- Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Zebra Books (Dec 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0821769936
- ISBN-13: 978-0821769935
- Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.4 x 3.6 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,039,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Clarissa chooses to propose a marriage of convenience to Simon Sinclair, Earl of Sheridan, because she believes him to be trustworthy and of sound reputation. She also believes he'll honor his word regarding her personal expenditures. Clarissa funds Haven House, a home for unwed mothers of the lower classes. In so doing, she disregards the current social standards which dictate that she not even have knowledge of such women and unfortunate circumstances. Such social concern would leave her at the mercy of gossips and shunned by society should word ever get out.
Given the strict rules specified in her grandfather's will, the physical attraction and strange yearning that she feels in the Earl's presence is of no consequence. She certainly won't admit that she's been in love with Simon for two years. Likewise, Simon will not admit his own attraction, except in the most physical sense.
Clarissa's opposite, Simon is conservative, has no understanding of the need for women's rights, and dislikes progressive thinking. Indeed Clarissa's Scottish stubbornness as well as her boldness makes her entirely unsuitable for marriage. Even as he intends to curb her boldness, however, Simon admires her publicly quiet and self-contained ways.
Sexual tension and the promise of a passionate body to match her high spirit cause Simon to accept Clarissa's proposal. Intrigued by the seeming contradictions of character, Simon admires the very qualities he's intent upon changing. His intentions of turning the bold Lady Pomeroy into a submissive and obedient wife are doomed to failure.
Patricia Waddell pens a delightful "marriage of convenience" tale certain to please fans of this sub-genre. With her characteristic knowledgeable style, she presents the period with a clarity that brings freshness to the era. The characters are drawn with realism and compassion, creating believable and sympathetic people. Further, Simon's conditions for marriage, that she perform her wifely duty "whenever, wherever, and however" he wishes forms an exciting sensual premise. Indeed, Sexual tension and burning desire create a passionate read that comes highly recommended.
Though they are physically attracted to one another, both Simon and Clarissa feel that each is not fully trusting the other. Clarissa is reluctant to involve Simon in her charity work because she is afraid that he will curtail it. Simon can't believe that Clarissa appears to exert such control over him, making him feel things he has never felt before.
Patricia Waddell has written a pleasing historical which explores the complexities of love and obediance in a nineteenth century marriage. The heroine struggles to be seen as a woman of intelligence and value as more than an ornament on her husband's arm and the bearer of his heirs. The complexities of the main characters carry this novel to a satisfactory conclusion.
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