The Lady's Disgrace
#3 in the Marriage Mart Mayhem Series
By Callie Hutton
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Pub Date Sep 8 2014
A lady is nothing without her reputation. Jilted and humiliated by her once-betrothed, Lady Abigail Lacey is the laughingstock of London. Worse still, the humiliation is now reflecting badly on her family. Now her brother, the Duke of Manchester, is desperate... until he finds a way to rescue his sister's damaged reputation, and remove her from the glare of disapproving society.
He must marry her off. Quickly.
When Rector Joseph Fox drops by the Lacey household, he certainly didn't expect to leave as a man engaged to a long-time family friend! Yet while he never could have aspired to have her, Lady Abigail always ignited a forbidden longing in him. But Abigail has one condition—their marriage is to be void of passion or physical pleasures. Faced with a platonic marriage of convenience, Joseph is determined to embark on a sensuous adventure with only one goal: to seduce his new wife...
This is #3 in the Marriage Mart Mayhem Series. It can be read alone, but you'll want to check out the first two, for sure. I've read the second one, The Duke's Quandary. You can find the review here.
This was fun. Poor Abigail thought she had finally found her true love after three seasons on the marriage mart; then he ran off and married another. Of course, society thinks that it's her that was "bad" and so she's hiding from their censure. Unfortunately, unless something good can come of this whole situation, her younger siblings are going to be tarred by the same brush. Not fair! But certainly well within the ways of the time frame.
Her brother, the hero from the Duke's Quandary, has a brain storm when a good friend appears to ask him to donate to a school he wants to start. Why not help the friend, and find a good place for his sister at the same time? Marriage should work out for them both. Well, I love that "marriage of convenience" trope and this one was loads of fun. That's because the groom, Rector Joseph Fox, has always been smitten with Abigail. He never thought he'd be able to reach as high as she, being she's a lady, and he's "only" a rector, although he has some pretty high relatives, himself. She liked him, too, but was hurt that he ignored her.
Abigail agrees to marry him, but demands that the marriage be mostly in name only. Mostly because she wants children and she does know what duty has to be performed to get them. But she's NOT going to like it. Ah, but Joseph is pretty sure he can convince her. And there's fun to be had as they negotiate the marriage waters. They start off their marriage with a marauding pig chase/rescue that had me chuckling.
The fun is tarnished when danger begins to stalk Joseph's new wife. We find out who the "bad guy" is right off, but watching them figure out who it is was rather nerve wracking. I wanted to smack both of them a time or two as they seemed to walk right into the danger. Certainly made me read faster, that's for sure.
I took a bit of rating off for some repetitive narrative, which seems to be a trend recently. I don't think readers need to be reminded of the back story quite as often as authors like to mention it. Ms. Hutton poked a bit of fun at the many times the doctor had to be called to the manor when Joseph thought that he should just give the physician his own set of rooms there! My kindle comment was "No Kidding!"
This one is definitely worth spending an afternoon with and I look forward to reading more by this author.
*Thank you, NetGalley, Entangled and Callie Hutton, for the opportunity to read The Lady's Disgrace
Callie Hutton always knew those stories she made up in her head would be written down one day. There was nowhere else for them to go. After years of writing articles and interviews for magazines and company newsletters, she decided to tackle writing a book. That was back in 2010. Now with twelve books under her belt, and seven more contracted, the relief at having somewhere to tell those stories is wonderful. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, adult children and three dogs.