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Incognita: Fairchild Regency Romance Book 2 Kindle Edition
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AAlistair is in a bit of a rage, having been embarrassed that his betrothed, Sophy Prescott, cut him out by marrying her mushroom Cit neighbor, Tom Bagshot. Yep, the handsome Alistair, admired by the ladies, was left holding his hat in hand by none less than the little bastard, Sophy. He's now an object of ridicule in the London rags and he's one unhappy man. We get to revisit the appealing Jasper, Sophy's half-brother and Alistair's cousin, as he attempts to buoy Alistair up although it obviously isn't working out because they resort to fisticuffs right in front of polite society. This was humorous.
Actually, Alistair didn't impress me as being very sensitive to Sophy in the first book so I decided to re-read it once I had read this book. I must confess to having my opinion of Alistair revised a bit after reading exactly what drives him. He's a third son, his oldest brother is making a hash of the family funds, which is affecting Alistair's portion and He. Needs. To. Marry. Money. To Alistair's credit, it's not all about the money. He just wants to be comfortable enough to be able to leave the military. He's spent ten years fighting Napoleon, he's home recuperating from a wound, and he's weary beyond belief.
Sophy was his answer, for crying out loud and now she's gone and ruined everything. He didn't want her only for the home and dowry she would have brought to the marriage. Her step-mama is his aunt and Alistair liked Sophy better than any of the other ladies he might have had. Now, he doesn't stand a dog's chance of getting married before he must leave to go back to military duty. Nope, Sophy ruined that by jilting him.
In this fragile, frustrated mindset, he runs across an intriguing lady he once met at a masquerade ball. She's Mrs. Anna Morris and he was under the impression she was a light-skirt. Once he realizes his mistake, she's too offended to give him the time of day. Yet, he persists until he gains a measure of her mother's confidence. I must confess to disliking Anna's personality for most of the story. Her dreadful first marriage and the fact she doesn't have the care of her son, due to the boy's hateful uncle, contributes to her soul being somewhat embittered. Nearly every thought she has and pretty much all her actions are negative.
I agree with one reviewer who pointed out that regardless of Anna's life experiences which contributed to her sour disposition, the author must surely realize readers will have a difficult time enjoying her persona, therefore affecting the joy of reading the book. However, Alistair's willingness to look beyond his needs and endeavor to help another person almost made up for the lack in Anna's persona. For indeed, Alistair pulled me in, sucked me into his sphere, so that I was pulling for this charmer and hoping against hope he wouldn't have to return to his dreary life in the military. My favorite scene in the book is when Alistair has the conversation with Anna's brother-in-law and sets him straight about a few things. Whoo Hoo!
Unfortunately, we don't always get what we hope for in these books. I was intrigued by some of the battles this author engaged the reader in when Alistair returned to army life. Don't misunderstand - nothing epic, but enough to point out exactly why Alistair didn't enjoy the thought of further years of killing, fighting, sleeping in the cold, going hungry and so on. The coming together of Alistair and Anna was a bit different than what I expected. Although I felt it might have been improved relative to some details, all in all, it was nice in that once Anna learned to trust again, she gave it her all. Alistair benefited and in the end, he was glad Sophy chose Tom.
There is a secondary romance in this book - that would be Lord and Lady Fairchild - working their way back to a real marriage. In fact, this book gives us quite a bit of Georgiana and William Fairchild, including further background on exactly how their marriage broke down, resulting in Sophy's birth. It's nearly as interesting as the primary romance, but not enough time is spent on it. Although I found myself disliking Lord Fairchild more and more as details were revealed, part of me couldn't help but root for the healing of their marriage. I'm assuming their relationship will move forward into full restoration in the third book.
I can't wait for Jasper's book. He's my favorite character in this series.
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