- The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke
- It's in His Kiss by Julia Quinn
- Carved in Stone by Vicki Taylor
The first two were in yesterday, so of course I ran right out and picked them up. Now, I'm sure Carved in Stone will be in today, but I wasn't willing to wait to pick up them all up at the same time (that damned book junkie thing again).
Neither of these books ever hit the TBR pile. I started The Marriage Bed as soon as I finished Double Trouble and didn't stop reading until I finished it at 12:30 this morning. It's in His Kiss had a place of honor sitting on my night stand over night.
The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke
He charmed her, wed her, and betrayed her ...
But now the repentant lord must
entice his enchanting wife back to the marriage bed.
That little quote is borrowed from Amazon.com, and is a rather simplistic description of the plot. This book is extremely well written, it has a great plot and the pacing is perfect, you could have gotten all of that from Mrs. Giggle's review.
Spoilers: Don't go any further if you don't want details...
There is a lot going on in this book. If you can't deal with adultery or long separations this book is NOT for you.
At 26, John Hammond is in desperate need of an heiress. After assuming his title he's in need of money quickly. He finds Viola (a Duke's sister) and charms her into marrying him including telling her he loves her, though he doesn't. After they are married she discovers he has kept a mistress right up until the wedding day and mistakenly believes he is still visiting her. She locks him out of their bedroom for a month and he leaves, basically for good, and she lets him.
Fast forward 8 years and now Lord Hammond is in desperate need again. Now he needs an heir, the two he has lined up for the job have died of Scarlet Fever.
John has had numerous mistress over the 8 years, and on some level he blames Viola because she locked him out--men have needs you know. Somehow Ms. Guhrke is able to show him as a charming scapegrace, he doesn't come across as the pig he is, because on one level he doesn't feel he's wrong, but at the same time when confronted he has guilt.
When he says "I never meant to hurt you..." I believed him. If you view life in black and white, you're probably not going to like this book, but if you can see through shades of grey, you will be able to believe Viola can forgive him and he does finally find redemption when he realizes how wrong he has been, how lousy he's treated women and that he does love his wife. All of this comes very late in the book.
I read this entire book with a lump in my throat. You feel for Viola, and even some of the mistresses, at times you hate John. If this were my life I wouldn't have let him back in, but this isn't my "love" story, it's John and Viola's. If you believe she's able forgive him and that he loves her, you'll believe in their HEA--I did.
I'm now 50 pages into It's in His Kiss. It's a nice lite read, much needed after spending 4 hours perpetually on the verge of tears.