Christi Caldwell is a historical romance author I have been meaning to try for a while and the free copy of Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride helped with that considerably.
Pledged to each other as children, Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh and Lord Drake have spent virtually no time together and she is sick and tired of it. Relegated to the sidelines of her own life, Emmaline learns of Drake’s return to London and decides it is time to GET ON WITH IT ALREADY! She doesn’t really question the validity of the match chosen by their parents, she naively believes that she and Drake just need a chance to spend time together and they will naturally fit. What with it being a romance novel, that is precisely what happens and both of them find what they need in each other.
A chance encounter in the street opens the book and proves Emmaline’s mettle as a partner and as a person, but Drake is ready to dismiss her and return to his life of mistresses and routs; however, he has an interfering friend who likes Emmaline and feels she will be good for him. Working in cahoots, Emmaline is assisted in frequently showing up and surprising Drake at social events. He finds himself annoyed and increasingly intrigued by her omnipresence. When he gives in to his feelings, things almost proceed apace, but there is that pesky little matter of the lingering trauma from his wartime experiences. Afraid of what he might be capable and in spite of his feelings for her, Drake makes a valiant and ultimately doomed effort to push Emmaline away.
Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride was a better than average romance and I will seek out more Christi Caldwell books – it seems to me that I have one called A Marquess for Christmas or some such lingering on my Kindle – but I will be borrowing her books rather than buying them for now. Even so, it’s nice to have a new author for my B-list and the promise of a large catalogue to fall back on in a pinch.