Wednesday, 25 January 2012
8. "Trouble at the Wedding" by Laura Lee Guhrke
Date begun: January 22nd, 2012
Date finished: January 23rd, 2012
Miss Annabell Wheaton and her family used to be poor white trash, until her no good scoundrel of a father discovered a bunch of gold mines, conveniently died, and left them to his daughter. Annabell thought this would mean they never had to worry about anything ever again, but obviously her New Money is no good, and while they no longer live in a shack barely making ends meet, neither she nor her family are well recieved in American high society. Annabel's solution: find an empoverished English nobleman whom she doesn't hate to give her a position in society, so she (and her younger sister) will no longer be shunned and sniffed at at polite gatherings.
Christian Du Quesne has been the Duke of Scarborough for about three months, since his brother died. Unfortunately for Christian and his younger sister, who both married weathly Americans to try to save the family fortunes, the previous Dukes were excellent at gambling and living irresponsibly, and less good at taking care of the Dukedom's extensive properties. His marriage ended badly, when the innocent young woman he married for her huge dowry killed herself, while Christian was off on the Continent spending her money. He's determined never to marry again, happy to let the title pass to his cousin. He is, however, pretty much broke, and needs money fast. So when Annabel's uncle promises him half a million dollars if he can talk her out of marrying the fortune hunting Earl of Rumsford in a week, what's an empoverished nobleman to do?
Trouble at the Wedding is Guhrke's third Abandoned at the Altar novel, and probably the one that fits least into the mold. For one thing, no one is abandoned or jilted anywhere, Christian just creates a huge scene at Annabel's wedding. It was a quick read, but not really that compelling, and lacked the wit and passion of some of Guhrke's previous novels. Neither the hero or heroine were really all that interesting, nor was their journey towards their HEA that compelling. I do like that Guhrke writes historical novels from other eras than Regency England, though, and hope that her next novel is back on form, as I've previously enjoyed many of her books a whole lot.