Love With The Proper Husband Hardcover – 1 Jan 2003
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Penniless Miss Gwendolyn Townsend is called back to England from the post she loathes as a governess in America. She is thrilled to find out that she has a small legacy and that she will have a fortune if she does just one thing. Unfortunately, the one thing turns out to be to marry Marcus Holcroft, Earl of Pennington, a man she considers insufferably arrogant. Besides, she has no desire to marry anyone now that she finally has the means to be independent.
Marcus is incredulous to find out soon before he turns thirty that his deceased father left a will saying that, failing to find a different bride earlier, Marcus must marry Gwen before he is thirty or lose his whole fortune. (Something else is afoot, of course, in this situation that the reader knows but the characters don't.) After repeatedly refusing Marcus, Gwen abruptly agrees to marry him-but only because she develops a secret life for which she must have money.
It is hilarious, romantic and just plain fun watching Marcus and Gwen's growing relationship. And it is beautiful how warm and caring their relationship eventually becomes. Marcus' knack for lightening any situation and his easy forgiveness of Gwen's faults is endearing. Their wedding night is a hoot-funny, unexpected yet utterly passionate and romantic.
The other characters are equally lovable and endearing-especially the three nieces and the two Madames are wonderful, as is Marcus' mother. She puts on quite a show for Marcus early in the novel-I wish we could have seen even more of her.
The only weakness I noticed was that the last plot twist concerning the nieces is not really believable. Despite this, Love With the Proper Husband is a genuinely fun and absorbing novel that should not be missed!
Marcus Holcroft, the eighth Earl of Pennington, has recently received the biggest upset in his life. He has just been told that he must get married before his thirtieth birthday in three months -- to a woman he has never met. Apparently before his death, his father and Gwendolyn Townsend's sealed the couple's futures, unbeknownst to either of them. If Marcus doesn't marry Gwendolyn, he will lose his considerable fortune and his estate. Because he is honorable, and responsible for his mother's and tenants' well-being, Marcus sees no way out. When he meets the irrepressible Gwendolyn, Marcus decides that marriage might not be such an abhorrent state as he originally thought.
Victoria Alexander will delight readers with her delectable hero, independent and empathetic heroine, and all manner of characters in between. To explain further would be to reveal too many secrets and ruin the story, but suffice it to say that these are some of Ms. Alexander's most interesting and endearing characters to date.
Fast paced and original, with sparkling, witty dialogue, and both emotional and humorous scenes, LOVE WITH THE PROPER HUSBAND kept this reviewer enthralled from beginning to end. Brief cameo appearances by characters of Ms. Alexander's "Effington" series get the ball rolling with their concern about future generations by forming the Ladies' Society for the Betterment of the Future of Britain, which had me chuckling through the very first pages. The society is nothing more than a scheme to marry off their single female and male offspring before they either gather dust upon the shelves as spinsters, or are too old to procreate.
Reading the other books in the series is not imperative to understand what is happening in this one, but I recommend them all as keepers. For more information on Ms. Alexander's novels, visit her website at: [local website]
LOVE WITH THE PROPER HUSBAND shines as one of Ms. Alexander's best books to date. I can't wait to read what's next!
Miss Gwendolyn Townsend, having been born female, had, at the demise of her father, lost her home and all she held dear to a distant male cousin. Having been told this news by an overzealous young attorney she had departed immediately to make her way as a governess - a position she was not very good at. Once she had been tracked down and recalled to England by her fathers solicitors, she was apprised of several things, 1) she had been left a modest inheritance, 2) a small but lovely house, and 3) an arranged husband - should she so desire - the husband that is. Marcus had found out that same day that his father had arranged for him to marry his dear old friends daughter, Gwendolyn, and should he not be married by the time he reached the age of 30 - in less than 3 months - he would lose his entire fortune!
This was such an amusing story with some very funny dialog that I virtually flew through the book - it was that hard to put down! The by-play between the two central characters was delightful and the numerous secondary characters was brilliantly done as I especially loved Marcus' friend Reggie and his very droll sense of humor at Marcus' expense. The three orphaned nieces of Gwendolyn were priceless as `out of the mouths of babes' comments went right to the heart of the matter in so many instances. This was a lovely, and very enjoyable book that I can and do heartily recommend.