This is book two in the Rokesby series, set before the infamous Bridgerton bunch series, of which I’ve read all. However, I’m not as taken with this series as I’d hoped to be. The first book was okay, and this one had a lot of problematic plot devices. To begin with, Cecilia Harcourt makes an impetuous journey from England to America to care for her brother Thomas, a soldier in the army. He’s gone missing, however, but she feels like it would be an easy task to find him. Instead, she finds his friend Edward Rokesby – unconscious and needing someone to look after him. Impulsively (again) she declares that he is her husband, so that the doctors will let her stay with him. She and Edward exchanged some correspondence through Thomas, so she feels like she knows him already anyway, and she will tell him the truth when he wakes up.
Unfortunately, when he regains consciousness, his short term memory is gone and he is rather befuddled to learn he has a wife. He thinks he would remember getting married, at least, but she assures him they married by proxy on her trip from England. So they haven’t consummated the marriage and she digs herself in deeper by telling him these things. And everyone around them takes her word for it, and they end up having to share lodgings. Now this is where things go from bad to worse, and she continues the charade, thinking that she is doing it for the sake of finding Thomas. I really found this part tedious, and wished she could own up to the truth so they could be together honestly. They both have feelings that start to grow, and there are some cute parts but I felt Edward deserved better. Eventually he regains his memory, and realizes things aren’t what she is telling him – but he hides this from her in return!
At the end of it, there were still unanswered questions about her brother, but Cecilia and Edward manage to figure out they need each other and get their relationship on track. I just couldn’t warm up to Cecilia that much; usually I adore the heroines in Ms Quinn’s books, but this one was a little too childish and I couldn’t see that she and Edward would work out together. I mean, she willingly ate strawberries to give herself food poisoning to avoid a conversation with him…that seemed ridiculous. Overall, I was disappointed and expected better than this.