A Marriage of Inconvenience by Susanna Fraser
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Prequel to The Sergeant's Lady.
Poor relation Lucy Jones is flattered and happy when her cousin Sebastian offers for her hand in marriage, but her aunt makes her promise to keep the engagement a secret. As the family travels for another cousin's wedding, they encounter the Arrington siblings. Sebastian falls for Anna, while Lucy and James hit it off. The re-assembling of romantic partnerships at this point would seem obvious and does indeed happen. But the adjustment to marriage, especially a hasty marriage, is not always easy, whether you are keeping a secret from your spouse or he only thinks you are...
I really enjoyed this book. It started out slowly, but it had a real slice-of-historical-life feel--the dialogue, the house party of characters, and the portrayal of family and successful and unsuccessful romantic relationships. A lot of what makes historicals, and more specifically Regencies, appealing to me is the detailed portrayal of a social setting (with its attendant rules, customs and mores which can be so different from ours), especially the family connections among the gentry and aristocracy, and Fraser delivers on this level as well.
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