Trapped in a marriage to a woman he doesn't know, Lord Trent Hawthorne is having a hard time reconciling his new position with his dreams of marrying for love. Ever in her sister's shadow, Adelaide hasn't even been introduced to society, yet now she's part of a duke's family, and she has no idea how to navigate her marriage, let alone society. Trent determines the only way to make their marriage work is to court his wife, but even then, will they be able to find common ground?
Wow, that was awkward. Amusing, frustrating, moving, surprisingly honest--and definitely awkward. But what can one expect out of a marriage of convenience when the bride and groom don't know each other?
In some respects, this is one of the most realistic marriage of convenience books I've read. Even people who know each other well prior to marriage experience their fair share of awkwardness after speaking the vows, so going into a marriage blind like this, I can see how it could be so supremely awkward trying to gauge how to act, what to do, how to get to know one's spouse without the benefit of normal courtship buffers. For the record, the physical side of marriage is addressed--it only makes sense that it would be--but it is done tastefully, in a way that you get a pretty good idea what happens without having the details spelled out. I wouldn't call it risque; it's both too vague and realistic (yes, weird combination to pair together, but accurate) to qualify. I thought the author handled it very well.
How do you know when you love someone? Can you love and be angry with them at the same time? The author explores beyond typical romance into what love looks like in a marriage relationship, and how it's not just a feeling, but choices. I really liked how the GUYS get together to teach Trent what Godly love is--it isn't up to the women to do it. It's refreshing to see men really step forward as spiritual leaders in their homes.
I do love how well Hunter portrays the Hawthorne family; no matter what foolish choices individuals make, the family sticks together and protects it own. And they willing make room for new members like Adelaide, who, given her family's machinations and the circumstances behind the wedding, in any other family might have been given the cold shoulder. I enjoy getting more opportunities to spend time with Miranda and Georgina. And I am greatly looking forward to meeting the woman who can shake up oh-so-orderly Griffith's world!
I received a free book from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required; all opinions are my own.
0.5 "A Lady of Esteem" - a free novella introduction to the Hawthornes and friends!
1. A Noble Masquerade
2. An Elegant Facade
3. An Uncommon Courtship
4. An Inconvenient Beauty