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The Marriage List: full-length sweet historical romance Kindle Edition
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|Length: 217 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Now at the age of twenty-four, May has endured twenty years of her Uncle's cruelty; she now serves as companion to the invalid Winnie. Only Winnie has ever loved or treated May with any kindness. May and Winnie are left to exist on minimal--but adequate-funds drawn on her parents' account. Only three weeks a year does May have to endure her uncle's cruelty, but that is more than enough, and for the rest of the year his cruel words persist. It doesn't help that the rest of the ton look down on May--or should I say they look through May--treating her like a servant.
It's been over seven years since May, or anyone else, has had any contact from her parents. Seeing an opportunity, Redfield petitions the courts to have his sister and brother-in-law declared dead. As part of the court proceedings, their account is frozen, cutting off May and Winnie's only source of funds. A petition to her uncle for help goes unanswered. May, three months behind on the rent, and desperate after being served with a notice of eviction, barges into the hero's home to ask for his help (he is her landlord.) Thus the story begins.
Radford, Viscount Evers is also a somewhat sympathetic character. Unfortunately, he's so full of bitterness, anger, and pride, that sometimes he is hard to like...although there was never a time when I actively disliked him. After suffering a life-threatening injury at Salamanca, Radford was returned home more dead than alive. Now, a year later, he still suffers from the after effects of his injury--the mobility in his leg is hampered by severe pain, and he walks with a limp. Radford's pride is pricked because, in his words, he's now only "half a man."
Although both May and Radford are likeable and sympathetic, I was particularly moved by May's plight; I found myself getting teary eyed on several occasions while reading this story. When May burst into his study, Radford is less than receptive to her plea, and treats her most discourteously. May, a very prideful young man, pretty much wishes him to the devil and storms out. Radford, having decided to fulfill his duty to his family by marrying and producing an heir, has just completed a list of requirements for his future bride...a marriage list. Immediately after May's departure, he finds himself cataloguing the many ways May does NOT meet his requirements. From there the story progresses.
The book moves at a nice quick pace. I found it to be quite well written, and there were no significant editing issues that I noticed. While the plot is not by any means original, the story that unfolds manages to be engaging, heart-wrenching, and sweet. Tension is added to the plot by way of May's uncle, who has his own agenda for having May's funds frozen. He is intent on marrying May off to some old geezer, a man who is older than her father, and undertaking the care of his sister Winifred...the reason for his sudden fraternal conduct towards his sister is a mystery that is revealed as the story progresses.
To add angst to the plot, May is forced to watch as Radford courts the very silly, very selfish, but beautiful, younger sister of her best friend, Lady Iona. Add to the mix, Lord Wynter, Radford's friend and confidant, who is seemingly conspiring with Lady Iona to see Radford and May wed, and you have quite a story. Before the couple can achieve their HEA they must overcome a whole host of difficulties, not the least of which is May's dubious origins.
The book is not perfect--in my experience, most are not--but the issues I had with it were minor and didn't significantly impact on my enjoyment of the story. That being said I have to confess that I found the aspect of the story dealing with May's parents to be a bit ridiculous.
At the end of the book, May's parents return--after a TWENTY year absence. They have some excuse, which I didn't find plausible. Furthermore, they now have a son who is of teenage years. According to the story it had been over seven years since they had been heard from, consequently, I couldn't figure out why no one had heard anything about this new son of theirs before they showed up with him. When reading carefully the parts of the story that relate to May's parents and their absence, so much of it doesn't make any sense. Then when they did show up--thankfully not until the very end of the book--that entire scene where they reunite with May seemed contrived. Personally, I think the story would have played better if May was just an orphan raised by her aunt and uncle. Fortunately, this aspect of the story is pretty minor.
*END OF SPOILER*
FYI this is one of those books wherein the characters' conduct is fairly true to the Regency time period in which the story is set, so there are a lot of strictures on their behavior. Consequently, the romance between Radford and May is very subtle...some readers find this style boring. The writing is not quite in line with Jane Austen or other authors of her ilk, but it's pretty close...it's certainly no Julia Quinn or Eloisa James novel. Nonetheless, the story is an enjoyable one. I liked it and would recommend it as a worthwhile read. FYI this is a clean romance. Happy reading!
A predictable romance, overall, with some interesting little twists in terms of the heroine's family backstory. We have encouraging friends and a horrid uncle. A compelled marriage looms for our heroine and our hero is thinking like an idiot on occasion.
There were some (for me) annoying editing issues that I think should have been caught. Poor word usage on a couple of occasions (hey, I'm a stickler) and a few adjectives were overused. They were prevalent enough that I remember them but not enough to turn me off the story because I really wanted to see what happened to our couple and how the author would achieve the HEA!
Swoon-factor is appropriate to the genre, with the added interest of our heroine not being all "light and winsome" necessarily. I think she describes herself as "stocky". I enjoyed that.
This romance is a quick read recommended for those who want their heroes and heroines to be a bit unconventional but not too much so. :)
Most recent customer reviews
I was very disappointed in this book--the story line is fairly classic and the characters are decently formed, however the setting and background...Read more