alex, Diana seeks to improve the plight of the locals and grows into a confident young woman. Then it's time to work on her marriage, but Alex is withdrawn and Sir Basil refuses to give up. The character development in this book is very good. Diana is an interesting and sympathetic character and I really like how she grows. However, I dislike Alex and don't really understand him. Readers have the opportunity to find out what happens to James and Celia, and Lucy and Kit, which is fun but their inclusion felt forced. The story has potential but the word limit makes the story awkward towards the end. The understanding comes too late and is mostly summarized and isn't anywhere near as shocking as I believed the secret to be. I assumed it had something to do with Lord Kendal's first wife and the reason why Alex joined the army. Another major weak point is how the story takes too long to wrap up the loose ends from Lucy in Disguise. The final chapter feels tacked on but contributes to the character development. This book has more depth than the typical marriage of convenience plot but in my opinion, this it the weakest of the three books in the trilogy. It would have been better as a stand-alone plot.

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